The 2006-2007 ICANN Operating Plan (http://www.icann.org/announcements/operating-plan-22jun06.htm) describes the series of projects and deliverables based on the ICANN Strategic Plan (http://www.icann.org/announcements/strategic-plan-22jun06.htm). According to the Operating Plan, ICANN is to "establish a comprehensive plan to be followed in the event of financial, technical or business failure of a registry operator, including full compliance with data escrow requirements and recovery testing" (see Section 1.1.2).
The Operating Plan also states that "ICANN will review gTLD registry data escrow requirements, including the establishment of an escrow agent and quality assurance plan, study registry failover and ensure continuation of operations in the event of a physical or business failure of registry operations" (see Section 1.1.6-7).
This report has been prepared as part of the Registry Failover Project (project # 1C, http://www.icann.org/announcements/operating-plan-status-30nov06.pdf), to assist with the review of ICANN's existing data escrow requirements for gTLD registries, and to contribute to the above mentioned deliverables. As a part of the review, ICANN is working with several gTLD registries to examine data from an escrow deposit for the purpose of determining whether the current requirements are sufficient or need to be improved.
ICANN's gTLD registry staff are in the process of consulting with the gTLD registry operators and sponsors to obtain further information on the experiences of these registries with the data escrow requirements. Their experiences and recommendations will be incorporated into the final version of the data escrow review, to be published on the ICANN website by 30 April 2007. ICANN staff are also looking for feedback from data escrow providers and the community to articulate the objectives of data escrow, define the circumstances in which ICANN should have access to the data and the data elements necessary for a successor operator to provide registry services in the event that it becomes necessary for a new operator to assume the operation of a gTLD registry.
The next step in the review of ICANN's gTLD registry data escrow requirements is to examine a data sample and to engage registries, data escrow providers and the community in a dialogue on the data escrow requirements. As a result of that dialogue, ICANN gTLD registry staff will provide further recommendations on areas for improvement of the existing data escrow requirements.