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SSAD ODP Update: Timeline Extension and Next Steps

28 September 2021

Over the past six months, the System for Standardized Access/Disclosure (SSAD) Operational Design Phase (ODP) project team has been working to evaluate the potential risks, anticipated costs, resource requirements, timelines, and dependencies associated with the implementation of an SSAD. Throughout this ODP process, the SSAD ODP project team has been committed to keeping the community involved and informed of its progress and project status. We thank those of you who joined our recent webinar to hear the update on our progress and discuss the complex work that lies ahead for the project team and for the community.

The SSAD – a proposed centralized system to handle nonpublic registration data requests – is a brand-new concept. No one has ever built or designed such a system. The complex and novel nature of the SSAD policy recommendations means there are many unknowns, which has required the SSAD ODP project team to make assumptions. To help form and validate these assumptions, a number of data collection activities have been conducted, including a Request for Information (RFI) to better understand the market availability of the technology necessary for such a system, and surveys for the community and contracted parties to understand the number of expected users and volume of requests.

This research has been extremely helpful in building out basic assumptions, but it has also raised more questions. The RFI, for example, had 17 respondents but none were able to provide a complete technical solution. In order to address these unknowns and fully answer the questions outlined in the ICANN Board's scoping document, the project has been extended beyond its original six-month timeline. This will give the project team more time to conduct necessary research while also giving the community an opportunity to provide feedback. Community input will be critical in order to answer some of these open questions and to make sure the project team's assumptions reflect the intention of the policy recommendations.

During last week's webinar, the SSAD ODP project team outlined the work it has conducted to better understand the system requirements and the marketplace demand. In addition, the project team discussed its assumptions related to the system design and the policy recommendations with the ICANN Board and the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council via their appointed liaison. Some of the cost-related assumptions, particularly the financial model, merit further engagement between the Board and the GNSO Council, including possible follow-up questions. The project team also highlighted assumptions for the community to consider:

  • Potential volume of nonpublic registration data requests:
    • High: 12 million requests annually generated by 3 million users.
    • Low: 100,000 requests annually generated by 25,000 users.
  • The data requestor will pay the SSAD fee to request the data even if their request results in denial.

Additional assumptions confirmed with the GNSO Council via GNSO Liaison:

  • A single request can contain disclosure requests for multiple domains as long as all the domain names are individually specified in a fully qualified format.
  • Response Targets and Compliance Targets reviews are expected to be done across all contracted parties (CPs), and conducted by the GNSO Standing Committee.
  • The disclosure request history will be saved not only by the Central Gateway Manager (CGM), but also by CPs for any requests that were routed to them.
  • The SSAD user fee will cover the operating cost of only the Accreditation Authority, Identity Providers, and CGM.
  • ICANN's central Accreditation Authority will only accredit nongovernmental entities.
  • Governmental entities will only be accredited by their relevant country or territory Accreditation Authority.

The SSAD ODP project team will provide another update during ICANN72 where additional questions and assumptions, as well as a business process design, will be presented to the community for consideration. The session will also allow for community feedback on the assumptions outlined above.

ICANN community engagement and transparency during this ODP process is critical to its success. Any SSAD ODP-related feedback or questions can always be sent to ODP-SSAD@icann.org. Please review the terms and acknowledgment before submitting your comment, available here.

I would like to thank everyone who has participated in this inaugural ODP. I look forward to engaging with you at ICANN72.

SSAD ODP Resources


Eleeza Agopian

Eleeza Agopian

Vice President, Strategic Initiatives