ICANN org received fifty-seven (57) comments to the proposed .NET Registry Agreement (RA) renewal: forty-eight (48) from individuals and nine (9) from organizations. Commenters voiced general support on the incorporation of the contractual obligations from the 2023 Global Amendment to the Base gTLD Registry Agreement (Base RA) approved by the generic top-level domain (gTLD) registries and the ICANN Board (resolution), commitments to combat DNS security threats similar to those in the Base RA’s Specification 11, Sections 3A and 3B, and the extension of the Letter of Intent (LOI) between Verisign and ICANN org to apply to the .NET registry.
Other commenters focused on the proposed redlines in Section 2.7(b)(ii) and 2.7(b)(ii)(5) of Appendix 8 the Registry Registrar Agreement (RRA) updating the RRA to be consistent with the .COM RA and other registry agreements with similar provisions. Another group of comments focused on a possible disparity between the Base RA and the .NET RA (not a part of the proposed renewal) regarding the use of a lower case “s” (Base RA) versus a capital “S” (.NET RA) in the use of “security and stability” and how that difference may impact the applicability of Consensus Policies to the .NET RA.
ICANN org appreciates the time, dedication, and participation in this proceeding and is grateful to those who provided their feedback.
What We Received Input On
26 April Update
ICANN has observed several public comments concerning Verisign’s Registry-Registrar Agreement (RRA) contained in Appendix 8, particularly comments and concerns regarding sections 2.7(b)(i) and 2.7(b)(ii)(5). The RRA, as the name implies, is the agreement between the registry operator and the registrars who offer registration services in the gTLD. As mentioned above, the RRA was updated with these provisions in 2022 following completion of the RRA Amendment Procedure.
It may be helpful for commenters to understand that the noted provisions are not atypical for RRAs, as similar language is included in the RRAs for other leading registry operators. These provisions are also nearly identical to those in the .COM RRA, that was updated in 2020 as part of Amendment #3 to the .COM RA following a public comment proceeding and completion of the RRA Amendment procedure.
Registries, like other businesses, must comply with the local laws and processes in the jurisdictions in which they offer services. Section 2.7(b)(ii)(5) clarifies that registries have an explicit contractual right to respond to a lawful government legal process. It does not guarantee any government can seize or delete any domain name in the TLD.
ICANN organization is posting for Public Comment the proposed agreement for renewal of the 2017 .NET Registry Agreement (.NET RA), set to expire on 30 June 2023. The renewal proposal is a result of bilateral discussions between ICANN and VeriSign, Inc. (Verisign), the Registry Operator for the .NET and .COM TLDs.
The proposed renewal agreement for the .NET Registry Agreement (.NET Renewal RA) is based on the current .NET RA with proposed modifications, including the incorporation of some provisions from the Amendment 3 to the .COM Registry Agreement and from the 2023 Global Amendment to the Base gTLD Registry Agreement (Base RA) which was recently approved by the generic top-level domain (gTLD) registries and is currently pending review by the ICANN Board of Directors.
Below is a summary of key provisions in the proposed .NET Renewal RA that are materially different from the current .NET RA:
- The proposed .NET Renewal RA incorporates certain contractual obligations from the 2023 Global Amendment including:
- A requirement to comply with the gTLD Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) Profile,
- The plan to sunset certain requirements to provide Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS) via the WHOIS protocols on a date aligned with the WHOIS Sunset Date set forth in the 2023 Global Amendment,
- Updated definitions for RDDS related terms,
- Updated reporting requirements that include changes to address the advice from the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee in SAC097 related to inconsistent reporting of RDDS queries,
- Service Level Requirements for RDAP availability, round-trip time, and update time,
- Updates to Uniform Resource Locator (URL) web addresses in the RA and miscellaneous changes (e.g., URLs updated to “https” from “http”) to address outdated links.
- Adjustments to the allowable uses by ICANN of the Bulk Registration Data Access (BRDA) to include research purposes.
- Commitments related to combating DNS security threats similar to those in the Base RA’s Specification 11, Sections 3A and 3B.
Please know that the attached Redline of the Proposed .NET Renewal Registry Agreement to the 2017 .NET Registry Agreement reflects not only the changes noted above but also revisions that were made as part of Amendment 1 to the .NET RA and as part of 2022 revisions to Verisign’s RRA which is incorporated into the RA.
In addition to the proposed renewal agreement, ICANN and Verisign propose to amend the binding Letter of Intent (LOI) dated 27 March 2020 for two purposes.
- To extend the commitment by Verisign to adopt enhanced contractual provisions addressing security threats (which includes the ongoing DNS Abuse negotiations) into the .NET RA, as already provided for in the LOI for the .COM RA.
- To add an agreement that the parties develop mutually agreed upon requirements appropriate for the .COM and .NET TLDs for reporting security incidents to ICANN. This is based on recommendations by the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) in its 3 November 2015 Advisory (SAC074) which were approved by the ICANN Board in February 2018.
ICANN organization and Verisign entered into the current .NET RA for the operation of the .NET TLD on 1 July 2017 with a term of six years to 30 June 2023. On 27 April 2020, Amendment 1 to the .NET RA finalized and fulfilled the commitment during the 2017 renewal to transition to the content and formatting for reporting as set forth in Specification 3 of the Base RA (Appendix 4 in the .NET RA).