[AT-Review] FW: Supporting Materials for the ATRT

Manal Ismail manal at tra.gov.eg
Mon Aug 23 20:39:41 UTC 2010

Dear Colleagues ..
Please find below a message received by Brian and myself ..
Sincere apologies for the delayed forwarding ..
Kind Regards


From: Christine Jones [mailto:cjones at godaddy.com]
Sent: Wed 28/07/2010 12:06 AM
To: Brian Cute; Manal Ismail
Cc: Christine Jones
Subject: Supporting Materials for the ATRT

Brian and Manal:
During the ATRT Meeting with Registrars in Brussels on 21 June 2010, I raised several examples of incidents in which ICANN failed to meet our expectations for Accountability and Transparency.  Brian, you asked that I send examples, where possible, of the points I raised.  I have provided links to supporting information below.  We respectfully request that this material be considered during your analysis of specific case studies, and in the formulation of any ATRT recommendations.
Thank you,


Christine Jones
General Counsel
The Go Daddy Group, Inc.
14455 N Hayden Rd, Ste 219
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
480.624.2546 Fax

Document Archive Link:



Issue 1:  Renewal of the .COM contract with Verisign
Many in the Internet community, including Go Daddy, believe that the renewal of the .COM contract with Verisign, Inc., was conducted in a manner that was opaque and granted further entrenched Verisign and .COM respective positions in the domain name industry.  These concerns were shared by many elected officials, as indicated in some of the sample correspondence (enclosed).
Issue 2:  Publication of Board materials and transcripts
Go Daddy, along with other individuals and organizations, has frequently called for transcripts of ICANN board meetings in the interests of fostering transparency of their decisions.  On at least two occasions, we renewed these calls in our testimony before congressional subcommittee (transcripts enclosed).

Issue 3: Claims of Privilege 
In response to inquiries from several in the community, ICANN has refused to comply, claiming that the requested information was privileged.  Unfortunately, documentation of specific claims are not found on the ICANN website, but we will continue to investigate.
It is noteworthy that ICANN defines the criteria under which it believes information is privileged, most
recently in its 2008 Annual Report1.  In its examination of ICANN's transparency, the Review Team might consider asking ICANN Legal to disclose previous claims of privilege, and enumerate which of its own criteria applies in each instance.

Issue 4: Modification of Community Recommendations
Examples of this are numerous, but the most visible instances involve Board and Staff expanding upon the recommendations of the GNSO Council2 regarding the introduction of New gTLDs.  Following the Sydney meeting, ICANN Staff identified four (some say five) "Overarching Issues" relating to the implementation of New gTLDs3, including:

1.	Trademark Protection 
2.	Potential for Malicious Conduct 
3.	Security and Stability / Root Scaling 
4.	TLD Demand and Economic Analysis 
5.	Vertical Integration for Registries, Registrars and Registry Service Providers

Of these, only (c) is unanimously recognized by all elements of the community to lie within the scope of ICANN policy.  At least two of these [(b) and (e)] were referred back to the GNSO via PDP working groups or Advisory Committees.  One (a) was referred to a Board-designated "Implementation Review Team" (IRT) to resolve concerns of a very narrow segment of the community.4
We are concerned about the process that led to the formation and funding of the IRT, and the incorporation of several of its recommendations in the New gTLD DAG.  Following the GNSO Council's recommendations on New gTLDs, the GNSO formed a "PRO" (Protecting the Rights of Others) working group to deliver recommendations to ICANN staff on this issue.  The PRO-WG failed to achieve consensus on any new mechanisms in its final report.5 

Issue 5: Adherence to Mission, Scope, and Remit
The recent past provides several examples of ICANN undertaking efforts in subjects that many in the community feel exceed its stated mission.  These include:

1.	Economic Issues  (Vertical Integration, Demand Studies) 
2.	Intellectual Property Concerns (IRT) 
3.	Morality and Public Order (New gTLD DAG) 
4.	Security Standards (High Security TLDs, DNS-CERT, Registration "Use Abuse")

On more than one occasion, ICANN has positioned itself as a steward of the economic status quo in the domain name industry, insulating incumbent entities from competitive pressures.  As examples, consider the Vertical Integration issue, where the ICANN board has determined that no degree of common ownership between a gTLD Registry and an ICANN-Accredited Registrar is acceptable.6
Furthermore, ICANN has identified that economic demand for New gTLDs be established prior to approving the expansion, rather than allowing gTLD promotion efforts and consumer choice decide this issue.7
ICANN, conjunction with the Government Advisory Committee (GAC), has assumed the authority to subjectively evaluate TLD string applications for "morality and public order" concerns.8 This is a concerning development, as it calls for judgment on the meaning or intention of strings, rather than their technical feasibility.  This provision may also suppress the freedom of expression in the New gTLD space.
Finally, under the auspices of increased security, ICANN has exceeded its mission by commissioning the standards for a "High Security TLD," rather than allowing competing standards to be developed by gTLD applicants.9 It has undertaken policy development work that wades in to issues of content, in the Registration Abuse Policies working group.10 And, in what could be characterized as a "top-down" policy initiative, it continues to examine the concept of a DNS-CERT, over the objections of many within the community to which it is accountable.11


1.	ICANN 2008 Annual Report: http://www.icann.org/en/annualreport/annual-report-bw6-2008-en.pdf Cited section is on page 111.


2.	GNSO Policy Page:  New gTLDs: http://gnso.icann.org/issues/new-gtlds/


3.	New gTLD Workspace:  Overarching Issues: https://st.icann.org/new-gtld-overarching-issues/index.cgi?new_gtld_overarching_issues <file:///new-gtld-overarching-issues/index.cgi> 


4.	Trademark Protections / IRT: https://st.icann.org/new-gtld-overarching-issues/index.cgi?trademark_protection <file:///new-gtld-overarching-issues/index.cgi> 


5.	Protecting the Rights of Others (PRO-WG) Final Report: http://gnso.icann.org/drafts/GNSO-PRO-WG-final-01Jun07.pdf


6.	Board Resolution of March 2010 on Vertical Integration: http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-12mar10-en.htm#5


7.	New gTLD Workspace: Overarching Issues (TLD Demand Studies): https://st.icann.org/new-gtld-overarching-issues/index.cgi?tld_demand_and_economic_analysis <file:///new-gtld-overarching-issues/index.cgi> 


8.	Standards for Morality and Public Order Research:  http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/morality-public-order-30may09-en.pdf


9.	Draft High Security TLD Program:  http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/hstld-program-snapshot-18feb10-en.pdf


10.	Registration Abuse Policies Final Report: http://gnso.icann.org/issues/rap/rap-wg-final-report-29may10-en.pdf


11.	DNS- CERT Operational Requirements: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/ssr/dns-cert-collaboration-analysis-24may10-en.pdf



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