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Breach Notices Sent to Joker.com and DNS.com.cn | Registrars given 15 days to fix their Whois investigation efforts

Updated: 3 October 2008

Update: Joker.com's reply and ICANN's response have been posted at http://www.icann.org/en/compliance/.

ICANN has sent breach notices to two ICANN-accredited registrars, Beijing Innovative Linkage Technology Ltd., doing business as DNS.com.cn and Joker.com, on 30 September 2008.

These registrars failed to comply with Section 3.7.8 of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) which requires registrars to take "reasonable steps to investigate" Whois inaccuracy claims.

Section 3.7.8 of the RAA requires registrars, "…upon notification by any person of an inaccuracy in the contact information associated with a Registered Name sponsored by Registrar, take reasonable steps to investigate the claimed inaccuracy. In the event Registrar learns of inaccurate contact information associated with a Registered Name it sponsors, it shall take reasonable steps to correct that inaccuracy."

In November 2007, ICANN audited registrar compliance with the investigation of Whois inaccuracy claims filed through ICANN's Whois Data Problem Report System (WDPRS). The audit analyzes the complaints as well as complainant follow-up correspondence indicating "no change" to Whois data 45 days after the claim is filed. Registrars that appear to take no action in response to a significant percentage of WDPRS complaints are sent a Notice of Concern that request they provide ICANN with details regarding the steps taken to investigate the claimed Whois inaccuracies - as required by Section 3.7.8 of the RAA.

On 29 May 2008, ICANN sent Joker.com and DNS.com.cn Notices of Concern. Both subsequently assured ICANN that they were investigating Whois inaccuracy claims and had suitable processes in place to do so. However, ICANN found compelling evidence leading to a conclusion that both DNS.com.cn and Joker.com do not appear to be taking reasonable steps to investigate these claims as required.

Accordingly, on 30 September 2008 ICANN sent DNS.com.cn and Joker.com notices of breach of contract. To avoid the commencement of the termination process, DNS.com.cn and Joker.com must cure the cited breaches within 15 days. ICANN will pursue all remedies available under the terms of the RAA, including possible termination, if DNS.com.cn and Joker.com fail to cure the cited breaches.

DNS.com.cn has over 300,000 domain names under management and Joker.com has over 600,000 domain names under management.

ICANN's efforts to improve Whois accuracy are ongoing and registrars are advised to investigate every claim of Whois inaccuracy received as required by Section 3.7.8 of the RAA to avoid compliance action by ICANN.

For more information on this and other compliance matters, please review the most recent Contractual Compliance Newsletter (link below).

Related links:

Breach Notice to Beijing Innovative Linkage Technology Ltd., doing business as DNS.com.cn

http://www.icann.org/en/compliance/burnette-to-hu-30sep08.pdf

Breach Notice to Joker.com

http://www.icann.org/en/compliance/burnette-to-legenhausen-30sep08.pdf

Relevant section of Registrar Accreditation Agreement that has been breached:

http://www.icann.org/registrars/ra-agreement-17may01.htm#3

September Contractual Compliance newsletter

http://www.icann.org/en/compliance/archive/compliance-newsletter-200809.html


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Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."