Tag Archives: European Commission

ICANN: IDN ccTLD Request from European Commission Successfully Passes String Evaluation

ICANN logoICANN is pleased to announce the successful evaluation of the proposed IDN ccTLD string in Cyrillic script for the European Commission.

Details of the successful evaluation are provided here: www.icann.org/en/resources/idn/fast-track/string-evaluation-completion

The Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) ccTLD Fast Track Process was approved by the ICANN Board at its annual meeting in Seoul, South Korea on 30 October 2009. First requests were received starting 16 November 2009. The process enables countries and territories to submit requests to ICANN for IDN ccTLDs, representing their respective country or territory names in scripts other than Latin. IDN ccTLD requesters must fulfill a number of requirements:

  • The script used to represent the IDN ccTLDs must be non-Latin;
  • The languages used to express the IDN ccTLDs must be official in the corresponding country or territory; and
  • A specific set of technical requirements must be met.

The request and evaluation processes entail three steps:

  • Preparation (by the requester in the country / territory): Community consensus is built for which IDN ccTLD to apply for, how it is run, and which organization will be running it, along with preparing and gathering all the required supporting documentation. Requests are submitted through an online system together with additional material supporting the process at forms.icann.org/idn/apply.php
  • String Evaluation: Requests are evaluated in accordance with the technical and linguistic requirements for the IDN ccTLD string(s) criteria described above.
  • String Delegation: Requests successfully meeting string evaluation criteria are eligible to apply for delegation following the same ICANN IANA process as is used for ASCII based ccTLDs. Requesters submit string delegation requests to IANA root zone management: root-mgmt@iana.org.

With this announcement, requests from a total of 38 countries/territories have successfully passed through the String Evaluation stage. Of these, 31 countries/territories (represented by 41 IDN ccTLDs) are delegated in the DNS root zone, with the remainder either readying to apply, or actively applying for delegation of the string. Up-to-date information about the IDN Fast Track Program will continue to be provided on the Fast Track Process web page at https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/fast-track-2012-02-25-en.

ICANN will continue to accept new string evaluation requests for non-Latin country-code top-level domains for countries and territories that meet the Fast Track Process requirements. Please email idncctldrequest@icann.org for any inquiries for participation.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2015-12-02-en

ICANN Grants Two More European Registrars Data Retention Waivers

ICANN logoICANN has granted another two European registrars data retention waivers following concerns over how the Registrar Accreditation Agreement conflicts with European data retention laws.

One waiver was granted to Blacknight Internet Solutions who submitted to ICANN a Registrar Data Retention Waiver Request on the basis of Registrar’s contention that compliance with the data collection and/or retention requirements of the Data Retention Specification in the 2013 RAA violates applicable law in Ireland.

The second waiver was granted to Nameweb BVBA on the basis of the Registrar’s contention that compliance with the data collection and/or retention requirements of the Data Retention Specification in the 2013 RAA violates applicable law in Belgium.

The waivers shall remain in effect for the duration of the term of the 2013 RAA signed by the registrars.

The issue has come about as some registrars, particularly in Europe, have expressed concerns that local data protection and other privacy laws make it difficult for them to comply with these new requirements. ICANN has noted these concerns and that laws vary from country to country and that some of the new data retention requirements in the 2013 RAA may conflict with certain European data protection and privacy regulations. In a posting on the ICANN blog, ICANN’s Cyrus Namazi said, “to be clear, governing laws take precedence over the terms of the RAA.”

The issue from a European perspective was made clear in a letter from the European Commission’s Article 29 Working Party in June 2013 who said “the Working Party wishes to provide a single statement for all relevant registrars targeting individual domain name holders in Europe.” Obviously this hasn’t happened and ICANN is issuing waivers on a registrar-by-registrar basis on the specific laws that are being violated in the country the registrar is located.

The Working Party also reiterated “its strong objection to the introduction of data retention by means of a contract issued by a private corporation in order to facilitate (public) law enforcement. If there is a pressing social need for specific collections of personal data to be available for law enforcement, and the proposed data retention is proportionate to the legitimate aim pursued, it is up to national governments to introduce legislation that meets the demands of article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights.”

“The fact that these personal data can be useful for law enforcement does not legitimise the retention of these personal data after termination of the contract. Because there is no legal ground for the data processing, the propose d data retention requirement violates data protection law in Europe.”

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway Set For .EU 8 January

EURid logoResidents, companies and organisations based in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will be eligible to register .eu domain names from 8 January 2014 at 10:00 CET.

“We welcome this positive development which has been in the air for some time,” commented the .eu registry’s General Manager Marc Van Wesemael. “The more countries and businesses that benefit from .eu’s unique identity, the stronger its brand becomes.”

“Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have had close economic ties with the European Union since the Community’s early years. Granting them access to the .eu top-level domain is a natural step forward in that relationship.”

“Our annual research shows that .eu is seen as a reliable and valuable online label. We are confident that the companies and residents of these countries will soon appreciate the advantages of the .eu TLD, including the strong security procedures for its management and databases.”

The decision by the European Commission to extend the “.eu zone” follows up on the provision contained in the original .eu regulation (EC 733/2002), which foresaw the extension of .eu to the European Economic Area.

.EU Available To Three More European Countries In January

EURid logo.EU domain names will be available to three more European countries as of 8 January 2014, EURid has announced.

The change means residents, companies and organisations based in the European Economic Area (EEA) countries of Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway can register .EU domains.

The decision was made by the European Commission and follows up on the provision contained in the original .eu regulation (EC 733/2002), which foresaw the extension of .eu to the European Economic Area.

“We welcome this positive development which has been in the air for some time,” commented the .eu registry’s General Manager Marc Van Wesemael. “The more countries and businesses that benefit from .eu’s unique identity, the stronger its brand becomes.”

“Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway have had close economic ties with the European Union since the Community’s early years. Granting them access to the .eu top-level domain is a natural step forward in that relationship.”

“Our annual research shows that .eu is seen as a reliable and valuable online label. We are confident that the companies and residents of these countries will soon appreciate the advantages of the .eu TLD, including the strong security procedures for its management and databases.”

European Commission report: .eu TLD model is operating effectively

EURid logo[news release] The European Commission has published the fourth, bi-annual report to the European Parliament and the Council on the functioning of the .eu top-level domain.

The report underlines the achievement of the .eu and its registry manager, EURid, over the past two years, including an overview on the .eu growth in 2011 and 2012, the progress in the implementation of the .eu string in Greek and Cyrillic, the changes at operational level, including the introduction of the new transfer procedure in November 2012, the registry’s efforts in Business Continuity and its actions to secure the .eu environment and fight possible abuse on .eu domain names, and the Environmental and Management Scheme (EMAS) registration obtained in May 2012.

The report concludes that “Over the past two years, the .eu TLD has strengthened its position as one of the biggest and most popular Top-Level Domains in Europe and the world. […] Given the dynamic nature of the TLD environment, the Registry should continue to maintain and expand its dialogue and exchanges with the European and international Internet community.”

The EURid team appreciates being acknowledged the work done in the past two years and look forward to continuing a constructive and long-term dialogue with all its stakeholders.

This news release was sourced from:
www.eurid.eu/en/news/nov-2013/ec-report-eu-tld-model-operating-effectively

.EU Coming For Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway

EURid logoIt is likely that residents, companies and organisations based in the European Economic Area (EEA) countries of Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway will shortly be able to register .eu domain names.

EURid is waiting on an official communication from the European Commission regarding the eligibility and will keep all their stakeholders up to date and will make sure that they are adequately informed as soon as we receive the communication.

EURid manages the .eu top-level domain under contract to the European Commission and according to the conditions outlined in EC Regulations 733/2002, 874/2004 and subsequent amendments.

Europe Lists gTLD Applications Of Concern Plus Disappointment In Developing Country Applications

The European Commission has expressed concerns outside the Governmental Advisory Committee process about a number of new generic Top Level Domain applications.In a letter to ICANN [pdf], the Commission say they have “identified a number of new gTLD applications which could possibly raise issues of compatibility with the existing legislation (the acquis) and/or with policy positions and objectives of the European Union.”The Commission also expressed disappointment in that there were “so few applications for new gTLDs coming from developing countries” and that “this is clearly an area where ICANN needs to re-focus its efforts.”According to Domain Incite, the Commission’s list includes 58 gTLDs including .sex, .sexy.free, .green, .eco, health, .doctor, .baby, sale and .security.The letter goes on to say that “notwithstanding this interim conclusion, at this point in time the Commission is of the opinion that issuing Early Warnings is not warranted.” But their “letter shall not be considered in any way or form as representing an ‘Early Warning’ to the applicants of the new gTLDs included in [their letter] or to any other new TLD applicant.”The Commission points out in their letter that the list is “non-exhaustive” and that “inclusion does not per se mean that the European Commission conclusively claims that such a new gTLD is in violation of the acquis or of policy positions and objectives of the EU.” But rather “the presence of a new gTLD in the list is rather a signal that further discussions with the relevant applicant are necessary.”

Europe Says Proposed WHOIS Data Verification and Data Retention Proposals Unlawful

The European Commission has expressed concerns to ICANN about the proposed revisions of the two remaining unresolved issues in the Registrar Accreditation Agreement concerning verifying contact details and data retention of WHOIS data saying the proposed requirements would be unlawful in Europe. The letter on behalf of the Article 29 Working Party is also miffed that ICANN has made no effort to discuss the issues from a European perspective.ICANN is currently seeking comments on the RAA and this week announced that since the meeting in Prague in June, significant progress has been made, though two key issues remain unresolved. These two areas are:

  • annual re-verification of contact details, a proposal that has originated from law enforcement requests
  • data retention for two years.

On the re-verification of contact details, or WHOIS, the current ICANN proposal would make it mandatory for registrars to obtain and verify an email addresses and telephone number and to annually update these details.The Article 29 Working Group letter notes “the problem of inaccurate contact details in the WHOIS contact database cannot be solved without addressing the root of the problem: the unlimited public accessibility of private contact details in the WHOIS database.The letter notes “the problem of inaccurate contact details in WHOIS cannot be solved without addressing the root of the problem: the unlimited accessibility of private contact details in the WHOIS database.” However the Working Party does acknowledge “the contact details are being harvested on a large scale and abused for spamming. In other words, the way the system is designed provides a strong incentive for natural persons to provide inaccurate contact details.”But the collection of contact details in the WHOIS database the Working Party reminds is for “the purposes of collecting and publishing contact details in the WHOIS database … to facilitate contact about technical issues.The Working Party is concerned that although “WHOIS data can be used for other beneficial purposes [it] does not in itself legitimise the collection and processing of personal data for those and other purposes.”The Working Party says the proposal for re-verifying telephone numbers and email addresses every two years, and to publish these contact details publicly, would be unlawful in Europe.On the second issue, data retention, the Working Party notes “the proposed data retention specification has a very broad scope” and includes other categories of data that can be processed by registrars including telephone numbers and email addresses not contained in WHOIS data, as well as credit card details, Skype IDs and various other identifying data.The Working Party says they strongly object “to the introduction of data retention by means of a contract issued by a private corporation in order to facilitate (public) law enforcement.”The Working Party also says that just because the “personal data can be useful for law enforcement does not legitimise the retention of these personal data after the termination of the contract.”The Working Party also says that the proposed data retention requirement would, as with the proposal for re-verifying data every two years, to be unlawful in Europe. It would see registrars and data controllers, who collect the personal data, be put “in the uncomfortable position of violating European data protection law.”The Working Party letter concludes saying they have expressed an interest in being consulted by ICANN about privacy-related WHOIS issues on several occasions, and are still willing to meet. But it appears they have been ignored.

Payback time: The European Commission papers on ICANN by Milton Mueller

The European Commission has recently released a set of papers on ICANN that Milton Mueller describes as “designed to completely subordinate ICANN as an institution.” He then says “we have not seen such a comprehensive attack by a government on ICANN since the World Summit on the Information Society.”Mueller believes “one can infer that this is payback for the Board’s decision to not treat the EC’s views, expressed in its Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), as binding instructions rather than as nonbinding advice.”Mueller mentions the “EC’s new GAC representative, Gerard de Graaf, [who] embarrassed himself at the June Singapore meeting by pounding his fist on the table and demanding that the Board immediately comply with policy changes he wanted. Many of the points he made, however, were badly reasoned and revealed ignorance of the issues involved.””So now we have no less than six papers from the EC attacking almost every aspect of ICANN, from the growth in its staff to the new TLD program to its handling of ccTLDs. Moreover, the papers are clearly targeted at influencing the US government’s redraft of the IANA contract in ways that would be deeply unhealthy. While ICANN could certainly use some reforms, this set of attacks is just a destructive act of revenge rather than a good-faith effort to reform the organization or improve its policies.””To support that assertion, IGP blog will go through the EC papers one by one, and show what a flimsy pretext they provide for what is, in reality, nothing more than an attempt by an intergovernmental entity to punish ICANN for not bowing to it.”And in the first instalment is paper one on “Applicable Law”.To read Mueller’s analysis on the IGP blog, go to:
blog.internetgovernance.org/blog/_archives/2011/9/2/4891821.html

Europe Seeks More Influence on Governing Internet

A series of six papers from the European Commission “represent a wholesale effort to put governments in charge of the internet” writes Kieren McCarthy.”They would be put in a position to decide how the internet’s underlying naming structure – the domain name system – expands and evolves.”If the DNS evolves in the right way of course, governments won’t need to do anything, they will let others get on with it. But just in case people decide to do something that isn’t in the public’s interest, then governments will be there to firmly but politely inform them that they are not allowed to do that. Well, that’s the theory anyway.”To read McCarthy’s analysis of the papers and the players and what is going on, check out his posting on his Dot NXT site at news.dot-nxt.com/2011/08/31/ec-papers-analysis.