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ICANN Issues Third Breach Notice to Net 4 India Limited; Continues to Take Steps to Protect Registrants

LOS ANGELES – 29 January 2021 – To protect the rights and interests of domain name registrants, today the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) issued a third breach notice against Net 4 India Limited (Net 4 India) for its repeated and ongoing failures to comply with the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA).

This notice, as with the first two issued by ICANN against Net 4 India over the past two months, addresses numerous RAA violations detected through the processing of complaints submitted to ICANN Contractual Compliance. When a registrar fails to allow registrants to renew, transfer, and manage their domain names, ICANN will not hesitate to take whatever actions are necessary, up to and including termination of the registrar, to protect registrants' rights and interests.

"We are committed to using all available means to protect the rights and interests of domain name registrants, including terminating agreements with parties that fail to cure breaches and fail to deliver on their contractual commitments," said Jamie Hedlund, Senior Vice President, ICANN Contractual Compliance. "ICANN org will continue to monitor issues related to Net 4 India and will continue to respond by email and telephone to registrants seeking guidance and information."

Net 4 India is in insolvency proceedings in India, but is still required to continue to meet its obligations under the RAA. Over the last several months, Net 4 India has failed to cure numerous breaches of the RAA, and has failed to respond in a timely manner to registrant requests to transfer, renew, and/or update domain name registrations. As a result, in addition to the third notice issued today, ICANN issued two breach notices in December 2020 (addressed below). 

Net 4 India has asked the insolvency court to prevent ICANN from terminating the RAA for Net 4 India's failure to cure the numerous breaches. While maintaining its challenges to jurisdiction, ICANN explained to the court why Net 4 India's request should not be granted. ICANN provided the court with extensive information regarding Net 4 India's breaches, and the significant harm Net 4 India's actions are causing to hundreds, if not thousands, of registrants.   

On 25 January 2021, the insolvency court issued an order that acknowledged ICANN's input and specifically noted that the court was concerned with ensuring that the breaches were remedied so that the public interest and ICANN's interests are not harmed. The court then ordered Net 4 India, among other things, to provide services in a timely fashion to registrants pursuant to the RAA. In addition, without determining whether the court has jurisdiction over ICANN, the court requested (but did not order) that ICANN not terminate the RAA for three months while the insolvency proceedings continue, so long as Net 4 India complies with the RAA. ICANN is evaluating this request in light of Net 4 India's conduct and the harm it continues to inflict on registrants.

ICANN Contractual Compliance will continue to enforce the RAA with Net 4 India, including through today's issuance of a third breach notice within less than a two-month period. The third breach notice does not encompass all complaints that are currently in process as many continue to be within the informal resolution phase and dozens from the first two breach notices remain uncured.

Background on Notices of Breach and Potential Next Steps

The ICANN organization (ICANN org) issued prior breach notices on 10 December 2020 and 24 December 2020. To date, Net 4 India has failed to cure all the breaches noted. Failing to cure a breach notice within 21 days of its issuance is grounds for termination of the RAA. In addition, having been in fundamental and material breach three times within a 12-month period is a separate ground for termination of the RAA. All notices of breach, suspension, termination, and non-renewal are published here.

If ICANN terminates Net 4 India's RAA, ICANN will invoke the De-Accredited Registrar Transition Procedure, which would allow ICANN org to transfer domain names currently under the management of Net 4 India to an ICANN-accredited registrar in good standing. Once a gaining registrar is identified and confirmed, it would then be listed on the Bulk Transfers page.

Additional Information for Registrants

Registrants encountering issues regarding renewal, transfer, or management of domain name registrations can submit complaints to ICANN Contractual Compliance using the relevant forms at https://www.icann.org/compliance/complaint. Registrants are encouraged to provide all information and evidence relevant to their complaints with their initial submission so ICANN is able to expeditiously launch an investigation into the matter. Additional information related to ICANN support for registrants and those impacted by Net 4 India is available here

There are certain areas where ICANN does not have the contractual authority or the technical ability to help registrants. These include renewing domain names, generating AuthInfo codes, or unlocking domain names.

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a non-profit public benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.


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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."