ICANN: ccNSO FoI WG’s Interim Report on “Revocation”

ICANN logoPurpose (Brief): The ccNSO Framework of Interpretation Working Group (FoI WG) seeks public comment on its initial interpretations of current policy and guidelines related to “Revocation”, which is defined as redelgations undertaken without the consent of the ccTLD manager. “Revocation” refers to the process by which the IANA Operator rescinds responsibility for management of a ccTLD from a manager.
Current Status: The Interim Report is published to seek feed-back and input from the community on the proposed interpretations of the current policies and guidelines. This is part of the process for developing recommendations to the ccNSO and GAC and ultimately to ICANN Board on the interpretation of current, existing policy and guidelines realting to the delegation and redelgation of ccTLD‘s.
Next Steps: The WG will closely review all submitted comments to determine at may at its reasonable discretion modify its report. According to its charter the WG is not obligated to include all comments made during the comment period, nor is it obligated to include all comments submitted by any one individual or organization.

The Working Group expects to formally publish its Final Report prior to the next ICANN meeting in London (June 2014)

Detailed Information

Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose:

The FoI WG identified the applicable polices and procedure statements and reviewed past cases of re-delegations undertaken without the consent of the incumbent operator. Based on this analysis the FOIWG examined issues arising in the context of the applicable policies and procedures and developed draft interpretations summarized below.

  • RFC 1591 identifies three mechanisms available to the IANA Operator: Delegation, Transfer and Revocation.
  • Under RFC 1591, a Transfer requires the consent of the incumbent ccTLD manager.
  •  “Revocation” refers to the process by which the IANA Operator rescinds responsibility for management of a ccTLD from a manager.
  • The WG interprets RFC 1591 to limit Revocation to cases where the IANA Operator reasonably demonstrates that there are persistent problems with the operation of the domain, or the manager continues to engage in “substantial misbehavior”, despite the efforts of the IANA Operator using all means at its disposal to resolve such conduct.
  • If a manager is engaged in “substantial misbehavior” or there are “persistent problems in the operation of a ccTLD” and the ccTLD manager is unwilling or unable to rectify the problems to the reasonable satisfaction of the IANA Operator and/or stop the offending conduct, the IANA Operator may propose a Transfer.
  •  If the manager does not consent to a proposed Transfer, the only mechanism available to the IANA Operator to deal with ultimately intractable problems is Revocation.
  • If the IANA Operator revokes a delegation it should attempt, in collaboration with the significantly interested parties, to ensure the ccTLD will continue to resolve names until a suitable replacement can take over.
  • The FOIWG believes it is consistent general principles of fairness and with RFC1591 to afford an affected manager the opportunity to appeal a notice of revocation issued by the IANA Operator to an independent body.

The FOI WG seeks community feedback on the following questions:

  1. Is the approach used by the working group satisfactory?
  2. Do the issues identified by the working group for this topic capture the major problems associated with the topic? If not what is missing?
  3. Is the proposed interpretation of the relevant sections of RFC 1591 effective and supported?
  4. Are the proposed recommendations effective in addressing the concerns raised in the final report of the DRDWG regarding this topic?
Section II: Background:

The FOIWG was created by the ccNSO Council following the recommendations of the Delegation and Re-delegation Working Group (DRDWG): Recommendation 2: Delegation and re-delegation of ccTLDs

The DRDWG recommends that, as a first step, the ccNSO Council undertakes the development of a “Framework of Interpretation” for the delegation and re-delegation of ccTLDs. This framework should provide a clear guide to IANA and the ICANN Board on interpretations of the current policies, guidelines and procedures relating to the delegation and re-delegation of ccTLDs.

The results of the use of such a Framework of Interpretation should be formally monitored and evaluated by the ccNSO Council after a pre-determined period. If the results of this evaluation indicate that the Framework of Interpretation failed to provide logical and predictable outcomes in ICANN decision making, the ccNSO Council should then launch PDPs on the delegation and re-delegation of ccTLDs.

The Final Report of the Delegation Redelegation and Retirement Working Group (DRDWG) identified the following issues pertaining to “Unconsented Redelegations”:

No procedure for re-delegation of a ccTLD without the consent of the incumbent operator. RFC1591 nor ICP1 discuss the re-delegation of a ccTLD without the consent of the incumbent operator. Instead both of these documents discuss the revocation of a delegation by IANA, for cause, followed by a re-delegation to a new operator. This is somewhat confusing given that in these types of situations the revocation has never caused a ccTLD to be removed from the root prior to being delegated to a new operator &ndash thus trying to ensure continued resolution of the domains registered in the relevant ccTLD. This further illustrates some of the issues surrounding the re-delegation of ccTLDs without the consent of the incumbent operator.

The objective of the FOIWG is to develop and propose a “Framework of Interpretation” for the delegation and re-delegation of ccTLDs. This framework should provide a clear guide to IANA functions manager and the ICANN Board on interpretation of the current Policy Statements.

Section III: Document and Resource Links: 

The Interim Report can be found at: Interim Report on Revocation [PDF, 220 KB]

Additional Resources:

Further information on the work of the FoI WG is available at: ccnso.icann.org/workinggroups/foiwg.htm

Section IV: Additional Information: 

The Interim Report addresses the third of the following topics and which will be considered individually and in the order presented:

  • Obtaining and documenting consent for delegation and re-delegation requests
  • Obtaining and documenting support for delegation and re-delegation requests from Significantly Interested Parties (sometimes referred to as Local Internet Community or LIC).
  • Developing recommendations for un-consented re-delegations
  • Developing a comprehensive glossary of the terms used for the delegation and re-delegation of ccTLDs.
  • Developing recommendations for IANA reports on delegation and re-delegation

Comment / Reply Periods

  • Comment Open Date: 28 October 2013
  • Comment Close Date: 20 December 2013 – 23:59 UTC
  • Reply Open Date: 21 December 2013
  • Reply Close Date: 31 January 2014 – 23:59 UTC

Important Information Link