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News and Announcements from ICANN.org
Updated: 29 min 51 sec ago

Request for Proposal for Review of Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)

Tue, 22 April 2014 - 23:20
22 April 2014

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") is seeking a provider to conduct an independent review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), as mandated by ICANN's Bylaws.

As part of ICANN's ongoing commitment to its evolution and improvement, Article IV – Section 4 of ICANN's Bylaws contains provisions for "periodic review of the performance and operation of each Supporting Organization, each Supporting Organization Council, each Advisory Committee (other than the Governmental Advisory Committee), and the Nominating Committee."

These periodic reviews present ICANN structures with opportunities for continuous improvement through consistent application of compliance review principles to objectively measure performance relative to specific and quantifiable criteria developed by ICANN based on the unique nature of its structures. The resulting implementation of improvements and the systematic means of measuring performance and validating effectiveness of implementation are of utmost importance to the ongoing legitimacy of ICANN.

The GNSO is the policy-making body responsible for generic top-level domains, such as .COM, .NET, and .ORG. Its members include representatives from generic Top Level Domains (gTLD) registries, gTLD registrars, intellectual property interest, Internet service providers, businesses and non-commercial interests. The GNSO strives to keep gTLDs operating in a fair, orderly fashion across one global Internet, while promoting innovation and competition.

Given the significant increases in the number and nature of the generic Top Level Domains resulting from the recent launch of the New gTLD Program, the upcoming review of the GNSO is of critical importance to the ICANN community. ICANN is planning to start the review on 1 July 2014, with an anticipated duration of 6 months, and is seeking qualified providers to conduct the review in a timely and efficient manner.

For additional information and instructions for submitting responses please see http://www.icann.org/en/news/rfps/rfp-gnso-review-22apr14-en.zip [ZIP, 672 KB].

Activity Dates RFP published 22 April 2014 Participants to indicate interest in submitting RFP 30 April Participant proposals due by 13 May Target for participant presentations (finalists) Week of 19 May (May 19-23) Target for Final evaluations and selection of vendor (includes contracting and award to participant) 10 June Board appointment of independent reviewer 26 June Estimated start of implementation 1 July Final Report 15 January 2015

Nomination Period Opens for ICANN Multistakeholder Ethos Award

Mon, 21 April 2014 - 17:25
21 April 2014 First Award Targeted for ICANN Public Meeting in London
Nominations Close 17 May 2014

ICANN is pleased to announce the opening of the nomination period for ICANN's new Multistakeholder Ethos Award Program. This award program seeks to recognize long-standing community members who have served in leadership roles in multiple ICANN working groups or committees and demonstrated collaboration with different supporting organizations and/or advisory committees.

The Multistakeholder Ethos Award will recognize ICANN participants who have deeply invested in consensus-based solutions, recognized the importance of ICANN's multistakeholder model of Internet governance, and contributed in a substantive way to the higher interests of ICANN's organization and its community.

The nomination period for community nominees opens today, 21 April 2014 and closes on 17 May 2014.

Community members interested in submitting a nomination are invited to send an email to ethosaward2014@icann.org including:

  • Name of nominee.
  • Community of nominee.
  • Reasons for nomination.

Please note that the reasons outlining the candidate's merit for the nomination may be as brief or as long as required.

Candidates for this inaugural step of the program development will demonstrate at least five years of participation in the ICANN Community. Both individuals and organizations are eligible for the award.

A panel of community members is being gathered to help review all community nominations and determine the best candidates for the first awards. The decisions of the panel will be made based on the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrated multistakeholder volunteer service via working groups or committees.
  2. Demonstrated spirit of collaboration through engagement with other community members with the aim of consensus building.
  3. Demonstrated facilitator of dialogue and open discussion in a fair, cordial and collegial manner.
  4. Demonstrated additional devotional factors exhibited by time spent supporting ICANN's multistakeholder model and its overall effectiveness.

Please submit your nominations via email to ethosaward2014@icann.org.

Award recipient(s) will be announced this June at the ICANN Public Meeting in London.

Fellowship Application Round Opens for ICANN 51 in Los Angeles California

Fri, 18 April 2014 - 21:35
18 April 2014

The ICANN Fellowship program seeks participants from developing countries of the world in order to help create a broader base of knowledgeable constituents to engage in the multi-stakeholder process and become the new voice of experience in their regions and beyond. Our current application round for participation in Los Angeles this coming October launches today and remains open until 30 May 2014 with successful candidates announced on the ICANN website 18 July 2014.

ICANN Begins Transition To New Website

Thu, 17 April 2014 - 22:27
17 April 2014

Click here to visit the new ICANN website »

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced the beginning of a transition to a new ICANN.org website.

"We had three objectives for the new site: improve transparency of ICANN by making information easier to find, make it effortless for people to join the community and engage in the work, and lastly, to continue to support the established community with new tools," said Chris Gift, Vice President of Online Community Services.

"The new site is intended to allow those new to the organization to discover ICANN, the work being done and our role in the Internet governance ecosystem, as well as to allow those same people the opportunity to get involved in the ICANN community," said Gift. "With easier navigation, improved access to information, and new tools we can better support the organization's policy discussions. These new stakeholders and the established community have a site that is easier to navigate with accessible information and tools to support the organization's policy discussions."

Over the coming days, a percentage of ICANN.org users will be redirected to the new site and as the next two weeks progress, the number of users redirected will increase until all users are sent directly to the new site.

"We have thought through the process and we're being cautious in the way we move forward," said Chris Gift. "We will increase the amount of traffic to the new site roughly every other day until we are fully crossed over."

The new website was launched in beta relatively early in its development to encourage the ICANN community to become part of the development process. ICANN's development team adopted agile and lean development practices throughout the building stage &ndash where ideas were built then tested by users and their feedback fuelled the next iteration.

Please join Chris Gift and Anil Podduturi, Principal at Neo, on Thursday, 24 April at 18:00 UTC for a demonstration of the new ICANN.org. The public webinar will also include a Q&A session at the end.


Public Webinar Details

Date/Time: Thursday, 24 April 2014 at 18:00 – 19:00 UTC

Adobe Connect Link: https://icann.adobeconnect.com/communications/

Telephone Access Numbers: International access numbers may be obtained here: www.adigo.com/icann. When asked to enter a Conference ID, please enter: 87324546#

Proposed Changes to the Inter-Registrar Policy (Watch the Video & Provide Comments)

Tue, 15 April 2014 - 01:14
14 April 2014

The public comment period for the IRTP-D Working Group's Initial Report closes on 25 April 2014 at 23:59 UTC.

For a rich media explanation of each of the Working Group's Charter questions, the following video provides an excellent summary. The detailed Initial Report containing the recommendations and background can be found here [PDF, 936 KB].

Whether you agree, dis-agree, or have suggested alternatives to the proposed recommendations, the Working Group will value and consider all input. Please see the Public Comment Announcement and submit your comments before the window closes on 25 April 2014.

Internationalized Registration Data Expert Working Group Interim Report Public Comment Opened

Tue, 15 April 2014 - 01:04
14 April 2014 Forum Announcement: Comment Period Opens on Date: 14 March 2014 Categories/Tags:
  • Whois
  • Internationalized Registration Data
  • Expert Working Group
  • Domain Name Registration Data
Purpose (Brief):

This Public Forum invites comments on the Interim Report from Whois review team internationalized registration data expert working group. The Report proposes internationalization requirements for fourteen categories of data elements currently outputted by the various gTLD registration data directory services.

Public Comment Box Link: http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/ird-interim-14apr14-en.htm

IDN ccTLD Request From Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic Of, Successfully Passes String Evaluation

Mon, 14 April 2014 - 23:55
14 April 2014

ICANN is pleased to announce the successful completion of String Evaluation on proposed IDN ccTLD string for Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic Of.

Details of the successful evaluation are provided here: http://www.icann.org/en/resources/idn/fast-track/string-evaluation-completion#m

The IDN (Internationalized Domain Name) ccTLD Fast Track Process was approved by the ICANN Board at its annual meeting in Seoul, South Korea on 30 October 2009. First requests were received starting 16 November 2009. The process enables countries and territories to submit requests to ICANN for IDN ccTLDs, representing their respective country or territory names in scripts other than Latin. IDN ccTLD requesters must fulfill a number of requirements:

  • the script used to represent the IDN ccTLDs must be non-Latin;
  • the languages used to express the IDN ccTLDs must be official in the corresponding country or territory; and
  • a specific set of technical requirements must be met (as evaluated by an external DNS Stability Panel comprised of DNS and IDN experts).

The request and evaluation processes entail three steps:

  • Preparation (by the requester in the country / territory): Community consensus is built for which IDN ccTLD to apply for, how it is run, and which organization will be running it, along with preparing and gathering all the required supporting documentation. Requests are submitted through an online system together with additional material supporting the process at http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/.
  • String Evaluation: Requests are evaluated in accordance with the technical and linguistic requirements for the IDN ccTLD string(s) criteria described above.
  • String Delegation: Requests successfully meeting string evaluation criteria are eligible to apply for delegation following the same ICANN IANA process as is used for ASCII based ccTLDs. Requesters submit string delegation requests to IANA root zone management: root-mgmt@iana.org.

With this announcement, a total of 32 countries/territories requests have successfully passed through the String Evaluation. Of these, 26 countries/territories (represented by 36 IDN ccTLDs) are delegated in the DNS root zone; with the remainder either readying to apply, or actively applying for, delegation of the string. Up-to-date numbers about the IDN Fast Track Program will continue to be provided on the Fast Track Process web page at http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track.

ICANN looks forward to enabling the availability of non-Latin country-code domains for countries that meet the Fast Track Process requirements. ICANN will continue to accept new string evaluation requests in the Fast Track Process. Staff support is available to help all countries and territories interested in participating in the Fast Track Process. Please email idncctldrequests@icann.org for any inquiries for participation.

ICANN Draft Five-Year Strategic Plan (FY16 – FY20)

Wed, 09 April 2014 - 21:47
9 April 2014 Forum Announcement: Comment Period Opens on Date: 9 April 2014 Categories/Tags:
  • Planning
  • Strategic Planning
  • Strategy
  • Operating Plan and Budget
Purpose (Brief): Public comment is invited on the Draft ICANN Five–Year Strategic Plan (FY16–FY20) [PDF, 1.10 MB] through May 2014. Built on community input received throughout an extensive, public strategy conversation, the Draft Strategic Plan proposes a new Vision, reiterates ICANN's existing Mission, and describes five focus areas with Strategic Objectives and Goals. Each goal includes proposed, strategic outcomes, risks, measures and phasing over five years. ICANN is seeking general feedback, as well as input on the proposed measurable outcomes for the Focus Area Goals. Your comments will help inform the final ICANN Five–Year Strategic Plan. Public Comment Box Link: http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/stratplan-draft-09apr14-en.htm

Call for Public Input: Transition of NTIA's Stewardship of the IANA Functions

Wed, 09 April 2014 - 20:47
9 April 2014

Draft Proposal Based on Initial Community Feedback of the Principles, Mechanisms and the Process to Develop a Proposal to Transition NTIA's Stewardship of the IANA Functions…. More »

ICANN Cross Community Working Group on Internet Governance's Submission to NETMundial

Tue, 08 April 2014 - 18:38
8 April 2014 Forum Announcement: Comment Period Opens on: Date: 8 April 2014 Categories/Tags: Internet Governance Purpose (Brief):

To obtain feedback from the wider ICANN Community on the Contribution to NETMundial from the ICANN Cross Community Working Group on Internet Governance.

Public Comment Box Link: http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/ccwg-ig-netmundial-08apr14-en.htm

The IANA Functions Explained – New ICANN Infographic

Mon, 07 April 2014 - 20:30
7 April 2014

Click here [PDF, 3.51 MB] to download the new IANA Functions Infographic. This new guide explains how these core functions allow you and everyone around the globe to utilize the Internet.

RDS Risk Survey and Webinar: How will a Proposed Next Generation Registration Directory Services (RDS) to Replace Whois Impact You? (Available Until 15 May 2014)

Fri, 04 April 2014 - 19:16
4 April 2014

The Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG) invites you to participate in its recently launched Registration Directory Service (RDS) Risk Survey.

If you provide or use gTLD domain name registration data (today known as Whois), please consider responding to this survey to share your unique perspective on potential risks and benefits associated with the EWG's proposed RDS, should ICANN choose to implement such as system to replace Whois.

Today, anyone can query Whois to identify the organization or individual responsible for an Internet domain name, known as a Registrant, along with their postal address, email address, and telephone number. The EWG was asked to re-examine the purpose and provision of this information, envisioning a clean-slate approach to meet global Internet community needs with greater privacy, accuracy, and accountability. The EWG's proposed next generation RDS would collect, validate and disclose registration information for permissible purposes only, with some values remaining public and others being gated – that is, returned only to authorized users with legitimate purposes.

At this point, the RDS is simply a proposal being refined by the EWG for ICANN Board and community consideration. If you are one of the many different individuals, businesses, and other organizations that consume Whois data today, or a domain name Registrant, Registrar, or Registry that provides Whois data today, please participate in this survey. This survey is a chance to tell the EWG about the risks and benefits that the recommended RDS might have for YOU.

All risks and benefits identified through this survey will be published in aggregated, anonymized form and used by the EWG to refine its recommendations and as input to a full risk assessment.

RDS Risk Survey attributes:
  • RDS Risk Survey Availability Date: 15 March 2014
  • RDS Risk Survey address: http://tiny.cc/risk-ewg-survey
  • RDS Risk Survey Close Date: 15 May 2014, 23:59 UTC

To read more, you may download a printable PDF [PDF, 1.93 MB] before returning to http://tiny.cc/risk-ewg-survey to take the on-line survey. Translated versions of this survey will also be available shortly.

To learn more about this survey, please join the EWG for this interactive online workshop: How will Next Generation Registration Directory Services impact you?

Date: Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Time: 19:00-20:30 UTC (time converter: http://tinyurl.com/n9rsmfx)

Date: Thursday, 17 April 2014

Time: 12:00-13:30 UTC (time converter: http://tinyurl.com/ouzekzx)

Additional details on the interactive online workshop are available here.

You may also learn more about the proposed next generation RDS at any time by:


In December 2012, ICANN announced the creation of an Expert Working Group (EWG) on next generation gTLD Registration Directory Services, as a first step in fulfilling the ICANN Board's directive to help redefine the purpose and provision of gTLD registration data. The EWG's findings are expected to serve as a foundation to help the GNSO create a new global policy for the provision of gTLD registration data.

A significant milestone was reached on 24 June 2013 with the publication of the Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG)'s Initial Report and FAQs, opening a consultation period with the ICANN community. The Initial Report [PDF, 1.70 MB] enumerated the users, purposes, data elements, recommended principles and features, and proposed model to guide the development of a next generation Registration Directory Service (RDS) to replace Whois.

Prior to the ICANN Meeting in Buenos Aires, the EWG published its Status Update Report [PDF, 2.26 MB] to highlight the EWG's thinking on these and many other key issues. It also provides a great deal more detail on the analysis that lay behind the Initial Report [PDF, 1.70 MB].

What's Next?

The EWG is now completing its research and information gathering phase before delivering its final recommendations to the ICANN Board. The RDS Risk Survey is one of several research efforts undertaken being the EWG to ensure that its final recommendations are supported by facts and informed by current practices and input from all those potentially impacted by any next generation system to replace Whois.

The EWG expects to complete its recommendations in 2014, informed by Community feedback and in-depth analysis of selected areas, including the responses to this RDS Risk Survey. The EWG plans to deliver its final report to the ICANN Board in June 2014.


If questions arise about the RDS Risk Survey, please contact us at Risk-EWG-Survey@icann.org.

Update from the 2014 Nominating Committee Chair

Tue, 01 April 2014 - 20:57
1 April 2014

Interested in being considered for a Leadership Position by the 2014 Nominating Committee (NomCom)? Your "Candidacy Application Request form" needs to have been received and therefore, formally initialised, by our closing deadline. That deadline is TODAY, 23:59 UTC on 1 April 2014.

This year, the NomCom has introduced a new application procedure designed to make it easier to apply. Here are some answers to questions you might have about this new procedure.

Q. I've sent off my "Candidacy Application Request form" from the NomCom website, now what happens?

A. Providing the Candidacy Application Request form step is taken any time before the deadline of 23:59 UTC on 1 April 2014, staff will acknowledge its receipt and then prepare a personalised and dedicated application form space for you to complete a 'pro-forma' Statement of Interest form. This contains about six or so questions/ sections. You will receive a link and log on credentials (unless you already have them) to complete the form. Sufficient time is being provided for you to complete the Statement of Interest step of the process even if you initialise the process right up to the deadline. The deadline for providing the NomCom with your completed application form is 23:59 UTC on 7 April 2014.

Q. I have received my link and log on but have not yet completed all the form sections. Does this have to be done before 23:59 UTC on 1 April 2014?

A. As long as you have initialised the process before 23:59 UTC on 1 April 2014, you have until 23:59 UTC on 7 April 2014 to complete the next step.

Q. This is very different to what has happened previously isn't it?

A. Yes. This new system now allows applicants to save and edit their application (previously all needed to be done in a single session) before submitting the completed form. The set of questions presented is also reduced to only the section a candidate is interested in. The new system also allows for easier cut and paste of externally prepared documents, and materials including images, videos presentations web links to third party Bio and CV sites etc.


Cheryl Langdon-Orr … (CLO)
Chair of the 2014 ICANN Nominating Committee

Fellowship Program Brings Global Voices Together at ICANN | Fellows Announced for London Meeting

Mon, 31 March 2014 - 16:04
31 March 2014

42 fellows from 34 countries have been selected to participate in ICANN's Fellowship program at the 50th Public Meeting in London, 22-26 June 2014. Sixteen of the fellows are alumni from at least one of the past 21 programs, 21 are first-time attendees to an ICANN meeting, and 5 have attended meetings in past but are fellows for the first time. The fellows represent all sectors of society including civil, government, academia, business, not-for-profit and user groups. The country code supporting groups are also represented.

Here is the list of selected fellows:

  • Adrian Quesada Rodriguez – Costa Rica – Academic / NCUC
  • Ahlam Abu-Jadallah – Jordan – Government
  • Aida Mahmutović – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Not For Profit
  • Aleksandar Ichokjaev – The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Academic
  • Amal Al-Saqqaf – Yemen – Academic
  • Amparo Arango – Dominican Republic – Government
  • Arsene Tungali Baguma – The Democratic Republic of the Congo – End User
  • Dina Barakat – Egypt - Government
  • Dusan Popovic – Serbia – Academic / ccNSO
  • Dwi Simanungkalit – Indonesia – Government / GAC
  • Edwin Opare – Ghana – Government
  • Elena Tric – Romania – Not For Profit
  • Emani Fakaotimanava-Lui – Nuie – Not For Profit / At Large
  • Etuate Cocker – Tonga – Academic
  • Ganeswar Sahoo – India – Academic / NCUC
  • Hafedh Al Yahmadi – Tunisia – N/A
  • Hania Sabbidin El Dimassi – Lebanon – N/A
  • Ibrahim Alfayoumi – Palestine – N/A
  • Inga Cucer – Republic of Moldova – Government
  • Jesus Rivera – Bolivarian Republic Of Venezuela – Government / ccNSO
  • Kartik Kulkarni – India – Not For Profit
  • Marilia Maciel – Brazil – Academic / NCUC
  • Maritza Yesenia Aguero Miñano – Peru – End User
  • Martin Pablo Silva Valent – Argentina – Business / NCSG
  • Mohamed Adas – Palestine – End User
  • Mwendwa Kivuva – Kenya – Academic / Registry and Registrar
  • Nabil Benamar – Morocco – Academic / At Large
  • Natalie Rose – Jamaica – Academic / At Large
  • Oarabile Mudongo – Botswana – Not For Profit
  • Oleksandr Tsaruk – Ukraine – Government
  • Omar Mansoor Ansari – Afghanistan – Business
  • Paul Muchene – Kenya – Business / At Large
  • Pauline McFadzean – Belize – Business / Registry
  • Rao Naveed Bin Rais – Pakistan – Academic
  • Ridha Guellouz – Tunisia – Not For Profit
  • Roger Oteng Baah – Ghana – Business / IETF
  • Shabnam Shafiei – Islamic Republic of Iran – End User
  • Shakeel Ahmed – Pakistan – Not For Profit
  • Timur Hasanov – Tajikistan – Business / Registry
  • Victoria Rosca – Republic of Moldova – Government
  • Xiaohui Zhang – China – Not For Profit / IPC
  • Yusif Amadu – Ghana – Academic

ICANN received 202 fellowship applications for the London meeting. Applications for each meeting are assessed by an independent selection committee. Priority is given to applicants who meet minimum program requirements, are current residents of developing and least developed nations in the five ICANN regions, and who are interested in participating in ICANN and its supporting organizations, advisory committees or stakeholder groups.

Click here to find out more about the fellowship program and how to apply: http://www.icann.org/en/about/participate/fellowships

Singapore GAC Communiqué

Thu, 27 March 2014 - 15:08
27 March 2014

The Governmental Advisory Committee meeting at ICANN 49 in Singapore has issued its Singapore Communiqué. It is available for review at Singapore GAC Communiqué [PDF, 417 KB].

".Africa" Signing Ceremony Held at ICANN 49

Wed, 26 March 2014 - 18:17
26 March 2014

At ICANN 49 in Singapore today Akram Atallah, president of ICANN's Global Domains Division (GDD) and Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZA Central Registry (ZACR) participated in a symbolic signing ceremony that allows the new gTLD ".Africa" to proceed to delegation. This marks the first Registry Agreement signed between ICANN and an African gTLD registry operator. A contingency representing the African Union Commission, dotAfrica, and ZADNA (domain name authority of South Africa) were in attendance, as well as several ZACR and ICANN staff members.

175+ New gTLDs Delegated

Mon, 24 March 2014 - 08:00
24 March 2014

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced at ICANN 49 in Singapore that the number of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) that have been delegated now tops 175. Recently delegated gTLDs include .NYC, .Cologne, .trade, 机构 (Chinese for "agencies/institutions"), .webcam and more.  View a video to learn more about the "new dots."

ICANN Seeks Public Comment on 2013 RAA Data Retention Specification Data Elements and Legitimate Purposes for Collection and Retention

Fri, 21 March 2014 - 15:56
21 March 2014

ICANN has been in discussions with a number of Registrars regarding data retention waiver requests (“Waiver Requests”) submitted under the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (the "2013 RAA").  Some Registrars are seeking an exemption from certain collection and/or retention requirements under the Data Retention Specification (the "Specification") of the 2013 RAA.  Section 2 of the Data Retention Specification sets forth requirements regarding the written materials a Registrar must submit in support of its good faith determination that the collection and/or retention of any data element specified in the Specification violates applicable law, and provides that following notice to ICANN of the Waiver Request, ICANN and the applicable Registrar shall discuss the matter in good faith in an effort to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the matter. An update on the 2013 RAA and the data retention waiver process can be found here: http://blog.icann.org/2014/02/update-on-2013-raa-and-data-retention-waiver-process/

ICANN understands that personal data should be treated in accordance with applicable data protection laws, which generally permit gathering and retention of personal data for legitimate purpose(s).  ICANN also understands that the law may vary from country to country as to (i) what is considered a legitimate purpose, (ii) whether the personal data is adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the legitimate purpose for which they are collected and (iii) for how long certain data elements may be retained.  In other words, what is considered a legitimate purpose for collection of certain data in one country may not be considered a legitimate purpose in another country.  

During ICANN’s discussions in an effort to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the matter, some Registrars have requested that ICANN (a) clarify and better define certain data elements described in the Data Retention Specification that the Registrars maintain are not clearly defined; and (b) describe potentially legitimate purposes for collection and retention of each data element that would help provide guidance for Registrars both as to whether such elements may be lawfully collected, and, if so, for how long such elements might lawfully be retained..

In response to these requests from some Registrars, ICANN is posting for public comment a document seeking to clarify what is meant by certain data elements described in the Data Retention Specification and describing potentially legitimate purposes for collection and retention of those data elements.   That document can be found here [PDF, 116 KB]. The document will be posted for a period of thirty (30) days to seek feedback and input from the community on (i) whether the data elements are appropriately described, (ii) whether the cited purposes for collection and retention are appropriate and legitimate, and (iii) whether there are other potentially legitimate purposes for collection and retention of such data elements.  After the thirty (30) day period following this posting has expired, ICANN will consider all feedback and input received in connection with ICANN’s ongoing discussions to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of Waiver Requests.  In the interim, ICANN will continue its ongoing discussions to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of Waiver Requests with individual Registrars with the goal of granting additional Waiver Requests as and when appropriate.

A public comment period will remain open until 23:59 p.m. PDT/California, 21 April 2014. Public comments will be available for consideration by ICANN staff and the ICANN Board.

Notice of Preliminary Determination To Grant Registrar Data Retention Waiver Request for NAMEWEB BVBA

Fri, 21 March 2014 - 15:32
21 March 2014

ICANN has made a preliminary determination that it is prepared to grant a data retention waiver request submitted by Registrar NAMEWEB BVBA under the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (the "2013 RAA"). Section 2 of the Data Retention Specification (the "Specification") of 2013 RAA provides that prior to granting any exemption under the Specification, ICANN will post its determination on the ICANN website for a period of thirty (30) calendar days.

Pursuant to Section 2 of the Specification, NAMEWEB BVBA submitted to ICANN a Registrar Data Retention Waiver Request ("Waiver Request") on the basis of NAMEWEB BVBA's contention that compliance with the data collection and/or retention requirements of the Specification violates applicable law in Belgium.

The Waiver Request cited Article 5 of Chapter 2 of the Belgium Act of 8 December 1992 on the protection of privacy in relation to the processing of personal data. That article provides as follows (the following is an unofficial English translation from Dutch):

Article 5.

Personal data may be processed only if:

  1. the data subject has unambiguously given his consent;
  2. the processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract;
  3. the processing is necessary for the compliance with an obligation to which the data controller is subject by or by virtue of law, decree or ordinance;
  4. the processing is necessary in order to protect a vital interest of the data subject;
  5. the processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the data controller or in a third party to whom the data are disclosed;
  6. the processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the data controller or by the third party to whom the data are disclosed, except where such interests are overridden by the fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject.

The King may specify, by royal decree deliberated upon in the Council of Ministers and after having taken advice from the Commission for the protection of privacy, in such cases the conditions under f) shall not be considered fulfilled.

The Waiver Request was accompanied by a letter from the Article 29 Working Party dated 8 January 2014 regarding European Data Protection Directive 94/46/EC and asserted that the Belgian law cited is an almost direct translation into Dutch of the European Directive. The Waiver Request also cited the previous waiver granted by ICANN to OVH SAS on the basis of French law.

Following receipt of the Waiver Request, and in accordance with the 2013 RAA, ICANN through its legal counsel and NAMEWEB BVBA discussed the matter in good faith in an effort to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the matter.

The outcome of those discussions is that NAMEWEB BVBA is seeking a waiver with respect to Sections 1.1.1 through 1.1.8 of the Specification that seeks to reduce from two years to one year the period for which these specified data elements must be retained after the Registrar's sponsorship of the Registration ends.

ICANN has determined on a preliminary basis that it is prepared to grant the data retention waiver request. ICANN is posting this preliminary determination for a period of thirty (30) days to seek feedback and input from the community on the proposed data retention waiver. After the thirty (30) day period following this posting has expired, ICANN will consider all feedback and input received before making a final determination on whether to grant the Waiver Request.

The scope of the proposed waiver would be to permit NAMEWEB BVBA to maintain the information specified in Sections 1.1.1 through 1.1.8 of the Specification for the duration of its sponsorship of the Registration and for a period of one (1) additional year thereafter rather than two (2) additional years thereafter. In all other respects the terms of the Specification would remain AS-IS.

The specific change to the Specification would be that, for the duration of the Waiver, the retention requirement of Paragraph 1.1 of the Data Retention Specification be changed from "two additional years" to "one additional year."

If ICANN does make a final determination to grant the Waiver Request sought by NAMEWEB BVBA, the provisions of Section 3 of the Specification would apply to similar waivers requested by other registrars located in the same jurisdiction. Section 3 of the Specification provides as follows:

If (i) ICANN has previously waived compliance with the requirements of any requirement of this Data Retention Specification in response to a Waiver Request from a registrar that is located in the same jurisdiction as Registrar and (ii) Registrar is subject to the same applicable law that gave rise to ICANN's agreement to grant such wavier, Registrar may request that ICANN to grant a similar waiver, which request shall be approved by ICANN, unless ICANN provides Registrar with a reasonable justification for not approving such request, in which case Registrar may thereafter make an Wavier Request pursuant to Section 2 of this Data Retention Specification.

A public comment period will remain open until 23:59 UTC, 21 April 2014. Public comments will be available for consideration by ICANN staff and the ICANN Board.

Public Comment Invited: Proposal for the Use of Mandatory Policy Advisory Boards for Regulated Industry Sector and Consumer-Trust-Sensitive New gTLD Strings

Fri, 21 March 2014 - 14:40
21 March 2014 Forum Announcement: Comment Period Opens on Date: 21 March 2014 Categories/Tags:
  • Top-Level Domains
  • Contracted Party Agreements
Purpose (Brief): The purpose of this public comment period is to obtain feedback and collect broader community input into the further development of the PAB model, and to which TLD strings it may best apply. Public Comment Box Link: http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/pab-new-gtld-strings-21mar14-en.htm