This public comment proceeding is being opened in order to obtain community input on the Initial Report from the GNSO's Policy Development Process Working Group on issues relating to the accreditation of privacy and proxy service providers. ICANN has committed to developing and implementing an accreditation program for privacy and proxy service providers. The 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement contains an interim Specification providing for certain minimum requirements relating to the provision of privacy and proxy services. This interim Specification is due to expire on 1 January 2017 or the implementation of ICANN's accreditation program, whichever first occurs. Public comments on the Initial Report may be provided directly to the Public Comment Forum. In case commenters find it more convenient to use a structured format for their responses, a template has also been provided. However, comments that do not use the template are also very welcome.
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose
This Working Group was tasked to provide the GNSO Council with "policy recommendations regarding the issues identified during the 2013 RAA negotiations, including recommendations made by law enforcement and GNSO working groups, that were not addressed during the 2013 RAA negotiations and otherwise suited for a PDP; specifically, issues relating to the accreditation of Privacy & Proxy Services." The Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) is the contract that governs the relationship between ICANN and its accredited registrars (a directory of accredited registrars can be found at http://www.internic.net/regist.html). Its provisions also may have impacts on registrants and other third parties involved in the domain name system. In June 2013, the ICANN Board approved a new 2013 RAA (the provisions of which can be found at http://www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/raa/approved-with-specs-27jun13-en.pdf [PDF, 913 KB]).
In initiating negotiations for the 2013 RAA with the Registrars Stakeholder Group in October 2011, the ICANN Board had also requested an Issue Report from the GNSO that, upon the conclusion of the RAA negotiations, would start a GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP) to address remaining issues not dealt with in the RAA negotiations that would be suited to a PDP. The GNSO Council approved the charter for this effort at its meeting on 31 October 2013 and a Working Group (WG) was formed. The outcome of this PDP will guide ICANN's implementation of the planned accreditation program for privacy and proxy service providers, as the current Interim Specification relating to privacy and proxy services in the 2013 RAA is set to expire on 1 January 2017.
The WG's charter contains 19 specific questions for the WG, derived from the Staff Paper that was published in September 2013 summarizing the outcome of the 2013 RAA negotiations, and several additional questions covering additional, related topics. The Charter questions cover issues including registration and maintenance of a privacy/proxy service, provider contactability and responsiveness, de-accreditation and topics that have been of longstanding discussion amongst the ICANN community, including provider obligations in relation to "relay" and "reveal" procedures to handle requests for the disclosure of a privacy/proxy customer's identity and contact details.
The WG's preliminary recommendations cover all aspects of its Chartered questions, and include specific recommendations concerning "relay and "reveal". Some of these preliminary recommendations cover only certain aspects of a Charter topic, with the WG yet to reach consensus on the remaining aspects and open questions. In some instances, a preliminary recommendation or an open question may include bracketed language indicating alternative versions still under consideration by the WG and for which they would particularly welcome community input.
Following analysis of all public comments received, the WG will finalize its recommendations and prepare a Final Report for delivery to the GNSO Council, for its review and action.
Section II: Background
The Working Group (WG) commenced its work in December 2013 through weekly teleconference meetings, discussions on its mailing list and face-to-face sessions involving the broader community at ICANN Public Meetings. In addition, the WG was selected by the GNSO Council to participate in a pilot face-to-face full-day session, assisted by a community facilitator, immediately prior to the ICANN Public Meeting in Los Angeles in October 2014. It also received briefings from ICANN's Registrar Services Department and feedback from ICANN's Compliance Department, as well as responses to its solicitations for ICANN community input on its Chartered tasks from the GNSO's Business, Intellectual Property and Internet Service & Connectivity Providers constituencies and the Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group, and ICANN's At-Large Advisory Committee.
The WG has developed preliminary recommendations for a number of the charter questions it was tasked to address, which are described in its Initial Report [PDF, 1.3 MB]. The Initial Report also contains several open questions on which the WG has yet to reach consensus as well as a number of alternative formulations for certain proposals. Community feedback is therefore sought on the preliminary recommendations, open questions and alternative formulations. The WG will review all public comments received as part of its preparations of its Final Report for delivery to and vote by the GNSO Council.
Section III: Relevant Resources
Section IV: Additional Information