ICANN 44 Statement from the Registrar Stakeholder Group

The Registrar Stakeholder Group (RrSG) would like to provide this statement regarding the current status of RAA negotiations and the update posted on the ICANN website on June 4, 2012.
The RrSG and its representatives on the Negotiating Team (NT) have been actively involved in discussions with ICANN staff and is pleased to see substantive progress reported to the community in advance of the upcoming ICANN meeting in Prague.


Among the issues that have been agreed to include improved registrar response and

availability to law enforcement, registrar abuse point of contact, publication of registrar information, establishment of an ICANN accreditation for privacy/proxy service as well as many other important issues which have been identified both by law enforcement and the greater community.

As ICANN points out in the documents recently released, several issues remain outstanding including:


  • Whois verification/validation
  • Data retention
  • Future RAA amendments process
  • Registrar obligations to support certain technologies which today are optional
  • Port 43 whois access for thick registries

The RrSG fully agrees that several of the open items require input and discussion from the broader community as they contemplate significant changes to the domain name ecosystem as it exists today, and will impact the expansion of the Internet to new users and new regions of the world. We believe the upcoming meeting in Prague will provide an excellent venue for initiating these discussions and the RrSG looks forward to participating in those conversations.


More information about the RAA 2012 can be viewed here.


Domain Certificates For .BE Domains

DNS.be, the organization who operate the Belgium ccTLD .be, offers a new service for the holder of a .be domain. The registrant of a .be domain can request a certificate in pdf format with the details of the individual or organization who is registered as the holder of the .be domain in question.

The purpose of this certificate is to verify that the domain has been registered with correct details and that the domain can be used for certain business transactions, such as applying for a digital certificate.

The below message will be send by DNS.be after the request.

Dear registrant,

You have requested the WHOIS registration details certificate for the domain name realtimeregister.be from our website.

Attached please find the pdf document with the currently valid WHOIS registration details for this domain name.

You will find more information about this topic at our website DNS Be.

Yours sincerely,
DNS.be Team

The certificate can be requested when you visit the website of dns.be and do a whois query on your domain. Scroll to bottom of the page and click on YES  at Request WHOIS registration detail certificate. The certificate will be send to the e-mail address associated with the holder of the domain.


Roadmap to a New Domain Name Registration Data Access Protocol (WHOIS)

As mentioned earlier this month ICANN is moving towards a new WHOIS eco system.

ICANN is pleased to announce the posting of the draft
roadmap to implement ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee’s Report on Domain Name WHOIS Terminology and Structure (SAC 051). To make or view comments click here. The SSAC report specifically targets, among other things, the “internationalization” of the WHOIS protocol, reflecting concern about the inability of the current WHOIS protocol to consistently handle non-ASCII data. Additionally, SAC 051 recommends terminology to be used to clarify discussions where traditionally the terms Whois or WHOIS have been used. This roadmap explores the coordination of the technical and policy discussions necessary to implement the recommendations outlined in SAC 051: SSAC Report on Domain Name WHOIS Terminology and Structure.

A public workshop will be held during the ICANN meeting in Costa Rica next month March. This workshop will provide ICANN extra time to consult with experts and the community regarding a new WHOIS eco system and setup the road map to an updated Domain Name Registration Data Access Protocol.

Domain Name Registration Data Access Protocol ?
According to the road map, the proposal is to adopt a new terminology to ensure a well-defined and coherent taxonomy that can be used in both the technical and policy discussions where precision is needed.

  • For example :
    Domain Name Registration Data (DNRD). The data that domain name registrants provide when registering a domain name and that registrars or registries collects.
    • Domain Name Registration Data Access Protocol (DNRD-AP). The components of a (standard) communications exchange—queries and responses—that specify the access to DNRD.
    • Doman Name Registration Data Directory Service (DNRD-DS). The service(s) offered by domain name registries and registrars to implement the DNRD-AP and to provide access to DNRD-DSD.

It is expected that the report will be finalized prior to the ICANN meeting in June 2012.

For those who are interested to read more regarding the “roadmap” please visit this link.

WHOIS verification rules coming this year ?

WHOIS verification rules coming this year ?

It appears that ICANN wants to ensure that Mickey Mouse is no longer present as the registrant of domain names.

“Registrars could be obliged to verify their customers’ identities when they sell domain names under new rules proposed for later this year, according to ICANN president Rod Beckstrom in a letter to Lawrence Strickling of the NTIA”

Currently the new Registrar Accreditions Agreements are being renegotiated by ICANN and the registrar community after recent discussions with the Governmental Advisory Committee.
ICANN expects that the RAA will incorporate – for the first time – Registrar commitments to verify WHOIS data. ICANN is actively considering incentives for Registrars to adopt the anticipated amendments to the RAA prior to the rollout of the first TLD in 2013.
How ICANN will implement a WHOIS verification system is currently unknown.

Whois verification

Whois verification, which is often found at the top of the wish-lists of intellectual property and law enforcement communities have led to heavily debated discussions within the ICANN community.
Civil rights advocates believe that checking registrant identities will infringe on rights to privacy and free speech. While the Law Enforcement Agencies plead that the current WHOIS eco system leads to cyber crime.
It is expected that some recommendation from the WHOIS Policy Review Team will be used.
This team released their final draft last december and can be downloaded here.

One of the biggest changes in this recommendation is the change from a “thin” WHOIS to a “thick” WHOIS eco system. Verisign, the TLD operator for .COM/.NET who currently uses a “thin” WHOIS has said in a statement that they are neutral regarding any WHOIS decision.
It’s expected that at the end of March 2012 we will have more solid information on what will happen with the current WHOIS eco system. But the expectation is that the days of Mickey Mouse as a domain name registrant are numbered.