DNC newsletter - November 2019



November 2019 

Message from the Commissioner

Kia Ora,

It’s #BlackFriday. The day when the Internet goes wild for an online shopping bargain. 

This month and next we are all about awareness raising related to our #ShopSafeNZ campaign in the lead up to Christmas and the Boxing Day sales. 

Together with a number of strategic supporters (thank you! and we’d love more to get behind us with a simple count me in email to [email protected]) we’ve launched #ShopSafeNZ. 

Our plan is for this to be a repeatable annual campaign every 25 November and running through to 1 January of each year. 

Did you know that opportunists can associate domain names with fake retailer websites that look like legitimate online retail stores?

That’s why we’ve built fakewebshop.nz to help people spot an online e-tailer who might not be the real McCoy and to promote an online safety message this holiday shopping season. 

My blogpost and twitter page contain more details about the campaign. 


Throughout December there will be various competitions and giveaways, polls, social media advertisements and videos online to get the message out across New Zealand. 

Looking for ways to staff engage with the campaign? Here at the Domain Name Commission and InternetNZ we celebrated ShopSafeNZ with a Gingerbread House decorating competition which was a fun way to kick things off. Easy to repeat in any workplace. 

We had a winner on the day but have taken some pictures of the top 3 finishers. We will be letting you and our twitter followers decide on a clear winner next week.

Shop online responsibly this holiday season and read on for a summary of key activities from November. 

Ngā Mihi,


Data breach - Web.com, NetworkSolutions.com and Register.com

On 30 October 2019 the media reported a data breach at a number of domain name registrars including two .nz authorised registrars, Web.com and Key Systems who’s reseller is NetworkSolutions. 

The Commission issued an alert to the market in early November and is continuing to work with registrars and their customers. The breach has been contained and customers of both registrars are being urged to update their password details. The alert is available here.  


New tools to keep .nz safe and secure 

As part of #ShopSafeNZcampaign, the DNCL has entered into a new three-year partnership with iThreat to provide the DNCL with threat feed services. These feeds will help monitor and keep the .nz domain name space safe. 

As a result of this new partnership, DNCL will be better able to enforce .nz policy requirements and fulfil our growing coordination role as a clearinghouse for all public enquires related to the .nz domain namespace. 

This commercial service compliments DNCL’s growing in-house tools co-designed with the InternetNZ Research team to combat domain name abuse including our fake webshop algorithm and soon to be trialled phishing algorithm. 

Domain Name suspension and cancellations

This month the Domain Name Commission has suspended 173 domain names for non-validated registrant registration details. Many of these domain names were associated with fake webshops and as a result of reports to us from members of the public. If you spot suspicious-looking registration contact details please report them to us.

Pricing and reseller survey

As part of our efforts to better understand the reseller market and retail pricing for .nz domain names, we have sent out a survey to registrars asking them to provide us with some information. We are doing this to get a better idea of how the market is structured and priced and the pricing information will be made publicly available on our site early next year. If you are a registrar and have not filled out the survey please follow the link below.


Compliance tip - are your contact details current?

Check that your registration details are up to date. Do this by checking your domain in the WHOIS search on our website. Things to check: Registrant name is either your name or an organisations full name and not an acronym, Registrant email is your up to date and if the domain is for an organisation it doesn’t go to a yahoo or Gmail address. 

Testing of an Online Emergency Crisis Protocol   

We’ll be at the YouTube/Google hosted online incident response workshop in Wellington, New Zealand, on 3-4 December 2019. This will be an important opportunity to test a draft Domestic Online Incident Response Process which has been developed with a number of stakeholders in the aftermath of the Christchurch terrorist attacks. 

Minutes published from the August DNCL Board Meeting

The Minutes of the August Board meeting now ratified from the November meeting are available on our website

Abuse in the DNS theme for ICANN66 Montreal 

ICANN held its 66th meeting in Montreal this month. Across the community, including within the Government Advisory Committee and the Country Code Names Supporting Organisation Domain Name System abuse featured as part of the program.

The Domain Abuse Activity Reporting (DAAR) project is now open for country code Top Level Domain Name participation whereas previously it was for the sole use of ICANN’s contracted parties. There are no ccTLDs yet who have signed up to the project.

For an easy to read summary of the key outcomes from ICANN including the many conversations about domain name abuse read the Council for European Country Country Code Top Level Domains summary report


Launch of the World’s first Internet & Jurisdiction Global Status Report

The DNCL together with InternetNZ has been a contributor and sponsor of the Internet and Jursidiction’s work to produce a framework for dealing with cross jurisdictional, content and domain name issues. A Report on emerging trends and key challenges facing the internet across borders has just been issued. 

The findings collect data, including in-depth interviews, from over 150 key stakeholders – states, Internet companies, technical operators, civil society, academia and international organizations from five continents.

Key findings include:

  • 79% of surveyed stakeholders consider that there is insufficient international coordination and coherence to address cross-border legal challenges on the Internet.
  • 95% of them agree that cross-border legal challenges on the internet will become increasingly acute in the next three years.
  • Only 15% of them believe that we already have the right institutions to address these challenges

 Read the report here.

Media and articles that caught our attention

DNC news