Verisign Wants Power to Seize Domains: ACLU Says “Not So Fast”

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Verisign Domain Seizures

In the wake of a number of Internet gambling websites and music downloading website having their domains seized, Verisign has signaled they would like to pursue the policy even further. 

Verisign made a request to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, outlining a new “anti-abuse” policy that would allow the company to terminate, lock, or transfer any domain under its registration jurisdiction under a number of circumstances. And one of those circumstances listed was “requests of law enforcement.”

From Ars Techica:

The request,submitted through ICANN's Registry Services Evaluation Process on October 10, proposes a new malware scanning service for domains as well as a new Verisign Anti-Abuse Domain Use Policy. In the request letter, Verisign stated that its policy would help the registrar align with requirements ICANN is placing on new generic top level domains. “All parts of the internet community are feeling the pressure to be more proactive in dealing with malicious activity,” Verisign explained. “ICANN has recognized this and the new gTLD Applicant Guidebook requires new gTLDs to adopt a clear definition of rapid takedown or suspension systems that will be implemented.”

The request goes beyond malware concerns, noting an intenton“to protect the integrity, security and stability of the DNS; to comply with any applicable court orders, laws, government rules or requirements, requests of law enforcement or other governmental or quasi-governmental agency, or any dispute resolution process; (and) to avoid any liability, civil or criminal, on the part of Verisign, as well as its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers, directors, and employees... Verisign also reserves the right to place upon registry lock, hold or similar status a domain name during resolution of a dispute.”

The online gambling sector as a whole has taken the unusual step to register and use as their primary domains the likes of .EU and .AG (Antigua) extensions, which do not come under the control of the US Government. 

In recent months, the likes of Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Bookmaker have seen their .com domain names seized.  While Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars are alleged to have engaged in money laundering and bank fraud, the oldest established North American-facing online sportsbook, Bookmaker, was found to be in violation of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA), a law many politicians and US-based casino groups are attempting to repeal.  UIGEA is supposed to make it illegal for banks to process credit cards for online gambling companies, yet there are exceptions such as horse racing and state lotteries as well as fantasy football leagues, which make such an unfunded mandate all but impossible to accurately enforce.  It also begs the question:  Will the US Government start seizing the .com domain names of financial institutions found to be processing online gambling transactions.

ACLU Senior Attorney, Aden Fine, told Ars Technica that the "protest procedure" is cause for concern. "The default shouldn't be 'take down first'," he said. "Any time the government is involved in seizing websites, that raises serious First Amendment issues. It doesn't matter if it's a private company pushing the button."

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

Gambling News

BetOnline News: Where is the Action at: NFL Conference Championship Games

Effective October 1, 2019, Gambling911.com is proud to present all the latest news pertaining to one of our long time partner sites BetOnline.

Where Can I Watch, Bet the McGregor vs Cowboy Fight UFC 246 From Bakersfield

Betting on UFC 246 Conor McGregor vs. Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone is available from Bakersfield via Jazz Sports (in business since 1996). 

Man Convicted After Gambling Away Money Stolen From Armored Truck

Man Convicted After Gambling Away Money Stolen From Armored Truck

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Helena man has been convicted of taking $390,000 that was stolen from an armored truck and spending it on gambling, day trading, and travel.

Gamblers Bet $1.5 Billion on Sports in Pennsylvania Last Year

Gamblers Bet $1.5 Billion on Sports in Pennsylvania Last Year

Pennsylvania's commercial casinos reached a new high in revenue last year, a record boosted by an aggressive new expansion of gambling authorized in 2017.

Best Website to Start a Sportsbook

Best Website to Start a Sportsbook

If you are looking to start a sportsbook then the best thing to do is get set up with a pay per head site. These sites cater to people that are looking to book action on a sportsbook website.