Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

ICANN POLICY UPDATE | Volume 13, Issue 3 – March/April 2013 Double Issue

1 April 2013
ICANN 46 Beijing Meeting Logo

PDF Version [1.69 MB]

http://www.icann.org/en/resources/policy/update

CONTENTS:

Across ICANN

  1. Issues Currently Open for Public Comment

ccNSO

  1. Macedonia Joins ccNSO
  2. Demi Getschko of .br Selected as ccNSO Councilor
  3. Beijing Meeting Agenda for ccNSO Finalized
  4. IDN ccPDP in Final Stage
  5. ccNSO Council on Draft IANA Customer Service Complaint Resolution Process

GNSO

  1. Public Forum Opened for Preliminary Issue Report on gTLD Registration Data Services
  2. Preliminary Issue Report on Uniformity of Reporting Now Available for Comment
  3. Locking of a Domain Name Subject to UDRP Proceedings – 11 Recommendations Published for Community Input
  4. GNSO Council Considers Initiation of PDP on Translation and Transliteration of Contact Information

ASO

  1. ASO to Meet in April, Finalize Board Member Selection

At-Large

  1. At-Large Community Prepares for Beijing, Welcomes APRALO At-Large Structure Participants
  2. ALAC Submits Four Policy Advice Statements in February, March
  3. ALAC Submits Three New gTLD Objections
  4. ALAC Whois Briefing Session Highlights Diverse Perspectives

GAC

  1. GAC Expects to Deliver Advice on New gTLDs in Beijing

RSSAC

  1. RSSAC Restructure Underway

SSAC

  1. SSAC Recommends Ways to Minimize Risks in Certificate Authority Practices
  2. SSAC Report on Domain Name Registration Validation Classifications

Read in Your Preferred Language

ICANN Policy Update is available in all six official languages of the United Nations. Policy Update is posted on ICANN's web site and available via online subscription. To receive the Update in your Inbox each month, visit the ICANN subscriptions page, enter your e-mail address, and select "Policy Update" to subscribe. This service is free.

ICANN Policy Update statement of purpose

Send questions, comments and suggestions to: policy-staff@icann.org.

Policy Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees

Address Supporting Organization ASO
Country Code Names Supporting Organization ccNSO
Generic Names Supporting Organization GNSO
At-Large Advisory Committee ALAC
Governmental Advisory Committee GAC
Root Server System Advisory Committee RSSAC
Security and Stability Advisory Committee SSAC

Across ICANN

1. Issues Currently Open for Public Comment

Numerous public comment periods are currently open on issues of interest to the ICANN community. Act now to share your views on such topics as:

Whois Registrant Identification Study, Draft Report. This study, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, uses Whois to classify entities that register gTLD domain names, including natural persons, legal persons, and privacy/proxy service providers. Reply period closes 31 March.

Preliminary Issue Report on Uniformity of Reporting. Have ICANN's Contractual Compliance Improvements done away with the need for a PDP? Comment period ends 22 March; reply period ends 12 April.

Revised Proposal of the Arab Center for Domain Name Dispute Resolution to Serve as a UDRP Service Provider. Comment period closes 22 March; reply period closes 13 April.

Proposed 2013 RAA Posted for Comment. Different versions of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement are posted for side-by-side comparison of issues still under negotiation. Comment period ends 28 March; reply period ends 19 April.

Public Interest Commitments Dispute Resolution Procedure (PICDRP). New gTLD Registry Agreements will include voluntary Public Interest Commitments with which the Registry has agreed to comply. This proposed procedure could guide dispute resolution regarding cases of non-compliance. Comment period ends 5 April; reply period ends 27 April.

Proposed Modification of GNSO PDP Manual to Address the Suspension of a PDP. Should the suspension of a PDP be subject to a procedure similar to that of a PDP termination? Comment period closes 6 April; reply period closes 28 April.

Consultation on Root Zone KSK Rollover. What factors should be considered in planning for a KSK rollover in the Root Zone, as part of the IANA functions? Comment period ends 12 April; reply period ends 31 May.

Preliminary Issue Report on gTLD Registration Data Services. A review of the purpose and accuracy of domain name registration data and directory services, as well as its underlying technical protocol Whois. Comment period ends 19 April; reply period ends 13 May.

ICANN's FY 14 Security, Stability and Resiliency Framework. This annual report describes ICANN's role in the ecosystem and priorities for the next fiscal year in promoting a healthy, stable and resilient unique identifier system. Comment period ends 20 April; reply period ends 20 May.

FY14 Community Travel Support Guidelines. Guidelines describing which groups are supported for how many travelers, and what costs will be covered are posted annually for review. Comment period ends 21 April; reply period ends 11 June.

Locking of a Domain Name Subject to UDRP Proceedings – Initial Report. What is a good process for preventing a domain name from being switched from a registrar or registrant during a formal dispute resolution? Comment period ends 26 April; reply period ends 17 May.

For the full list of issues open for public comment, plus recently closed and archived public comment forums, visit the Public Comment web page.


ccNSO

2. Macedonia Joins ccNSO

ccNSO Logo

At a Glance

ccNSO Membership continues to grow.

Recent Developments

The Macedonian Academic And Research Network-MARnet, the ccTLD operator of .mk (Macedonia), has joined the ccNSO as its 136th member. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is located in southeastern Europe, north of Greece.

Next Steps

Join us in welcoming .mk to the ccNSO!

More Information

Staff Contact

Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat


3. Demi Getschko of .br Selected as ccNSO Councilor

At a Glance

ccNSO Council Extraordinary Nomination Period in the Latin American and Caribbean Region ended.

Recent Developments

The Latin American and Caribbean Region selected Demi Getschko (.br) to take seat on the ccNSO Council.

Next Steps

Demi will formally take his seat on the ccNSO Council immediately after the ccNSO Council meeting during the ICANN 46 public meeting in Beijing. His term lasts until March 2016.

Background

Luis Diego Espinoza, who was elected to serve on the ccNSO Council from April 2013 – March 2016, resigned from his position at nic.cr in February 2013. He therefore decided not to take seat on the ccNSO Council in April 2013.

In order to fill the seat, an extraordinary nomination period had to be initiated.

More Information

Staff Contact

Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat


4. Beijing Meeting Agenda for ccNSO Finalized

At a Glance

ccNSO Meetings Agenda takes final shape for Beijing.

Recent Developments

The ccNSO Meetings agenda continues being updated. Please, check it out regularly!

More Information

Staff Contact

Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat


5. IDN ccPDP in Final Stage

At a Glance

The Public Comment and Reply Periods for the Interim Report of the Internationalized Domain Name ccNSO Policy Development Process (IDN ccPDP) closed on 21 March. Staff will review and incorporate public comments received and produce a Final Report at the end of March.

Recent Developments

The IDN ccPDP Issue manager published the Interim Report for public comment on 5 February. In this Report the recommendations on the selection of IDN ccTLD strings from the Final Papers of both IDN ccPDP WG 1 and 2 are integrated.

Next Steps

In accordance with the ccNSO PDP the Issue Manager will closely review all submitted comments to determine at his reasonable discretion modification of the recommendations. The Issue Manager expects to formally publish his Final Report by the end of March, and submit this to ccNSO Council. In terms of the graphical representation of the ccNSO PDP [PDF, 2.03 MB] the ccNSO PDP is currently at its initial reporting phase.

Graphical Representation of the ccNSO PDP

Background

In April 2009, the ccNSO Council initiated the IDN ccPDP, and followed the advice of the IDN ccPDP Issue Manager, to appoint two working groups, each with its own charter, working method and schedule:

  • The first Working Group (IDN ccPDP WG 1) studied and reported on a feasible overall policy for the selection and delegation of IDN ccTLDs. It took into account the joint GAC-ccNSO Issues Paper and coments received on that document, the Final Report of the IDNC Working Group and the associated Fast Track Implementation Plan and experience with the Fast Track Process.
  • The second Working Group reported on changes to Article IX of the ICANN Bylaws about including IDN ccTLD managers in the ccNSO. This was needed because of the delegation of IDN ccTLD's under the Fast Track Process and in future under the policy recommended by IDN ccPDP WG 1.

The IDN ccPDP WG 1 focused on the proposals and recommendations of the IDNC WG and resulting Implementation Plan, and took into account the experiences and reviews of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process. The IDN ccPDP WG 2 focused on examination of Article IX of the ICANN Bylaws and associated Annexes (Annex B and C of the ICANN Bylaws). It took into account the proposals and recommendations of IDN ccPDP WG 1.

More Information

Staff Contact

Bart Boswinkel, ccNSO Senior Policy Advisor


6. ccNSO Council on Draft IANA Customer Service Complaint Resolution Process

At a Glance

ccNSO Council has provided input on the draft IANA customer service complaint resolution process.

Recent Developments

The ccNSO Council has submitted comments on the draft IANA customer service complaint resolution process. According to the Council the current procedure was developed in consultation with the community and provides a series of clear steps through which issues can be escalated. However, the Council notes that the process was developed in 2006 and should be carefully scrutinized before formal re-adoption to ensure that, as required by the IANA functions contract, "industry best practice" is followed.

The ccNSO Council welcomes the updates proposed by ICANN with regard to making the complaint resolution process easier to follow. However, in order to contribute to the best possible outcome for all stakeholders, the ccNSO urges ICANN to promote:

  • Awareness and understanding of the process by the stakeholders
  • Stakeholder satisfaction
  • Stakeholder responsibilities
  • Reporting

In addition the Council made specific comments on how the complaints process relates to transfer/re-delegation requests.

The ccNSO Drafting Team is preparing further submissions on the other consultations.

Background

ccTLDs represent a significant and active proportion of IANA's stakeholder community, specifically in relation to IANA's role in the maintenance of the DNS root zone. The stable, reliable, accurate and effective execution of the IANA functions is of utmost importance to ccTLD managers and, to use the terminology of the current consultation, ccTLDs will often be the "customers" for whom improved complaint resolution processes are being developed.

Therefore, the ccNSO Council welcomed both the concept of formalizing IANA performance metrics and their open, collaborative and consultative development.

More Information

Staff Contact

Bart Boswinkel, ccNSO Senior Policy Advisor


GNSO

7. Public Forum Opened for Preliminary Issue Report on gTLD Registration Data Services

At a Glance

A new Public Forum invites comments on the Preliminary Issue Report [PDF, 946 KB] for the gTLD registration data services. The Report forms part of a ICANN Board-initiated GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP) that aims to review the purpose and accuracy of domain name registration data and directory services, as well as its underlying technical protocol – currently also known as Whois.

Recent Developments

ICANN's requirements for domain name registration data collection, access and accuracy for gTLD registries have undergone some important changes; yet after more than 12 years of GNSO task forces, working groups, workshops, surveys and studies the policy is still in need of comprehensive reforms that address the significant number of issues related to gTLD registration data services.

Following the recommendations [PDF, 266 KB] of a Report drafted by the Whois Policy Review Team in 2012, the ICANN Board passed a resolution on 8 November 2012 that led to the creation of an Expert Working Group and, in parallel, also launched a PDP.

Next Steps

Following review of the public comments received, the Staff Manager will update the Issue Report as appropriate. Once the Expert Working Group has concluded its work, a Final Issue Report will be published and the PDP will be initiated.

Issue Scoping Graphical Representation

Background

Comprehensive Whois policy reform remains the source of long-running discussions within the ICANN as well as wider Internet community. Any discussion of Whois – hereafter called gTLD registration data and directory services – typically includes topics such as purpose, accuracy, availability, privacy, anonymity, cost, policing, intellectual property protection, security and malicious use and abuse.

The ICANN Board specifically called out the topics of purpose and accuracy in its request. With regard to purpose, at a minimum the most basic purpose, which is commonly accepted, is that gTLD registration data allows domain name holders to be contacted. However, who would be granted the right to access the data under what circumstances and contact the holder and by which means, is a set of difficult follow-up questions that need to be answered. In relation to accuracy, there are many data elements in the Whois database required under the Registry Agreements and the Registrar Accreditation Agreements; if only one of these data fields is incorrect, does that mean the Whois information is inaccurate? And how can the accuracy of data be verified and/or measured, especially considering that if data is not accurate the purpose of gathering the data might be questionable in the first place.

This Preliminary Issue Report lays out in detail many of the issues mentioned above and how they relate to the gTLD registration data and directory services. It provides an overview of affected Stakeholder Groups, Constituencies, and other relevant parties. Furthermore, it explains in details the continuous issues with regard to the accuracy and purpose of gTLD registration data services and elaborates on the need for changes to the technical aspects.

More Information

Staff Contact

Lars Hoffman, Policy Analyst


8. Preliminary Issue Report on Uniformity of Reporting Now Available for Comment

At a Glance

During GNSO Council deliberations in October 2012, the GNSO Council requested an Issue Report on the current state of uniformity in the mechanisms to initiate, track, and analyze policy-violation reports. ICANN staff was also explicitly requested to make recommendations on how to address the issue outside of a PDP if consensus policies are not required. The Staff has determined that the issue may be more effectively addressed through means other than a PDP at this time.

Recent Developments

ICANN staff developed the Preliminary Issue Report requested by the Council and opened a public comment period on 20 February to solicit community input on its recommendation to forego a PDP on uniformity in the mechanisms to initiate, track and analyze policy violation reports. The report describes alternative activities that may more effectively address the issue including giving the ICANN Contractual Compliance Team time to complete implementation of its current strategic plans and possible formation of a Working Group to review how complaint and abuse data can be more effectively shared.

Next Steps

The comment period closes 22 March and the reply period closes 12 April.

Issue Scoping Graphical Representation

Background

The October 2012 GNSO Council request stemmed from earlier work done by the 2009 Registration Abuse Policies Working Group and a presentation by ICANN's Contractual Compliance Department on:

  • Existing systems for reporting and tracking violations and/or complaints
  • Improvements and changes made since 2009
  • Gaps and improvements that might be desirable but not foreseen at this stage

Members of the original RAPWG provided additional information on how its recommendations could be implemented in a paper presented to the GNSO Council in September 2012.

In March of 2012 based on the GNSO Council request, the ICANN Contractual Compliance Department presented its findings on existing systems that:

  • Report and track violations and/or complaints
  • Detail improvements / changes made since the RAPWG Report or foreseen in the near future
  • Identify gaps and any improvements that might be desirable but not foreseen at this stage

Further, the GNSO Council discussed the RAPWG recommendation in light of the feedback received from the ICANN Contractual Compliance Department and former members of the RAPWG volunteered to provide additional information on how the RAPWG recommendation could be implemented. Alumni members created and presented the findings to the GNSO Council in September of 2012.

More Information

Staff Contact

Marika Konings, Senior Director, Policy Development Support


9. Locking of a Domain Name Subject to UDRP Proceedings – 11 Recommendations Published for Community Input

At a Glance

The locking of a domain name subject to UDRP Proceedings Working Group has published its Initial Report for public comment. The report contains 11 preliminary recommendations that are expected to clarify and standardize how a domain name is locked and unlocked during the course of a UDRP Proceeding.

Recent Developments

In its Initial Report, published on 15 March, the Working Group presented 11 preliminary recommendations for community consideration, including:

  • A definition of 'locking' in the context of a UDRP Proceeding - the term "lock" means preventing any changes of registrar and registrant [without impairing the resolution of the domain name]. The WG is considering adding the bracketed language and welcomes community input on the issue. (Preliminary recommendation #1)
  • Proposed modification of the UDRP rules to to avoid "cyberflight" by no longer requiring that the complainant send a copy of the complaint to the respondent. In this context, "Cyberflight" means changing the registrant information with the intent to escape from the dispute. (Preliminary recommendation #2)
  • Requirement for the registrar to 'lock' the domain name registration within two business days following a request for verification from the UDRP Provider (Preliminary recommendation #3)
  • Clarifying how to deal with changes to contact information and/or lifting of proxy/privacy services (Preliminary recommendation #7 and #8)
  • Clarifying the process for the unlocking of a domain name registration following the conclusion of a UDRP proceeding (Preliminary recommendation #9)

A public comment forum has been opened and community input is requested on the preliminary recommendations. The Working Group would like to encourage all interested parties to submit their comments and suggestions so these can be considered as the Working Group continues its deliberations in view of finalizing its report and recommendations in the next phase of the PDP.

Next Steps

The Working Group is organizing a session at the ICANN Meeting in Beijing on Thursday 11 April at 01:00 UTC to provide an overview of the Initial Report and its recommendations and solicit community input. Following review of the public comments received, the Working Group will continue its deliberations and finalize its report for submission to the GNSO Council.

Working Group Graphical Representation

Background

The "locking" of a domain name registration associated with a UDRP proceeding is not something that is literally required by the UDRP as written, but is a practice that has developed around it. As a result, there is no uniform approach, which has resulted in confusion and misunderstandings. To address this issue, the GNSO Council decided to initiate a PDP on 15 December 2011. As part of its deliberations, the WG was required to consider the following questions:

  1. Whether the creation of an outline of a proposed procedure, which a complainant must follow in order for a registrar to place a domain name on registrar lock, would be desirable.
  2. Whether the creation of an outline of the steps of the process that a registrar can reasonably expect to take place during a UDRP dispute would be desirable.
  3. Whether the time frame by which a registrar must lock a domain after a UDRP has been filed should be standardized.
  4. In two parts:
    1. Whether what constitutes a "locked" domain name should be defined.
    2. Whether, once a domain name is 'locked' pursuant to a UDRP proceeding, the registrant information for that domain name may be changed or modified.
  5. Whether additional safeguards should be created for the protection of registrants in cases where the domain name is locked subject to a UDRP proceeding.

More Information

Staff Contact

Marika Konings, Senior Director, Policy Development Support


10. GNSO Council Considers Initiation of PDP on Translation and Transliteration of Contact Information

At a Glance

At its public meeting at the ICANN meeting in Beijing, China on 10 April the GNSO Council will consider whether to initiate a Policy Development Process (PDP) on translation and transliteration of contact information.

Recent Developments and Next Steps

ICANN staff has submitted to the GNSO Council a Final Issue Report on Translation and Transliteration of Contact Information, following a public comment forum on a Preliminary Issue Report that ended on 01 March 2013. This Report addresses the following issues:

  1. Whether it is desirable to translate contact information to a single common language or transliterate contact information to a single common script.
  2. Who should decide who should bear the burden of translating contact information to a single common language or transliterating contact information to a single common script.
  3. Whether to start a PDP to address these questions.

The GNSO Council is reviewing the Report and will likely vote on whether or not to initiate a PDP on the issue at its 10 April public meeting at the ICANN meeting in Beijing, China.

Issue Report Graphical Representation

Background

This Final Issue Report addresses three issues associated with the translation and transliteration of contact information. These issues are focused on Domain Name Registration Data and Directory Services, such as the Whois, in gTLDs. In the context of these issues, "contact information" is a subset of Domain Name Registration Data. It is the information that enables someone using a Domain Name Registration Data Directory Service (such as Whois) to contact the domain name registration holder. It includes the name, organization, and postal address of the registered name holder, technical contact, as well as administrative contact. Domain Name Registration Data is accessible to the public via a Directory Service (also known as the Whois service). The current Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA 3.3.1) specifies the data elements that must be provided by registrars (via Port 43 and via web-based services) in response to a query, but it does not require that data elements, such as contact information, be translated or transliterated.

More Information

Staff Contact

Julie Hedlund, Policy Director


ASO

11. ASO to Meet in April, Finalize Board Member Selection

ASO Logo

ICANN"s Address Supporting Organization (ASO) will hold its annual in-person meeting at the ICANN 46 Public Meeting in Beijing. The ASO is also hosting a workshop on Wednesday, 10 April, from 5:30 to 6:30 UTC. Times and locations may change, so be sure to check the meeting schedule online or the latest information. Look for the agenda to be posted shortly.

The ASO is finalizing its choice of Board member for the upcoming three-year term. There are no global number resource policies under consideration at this time.

Staff Contact

Barbara Roseman, Policy Director and Technical Analyst


At-Large

12. At-Large Community Prepares for Beijing, Welcomes APRALO At-Large Structure Participants

At a Glance

Representatives from the At-Large community will hold 28 meetings during the 46th ICANN Meeting scheduled to take place in Beijing, China 7-11 April 2013. They will also be welcoming more than 25 representatives of APRALO At-Large Structures who will be participating in the APRALO Beijing Events.

Recent Developments

The planned At-Large Community meetings include the traditional policy meetings, At-Large Working Group Meetings, and meetings with the ICANN Board of Directors. The APRALO Beijing Events are a series of meetings consisting of an APRALO ALS introductory session, four joint sessions with the ICANN Fellows, an At-Large APRALO Multistakeholder Roundtable, an APRALO Showcase, an APRALO General Assembly and an APRALO monthly meeting.

The APRALO Showcase and Reception will focus on the theme of: Celebrating APRALO's Regional Diversity. This event is scheduled for 7 April 11:00-13:00 UTC in the Function 6 Room of the Beijing International Hotel. The event will have speakers including Fadi Chehadé, ICANN President and CEO, and feature a vibrant showcase of the activities and cultures of more than 25 APRALO At-Large Structure organizations.

Recent Developments

The ALAC will be busy in policy development activities in 28 At-Large meetings, which include:

In addition, At-Large community members will also participate actively in many of the other meetings taking place during the ICANN meeting in Beijing either in person or using remote participation tools.

More Information

Staff Contact

ICANN At-Large staff


13. ALAC Submits Four Policy Advice Statements in February, March

At a Glance

The ALAC continues its high rate of preparing statements in response to ICANN public comments periods as well as comments and communications. Between February and mid-March, the ALAC submitted four statements, comments and communications. The ALAC is currently developing several additional policy advice statements.

Recent Developments

The ALAC policy advice statements and communications submitted between February and mid-March are:

More Information

Staff Contact

Heidi Ullrich, Director for At-Large


14. ALAC Submits Three New gTLD Objections

At a Glance

The ALAC has completed its first "operations" activity as requested by the Board. The members of the At-Large New gTLD Review Group (RG) created a process, approved by the ALAC, to vet objections and draft the objection statements. This process sought input from the At-Large community, at the Regional At-Large Organization and ALAC levels, in accordance with requirements set out in the Applicant Guidebook.

On 13 March, the ALAC filed three objections regarding applications for .health.

Recent Developments

Following an ALAC vote, objections were filed to applications for the potential new gTLD string ".health" from DotHealth, LLC; dot Health Limited and Goose Fest, LLC.

There are five applications for ".health", four of which are in English and one in Chinese script.

The gTLD RG received a letter regarding this gTLD application from the International Medical Informatics Association dated 25 January. IMIA had several concerns, including the lack of guarantee that the new .health TLD would be operated in the interest of global public health and consumer protection. After debates and in-depth discussions, the RG determined that the four criteria set in the Applicant Guide (Section 3.5.4) for community objection grounds were met.

Members of the gTLD RG considered the comments from the At-Large community as of 8 February and ranked each factor of the four tests for community objection grounds based on these comments and discussions.

Since the four tests for community objection grounds were passed, the gTLD RG produced an Objection Statement for RALO review [PDF, 185 KB] on community grounds. The RG consolidated the response from the various stakeholders and the Applicants that allowed the ALAC to be informed of the concerns of the community as well as those discussions that were taking place on the list and beyond.

The objection statement was approved by more than three RALOs as determined by the ALAC rules. On 12 March, the ALAC voted to support the filing of 3 out of 4 objections for the .health applications in question.

Next Steps

The At-Large New gTLD WG held a conference call on 18 March to discuss the tasks involved in following up the Objections made by ALAC. The At-Large members participating in the call drafted a document called "Post Objection Filing Activities." It was agreed that a single group with six members called "The ALAC Objection Team" will follow-up on the objection procedures and to ask some part of the At-Large New gTLD Review Group to be available to assist them with any background information or other research that might be required in completing this task. The Role and Responsibilities of the group was drafted. The document was sent to the At-Large New gTLD WG mailing list for approval and, assuming it is approved by the WG, will be forwarded to the ALAC as a recommendation.

Background

The objections were filed according to the New gTLD Dispute Resolution Procedure from ICANN administered by the ICC International Centre for Expertise.

There are four grounds for filing objections to New gTLD Applications, but the ALAC has standing to object on only two grounds: Limited Public Interest Objection grounds and Community Objection grounds.

More Information

Staff Contact

Silvia Vivanco, Manager, At-Large Regional Affairs


15. ALAC Whois Briefing Session Highlights Diverse Perspectives

At a Glance

On 20 February, ALAC, in collaboration with the members of the At-Large Whois Working Group, held a conference call briefing session on Whois issues that highlighted the diverse perspectives of privacy advocates, law enforcement and others on the Internet Protocol and its associated data. More than 30 ICANN community members participated in the call. This session is one of an ongoing series of ALAC briefing sessions on topics of interest to the At-Large community.

Recent Developments

The briefing session, chaired by Carlton Samuels, the Chair of the At-Large Whois Working Group and member of the Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services, presented an introduction on Whois. Next up was a brief discussion of the SSAC perspectives on security and integrity issues vis-á-vis Whois by Jim Galvin, a member of the SSAC. A registrar joined many speakers from the At-Large community to showcase different points of view. Speakers included Avri Doria, Evan Leibovitch, Michele Neylon, Alan Greenberg, Holly Raiche, Patrick Vande Walle and Garth Bruen. The briefing session also included a question and answer session and a discussion of next steps.

The agenda, relevant documents, call transcripts and recordings are posted online.

Next Steps

During the ICANN Meeting in Beijing, the At-Large Whois Working Group will meet on 10 April between 07:00-08:00 UTC in Meeting Room: Function 8AB (See At Large Beijing Meeting- Wednesday's Schedule for details.)

More Information

Staff Contact

Heidi Ullrich, Director for At-Large


GAC

16. GAC Expects to Deliver Advice on New gTLDs in Beijing

At a Glance

With the GAC Member Early Warnings phase complete, the GAC is now moving to the next phase, which is GAC advice on new gTLDs. GAC advice is a key element of the overall process of the new gTLD Program. In that context, GAC sessions at ICANN's public meeting in Beijing in April will be mainly focused on delivering GAC advice to the ICANN Board on categories of strings and specific applications, building on advice outlined in the Toronto Communiqué. The GAC is fully committed to the multistakeholder approach to policy development and advising on the public policy aspects of the New gTLD Program, for the benefit of all Internet users.

Background

ICANN receives input from governments through the GAC. The GAC's key role is to provide advice to ICANN on issues of public policy, and especially where there may be an interaction between ICANN's activities or policies and national laws or international agreements. The GAC usually meets three times a year in conjunction with ICANN meetings, where it discusses issues with the ICANN Board and other ICANN Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees and other groups. The GAC may also discuss issues between times with the Board either through face-to-face meetings or by teleconference.

More Information

Staff Contact

Jeannie Ellers, ICANN staff


RSSAC

17. RSSAC Restructure Underway

ICANN's Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) is undergoing a restructure based on recommendations developed from the AC's first ICANN Organizational Review. The Board Structural Improvements Committee, in consultation with the members of the RSSAC, has prepared an ICANN Bylaws amendment. When approved by the Board, the RSSAC will begin the restructure with an expected conclusion on 1 July.

The RSSAC is also defining metrics for assessing the health of the root server system and creating a baseline of data to be used when the new gTLDs begin entering the root zone. This will allow the root server operators to assess changes, if any, that accompany an expanded root zone.

Staff Contact

Barbara Roseman, Policy Director and Technical Analyst


SSAC

18. SSAC Recommends Ways to Minimize Risks in Certificate Authority Practices

At a Glance

The SSAC has advised ICANN to take immediate steps to mitigate the risks of a Certificate Authority practice that, if widely exploited, could significantly impact the privacy and integrity of secure Internet communications. SAC057: SSAC Advisory on Internal Name Certificates explains possible impacts on the New gTLD Program.

Recent Developments and Next Steps

The SSAC has published SAC057: SSAC Advisory on Internal Name Certificates [PDF, 1.14 MB]. This advisory identifies the risk that the practice for issuing internal name certificates allows a person, not related to an applied-for TLD, to obtain a certificate for the TLD with little or no validation, and launch a man-in-the-middle attack more effectively. It recommends that ICANN staff should develop and execute a risk mitigation plan, including outreach to the Certificate Authority/Browser Forum and Certificate Authorities, asking them to treat new gTLDs as if they were delegated TLDs as soon as possible.

Following the SSAC advice, ICANN has taken immediate mitigation actions to reduce the risk. These actions are described in Appendix A of the SSAC report [PDF, 1.1 MB].

Background

Certificate Authorities, or Certification Authorities, are organizations that issue digital certificates. The digital certificate certifies the ownership of a public key by the named subject of the certificate. This allows others to rely upon signatures or assertions made by the private key that corresponds to the certified public key.

CAs typically validate the identities of requestors before they issue certificates. For example, when Internet users browse to https://www.myicann.org/, their browsers know it is the real myicann.org because GoDaddy, a CA, has vouched the registered holder of myicann.org and issued it a certificate. This system breaks down, however, if CAs are unable to validate the applicants they vouch for and their authority over the domain name for which the certificate is applied for.

One such instance is "Internal Name" certificates (also known as "non-fully qualified domain names" or non-FQDNs). These are certificates that contain names "that are not currently resolvable using the public DNS" and are assumed to be for private use only.

An internal name is a domain or IP address that is part of a private network. These internal names are not allocated to any specific organization and therefore cannot be verified.

More Information

Staff Contact

Steve Sheng, Senior Technical Analyst, Policy


19. SSAC Report on Domain Name Registration Validation Classifications

At a Glance

The SSAC will publish an SSAC Report on Domain Name Registration Validation Taxonomy. In this report, the SSAC examines the feasibility and suitability of improving registration data accuracy through validation.

Recent Developments and Next Steps

The SSAC will publish an SSAC Report on Domain Name Registration Validation Taxonomy. In this report, the SSAC examines the feasibility and suitability of improving registration data accuracy through validation. Specifically, it:

  • Proposes validation classifications for community consideration
  • Explores the suitability and efficacy of various techniques of validating registration data elements in light of these classifications

Finally, based on the taxonomy and suitability and feasibility of implementing validations, the SSAC provides recommendations for the ICANN community to consider.

Background

Various studies that assessed the quality of domain name registration data have collectively shown that the accuracy of the data needs to be improved. To improve registration data accuracy, there needs to be (1) an incentive for the registrant to submit accurate data, or (2) efforts by registry/registrar to follow up and check the accuracy of the submitted data; or (3) both. The SSAC report focuses on addressing the first problem, the validation of registration data. It accomplishes four things:

  • Synthesizes from past literature the reasons for registration data inaccuracy
  • Proposes validation taxonomy for community consideration
  • Explores the suitability and efficacy of various techniques of validating registration data elements in light of the taxonomy
  • Makes a series of recommendations

The SSAC is a technical advisory committee. As such, in this report the SSAC attempts only to define the problem space and characterize the solution space. The SSAC makes no policy assertions.

More Information

Staff Contact

Steve Sheng, Senior Technical Analyst, Policy

update-apr13-en [PDF, 1770kB]

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