The .ru ccTLD has a long-held reputation as a haven for spam and cyber crime, but recent changes made to the domain’s registration requirements could clean it up.
It used to be very easy for criminals to register .ru names with fake identities. But as of April 1, all registrants have to provide a copy of a passport or business registration papers in order to buy a domain. China implemented a similar system several months ago to clean up its .cn extension.
Will Russia’s actions improve .ru’s reputation? Probably, but by making registration such an inconvenience, many legitimate users will find another TLD to register. And as Rodney Joffe, chief technologist at Neustar put it, “It’s pushing the malicious activity elsewhere. If it’s so much of a hassle, [criminals will] say, ‘Screw it. I’m going to register another top-level domain.'”