[council] Policy Update Volume 08, Issue 9 - November 2008

Glen de Saint Géry Glen at icann.org
Sat Nov 15 12:31:54 UTC 2008

[To: council[at]gnso.icann.org; liaison6c[at]gnso.icann.org]
[To: ga[at]gnso.icann.org; announce[at]gnso.icann.org]
[To: regional-liaisons[at]icann.org]

Policy Update
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
Volume 08, Issue 9 - November 2008



The ICANN Policy Update contains brief summaries of issues being addressed by the ICANN community's bottom-up policy development structure, as well as information on related policy development activities. ICANN's Policy Staff publishes these monthly updates to maximize transparency and encourage broad community participation in ICANN's policy development activities.

Links to additional information are included and readers are encouraged to go beyond these brief summaries to learn more about the ICANN community's work. As always, the Policy Staff welcomes comments and suggestions on how to improve its policy communications efforts. Please send these comments to policy-staff at icann.org.

ICANN Policy Update Available in Russian, Chinese, Arabic, French, Spanish, English
Beginning with the October issue, the ICANN Policy Update is now available in all six official languages of the United Nations: English (EN), Spanish (ES), French (FR), Arabic (AR), Chinese (Simplified -- siZH), and Russian (RU). This has been done on a trial basis to determine utility. The Policy Update is posted on ICANN's website and available via online subscription. If you would like us to send these updates directly to your inbox each month, simply go to the ICANN subscriptions page, enter your e-mail address, and select "Policy Update" to subscribe. This service is free of charge to subscribers. More information is available at:

ICANN Policy Updates: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/policy/
Subscribe to Policy Updates: http://www.icann.org/en/newsletter/
ICANN Policy Area: http://www.icann.org/en/policy/
What's on the Calendar for today?

Keep up-to-date on what's happening in ICANN policy development by visiting the online calendars of ICANN's policy development bodies. Three of the most active calendars include:

At-Large Calendar at http://www.atlarge.icann.org/
Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) Master Calendar, including links to agendas and MP3 recordings of meetings at http://ccnso.icann.org/calendar/
Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Master Calendar, including links to agendas and MP3 recordings of meetings, at http://gnso.icann.org/calendar/index.html

1. YOUR COMMENTS NEEDED ON POLICY ISSUES As of this writing, public comment periods are open on eight issues of interest to the ICANN community. Act now for the opportunity to share your views on:

Strategic Planning - As part of its annual planning cycle, ICANN is seeking comments on a draft of the priorities for the strategic plan. These priorities will become the framework for the July 2009 - June 2012 Strategic Plan. Comments close 17 November 2008.
Add Grace Period - Public comment is sought on the draft implementation plan for the AGP Limits Policy that was developed by the GNSO in response to concerns about domain name tasting and approved by ICANN's Board. Comments close 20 November 2008.
Role of Individual Internet Users in the GNSO - The ICANN Board is seeking additional community input on the appropriate role and representation of individual commercial and non-commercial Internet users in the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO). Comments close 28 November 2008.
IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process Implementation - Comments are encouraged on the Draft Implementation Plan for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process. The IDN Fast Track Process is a mechanism recommended by the IDNC Working Group, focused on the introduction of a limited number of non-contentious IDN ccTLDs, associated with the ISO 3166-1 two-letter codes, to meet near term demand, while an overall IDN ccTLD policy is being developed. Comments close 08 December 2008.
New gTLDs - The draft 'Applicant Guidebook' for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) is now available for review and comment. The draft Guidebook provides information for those interested in applying for new generic top-level domains. Comments will help with the production of the final Applicant Guidebook, to be released early 2009. Comments close 8 December 2008.
Vertical Separation of Registries and Registrars - ICANN is seeking public comment on a report entitled "Revisiting Vertical Separation of Registries and Registrars," which was developed by CRAI at the request of ICANN's Board. Comments close 8 December 2008.
ALAC Review - The Board's ALAC Review Working Group (WG) has released its Mid-point Consultation Report for discussion with the ICANN community. This preliminary report presents the WG's "initial thinking" on the questions under review following the publication of the Independent Review of the At Large Advisory Committee. Comments close12 December 2008.
Board Review - The Independent Reviewer's Report on the ICANN Board has been posted for public comment. This report will be used to inform ICANN's effort to develop detailed proposals for improving the Board's structure and processes. Comments close 12 December 2008.


ICANN's Policy Department offers a series of multilingual webcasts specifically designed as a fast, efficient introduction for stakeholders across the ICANN community to a range of important policy issues.

Recent Developments

Each month, ICANN Staff organizes audio briefings on topical policy issues. These briefings focus on issues of interest to both the individual Internet user as well as the ICANN stakeholder communities.

Initiated for ICANN's At-Large community, these calls are made available to the general public. Each webcast features a briefing on the issue conducted via telephone and can be accessed on ICANN's website by anyone interested in learning about the topic. During the actual briefings, an Adobe Connect session allows participants to follow along with presentations and to chat with one another and the presenter during the session. Each presentation is followed by a question and answer session with the participants.

Briefings generally feature simultaneous interpretation so users may participate in English, Spanish or French, and recordings are available in all three languages, along with any presentation materials from the briefings.

The latest briefing featured IANA, providing a very useful introduction to what IANA is and what it does, and discussing the relationship between the US Government and IANA functions.

More Information
Information on briefings: http://www.atlarge.icann.org/en/audio-briefings
Available briefings:
Fast Flux Hosting
The New gTLD Program
Draft Amendments to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA)
Registrar Impersonation in Phishing Attacks
DNS Response Modification
IANA Introduction
Staff Contact

Matthias Langenegger, At-Large Secretariat.

3. Multilingual Mailing Lists Available At a Glance

A new mailing list translator will better enable people all over the world to take part in ICANN policy discussions.

Recent Developments

With the support of many ICANN community members, ICANN Staff has created an email list translation interface that is now entering production use. The first communities to benefit will be the At-Large Regional At-Large Organizations ("RALOs") in Africa ("AFRALO") and Latin America and the Caribbean ("LACRALO").

The interface can be used one of two ways:

One-way translation output to a mailing list archive from an English-only list, allowing non-English readers to follow ICANN organizations' public discussions in several languages, or;
As a two-way interface, allowing non-English postings to be read as English, and vice-versa.
Since machine translation is imperfect, the results vary - but testing has found that the translation is generally sufficient to allow the reader to at least understand the general idea the poster in the other language is trying to convey. The interface also provides a URL link to the original posting, so those who can partially read the language of the original posting may always review it; this is especially helpful in dealing with imprecise translations.

Not every language is available - but more are regularly being added by SYSTRAN, the provider of the machine translation. The list of languages is as follows:

English <> Arabic
 French <> Dutch

English <> Chinese
 French <> German

English <> Dutch
 French <> Italian

English <> French
 French <> Portuguese

English <> German
 French <> Spanish

English <> Italian
 English <> Korean

English <> Japanese
 English <> Portuguese

English <> Russian
 English <> Spanish

English <> Greek

More Information

Contact Nick Ashton-Hart, Director for At-Large, if you are interested in enabling either style of multilingual interface.


The GNSO community is now engaged in efforts to implement a series of organizational and structural changes designed to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and accessibility of the organization.

Recent Developments

 At its 16 October meeting, the GNSO Council approved a top-level structure for implementing the various operational and structural improvements endorsed by the ICANN Board over the past several months. The foundation of this implementation structure is two steering committees which will oversee and manage the implementation effort. Members of the GNSO Operations Steering Committee (OSC) and the GNSO Policy Process Steering Committee (PPSC) met for the first time at the ICANN Cairo meeting where they initiated their efforts and began to set their agendas.

The ICANN Board has asked for additional community input on two outstanding GNSO improvements matters - (1) the GNSO Council mechanism for selecting ICANN Board seats #13 and #14 and (2) the appropriate role of individual Internet users in the GNSO. GNSO community members and other interested parties have been invited to discuss and submit their comments on these important issues. A specific public comment forum has been established for the latter issue. http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/ - gnso-users.

The Board has also asked the GNSO Council to share its implementation plan regarding the restructuring of the GNSO Council. There is a target date for seating the new Council in June 2009, and the Board has asked the Council and the community to work toward that goal in several organized phases -

Phase 1 - GNSO Council restructuring implementation plan submitted in advance of the December 2008 Board Meeting;

Phase 2 - Existing Constituencies submit confirmation documents to the Board for review in advance of the February 2009 Board Meeting;

Phase 3 - Stakeholder Groups submit formal plans for Board approval for consideration at the ICANN Mexico City Board meeting; and

Phase 4 - Stakeholder Groups with plans approved by the Board select Council representatives, and the newly structured GNSO Council is seated by the June 2009 Sydney, Australia ICANN Meeting.

Next Steps

Interested community members will prepare and submit comments on the Board Seat selection and individual Internet users issues identified above. The OSC and PPSC will continue with their efforts, which may include the formation of specific work teams to focus implementation efforts on targeted areas of operational improvements. Calls for community volunteers will likely accompany those efforts. The GNSO Council is scheduled to provide a report to the Board on their restructuring plan implementation efforts in time for consideration for the December 2008 Board meeting.


Through a series of decisions at its February, June, August and October 2008 meetings, the ICANN Board of Directors has endorsed a series of goals, objectives and recommendations for improving several aspects of the Generic Names Supporting Organization's (GNSO) structure and operations. These decisions are a culmination of a two-year effort of independent review, extensive community input and marathon Board deliberations designed to improve the effectiveness of the GNSO's policy development activities, structure, operations and communications.

The recommendations approved by the Board are based on broad-based input and advice, and recommendations from two primary working group efforts. The bulk of the recommendations originated from a GNSO Improvements Report authored by the Board Governance Committee GNSO Review Working Group (BGC WG). The remaining concepts approved by the Board, to date, were suggested in large part by the Working Group on GNSO Council Restructuring (WG-GCR) which was created by the Board at its meeting in Paris. The work products of those groups can be found here for the Final Report of the BGC WG - http://www.icann.org/topics/gnso-improvements/gnso-improvements-report-03feb08.pdf and here for the final report of the WG-GCR - http://www.icann.org/en/topics/gnso-improvements/gnso-council-restructuring-report-25jul08.pdf

A GNSO Improvement Planning Team (Planning Team) (comprised of GNSO leadership, constituency representatives, ICANN Staff and a Board liaison participant) formed by the GNSO Council developed a top-level implementation plan to organize and manage the implementation effort. The GNSO Council approved the plan on 16 October 2008. It features the formation of two steering committees, GNSO Policy Process and GNSO Operations, which are responsible for ensuring that the work of implementing BGC WG recommendations is carried out.

The ICANN Board has established a specific timetable for restructuring of the GNSO Council and has set benchmarks and goals for the other implementation efforts. The ICANN Staff has established a specific series of web pages designed to outline and explain the implementation effort. It can be reached at http://gnso.icann.org/en/improvements/.

More Information

GNSO Improvements Information page http://www.icann.org/topics/gnso-improvements/
GNSO Improvements Summary of Board Actions and GNSO Implementation, 1 November 2008 http://gnso.icann.org/en/improvements/summary-board-actions-01nov08-en.pdf
Staff request for input on GNSO Council Restructuring http://gnso.icann.org/mailing-lists/archives/council/msg05441.html
Staff Contact

Rob Hoggarth, Senior Policy Director


The ICANN Board has authorized the formation of a community-wide working group to review the organization's system of geographic regions to help ensure effective international diversity in ICANN's structures.

Recent Developments

At its 7 November meeting in Cairo, the ICANN Board authorized the formation of a community-wide working group to study and review the issues related to the definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions, consult with all stakeholders, and submit proposals for community and Board consideration relating to the current definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions. The Board asked that all interested Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees nominate two individuals to serve on the working group.

Next Steps

The Board would like to approve the composition of the new working group at its December meeting. Subsequently, the Board expects the working group, as its first order of business, to draft and seek community input on a proposed charter, and submit the draft document for community review. The Board would like to consider and approve the charter at the March 2009 Board meeting in Mexico City. In drafting the charter, the Board expects the working group to focus, but not limit, its work on the criteria for assigning countries, dependencies and recognized geopolitical entities to a Geographic Region.


An ICANN Board resolution in 2000 directed Staff to establish a system of geographical regions to ensure regional diversity in the composition of the ICANN Board by assigning countries to geographic regions on the basis of the United Nations Statistics Division's current classifications. The system was subsequently expanded in various ways to apply to various ICANN community structures, including the GNSO, ALAC and ccNSO.

The ICANN Bylaws currently define five geographic regions as Africa, North America, Latin America/Caribbean, Asia/Australia/Pacific and Europe -- and also expand the concept that "persons from an area that is not a country should be grouped together with the country of citizenship for that area" so that the area or territory itself was similarly allocated to the region of the "mother country."

Over time, various community members have developed concerns about the ICANN Geographic Regions and related representational issues. Last year, the ccNSO Council passed a resolution recommending that the ICANN Board appoint a community-wide working group to further study and review the issues related to the definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions, to consult with all stakeholders and submit proposals to the Board to resolve the issues relating to the current definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions.

The ICANN Board determined at its 2 November 2007 meeting in Los Angeles that because any change to ICANN Geographic Regions could have widespread effect in ICANN, the views of other Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees should be sought by the Board. The Board asked the ICANN community, including the GNSO, ccNSO, ASO, GAC, and ALAC, to provide the ICANN Staff with input on the ccNSO Council's resolution relating to ICANN's Geographic Regions.

More Information

ccNSO Working Group Report and Recommendations http://ccnso.icann.org/workinggroups/ccnso-final-report-regions-wg-240907.pdf
2 November 2007 ICANN Board Resolution http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-02nov07.htm - _Toc55609368
Staff Contact

Robert Hoggarth, Senior Policy Director


The GNSO Council to take a closer look at registration abuse policies and may decide if seek wider action is needed.

Recent Developments

The GNSO Council is considering a report that delves into the potential for registration abuse contained within registry-registrar agreements. ICANN Staff prepared the Issues Report on Registration Abuse Policies and circulated it to the GNSO Council on 29 October 2008. The report provides an overview of existing provisions in registry-registrar agreements relating to abuse and includes a number of recommended next steps. The GNSO Council adopted a motion at its meeting on 5 November 2008 instructing the Council " to begin discussions of the issues report and the possible initiation of a PDP at its next regular meeting."

Next Steps

The GNSO Council is expected to discuss the Issues Report at its next meeting.


On 25 September 2008, the GNSO Council adopted a motion requesting an issues report on registration abuse policies. The objective of the issues report is to identify existing provisions in registry-registrar agreements relating to abuse as well as to identify and describe potential options for further Council consideration.

More Information

Registration Abuse Policies Issues Report, 29 October 2008: http://gnso.icann.org/issues/registration-abuse/gnso-issues-report-registration-abuse-policies-29oct08.pdf

Staff Contacts

Liz Gasster, Senior Policy Counsellor, and Marika Konings, Policy Director


The Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP) aims to provide a straightforward procedure for domain name holders to transfer their names from one ICANN-accredited registrar to another. The GNSO is reviewing and considering revisions to this policy.

Recent Developments

As part of a broader review of this policy, one Policy Development Process (PDP) on transfer denial reasons has recently been concluded and a second on new IRTP issues is ongoing. The latter addresses questions relating to the exchange of registrant e-mail information, the potential for including new forms of electronic authentication and potential provisions for "partial bulk transfers."

Transfer Denial Reasons PDP

The ICANN Board adopted a recommendation at its meeting on 7 November 2008 that proposes new provisions for Denial Reasons #8 and #9 (these are defined below). Changes will be implemented through corresponding modifications of the IRTP.

Following public comments, the original Recommendation had been slightly modified by the GNSO Council on 16 October 2008. The voting by the Council on 4 September and 16 October carried in both cases with a supermajority.

New IRTP Issues -- Set A

Following the public comment period and the submission of Constituency Statements, ICANN staff has prepared a first draft of the Initial Report that is currently being discussed by the Working Group.

Next Steps

Transfer Denial Reasons PDP

With the adoption of the recommendation by the Board, ICANN Staff will now take the necessary steps to prepare the recommendation for implementation.

New IRTP Issues -- Set A

Following the review of the draft Initial Report by the Working Group, it will be submitted for public comment and a second round of Constituency input.


ICANN promotes and encourages robust competition in the domain name space. The organization's Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP), therefore, aims to provide a straightforward procedure for domain name holders to transfer their names from one ICANN-accredited registrar to another should they wish to do so. The policy also provides standardized requirements for registrar handling of such transfer requests from domain name holders.

The policy is an existing community consensus that was implemented in late 2004 and is now being reviewed by the GNSO. As part of that effort, the GNSO Council formed a Transfers Working Group (TWG) to examine and recommend possible areas for improvements in the existing transfer policy. The TWG identified a broad list of over 20 potential areas for clarification and improvement.

The IRTP performs a critical function but the specific terms of the policy can be arcane and the work to clarify them complex. In an effort to deal with that complexity while moving to get clarifications and improvements on-line as soon as possible, the Council initiated a policy development process (Transfer PDP 1) to immediately examine four specific issues from the broader list that addressed reasons for which a registrar of record may deny a request to transfer a domain name to a new registrar. The IRTP currently enumerates nine (9) specific reasons why a registrar can deny a transfer. Those issues identified as needing clarification included the following:

No payment for previous registration period (Denial Reason #5);
A domain was already in "lock" status (Denial Reason #7);
The domain was in the first 60 days of an initial registration period (Denial Reason #8); and
A domain name is within 60 days of being transferred (Denial Reason #9)
ICANN Staff finalized and posted an Initial Report for public comment as part of this PDP and used public comments received to compile a Final Report for the Council's consideration on further steps to take. At the GNSO Council meeting on 17 April 2008, a drafting group was launched to develop suggested text modifications for the four transfer denial reasons. The drafting group reported on its findings to the GNSO Council. The Council resolved on 25 June 2008 to post the proposals for transfer denial reasons #8 and #9 for public comments, while deferring denial reasons #5 and #7 to be handled in a future transfer policy development process (PDP C).

The GNSO drafting group posted its proposals addressing transfer denial reasons #8 and #9 for public comments on 26 June 2008. One comment was received and sent to the GNSO Council for consideration. Following the GNSO Council call on 7 August, the Council members were invited to bring the outcome of the drafting group regarding the IRTP PDP on Clarification of Reasons for Denial to the attention of their Constituencies for any position preparations needed.

At its 4 September meeting, the GNSO Council adopted a motion on the IRTP Denial Definitions Policy Development Process (PDP). The motion resolves that the text for denial reason #8 (the domain name was in the first 60 days of an initial registration period) and #9 (a domain name is within 60 days of being transferred) be amended as proposed by the GNSO drafting group. Following the adoption of the motion, the GNSO Council opened a public comment period prior to ICANN Board consideration of the issue. Based on the comments received, the Council adopted a rephrasing of denial reason #9 on 16 October. The Board adopted the recommendation on 7 November 2008.

Parallel to the above PDP process, the Council tasked a short term planning group to evaluate and prioritize the remaining 19 policy issues identified by the Transfers Working Group. In March 2008, the group delivered a report to the Council that suggested combining the consideration of related issues into five new PDPs. On 8 May 2008, the Council adopted the structuring of five additional inter-registrar transfer PDPs as suggested by the planning group (in addition to the ongoing Transfer PDP 1 on the four reasons for denying a transfer). The five new PDPs will be addressed in a largely consecutive manner, with the possibility of overlap as resources permit.

The Council requested and received an Issues Report from Staff on the first of the new PDP issue sets (Set A -- New IRTP Issues). The three "new" issues in Set A address: (1) the potential exchange of registrant email information between registrars; (2) the potential for including new forms of electronic authentication to verify transfer requests and avoid "spoofing"; and (3) the inclusion of provisions for "partial bulk transfers" between registrars. The GNSO Council resolved on 25 June 2008 to launch a PDP ("PDP June-08") on these issues and adopted a charter for a Working Group on 17 July 2008. The Working Group started its deliberations on 5 August 2008.

The Part A PDP Working Group opened a public comment period from 8 September to 25 September to receive community input on the three issue areas. The Staff summarized responses to questions. (see Summary and Analysis of Comments for the Inter-Registrar Transfer policy - Part A).

More Information

Draft Advisory http://gnso.icann.org/issues/transfers/gnso-draft-transfer-advisory-14nov07.pdf
Initial Report http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-17mar08.htm
Final Report http://gnso.icann.org/drafts/final-report-irt-policy-09apr08.pdf
Drafting group outcome http://gnso.icann.org/issues/transfers/gnso-final-draft-denial-reasons-04jun08.pdf
PDP Recommendations http://gnso.icann.org/drafts/transfer-wg-recommendations-pdp-groupings-19mar08.pdf
Issues Report, Set A http://gnso.icann.org/issues/transfers/transfer-issues-report-set-a-23may08.pdf
Charter Inter Registrar Transfer Policy -- Part A PDP Working Group https://st.icann.org/gnso-council/index.cgi?irtp_pdp_a_wg_charter
Staff Contact

Marika Konings, Policy Director


WHOIS is the data repository containing registered domain names, registrant contacts and other critical information. Questions persist concerning the use and misuse of this important resource. A GNSO Council study group completes a report exploring what questions deserve further examination.

Recent Developments

The GNSO Council, meeting in Cairo, has agreed to schedule a special Council meeting to discuss various constituency positions on the need for WHOIS studies. Prior to Cairo, the Council had asked Council representatives to forward the WHOIS Study Hypothesis Report to their respective constituencies for discussion and comment as applicable.

In response, t he Registry Constituency submitted extensive comments. These comments categorized studies into three levels of priority, identified a few that they thought might be done by the compliance team, and included all questions the Government Advisory Committee had raised in their own needs analysis. The Registry Constituency analysis raised feasibility questions regarding several studies, but did not make specific recommendations beyond this analysis at this time.

Other constituencies are in the process of developing constituency positions on WHOIS studies. The Council agreed to conduct the special meeting in order to discuss the study proposals in detail once constituency views have been submitted.  The Council will also consider whether studies might be identified for feasibility and costs in a phased approach, to allow staff to scope certain studies that may be of a higher priority. The goal is for the Council to decide which studies, if any, should be assessed for cost and feasibility, request staff to perform that assessment, and, following that assessment, the Council will decide which studies should be conducted.

Also in Cairo, in its meetings with the GNSO and the ICANN Board, the Government Advisory Committee expressed disappointment that no substantive progress has been made in response to its March 2007 request for studies on the uses and misuses of WHOIS data. Board Chairman Peter Dengate-Thrush noted that ICANN's Compliance office has finished the design phase of a WHOIS accuracy study (with the National Opinion Research Center, associated with University of Chicago), and is exploring a registrar privacy/proxy registration services study to assess the extent to which registrants are using privacy/proxy registration services and improvements to the WHOIS data problem reporting system. He also reiterated that the Board was tracking the GNSO's efforts. The GAC welcomed the status report provided by the Board and asked that it be converted into a more formal written response. The GAC also invited the Board to reflect on alternative ways to address the GAC's request.

Next Steps

The ICANN Staff will be asked in an upcoming meeting of the Council to prepare the pertinent cost estimates.


WHOIS services provide public access to data on registered domain names, data that currently includes contact information for Registered Name Holders. The extent of registration data collected at the time a domain name is registered, and the ways such data can be accessed, are specified in agreements established by ICANN for domain names registered in generic top-level domains (gTLDs). For example, ICANN requires accredited registrars to collect and provide free public access to: (1) the name of the registered domain name and its name servers and registrar; (2) the date the domain was created and when its registration expires; and (3) the contact information for the Registered Name Holder, including the technical contact, and the registrant's administrative contact.

WHOIS has been the subject of intense policy development debate and action over the last few years. Information contained in WHOIS is used for a wide variety of purposes. Some uses of WHOIS data are viewed as constructive and beneficial. For example, sometimes WHOIS data is used to track down and identify registrants who may be posting illegal content or engaging in phishing scams. Other uses of WHOIS are viewed as potentially negative, such as harvesting WHOIS contact information to send unwanted spam or fraudulent email solicitations. Privacy advocates have also been concerned about the privacy implications of unrestricted access to personal contact information.

The GNSO Council decided in October 2007 that a comprehensive, objective and quantifiable understanding of key factual issues regarding WHOIS would benefit future GNSO policy development efforts, and plans to ask the ICANN Staff to conduct several studies for this purpose. Before defining the details of these studies, the Council solicited suggestions for specific topics of study on WHOIS from community stakeholders, with possible areas of study including: a study of certain aspects of gTLD registrants and registrations; a study of certain uses and misuses of WHOIS data; a study of the use of proxy registration services, including privacy services; and a comparative study of gTLD and ccTLD WHOIS. The Council opened a public comment forum through 15 February 2008, in order to solicit suggestions for specific topics of study on WHOIS. The Council received approximately 25 suggestions and a summary of comments was prepared.

On 27 March 2008, the GNSO Council convened a group of volunteers to do the following : (1) review and discuss the Report on Public Suggestions on Further Studies of WHOIS; (2) develop a proposed list of recommended studies, if any, for which ICANN Staff would be asked to provide cost estimates to the Council; and (3) produce the list of recommendations with supporting rationale.

On 22 May 2008, the WHOIS study group delivered its report to the Council. In addition to considering the recommendations solicited from the public, the group also considered recommendations offered by the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) for WHOIS studies. The report reflected two opposing viewpoints among participants. A significant number of participants believe that no further studies should be conducted because further study (and the resulting information) would be unlikely to persuade any stakeholders to modify existing strongly held positions. The second group of participants believe further studies would be useful in informing the debate, and their comments include specific recommendations for further study in three primary areas: 1) the availability of privacy services; 2) the demand for and motivation behind the use of privacy services; and 3) certain studies of WHOIS misuse, detailed further in the report.

During the June 2008 Paris meeting, the GNSO Council voted to reconvene a group to review the WHOIS study recommendations offered through the public comment period and the studies requested by the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and, based on those recommendations and the GAC request, prepare a concise list of hypotheses that could be the subject of research. The group completed its work and sent a WHOIS Study Hypothesis Report to the GNSO Council on 26 August 2008.

More Information

GNSO WHOIS policy development page http://gnso.icann.org/issues/whois/
The suggestions for further studies of WHOIS offered by the Government Advisory Committee on 16 April 2008 can be found at: http://www.icann.org/correspondence/karlins-to-thrush-16apr08.pdf
WHOIS Study Hypothesis Report, 26 August 2008 http://gnso.icann.org/issues/whois/whois-study-hypothesis-group-report-to-council-26aug08.pdf
Staff Contact

Liz Gasster, Senior Policy Counselor


Fast flux hosting refers to techniques used by cybercriminals to evade detection by rapidly modifying IP addresses and/or name servers. The GNSO is exploring appropriate action.

Recent Developments

The GNSO's Fast Flux Working Group has been discussing a draft Initial Report prepared by Staff and will be finalizing it over the next few weeks.

Next Steps

Following publication of the Initial Report, public comments and a second round of constituency statements will be solicited. These comments will be considered in the development of a Final Report.

The Working Group's Final Report will discuss the questions outlined below and the range of possible answers developed by its members. The Report also will outline potential next steps for Council deliberation. These next steps may include further work items for the Working Group or policy recommendation for constituency and community review and comment, and for Council deliberation.


The ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) recently completed a study of fast flux hosting. Because fast flux hosting involves many different players - the cybercriminals and their victims, Internet service providers, companies that provide web hosting services, and DNS registries and registrars - there are many potential approaches to mitigation. Most of these will require the cooperation of a variety of actors, and some will be outside of ICANN's scope.

On 26 March 2008, Staff posted an Issues Report on fast flux hosting, as directed by the GNSO Council. In the Report, Staff recommends that the GNSO sponsor additional fact-finding and research to develop best practices concerning fast flux hosting. Staff also notes that it may be appropriate for the ccNSO to participate in such an activity.

At its 8 May 2008 meeting, the GNSO Council formally launched a policy development process (PDP), rejected a task force approach and called for creation of a Working Group on fast flux. Subsequently, at its 29 May 2008 meeting, the GNSO Council approved a Working Group charter to consider the following questions:

Who benefits from fast flux, and who is harmed?
Who would benefit from cessation of the practice and who would be harmed?
Are registry operators involved, or could they be, in fast flux hosting activities? If so, how?
Are registrars involved in fast flux hosting activities? If so, how?
How are registrants affected by fast flux hosting?
How are Internet users affected by fast flux hosting?
What technical (e.g. changes to the way in which DNS updates operate) and policy (e.g. changes to registry/registrar agreements or rules governing permissible registrant behavior) measures could registries and registrars implement to mitigate the negative effects of fast flux?
What would be the impact (positive or negative) of establishing limitations, guidelines, or restrictions on registrants, registrars and/or registries with respect to practices that enable or facilitate fast flux hosting?
What would be the impact of these limitations, guidelines, or restrictions to product and service innovation?
What are some of the best practices available with regard to protection from fast flux?
The group also will obtain expert opinion, as appropriate, on which areas of fast flux are in scope and out of scope for GNSO policy making.

More Information

SSAC Report 025 on Fast Flux Hosting, January 2008
English: http://www.icann.org/committees/security/sac025.pdf
French: http://www.icann.org/committees/security/sac025-fr.pdf
Spanish: http://www.icann.org/committees/security/sac025-es.pdf
Issues Report on Fast Flux Hosting, corrected 31 March 2008 http://gnso.icann.org/issues/fast-flux-hosting/gnso-issues-report-fast-flux-25mar08.pdf
Limited translations of the Issues Report on Fast Flux Hosting available at http://gnso.icann.org/issues/ under "Fast Flux"
25 June GNSO Council resolution on Fast Flux Hosting http://gnso.icann.org/resolutions/
Staff Contacts

Liz Gasster, Senior Policy Counselor and Marika Konings, Policy Director


To what extent should registrants be able to reclaim their domain names after they expire? The ALAC has asked the GNSO for an Issues Report to explore this matter further.

Recent Developments

During its Cairo meetings, the ALAC voted to request an Issues Report on the subject of registrants being able to recover domain names after their formal expiration date. Some in the At-Large community maintain that there isn't always adequate notice to registrants whose domain names are expiring. The At-Large's request notes that issues may include a lack of consistent notification standards, undelivered expiration notification emails, or notification rights inadvertently signed away during initial domain name registration. It is unclear at this point how many registrants may be affected by this problem.

Next Steps

The GNSO Council will consider the ALAC request.

More Information

ALAC motion: https://st.icann.org/alac/index.cgi?recovery_of_expired_domain_names .

Staff Contact

Liz Gasster, Senior Policy Counselor and Marika Konings, Policy Director

Regional Internet Registries near consensus on a move to allocate the remaining IPv4 address blocks.

Recent Developments
Four of five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) have approved a proposed policy to allocate the remaining IPv4 address blocks. ARIN, LACNIC, AfriNIC and RIPE have adopted the measure. The proposal has also passed the final call for comments stage in APNIC and is ready for a decision on formal adoption by the APNIC Executive Council at its next meeting 20 November 2008.

Next Steps

Once the proposal is adopted by the APNIC Executive Council, it will be reviewed by the Number Resource Organization Executive Committee and the Address Supporting Organization Address Council according to their established procedures and subsequently be forwarded to the ICANN Board for ratification.


IPv4 unallocated address blocks in IANA's pool continues to be depleted. A global policy has been proposed to allocate the remaining address blocks once a given threshold is triggered. The text of the proposed policy essentially recommends that when there are five /8 blocks remaining in the IANA pool, one remaining block will be allocated to each RIR. The proposal has been discussed at the most recent meetings of all RIRs (APNIC, ARIN, RIPE, LACNIC and AfriNIC) and has been adopted by all RIRs except APNIC, where it is expected to be formally adopted at the next APNIC Executive Council meeting 20 November 2008.

More Information

Background Report IPV4, updated 8 September 2008 http://www.icann.org/announcements/proposal-ipv4-report-29nov07.htm

Staff Contact

Olof Nordling, Director Services Relations


Activity continues across a number of fronts to address issues confronting Domain Name Server security.

Recent Developments

SSAC presented interim reports on several ongoing committee studies during its SSAC Open Workshop during the ICANN Cairo Meeting on November 3. SSAC is currently studying measures that registrars and resellers should consider to provide better protection against hijacking and phishing of domain administration accounts.

SSAC also reported on progress in assessing the state of DNSSEC "readiness" in three key implementation areas: availability of DNSSEC-capable name server implementations, ability of broadband access devices to process DNSSEC queries and responses, and availability of DNSSEC-aware end user applications.

Kim Davies (IANA) provided the community with a summary of the recently exposed DNS vulnerabilities, countermeasures, and IANA activity to assess the impact on root and TLD name servers.

SSAC also presented a summary and technical assessment of the many analyses of fast flux attacks conducted over the past nine months.

The topic of phishing has become increasingly important to the ICANN community, and SSAC's Staff, Dave Piscitello, has collaborated with a member of the APWG to write an advisory on phishing attacks using subdomain (third level) labels that can be registered via free web hosting providers. This advisory was submitted to the APWG as a joint work and publication is anticipated later this year.

Next Steps

Work continues in the above-mentioned areas. Additional topics currently under study by SSAC include evaluations of WHOIS services and phishing attacks. SSAC met with the GNSO to discuss collaborative efforts to assess whether directory services might serve the community better in the future than existing WHOIS services. SSAC is also studying "internationalized" registration contact information to determine appropriate ways to collect, store and display registration information to provide users and registrants with the ability to use local languages when registering and examining domain registration records.

More Information

Update on SSAC's DNSSEC Statement (SAC026)
Protecting High Value Domain Names
Registrar Phishing Threat
Addressing DNS Vulnerabilities
DNS Fast Flux
Staff Contact

Dave Piscitello, Senior Security Technologist


Various groups offer insights on DNSSEC implementations.

Recent Developments

The DNSSEC working group of the SSAC convened a public session on 5 November to hear from multiple constituencies about DNSSEC implementations and zone signing. IANA and VeriSign presented their respective proposals for signing the root. Bulgaria, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, and PIR (.ORG) presented reports on their respective efforts in deploying DNSSEC in their TLDs. Names Beyond presented its methods for managing its customers' signed zones. Steve Crocker presented details of a sponsored study to assess the ability of broadband access devices to process DNSSEC queries and responses (SAC 03x), and a Microsoft DNS expert described how DNSSEC will be incorporated into Window operating systems.

More Information

Root Zone Signing proposals:
DNSSEC in the field: Bulgaria
https://cai.icann.org/files/meetings/cairo2008/kalchev dnssec-bg-05nov08.pdf
DNSSEC in the field: Brazil
DNSSEC in the field: CZ
DNSSEC in the field: .ORG

Making DNSSEC Accessible to Customers
DNSSEC in Windows
Appliances, Recursive Resolvers, and Next Steps


The effort to create domain names in non-U.S. ASCII characters advances along two tracks.

Recent Developments

At the ccNSO meeting in Cairo the overall schedule and structure for the upcoming IDN ccPDP was presented. The Issue Manager for the ccPDP suggested that, as part of the ccPDP, a cross SO/AC working group should propose a definition of, and selection mechanism for, IDN ccTLDs.

With regard to the Fast Track and the new gTLD process, members of the ccNSO will suggest an implementation model to avoid the use of ISO 3166 listed territory names as a new gTLD while the IDN ccPDP is running.

Next Steps

A draft Issues Report will be provided to the ccNSO. It will include, among other things, the charter of and schedule for the SO/AC WG and the establishment of a small ad hoc Working Group , chaired Hilde Thumen, .NO, to suggest possible implementation of ccNSO guidelines on the use of names of territories listed in the ISO 3166-1 list as gTLDs.


A ccTLD string (like .jp, .uk) represents the name of a country, territory or area of geographical interest and its subdivisions, as identified in ISO 3166, and is represented by 2 US-ASCII characters. This method of identification was adopted for use in the Internet through RFC 920, dated October 1984, and reaffirmed through RFC 1591, dated March 1994. All ccTLDs in use today are taken directly from the ISO 3166-1 list or from the list of exceptionally reserved code elements defined by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency. There are two sources used by ISO to develop the 3166 list; the United Nations Terminology Bulletin Country Names or the Country and Region Codes for Statistical Use Of the UN Statistics Division.

The implementation of Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) ccTLDs introduces the (apparent) use of symbols outside the US-ASCII character set (for example characters in Cyrillic, Chinese, Arabic, and other scripts) for domain name strings.

The ccNSO Council determined that the cc Policy Development Process is the appropriate mechanism for developing policy for the selection and delegation of IDN ccTLDs.

At its meeting on 2 October 2007 the ccNSO Council requested the creation of an Issues Report as a first step in launching a ccPDP . Questions to be addressed were whether:

Article IX of the ICANN bylaws applies to IDN ccTLDs associated with the ISO 3166-1 two letter codes, and if it does not then to establish if Article IX should apply.
the ccNSO should launch a PDP to develop the policy for the selection and delegation of IDN ccTLDs associated with the ISO 3166-1 two-letter codes
It became clear that the development of the required policy for IDN ccTLDs to resolve the issues raised was likely to take a minimum of 2 years. It also became clear that such a time frame was a major concern for a number of ccTLD managers who claim a pressing need for an IDN ccTLD in their territory. Because of this, the concept of a fast track approach began to be discussed. In those discussions it was thought that it might be possible to find a method to allow the introduction of a limited number of IDN ccTLDs while the overall policy was being developed.

The ccNSO Council recommended that the ICANN Board apply the following principles in the new gTLD process:

Principle on meaningful representation of the name of a territory listed on the ISO 3166-1 in a non ASCII script.

No name of a territory as listed in ISO 3166-1 or a meaningful abbreviation of it, whether represented in a non ASCII script or in any recognised language represented in that script, shall be available as a gTLD. This principle should be revisited once the IDN ccPDP Recommendation, if any, is adopted by the Board.

Principle on meaningful representation of the name of a territory on the ISO 3166-1 list in ASCII.

No name of a territory as listed in ISO 3166-1 or a meaningful abbreviation of it, whether represented in ASCII or in any recognised language, shall be available as a gTLD. This principle should be revisited once the IDN ccPDP recommendation, if any, is adopted by the Board.

More Information

Meeting notes ccNSO meeting Cairo http://ccnso.icann.org/

ccNSO Council minutes 31 October 2007 http://ccnso.icann.org/meetings/losangeles/ccnso-council-minutes-31oct07.pdf

Staff Contact

Bart Boswinkel, Senior Policy Advisor, ccNSO


ccNSO fills several Council seats while the AP region election continues.

Recent Developments:

Newly selected ccNSO Councilors are: AF: Vika Mpisane, .za; EU: Juhani Juselius, .fi; LAC - Patricio Poblete, .cl; NA: Byron Holland, .ca. The AP region is currently holding elections, as more than one candidate was nominated for the seat. The three candidates are: Lee Han Chuan, .sg, Young Eum Lee, .kr, Ming-Cheng Liang, .tw. In a related development, NomCom appointee Slobodan Markovic's term on the ccNSO Council has ended. Jian Zhang, .cn is taking over the vacated seat. The NomCom appointees rotate on a 3-year basis.

Next Steps

As the necessary quorum of votes wasn't reached within the set timeframe, the election period had to be extended and will now close on 21 November 2008. The selected Councilors will take their seats after the Mexico meeting in March 2009.

More Information

ICANN's bylaws, Article IX, Section 4.9

http://www.icann.org/en/general/bylaws.htm - IX


Staff Contact

Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat


Nominations to open for ICANN Board seat.

Recent Developments

The term for ccNSO selected ICANN Board member Demi Getschko ends in May 2009. The nomination period for one of two ccNSO representative seats on the ICANN Board opens 17 November 2008. Gabriella Schittek has been appointed Election Manager . The ccNSO fills two seats on the ICANN board -- seats 11 and 12 - according to ICANN's bylaws.

More information

ICANN bylaws, Article VI, Section 2.c

Staff Contact

Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat


A process advances for providing travel support.

Recent Developments

The ccNSO Processes Working Group has defined a process for distributing ccNSO Travel funding.

Next Steps

The ccNSO's travel funding process will begin on the 21 November 2008 with a call for applicants desiring support for the ICANN Mexico City meeting.


Based on ICANN's recent initiative to support travel funding for the supporting organizations (SO's), the ccNSO Council asked the ccNSO Processes Working Group to come up with a suggested process on how to allocate the funding. Similarly, the GNSO is forming a drafting team to develop a proposal on funding travel expenses for GNSO Council review.

The work to create a community travel support procedure began with a specific call for travel support in late 2007 by some in the community (though this issue has been discussed for some time). There was extensive consultation on community travel support. It began as a workshop in New Delhi, with comments received and an analysis posted. A subsequent draft proposal was posted in June, discussed during budget meetings in Paris, and again subject to fairly extensive comment in person, via email and on the web. A " Revised Community Travel Support Procedure for FY09" was issued in August 2008.

ICANN Staff will collect feedback on issues that arise in the implementation of this procedure, and will make clarifications, as needed. Additionally, Staff will conduct a complete review of the travel procedure at year-end with a public consultation at the June 2009 ICANN meeting.

More Information


Staff Contact

Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat


A ccNSO delegate joins the NomCom.

Recent Developments

The ccNSO Council adopted at its Cairo meeting the ccNSO Processes Working Group's proposed procedure for appointment of a ccNSO delegate to the Nominating Committee (NomCom). The ccNSO can appoint one member to the NomCom, which is responsible for selecting some members of the ICANN Board, GNSO Council, ccNSO Council and the At-Large Advisory Committee.

Next Steps

The procedure will become effective for the next appointment. For the upcoming NomCom, Margarita Valdez from Chile was appointed.

More Information

ccNSO http://www.ccnso.icann.org/about/organisational.htm
NomCom http://nomcom.icann.org/

Staff Contact

Gabriela Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat


The ccNSO Council adopts a process to better structure the input of ccTLD managers into ICANN's strategic and operational planning cycle.

Recent Developments

At the request of the ccNSO Council, the ccNSO Processes WG has proposed a procedure to facilitate the interaction of ccTLD managers into the ICANN strategic and operational planning cycle. The ccNSO Council adopted the procedure at its Cairo meeting. With the adoption of all Processes Working Group-developed documents, the Working Group completed its work and disbanded.

Next Steps

The ccNSO Secretariat will call for nominations to establish a committee to coordinate the interaction process, in cooperation with ccNSO Secretariat and other ICANN Staff.

More Information


Staff Contact

Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO secretariat.


Under what circumstances should ccTLD managers be able to self-select their geographic region? A process for so determining advances.

Recent Developments

The ccNSO Council adopted a procedure and application form for ccTLD manager self-selection into an ICANN Geographic Region. Requirements for self-selection are:

The ccTLD is assigned to a ICANN Geographic Region on the basis of "citizenship" criterion; and
The relevant public authority support the self-selection.
Next Steps

 The form and procedure will be posted.


The ccNSO Geographic Region WG recommended, and the ccNSO Council adopted, a procedure for Geographic Region self-selection. Some ccTLD managers may consider themselves inappropriately assigned to an ICANN Geographical Region based on so-called "citizenship criteria." Others feel that the definition may be confusing or limit the participation in ICANN of ccTLD managers from smaller, resource constrained countries. The ccNSO Council adopted this recommendation at its meeting on 2 October 2007.

More Information

ccNSO http://ccnso.icann.org/

Staff Contact

Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO secretariat


Major ICANN supporting organizations exchange observers.

Recent Developments

The GNSO Council has appointed Olga Cavalli as observer to the ccNSO Council. At the same time, the ccNSO Council has issued a call for nominations for a ccNSO observer to the GNSO Council.

Next Steps

The ccNSO Council will appoint an observer to the GNSO Council. The ICANN bylaws allow Supporting Organizations to exchange observers and independent reviews of ICANN structures have recommended supporting and expanding liaisons as one of the ways to improve communication and information sharing among ICANN structures. The ccNSO Council requested that the GNSO exchange observers.

More Information

ccNSO guidelines on liaisons and observers



Staff Contact
Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat

Glen de Saint Géry
GNSO Secretariat
gnso.secretariat at gnso.icann.org

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