Almost 9% of all domain name registrations are either false or incomplete, leading to fears that the fight against internet fraudsters is being curtailed as a result.
The level of bad registrations has been revealed in a report by the US General Accountability Office (GAO).
The GAO says over 5% of domain registrations have been completed with “intentionally false” information, and that 3.6% contained incomplete registration data.
Missing or inaccurate details includes the lack of contact details for those running websites, meaning law enforcement agencies investigating fraud lack a full paper trail.
The GAO said that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), responsible for the overall domain name registration process, was now trying harder to get registrars to obtain accurate and complete records for domain holders.
Registrars like VeriSign, which manages the .com domain, and new registrar EURid, which is doing the .eu domain registration, have up to now been given free rein over how they meet ICANN’s registration rules.