Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

ICANN POLICY UPDATE | Volume 10, Issue 3 — March 2010

1 March 2010

PDF Version [168 KB]

http://www.icann.org/en/topics/policy/

CONTENTS:

Across ICANN

  1. New Podcast Helps You Join the Conversation
  2. Issues Currently Open for Public Comment

ccNSO

  1. ccNSO Approves 104th Membership Application
  2. Delegation/Re-delegation WG Seeks Foundation for ccTLD Policy
  3. “Wildcarding” Study Members Appointed
  4. Multiple Reports Push Proposed IDN Policies Forward
  5. ccNSO Prepares for Its Close-Up – on YouTube

GNSO

  1. Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy WG Considers Stakeholders Viewpoint
  2. Registration Abuse Policies WG to Conduct Community Discussion in Nairobi
  3. Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery WG Digests One Survey, Starts Another
  4. GNSO Improvements: Internal Process Tidy Up
  5. Other Issues Active in the GNSO

ASO

  1. Four of Five RIRs Approve 2011 for Transition to 32-Bit ASN
  2. Other Issues Active in the ASO

Joint Efforts

  1. Geographic Regions Review WG Seeks More Community Input
  2. Internationalized Registration Data WG Probes the Future of Worldwide Whois Data
  3. Other Issues Active in Combined Efforts

At-Large

  1. At-Large Community Braces for Busy Schedule in Nairobi
  2. At-Large Prompts Publication of “Non-Lawyer’s Guide” to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement
  3. LACRALO Publishes Outreach Brochure

SSAC

  1. SSAC-Related Meetings in Nairobi, Kenya
  2. Issues Active with the SSAC

Read Policy Update in Your Preferred Language

ICANN Policy Update is available in all six official languages of the United Nations: English (EN), Spanish (ES), French (FR), Arabic (AR), Chinese (Simplified -- zh-Hans), and Russian (RU). Policy Update is posted on ICANN's website and available via online subscription. To receive the Update in your Inbox each month, simply go to the ICANN subscriptions page, enter your e-mail address, and select “Policy Update” to subscribe. This service is free of charge.

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. New Podcast Helps You Join the Conversation

Imagine footmen playing a royal brass fanfare as we announce: ICANN now produces its first audio podcast series for you!

When you join the ICANN community, you quickly discover that folks here have considered and debated certain issues for years. You want to participate, but when you try to educate yourself on a topic, icann.org offers (seemingly) one thousand documents, each a hundred pages long. Where do you begin to understand the issue?

From now on, the answer just might be ICANN Start. The Policy Team produces this new audio podcast especially for listeners who are new to ICANN or new to a specific issue.

Each episode of ICANN Start focuses on one subject, and in an interview with a subject matter expert, answers five basic questions: What is it? Why does it matter? Who does it affect? Who’s going to fix it? How can I participate? (Sometimes the five questions vary, but the show is always one issue / five questions.)

No episode will run more than 20 minutes. In many cases, you can grasp the basics of a topic within the space of a coffee break – and without reading.

The podcast launched publicly with four episodes. Tune in if you’d like a basic explanation of these topics: internationalized registration data; wildcarding and synthesized DNS responses; Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy; and country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs).

We’ll post a new episode on the first of each month. Find the podcast on the ICANN web site by clicking the home page’s E-Learning tab; or, you can surf directly to a list of episodes. Many of Apple’s global iTunes stores carry the show; to check for it, in the podcast section of iTunes search for “ICANN Start.”

Finally, we want to learn from you. What ICANN topic do you wish someone would explain? Send your response to start@icann.org, and we’ll do our best to produce a relevant, helpful show for you. Get in on the beginning of this new effort and let us know how to improve it!

A well-informed opinion is a persuasive opinion. From now on when you wonder, “How can I wrap my mind around this issue?”, think, “ICANN Start.”


2. Issues Currently Open for Public Comment

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

  • One-and Two-Character .INFO Names. Should Afilias allocate some one- and two-character domain names at the second level of .INFO? Comment by 20 March 2010.
  • Working Group Guidelines. As part of the GNSO Improvements Process, a Work Team was tasked with developing guidelines for a Working Group Model. This Working Group Model should become the focal point for policy development, and make it more inclusive and representative. Are these Guidelines complete? Comments accepted through 22 March 2010.
  • Registration Abuse Policies Initial Report. The GNSO Registration Abuse Policies Working Group has published its Initial Report, including concrete recommendations to address domain name registration abuse in gTLDs. Comment by 28 March 2010.
  • Proposed Strategic Initiatives for Improved DNS Security, Stability, and Resiliency. This paper presents the rationale, key features and projected costs of two strategic initiatives that ICANN believes are necessary to fulfill its obligations under its Bylaws, the 2009 Affirmation of Commitments, and the 2010-2013 ICANN Strategic Plan. Comment by 29 March 2010.
  • Global DNS-CERT Business Case. This paper describes the case for the creation of a Domain Name System-Computer Emergency Response Team devoted to both proactive and reactive measures related to DNS security, stability and resiliency. Comment by 29 March 2010.
  • High Security Top Level Domain (HSTLD) Draft Program Development Snapshot. When new gTLDs start up, each new TLD has the option of trying to increase trust by operating as a High Security TLD. How should an HSTLD program operate? Comment by 8 April 2010.
  • Zone File Access Concept Paper. How should Domain Name Service zone files be accessed if we soon have many more Top-Level Domains? This paper proposes a concept, and a related paper shows what implementation might cost. Comment by 8 April 2010.
  • Draft Report on Whois Accuracy. The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) recently completed a study commissioned by ICANN to determine the percentage of domain names registered under the top 5 gTLDs (.com, .net, .org, .biz, and .info) that contain accurate Whois data. The draft report is posted for review and comment through 15 April 2010.

ICANN’s Biggest April Fools’ Day Ever?

Nine issues close their public comment period on 1 April, including topics as diverse as: a proposed framework for ICANN’s fiscal year 2011 operating plan and budget; a new process for future amendments to the registry agreements for new generic Top-Level Domains (new gTLDs); results of a survey intended to benchmark registry operations; trademark protection and dispute resolution proposals for new gTLDs; and much more. For the full list of issues open for public comment, plus recently closed and archived public comment forums, visit the Public Comments page.


ccNSO

3. ccNSO Approves 104th Membership Application

At a Glance

The country code Name Supporting Organization (ccNSO) approved the ccTLD operator of Papua New Guinea (.pg) as the ccNSO’s 104th member.

Background

Papua New Guinea (.pg) is the fourth new member to join the ccNSO in 2010. Last month, Belize (.bz) joined.

More Information

Staff Contact

Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat


4. Delegation/Re-delegation WG Seeks Foundation for ccTLD Policy

At a Glance

Re-delegation refers to the process of changing the designated manager(s) of a country code top-level domain (ccTLD). The standards for doing so have been the same since 1999, so a ccNSO Working Group is reexamining how country codes are delegated, re-delegated, and even retired.

Recent Developments

The working group has published its first progress report. One of the major topics the group has considered is, which documents serve as a suitable source for ccTLD policy, and what is the status of each relevant document? The working group generally accepts that the first statement that framed ICANN’s dealing with ccTLDs was RFC1591 [TXT, 20 KB] (along with ccTLD News Memo #1, dated October 23, 1997). Other major documents considered so far are ICP‐1 and the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) Principles, which have been analyzed with respect to RFC1591. Relevant RFCs pre‐dating RFC1591 were identified and analyzed as well. The working group will now concentrate on identifying and analyzing relevant decisions by the ICANN Board.

Next Steps

The group expects to lead substantive discussions on delegation practices with the community at the ICANN meeting in Nairobi. The WG will also convene a Nairobi workshop open to relevant stakeholders in the ccTLD community (see http://ccnso.icann.org/calendar/ for time and venue). The WG will proceed with its work on identifying issues relating to the delegation, re-delegation and retirement of ccTLDs.

Background

Currently, the ICANN policy and practices for delegation and re-delegation are reflected in established IANA processes. In carrying out these processes, IANA follows the list of country codes published by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency. For more information about establishing new ccTLDs, see IANA's Procedures for Establishing ccTLDs and IANA’s delegation reports.

Re-delegation of a ccTLD is conducted according to the principles described in ICP-1 and RFC 1591 [TXT, 20 KB]. The policy and process are also reflected in IANA reports that illustrate many of the considerations made in deciding whether or not to re-delegate. In light of the changed environment and circumstances since RFC 1591 was last revised in 1999, the ccNSO considered it time to review the current policies. The ccNSO wants a better understanding of any issues relating to the current policies, before taking possible further steps.

More Information

Staff Contact

Bart Boswinkel, Senior Policy Advisor, ccNSO


5. “Wildcarding” Study Members Appointed

At a Glance

The ccNSO Council appointed the members of the “Wildcarding” Study Group. The group gathers for its first session at the ccNSO meeting in Nairobi.

Recent Developments

The ccNSO Council has appointed the following members to the “Wildcarding” Study Group:

Wali Berjasta. .af Patrick Hosein, .tt
Keith Davidson, .nz Erick Iriarte, LACTLD (observer)
Joel Disini, .ph Young-Eum Lee, .kr (co-Chair)
Keith Drazek, .us Rungang Mo, .cn
Afaf El Maayati, .ma Kathryn Reynolds, .ca
Khaled Esheh, .ly Yoshiro Yoneya, .jp
Ondrej Filip, .cz (co-Chair)  

Next Steps

The study group now seeks volunteer participants. Once formed, the group will coordinate with SSAC and the Stability, Security and Resilience group of ICANN. The group is liaising with the ccTLDs who currently use “wildcarding” and redirection. At the ccNSO meeting in Nairobi, some of the country code managers will present to the ccTLD community their view on the use of wildcarding (for time and venue, watch this page).

Background

“Wildcarding,” or DNS redirection, turns up most often during web surfing. In this context, when a user makes an HTML query for a non-existent domain, “wildcarding” is the practice of responding with links to marketing web sites, when the proper response should return an error message. This is also known as DNS redirection, or a synthesized response. The Internet is more than web surfing, so redirection has negative ramifications on DNS, email, and other protocols and processes.

At ICANN’s June 2009 international meeting in Sydney, the ICANN Board passed a resolution requesting that the ccNSO propose mechanisms to avoid the use of redirection and synthesized DNS responses by a ccTLD.

At ICANN’s October 2009 meeting in Seoul, the ccTLD community discussed the use of synthesized responses and their impact on the Domain Name System (DNS). In order to create a better understanding of the negative impact, and to learn why some ccTLDs allowing “wildcarding,” the ccNSO Council initiated a study group. They appointed Young Eum Lee and Ondrej Filip, both members of the ccNSO Council, as co-chairs of the group.

More Information

Staff Contact

Bart Boswinkel, Senior Policy Advisor, ccNSO


6. Multiple Reports Push Proposed IDN Policies Forward

At a Glance

The Chair of the Internationalized Domain Names Country Code Policy Development Process Working Group (IDN ccPDP WG) has published a draft Interim Paper outlining overall policies for introducing internationalized domain names (IDNs) as country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). The public can comment on the proposal during March.

Recent Developments

The Chair of the IDN ccPDP WG has published a draft Interim Paper for public comment. The public comment period closes on 2 April 2010.

In publishing the paper, the Chair reports to the community on the structure, outline, and potential recommendations for the overall policy. This Working Group previously published a “topic paper” last November. The purpose of the Topic Paper was to identify and define the topics and issues that should be considered when proposing policies about introducing internationalized domain names as country codes, so that the resultant policy is both thorough and realistic. The Chair’s new Interim Paper builds on the Topic Paper, and presents for discussion the proposed policy for the selection and delegation of IDN ccTLDs (Draft Recommended Policy). The proposed policy takes into account the Methodology for the Fast Track process as proposed by the IDNC Working Group and implemented under the Fast Track Process.

Next Steps

The working group will discuss the Chair’s Interim Paper, and when the public comment period ends, will incorporate the comments into the next version of the Interim Paper. Meanwhile, the Working Group’s Topic Paper completed its public comment period in early December. The group is incorporating the public comments and has published a draft of its final Topic Paper, with the expectation that it will be officially adopted by the Working Group at its meeting in Nairobi.

Under the ccNSO IDN ccPDP, a second working group will look at the changes needed to the structure of the ccNSO itself to include IDN ccTLDs. A call for volunteers will be sent out during the Nairobi meeting. Membership in this working group is open to ccTLD managers.

Background

Most volunteers in the ICANN community know of the fast-track project to introduce IDNs to ccTLDs. Perhaps fewer people realize that the fast-track effort is meant to be limited and temporary. The ccNSO is currently conducting a policy development process contemplating recommendations for how IDN policy should work permanently and how IDN ccTLDs will be included in the ccNSO. The papers described above are working toward this more permanent IDN policy.

More Information

Staff Contact

Bart Boswinkel, Senior Policy Advisor, ccNSO


7. ccNSO Prepares for Its Close-up – on YouTube

At a Glance

The ccNSO has opened its own YouTube channel, where video blogs from the Secretariat and ccTLDs will be posted.

Recent Developments

The ccNSO has just launched its own YouTube site, with an initial video that introduces some of the ccNSO’s support staff.

Background

In preparing to update their web site, the ccNSO authorized a series of interviews with users of ccNSO.icann.org to find out what features they felt were missing. During the interviews, it became clear that ccTLD managers – who, by definition, are dispersed geographically – wanted a more personalized way of getting to know one another. Opening a ccNSO YouTube channel provides a way for country code managers to introduce themselves, and for community participants to associate faces with names.

Next Steps

All ccTLDs are encouraged to submit their own one- to three-minute videos to the ccNSO YouTube channel, introducing themselves and telling a bit about their work. The new YouTube channel is just one of more upcoming efforts intended to give ccNSO members a personalized experience while working together online.

More Information

Staff Contact

Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat


GNSO

8. Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy WG Considers Stakeholders Viewpoint

At a Glance

The Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP) aims to provide a straightforward procedure for domain name holders to transfer their names from one ICANN-accredited registrar to another. The GNSO is reviewing and considering revisions to this policy.

Recent Developments and Next Steps

The Working Group is now reviewing the official statements it received from Constituencies and Stakeholder Groups. Following that, the WG will review its draft Initial Report in order to incorporate the community’s comments, and will work on developing recommendations on the questions its charter tells it to address. For further information, please consult the IRTP Part B Working Group Workspace.

Background

The IRTP Part B Working Group addresses five issues relating to domain name transfers, specified in their Charter. The IRTP Part B Working Group has been meeting bi-weekly.

More Information

Staff Contact

Marika Konings, Policy Director


9. Registration Abuse Policies WG to Conduct Community Discussion in Nairobi

At a Glance

Registries and registrars seem to lack uniform approaches for dealing with domain name registration abuse, and questions persist as to what actions "registration abuse" refers. The GNSO Council has launched a Registration Abuse Policies (RAP) Working Group to examine registration abuse policies.

Recent Developments

The Initial Report that the Working Group published in February is still available for public comment. The Initial Report makes recommendations related to cybersquatting, Whois access problems, malicious use of domain names, deceptive and/or offensive domain names, and numerous related issues. You can download the paper from ICANN’s web site [PDF, 1.8 MB].

The RAP WG will conduct a public information session on the Initial Report in Nairobi on Wednesday 10 March from 16.00 – 17.30 local time. Greg Aaron, Chair of the Working Group, will present their report, followed by community discussion. For more information, see http://nbo.icann.org/node/8878.

Background

The RAP Working Group addresses issues outlined in its charter, such as: defining the difference between registration abuse and domain name abuse; the effectiveness of existing registration abuse policies; and which areas, if any, would be suitable for GNSO policy development to address. The group has generated a document that provides working definitions of types and categories of abuse, and cites the primary target for each abuse type.

In addition, a Uniformity of Contracts sub-team formed, and meets regularly to review existing abuse provisions in registrar and registry agreements and to discuss questions related to the uniformity of contracts. The sub-team examines issues such as, would there be benefits to having more uniformity in contracts? How effective are existing provisions in dealing with registration abuse?

The RAP Working Group held an open meeting [TXT, 76 KB] in Seoul, South Korea last October. There, it briefed the community on its activities and discussions to date, including updates from the different sub-teams on Uniformity of Contracts and Spam, Phishing, Malware.

Click here for further background.

More Information

Staff Contacts

Marika Konings, Policy Director, and Margie Milam, Senior Policy Counselor


10. Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery WG Digests One Survey, Starts Another

At a Glance

To what extent should registrants be able to reclaim their domain names after they expire? At issue is whether the current policies of registrars on the renewal, transfer and deletion of expired domain names are adequate.

Recent Developments & Next Steps

The Working Group will continue meeting weekly to discuss the questions outlined in its charter. In order to facilitate forward motion in this process, a survey will be conducted among the members of the Working Group to assess their views on the various charter questions and determine where there is common ground and where there is further work to be done.

Background

For a history of the ICANN community’s policy development activities related to Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery, please refer to the PEDNR Background page.

More Information

Staff Contact

Marika Konings, Policy Director


11. GNSO Improvements: Internal Processes Tidy Up

Opinions Remain Divided on Approving a Consumer Constituency

At a Glance

Members of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) community are working to implement a comprehensive series of organizational changes designed to improve the effectiveness and accessibility of the organization. The GNSO Improvements fall into five main areas;

  • Restructuring the GNSO Council;
  • Revising the GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP);
  • Adopting a New Working Group Model for Policy Development;
  • Enhancing Constituencies; and
  • Improving Communication and Coordination with ICANN Structures.

The following update relates only the most recent developments regarding implementation of the GNSO Improvements. To understand the GNSO's new structure and organization, please see the discussion and diagrams on the GNSO Improvements webpage. For the reasons and history motivating the improvements, see the Background page.

Recent Developments

1. Restructuring the GNSO Council. Further modifications to the Council’s new operational rules and procedures are still under consideration (including matters regarding voting abstentions and Councilor statements of interest) and will likely be discussed by Council members during the Nairobi meeting.

2. Revising the PDP. As the work team efforts in this area move toward a conclusion, the Policy Process Steering Committee is currently confirming its membership to assure a smooth and efficient review effort.

3. Adopting a New Working Group Model. The work team responsible for this effort has published its “Working Group Guidelines.” The guidelines are available for public comment through 22 March 2010. In addition, a public information and consultation session on this topic is scheduled to take place at the ICANN meeting in Nairobi on Wednesday 10 March from 15.00 – 16.00 local time. For further information, see http://nbo.icann.org/node/8879.

4. Improving Communications and Coordination with ICANN Structures. The Communications work team is finalizing its latest technical report recommendations for the Operations Steering Committee of the GNSO Council. ICANN Staff is engaged in a number of planning efforts to lay the technical groundwork for implementing a wide variety of Council-approved enhancements to the GNSO website.

5. Enhancing Constituencies. The effort to create a level playing field for all the GNSO community’s formal Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies continues in three substantial areas: development of consistent operational guidelines and best practices; re-confirmation of existing constituency bodies; and support for proposals for potential new constituencies.

Consumers Constituency Petition Remains Under Consideration. The proposal for a new Consumers Constituency remains pending. A Public Comment Forum on the latest version of the

proposal was opened through 13 February and can be found here. Staff prepared a Summary-Analysis document reviewing the various comments filed regarding the proposal. The new constituency process also remains available for any other parties who might be interested in developing proposals for new GNSO Constituencies.

Existing GNSO Constituency “Reconfirmation” Efforts to Resume. Last year, the ICANN Board approved the concept of reconfirming the charters and operational mechanisms of each Constituency every three years. It set a timetable of March 2010 for formal resubmission of revised reconfirmation proposals by the existing GNSO Constituencies. Due to the need for constituencies to address other substantive policy priorities, this timetable will likely need to be stretched at least until the ICANN Brussels meeting this coming June.

Participation Rules Expected. The Constituency and Stakeholder Group Work Team is finalizing recommendations regarding a set of participation rules and operating procedures by which all constituencies and stakeholder groups should abide. When completed, those recommendations will be shared with the GNSO’s Operations Steering Committee and eventually passed on to the GNSO Council for review.

Permanent Stakeholder Group Charters to Regain Focus. The development of permanent Stakeholder Group charters for the GNSO’s non-contract party communities should see increased activity in the coming months. When the Board approved the four new GNSO Stakeholder Group structures in 2009, it acknowledged that the charters were transitional and that the community should develop permanent charters over the coming year. Based on community discussions in Seoul (October 2009), the Staff has reached out more broadly to constituency leaders to get their feedback on the timetables and benchmarks that will assure that permanent charters are completed in the Board-allotted time frame.

Next Steps

The GNSO’s various Work Teams will continue to develop recommendations for implementing the GNSO restructuring goals approved by the Board. Existing GNSO Constituencies will continue their reconfirmation discussions and it is hoped that recommendations from the GNSO Constituency Operations Work Team will combine with that process. Formal dialogue on permanent CSG and NCSG charters will also continue and start, respectively. The GNSO Council is considering extending the charters of the GNSO Steering Committees and their work teams to the Latin America ICANN meeting scheduled for December 2010.

ICANN Staff continues to field queries about potential new GNSO Constituencies and is available to work with all interested parties on developing proposals.

More Information

Staff Contact

Robert Hoggarth, Senior Policy Director


12. Other Issues Active in the GNSO


ASO

13. Four of Five RIRs Approve 2011 for Transition to 32-Bit ASN

At a Glance

Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) are discussing a proposed global policy for Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs). The proposal would change the date for a full transition from 16-bit to 32-bit ASNs from the beginning of 2010 to the beginning of 2011, in order to allow more time for necessary upgrades of the systems involved.

Recent Developments

The proposal has been introduced and has passed final call in all RIRs. It has been formally adopted in APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC and RIPE. Formal adoption in AfriNIC is imminent.

Next Steps

When all RIRs have adopted the proposal, the Number Resource Organization Executive Committee and the Address Supporting Organization Address Council (ASO AC) will review the proposal and then forward it to the ICANN Board for ratification and implementation by IANA.

Background

Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs) are identifiers used for transit of IP traffic. ASNs were originally 16 bits in length, but a transition to 32-bit ASNs is under way to meet increasing demand. In line with the adopted Global Policy currently in force for ASNs, 16-bit and 32-bit ASNs exist in parallel, but all will be regarded as 32 bits long beginning in 2010. The proposal defers that date to the beginning of 2011.

More Information

Staff Contact

Olof Nordling, Director Services Relations


14. Other Issues Active in the ASO


Joint Efforts

15. Geographic Regions Review WG Seeks More Community Input

Survey Document to Circulate Soon

At a Glance

The Geographic Regions Review Working Group published its Initial Report for community review and comment and is continuing its work on the second phase of its review efforts.

Recent Developments

Recent discussions of the Working Group have confirmed that it will take additional time to develop the second phase of its project – the WG Interim Report. WG members are using the additional time to seek further input from members of their individual communities about their knowledge of ICANN Geographic regions and its impact on their respective groups.

The Working Group has developed a community survey to glean extra insights about the applicability of the ICANN Geographic Regions framework on individual communities and community members. The survey is being made available in seven languages. Survey results will be used to help inform and direct the preparation of the Interim Report.

Ultimately, the Interim Report will build on the foundation of the Working Group’s Initial Report and begin to focus on some of the critical issues that it will ultimately address in its Final Report. The Interim Report will focus on three specific areas: (1) confirm the foundation elements set forth in the Initial Report; (2) review the underlying objectives of ICANN’s geographic regions framework; and (3) identify specific matters to be addressed in the ultimate Final Report to be produced next year.

Next Steps

Using its new survey, the Working Group hopes to spur additional community input about ICANN’s geographic regions framework and its impact in the ICANN ecosystem. The Working Group’s Interim Report will now be prepared for community review and comment before the international ICANN meeting in Brussels, Belgium this June. The Final Report that will include the working group’s recommendations (if any) is now expected to be published late this year.

Background

The Working Group completed its Initial Report in late July and published the document in all six UN languages for community review and comment. The 35-day public comment period closed in early September 2009, but community participation in the comment forum was minimal. The group is now looking to develop its Interim Report.

Click here for further background.

More Information

Staff Contact

Robert Hoggarth, Senior Policy Director


16. Internationalized Registration Data (IRD) WG Probes the Future of Worldwide Whois Data

At a Glance

Registration data is the information that domain name registrants enter into Whois, primarily so that appropriate parties can find who operates a web site. Increasingly, registration data is being entered in more of the world’s languages and scripts. The GNSO and SSAC created the Internationalized Registration Data Working Group (IRD-WG) to study the feasibility and suitability of introducing submission and display specifications to deal with the internationalization of Registration Data.

Recent Developments

The working group has continued its bi-monthly meetings, with members focusing on the following set of questions:

What should we require from internationalized registration data?

  • That a user can submit or have a domain name displayed in the IDN A-label (xn--) format or U-label (local language readable) format?
  • That registration data accommodate users who want to submit and have registration data displayed in “familiar” characters from local languages?
  • That data registration data be collected and displayed uniformly, in manners that would allow applications to process the data efficiently?
  • That some effort be made to reduce the opportunity for malicious use of multiple scripts in the composition of certain registration data?

How would internationalized registration data affect the way data is represented and displayed?

  • Should Whois support multiple representations of the same registration data, in different languages or scripts?
  • Is it desirable to adopt a “must be present” representation of data, in conjunction with local character set support for the convenience of "local users”?
  • Should we consider adopting a “format for civic address information" that's reasonably functional around the globe?

Next Steps

The working group will continue deliberations and may produce a preliminary report by the ICANN Brussels meeting in June 2010.

Background

While standard formats are defined for internationalized domain labels, no standard format is required for elements of a domain name registration record (Registration Data) such as contact information, host names, sponsoring registrar and domain name status. SSAC report SAC037 called attention to this matter. At the request of the ICANN Board, the GNSO and SSAC created an Internationalized Registration Data Working Group (IRD-WG).

The Working Group is chaired by Edmon Chung (.ASIA) and Jeremy Hitchcock (DYN-Inc). It is composed of 17 participants from 4 countries, 3 ccTLDs and 3 ICANN Supporting Organizations or Advisory Committees (SO/ACs).

More Information

The working group is looking forward to engaging participation from all ICANN SOs and ACs as well as Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) operators, to ensure broad community input. If you wish to join the working group, please email Julie Hedlund, Director of SSAC Support, at: julie.hedlund@icann.org.

Staff Contacts

Julie Hedlund, Dave Piscitello and Steve Sheng


17. Other Issues Active in Combined Efforts


At-Large

18. At-Large Community Braces for Busy Schedule in Nairobi

At a Glance

The At-Large community has been working in a bottom-up process for several months on developing the structure, format, and content of the At-Large Meetings to take place during the 37th ICANN Meeting scheduled to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, 7-12 March 2010.

Recent Developments

At-Large Meetings scheduled include:

  • An all-day ALAC and Regional Leadership Working Session
  • An AFRALO Showcase
  • Two Policy Discussion Sessions
  • An ALAC Improvements discussion with interested members of the ICANN Board’s Structural Improvements Committee and the Board Governance Committee
  • An ALAC meeting with members of the ICANN Board
  • An At-Large Regional Secretariats Meeting
  • An ALAC and Regional Leadership Wrap-Up Meeting
  • An ALAC Executive Committee Meeting

These meetings are not just for At-Large community representatives, though; all of these sessions are open to all ICANN meeting attendees. In addition, At-Large community members will also participate actively in many of the other sessions taking place during the ICANN Meeting in Nairobi, either in person or using remote participation tools.

More Information

Staff Contact

ICANN At-Large Staff


19. At-Large Prompts Publication of “Non-Lawyer’s Guide” to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement

At a Glance

The Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) uses legal verbiage too difficult for many people to understand. Because RAA language governs many of the services registrars offer to individual users, the ALAC Chair asked ICANN Staff to prepare a recap of the RAA that lay readers could understand. ICANN Staff published this “Non-Lawyer’s Guide” to the RAA in February.

Recent Developments

On 15 February, 2010, ICANN Staff published a document entitled “Non-Lawyer’s Guide to the May 2009 Registrar Accreditation Agreement.” The document, available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish, was produced in response to a request by the Chair of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), Cheryl Langdon-Orr, to the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Peter Dengate Thrush, for the production of a non-lawyer’s guide to ICANN’s Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA).

This guide does not alter or amend the RAA in any way, and is not a legal interpretation of the RAA. As noted in the request by the Chair of ALAC, the RAA is a legal document entered into between ICANN and Registrars, drafted under California law. As a result, a reader may have difficulty understanding the obligations ICANN and the Registrars have agreed to if the reader is not a party to this agreement; is unfamiliar with the United States legal system; is not a lawyer; or is a non-native English speaker.

The Non-Lawyer’s Guide provides a basic summary of the May 2009 RAA. It is intended to facilitate the ability of the At-Large community to engage effectively in discussions relating to the RAA, as well as to assist all members of the ICANN community in gaining a better understanding of the RAA.

Some registrars are still operating under the May 2001 RAA, so for them, some of the items discussed in the Guide to the 2009 RAA will not apply. You can see which registrars are working under the 2009 RAA by reviewing the Accredited Registrar list. (The RAA applicable to each registrar is identified in the “RAA” column.)

Next Steps

The Guide is an evolving document. ICANN staff welcomes comments and suggestions on how the Guide could be improved to be more useful to the At-Large community. Comments may be made by email to the At-Large Staff.

More Information

“Non-Lawyer’s Guide to the May 2009 Registrar Accreditation Agreement”

Staff Contact

Heidi Ullrich, At-Large Secretariat


20. LACRALO Publishes Outreach Brochure

At a Glance

Members of the At-Large Latin American and Caribbean Islands Regional At-Large Organization (LACRALO) worked collaboratively to create a brochure, which they will use for outreach activities and information dissemination.

Recent Developments

Members of the Latin American and Caribbean Islands At-Large Regional Organization (LACRALO) created a brochure to increase awareness of LACRALO within Latin American and the Caribbean Islands. The brochure highlights the key issues that LACRALO members are working on, including internationalized domain names (IDNs), the introduction of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), and the transition from Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) to the next-generation Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). The brochure will be used to facilitate their outreach activities.

Next Steps

LACRALO members will use their new brochure for reaching out to potential new At-Large Structures at regional meetings throughout Latin American and the Caribbean Islands. The brochure, available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, will be distributed at events such as ICANN’s 37th Meeting to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, March 7-12, 2010.

More Information

  • LACRALO Brochure in English
  • LACRALO Brochure in Spanish
  • LACRALO Brochure in Portuguese will be posted soon

Staff Contact

Matthias Langenegger, At-Large Regional Affairs Manager


SSAC

21. SSAC-Related Meetings in Nairobi, Kenya

On 26 February 2010 the SSAC released the second in a series of Activity Reports. This report describes the SSAC and SSAC-related meetings scheduled at the ICANN Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, 07-12 March 2010.

Partial highlights include:

The report showing the full range of SSAC activities in Nairobi is available on the SSAC web site.

Staff Contact

Julie Hedlund, Director, SSAC Support


22. Issues Active with the SSAC

The Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) continues to study issues related to scaling the root level of the Domain Name System, and is studying which aspects of the Terms of Reference developed for the Root Scaling Study need further consideration. On 26 February 2010 the SSAC released the first in a series of Activity Reports describing its 2010 Work Plan and work completed in 2009. The report is available on the SSAC web site [PDF, 124 KB]. As noted in the Activity Report, members of the committee are actively engaged in cross- Supporting Organization/Advisory Committee working groups studying SSAC recommendations from 2009 reports. In particular, members are:

The SSAC has formed a Work Party to conduct further research into the prevalence of orphaned records in TLDs. Orphaned records are resource records that remain even though their parent domain name no longer exists. [For more, refer to slide 23 and forward in this presentation from the SSAC Public Meeting at the ICANN meeting at Seoul, South Korea in October 2009; PDF, 1 MB.]

The 2010 SSAC survey of IPv6 capabilities in commercial firewalls will begin on or about 1 March 2010. The SSAC is working with ICSA Laboratories to reach appropriate contacts among ICSA's members. The second survey will also solicit responses from firewall administrators. (The results will be compiled and analyzed separately from vendor responses).

These and other topics may be the addressed in future SSAC Reports or Advisories. See the SSAC web site for more information about SSAC activities.

Staff Contact

Julie Hedlund, Director, SSAC Support; Dave Piscitello; Steve Sheng.

update-mar10-en [PDF, 173kB]

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