Ireland’s ccTLD .ie has some of the more restrictive eligibility rules of any ccTLD, but the registry is now seeking to make it easier for individuals and businesses to register domain names in the Emerald Isle. IE Domain Registration is currently seeking public comment on the changes, but you only have until 30 September. The rules today mean that to register a .ie domain name, an individual or business must prove that they have a valid claim to their desired name and a real, tangible connection to the island of Ireland.
The new proposal is to retain the requirement for registrants to prove their connection to Ireland, but drop the need to prove a valid claim to the name. If the policy change is approved, any individual or business with a provable connection to Ireland will be able to register a .ie domain name on a first-come, first-served basis.
“By removing this administrative requirement, registering a .ie address will be easier and faster, especially for new start-ups, and will further open up the .ie domain namespace to citizens, residents, clubs, communities and businesses,” said David Curtin, Chief Executive of IEDR. If passed, Mr Curtin said that while it would be more straightforward to register a .ie domain, the .ie namespace would remain protected and ‘identifiably Irish’.
“Unlike a .com address, where the registration is immediate and unchecked, every .ie registrant will still need to prove their link to Ireland before their application is approved, so for individuals this would involve photo identification, like an Irish passport. This process drastically reduces the chances of fraudsters and phishers using a .ie address for criminal purposes. It’s simply too much effort and expense for them, and too easy to get caught out."
“Protecting .ie domain holders has always been IEDR’s first and foremost priority, and that has not changed. Together with industry channel partners, law enforcement and regulatory agencies, we already have in place many protections to safeguard the .ie namespace against hacking and malware hosting, and we are constantly updating our own technology and best practice to ensure that the .ie namespace remains secure.
“In instances where consumers believe that a .ie domain has been unfairly or improperly registered by a third party, or where it impinges on a brand or IP right, perhaps for the sole purpose of ‘brand cyber-squatting’, IEDR operates an independent dispute resolution service.”
As a result of their restrictive policies, .ie has one of the lowest rates of domain names under management of any ccTLD within Europe. Currently there are 231,000 domain names registered. But it also means that every domain name has a distinctive Irish connection.
IEDR wants any individual, business or organisation to have their say on the proposed change before the deadline this coming Saturday, 30 September.