Big Year Ahead For InternetNZ With Registry Transformation Project, Security Issues and So Much More: Q&A With Brent Carey

2020 is going to be a big year in the .nz domain name space. InternetNZ has a lot of activities on the go, from their registry replacement project, working with iThreat on threat detection, implementing the work of the Internet and jurisdiction policy network and keeping the domain name system fair for everyone will also occupy our time including fighting for the privacy rights of New Zealand registrants. These are the main activities for New Zealand’s ccTLD registry according to Brent Carey, InternetNZ’s Domain Name Commissioner as outlined in today’s Q&A looking at the year in review and year ahead. New Zealand was also rocked last year by the Christchurch terrorism event, and Brent says he’s ‘very proud of InternetNZ’s response’ and a lot of time was spent dealing with fake webshops And data breaches and security continue to be ongoing issues, and on the increase, that need to be tackled. To read more of Brent’s responses, keep reading below.

Domain Pulse: What were the highlights, lowlights and challenges of 2019 in the domain name industry, both for you and/or the industry in general?

Brent Carey: There were a lot of mergers and acquisitions in the local domain name market and this proved challenging from a legal contract management perspective. Registrars also looked to improve and consolidate their systems which posed challenges when it came to data management in legacy systems.

Data breaches in the industry anecdotally seemed to be on the increase – certainly we were involved in more than previous years.

A lowlight in New Zealand was the Christchurch terrorism event which made everyone stop and think as a country. However, I am very proud of our response – we did our best in a terrible situation to stop the shooting video spread.

Some of the key highlights I observed were a willingness to share information and capacity build across jurisdictions and for the ccTLDs and gTLDs to come together to tackle examples of domain name abuse associated with content, infrastructure and registration issues.

In the past year, we’ve tackled domain names associated with fake webshops so Kiwi shoppers can be more confident in the online stores they’re buying from. We are using a predictive model that finds and classifies fake webshops, and after validating the registration data.

From mid-2019, 710 fake webshops have been identified with 99% of these domain names being cancelled.

We’ve also spent time educating New Zealanders on how to spot a fake webshop through the Christmas shop safe campaign which shows consumers key things to look for before making an online purchase

DP: What are you looking forward to in 2020?

BC: 2020 is going to be a big one in the threat detection space. We are working with Jeff Bedser from the iThreat team on some great tools

We are also moving forward with our registry replacement project and a new end to end .nz policy system for .nz which is also a priority for our name space. The implementation of the work of the Internet and jurisdiction policy network will also help keep .nz safe and secure.

Keeping the domain name system fair for everyone will also occupy our time including fighting for the privacy rights of New Zealand registrants. Our US litigation against Domain Tools will hopefully resolve this year.

DP: How have new gTLDs fared in 2019?

BC: Those at the top of the market continue to fare well. The rest of the field feels like the Melbourne Cup sweepstake. Anybody’s guess.

DP: What progress do you see on a new round of applications for new gTLDs in 2020?

BC: That is is coming albeit it rather slowly. It’s also happening during a time of a lot of mergers and acquisitions in the gTLD market.

DP: What one thing would you like to see addressed or changed in the domain name industry?

BC: Getting the balance right between the free of flow of information to assist e-commerce and combatting online crime with respect for individual privacy and safety concerns.