In light of the current pandemic several of the domain name registries have made changes to their processes. We’ve been actively engaged with them over the last few weeks and have urged all of them to work collaboratively with their registrar partners (ie. companies such as ourselves).

However changes have been made whether we like them or not.

So if you’re registering domain names at the moment please take a moment to read on.

.eu domains

The .eu domain registry has expanded their anti-abuse system to specifically focus on potentially problematic domain names using terms related to the pandemic. What that means is that if you register or attempt to register a domain name using a keyword that’s very obviously linked to the current situation that it could trigger extra validation by EURid.

What does that mean?

Before you’ll be able to use the domain name you’ll need to do a couple of things:

  • Validate your registration data. Essentially this means that EURid will be asking you to prove you are who you say you are and that your contact details are accurate
  • Provide a statement that you’re registering the domain name “in good faith”

The emails related to this process do NOT come from us. They come directly from EURid: whoisaccuracy@eurid.eu

If you have any issues please let us know.

UK Domains

The .uk domain name registry is operated by Nominet and they too have made some changes to how they handle some domain name registrations.

Similar to how EURid (.eu) do things Nominet are also flagging domain names that contain certain keywords or terms. If you register a domain name using an “obvious” term then you will probably find an email from Nominet in your inbox asking you to verify your contact details.

IE Domains

With many government offices closed to the public it’s obviously problematic to get some documents renewed. In light of this the .ie registry operator, IEDR, has decided to be a bit more flexible with their documentation requirements. So if your driving license has expired recently you can still use it for your .ie domain name registrations. They’ll accept licenses that have expired since March 1st.

Our Experience

There’s been a lot of speculation in various online media that many domain names using terms related to COVID-19 are somehow intrinsically malicious.

Our experience is quite the opposite.

The domains we’re seeing being registered fall into three “buckets”:

  • Registered and used for a personal, community or business project
  • Registered for future use. We’ve no idea what they might be used for, but they’re currently not being used actively for anything
  • Registered for speculative purposes. Basically these are domains that people have registered in the hope of selling them on. Typically they’re listed for sale on one of the various domain name marketplaces or platforms

If you have any questions please let us know and if you’ve come across any interesting uses of domains do let us know via the comments.