[GNSO-Accuracy-ST] Update - Working Accuracy Contractual Construct/ Definition

Sophie Hey sophie.hey at comlaude.com
Fri Dec 3 18:01:13 UTC 2021

Hi all,
Michael, Beth, Marc and myself would appreciate further clarity about what information you are hoping to get from this question so we can pass this along to the rest of the RySG.  I’m not sure we understand why you are asking or its relevance to our current work.

During the next RySG call could you seek clarification from the RySG on whether Registries believe they have a right under their Registry Agreement to verify the accuracy of data elements that they process as part of domain name registrations in their respective TLDs. Additionally, what steps if any does ICANN Compliance take in connection with Registry Audits regarding this verification.
 In speaking with our RySG colleagues, we received feedback that answering the first part of the question which is framed around “belief” and “rights” related to the Registry Agreement is not something the RySG is in a position to respond to and probably not appropriate for them to do so.
The second part of the question you posed asks about steps ICANN Compliance takes and is probably more appropriately addressed to them.
While the RySG is likely not in a position to respond globally, two of our members provided responses about their individual gTLDs that we do want to share.

Having worked at ICANN in a registry capacity and now operating fTLD for the last decade, I fully appreciate that Registry Operators’ business models can vary greatly and thus I can only share fTLD’s interpretations of our rights and responsibilities for operating .BANK and .INSURANCE.
>From a community-based gTLD perspective and because fTLD’s Registry Agreements (RAs) for .BANK and .INSURANCE include unique elements, is that we absolutely have the right, and in fact have the obligation, based upon what is in our RAs, to verify the accuracy of domain name registration information. The aforementioned unique elements include Section 2.19, Obligations of Registry Operator to TLD Community; Specification 11, Public Interest Commitments; and Specification 12, Community Registration Policies.
As a part of ICANN’s audit of Registries in 2016 and 2017, our TLDs were selected (.BANK in 2016, and .INSURANCE in 2017) and ICANN requested verification information for a random list of domain registrations in their Request For Information (RFI) and their RFI cited Section 2.19 and Specification 12 as the basis of their request.
In 2017, when fTLD determined we could more effectively and efficiently implement the Registrant verification process rather than continuing to outsource it, we were directed to the RSEP process by ICANN GDD Staff, despite this process being neither a Service, nor the proposed offering of an Additional Service, as defined in the Registry Agreement. As a result of ICANN’s position, fTLD submitted an RSEP
(see request 2017039 accessible here: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/rsep-2014-02-19-en) detailing our migration from a static to a dynamic registration verification process.

Notwithstanding fTLD’s obligations to perform Registrant Verification per our RAs with ICANN, the responsibility is further enumerated in our Registry Registrar Agreement (RRA):

  *   3.3.2. Obligations of Registered Name Holder. Registrar shall require all Registered Name Holders to enter into a Registration Agreement with Registrar. In such Registration Agreement, Registrar shall require such Registered Name Holder to acknowledge and agree that the Registry Operator reserves the right to deny, cancel or transfer any Registered Name registration or transaction, or place any Registered Name (s) on registry lock, hold or similar status, as it deems necessary, in its unlimited and sole discretion: (i) to comply with specifications adopted by any industry group generally recognized as authoritative with respect to the Internet (e.g., RFCs), (ii) to correct mistakes made by Registry Operator, Registry Service Provider, Registry Verification Agent, Registrar and/or any other contractually obligated vendors in connection with a domain name registration, or (iii) for the nonpayment of Fees to Registry Operator.

  *   3.9.8. Registrant shall take all necessary action(s) as directed by Registrar or Registry Operator in relation to compliance actions, directives, or instructions from ICANN, and/or as otherwise directed by Registry Operator in its sole discretion as being reasonably necessary for the provision of Registry Services and enforcing compliance with Registry Operator’s Operational and Security Requirements and Operations Pledge, including monitoring for compliance regarding the Registered Name.
The RA for .pharmacy obligates us to verify the accuracy of the information provided by prospective registrants. To clarify, this verification is part of the preliminary application and review process, not the actual domain name registration process.

Sophie Hey
Policy Advisor
Com Laude
T +44 (0) 20 7421 8250<tel:+44%20(0)%2020%207421%208250>
Ext 252

[cid:image003.png at 01D7E869.11043EE0]<https://comlaude.com/>
From: GNSO-Accuracy-ST <gnso-accuracy-st-bounces at icann.org> On Behalf Of Michael Palage
Sent: 30 November 2021 19:58
To: 'Lori Schulman' <lschulman at inta.org>; 'Sarah Wyld' <swyld at tucows.com>; gnso-accuracy-st at icann.org
Subject: Re: [GNSO-Accuracy-ST] Update - Working Accuracy Contractual Construct/ Definition

Hello All,

As someone that watched the video recording twice allow me to recount the events of Nov 4th.

In advance of the call there had been two “definitions” (contractual construction / explanations) put forth for consideration.  One by the Registrars and the one put forward by myself.

In an effort to reconcile these two definitions, I opted to mark-up the Registrar’s “definition”.  The first change was replacing the phrase “shall strictly” with “is.”  Specifically I cited to Background Briefing Assignment #1 which stated in relevant part that:

However, if the complaint is about identity (e.g., the registrant is not who they say they are), Contractual Compliance may ask the registrar to provide further information. (emphasis added).

After the group acknowledged that this excerpt from the ICANN briefing document showed a larger remit than just syntactical and operational accuracy, the “shall strictly” phrase was redlined and replaced with ‘is.”. Alan Greenburg from ALAC tired to propose an alternative wording but the redline stayed as “is”.

The next proposed redline was inspired largely by the following excerpt from the ICANN72 GAC communique which states in relevant part:

The GAC gives particular importance to the verification, validation and correction of all registration data by registrars, and certain registries, in line with their contractual obligations, and supports rigorous monitoring and enforcement of such
contractual obligations by ICANN. (emphasis added)

These changes again were made with no substantive opposition from the group.

As I have stated previously these agreed upon changes where lost when the document was exited at the end of the call. I have consulted with ICANN Org and they are unaware of how these changes were lost. However, I believe the video clearly shows that the deletion was NOT an intentional act because no one spoke to the text being removed, it just disappeared.  Please review the video for yourself, I have provided the time stamp to help make everyone’s review easier.

Now if the RySG and RsSG are going to maintain their objection to the previous redline “definition” and instead advocate for the RrSG “definition” we will address this topic AFTER the we conclude the questions to ICANN Org, but before we begin our GAP analysis.

I do have a specific request for Marc, Beth and Sofie.  During the next RySG call could you seek clarification from the RySG on whether Registries believe they have a right under their Registry Agreement to verify the accuracy of data elements that they process as part of domain name registrations in their respective TLDs. Additionally, what steps if any does ICANN Compliance take in connection with Registry Audits regarding this verification as I do believe it is relevant to our discussion here in this Working Group.

Listed below are a non-exhaustive list of Registry Operators that involve some level of accuracy /registrant vetting beyond just email and phone accuracy (syntactical and operational) as part of their registry operations:

  1.  From the original 2001 proof of concept round, .AERO was one of the first TLD that required the process of registrant data prior to being able to obtain a gTLD domain name registration.  If you look at the current .AERO registration website you will see the following requirement:

Obtain your .aero ID, prior to registration of your chosen domain name through a .aero authorised registrar, this unique validity process screens potential domain registrants thus ensuring the integrity and the exclusivity of the .aero domain.
See https://information.aero/registration and https://information.aero/node/add/request-aero-id

  1.  From the 2004 Sponsored round perhaps the best example was .XXX which made the following representations:


The Registry will authenticate members of the Sponsored Community, as part of the name registration process. As part of this process, the Registry will validate contact information for the Registrant, secure the Registrant’s affirmative consent to the Registry-Registrant Agreement, and issue unique Membership Credentials. The Membership Application Process must be completed before a domain name is permitted to resolve in the TLD.
See https://www.icmregistry.com/about/policies/launch/#general_aval

  1.  fTLD submitted an approved RSEP to ICANN for the processing of Registrant information prior to registration. The name of this RSEP is Dynamic Registration Verification and is available here, see https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/rsep-2017039-bank-et-al-request-11dec17-en.pdf This webpage shows the information that fTLD collects from prospective registrants as part of their verification process, see https://www.register.bank/get-started/

  1.  NABP, the Registry Operator of .PHARMACY, has also vetted prospective registrants as part of its registration process, see https://nabp.pharmacy/programs/accreditations-inspections/dotpharmacy/#apply

  1.  In addition, every .BRAND Registry Operator has a requirement to limit registrations in that TLD to either the Brand owner or “Trademark Licensee” so this would be a further example of where a Registry Operator is processing data about a Registrant (e.g. Trademark Licensee) that may or may not appear in the Whois/RDDS output.

  1.  There are also numerous RSEPs filed by Registry Operators seeking “Registration Validation” which clearly go above just syntactical and operational validation, e.g. Chinese Real Name Verification.

I hope this removes any ambiguity as to the events of Nov 4th.  If, however, the RySG and RrSG maintain their objection we will revisit prior to our GAP analysis discussion as noted above.

Best regards,


From: Lori Schulman <lschulman at inta.org<mailto:lschulman at inta.org>>
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2021 1:06 PM
To: Sarah Wyld <swyld at tucows.com<mailto:swyld at tucows.com>>; michael at palage.com<mailto:michael at palage.com>; gnso-accuracy-st at icann.org<mailto:gnso-accuracy-st at icann.org>
Subject: RE: [GNSO-Accuracy-ST] Update - Working Accuracy Contractual Construct/ Definition


The changes were definitely tracked.  I was under the impression that we agreed to those changes. If so, then they should be reinserted as a compromise that we can live with for the purposes of the scoping exercise.  Any binding definitions will be negotiated by the eventual PDP.

With kind regards,

Lori S. Schulman
Senior Director, Internet Policy
International Trademark Association (INTA)
+1-202-704-0408<tel:+1-202-704-0408>, Skype:  LSSchulman
lschulman at inta.org<mailto:lschulman at inta.org>, www.inta.org<blocked::http://www.inta.org>

From: GNSO-Accuracy-ST <gnso-accuracy-st-bounces at icann.org<mailto:gnso-accuracy-st-bounces at icann.org>> On Behalf Of Sarah Wyld
Sent: Monday, November 29, 2021 3:27 PM
To: michael at palage.com<mailto:michael at palage.com>; gnso-accuracy-st at icann.org<mailto:gnso-accuracy-st at icann.org>
Subject: Re: [GNSO-Accuracy-ST] Update - Working Accuracy Contractual Construct/ Definition

Hi team,

I (of course) can’t speak for the registries or answer this question, but I do want to say, I’m glad the text in the screenshot was not updated. The definition in that section of the document should remain as we had proposed it back on Oct 29, and any changes should be tracked elsewhere. Maybe that’s why the changes were removed?

See you tomorrow, thanks!



Sarah Wyld, CIPP/E

Policy & Privacy Manager

Pronouns: she/they

swyld at tucows.com<mailto:swyld at tucows.com>

+1.416 535 0123 Ext. 1392

[cid:image004.png at 01D7E869.11043EE0]

From: Michael Palage<mailto:michael at palage.com>
Sent: November 26, 2021 12:02 PM
To: gnso-accuracy-st at icann.org<mailto:gnso-accuracy-st at icann.org>
Subject: [GNSO-Accuracy-ST] Update - Working Accuracy Contractual Construct/ Definition

Hello All,

For those colleagues that celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday yesterday, I hope you had an enjoyable time with your family and friends and did not eat too much.   I would also like to thanks those team members that showed up for our brief Administrative Call yesterday.

In preparing for the call yesterday I noted some of the new additions added by the RySG to the questions for ICANN staff. Thank you for these additions Roger. This flagged a previous issue which I had raised with our ICANN colleagues last weekend and it involves the current working contractual construct / definition.

In the RySG questions they cited to the proposed RrSG accuracy “definition” (aka contractual construct):

"Accuracy shall be strictly defined as syntactical accuracy of the registration data elements provided by the Registered Name Holder as well as the operational accuracy of either the telephone number or the email address."

Last week when I was looking for the latest and greatest contractual construct/definition I noted that there was a technical glitch when reviewing the Zoom recording which I will summarize below.

If you go to the Zoom recording from the Nov 4th call you will see that the red lined version of the contractual construct/definition which was agreed to during the call and which is reflected below.

 However, at the conclusion of the call as we were wrapping up the session, these edits were lost

Therefore, I would like clarification from the RySG do they wish to cite the group’s current working contractual construct/definition that was agreed to during the Nov 4th call, or do they intend to cite to the RrSG pre November 4th call  contractual construct/definition?

I know these technical glitches, e.g. delta in Google Doc, Alan receiving emails, and the unavailability email archives makes things a little more challenging. However, I know our ICANN colleagues are working on the email issues, and I am sure we will be able to achieve most of our work asynchronously if we put our minds to it.

Best regards,


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