The annual auDA Compliance Plan sets out our broad compliance priorities for the year. It allows industry and the public to see where we are focussing our attention and the types of activities we will be undertaking to support compliance with the .au Licensing Rules and confidence in .au.
A core function of auDA, as set out on our Terms of Endorsement from government, is to ensure stable, secure and reliable operation of the .au domain as part of Australia’s suite of critical infrastructure. Another core function is to administer a licensing regime that is transparent, responsive, accountable, accessible and efficient. Publishing our compliance priorities is one way we maintain high levels of transparency and accountability.
Compliance priorities 2022-23
The priorities for 2022-23 have been developed in response to key issues identified through a variety of mechanisms, including analysis of complaint and registry data and engagement with registrars.
In 2022-23, we are focussed on uplifting and consolidating compliance in four key areas:
1. Driving down Domain Name System (DNS) abuse in the .au through an expanded program of identifying and reporting DNS abuse.
DNS abuse includes malware, botnets, phishing, pharming and spam (where the spam facilitates one of the other four categories of abuse). Driving down DNS abuse is one of auDA’s strategic goals. Proactively identifying and addressing DNS abuse contributes to a secure and stable DNS and is therefore a focus of our compliance audit program. We will also look for ways to work more closely with government and other agencies on a shared goal of addressing DNS abuse to shut down online scam activity.
2. Compliance in the .au direct namespace.
Australia’s newest namespace, .au direct, launched in March 2022. Thanks to community demand for shorter, simpler names, it quickly became the second largest namespace in .au, behind only com.au. The Compliance Team will carry out ongoing audits of .au direct registrations to ensure the integrity of the new namespace.
3. Engaging with stakeholders to undertake a review of the .au Licensing Rules
We will review the operation of the .au Licensing Rules which came into effect on 12 April 2021 , to look at how well they are operating and whether there are opportunities for improvements. Any substantial changes will be referred for public consultation.
4. Working with registrars to improve the integrity of registry data through an uplift in validation plan targets
We will continue to work with auDA accredited registrars on their validation plans, extending compliance requirements to natural person validation and ensuring both parties to a domain name transfer are validated.
A proportionate approach to achieving compliance
Underpinning our Compliance Plan is our Compliance Posture, which sets out how we assist registrants and registrars to achieve compliance with the .au Licensing Rules. In turn, it helps promote and maintain trust and confidence in .au.
Under our Compliance Posture we have a proportionate three step approach to encouraging and enabling ongoing compliance with the .au Licensing Rules:
- Communicate and educate
- Guide and facilitate
- Enforce our rules
We follow this approach when undertaking activities under our Compliance Plan to support registrants to maintain compliance while also minimising the harm that can result from DNS abuse.
Measuring our performance against our compliance priorities
We measure performance against the compliance priorities in our Compliance Plan using different means such as targeted audits, registry data and stakeholder and community feedback. We report annually on our performance under the Compliance Plan in our Annual Report. You can read about our 2021-22 compliance priorities in our 2021-22 Annual Report.
Our 2022-23 Compliance Plan is available on the auDA website.