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ICANN POLICY UPDATE | Volume 09, Issue 03 – March 2009

PDF Version [181 KB]

http://www.icann.org/en/topics/policy/

CONTENTS:

  1. YOUR INPUT NEEDED NOW ON POLICY-RELATED ISSUES
  2. IDN CCTLD FAST TRACK PLANNING IMPLEMENTATION
  3. E-CRIME & DNS ABUSE FORUM LAUNCHED IN MEXICO CITY
  4. GNSO IMPROVEMENTS IMPLEMENTATION EFFORTS ADVANCE AT MEXICO CITY MEETING
  5. GLOBAL IPV4 POLICY RATIFIED BY ICANN BOARD
  6. WORKING GROUP TACKLES ICANN GEOGRAPHIC REGIONS FRAMEWORK
  7. SSAC MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS ON DOMAIN NAME CONTACT POINTS
  8. SSAC PRESENTS STATUS OF DNSSEC DEPLOYMENT
  9. SSAC COMMENTS ON ICANN STRATEGIC PLAN
  10. REGISTRATION ABUSE POLICIES GET CLOSER LOOK
  11. CCNSO STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL PLANNING WORKING GROUP ADVANCES
  12. GNSO COUNCIL ASKS FOR WHOIS STUDY COST ESTIMATES
  13. GNSO CONSIDERS EXPIRED DOMAIN NAME RECOVERY CHANGES
  14. MAKING IT EASIER TO TRANSFER DOMAINS BETWEEN REGISTRARS
  15. HOW DO WE DEAL WITH FAST FLUXING CYBERCRIMINALS?
  16. NEW GTLD PROCESS DRAWS CCNSO ATTENTION
  17. CCNSO COUNCIL INITIATES FORMATION OF TWO WORKING GROUPS; CLOSES TWO OTHERS
  18. CCNSO COUNCIL RE-APPOINTS CHAIR AND ELECTS TWO NEW VICE-CHAIRS
  19. DISTANCE LEARNING...AUDIO POLICY BRIEFINGS ON MANY TOPICS NOW AVAILABLE

The ICANN Policy Update contains brief summaries of issues being addressed by the ICANN community’s bottom-up policy development structure, as well as information on related policy development activities. ICANN’s Policy Staff publishes these monthly updates to maximize transparency and encourage broad community participation in ICANN’s policy development activities.

Links to additional information are included and readers are encouraged to go beyond these brief summaries to learn more about the ICANN community’s work. As always, the Policy Staff welcomes comments and suggestions on how to improve its policy communications efforts. Please send these comments to policy-staff@icann.org.

ICANN Policy Update Available in Russian, Chinese, Arabic, French, Spanish, English

The ICANN Policy Update is available in all six official languages of the United Nations: English (EN), Spanish (ES), French (FR), Arabic (AR), Chinese (Simplified -- siZH), and Russian (RU). The Policy Update is posted on ICANN’s website and available via online subscription. If you would like us to send these updates directly to your inbox each month, simply go to the ICANN subscriptions page , enter your e-mail address, and select “Policy Update” to subscribe. This service is free of charge to subscribers. More information is available at:

What’s on the Calendar for today?

Keep up-to-date on what’s happening in ICANN policy development by visiting the online calendars of ICANN’s policy development bodies. Three of the most active calendars include:

1. YOUR INPUT NEEDED NOW ON POLICY-RELATED ISSUES

As of this writing, public comment periods are open on 14 issues of interest to the ICANN community. Act now for the opportunity to share your views on:

  • The President’s Strategy Committee draft Implementation Plan for Improving Confidence in ICANN was submitted to the ICANN Board in Mexico City and is now posted for public comment. The plan outlines a framework for transitioning ICANN to the private sector. Comment period closes 11 May 2009.

  • Review an independent analysis of new gTLDs on consumer welfare and price caps for new gTLD Internet registries. Comment period closes 17 April 2009.

  • A Board Review Interim Report is available for public comment. The report presents the Board Review Working Group’s initial thinking, reflects the work of an independent reviewer as well as Board input, and community consultation. Comment period closes 17 April 2009.

  • An independent consultant’s report on the RSSAC is available for public comment prior to its finalization. Comment period closes 17 April 2009.

  • The community is encouraged to comment on how well ICANN’s FY 10 Operating Plan and Budget address priorities identified in the Strategic Plan.  This year, specifically in light of the world economic climate, the community is encouraged to comment regarding the plan elements that might be streamlined, reduced, or deferred. Comment period closes 30 April 2009.

  • The Draft Applicant Guidebook, V2 is now available for review and comment at http:/www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/comments-2-en.htm. Comment period closes 13 April 2009.

  • The Ombudsman’s acts as an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) office for members of the ICANN community who may wish to lodge a complaint that the staff, board or a constituent body has treated them unfairly. The Board Governance Committee has made revisions to the Ombudsman’s framework and that document is posted for comment. Comment period closes 12 April 2009.

  • Once approved, a new form of RAA will be used with newly accredited registrars, with registrars that are up for renewal, and voluntarily by registrars that wish to enter the new contract prior to their renewal date. Comment period closes 6 April 2009.

  • As part of the comprehensive GNSO Improvements effort, last August the ICANN Board approved the formation of four new Stakeholder Groups (SGs). Comment on the charters of the Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group, Commercial Stakeholders Group, Registry Stakeholders Group and Registrars Stakeholders Group. Comment period closes 5 April 2009.

  • ICANN has released an update to the Draft Implementation Plan for introduction of a limited number of IDN ccTLDs. Comment period closes 6 April 2009.

  • The ongoing GNSO Improvements process has created significant community interest in the formation of new GNSO constituencies and several groups have stepped forward to begin the process of forming a new GNSO constituency. The ICANN Board has now received its first formal petition - from the prospective CyberSafety Constituency. Review and comment on the group’s petition and charter. Comment period closes 5 April 2009.

  • ICANN has developed a draft, proposed Registrar Disqualification Procedure to codify its procedures for registrar disqualification. Comment period closes 28 March 2009.

  • ALAC Review Working Group Report – The Board’s ALAC Review Working Group (WG) has released its draft Final Report presenting its conclusions on ALAC improvements for public comment. Comment period closes 17 April 2009.

2. IDN CCTLD FAST TRACK IMPLEMENTATION PLANNING

At a Glance

Discussion of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track implementation plan and a range of related issues will continue, leading up to Sydney.

Recent Developments

At the ICANN Mexico City meeting, the ccNSO, along with other Supporting Organisations, Advisory Committees and the broader community, discussed the second version of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Implementation Plan. The Plan provides the roadmap and many implementation details for the Fast Track process. Plan modules include:

  • Fast Track eligibility requirements;
  • TLD string criteria and requirements;
  • Technical committee considerations;
  • Fast Track request and evaluation process; and the
  • TLD Delegation Process

The discussion focused on the proposed documentation of responsibilities and financial contribution to ICANN’s costs of operation and, in particular, whether or not the “Document of Responsibilities” (DOR) or financial contribution should be compulsory. The ccNSO adopted a resolution relating to these two topics.

Next Steps

Public comments on version two of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Implementation Plan will close 7 April.

More information

Staff Contact

Bart Boswinkel, ccNSO Policy Advisor

3. E-CRIME & DNS ABUSE FORUM LAUNCHED IN MEXICO CITY

At a Glance

New challenges and ways to combat abuse of the DNS were discussed by a diverse Internet community at ICANN’s Mexico City meeting, including participants from law enforcement, security researchers, consumer advocates, ccTLDs, gTLD registries, and registrars .

Recent Developments

ICANN conducted an E-Crime and Abuse of the DNS Forum on 4 March 2009 at its Mexico City meeting. The forum encouraged discussion and working relationships among a wide variety of stakeholders. Panelists included law enforcement, security researchers, consumer advocates, ccTLD registries and gTLD registries and registrars from all over the world. Participants received what opening speaker Alejandro Pisanty termed “an overview of the general landscape of cybercrime, the abuses of the Domain Name System, a number of different responses, a role for ICANN in particular in some of these cases.”   Panel one included remarks of Beau Brendler, director of Consumer Reports Webwatch. Brendler said that consumers in the U.S. lost $8.5 billion to e-crime, including $2.9 billion to viruses, $3.6 billion to spyware and $2 billion to phishing. Panelist Fred Felman of MarkMonitor discussed how crimes against brand rights are actually crimes against consumers, while Panelist Jeffrey Bedser, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Internet Crimes Group, discussed the purposes and methods behind criminal botnets, networks of millions of hijacked servers used for activities such as identity theft, phishing and pharming. Bedser warned that technology companies will remain by definition reactive to the problems posed by criminal botnets and said the necessary intelligence gathering requires the cooperation of those involved in infrastructure, policymaking and law enforcement.   Rod Rassmussen, President and Chief Technology Officer at Internet Identity, served as lead off speaker on Panel two, provided a series of case studies, including one describing how compromised servers at an online checking paying firm resulted in the redirection of thousands of users to a malware site in the Ukraine, disruption of service and the inability of consumers to pay bills, the infection of machines and the shut down of a bill paying system for two days. Other speakers included:   Tim Ruiz, Vice President of Corporate Development and Policy at GoDaddy, who described the process of how the registrar responds to complaints about criminal activity or abuse; Greg Aaron, Director, Key Account Management and Domain Security, Afilias, who described how his registry acts as a problem reporting clearinghouse for the organization’s registrars. Aaron said Afilias worked with registrars in 2008 to suspend approximately 90,000 domains and remove vulnerabilities from thousands of others; Jeff Neuman, Vice President for Law and Policy, Neustar, a gTLD registry, who said his firm put an anti-abuse policy in place in 2006. Neuman said his registry became involved in abuse prevention out of concern for legitimate dot.biz owners, creating a testing lab and establishing a policy giving registrars 12 hours to remove problem-causing domain names; Bobby Flaim, Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation, said his agency received 275,000 complaints last year related to e-crime, a 33 percent increase over 2007 levels.  

Breakout sessions allowed over 300 attendees to explore these issues in greater detail. Attendees joined focused groups for the last hour of the workshop and discussed issues and potential next steps involving:

  • Law Enforcement and ccTLDs;
  • Consumer Protection in Existing and New TLDs;
  • The Role of ICANN; and
  • e-Crime in Latin America.
Next Steps

The community requested additional sessions on e-Crime in Sydney, including how to get ccTLDs and law enforcement to enhance cooperation, information sharing and best practices, and protecting consumers from e-crime.

More Information

Workshop agenda and presentations: http://mex.icann.org/node/2653

Workshop transcripts: http://mex.icann.org/files/meetings/mexico2009/transcript-ecrime-04mar09-en.txt

Staff Contact:

Margie Milam, Senior Policy Counselor

4. GNSO IMPROVEMENTS IMPLEMENTATION ADVANCE AT MEXICO CITY MEETING

At a Glance

The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) community is working to implement a comprehensive series of organizational and structural changes designed to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and accessibility of the organization. Interested community members are encouraged to offer their expertise and brainpower by volunteering to participate in the effort.

Recent Developments

Progress continues in overall implementation, coordination and planning for transition to a newly structured GNSO Council.

Proposed Charters for the four new GNSO Stakeholder Groups were submitted for Board consideration and made available for public review and comment while the community gathered in Mexico City. Two charters were submitted for the Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group, and there were extensive discussions about the form and substance of all five proposals.

Staff received Notice of Intent to Form New GNSO Constituency (NOIF) documents from two new constituencies. Proponents of the City Top-Level-Domain Constituency and the Consumer Constituency joined the CyberSafety Constituency (which had submitted its NOIF in October 2008) at the GNSO Council meeting in Mexico City to introduce themselves and their plans to the broader community. The CyberSafety constituency submitted its formal petition for recognition to the Board and that proposal has now also been made available for community review and comment.

Work teams efforts to address the broader “improvements” initiatives took significant steps during the Mexico City ICANN Meeting. The five GNSO Improvements work teams all convened and worked on leadership structure and charter confirmation matters as a precursor to tackling their substantive work to improve a variety of GNSO processes, structures and operations (e.g. the GNSO’s policy development process and its online information sharing tools). A special drafting team of the GNSO Council also met to discuss transitioning to a new Council structure later this year.

Starting/Building/Launching New GNSO Constituencies

Staff developed a two-step process for establishing a new constituency, the details of which are available on the GNSO Improvements webpage. Groups interested in forming new GNSO constituencies may apply at any time. Currently three new constituencies are at various stages of potential formation:

  • The potential Cybersafety Constituency followed its October 2008 “Notice of Intent To Form A New GNSO Constituency” (NOIF) with a formal petition submission to the ICANN Board. The petition has been posted for public comment until 5 April 2009.
  • The potential City Top-Level-Domain Constituency has submitted an NOIF, as has the potential Consumers Constituency. The proponents of all three potential new constituencies publicly introduced their plans and concepts at the GNSO Council meeting on 4 March.
  • Members of the At-Large community continue to engage in discussions on how to support creation of a Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group, and how to potentially create additional non-commercial oriented constituencies that would enable the voice of individual Internet users to be represented in a way that is not duplicative of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC). At the Mexico City Board meeting on 6 March, several Board members acknowledged these efforts and expressed hope that those discussions would translate into some substantive structural mechanisms in the short term.

Reconfirming Current Constituencies

All six existing GNSO constituencies submitted their charters for re-confirmation to the ICANN Board in late January and early February. Those submissions were posted to the ICANN web site and members of the community commented on them until late February. At its 6 March meeting, the Board directed ICANN Staff to prepare an analysis of the constituencies' submissions and public comments, and to identify recommendations for changes that the Board may want to request each constituency to make over the coming months. The Board wants the recommended changes to ensure that all existing GNSO constituency charters and subsequent constituency activities comply with ICANN bylaws, principles and other concepts approved by the Board over the last nine months. The Board expects to receive follow-up submissions from constituencies, as needed, no later than its June 2009 meeting to confirm that the constituencies have implemented recommended changes.

Creating New Stakeholder Groups

As noted above, five new Stakeholder Group charters have been submitted for Board review and approval. Single proposals were submitted for the Registry, Registrar and Commercial Stakeholder Groups. Two submissions were logged for the Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group (NCSG). All five charters have been subjected to a Public Comment Forum (see - http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/#sg-petitions. To become familiar with the GNSO's new structure and organization, including the role of Stakeholder Groups, please see the discussion and diagrams on the GNSO Improvements webpage.

Next Steps

While the ICANN Board still officially expects a new Council to be seated at the June 2009 ICANN Meeting in Sydney, that timeframe faces significant community bandwidth pressures. These include substantial community work on substantive policy matters and some fundamental differences in the approach to a number of implementation mechanisms being pursued by community members. Resolution may require a longer timetable in the short run to produce a more effective and efficient framework for the long-term operations of the GNSO.

In the meantime, the various work teams and steering committees will continue to work on developing recommendations on the broader improvements issues in hope of realizing the new GNSO as soon as practically possible.

Background

Through a series of decisions at its February, June, August and October 2008 meetings, the ICANN Board of Directors has endorsed a series of goals, objectives and recommendations for improving several aspects of the Generic Names Supporting Organization’s (GNSO) structure and operations. These decisions are a culmination of a two-year effort of independent review, community input and Board deliberations.

Click here for more background details.

More Information

Staff Contact

Robert Hoggarth, Senior Policy Director

5. GLOBAL IPV4 POLICY RATIFIED BY ICANN BOARD

At a Glance

Regional Internet Registries have adopted a policy to allocate the remaining IPv4 address blocks and submitted the policy to the ICANN Board for ratification. The ICANN Board ratified the policy on 6 March 2009.

Recent Developments

A proposal for allocating the remaining IPv4 address blocks was submitted to the ICANN Board for ratification on 4 February 2009. All five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) had approved the proposed policy. The Number Resource Organization Executive Committee and the Address Supporting Organization Address Council reviewed the proposal and, on 8 January 2009, approved forwarding it to the ICANN Board.

The proposal was posted for public comments on the ICANN website from 5 - 26 February 2009, receiving a single comment in support of the proposal.

A new global policy proposal for recovery and reallocation of IPv4 address space is under development in the RIRs and will be further described in future issues.

Next Steps

ICANN staff will implement the policy, essentially meaning one /8 IPv4 address block will be allocated to each of the RIRs when the IANA pool of free /8 IPv4 address blocks is reduced to five, expected to occur in 2011.

Background

Click here for more details.

More Information

Staff Contact

Olof Nordling, Director Services Relations

6. WORKING GROUP TACKLES GEOGRAPHIC REGIONS FRAMEWORK

At a Glance

A community-wide working group has begun efforts to review ICANN’s system of geographic regions to help ensure effective international diversity in the organization’s structures.

Recent Developments

The Geographic Regions Working Group produced a proposed charter document that was posted for community review and comments through 24 March 2009 (see - http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/#regions-charter). The working group, which includes representatives from interested ICANN structures (including the ALAC, ccNSO, GAC and GNSO) met during the Mexico City ICANN meeting to review the issue of geographic regions in the broader ICANN context. The working group is working to gather information on the application of geographic regions throughout various ICANN structures and operational processes.

Next Steps

Staff will summarize all comments received on the proposed charter and supply a summary and analysis document to the Board. A decision on the proposed charter is likely to take place at the 23 April ICANN Board meeting.

Background

Click here for details.

More Information

Staff Contact:

Robert Hoggarth, Senior Policy Director

7. SSAC MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS ON DOMAIN NAME CONTACT POINTS

At a Glance

SSAC memo recommends GNSO consider steps for registrar point of contact information to reign in abuse.

Recent Developments

Online abuse and illegal activity can involve attackers exploiting domain name resolution and registration services. The ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee has published a policy memo for GNSO consideration outlining a series of recommended steps for registrars and resellers to help reduce abusive, malicious and illegal practices through better contact point information. SAC 038: Registrar Abuse Point of Contact, issued on 26 February 2009, considers the difficulties law enforcement, CERTs, and others may experience when they attempt to contact ICANN accredited registrars to make inquiries regarding the possible involvement of a domain name in a malicious, illegal or criminal activity.

SSAC concludes that currently available registrar point of contact information does not meet the community's needs and recommends that each registrar should provide an abuse point of contact and that the staff handling abuses should be responsive, empowered to take effective action, and that abuse claims should be auditable by the claimant.

More information

SSAC report: http://www.icann.org/committees/security/sac038.pdf
SSAC website: http://www.icann.org/en/committees/security/

Staff Contact:

Dave Piscitello

8. SSAC PRESENTS STATUS OF DNSSEC DEPLOYMENT

At a Glance

SSAC reports favorable progress on DNSSEC deployment.

Recent Developments

SSAC has nearly completed its study of the state of DNSSEC deployment. At the ICANN Mexico City Meeting, Dr. Stephen Crocker reported on all seven study question areas that SSAC undertook in February 2008:

  • Protocol Completeness
  • Key Rollover Process
  • Trust Anchor Repositories
  • Implementation & Deployment Testing
  • Performance and Error Analysis
  • End User Application Development
  • Availability of DNSSEC Features on Name Server Platforms

Generally, the report shows favorable progress in DNSSEC deployment. Some work remains on measuring DNSSEC performance and further testing may be prudent in this area as well as router and firewall processing of DNSSEC messages. Other areas that require attention are how registrars will support DNSSEC for customers and how secure domain transfers will be managed.

More Information

SSAC DNSSEC report: http://mex.icann.org/files/meetings/mexico2009/ssac-dnssec-status-report-02mar09-en.pdf

Staff Contact:

Dave Piscitello

9. SSAC COMMENTS ON ICANN STRATEGIC PLAN

At a Glance

SSAC cites areas for additional study and need for prudence.

Recent Developments

SSAC formally commented on ICANN's 2009-2012 Strategic Plan. In particular, the committee cited the need to study the impact of new gTLDs with regard to scaling and complexity (This activity is now underway). SSAC also commented that ICANN has a useful but limited role regarding IPv4 depletion and IPv6 adoption, and that ICANN initiatives to enhance the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet’s unique identifiers must be conducted prudently to avoid community perceptions of mission creep.

More Information

Staff Contact:

Dave Piscitello

10. REGISTRATION ABUSE POLICIES GET CLOSER LOOK

At a Glance

Registries and registrars seem to lack uniform approaches to dealing with domain name registration abuse, and questions persist as to what actions constitute “registration abuse.” The GNSO Council has launched a Registration Abuse Policies Working Group to take a closer look at registration abuse policies.

Recent Developments

At its meeting on 19 February, the GNSO Council adopted the charter for a Registration Abuse Policies (RAP) Working Group to investigate a number of issues in relation to registration abuse, such as the difference between registration abuse and domain name use abuse; the effectiveness of existing registration abuse policies; and which areas, if any, would be suitable for GNSO policy development to address registration abuse. The GNSO Council will not make a decision on whether or not to initiate a Policy Development Process (PDP) on registration abuse policies until the RAP Working Group has presented its findings.

The RAP Working Group held its first meeting at ICANN’s Mexico City meeting, in conjunction with a public workshop. The workshop encouraged community discussion and input on some of the issues outlined above. This initial exchange of views will serve as a basis of knowledge and information from which the Working Group can continue its deliberations.

Next Steps

The RAP Working Group is expected to review the outcome of the Mexico City workshop at its next meeting and develop a workplan, reporting back to the GNSO Council within 90 days.

Background

On 25 September 2008, the GNSO Council adopted a motion requesting an issues report on registration abuse provisions in registry-registrar agreements. The issues report seeks to identify existing provisions in registry-registrar agreements relating to abuse as well as to identify and describe potential options for further Council consideration.

At its meeting on 20 November, the GNSO Council reviewed and discussed the registration abuse policies issues report and decided to vote on whether to initiate a policy development process (PDP) at the following meeting.

The GNSO Council voted on 18 December to form a drafting team to create a proposed charter for a working group charged with investigating the open issues identified in Registrations Abuse Policies report. The drafting team was formed and met for the first time on 9 January 2009. They finalized a charter for a Working Group to further investigate these open issues, such as the difference between registration abuse and domain name use abuse; the effectiveness of existing registration abuse policies; and which areas, if any, would be suitable for GNSO policy development to address registration abuse. A public discussion on this topic has been held at ICANN’s Mexico City meeting.

More Information

Staff Contacts

Marika Konings, Policy Director, and Margie Milam, Senior Policy Counselor

11. CCNSO STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL PLANNING WORKING GROUP ADVANCES

Recent Developments

The ccNSO Council adopted the ccNSO Strategic and Operational Planning Working Group charter at its Mexico City meeting.

Next Steps

The working group will engage with the ccTLD community to facilitate and increase participation of ccTLD managers in ICANN’s operational and budget planning process.

Background

The goal of the working group is to coordinate and organize participation of ccTLD managers in ICANN's Strategic and Operational planning processes. In issuing guidelines for the new committee in November 2008, the ccNSO noted that it cannot, nor should not, represent the views of ccTLD managers in these processes, but that it may facilitate their participation.

More Information

Working Group: http://www.ccnso.icann.org/workinggroups/sopiwg.htm

Bart Boswinkel, Senior Policy Advisor

12. GNSO COUNCIL ASKS FOR WHOIS STUDY COST ESTIMATES

At a Glance

WHOIS is the data repository containing registered domain names, registrant contacts and other critical information. Questions persist concerning the use and misuse of this important resource. The GNSO Council must decide whether studies of this matter are warranted and, if so, which topics need to be addressed.

Recent Developments

During its open meeting in Mexico City on 4 March, the GNSO Council discussed, reviewed and unanimously adopted a resolution asking Staff to pursue cost estimates of six selected WHOIS studies. The six areas for additional research on feasibility and cost estimates are:

    1. The extent to which WHOIS data is misused to generate spam or other illegal or undesirable activities;
    2. The growing use of non-ASCII character sets in WHOIS records and whether this will detract from data accuracy and readability;
    3. The extent to which proxy and privacy services are being used for abusive and/or illegal purposes, and complicate investigation into e-crimes;
    4. The extent to which proxy and privacy services respond to information requests when presented with reasonable evidence of actionable harm;
    5. Whether legal persons and/or those registering names for a commercial purpose are providing inaccurate WHOIS data implying they are natural persons or registering for a non-commercial purpose; and
    6. Whether proxy/privacy services are used by registrants who are legal vs. natural persons and whether most information requests are directed at registrants who are natural persons

    Also in the open meeting, the GNSO Council discussed and reviewed the issue of WHOIS registration contact information that is collected, stored and displayed in non-US-ASCII character sets, taking into account recent SSAC papers on WHOIS and directory services, and a draft SSAC paper on WHOIS usage and support for local languages and scripts.  

    Next Steps

    The Council asked Staff to refer to original study submissions to explore alternative ways for conducting the required studies and surveys, as well as to pursue creative ways for preparing the required cost estimates for this work. The Council asked Staff also to factor in those ALAC priorities that within the study areas approved in the resolution. The Council also asked Staff to communicate the final resolution to the GAC.

    Background

    Click here for more details.

    More Information

    Staff Contact

    Liz Gasster, Senior Policy Counselor

    13. GNSO CONSIDERS EXPIRED DOMAIN NAME RECOVERY CHANGES

    At a Glance

    To what extent should registrants be able to reclaim their domain names after they expire? At issue is whether the current policies of registrars on the renewal, transfer and deletion of expired domain names are adequate. An Issues Report requested by the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) on this topic was submitted to the GNSO Council on 5 December 2008.

    Recent Developments

    A drafting team was formed and has started working on creating a charter for a Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery Working Group.

    Next Steps

    The drafting team is expected to present the proposed charter for a Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery Working Group in time for consideration at the next GNSO Council meeting.

    Background

    During the ICANN meeting in Cairo, the ALAC voted to request an Issues Report on the subject of registrants being able to recover domain names after their formal expiration date. The ALAC request was submitted to the GNSO Council on 20 November 2008. ICANN Staff prepared the Issues Report on post-expiration domain name recovery and submitted it to the GNSO Council on 5 December 2008. ICANN Staff provided the GNSO Council with clarifications on the questions raised in a motion that was adopted at its 18 December meeting. The GNSO Council reviewed these clarifications during its meeting on 29 January and agreed to create a Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery drafting team to eventually propose a charter and provide recommendations.

    More Information

    Staff Contact

    Marika Konings, Policy Director

    14. MAKING IT EASIER TO TRANSFER DOMAINS BETWEEN REGISTRARS

    At a Glance

    The Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP) aims to provide a straightforward procedure for domain name holders to transfer their names from one ICANN-accredited registrar to another. The GNSO is reviewing and considering revisions to this policy.

    Recent Developments

    New IRTP Issues -- Set A

    The Working Group has started reviewing the public comments received and is working on finalizing its report. Based on the findings of the Initial Report and public comments submitted, it is not expected that the Working Group will recommend any changes to the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy at this stage.

    Next Steps

    Once the report has been finalized, it will be submitted to the GNSO Council for review.

    Background

    As part of a broader review of this policy, the first in a set of five distinct policy development processes (PDPs) is ongoing. This first PDP addresses so called ‘new IRTP issues’ dealing with questions relating to the exchange of registrant e-mail information, the potential for including new forms of electronic authentication and potential provisions for "partial bulk transfers." The Working Group published its Initial Report and a public comment period ran until 30 January 2009. Three relevant comments were received. A summary of these public comments has been posted on http://forum.icann.org/lists/irtp-initial-report/msg00004.html.

    Click here for more details.

    More Information

    Staff Contact

    Marika Konings, Policy Director

    15. HOW DO WE DEAL WITH FAST FLUXING CYBERCRIMINALS?

    At a Glance

    Fast flux hosting refers to techniques used by cybercriminals to evade detection by rapidly modifying IP addresses and/or name servers. The GNSO is exploring appropriate action.

    Recent Developments

    The GNSO’s Fast Flux Working Group published and sought public comment on its Initial Report. Twenty-five comments were received by the 15 February deadline.

    Next Steps

    The Working Group will consider these comments in the development of its Final Report.

    Background

    Following an SSAC Advisory on Fast Flux Hosting and an Issues Report, the GNSO Council launched a Policy Development Process (PDP) on Fast Flux Hosting in May 2008. The Working Group published its Initial Report in January 2009, which discusses a series of questions about fast flux hosting (use the link below for background information) and the range of possible answers developed by Working Group members. The Report also outlines potential next steps for Council deliberation. These next steps may include further work items for the Working Group or policy recommendations for constituency and community review and comment, and for Council deliberation.

    Click here for more details.

    More Information

    Staff Contact

    Marika Konings, Policy Director

    16. NEW GTLD PROCESS DRAWS CCNSO ATTENTION

    At a Glance

    An ad-hoc ccNSO working group forms with an eye towards the protection of country names.

    Recent Developments

    At its meeting in Mexico City, the ccNSO formed the “Ad-hoc Working Group on the Protection of Country Names in Connection with the Introduction of New gTLDs” (and won the award for longest group name). This working group will prepare input on the second version of ICANN’s Draft Application Guidebook for the introduction of new gTLDs, with particular emphasis on the non-use/protection of country names as a TLD under the new gTLD process.

    Next Steps

    ccTLD managers will consult and prepare a paper for consideration and adoption by the ccNSO Council. The schedule calls for the paper to be prepared before closure of the public comment period on the second version of the Draft Application Guidebook (currently scheduled for 13 April).

    Staff Contact

    Bart Boswinkel, Senior Policy Advisor

    17. CCNSO COUNCIL INITIATES FORMATION OF TWO WORKING GROUPS; CLOSES TWO OTHERS

    At a Glance

    The ccNSO Council adds working groups to assist with agenda, ccTLD issues; concludes the business of IANA and Participation working groups.

    Recent Developments

    At its meeting in Mexico City, the ccNSO Council resolved to initiate two working groups:

    • A ccNSO Meeting Agenda Working Group to prepare agendas for ccNSO meetings; and
    • An informal ccNSO Council Working Group to explore potential issues relating to launching a ccPDP on delegation and re-delegation of ccTLD’s.

    The Council also accepted the final reports of the IANA and Participation Working Groups. The Council resolved to explore if some of the activities of the IANA WG should be merged with the ccNSO Technical WG.

    Next Steps

    The ccNSO Secretariat will put out a call for interested parties to participate in the new working groups. The WGs will draft their charters and submit these to the ccNSO Council for adoption. The ccNSO Secretariat and ccNSO Council will also consider the Participation WG recommendations, and the ccNSO Council will explore whether to merge some of the ongoing activities of the IANA WG with the ccNSO Tech WG.

    More Information

    Staff Contact

    Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat, and Bart Boswinkel, Senior Policy Advisor

    18. CCNSO COUNCIL RE-APPOINTS CHAIR AND ELECTS TWO NEW VICE-CHAIRS

    Recent Developments

    The ccNSO Council re-appointed Chris Disspain, .AU, as its Chair. At the same meeting Young Eum Lee, .KR, and Byron Holland, .CA, were appointed Vice-Chairs. Patricio Poblete was thanked for his service as Vice-Chair.

    The ccNSO Council welcomed the following new members appointed by the ccNSO members:

    • Vika Mpisane, Africa (.ZA), who replaced Victor Ciza (.BI)
    • Youn Eum Lee ( re-appointed), Asia Pacific, (.KR)
    • Juhani Juselius, Europe (.FI), who replaced Olivier Guillard (.FR)
    • Patricio Poblete ( re-appointed), Latin America (.CL)
    • Byron Holland, North America (.CA), who replaced Keith Drazek (.US)

    More Information

    ccNSO Council: http://www.ccnso.icann.org/about/council.htm

    Staff Contact

    Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat

    19. DISTANCE LEARNING…AUDIO POLICY BRIEFINGS ON MANY TOPICS NOW AVAILABLE

    At a Glance

    ICANN’s Policy Department offers a series of multilingual webcasts specifically designed as a fast, efficient introduction for stakeholders across the ICANN community to a range of important policy issues.

    More Information

    Staff Contact

    Matthias Langenegger, At-Large Secretariat

    update-mar09-en.pdf  [177 KB]

    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."