Neustar Analysis Shows ICANN Mitigation Plan Overstates Risk of Harmful Domain-Name Collision

  Neustar Analysis Shows ICANN Mitigation Plan Overstates Risk of Harmful
  Domain-Name Collision

 In comments to ICANN, Neustar provides model to calculate risk, eliminating
  the need for “uncalculated risk” category and unwarranted delay to new TLD

Business Wire

STERLING, Va. -- September 17, 2013

Neustar, Inc. (NYSE:NSR) today filed comments with the Internet Corporation
for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) opposing its proposal to delay the
launch of hundreds of new generic top-level domains (TLDs). Neustar stated
that its evaluation of existing data demonstrates that the inclusion of
numerous proposed TLDs in an “uncalculated risk” category is unwarranted. The
company believes that the risks can be calculated, and mitigated, and suggests
a means for doing so.

ICANN proposed delaying the new TLDs to re-examine concerns that the new names
could cause domain name “collision,” or confusion with queries for existing
domain names. ICANN based its proposal on a study it commissioned that
designated two TLDs as being at “high risk” for collision, about 1,000 TLDs as
“low risk” and about 150 TLDs as having an “uncalculated risk” of collision.

In its comments, Neustar analyzed the same data used in the ICANN-commissioned
study and added three new important factors to propose a more accurate
methodology to quantify the risk of harm associated with domain-name collision
risk for every applied-for TLD, eliminating the need for the “uncalculated
risk” category. Using its proposed methodology, Neustar found that only three
TLDs —.home, .corp and .mail— stand out as having the potential to cause
considerably higher collision risk to the domain name system than other
proposed TLDs. Applied-for TLDs currently included in the “uncalculated risk”
category should be moved to the “low risk” category, according to Neustar’s

“From this classification, registry operators, ICANN and the larger Internet
community can develop focused and tailored approaches to further reduce both
the likelihood and, more importantly, the consequences arising from domain
name collision,” Neustar’s report states. The report also provides specific
recommendations for mitigating the potential consequences of collision.

The following statement can be attributed to Neustar Deputy General Counsel
Becky Burr:

“ICANN’s mitigation strategy rests entirely on the possibility of collision,
not the consequences. As a result, ICANN’s plan would relegate many
demonstrably low-risk TLDs to the nether world of ‘uncalculated risk’ and
impose further unwarranted delay in the launch of those TLDs. ICANN’s approach
goes beyond simple prudence; it unnecessarily slows down the process of
rolling out TLDs, which enterprises have been working on for years. Prudence
and due deliberation are always called for in a system upgrade of this
magnitude, but ICANN’s ‘uncalculated risk’ category throws too many low-risk
TLDs into a nightmare of uncertainty, and needs to be fixed.

“Moreover, we disagree with the need for delay to conduct additional research
in order to quantify the risk associated with introduction of the vast
majority of proposed new TLDs. Rather, we believe that ICANN already has all
the data and research necessary to calculate the risk and develop mitigation
strategies that are carefully tailored to the specific risk associated with
each TLD.”

Read Neustar’s full report and analysis here.

Find an infographic explaining Neustar’s risk methodology here.

Read Neustar’s initial comments to ICANN here.

About Neustar

Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR) is a trusted, neutral provider of real-time
information and analysis to the communications services, financial services,
retail, and media and advertising sectors. Neustar applies its advanced,
secure technologies to help its clients promote and protect their businesses.
More information is available at


Neustar, Inc.
Kim Hart, 202-533-2934
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