ICANN Halts EstDomains De-Accreditation Procedure

Pending review of new documents sent by the ill-famed registrar

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced having halted the process of de-accrediting Estonian-based domain registrar EstDomains Inc. in light of newly received documents, according to which Vladimir Tsastsin is no longer the president of the company.

Two days ago, ICANN took the decision to terminate the accreditation agreement with EstDomains Inc. because the Estonian company failed to remove Vladimir Tsastsin from his administrative position after being convicted of felonies related to financial activities. This represents a violation of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) and is specified under Section 5.3 of the document.

In February 2008, Mr. Tsatsin, the President of EstDomains Inc., was sentenced to three years in jail by an Estonian Court for credit card fraud, document forgery, and money laundering. A publicly available notification letter sent by Stacy K. Burnette, Director of Contractual Compliance at ICANN, to Vladimir Tsastsin on 28 October 2008 informs him that “absent receipt by ICANN of any document indicating that you were removed from the position of President, ICANN concludes that you maintained the position of President at EatDomains since the date of your conviction. EstDomains' RAA is being terminated based on your conviction and your status as President at EstDomains”.

EstDomain has long been tagged by anti-spam groups and security professionals as the number one domain registration service used by cyber-criminals in their illegal activities, so it's understandable that the security community rejoiced at the news of EstDomain being forced to close down their business. However, not everyone rushed to pop up the Champaign, some of them warning that this might get turned around, even though ICANN had already issued an announcement inviting other registrars to express their interest in taking over the nearly 281,000 domains maintained by EstDomains.

It turns out that the skeptics were right, as Ms. Stacy Burnette received a response on behalf of the Delaware-incorporated company. The sender of the response letter is Konstantin Poltev and according to the attached documents, he is the new President of EstDomains since June, when Vladimir Tsatsin resigned. He also points out that Tsatsin was convicted by a Circuit Court and that the decision is not final, Tsatsin already having appealed to the Estonian Supreme Court. “In accordance with Estonian legislation the appeal to a Supreme Court cancels the previous verdict brought in against the convict,” writes Poltev.

Mr. Poltev attached Tsatsin's Supreme Court appeal record as well as his resignation dating 25th of June. In light of the new documents, ICANN issued another announcement that reads, “ICANN received a response from EstDomains regarding the notice of termination. To assess the merits of the claims made in EstDomains’ response, ICANN has stayed the termination process as ICANN analyzes these claims”.

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