On 19 January 2023, contracted parties will begin voting on the proposed 2023 Global Amendments to the Base Generic Top-level Domain (gTLD) Registry Agreement (RA) and 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA). This voting period is an important and decisive step in our commitment to the Internet community to improve the WHOIS system by updating the underlying technology with the more secure and capable Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP). Engagement from gTLD registries and ICANN-accredited registrars (contracted parties) in this voting process will be critical and ICANN org encourages all contracted parties to take the time to review the global amendments and vote accordingly.
The proposed global amendments specify operational requirements for providing Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS) via RDAP and detail the sunset of certain obligations for registries and registrars to provide RDDS via the WHOIS protocols. The proposed global amendments were carefully negotiated by the Contracted Party House Negotiating Team, which is made up of members of the gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) and Registrar Stakeholder Group (RrSG). The proposed amendments were open for feedback from the ICANN community via a Public Comment proceeding. The Public Comment Summary Report is available here.
From the start of the voting period on 19 January, contracted parties will have 60 days to approve or reject the proposed global amendments. Voting will be carried out by eBallot, a secure third party online voting platform operated by Votenet. In order for the proposed Global Amendments to be approved, a majority threshold will have to be met for gTLD registries (over 50 percent) and ICANN-accredited registrars (90 percent). Following the vote, the proposed global amendments will be sent to the ICANN Board for consideration. The proposed global amendments also require the approval of the ICANN Board. If the proposed global amendments do not reach the needed majority thresholds, then they will go back to the negotiating teams to discuss next steps.
Detailed information on the proposed global amendments, voting process and procedures, and key dates is available here. The results of the vote will be made publicly available at the above link.
Webinars for Contracted Parties
ICANN org will hold two informational webinars for contracted parties on 17 and 18 January. The webinars will review the proposed global amendments and provide an overview of the voting process and procedures to ensure each registry and registrar has the information they need to participate in the vote. To register, visit the RDAP Global Amendments page. The webinars will be translated and recorded. Questions from contracted parties should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The RDAP protocol makes access to data from the WHOIS system more secure and provides many advantages over the current WHOIS protocols. Some of the benefits of RDAP include standardized queries, secure access to data, extensibility, differentiated access, support for internationalization of registration data, and enabling search for objects. The scalable technical architecture will also be able to accommodate any new and future policy-driven functionality requirements. All contracted parties have been required to provide RDDS over RDAP for all gTLD domain names since 26 August 2019. More information on RDAP is available here.