ICANN has concluded negotiations and entered into an agreement with Iron Mountain Intellectual Property Management, Inc. to provide escrow services under ICANN's Registrar Data Escrow (RDE) program. ICANN selected Iron Mountain through a competitive Request for Proposals process concluded earlier this year.
Under the data escrow provision of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), all ICANN-accredited registrars must regularly deposit a backup copy of their gTLD registration data with ICANN through ICANN's arrangement with Iron Mountain or they may elect to use a Third Party Provider of RDE services that has been approved by ICANN. The data held in escrow may be released to ICANN upon termination of a registrar's accreditation agreement or expiration of the accreditation agreement without renewal to facilitate transfer of registrations from the failed registrar to another registrar. ICANN plans to have all accredited registrars enrolled in the RDE program within the next six months.
"The vast majority of ICANN-accredited registrars offer high levels of service and integrity," said Dr. Paul Twomey, ICANN's President and CEO. "But as we have seen, there is the risk that a poorly performing registrar can hurt registrants significantly. ICANN's Registrar Data Escrow program provides an important additional layer of protection for registrants."
ICANN and Iron Mountain will begin enrolling registrars in the RDE program immediately. Registrars who elect to use Iron Mountain's escrow service will be required to enter into a standardized agreement with ICANN and Iron Mountain [PDF, 49K]. Escrow agents who wish to apply for approval as a Third Party Provider (TPP) should review ICANN's TPP Approval Criteria [PDF, 21K] and TPP Approval Process Diagram [PDF, 121K], and submit a completed TPP Application [PDF, 21K, MS Word, 61K] to ICANN. All registrars and escrow agents must comply with ICANN's RDE Specifications [PDF, 33K].