[ALAC] Proposed Amendments to Base New gTLD Registry Agreement Workspace

Cyrus Namazi cyrus.namazi at icann.org
Tue Jun 28 13:58:52 UTC 2016

Hi all;


The prohibition on dotless domains already exists in every signed new gTLD agreement, and is not being changed as part of these proposed amendments.


The current base registry agreement as published contains a blank page for Exhibit A – Approved Services [https://newgtlds.icann.org/sites/default/files/agreements/agreement-approved-09jan14-en.htm]. However, every signed New gTLD agreement contains a language in Section-1 specifying the registry’s approved services. In the redline of the proposed new base registry agreement, the text in section 1 displays as if it was never there, which in fact it is for every signed agreement.


Although we are proposing a few changes in Section-1 for the new base registry agreement, these are not to related to dotless domains. Dotless domains are prohibited via a Board resolution [https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2013-08-30-en] and will continue to be.


I hope this helps.




From: Rinalia Abdul Rahim <rinalia.abdulrahim at gmail.com>
Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at 4:07 PM
To: Alan Greenberg <alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca>
Cc: Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com>, alac Working List <alac at atlarge-lists.icann.org>, Cyrus Namazi <cyrus.namazi at icann.org>
Subject: Re: [ALAC] Proposed Amendments to Base New gTLD Registry Agreement Workspace


I was in the session when this was discussed today on base Registry agreement. Verisign raised the same concern about Exhibit A and proposed that dotless domains be placed under section 2.2 on items prohibited. 


Staff explanation was that the listing of items under exhibit A is based on a pre-existing list of items and that inclusion doesn't translate into automatic approval.


I think staff got a clear message from the meeting that this is something they need to address and fix.



On Tuesday, 28 June 2016, Alan Greenberg <alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca> wrote:

I am WELL versed on what it is. The issue is why this is included at all.
Sent from my mobile. Please excuse brevity and typos.

On June 28, 2016 11:14:57 AM GMT+03:00, Rinalia Abdul Rahim <rinalia.abdulrahim at gmail.com> wrote: 



My understanding from Staff is that the RSEP is not a back door for dotless domains. Cyrus Namazy can explain and I am copying him.


Best regards,



On Monday, 27 June 2016, Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com> wrote:

Dear ALAC members,

I am currently looking at the public consultation on "Proposed Amendments to Base New gTLD Registry Agreement" 

Reading through the material that was made available, it appears that the issue of Dotless Domains is coming up again.

The ALAC went on record in 2012 which helped encourage the Board to prohibit dotless domains. The ALAC Statement, which you can find on https://atlarge.icann.org/advice_statements/7661 

In that Statement, the ALAC supported the SSAC advice in SAC053 which recommended the prohibition of dotless domains. The Board agreed with this and in the "current" round of new gTLDs, this prohibition took place. I have checked with Julie Hammer, our SSAC Liaison, whether the SSAC has changed its advice since SAC053. She has assured me that this was NOT the case. 

To summarize the concern, the proposed RA amendment creates a possible path to approval of dotless domains using the RSEP process, which has the potential to circumvent the existing prohibition. 

In further details: 
On May 31, ICANN posted proposed amendments to the New gTLD Registry Agreement for public comment. These amendments have been under discussion between the Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) and ICANN for 18 months. The public comment period closes on July 13 and there is a cross-community session scheduled at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday in Helsinki. 
In 2012 and 2013, the SSAC, IAB, ALAC, GAC, and the ICANN Board all recognized the risk posed by any  introduction of dotless domains in new gTLDs. 
In August 2013, the ICANN Board’s New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) voted to prohibit dotless domains. 
The proposed New gTLD Registry Agreement (RA) amendments include a change in Exhibit A (Approved Services) related to dotless domains. While it states appropriately that dotless domains are not permitted, it intentionally or inadvertently introduces a new path for approval of dotless domains via the Registry Services Evaluation Process (RSEP).  The relevant language is below: 
(Note:  The above language effectively does not allow, among other things, the inclusion of DNS resource records that would enable a dotless domain name (e.g., apex A, AAAA, MX records) in the TLD zone.) If Registry Operator wishes to place any DNS resource record type or class into its TLD DNS service (other than those listed in Sections 1.1 or 1.2 above), it must describe in detail its proposal and submit a Registry Services Evaluation Process (RSEP) request.  This will be evaluated per RSEP to determine whether the service would create a risk of a meaningful adverse impact on security or stability of the DNS.  Registry Operator recognizes and acknowledges that a service based on the use of less-common DNS resource records and/or classes in the TLD zone, even if approved, might not work as intended for all users due to lack of software support. 
The explanatory notes accompanying the proposed amended RA do not explain why this change creating a path to approval of dotless domains has been included, and there has been no change in the position of the ICANN Board, IAB, SSAC, GAC or ALAC on this issue. Unlike the previously stated positions of those entities, ICANN’s explanatory notes are silent. How and why was this language included in the proposed amendment? It appears to be pointless to propose a path to try and circumvent such a clearly established prohibition. 
Using the RSEP process in this manner risks demoting any future evaluation of registry proposals on dotless domains to ICANN staff without appropriate policy work and/or community consideration. 
Introduction of this proposed use of RSEP is inappropriate and it should be removed. In light of the ICANN Board’s August 2013 resolution and the significant security and stability concerns raised by the IAB and SSAC, dotless domains should instead receive the same treatment in the New gTLD RA as Wildcarding, which is explicitly prohibited in Section 2.2. 
I look forward to your feedback and hope that the ALAC will make a Statement about this issue in response to the Public Consultation on Proposed Amendments to Base New gTLD Registry Agreement. Perhaps should we include in our Statement a direct question to the SSAC asking whether their advice has changed? This way, they would be able to respond to  the public record accordingly.

Kindest regards,

Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond

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