Tag Archives: Generic Names Supporting Organization

ICANN WHOIS Technical Requirements Survey – Draft

Purpose (Brief): The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council’s WHOIS Survey Working Group (WSWG) requests community input on the draft WHOIS Technical Requirements Survey.

The Working Group is soliciting input from experts on technical requirements for a new WHOIS protocol, in particular people knowledgeable about technical aspects of WHOIS who can help assess if the survey asks the right questions and in the right style to elicit technical feedback. The Working Group seeks specific suggestions on changes to language and questions that will make it clearer for experts to complete.

Public Comment Box Link: www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/draft-whois-requirements-survey-30may12-en.htm

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
www.icann.org/en/news/announcements/announcement-30may12-en.htm

ICANN Selects British National Physical Laboratory For gTLD Whois Privacy and Proxy Abuse Study

ICANN logoThe National Physical Laboratory (NPL) of the United Kingdom has been engaged by ICANN to conduct a study of Whois Privacy and Proxy Abuse the organisation announced.

“Guided by Richard Clayton, NPL has established a collaborative study team of domain specialists from three universities,” ICANN announced on their blog. “Together, this team will examine the extent to which gTLD domain names involved in illegal or harmful Internet activities are registered via Privacy or Proxy services to obscure the perpetrator’s identity. Study results are expected in early 2013.”

“This study is being launched to help the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) and ICANN community better understand how often alleged bad actors obscure their identities using several common methods, including (but not limited to) Privacy/Proxy registration. By examining a variety of illegal or harmful Internet activities, including phishing, malware distribution, money laundering, unlicensed pharmacies, typosquatting, child sexual abuse images, spam, and cybersquatting, NPL will measure the percentage of associated gTLD domain names registered via Privacy or Proxy services, as well as the proportion of those registered with inaccurate or incomplete WHOIS details or stolen identities.

“To determine whether Privacy/Proxy use is significantly greater among domains involved in illegal or harmful activities, NPL will compare alleged bad actor percentages to the 16-20% overall percentage found by ICANN’s 2010 Study on the Prevalence of Domain Names Registered Using Privacy or Proxy Services among the top 5 gTLDs. Beyond placing bad actor percentages into context, this study will not attempt to analyze broader use of Privacy/Proxy services by domains registered for entirely lawful purposes.

“NPL is one of Europe’s leading National Measurement Institutes (NMI). Along with other NMI’s including the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NPL works with industry and government to develop the latest state-of-the-art measurement techniques for all areas of science and technology.”

This ICANN blog announcement originally appeared here.

gTLD WHOIS Privacy and Proxy Relay and Reveal Survey Now Live

ICANN logoAs part of a broader examination of gTLD WHOIS, ICANN’s Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council is seeking to gain further insight into the origination and handling of “relay” and “reveal” requests says a posting on the ICANN Blog.

ICANN is seeking input from providers of privacy and proxy registration, from those who interact or communicate with privacy and proxy providers (in particular those who make relay and reveal requests), from registrars, and from other interested parties, the posting continues.

The article goes on to say the objective is that any potential future policy-making and any efforts to develop or support standardized procedures, tools, formats, etc., be based on data that accurately and broadly represent the experiences of those who use these aspects of the WHOIS system.

There is now a brief survey underway that the ICANN Blog post says can help lay the foundation for significant future studies. The survey is intended:

  • To gauge the feasibility of an in-depth study of relay and reveal requests,
  • To assess the willingness and ability of request originators, privacy/proxy providers, registrars and other interested parties to participate in and provide data to an in-depth study,
  • To identify factors that would promote or inhibit participation in an in-depth study, and
  • To offer individuals and organizations who may be willing to participate an opportunity to identify themselves.

The survey, together with additional background information, can be found at https://www.whois-survey.net The survey will run until at least 31 October.

The full posting on the ICANN Blog is available from blog.icann.org/2011/09/gtld-whois-privacy-and-proxy-relay-and-reveal-survey-now-live/

Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery Recommendations for ICANN Board Consideration

ICANN logoThe Generic Names Supporting Organization approved at its meeting on 21 July 2011 the recommendations on the Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery Policy Development Process (PDP). The resolution, which is pending for Board action, proposes:

  • Define ‘Registered Name Holder at Expiration’ (RNHaE) as the entity or individual that was eligible to renew the domain name registration immediately prior to expiration. If the domain name registration was modified pursuant to a term of the Registration Agreement authorizing the modification of registration data for the purposes of facilitating renewal but not at the explicit request of the registrant, the RNHaE is the entity or individual identified as the registrant immediately prior to that modification.
  • For at least 8 consecutive days, at some point following expiration, the original DNS resolution path specified by the RNHaE, at the time of expiration, must be interrupted1 by the registrar, to the extent that the registry permits such interruptions 1, and the domain must be renewable by the RNHaE until the end of that period. This 8-day period may occur at any time following expiration. At any time during the 8 day period, the Registered Name Holder at Expiration may renew the domain with the Registrar and the Registrar, within a commercially reasonable delay, will restore the domain name to resolve to its original DNS resolution path prior to expiration. Notwithstanding, the Registrar may delete the domain at any time during the Autorenew grace period.
  • If at any time after expiration when the Registered Name is still renewable by the RNHaE, the Registrar changes the DNS resolution path to effect a different landing website than the one used by the RNHaE prior to expiration, the page shown must explicitly say that the domain has expired and give instructions on how to recover the domain. Wording in the policy must make clear that ¡°instructions¡± may be as simple as directing the RNHaE to a specific web site.
  • The RNHaE cannot be prevented from renewing a domain name registration as a result of WHOIS changes made by the Registrar that were not at the RNHaE.s request.
  • The registration agreement must include or point to any fee(s) charged for the post expiration renewal of a domain name. If the Registrar operates a website for registration or renewal, it should state, both at the time of registration and in a clear place on its website, any fee(s) charged for the post-expiration renewal of a domain name or the recovery of a domain name during the Redemption Grace Period.
  • The registration agreement and Registrar web site (if one is used) must clearly indicate what methods will be used to deliver pre- and post-expiration notifications, or must point to the location where such information can be found. What destination address/number will be used must also be specified, if applicable.
  • Registrar must notify Registered Name Holder of impending expiration no less than two times. One such notice must be sent one month or 30 days prior to expiration (+/- 4 days) and one must be sent one week prior to expiration (+/- 3 days). If more that two alert notifications are sent, the timing of two of them must be comparable to the timings specified.
  • Unless the Registered Name is renewed or deleted by the Registrar, at least one notification to the RNHaE, which includes renewal instructions, must be sent after expiration.
  • Notifications of impending expiration must include method(s) that do not require explicit registrant action other than standard e-mail receipt in order to receive such notifications.
  • With the exception of sponsored gTLDs, all gTLD Registries shall offer the Redemption Grace Period (RGP). For currently existing unsponsored gTLDs that do not currently offer the RGP, a transition period shall be allowed. All new gTLDs must offer the RGP. As part of the implementation, ICANN Staff should consider the Technical Steering Group’s Implementation Proposal (see http://www.icann.org/en/meetings/bucharest/redemption-topic.htm)
  • If a Registrar offers registrations in a gTLD that supports the RGP, the Registrar must allow the Registered Name Holder at Expiration to redeem the Registered Name after it has entered RGP.
  • A transfer of a domain name during the RGP should not be allowed.
  • In the event that ICANN gives reasonable notice to Registrars that ICANN has published web content as described in PEDNR Recommendation #16:
    • Registrars, who have a web presence, must provide a link to the ICANN content on any website it may operate for domain name registration or renewal clearly displayed to its Registered Name Holders at least as clearly as its links to policies or notifications required to be displayed under ICANN Consensus Policies.
    • Registrars may also host similar material adapted to their specific practices and processes.
    • Registrar must point to the ICANN material in a communication sent to the registrant immediately following initial registration as well as in the mandated annual WHOIS reminder.

Note: Some of these recommendations may need special consideration in the context of existing provisions in the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), the proposed Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) or exceptions due to fraud, breach of registration agreement or other substantive reasons and the GNSO Council, therefore, recommends that such considerations are taken into account as part of the implementation of these recommendations, once adopted.

  • The GNSO Council recommends the following best practices for promotion by ICANN and the Registrar Stakeholder Group:
    • If post-expiration notifications are normally sent to a point of contact using the domain in question, and delivery is known to have been interrupted by post-expiration actions, post-expiration notifications should be sent to some other contact point associated with the registrant if one exists.
    • The notification method explanation should include the registrar’s email address from which notification messages are sent and a suggestion that registrants save this email address as a ‘safe sender’ to avoid notification emails being blocked by spam filter software.
    • Registrars should advise registrants to provide a secondary email point of contact that is not associated with the domain name itself so that in case of expiration reminders can be delivered to this secondary email point of contact.
  • The GNSO Council recommends that ICANN, in consultation with Registrars, ALAC and other interested parties, will develop educational materials about how to properly steward a domain name and how to prevent unintended loss. Such material may include registrant responsibilities and the gTLD domain life-cycle and guidelines for keeping domain name records current. (PEDNR Recommendation #16).
  • ICANN Compliance is requested to provide updates to the GNSO Council on a regular basis in relation to the implementation and effectiveness of the proposed recommendations, either in the form of a report that details amongst others the number of complaints received in relation to renewal and/or post-expiration related matters or in the form of audits that assess if the policy has been implemented as intended.
  • The GNSO Council shall convene a PEDNR Implementation Review Team to assist ICANN Staff in developing the implementation details for the new policy should it be approved by the ICANN Board. The Implementation Review Team will be tasked with evaluating the proposed implementation of the policy recommendations as approved by the Board and is expected to work with ICANN Staff to ensure that the resultant implementation meets the letter and intent of the approved policy. If the PEDNR Implementation Review Team identifies any potential modifications to the policy or new PEDNR policy recommendations, the PEDNR Implementation Review Team shall refer these to the GNSO Council for its consideration and follow-up, as appropriate. Following adoption by the ICANN Board of the recommendations, the GNSO Secretariat is authorized to issue a call for volunteers for a PEDNR Implementation Review Team to the members of the PEDNR Working Group.

You are invited to submit your comments on these recommendations until 15 September before final consideration by the ICANN Board.

Section II: Background

At the ICANN Meeting in Cairo in November 2008, the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), voted to request an Issues Report on the subject of registrants being able to recover domain names after their formal expiration date. The ALAC request was submitted to ICANN policy staff and the GNSO Council on 20 November 2008. The Issues Report on Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery [PDF, 422 KB] was submitted to the GNSO Council on 5 December 2008. The GNSO Council initiated a PDP on 7 May 2009 and tasked a Working Group to answer the following charter questions:

  • Whether adequate opportunity exists for registrants to redeem their expired domain names;
  • Whether expiration-related provisions in typical registration agreements are clear and conspicuous enough;
  • Whether adequate notice exists to alert registrants of upcoming expirations;
  • Whether additional measures need to be implemented to indicate that once a domain name enters the Auto-Renew Grace Period, it has expired (e.g., hold status, a notice on the site with a link to information on how to renew, or other options to be determined);
  • Whether to allow the transfer of a domain name during the RGP.

The Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery (PEDNR) PDP Working Group started its deliberations in July 2009. The WG published an Initial Report [PDF, 1.02 MB], a Proposed Final Report [PDF, 972 KB] and submitted its Final Report [PDF, 999 KB] to the GNSO Council on 14 June 2011. The GNSO Council unanimously approved all the recommendations contained in the Final Report at its meeting on 21 July 2011.

Section III: Document and Resource Links

Comment Period Deadlines
Open Date: 15 August 2011
Close Date: 15 September 2011

Important Information Links

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
www.icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-15aug11-en.htm

Current state of the UDRP – preliminary issue report by Hogan Lovells’ David Taylor & Jane Seager

Hogan Lovells logoDavid Taylor imageAs reported in the May 2011 edition of Anchovy News, the Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO) Council has asked ICANN to prepare an Issue Report on the current state of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). The Report will be used to help the Council decide whether to commence a Policy Development Process (PDP).

The UDRP has not been reviewed since it was introduced in 1999 as an alternative to costly and lengthy litigation for resolving disputes involving domain name cybersquatting. To determine whether the UDRP should be revised, the GNSO Council has requested information on how the UDRP has addressed the problems of cybersquatting to date and any inequalities/insufficiencies associated with the process, as well as whether the definition of cybersquatting contained within the existing UDRP language needs to be reviewed or updated. ICANN has conducted research on these points and, in addition, the GNSO Council has convened a drafting team which used a recent webinar held by ICANN and a questionnaire sent to UDRP providers to elicit information from the community on the current state of the UDRP.

The article entitled “Current State of the UDRP – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” (Anchovy News, May 2011) summarised the issues raised during the webinar held on 10 May 2011. Representatives from a broad cross-section of the community were invited to speak and comment on the UDRP in order to gauge whether the community felt that it should be revised. The comments made were then used to prepare a Preliminary Issue Report, which was published on 27 May 2011, and shape ICANN’s recommendations on the UDRP. A period of public comment, during which the community has a chance to respond to and comment on this document, is now underway and is due to end on 15 July 2011. Comments made will impact on the Final Issue Report on the UDRP, which will be published after the closing of the public comment forum.

In addressing the GNSO requests, the Preliminary Issue Report points out that the UDRP has evolved over time to become an internationally respected and effective alternative to litigation. In general, it is considered to be a fair and flexible dispute resolution mechanism, with only rare instances among the tens of thousands of UDRP decisions having been successfully challenged in court. The Report also notes that the internet community has come to rely on the transparency, predictability, and consistency associated with the UDRP.

The Report summarises the issues in respect of the UDRP raised during the webinar and in the UDRP provider questionnaires, and then categorises them as policy or process issues. Policy issues include the lack of an appeals process and a possible change in the bad faith requirement whereby “and” would be replaced with “or” in the standard: “your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith”. The process issues are broad in scope and include the need to extend the response time, the problem of multiple complaints against a single respondent and uniform application of rules by providers. Few substantive problems with the policy itself are mentioned; most of the issues raised and suggestions for change put forward concern process difficulties. The Report incorporates a number of comments made by participants in the webinar and in the questionnaires, including the feeling that now is not the right time to review the UDRP and that opening it up to a PDP may ultimately undermine it, a concern highlighted by a number of people.

On the basis of these findings, the Report concludes that although this matter does fall within the scope of the GNSO’s mandate, initiating a PDP at this time is not recommended. Whilst there was some divergence from this viewpoint, the recommendation is largely in line with the approach of the community representatives who spoke during the webinar.

The Report does, however, suggest an alternative approach, should the GNSO Council believe that review of the UDRP is necessary. In view of the fact that many of the issues relating to the UDRP are procedural issues concerning implementation of the UDRP rather than problems with the actual wording, ICANN suggests that the GNSO Council could convene a small group of experts to improve the process or implementation of the UDRP. Such expert recommendations could result in modifications to certain UDRP Rules or changes to provider Supplemental Rules, which could be adopted without the need to resort to a PDP.

Finally the Report mentions that if, after considering the expert recommendations, the GNSO Council still wishes to carry out a more extensive review of the UDRP, or, indeed, if the expert recommendations indicate that more substantive changes are necessary, a PDP could then be commenced at that point.

In conclusion, the Preliminary Issue Report is firmly against a PDP at this point. The public comment forum is now open and the community has until 15 July 2011 to respond. After the 15 July deadline, the Final Issue Report will be published and the GNSO Council will vote on whether or not to commence a PDP. We will update you on this process in future editions of Anchovy News.

To read the Preliminary Issue Report and submit comments, please go to: www.icann.org/en/public-comment/#prelim-report-udrp

This article was written by David Taylor head of the Hogan Lovells domain name practice Anchovy and Jane Seager, Counsel in the firm’s Paris office.

For more information on David Taylor, see www.hoganlovells.com/david-taylor or email him at drd@hoganlovells.com. For more information on and contact details for Jane Seager, see www.hoganlovells.com/jane-seager.

ICANN Announces New Measures Proposed to Enhance Post-Expiration and Renewal Related Policies and Practices

ICANN logoGNSO Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery Working Group Presents Final Report

The GNSO Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery (PEDNR) Working Group has submitted its Final Report [PDF, 998 KB] to the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council today, 14 June 2011. The PEDNR WG was tasked to address questions in relation to what extent registrants should be able to renew their domain names after they expire. Following review of the comments received on its proposed Final Report, the Working Group now presents its Final Report, which contains 18 recommendations including the following:

  • Provide a minimum of 8 days after expiration for renewal by registrant (Recommendation #2)
  • An expired website must explicitly say that registration has expired and instructions on how to recover the registration (Recommendation #3)
  • The registration agreement must include information on the fees charged for the post-expiration renewal of a domain name (Recommendation #5)
  • Clear indication of methods used to deliver pre- and post-expiration notifications must be provided (Recommendation #6)
  • At least two notices prior to expiration need to be sent at set times and one after expiration (Recommendation #7 & #8)
  • Notifications must not solely be done by methods which require explicit action by the Registrant (Recommendation #9)
  • All gTLDs and registrars must offer Redemption Grace Period (RGP), with the exception of sponsored gTLDs (Recommendation #13 & 14)
  • The transfer of a domain name during the RGP should not be allowed (Rec#15)
  • ICANN should develop educational materials on how to properly steward a domain name and prevent unintended loss (Recommendation #16)
  • Best practice recommendations: Post-expiration notifications should be sent to some other contact point than to the email address associated with the expired registration (Recommendation #10), provide notice of where notification emails will be sent from (Recommendation #11), encourage registrants to provide a secondary email point of contact (Recommendation #12)

Further details and background on each of these and the other recommendations can be found in the PEDNR Final Report [PDF, 998 KB]. The GNSO Council will now consider these recommendations for adoption.

Background

At the ICANN Meeting in Cairo in November 2008, the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), voted to request an Issues Report on the subject of registrants being able to recover domain names after their formal expiration date. The ALAC request was submitted to ICANN policy staff and the GNSO Council on 20 November 2008. The Issues Report on Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery [PDF, 422 KB] was submitted to the GNSO Council on 5 December 2008. The GNSO Council initiated a PDP on 7 May 2009 and tasked a Working Group to answer the following charter questions:

  • Whether adequate opportunity exists for registrants to redeem their expired domain names;
  • Whether expiration-related provisions in typical registration agreements are clear and conspicuous enough;
  • Whether adequate notice exists to alert registrants of upcoming expirations;
  • Whether additional measures need to be implemented to indicate that once a domain name enters the Auto-Renew Grace Period, it has expired (e.g., hold status, a notice on the site with a link to information on how to renew, or other options to be determined);
  • Whether to allow the transfer of a domain name during the RGP.

The Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery (PEDNR) PDP Working Group started its deliberations in July 2009.

Further Information:

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
www.icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-14jun11-en.htm