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Termination of Registrar EstDomains to Go Ahead

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The termination of ICANN-accredited registrar EstDomains is to go ahead, effective 24 November 2008.

On 28 October 2008, ICANN sent a notice of termination to EstDomains, Inc. (EstDomains) based on an Estonian Court record reflecting the conviction of EstDomains' then president, Vladimir Tsastsin, of credit card fraud, money laundering and document forgery.

Pursuant to Section 5.3 of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), ICANN may terminate the RAA before its expiration when, "Any officer or director of [a] Registrar is convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor related to financial activities, or is adjudged by a court to have committed fraud or breach of fiduciary duty, or is the subject of judicial determination that ICANN deems as the substantive equivalent of any of these; provided such officer or director is not removed in such circumstances."

ICANN received a response from EstDomains on 29 October in which it indicated that the Estonian Court record on which ICANN relied was not final and had been appealed. ICANN pended the termination of EstDomains' RAA to analyze the claims made by EstDomains and to obtain independent information regarding the status of the alleged appeal.

On 7 November 2008, EstDomains was informed that, based on ICANN's findings, ICANN was proceeding with the termination of EstDomains' RAA, effective 24 November 2008.

ICANN's records indicate that EstDomains manages approximately 281,000 domain names. To protect the interests of registrants, on 28 October 2008, ICANN published a Request for Informations seeking expressions of interest from registrars to receive a bulk transfer of the domain names managed by de-accredited registrar EstDomains.

ICANN is analyzing the responses to that request and will take measures to effectuate a smooth transition of the domain names managed by EstDomains to a qualified ICANN- accredited registrar.

For information regarding ICANN's De-Accredited Registrar Transition Procedure, please go to: http://www.icann.org/processes/registrars/de-accredited-registrar-transition-procedure-01oct08.pdf [PDF,121K].

Registrants interested in immediately transferring their domain names are encouraged to read ICANN's Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy http://www.icann.org/en/transfers/policy-12jul04.htm for guidance regarding the transfer process.

Related links:

Original notice of termination:
http://www.icann.org/correspondence/burnette-to-tsastsin-28oct08-en.pdf [PDF,77K]

EstDomains response to notice of termination:
http://www.icann.org/correspondence/poltev-to-burnette-29oct08-en.pdf [PDF, 857K]

Letter to EstDomains concerning decision to proceed with termination:
http://www.icann.org/correspondence/burnette-to-poltev-07nov08-en.pdf [PDF, 57K]


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Domain Name System
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."