[At-Large] R: R: Is ICANN's oversight really moving away from the US government?

Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond ocl at gih.com
Sat Apr 9 19:30:47 UTC 2016

Dear Parminder,

I see that your interactions in other threads of the same topic have all
run out of steam, ending up in circular arguments. Let me also try to
explain things in a simple manner to try and get you to understand *why*
your argument does not hold.

On 09/04/2016 06:54, parminder wrote:
> You are describing a case where a private party sought seizure of a
> ccTLD (Iranian) on quite dubious grounds....

That is correct. This was a concrete case.

>  You are not willing to
> discuss all the cases in which domain names were seized through orders
> to the registries..... 

Because that has *nothing* to do with ICANN!
I am surprised that you would not know the difference between the Root &
the Registries, but let me try and explain it in a clear a way I can try.

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical decentralized naming
system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the
Internet or a private network.
Note the words: "hierarchical" and "decentralized".

At the top of the hierarchy, there is the ROOT. That database contains a
list of all of the top level domains, including generic top level
domains, country code top level domains, internationalised top level
domains etc. That database points to the nameservers which contain the
next level domain of each top level domain. These databases are run by
each top level domain Registries running that particular top level
domain. The databases run by the Registries then point to the
nameservers for a sub-domain, often run by the internet service provider
or other provider that's agreed to run the DNS for a particular domain.
Let me take an example for my company's domain name gih.com - and I am
simplifying the interactions between nameservers queries etc. but
roughly this is what happens:
When you send me an email, your mail exchanger checks the domain gih.com
The Root server (or one of its copies) returns information that the .COM
Top Level Domain is run by the Verisign Registry so the query is
forwarded to the nameserver for .COM. at the Verisign Registry. That
nameserver returns the IP address of the nameserver for GIH.COM - that's
auth1.ns.gin.ntt.net and the query is forwarded there. That nameserver
is the only one that has all of the details for domain name GIH.COM and
what actual computer to send the email to.

You are complaining that domain name take-downs have been sent to the
Registry. Well, it's a fat of life that .COM is run by Verisign and that
Verisign is a US company, so it is subjected to US law. I find this
quite normal. If someone want to have a domain name that's registered
with a non-US company, that's perfectly possible too. You can register
domains under Country Code Top Level domains that are run by companies
which are not based in the United States. In fact there are now a lot of
Generic Top Level Domains that are not run by US companies.  So the
choice is there for end users to register domains under a variety of

>  You are not ready to respond to the question on
> what would happen if a closed business gTLD is similarly brought to a US
> court, in which case ICANN ittself is the registry, as Verisign etc were
> registries for .com, etc, and thus the party to which earlier orders
> were directed. Any order for gTLD seizures would clearly be directed at
> ICANN. And the latter has no protection against it.

No. Not at all. ICANN is not a Registry. It is currently running .INT
and a couple of other technical gTLDs, but its work is not to run
Registries. What I think you are arguing is that ICANN could receive an
order to have gih.com seized. It would be able to do nothing about it.
It would forward this request to Verisign, who would take the action it
deems necessary. But let's say GIH was under top level domain "example"
and this was run by a Registry based in India. If ICANN received a
request to seize gih.example, it would forward this request to the
Registry in India and it is the Registry in India that would decide what
they want to do. Nothing to do with ICANN. Is this clearer now?

Kind regards,


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