[CCWG-ACCT] Question regarding AoC and "consumer trust"

Burr, Becky Becky.Burr at neustar.biz
Thu Jan 14 22:49:11 UTC 2016

Fiona –

I am hoping you can shed some light on ICANN’s obligations with respect to “consumer trust”  under the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC).

Paragraph 3 of the AoC states that the document “affirms key commitments by DOC and ICANN, including commitments to: … (c) promote competition, consumer trust, and consumer choice in the DNS marketplace.”  Paragraph 9.3, entitled “Promoting competition, consumer trust, and consumer choice,” obligates ICANN to “ensure” that “as it contemplates expanding the top-level domain space, the various issues that are involved (including competition, consumer protection, security, stability and resiliency, malicious abuse issues, sovereignty concerns, and rights protection) will be adequately addressed prior to implementation.”  It goes on to require ICANN to conduct specific reviews at specified intervals following the introduction of new gTLDs.

In transposing ICANN’s AoC commitments into the ICANN Bylaws, the CCWG Proposal contemplates adding a Bylaws provision requiring the specific reviews called for in the AoC, including review of competition, consumer trust, and consumer choice in relation to expansion of the gTLD space.

Some members of the CCWG believe that this approach faithfully transposes the consumer trust obligations which are referenced in Paragraph 3 but explained  in Paragraph 9.3 to apply exclusively to ICANN’s expansion of the TLD space.  Other members of the CCWG interpret the AoC to obligate ICANN also to undertake a general role in promoting consumer trust “in the DNS marketplace.”

It would be very helpful if you could help us understand the intent of the drafters with respect to ICANN’s “consumer trust” obligations ICANN under the Affirmation of Commitments.

Many thanks on behalf of the CCWG,

Becky Burr
Rapporteur for Work Party 2

J. Beckwith Burr
Neustar, Inc. / Deputy General Counsel & Chief Privacy Officer
1775 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington D.C. 20006
Office: +1.202.533.2932  Mobile: +1.202.352.6367 / neustar.biz<http://www.neustar.biz>
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