Public Comment

Public Comment is a vital part of our multistakeholder model. It provides a mechanism for stakeholders to have their opinions and recommendations formally and publicly documented. It is an opportunity for the ICANN community to effect change and improve policies and operations.


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Name: David Piepgrass
Date:20 Apr 2023
Affiliation: CTO, Barreleye Software
Other Comments

As an owner of multiple .net domains, I generally oppose the changes to Section 2.7 of Appendix 8, on pages 147-148 on the basis that

1. It is unclear who asked for these changes or why they are being made

2. ICANN did not mention these changes on its "summary of key provisions in the proposed .NET Renewal RA that are materially different from the current .NET RA", suggesting that ICANN is trying to slip in these changes unnoticed

3. the public comment period is short and was timed not to overlap the ICANN76 or ICANN77 meetings

In particular, I oppose the additional powers granted to VeriSign in section 2.7(b)(ii), in particular VeriSign's proposed power to "deny, cancel, redirect or transfer" any registration "to ensure compliance with applicable law, government rules or regulations, or pursuant to any legal order or subpoena of any government, administrative or governmental authority".

The main problem with this proposal is that local jurisdictions should not be able to order worldwide changes to domain registrations. There are endless thousands of courts/jurisdictions that might issue such an order, and VeriSign should not be empowered to take worldwide action on behalf of local governments. In addition, giving VeriSign this power might lead some courts to decide that VeriSign is legally compelled to use that power; this change therefore leads me to request further legal analysis by qualified lawyers across the world before making this change.

I also oppose the additional powers granted to VeriSign in section 2.7(b)(i) in relation to copyright and trademark infringement, on the basis that

1. the power granted is too broad for a single private corporation governing all .net domains in the world

2. the provision is likely to benefit business interests at the expense of ordinary internet users

3. the changes are unnecessary.

Summary of Submission

I generally oppose the proposed changes to Section 2.7 of Appendix 8 that were not mentioned in ICANN's summary of proposed changes. These changes would grant VeriSign unnecessary additional powers to suspend or transfer .net domains globally at the request of local jurisdictions or big business interests.