The .ZA Domain Name Authority (Zadna) has defended draft regulations that an industry body last week warned would undermine the popularity of the .za domain space.
The Internet Service Providers’ Association (Ispa) last week slammed the draft regulations, saying they “place burdensome restrictions on domain registrars and registrants which will lead to brand owners abandoning the .za Internet country code in favour of one of the multitude of generic domains such as .com or .business that are easier to register”.
William Stucke, who chairs Ispa’s domain name working group, said in a statement on Friday that the draft rules and procedures, unless changed, “threaten to undo 34 years of local and international goodwill towards domains ending in .za”.
“The regulations are heavy-handed and cumbersome, and as such will disincentivise the adoption of .za registrations,” Stucke said. The draft regulations, he added, are “entirely out of step with current domain name international best practice”.
A big part of Ispa’s beef is with a proposed requirement by Zadna that registrars collect identification information from those wanting to register a .za domain. This, Stucke said, will deter new registrations and renewals and lead to additional costs for registrars, costs that will have to be passed onto the retail pricing of .za domains.
Zadna, which licenses domain registries and registrars under the Electronic Communications & Transactions Act, told TechCentral that different models are applied globally, “taking into account the context of the jurisdictions involved, some of which have implemented the request of identity document details upon registration of domain names”. Examples of such jurisdictions are the UK and Japan, it said.
The regulator said it also conducted an assessment in South Africa on the collection of ID details. Sixteen registrars, including all the leading ones, were investigated. The assessment suggested 98.6% of registrars already collect ID details. Thus, “the collection of such information would not result in additional costs aside from what is already chargeable currently”, Zadna said.
“It is worth noting that from the submissions Zadna received [on the draft regulations], there was positive feedback from some stakeholders who believed that the regulations were much needed to provide an open market for previously disadvantaged but interested parties to enter and participate in the namespace. Among such stakeholders is the ICT SMME Chamber, which holds many representatives like Ispa within the ICT space.” — © 2022 NewsCentral Media