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IntroducedNot officially introduced; proposed in 2004
TLD typeProposed top-level domain
StatusUnapproved application
RegistryNone yet established
SponsorAnti-Spam Community Registry (founded by Spamhaus)
Intended useTo allow non-spam mail to be identified as such via an authenticatable address based on that of the mail server
Actual useNot in use yet, as it is unapproved and not in root
Registration restrictionsMust already have a domain in another TLD for at least 6 months; subject to verification of WHOIS data; can be revoked if involved in spamming
StructureRegistrations must be based on existing domain owned by registrant, such as example.org.mail
DocumentsProposal to ICANN
Dispute policiesUDRP applies, but since registrations are based on other existing domain, ownership of .mail domain will follow original domain if it is transferred due to a dispute
Registry websiteSpamhaus

.mail is a generic top-level domain proposed by The Spamhaus Project in 2004, but unapproved by ICANN. Its purpose is to enable responsible message recipients to reliably and efficiently identify and accept spam-free mailstreams.

Core functionality[edit]

.mail would attempt to reduce the spam problem by maintaining a list of domains authenticated as both not belonging to known spammers, and providing verified contact information. The sTLD would contain the actual hostnames of servers used to send mail. A .mail domain would only be able to be registered by a party that already owns a domain in another TLD which has been in operation for at least six months, and whose WHOIS information has been verified for accuracy. The structure of the .mail domain consists of existing domain names with the new TLD appended, such as example.net.mail, associated with example.net. Unlike other domains, the .mail domain would not be fully under the control of the registrant, but would go to a publicly accessible server where the status and contact information of the domain could be seen, and complaints to abuse@server1.example.net.mail would go to an organization which monitors spam complaints and revokes names registered to spammers. Mail filtering software can also query the .mail address associated with a message and reject the message if the address is forged or revoked.

Secondary functionality[edit]

.mail could be extended to protect messaging infrastructure other than that of email (see spam). It would provide important information to law enforcement addressing crimes such as phishing, and a host of other Internet-based crimes. It could make it easier for responsible entities to provide better email anonymity services.

Security considerations[edit]

If approved, .mail would likely experience attacks from spammers. Advocates say they would use the existing high-volume expertise of Spamhaus, VeriSign, and eNom to deal with this problem.

External links[edit]