[council] Results of Domain Name Front Running Study
Results of Domain Name Front Running Study
4 August 2009
In an attempt to contribute to community discussion regarding domain name front
running, ICANN commissioned a study to assess the occurrence of domain name
front running. The SSAC defined domain name front running as "an opportunity
for a party to obtain some form of insider information regarding an Internet
user's preference for registering a domain name and to use this opportunity to
preemptively register that domain name. In this scenario, "insider information"
is information gathered from the monitoring of one or more attempts by an
Internet user to check the availability of a domain name." Several members of
the Internet community have expressed concern regarding the suspected
occurrence of domain name front running.
Internet security expert, Benjamin Edelman [PDF, 36K], conducted a front
running study at ICANN's request. In three rounds of tests over a ten-month
period, Mr. Edelman searched for evidence of front running by leading domain
registration and domain availability-checking sites. More than 600 tests
yielded no evidence of front running.
Please see the Front Running Study: Testing Report [PDF, 120K]
for details regarding the methodology used and study findings.
Glen de Saint Géry