Cybersquatting, also known as “domain spoofing” or “typo squatting,” occurs when someone registers a trademark that they do not own in an internet domain name — usually in an effort to impersonate and fraudulently profit off of commercial or other brands. In this episode of the Faegre Drinker on Law and Technology Podcast, host Jason G. Weiss sits down with Faegre Drinker’s Libby Baney and Garth Bruen, a distinguished cybercrime researcher whose work has been published in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, to discuss cybersquatting and the systems (like WHOIS and ICANN) that track internet registrations.
The conversation covers a number of questions, including:
- What is cybersquatting?
- What is WHOIS? What is ICANN? Why are these systems important in the battle against cybersquatting?
- How does the WHOIS process work? Who has access to data in the WHOIS database? Who controls that database?
- Is there a path to government intervention to help fix issues related to cybersquatting? What is Congress considering in terms of improving transparency on the internet and protecting consumers? Are there any current laws in progress?