[bc-gnso] Outcome of Whois studies at GNSO Council meeting today

Marilyn Cade marilynscade at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 16 23:11:35 UTC 2011

Great team work on this! 
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve DelBianco <sdelbianco at netchoice.org>
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 23:03:56 
To: <bc-GNSO at icann.org>
Subject: [bc-gnso] Outcome of Whois studies at GNSO Council meeting today

As we discussed extensively in Tuesday's BC meeting, there were 2 motions on Whois studies before GNSO Council today.  Here's what happened:

Tim Ruiz withdrew his motion for more information. 

Registrars then asked that the BC resolution be deferred to the next meeting. 
Zahid described the urgency of these studies, explaining that they are a consolidation of studies requested by the GAC and by the community.  And that his question on Sunday brought a firm response from GAC Chair: Yes, they are disappointed that Whois studies they requested in 2008 have not yet begun. 
John Berard reiterated his argument for studies to support fact-based policy development. 
Steve DelBianco went to the mic to amplify our Councilors' points: 
At this meeting we have a "Perfect storm" of pressure to begin these Whois studies: 
1) AoC Review of WHOIS;   
2) KnuJon report on Illicit Privacy-Proxy WHOIS; 
3) a reminder to "Mind the GAC" (as the T-Shirt says) 
To rebut Tim Ruiz' point that studies will not change any minds,we explained that every community study suggestion had to explain policy implications of its hypothesis.  e.g., the Priv/Proxy study #3 had this Hypothesis: 
Of ICANN-accredited registrars who offer their own proxy services, some are failing to reveal shielded registrant data in accordance with the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) and/or their own Terms of Service (TOS). 
And this "Utility": 
If the hypothesis were verified, ICANN should improve its contractual compliance efforts for registrars offering proxy services.  ICANN's response should be proportional to the quantity of registrars and affected registrants where compliance was found to be deficient.  If non-compliance is confined to a small number of registrars, increased contract enforcement efforts could be limited and targeted.  On the other hand, a widespread lack of compliance might indicate that ICANN should amend the RAA to increase penalties for non-compliance. 
To emphasize "Mind the GAC", we read these 2 study requests from the Apr-2008 GAC Letter:  
1:  To what extent are the legitimate uses of gTLD WHOIS data curtailed or prevented by use of proxy or privacy registration services? 
11: What is the percentage of domain names registered using proxy or privacy services that have been associated with fraud or other illegal activity versus the percentage of domain names not using such services that have been associated with fraud or illegal activity? 
We also responded to Tim Ruiz claim that we already knew there was "some" fraud and abuse hiding behind privacy/proxy services.     Without  facts on the magnitude of abuse, Council would lack data to justify significant compliance expenses or policy changes. 
Jeff Neuman indicated he only wanted to tighten the language for some of the studies, and proposed a small group to convene before next Council meeting.   Steve DelBianco volunteered for this.

So it's deferred to next Council meeting, with some work left to do before then.


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