[At-Large] Fwd: ICANN News Alert -- Update on Registrar Accreditation Agreement Amendments

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Wed Sep 26 03:34:33 UTC 2012

Carlton, there is a lesson to be learned from the continued problems 
with item 10 (verification of both e-mail and telephone numbers), and 
I hope the Board and new CEO are paying attention. According to the 
report, registrars are now saying that they will do one but not 
both.  Law enforcement wants both.

It is worth considering how we got ourselves into this predicament. 
It is almost impossible these days to sign onto a mailing list or get 
a free id on some web site without clicking on a link in an e-mail. 
Yet apparently, you can register a domain name without such a nicety. 
If we (we being ICANN) had not ignored the issue of Whois validation 
for so long, the trivial e-mail verification would have been done for 
longer than many of us can remember. Now we are at the stage where we 
need to beg to have done what the rest of the world considers 
business as usual.

Phone verification is a lot more costly, and it is natural that 
registrars are reluctant to make this investment, particularly as 
noted in the other document, under the current rules, where some 
registrars could avoid having to do this for up to five years, giving 
them a significant advantage.

But if ICANN had paid even a modicom of attention to these problem long ago:

- we would not be negotiating just phone verification as e-mail would 
have already been addressed
- when we VERY PAINFULLY modified the RAA in 2008/9, we ignored AGAIN 
the issue of making future contracts effective in far less than 5 years.

Hopefully going forward, we will not make these kind of mistakes 
again. The historian Barbara Tuchman, in a book I can recommend, "The 
March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam", defines "folly" as:
- an actions clearly contrary to the self-interest of those group 
pursuing the them;
- carried out by a group or succession of people and not just the act 
of a single lunatic;
- people at the time understood the error and gave valid alternatives.

Clearly ICANN has been guilty of Folly. Perhaps we will stop. (And of 
course, At-Large should be a large part of that solution.)


At 25/09/2012 07:40 PM, *Carlton Samuels wrote:
>So here we are.  What do we know? And, when did we know it?
>Under the label 'Current Situation and Recent Developments' in the  *RAA
>Negotiations Update* document, it says:
>  "six additional negotiating sessions, including two all-day in-person
>meetings held in Washington DC (one of which was attended by Governmental
>Advisory Committee members and representatives from the law enforcement
>representatives)...........the negotiations since Prague has largely
>focused on the key areas of Whois verification and data retention, which
>are part of 12 GAC/law enforcement recommendations."
>In case you missed the significance, there is further contextualization:
>n Prague, we highlighted four critical elements of the law enforcement
>(1)verification / validation of Whois data;
>(2)enhanced collection of information related to registrants (data retention);
>(3)clarification of registrar responsibility regarding resellers and
>privacy/proxy services;
>(4)creation of contacts for reports of domain name abuse.
>The ALAC and At-Large have certainly not been mute on said 'critical
>elements'. And while the ALAC is also on record demanding transparent
>negotiations if only because of the pivotal role the RAA plays in consensus
>policy development,  I personally do not have any the current information
>regarding At-Large/ALAC dispositions at these sessions.  All things being
>equal, it appears the At-Large [and the ALAC] were treated like unloved
>country cousins on your father's side, thrice removed.
>I'm pleased to hear negotiations have progressed in certain areas. See the
>Summary of Negotiations Status. Look closely at Item #10: Registrar
>Validation of Registrant Data. Apply the stoplight status here and
>contextualize what this means.
>I have attached both documents for ease of access.
>- Carlton Samuels
>   [Chair, At-Large WHOIS WG]
>Carlton A Samuels
>Mobile: 876-818-1799
>*Strategy, Planning, Governance, Assessment & Turnaround*
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>From: ICANN News Alert <communications at icann.org>
>Date: Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 12:56 PM
>Subject: ICANN News Alert -- Update on Registrar Accreditation Agreement
>To: carlton.samuels at gmail.com
>  [image: ICANN] <http://www.icann.org/> News Alert
>Update on Registrar Accreditation Agreement Amendments
>24 September 2012
>In advance of the ICANN meeting in Toronto, ICANN and the Registrars are
>posting two documents on the status of negotiations of amendments to the
>Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA). Since Prague, significant progress
>has been made, though certain key issues remain open. There were six
>negotiation sessions, including a full day session with participants from
>the Governmental Advisory Committee and representatives of law enforcement.
>As reported earlier, there is agreement in many areas, including nearly all
>law enforcement recommendations. In the two remaining recommendations still
>under discussion, ICANN and the registrars are much closer to reaching a
>negotiated position on Whois verification and data retention.
>On Whois verification, a framework for improving Whois accuracy has been
>developed, however, ICANN and the registrars still have not reached
>agreement on the number of fields that are to be verified.
>On data retention, discussion among law enforcement representatives,
>registrars and ICANN indicates there is agreement in principle on a
>two-tiered retention schedule to account for differing data privacy
>obligations. More detail on each of these items, as well as status of
>negotiations on the other law enforcement requests, are provided in the
>documents posted today:
>*RAA Negotiation
>:* A memo providing detail on the negotiations since the Prague meeting and
>providing some questions for further community input.
>*Summary Chart of Status of
>:* Detailed status of negotiation on each of the 12 law enforcement
>requests, noting the remaining items remaining for discussion. Key requests
>from Registrars and ICANN for additional terms in the RAA are also
>identified at the end of the chart.
>Because the negotiations have been focused on these key areas, ICANN and
>the Registrars have not yet reached a fully negotiated agreement on all
>terms and provisions within the RAA. When available, a full draft will be
>posted for public comment. Until that time, ICANN and the Registrars
>welcome feedback on the discussion topics identified in the summary memo to
>help inform the community discussions in Toronto. Comments can be forwarded
>to the RAA Negotiations Status
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