[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:
It 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.
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.”
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.
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:
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.
The Council of the European Union has proposed the establishment of a European centre be established to combat cybercrime that would include the right to revoke domain names and IP addresses, according to a statement from a Council meeting on April 26.The Action Plan says it “considers that is of a paramount importance to propose actions which would specify how the main points of the concerted strategy to combat cybercrime should be implemented, both in the short and medium term.”The meeting statement proposed the European Commission draw up a feasibility study on the possibility of creating a centre that would deal with cybercrime including crime related to the invasion of privacy, financial cybercrime, unauthorized access for the purpose of sabotage, crime against intellectual property, attacks on networks and against information systems, on-line fraud, child pornography and spam, and trafficking in illicit substances.The meeting statement noted as one of those medium term actions “to adopt a common approach in the fight against cybercrime internationally, particularly in relation to the revocation of Domain Names and IP addresses. The Commission, in cooperation with the Member States and Europol, is invited to facilitate this objective.”Among short term plans the meeting statement noted it has to find out more about the perpetrators of cybercrime and their modus operandi, to share knowledge within the EU to better understand the problem.Among the medium term plans were to ratify the Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention, consider raising the standards of specialization of the police, judges, prosecutors and forensic staff to an appropriate level to carry out cybercrime investigations, to encourage information sharing among member states and to adopt a common approach in the fight against cybercrime internationally.The Council statement from the meeting is available from: