Tag Archives: RAA

German Courts Rebuff ICANN For Fourth Time Over WHOIS/GDPR Data Collection

ICANN has suffered another setback in its desire to continue to collect and make public domain name registrant contact details following an appeal to a German High Court who ruled against ICANN's plea to reconsider the Court's own earlier decision following the introduction of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation earlier this year.

ICANN has been pursuing a preliminary injunction from the German Court to require EPAG, a Germany-based, ICANN-accredited registrar (that is part of the Tucows Group and based in Bonn, Germany) to continue to collect elements of WHOIS data, as required under ICANN's Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), which permits the registrar to sell domain name registrations for generic top-level domains.

ICANN received a ruling from the German Higher Regional Court in Cologne (“Appellate Court”) last week, that rejected ICANN's request for review (“plea of remonstrance”) filed by ICANN on 17 August 2018. ICANN's plea was filed to continue the immediate appeal in the ICANN v. EPAG injunction proceedings. ICANN initiated such proceedings against EPAG, to seek assistance in interpreting the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in order to protect the data collected in WHOIS. The Appellate Court again has determined that it would not issue an injunction against EPAG.

This is the fourth time the German courts have rebuffed ICANN’s attempts to have EPAG enforce the RAA. On 30 May the Regional Court determined that it would not issue an injunction against EPAG. Then on 13 June ICANN appealed and on 18 July the Regional Court decided not to change its original determination not to issue an injunction against EPAG. The matter was referred to the Higher Regional Court in Cologne for appeal. Next on 3 August ICANN announced a German appeal court (Appellate Court of Cologne) had issued a decision on the injunction proceedings ICANN initiated against EPAG determining that it would not issue an injunction against EPAG.

In making its ruling, the Appellate Court found that the preliminary injunction proceeding does not provide the appropriate framework for addressing the nature of the contractual disputes at issue, and that a decision in preliminary proceedings does not appear to be urgently needed. Again, the Appellate Court did not address the merits of the underlying issues with respect to the application of GDPR as it relates to WHOIS.

ICANN is continuing to evaluate its next steps in light of this ruling, including possible additional filings before the German courts, as part of its public interest role in coordinating a decentralized global WHOIS for the generic top-level domain system.

On 25 May, the day the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation came into place, ICANN filed a legal action against EPAG. This action was taken because of a disagreement between Tucows and ICANN on how the GDPR should be interpreted, with respect to their contracts.

In a post outlining their position back in May, EPAG Ashley La Bolle wrote the “GDPR begins with a statement of its core principle: ‘The protection of natural persons in relation to the processing of personal data is a fundamental right.’ Tucows has long been concerned with privacy and the rights of our customers, and takes the principles enshrined in this law extremely seriously.

“In order to have a domain registration system reflective of ‘data protection by design and default’, we started with the GDPR itself and crafted our procedures and policies around it. We built a new registration system with consent management processes, and a data flow that aligns with the GDPR’s principles. Throughout the registration life-cycle, we considered things like transparency, accountability, storage limitation, and data minimization.”

ICANN’s response to the GDPR came just over a week before the EU-wide data protection regulation came into place, and 2 years after it was announced. The “Temporary Specification”, as La Bolle writes, was “meant to temporarily bring gTLD registration services in line with the GDPR. The goal of the Specification is to serve as a stop-gap while the ICANN community works to resolve and balance issues between privacy law and existing ICANN policy.” EPAG have 3 concerns with the Temporary Specification based around “Personal Data Transfer to a Registry”, “Personal Data Display” and “Desire for Clarity”.

ICANN: Call for Participation – Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues Policy Development Process Implementation Review Team

ICANN logoOn 9 August 2016, the ICANN Board of Directors adopted the recommendations of the Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues Policy Development Process (PDP) Working Group as listed in its Final Report [PDF, 1.23 MB].

Staff from the Global Domains Division (GDD)—responsible for leading the implementation of the policy recommendations—is hereby issuing a call for volunteers to form an Implementation Review Team (IRT) to work with staff to implement the policy recommendations adopted by the Board.

This call for IRT volunteers is for the attention of the members of the Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues PDP Working Group at a minimum. However, other members of the community who did not participate on the IRT are also invited to the IRT. The key responsibilities of the IRT are as follows:

  • Work with ICANN staff to ensure that the implementation fulfills the original intentions of the adopted policy recommendations
  • Review the proposed implementation work plan, as drafted by staff, for the recommendations as adopted by the Board
  • Assist in case questions regarding the PDP or a need for clarification arises in relation to the adopted recommendations
  • Advise on technical and operational details related to the implementation of the adopted recommendations

Familiarity with the policy recommendations as well as the deliberations that informed those recommendations is a minimum requirement for IRT members. IRT volunteers should be able to attend regularly scheduled IRT meetings for the duration of this project. Staff currently anticipates that this implementation project could take up to 18-24 months to complete.

All volunteers responding to this call will be expected to understand the role and remit of the IRT for the implementation project. If, in the course of implementation, the IRT identifies a need for potential modifications to the policy recommendations, the team must refer these to the GNSO Council for its consideration and additional guidance.

How to Apply

If you are interested in participating, please send an email to the GNSO Secretariat via gnso-secs@icann.org no later than 30 September 2016, 11:59 UTC.


The Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) is the contract that governs the relationship between ICANN and its accredited registrars (a directory of accredited registrars can be found at http://www.internic.net/regist.html). The RAA also may have impacts on registrants and other third parties involved in the domain name system.

In initiating negotiations for the 2013 RAA between ICANN and the Registrars Stakeholder Group in October 2011, the ICANN Board had also requested an Issue Report from the GNSO that would start a GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP) to address remaining issues not dealt with in the RAA negotiations and that would be suited to a PDP (the Board’s Resolution can be found at http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/documents/resolutions-28oct11-en.htm#7). In June 2013, the ICANN Board approved a new 2013 RAA (the provisions of which can be found at http://www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/raa/approved-with-specs-27jun13-en.pdf) [PDF, 913 KB], and this PDP was launched in October 2013.

The Final Recommendations of the Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues PDP Working Group, which GDD is now preparing to implement, are the consensus outcomes of that PDP. Once implemented, this Privacy and Proxy Services accreditation program will supersede requirements in the 2013 RAA‘s Specification on Privacy and Proxy Registrations.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

ICANN: Request for Information on Contact Data Validation and Verification Systems

ICANN logoICANN is publishing a Request for Information (RFI) [PDF, 395 KB] to identify any commercially-available services and software that might be capable of validating or verifying domain name registration contact data (such as WHOIS).

This RFI is intended to inform two distinct ICANN projects that require address validation and verification. The first project relates to a near-term need for postal address cross-field validation services arising out of requirements applicable to those registrars who have signed the new 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA Project).

In addition, ICANN is seeking similar information for a separate longer term project in connection with Expert Working Group on Next Generation gTLD Directory Services (“EWG”) recommendations to identify a replacement to the current WHOIS system. The EWG is now developing recommendations for a new system that could better meet global Internet community needs for domain name registration data while offering greater privacy, accuracy, and accountability (EWG Project).

Purpose of RFI

The purpose of this RFI is purely informational – that is, to inform the development of policies and procedures that may follow both of these initiatives. As a result, potential Respondents responding to any future RFP for either the RAA Project or the EWG Project will not be bound by the estimates, prices, or other information provided in response to this RFI.

RFI Attributes

  • RFI Availability Date: 7 February 2014
  • The Requirements and Instructions are more fully described in the RFI [PDF, 395 KB]
  • RFI Close Date: 7 March 2014, 23:59 UTC
  • RFI Language: English only
  • Responses should be submitted via email to rfi-response@icann.org

ICANN greatly appreciates any insights on this topic from those commercial providers interested in sharing information about their services.

Background on the RAA Project

Registrars who are accredited under the 2013 RAA are currently required to perform limited validation of registration contact data. The agreement envisions that registrars will also perform cross-field validation of address data (e.g., the house number exists on the street, which exists in the city and province, and the postal code is correct). This cross-field validation requirement becomes effective 6 months after ICANN and a working group of registrar volunteers have agreed that cross-field validation is technically and commercially feasible.

ICANN has convened the registrar working group that is exploring address validation service options. The RFI published today intended to help inform that working group’s work.

Background on the EWG Project

In December 2012, ICANN announced the creation of an Expert Working Group (EWG) on next-generation gTLD Registration Directory Services, as a first step in fulfilling the ICANN Board’s directive to help redefine the purpose and provision of gTLD registration data. The EWG’s findings are expected to serve as a foundation to help the GNSO create a new global policy for the provision of gTLD registration data.

A significant milestone was reached on 24 June 2013 with the publication of the Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG)’s Initial Report and FAQs, opening a consultation period with the ICANN community. The Initial Report [PDF, 1.70 MB] enumerated the users, purposes, data elements, recommended principles and features, and proposed model to guide the development of a next generation Registration Directory Service (RDS) to replace WHOIS.

Prior to the ICANN Meeting in Buenos Aires, the EWG published its Status Update Report [PDF, 2.26 MB] to highlight the EWG’s thinking on these and many other key issues. It also provides a great deal more detail on the analysis that lay behind the Initial Report [PDF, 1.70 MB].

The EWG is currently in its research and information gathering phase. This RFI is one of several research efforts that the EWG is currently undertaking to ensure that its final recommendations are supported by facts and informed by current practices.

The EWG expects to complete its recommendations in 2014, informed by Community feedback and in-depth analysis of selected areas, including the responses to this RFI. The EWG plans to reconvene in March 2014 to derive fact-based recommendations after carefully examining the results of its research, and expects to deliver its final report to the ICANN Board by June 2014.


If questions arise about the RFI regarding the EWG Project, please contact Margie Milam, or Mike Zupke regarding the RAA Project. Any such inquiries should be sent to PP-EWG-Survey@icann.org.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

ICANN: Notice of Preliminary Determination To Grant Registrar Data Retention Waiver Request

ICANN logoICANN has made a preliminary determination that it is prepared to grant a data retention waiver request submitted by Registrar OVH SAS under the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (the “2013 RAA“). Section 2 of the Data Retention Specification (the “Specification”) of 2013 RAA provides that prior to granting any exemption under the Specification, ICANN will post its determination on the ICANN website for a period of thirty (30) calendar days.

Pursuant to Section 2 of the Specification, OVH SAS submitted to ICANN a Registrar Data Retention Waiver Request (“Waiver Request”) on the basis of OVH SAS’s contention that compliance with the data collection and/or retention requirements of the Specification violates applicable law.

The Waiver Request was accompanied by a legal opinion from French counsel asserting that compliance with the data collection and/or retention requirements of the Specification violates Article 6-5 de la loi du 6 janvier 1978 ainsi que la Directive 95/46/CE (Article 6-5 of the law of January 6th 1978, as the European directive 95/46/CE).

The Waiver Request concerns Articles 1.1.1 through 1.1.8 of the Specification and seeks to reduce from two years to one year the period for which these specified data elements must be retained after the Registrar’s sponsorship of the Registration ends.

Following review of the materials submitted by OVH SAS, ICANN has determined on a preliminary basis that it is prepared to grant the data retention waiver request. ICANN is posting this preliminary determination for a period of thirty (30) days to seek feedback and input from the community on the proposed data retention waiver. After the thirty (30) day period following this posting has expired, ICANN will consider all feedback and input received before making a final determination on whether to grant the Waiver Request.

The scope of the proposed waiver would be to permit OVH SAS to maintain the information specified in Articles 1.1.1 through 1.1.8 of the Specification for the duration of its sponsorship of the Registration and for a period of one (1) additional year thereafter rather than two (2) additional years thereafter. In all other respects the terms of the Specification would remain AS-IS.

The specific change to the Specification would be that, for the duration of the Waiver, the retention requirement of Paragraph 1.1 of the Data Retention Specification be changed from “two additional years” to “one additional year.”

If ICANN does make a final determination to grant the Waiver Request sought by OVH SAS, the provisions of Section 3 of the Specification would apply to similar waivers requested by other registrars located in the same jurisdiction. Section 3 of the Specification provides as follows:

If (i) ICANN has previously waived compliance with the requirements of any requirement of this Data Retention Specification in response to a Waiver Request from a registrar that is located in the same jurisdiction as Registrar and (ii) Registrar is subject to the same applicable law that gave rise to ICANN‘s agreement to grant such wavier, Registrar may request that ICANN to grant a similar waiver, which request shall be approved by ICANN, unless ICANN provides Registrar with a reasonable justification for not approving such request, in which case Registrar may thereafter make an Wavier Request pursuant to Section 2 of this Data Retention Specification.

A public comment period will remain open until 5:00 p.m. PDT/California, 27 February 2014. Public comments will be available for consideration by ICANN staff and the ICANN Board.

OVH SAS’ Waiver Request and supporting documents are available here: OVH SAS Data Retention Request and Supporting Materials

Comments can be posted to: comments-ovh-sas-27jan14@icann.org

Comments can be viewed at: forum.icann.org/lists/comments-ovh-sas-27jan14

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

ICANN: DNS Security, Stability, and Resiliency Update Added to APWG eCrime 2013 Agenda

ICANN logoThe Antiphishing Working Group (APWG) will host its 10th anniversary meeting 16-19 September in San Francisco. The working agenda for eCrime 2013 continues a trend of focusing greater attention on abuses or misuses of DNS and registration services. During the two-day eCrime Congress, members and attendees will consider the evolution of crimeware, behavioral vulnerabilities and human factors that faciliate eCrime, the roles of Registrars, Registries and DNS in managing phishing attacks, public health approaches to managing eCrime, and reports of current counter-eCrime efforts and successes.

On 19 September, ICANN‘s Security Team will host a DNS Security, Stability, and Resiliency Update on policies and discussion topics of particular interest to the APWG members, including a review of the 2013 Registration Accreditation Agreement (RAA), a presentation on Abuse Recidivism in Domain Registrations, a report on the recommendations [PDF, 92 KB] from the ICANN Expert Working Group on Whois, and a progress report on the IETF working group that is developing a successor Whois protocol (WEIRDS).

Registration and further information can be found here.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

ICANN Advisory: Registrar Implementation of the 2013 RAA’s Whois Requirements

ICANN logoPurpose

This advisory is intended to help registrars understand which Whois fields must be populated pursuant to the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement immediately upon their signing of the agreement and which are not required until 1 January 2014.


The 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (“RAA“), like earlier forms of the registrar accreditation agreement, requires registrars to operate web-based and port 43 Whois services that provide public access to certain enumerated registration data fields. Section 3.3.1 of the RAA specifies required data fields, such as the name and address of the registered name holder, and name, address, email address, and phone number of the administration and technical contacts for each domain name (among other required data elements).

The 2013 RAA, unlike previous versions of the registrar accreditation agreement, also includes a Registration Data Directory Service (Whois) Specification which, among other things, describes a mandatory format registrars must use when publishing Whois data. This format includes a number of fields that were not required by earlier versions of the RAA. As examples, the Registration Data Directory Service (Whois) Specification requires registrars to include in their Whois output the email address and telephone number of the registrar’s abuse point of contact as well as the IDs or handles used by the registry to identify the domain name and its contacts.

Because the 2013 RAA includes a number of new operational responsibilities for registrars that could reasonably take weeks or months to implement, the agreement also incorporates a Transition Addendum. The Transition Addendum describes a number of obligations for which ICANN will not require registrar compliance until 1 January 2014. By way of example, registrars are not required to fully implement an abuse point-of-contact (see section 3.18 of the RAA) until 1 January 2014.

Some registrars have asked ICANN to clarify whether they must immediately begin populating Whois data with fields, such as the abuse point-of-contact email address and telephone number, even though they are not yet required to comply with the underlying obligation.

Required Whois Fields

The Transition Addendum to the RAA explicitly references a list of RAA provisions for which registrar compliance is not required until 1 January 2014. The Registration Data Directory Service (Whois) Specification is not included within that list of provisions. Accordingly, registrars are immediately required to comply with obligations described in that specification, including the obligation to format Whois data as defined in the specification. Registrars are not, however, required to include in their Whois output, data elements that don’t yet exist or are not already in the registrar’s possession. This includes reference to the items for which compliance is not yet required.

To be clear, registrars who are subject to the 2013 RAA must continue to include all of the fields described in section 3.3.1 of the RAA in their Whois output and the data elements they have within their possession. Registrars are not, however, required to include the following fields in their Whois output until 1 January 2014 (although registrars may, and are encouraged to, comply earlier):

Registry Domain ID
Registrar Abuse Contact Email
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone
Domain Status
Registry Registrant ID
Registrant Phone
Registrant Phone Ext
Registrant Fax
Registrant Fax Ext
Registrant Email:
Registry Admin ID
Registry Tech ID
Last update of WHOIS database

This ICANN Advisory was sourced from:

New Registrar Accreditation Agreement Approved By ICANN Board Clarifying Protections For Registrants

The ICANN board of directors approved the new Registrar Accreditation Agreement, ICANN announced today (28 June). ICANN expects the new agreement to bring continued improvements to the domain name ecosystem.The agreement follows more than a year of negotiations between ICANN and its Registrar Stakeholders Group and represents marked improvements over the last RAA approved in 2009.”In no small way this agreement is transformational for the domain name industry,” said Akram Atallah, President of ICANN’s Generic Domains Division, in a statement. “Our multiple stakeholders weighed in, from law enforcement, to business, to consumers and what we have ended up with is something that affords better protections and positively redefines the domain name industry.”Achievements touted by ICANN in the RAA are:

  • establishment of a registrar point-of-contact for reporting abuse.
  • verification and validation of WHOIS (domain registrant) data.
  • clear establishment of registrar responsibility for reseller compliance.
  • enhanced compliance tools that include broader suspension and termination tools, clarification of audit rights, access to information to facilitate ongoing investigations and annual certification requirements.

“On behalf of the Registrar Stakeholder Group and all ICANN accredited registrars, I am pleased the ICANN Board approved the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement, after all of the hard work put in by all parties,” said Matt Serlin, VP, Domain Management, MarkMonitor, Inc, in the ICANN statement. “We will now work on implementation of the numerous new requirements in the 2013 RAA and we hope to continue the interaction with ICANN staff and the broader community in the future, as registrars roll out these changes.”To read the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement, go here: www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/raa/approved-with-specs-27jun13-en.pdf.To watch a video of ICANN President Akram Atallah’s comments about the 2013 RAA, go here: www.icann.org/en/news/press/kits/video-atallah-raa-28jun13-en.htm.

ICA Seconds Call for Strengthened Registrant Rights Statement by Philip Corwin, Internet Commerce Association

Internet Commerce Association logoThe Internet Commerce Association (ICA) has endorsed and suggested additional improvements to the alternate statement of Registrants’ Rights and Responsibilities (RRR) proposed by ICANN’s Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group (NCSG). ICA’s comment was filed in regard to the “Proposed Final 2013 RAA” (Registrar Accreditation Agreement); the RRR is one component of the RAA and all ICANN-accredited registrars will be required to link to it for the informational benefit of their customers.

The current RRR text contained in the RAA was drafted by registrars alone and does not go far enough in providing detailed background on the basic rights that all domain registrants should expect – including uniform and neutral UDRP administration, and timely and secure domain transfers. While professional domain investors have a more sophisticated understanding of their domain-related rights, the RRR should provide novice registrants with a comprehensive overview of the domain rights they should expect.

ICA also recognizes that domain registrants have responsibilities, and to that end we also suggested strengthening provisions including the provision of accurate WHOIS data and, most importantly, taking responsibility for the use of one’s domains.

We hope that ICANN will take the NCSG-ICA comments into account as representing important input from the registrant sector and will therefore strengthen the RRR before the RAA is made final. The full text of our comment letter follows:



Philip S. Corwin, Founding Principal
1155 F Street, NW  Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20004


                                                                                                June 4, 2013


By E-Mail

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

12025 Waterfront Drive, Suite 300

Los Angeles, CA 90094-2536

Re: Proposed Final 2013 RAA/Statement of Registrants’ Rights and Responsibilities:


I am writing on behalf of the members of the Internet Commerce Association (ICA). ICA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the domain name industry, including domain registrants, domain marketplaces, and direct search providers. Its membership is composed of domain name registrants who invest in domain names (DNs) and develop the associated websites, as well as the companies that serve them. Professional domain name registrants are a major source of the fees that support registrars, registries, and ICANN itself. ICA members own and operate approximately ten percent of all existing Internet domains on behalf of their own domain portfolios as well as those of thousands of customers.

These comments reflect our views on the “Proposed Final 2013 RAA” that was posted for public comment on April 22, 2013 at www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/proposed-raa-22apr13-en.htm.

Executive Summary

The current draft statement of Registrants’ Rights and Responsibilities (RRR) is deficient in scope. We prefer the alternate version proposed to ICANN by the Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group (NCSG) and propose that a modified version of it be adopted as the final RRR. As a document intended to provide guidance to all registrants, especially those lacking a sophisticated understanding of their rights and responsibilities, it is important that the RRR reflect the input of registrants represented by such entities as the NCSG and the ICA as well as of registrars.


The ICA strongly supports the concept of a standard statement of RRR that all accredited registrars must provide a link to. However, the current draft RRR (available at www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/raa/proposed-registrant-rights-responsibilities-22apr13-en.pdf) is insufficient in scope. This deficiency perhaps reflects the fact that it was drafted by registrars without input from registrants or entities representing them.

As an RRR starting point, we prefer the proposed draft submitted by ICANN’s NCSG on May 14, 2013 and available at forum.icann.org/lists/comments-proposed-raa-22apr13/msg00010.html. We have modified and added some provisions of that draft — and have also included, for the sake of comprehensive treatment and balance, some important provisions of the current registrar-developed draft RRR.

We would propose that ICANN adopt this modified RRR statement in lieu of the current draft RRR; modifications and additions to the NCSG draft are indicated below (deletions in [brackets] and additions in boldface):

Registrants’ Rights and Responsibilities

Registrants of domain names depend on the DNS to provide stable online location-pointers for their speech, association, commercial, and non-commercial activities. Registrants derive rights and responsibilities from applicable law as well as from the web of ICANN-based contracts and relevant policies. As a matter of policy, ICANN should ensure that its contracts and the parties bound by them can support a wide range of lawful and innovative end-user activities and free and open communications.

Registrants shall have the right to:

• Reliable neutral resolution of registered domain names;

• No suspension or termination of registration without due, disclosed process;

  • Administration of UDRP disputes and other ICANN-adopted rights protection mechanisms (RPMs) in a uniform and neutral manner by arbitration entities that are effectively overseen by ICANN;

• Privacy in the provision and display of registration data;

• Fair and non-discriminatory treatment from ICANN, Registrars and Registries;

• No censorship of domain use, content, or communications through Registries or Registrars;

• Timely and secure transfer of registered domain names between Registrars;

• Renewal (or choice not to renew) domain name registrations on clearly disclosed terms.

  • To not be subject to false advertising or deceptive practices by their Registrar or through any proxy or privacy services made available by their Registrar. This includes deceptive notices, hidden fees, and any practices that are illegal under the consumer protection laws of the relevant jurisdictions of their registrar or the registrant’s domicile.

To accomplish that, registrants shall be entitled to accurate and accessible information about:

• The identity of their ICANN Accredited Registrar;

• The identity of any proxy or privacy service provider affiliated with their Registrar;

• The terms and conditions under which Registrant information is revealed by a proxy or privacy service provider;

• The terms and conditions under which Requests are relayed to Registrants by a proxy or privacy service provider (without revealing of the identifying information);

• The Registrar’s terms and conditions, including clear and conspicuous disclosure of pricing information and other key terms and conditions, applicable to both Registrar services and any proxy/privacy services offered by the Registrar;

• Clear and conspicuous identification of any changes to the Registrar contract and/or the terms of the proxy/privacy agreement, to which they will be held on continuation or renewal of the domain name;

• Notice of the customer support services offered by the Registrar and its proxy/privacy service providers, and how to access them, including means to raise concerns and resolve disputes;

• Instructions that are readily understandable and explain the Registrar’s processes for registering, managing, transferring, reviewing and restoring domain name registrations, including any proxy/privacy services that may be available from the Registrar.

Registrants have the responsibilities:

  • To comply with their Registrar’s posted terms and conditions and with applicable Registry and ICANN policies.
  • To assume responsibility for the use of their domain name.
    • To provide accurate WHOIS and other required information.

• To be contactable, to maintain current Registrar account data, and to respond to registrar inquiries within a reasonable time; or to provide an alternative such as allowing the registrar to suspend registration upon an unresponded-to allegation of abuse;

• Not to use the domain name for abuse of the DNS (to be defined more specifically: e.g., specific DNS attacks, deliberate malicious distribution of malware, or criminal activity); and

• Not to commit intentional trademark infringement (“cybersquat” [(] as defined in the UDRP and enforced through it and other ICANNadopted RPMs).



The adoption of an RRR that provides a clear, comprehensive and balanced recitation of rights and responsibilities is an important objective. Therefore, the current draft RRR should be replaced by an improved document.

We hope that ICANN finds our views useful Thank you for considering them in this important matter affecting the general understanding of the basic rights and responsibilities of domain registrants.


Philip S. Corwin

Counsel, Internet Commerce Association

ICANN: Proposed Final 2013 RAA

Brief Overview
ICANN logoPurpose (Brief): ICANN is seeking public comments on the Proposed Final 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA). This is the culmination of 18 months of intensive negotiations.
Current Status: ICANN and the Registrar Negotiating Team commenced negotiation on amendments to the RAA in October 2011. Since the 7 March 2013 version was posted, ICANN and the Registrars (through the Registrar Negotiating Team) continued to reach agreement on the proposed text of the 2013 RAA, which is now posted for community comment.
Next Steps:

After review of the comment received, the Proposed Final 2013 RAA will be reviewed to determine if further changes are warranted. Input on the areas that have changed since the 7 March 2013 posting will be of particular help.

Staff Contact:
Samantha Eisner, Senior Counsel
Detailed Information
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose: 

After an extended period of negotiations, ICANN is posting a proposed 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) for public comment.

On 7 March 2013, ICANN posted its version of the 2013 RAA for public comment, noting some areas of disagreement between ICANN and the Registrar Negotiating Team (NT). In addition, some of the specifications posted for comment were ICANN versions only. Since the 7 March posting, the Registrar NT has engaged in frequent negotiation sessions with ICANN in order to bring to closure to all of the open negotiation topics and to consider the community comments received from the 7 March posting. As a result, at ICANN‘s public meeting in Beijing, ICANN and the Registrar NT announced that they had reached agreement in principle on each of the outstanding items highlighted in the March posting version. The documents posted today reflect ICANN and the Registrar NT’s agreements and are the Proposed Final 2013 RAA. This proposed 2013 RAA is a cornerstone of ICANN‘s efforts to work to improve the image of the domain industry and to protect registrants through a further updated contractual framework. It is ICANN‘s intention to have the 2013 RAA completed and approved in the near future for use in the New gTLD Program.

To allow for transparency into the proposed final version of the 2013 RAA and community input on the changes from the 7 March posting, ICANN is opening a full comment forum.

ICANN thanks the Registrar Negotiating Team (NT) for its continued engagement in good faith negotiations on the RAA. The RAA posted today reflects hard-fought concessions on many of key issues raised throughout the negotiations.

A fuller discussion of the status of negotiations and areas of difference is available in ICANN‘s RAA Posting Memorandum [PDF, 65 KB].

Section II: Background: 

The current round of negotiations over the RAA began in October 2011. ICANN and the Registrar Negotiation Team have presented updates to the community at each of ICANN’s public meetings since that time. Information on the history of the negotiations, including previously released documentation, is available at the community wiki at https://community.icann.org/display/RAA/Negotiations+Between+ICANN+and+Registrars+to+Amend+the+Registrar+Accreditation+Agreement. This includes the group of documents posted in June 2012, which demonstrated the progress to date in the negotiations.

Section III: Document and Resource Links: 

There are multiple documents for review as part of this posting. The new RAA is anticipated to be a base document with a series of specifications attached. Each specification is an integral, enforceable component of the RAA. This posting includes all documents that are currently anticipated to be part of the 2013 RAA. As noted above, a fuller discussion of the status of negotiations and areas of difference is available in ICANN‘s RAA Posting Memorandum [PDF, 65 KB]. A summary [PDF, 59 KB] of how the 12 law enforcement recommendations are incorporated into the RAA is also provided.

The base RAA documents:

The Proposed Specifications and Addendums:

Consensus and Temporary Policy Specification [PDF, 90 KB] Redline Showing Changes from June 2012 Posting [PDF, 145 KB]
Redline Showing Changes from March 2013 Posting [PDF, 161 KB]
Data Retention Specification [PDF, 77 KB] Redline Showing Changes from June 2012 Posting [PDF, 113 KB]
Redline Showing Changes from March 2013 Posting [PDF, 120 KB]
Whois Accuracy Program Specification [PDF, 86 KB] Redline Showing Changes from June 2012 Posting [PDF, 121 KB]
Redline Showing Changes from March 2013 Posting [PDF, 115 KB]
Whois SLA [PDF, 93 KB] Redline Showing Changes from March 2013 Posting [PDF, 169 KB]
Specification on Proxy/Privacy Services [PDF, 57 KB] Redline Showing Changes from March 2013 Posting [PDF, 110 KB]
Registrant Rights and Responsibilities Specification [PDF, 50 KB] No changes since March 2013 posting
Additional Registrar Operation Specification [PDF, 73 KB] No changes since March 2013 posting
Registrar Information Specification [PDF, 64 KB] Redline Showing Changes from March 2013 Posting [PDF, 128 KB]
Compliance Certificate [PDF, 55 KB] Redline Showing Changes from March 2013 Posting [PDF, 92 KB]
Transition Addendum [PDF, 61 KB] Redline Showing Changes from March 2013 Posting [PDF, 105 KB]
Section IV: Additional Information: 

A Report of the Public Comments submitted in response to the 7 March 2013 posting of the RAA is available here [PDF, 178 KB].

Comment / Reply Periods (*)
Comment Open Date:
22 April 2013
Comment Close Date:
13 May 2013 – 23:59 UTC
Reply Open Date:
14 May 2013
Reply Close Date:
4 June 2013 – 23:59 UTC
Important Information Links

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

ICANN Updates On Industry Meetings Including Clarifying Commitment To New TLD Programme

ICANN logoThe ICANN Blog has a few updates on ICANN activities in recent weeks, with the DNS Industry CEO roundtable event and the Europe regional Registry/Registrar meeting covered, and the Non-Contracted community of the GNSO which held its first intersessional meeting in Los Angeles, covered by David Olive.

The Non-Contracted community of the GNSO was a two-day gathering with 43 non-contract community leaders from the GNSO as well as other community members participating remotely.

Olive says “one of the purposes of the meeting was to create the opportunity—outside of the pressures and schedule strains of an ICANN Public Meeting—for community leaders to discuss longer-range substantial community issues, build relationships, and collaborate with each other, as well as senior ICANN staff, on strategic and operational issues that impact the GNSO NCPH community.”

“Throughout the course of the meeting, the participants interacted with President and CEO Fadi Chehadé (who provided an overview of the strategic challenges and opportunities facing ICANN) as well as Sally Costerton and Tarek Kamel (who updated the community on engagement efforts across the ICANN ecosystem) and Xavier Calvez, CFO (who provided an overview of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget and SO/AC request processes). Christine Willett briefed the participants on the status of the new gTLD program while Margie Milam discussed the latest RAA Negotiations and WHOIS efforts.”

More on this meeting is available at blog.icann.org/2013/02/exploring-more-effective-forms-of-engagement-gnso-non-contract-parties-gather-in-los-angeles.

Meanwhile Fadi Chehadé, ICANN’s CEO and President, wrote of his meeting with the Registrar Stakeholder Group’s Negotiating Team that aims to continue with negotiations toward a new Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA).

Chehadé says the meeting “started the day by affirming our commitment to further, in good faith, a new RAA that will address the needs of the community as well as prepare the Internet domain name system for a new season of growth.”

“The RAA negotiations provide an important opportunity to carefully balance the various requirements voiced by the ICANN community, as well as to evolve relations with the registrars who are at the frontline delivering the innovation and consumer choice enabled by the new gTLD program.”

Chehadé says several items were discussed “that had been tabled since this group met last year and made headway in considering additional enhancements that will complete the agreement in a manner that best achieves our goals rooted in the public interest.”

“We continued to explore how the proposed RAA can be synchronized with the new gTLD Registry Agreement that ICANN published for comment on 5 February 2013. Assuming such alignment, this will bring a more cohesive framework across these agreements.

“I will endeavour, with every tool available, to ensure that all agreements with our contracted parties are embraced in the broadest way plausible, and furthermore to support efforts by ICANN as it works to create a level playing field for all participants in this growing sector.”

Concluding, Chehadé says “without compromising any of our principles, we hope to achieve closure as soon as possible” and that he looks “forward to continuing this spirited and collaborative dialogue with the registrars as ICANN and the registrars are committed to moving through this process in a deliberative and expeditious way.”

The full posting by Fadi Chehadé is available at blog.icann.org/2013/02/registrar-accreditation-agreement-negotiation-session.

Last week Chehadé hosted another meeting with “more than a dozen leaders from the registry community; participants in our latest CEO Roundtable series focused on key issues and trends within the Domain Name System sector.”

During the meeting Chehadé writes “the evolution of the DNS sector from a number of perspectives and explored the opportunities and risks that these changes pose” was discussed. “The group provided constructive ideas about creating a platform for growth, innovation, and greater consumer and investor awareness. Research analysis, the creation of an infographic depicting the DNS ecosystem, and mechanisms to educate the media and public about the DNS sector were also highlighted.”

“In short, we addressed common goals, shared responsibilities and the value of raising awareness among consumers worldwide of the DNS sector, affirming our commitment to the public interest. I also expressed my hope and vision for a strengthened and streamlined business contracting framework between ICANN and its contracted parties.”

While new gTLDs weren’t the subject, Chehadé was asked to clarify a few issues on the programme, and he clarified that:

  • ICANN remains focused on the new gTLD timeline, and I am confident that we can do so without comprising ICANN’s deep, immovable commitment to the stability of the DNS.
  • We do not foresee any delays of the new gTLD program, we are working to assure that none occur, and the entire organization is pressing forward to comply with deadlines.
  • We have assembled a team of qualified professionals, experienced in making complex programs fully operational, and they have my full confidence. Staff is working hard and it is important for the community to be aware of the intense demands placed upon them by the schedule.
  • We will continue to increase the volume of communications pertaining to operational details of the new gTLD program, addressing both the technical and political risks encountered at various decision points.
  • I will also endeavour to explain, to the extent possible, the trade-offs and various considerations being balanced during each implementation milestone of the new gTLD programme.

This final posting is available in full from blog.icann.org/2013/02/ceo-roundtable-ii-the-registries.