ICANN80 or for a better management and protection of Domain names in Africa

KIGALI ATTORNEYS LEGAL CONSULTANTS & PARTNERS represented by Frank TSAGUE Esq, senior Associate and Louis GITINYWA Managing Partner is delighted to have taken part to the 80th Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Forum, which was held in Kigali, Rwanda, from 10 to 13 June 2024.

The forum, held at Kigali Convention Center, provided an opportunity to meet Internet professionals, members of government, public and semi-public administrations, as well as members of civil society and academics from various countries around the world.

Most of the topics discussed at the forum concerned domain names (Domain Name Server).  The Domain Name System (DNS) is the method by which an IP (Internet Protocol) address is converted on a computer or other connected device into a human-readable domain name.

Put simply, humans access information online via domain names, such as linkedIn.com or visitrwanda.rw. Web browsers, on the other hand, interact via IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. This is a sequence of numbers similar to Since computers only communicate with each other via these IP addresses, the role of DNS is to translate domain names into IP addresses so that browsers can load Internet resources. The DNS protocol therefore ensures that digital requests are converted into the correct IP address and that they reach their correct destination on the vast network known as the Internet.

Another important aspect of DNS is that it enables users to access websites using simple, understandable domain names. Domain names are much easier for humans to remember than numerical IP addresses. In addition, it allows the IP address associated with a domain name to be changed without changing the way users access the site. This makes it easier to manage websites and online services.

DNS is subject to threats such as DNS cache poisoning, where attackers inject falsified information into the cache of DNS servers. As a result, DNS queries return incorrect IP addresses, redirecting users to phishing sites where their sensitive information (passwords, banking details) can be stolen. This is also the case with DNS Hijacking, a process by which attackers take control of DNS records by exploiting vulnerabilities in the DNS software or by compromising domain management administrative accounts.

One of the leitmotiv of these discussions was to raise awareness of these practices, to report on the measures that have been taken to deal with them, and also to promote the introduction of stronger policies and regulations to protect domain names in Africa. This would make it possible to clean up the Internet domain, protect its users, and participate in the continent’s development in terms of technology exchanges for a more secure and freer Internet in Africa.

The Icann81 General Assembly will be held from 09 to 14 November 2024 in Istanbul, Turkey.

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