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[council] Results of Domain Name Front Running Study

  • To: Council GNSO <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [council] Results of Domain Name Front Running Study
  • From: Glen de Saint Géry <Glen@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2009 15:13:30 -0700
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  • List-id: council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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  • Thread-topic: Results of Domain Name Front Running Study


Results of Domain Name Front Running Study

4 August 2009
In an attempt to contribute to community discussion regarding domain name front 
running, ICANN commissioned a study to assess the occurrence of domain name 
front running. The SSAC defined domain name front running as "an opportunity 
for a party to obtain some form of insider information regarding an Internet 
user's preference for registering a domain name and to use this opportunity to 
preemptively register that domain name. In this scenario, "insider information" 
is information gathered from the monitoring of one or more attempts by an 
Internet user to check the availability of a domain name." Several members of 
the Internet community have expressed concern regarding the suspected 
occurrence of domain name front running. 

Internet security expert, Benjamin Edelman [PDF, 36K], conducted a front 
running study at ICANN's request. In three rounds of tests over a ten-month 
period, Mr. Edelman searched for evidence of front running by leading domain 
registration and domain availability-checking sites. More than 600 tests 
yielded no evidence of front running. 

Please see the Front Running Study: Testing Report [PDF, 120K] 
for details regarding the methodology used and study findings.

Glen de Saint Géry
GNSO Secretariat

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