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  3. GNSO -- WHOIS

Below are brief summaries of a number of significant Internet policy issues that are being addressed by the ICANN community's bottom-up policy development structure, as well as other significant activities of interest. This latest monthly update is provided by ICANN's Policy Staff in response to community requests for periodic summaries of ICANN's policy work. Links to additional information are included below and we encourage you to go beyond these brief staff summaries and learn more about the ICANN community's work. Our goal is to maximize transparency and broad community participation in ICANN's policy development activities.

The document is designed to accommodate ICANN issue veterans as well as new readers. Where appropriate, most issue briefings include Background, Recent Developments and Next Steps modules. As our work grows, our list of issues (and in some cases the issue briefs themselves) has expanded. Regular readers are invited to skip familiar background materials and go directly to recent developments and next steps.

We continue to investigate more effective and efficient ways to communicate the relevance, importance and status of ongoing issues to the ICANN community. Comments and suggestions on how we can improve these efforts are most welcome and should be sent to


Background: The ICANN Board is considering a comprehensive set of recommendations to improve the structure and operations of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO). This is part of ICANN's ongoing commitment to its evolution and improvement, and follows an independent review of the GNSO and extensive public consultation. A working group appointed by ICANN's Board (BGC WG) has developed a comprehensive proposal (GNSO Improvements Report) to improve the effectiveness of the GNSO, including its policy activities, structure, operations and communications. On 15 February 2008, the Board accepted the GNSO Improvements Report for consideration and directed ICANN Staff to open a public comment forum on the Report, draft a detailed implementation plan in consultation with the GNSO, begin implementation of the non-contentious recommendations, and return to the Board and community for further consideration of the implementation plan.

Recent Developments: The public comment period on the GNSO Improvements Report ended on 25 April 2008. A total of 31 community submissions were made to the forum. The majority of the comments relate to the future structure and representational balance of the GNSO Council. A number of contributors address specific aspects of other proposals in the Report. A smaller number raised the prospect of additional representational groups. Most of the comments related directly to a joint proposal submitted to the forum on behalf of the User Community for GNSO Council Structural Change (UC) which includes the At-Large Advisory Committee; the Commercial and Business Users Constituency; the Intellectual Property Constituency; the Internet Service and Connection Providers Constituency; and the Non-Commercial Users Constituency. The Joint Proposal of the UC outlines an alternative to the GNSO structure recommended in the Report. The UC proposal and the timing of this proceeding were discussed at the 30 April meeting of the ICANN Board.

Next Steps: Board action on the Report could occur at the May or June Board meetings.

More Information:

Staff Contact: Rob Hoggarth, Senior Policy Director


Background: The term "domain tasting" refers to a case when an entity registers a domain name and then tests to see if the name has sufficient traffic to provide more income than the annual registration fee (usually through the addition of pay-per-click advertising). If the address is deemed sufficiently profitable, it is kept. If not, the current "add grace period" (AGP) - where domains can be returned within five days without cost - is used to return the domain at no net cost to the registrant. Among other reasons, t he practice is controversial because registrants who engage in this behavior can typically register many hundreds of thousands of domain names under this practice, with these temporary registrations far exceeding the number of domain names actually licensed.

Over time, there has been a significant increase in the number of domains registered and returned prior to expiration of the AGP. A significant number of community members feel the AGP process presents a loophole that facilitates this conduct. In Spring 2007, ICANN's At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), asked the GNSO Council to review the issue. In October 2007, after fact finding and consideration, the GNSO Council launched a formal policy development process (PDP) on domain tasting and encouraged ICANN Staff to consider applying ICANN's fee collections to names registered and subsequently de-registered during the AGP. Subsequently, Staff included in the initial draft of ICANN's next fiscal year budget, a proposal to charge a fee for all domains added, including domains added during the AGP. Public discussion of the budget, and this proposal, is ongoing.

As part of the formal PDP process, an Initial Report was produced for public comment, outlining the problems caused by domain tasting, possible actions to be taken, and the arguments put forward for and against such actions. Public comments were incorporated into a draft Final Report posted on 8 February 2008.

On 6 March 2008, the GNSO Council considered a motion to stop the practice of domain tasting. The motion would prohibit any gTLD operator that has implemented an AGP from offering a refund for any domain name deleted during the AGP that exceeds 10% of its net new registrations in that month, or fifty domain names, whichever is greater. Under the terms of the motion, an exemption from the limitation could be sought for a particular month, upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances detailed in the motion.

Public comments and constituency impact statements regarding the motion were solicited and incorporated into a Final Report for Council consideration at its 17 April 2008 meeting. The comments and constituency statements reflected a plurality of views on what should be done to eliminate abuse of the AGP to facilitate domain tasting and addressed three potential options including (1) views on the draft resolution itself; (2) views on eliminating the AGP entirely; and (3) views on the proposed ICANN budget changes.

Recent Developments: The GNSO Council approved the motion on 17 April 2008 by supermajority vote. The motion is now pending Board consideration. Public comments have been invited on the Council recommendation until 21 May 2008.

Next Steps: Public comments received by 21 May will be summarized for the Board, which will consider the GNSO motion and public input during its May or June meetings.

More Information:

Staff Contact: Liz Gasster, Senior Policy Counselor


Background: WHOIS services provide public access to data on registered domain names. That data currently includes contact information for Registered Name Holders. The extent of registration data collected at the time of registration of a domain name, and the ways such data can be accessed, are specified in agreements established by ICANN for domain names registered in generic top-level domains (gTLDs). For example, ICANN requires accredited registrars to collect and provide free public access to (1) the name of the registered domain name and its name servers and registrar, (2) the date the domain was created and when its registration expires, and (3) the contact information for the Registered Name Holder including the technical contact, and the registrant's administrative contact.

WHOIS has been the subject of intense policy development debate and action over the last few years. Information contained in WHOIS is used for a wide variety of purposes. Some uses of WHOIS data are viewed as constructive and beneficial. For example, sometimes WHOIS data is used to track down and identify registrants who may be posting illegal content or engaging in phishing scams. Other uses of WHOIS are viewed as potentially negative, such as harvesting WHOIS contact information to send unwanted spam or fraudulent email solicitations. Privacy advocates have also been concerned about the privacy implications of unrestricted access to personal contact information.

The GNSO Council decided in October 2007 that a comprehensive, objective and quantifiable understanding of key factual issues regarding WHOIS will benefit future GNSO policy development efforts, and plans to ask the ICANN Staff to conduct several studies for this purpose. Before defining the details of these studies, the Council has solicited suggestions for specific topics of study on WHOIS from community stakeholders. Possible areas of study might include a study of certain aspects of gTLD registrants and registrations, a study of certain uses and misuses of WHOIS data, a study of the use of proxy registration services, including privacy services, or a comparative study of gTLD and ccTLD WHOIS.

A forum for public comments on suggestions for specific topics of study on WHOIS was open through 15 February 2008. Approximately 25 suggestions were received. A summary of those comments has been prepared. On 27 March the GNSO Council approved a motion to form a group of volunteers to: (1) review and discuss the ‘Report on Public Suggestions on Further Studies of WHOIS; (2) develop a proposed list of recommended studies, if any, for which ICANN Staff will be asked to provide cost estimates to the Council; and (3) produce the list of recommendations with supporting rationale not later than 24 April 2008.

Recent Developments: A report from the small group reviewing the suggestions on further WHOIS studies is under development and will be provided to the Council – target 24 May (delayed from 24 April). In addition, on 16 April, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) offered an extensive set of recommendations for WHOIS studies. The small group is also considering the GAC study recommendations as part of its overall assessment.

Next Steps: Once the small group has submitted its report to the GNSO Council, the Council will consider the group's recommendations, and provide direction to Staff regarding the studies for which rough cost estimates should be developed. The Council will then decide what data gathering and studies it will request, given available resources. Staff will perform the resulting data gathering and studies and report the results to the Council.

More Information: GNSO WHOIS Policy Work Web page <>

Staff Contact:Liz Gasster, Senior Policy Counselor


Background: Consistent with ICANN's obligation to promote and encourage robust competition in the domain name space, the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy aims to provide a straightforward procedure for domain name holders to transfer their names from one ICANN-accredited registrar to another should they wish to do so. The policy also provides standardized requirements for registrar handling of such transfer requests from domain name holders. The policy is an existing community consensus that was implemented in late 2004 that is now being reviewed by the GNSO. As part of that effort, the Council formed a Transfers Working Group (TWG) to examine and recommend possible areas for improvements in the existing transfer policy. The TWG identified a broad list of over 20 potential areas for clarification and improvement.

In an effort to get improvements on-line as soon as possible, the GNSO Council initiated a policy development process (PDP) to immediately clarify four specific issues regarding reasons for which a registrar of record may deny a request to transfer a domain name to a new registrar. That PDP process in now under way and the GNSO constituencies have submitted their initial comments.

Recent Developments: ICANN Staff finalized and posted an Initial Report for public comment as part of the PDP described above. The public comments received have been used by ICANN Staff to compile a Final Report for the GNSO Council's consideration of further steps to take in this PDP.

At the GNSO Council meeting on 17 April 2008, a drafting group was launched to develop suggested text modifications in the current provisions. In parallel with the PDP process, the Council tasked a short term planning group to evaluate and prioritize the remaining 19 policy issues identified by the Transfers Working Group. In March, the group delivered a report to the GNSO Council that suggested clustering the issues for consideration in five new PDPs.

During its 8 May 2008 meeting, the GNSO Council resolved to address a series of five new inter-registrar transfers PDPs as previously defined by the drafting group (in addition to the pending single PDP on the four reasons for denying a transfer) and requested an Issues Report for the first new PDP (regarding new IRTP issues including the use of registrant email data). The five new PDPs will be addressed in a largely consecutive manner, with the possibility of overlap as resources permit.

Next Steps: Constituency representatives will be appointed to develop and submit statements and ICANN Staff will prepare an Initial Report.

More Information:

Staff Contacts: Olof Nordling, Manager, Policy Development Coordination and Robert Hoggarth, Senior Policy Director


Background: Fast flux hosting is a term that refers to several techniques used by cyber criminals to evade detection, in which criminals rapidly modify IP addresses and/or name servers. The ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) recently completed a study of fast flux hosting. The results of the study were published in January 2008 in the SSAC Advisory on Fast Flux Hosting and DNS (SAC 025). Because fast flux hosting involves many different players—the cybercriminals and their victims, ISPs, companies that provide web hosting services, and DNS registries and registrars—it is possible to imagine a variety of different approaches to mitigation. Most of these will require the cooperation of a variety of actors.

On 26 March 2008, Staff posted an Issues Report on fast flux hosting, as directed by the GNSO Council. In the Report, Staff recommends that the GNSO sponsor additional fact-finding and research to develop best practices concerning fast flux hosting. Staff also notes that it may be appropriate for the ccNSO to participate in such an activity.

At its 17 April 2008 meeting, two related motions were offered, one to launch a policy development process, and a second to form a task force to consider several specific questions identified in the previous issues report. This motion was held over for further discussion by the GNSO Council at its 8 May meeting. Subsequently, an alternative motion was offered that would form an expert panel to answer the questions posed in the Issues Report. Following delivery of these answers, the Council would then decide whether to launch a PDP.

Recent developments: At its 8 May 2008 meeting, the GNSO Council formally launched a policy development process (PDP), rejected a task force approach and called for creation of a working group on fast flux.

Next Steps: A charter for the GNSO's new fast flux working group will be presented to the GNSO Council by 22 May for approval at the 29 May GNSO Council meeting. The schedule for constituency statements and public comment will be included in that charter. Staff will work with Council on the scope of work that will be defined in the charter.

More Information:

Staff Contact: Liz Gasster, Senior Policy Counselor


Background: Domain name front running is the practice whereby a domain name registrar uses insider information to register domains for the purpose of re-selling them or earning revenue via ads placed on the domain's landing page. This practice is also sometimes referred to by some as "domain reservation" or "cart-hold" or "cart-reserve." By registering the domains, the registrar locks out other potential registrars from selling the domain to a customer. The registrar typically takes advantage of the 5-day add grace period (AGP), during which the domain can be locked without permanent payment. Alerted to the issue by industry input, a Security and Stability Advisory Committee report, and a letter from the At-large Advisory Committee to the ICANN Board requesting emergency action, on 27 March 2008 the Chair of the ICANN Board determined that emergency action was not required at that time and the matter was referred to the GNSO for additional information gathering or policy development if necessary.

Recent Developments: T he GNSO Council, at its 8 May 2008 meeting, approved a motion to create a drafting team. The team will work to develop a recommendation to the Council on whether to request an Issues Report or whether other research on front running (including further defining the problem) should be pursued. The drafting team will consider questions such as:

  • How is the problem defined?
  • How prevalent is the problem?
  • Will the measures relating to domain tasting affect front running?
  • Are there rules within the RAA that can be used to address this activity? 

Next Steps: The goal of the drafting team will be to bring a recommendation to the Council on whether to request an Issues Report or a more extensive research effort that could help to define the terms of the report. The report is expected by 7 June 2008 or sooner, if possible, to allow time for Council deliberations in Paris.

More Information:

  • Original ALAC Correspondence Raising Front Running Issue;


Staff Contact: Liz Gasster, Senior Policy Counselor


Background: The potential introduction of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) represents the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the history of the Internet. IDNs offer the potential for many new opportunities and benefits for Internet users of all languages around the world by allowing them to establish domains in their native languages and alphabets.

An IDN ccTLD (internationalized domain name country code top level domain) is a country code top-level domain (corresponding to a country, territory, or other geographic location as associated with the ISO 3166-1 two-letter codes) with a label that contains at least one character that is not a standard Latin letter (A through Z), a hyphen, or one of the standard numerical digits (0 through 9). The technical potential for ICANN to now make these domain names available for assignment is prompting significant discussion, study and demand within the ICANN community – particularly for territories and communities who want to make use of non-Latin characters. Current efforts are taking place on two fronts; (1) efforts to identify a "fast track" process to provide new domain opportunities to territories with immediate justifiable needs; and (2) efforts to develop a comprehensive long term plan that ensures a stable process for all interested stakeholders.

7a. IDNC Working Group Pursues The IDN "Fast Track"

A joint IDNC Working Group (IDNC WG) was chartered by ICANN's Board to develop and report on feasible methods, if any, that would enable the introduction of a limited number of non-contentious IDN ccTLDs, in a timely manner that ensures the continued security and stability of the Internet while a comprehensive long-term IDN ccTLD policy is being developed. On 1 February 2008, the IDNC WG posted a "Discussion Draft of the Initial Report" (DDIR) for public comment and input from the ICANN community. The DDIR clarified the relationship between the "fast track" process and the broader long-term process IDNccPDP (the ccNSO Policy Development Process on IDN ccTLDs) and also identified the mechanisms for the selection of an IDN ccTLD and an IDN ccTLD manager. The ccNSO Council determined that those mechanisms were to be developed within the parameters of:

  • The overarching requirement to preserve the security and stability of the DNS;
  • Compliance with the IDNA protocols;
  • Input and advice from the technical community with respect to the implementation of IDNs; and
  • Current practices for the delegation of ccTLDs, which include the current IANA practices.

A public workshop was held 11 February in New Delhi, India to discuss the DDIR and a comment period was opened on that document.

Recent Developments: The IDNC WG produced a first draft of the IDNC WG Methodology in the form of an Interim Report that has also been made available for public comment. Discussions on the methodology were held at the ICANN Regional Meeting in Dubai, UAE (1-3 April 2008) and public comments on the methodology were open until 25 April 2008.

Next Steps: The work schedule agreed to by the IDNC Working Group includes:

  • A final Interim Report, which will contain potential implementation mechanisms, is scheduled to be released 16 May 2008.
  • The Final Report, which will contain the actual recommendations of the IDNC WG, is due to be published 13 June 2008.

More Information:

Staff Contact: Bart Boswinkel, Senior Policy Advisor

7b. ccNSO Also Focuses On Comprehensive IDNccTLD Policy Development

Background: In parallel to considerations of a "fast track" approach, the ccNSO Council has initiated a comprehensive long term policy development process for IDNccTLDs (referred to as the IDNccPDP). At its meeting in October 2007, the ccNSO Council resolved to call for an Issues Report to examine the need for an IDNccPDP to consider:

  • Whether Article IX of the ICANN bylaws applies to IDN ccTLDs associated with the ISO 3166-1 two letter codes, and if it does not then to establish if Article IX should apply.
  • Whether the ccNSO should launch a PDP to develop the policy for the selection and delegation of IDN ccTLDs associated with the ISO 3166-1 two-letter codes.

The Council formally requested that Issues Report on 19 December 2007 and directed ICANN Staff to identify policies, procedures, and/or by-laws that should be reviewed and, as necessary revised, in connection with the development and implementation of any IDN ccTLD policy – including efforts designed to address the proposed fast-track concept.

The GNSO and several other parties submitted comments regarding the proposal to set a comprehensive long-term policy development process for IDNccTLDs (referred to above as the IDNccPDP). An Issues Report will be submitted to the ccNSO Council and will form the basis for the Council's decision on whether or not to formally initiate the IDNccPDP.

Next Steps: Comments regarding the preparation of an Issues Report on the IDNccPDP and are now being evaluated.

More Information: IDNccPDP Announcement: <>

Staff Contact:Bart Boswinkel, Senior Policy Advisor

8. MULTIPLE ENTITIES – Single Character and ICANN/IANA Names

Background on Single Character Names: Currently, all 16 gTLD registry agreements (.AERO, .ASIA, .BIZ, .CAT, .COM, .COOP, .INFO, .JOBS, .MOBI, .MUSEUM, .NAME, .NET, .ORG, .PRO, .TEL, and .TRAVEL) provide for the reservation of single-letter and single-digit names at the second level. ICANN's gTLD registry agreements also contain the following provision on single-letter and single-digit names: "the following names shall be reserved at the second-level: All single-character labels." (For example, see Appendix 6 of the .TEL Registry Agreement). Letters, numbers and the hyphen symbol are allowed within second level names in both top level and country code TLDs. Single letters and numbers also are allowed as IDNs -- as single-character Unicode renderings of ASCII compatible (ACE) forms of IDNA valid strings.

Before the current reserved name policy was imposed in 1993, Jon Postel (under the IANA function) took steps to reserve all available single character letters and numbers at the second level to provide for future expansion of the Internet (see 20 May 1994 email from Jon Postel. All but six (,,,,, and of the possible 144 single letters or numbers at the second-level in .COM, .EDU, .NET and .ORG remain reserved by IANA. Those six registrations are an exception to the reservation practice. Under current practice, these names would be placed on reserve if the registrations were allowed to expire.

Over the years, ICANN has received many inquiries from third parties seeking to register single-letter and single-digit domain names, and has advised these parties that the names are reserved. Since the contractual provisions in ICANN's registry agreements govern how these names are managed. ICANN Staff cannot unilaterally change the registry agreements and the schedule of reserved names.

The GNSO's Reserved Names Working Group recommended in its May 2007 Final Report to the GNSO Council the release of these names in future gTLDs and in existing registries upon the use of appropriate allocation frameworks. The Council incorporated the recommendations relating to future gTLDs in its final report on new gTLDs that is pending with the ICANN Board. No further action was taken relating to existing gTLDs. ICANN Staff will discuss treatment of single-letter and single-digit domain names in existing registries at the next GNSO Council meeting.

Background on ICANN IANA Names: This related issue concerns names reserved by ICANN – including aso, gnso, icann, internic, and ccNSO – and by IANA – afrinic, apnic, arin, example, gtld-servers, iab, iana, iana-servers, iesg, ietf, irtf, istf, lacnic, latnic, rfc-editor, ripe, and root-servers. These names were reserved in the 2001 registry agreements, and questions have been raised about releasing them. ICANN Staff is examining the matter as part of the development of a base agreement for new gTLDs.

Recent Developments: ICANN Staff prepared a synthesis document titled "ICANN Synthesis on Single-Character Domain Names at the Second-Level" and provided that document to the GNSO Council on 27 February 2008. The GNSO Council has not yet commented on this document. To inform decision-making involving the potential use of auctions in a number of areas (not just as a potential model for single-character names), ICANN has established a process for selecting an auction design consultant and posted a call for expressions of interest on 18 January 2008.

Next Steps

  • ICANN/IANA names are being addressed as part of the development of the base agreement for the new gTLD process (schedule of reserved names work), and Staff is reviewing this matter.
  • ICANN Staff is working on the development of an allocation model for community consideration.

More Information:

Staff Contact: Liz Gasster, Senior Policy Counselor, and Patrick Jones, Registry Liaison Manger.


Background: An ICANN Board resolution in 2000 directed Staff to assign countries to geographic regions on the basis of the United Nations Statistics Division's current classifications, and introduced the concept of "citizenship" in relation to the definition of ICANN Geographic Regions. The ICANN Geographical Regions were originally created to ensure regional diversity in the composition of the ICANN Board and were subsequently expanded in various ways to apply to the GNSO, ALAC and ccNSO.

The ICANN Bylaws define five geographic regions as Africa, North America, Latin America/Caribbean, Asia/Australia/Pacific and Europe -- and also expand the concept that "persons from an area that is not a country should be grouped together with the country of citizenship for that area" so that the area or territory itself was similarly allocated to the region of the "mother country."

Over time, the ccNSO has developed concerns about the Geographic Regions and related representational issues. The ccNSO Council passed a resolution recommending that the ICANN Board appoint a community-wide working group to further study and review the issues related to the definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions, to consult with all stakeholders and submit proposals to the Board to resolve the issues relating to the current definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions.

Recent Developments: The ICANN Board determined that because any change to ICANN Geographic Regions could have wide-spread effect in ICANN, the views of other Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees should be sought by the Board. At its 2 November 2007 meeting in Los Angeles, the Board asked the ICANN community, including the GNSO, ccNSO, ASO, GAC, and ALAC, to provide the ICANN Staff with input on the ccNSO Council's resolution relating to ICANN's Geographic Regions. The Board directed ICANN Staff to summarize and analyze this input and prepare a report for consideration by the Board.

Next Steps: ICANN Staff will be soliciting input from all Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees. The results will be summarized and reported to the Board for consideration.

More Information :

Staff Contact : Robert Hoggarth, Senior Policy Director


Background: The ccNSO Council is taking steps to improve its work plans, administrative procedures and communications tools. As a result of a Council workshop held at the ICANN New Delhi meeting, a working group of the Council was established to propose administrative procedures for the ccNSO. The Council also approved creation of a new "authoritative" ccNSO email list. In addition, the ccNSO has been conducting a participation survey to understand better why ccTLDs do or do not participate in ccNSO meetings, and has developed a leaflet on participation both in the ccNSO and Regional Organisations.

Recent Developments: All ccTLD managers have now been invited to subscribe to the new global ccTLD email list. A first draft of the results of the ccNSO participation survey was shared with the community at the African Top Level Domain meeting in Johannesburg. An initial evaluation of 45 surveys revealed that 50 percent of survey respondents have never visited an ICANN meeting. Several respondents indicated they would prefer having more regional meetings.

The ccNSO Council is discussing the possibility of conducting administrative workshops during ICANN meetings. The discussions are still in their early stages and the Participation Working Group has been given the task of making suggestions for how the sessions should be hosted.

Next Steps: The final participation survey results will be presented at the Paris meeting. The leaflet will be translated and distributed at the meeting, and a version also will be posted on the ccNSO website. A discussion on how future workshops will be conducted will occur in Paris.

More Information:


Staff Contacts: Bart Boswinkel, Senior Policy Advisor and Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat


Background: The ccNSO IANA Working Group was set up with the goal to improve the service that IANA provides to ccTLDs. It is comprised of two members per geographic region and IANA Staff.

Recent Developments: The Working Group is developing a DNSSEC paper to advise the ccNSO Council if a position should be taken on who should sign the root zone. Relevant stakeholders from outside the Working Group also have been involved in delivering input to the paper. The Working Group also has been testing the new IANA interface for administrative changes in the IANA database, and drafting a work plan for the coming year.

Next Steps: The Working Group will continue drafting the DNSSEC advisory paper, as well as testing the IANA interface. Their work plan is expected to be discussed at the Paris meeting.

More Information:


Staff Contacts: Bart Boswinkel, Senior Policy Advisor and Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat.


Recent Developments: The At-Large community recently has provided final statements to the ICANN Board on:

  • GNSO Improvements: At-Large joined with several GNSO constituencies in a joint submission to the Board, and also provided additional views on the subject.
  • Operating Plan and Budget Framework for 2008/2009: Initial views of the At-Large community were provided, including identification of priorities that At-Large feels should be a part of the new fiscal year's activities.
  • Travel Policy for ICANN Volunteers:Detailed comments were submitted, including input on the experiences of the community with existing travel support.

Next Steps: The ALAC is developing a comprehensive view on the introduction of new gTLDs for submission to the Board before the Paris meeting. There are expected to be further community comments on other subjects in advance of the Paris meeting, including the draft budget and operating plan framework.

Staff Contact: Nick Ashton-Hart, Director for At-Large


The community welcomed Sebastien Bachollet of France as incoming co-Vice Chair of the At-Large Advisory Committee, replacing outgoing Vice-Chair Robert Guerra of Canada. Also, ALAC Member Veronica Cretu of Moldova is stepping down due to her increasing professional obligations. The European RALO ("EURALO") is expected to elect her replacement by or during their General Assembly at the Paris ICANN meeting.

Staff Contact: Nick Ashton-Hart, Director for At-Large


As part of the long-term effort to involve consumer organisations in the At-Large community, a briefing was held on 7 April in Washington, D.C. for members of the Transatlantic Consumers Dialogue, which includes the largest North American and European consumer organizations. Representatives from 13 organizations received an overview of ICANN and a consumer-centric introduction to the DNS, and discussed the issues currently before ICANN that are relevant to consumers.


Background: Two significant global policy proposals on addressing matters continue to be actively studied and discussed within the addressing community. If they are (1) adopted by all Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), (2) verified by the Address Supporting Organization (ASO), and (3) subsequently ratified by the ICANN Board, the policies will govern the allocation of Internet addresses from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to the RIRs. The two current proposals are described below.

Recent Developments – Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs): ASNs are addresses used in addition to IP addresses for Internet routing. A new global policy proposal for ASNs would formalize the current procedure for allocation of ASNs and provides a policy basis for the transition from 2-byte (16 bits) to 4-byte (32 bits) ASNs. The final transition step is now foreseen for 31 December 2009, after which date the distinction between 2- and 4-byte ASNs will cease and all ASNs will be regarded as of 4-byte length, by appending initial zeroes to those of 2-byte original length.

Next Steps: This new 4-byte proposal has been adopted in all RIRs. It will be forwarded to the ICANN Board for ratification by the ASO Address Council after the Council has verified that each RIR's procedural steps have been duly followed and the final text has been submitted from the NRO EC to the ASO AC.

More information: Background Report <>

Staff Contact: Olof Nordling, Manager Policy Development Coordination

Recent Developments – Remaining IPv4 address space: The IANA pool of unallocated IPv4 address blocks continues to be depleted. As previously announced, a new global policy has been proposed to allocate the remaining address blocks once a given threshold is triggered. The text of the proposed policy essentially recommends that when there are five /8 blocks remaining in the IANA pool, one remaining block will be allocated to each RIR.

Next Steps: This proposal was discussed at the APNIC 25 meeting in February, at the ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers) in Denver in March, and at the RIPE (Resaux IP Europeens Network Coordination Centre) in Berlin earlier this month. It will be discussed in upcoming meetings of the remaining RIRs later this month at LACNIC (Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry) – Salvador/Bahia, Brazil 26-30 May 2008, and AfriNIC (African Region Internet Registry) – 24 May-6 June, Rabat, Morocco.

More information: Background Report

Staff Contact: Olof Nordling, Manager Policy Development Coordination


Background: When Sweden and other ccTLDs began more extensive deployment of the Domain Name System Security Extension (DNSSEC), it was discovered that several broadband routers failed when they received DNS response messages containing DNSSEC resource records and other DNSSEC related protocol parameters. Study of these routers revealed that many have embedded DNS servers. The DNSSEC deployment community and SSAC have been collaborating to create a testing program for broadband routers to gauge the ability of these devices to correctly process DNS messages that contain DNSSEC resource records. A set of web pages was developed by ICANN Staff to provide a series of tests that Internet users could use to determine if their router succeeds or fails when DNNSEC is present in DNS response messages.

Recent Developments: SSAC is evaluating proposals from independent bodies to test broadband routers and SOHO firewalls -- one for U.S. domestic products, one for Europe products, one for U.K. products, and one for Asia Pacific products.

Next Steps: The parties are reviewing a proposed common test suite with a goal to have this new testing begin during May 2008.

More Information: SSAC <>

Staff Contact: Dave Piscitello, Senior Security Technologist


SSAC has begun a survey to determine the availability of DNSSEC features among commercial, open source, and publicly available name server software.
A public notice web page (SAC030) announcing the survey has been published, The set of survey questions will be sent to approximately 40 software vendors and developers and the responses will be published on the web page.

Next Steps: A survey summary will be presented at the ICANN Paris meeting (pending sufficient responses).

More Information: SSAC <>

Staff Contact: Dave Piscitello, Senior Security Technologist


Recent Developments: The SSAC Advisory entitled "Registrar Impersonation in Phishing Attacks" has been circulated to registrars so that they can review and consider the nature and priority of the threat. Initial responses to the advisory are positive and SSAC anticipates publishing the report to the general public at or prior to the ICANN Paris meeting.

ICANN Staff continues to assist with anti-phishing investigations of registrars who are alleged to be shielding phishing activities. After being contacted by the Director of Contractual Compliance, one registrar has restored WHOIS/port 43 service and has removed 37 domain registrations containing inaccurate WHOIS data by setting to client-hold status. Staff continues to collect domains registered via this registrar that are alleged to host phishing sites from anti-phishing investigators. The majority of these registrations have inaccurate WHOIS data and ICANN will submit these to the registrar to investigate and to correct the inaccuracies or to suspend name resolution for those domains.

Staff Contact: Dave Piscitello, Senior Security Technologist

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"""" is not an IDN."