[NA-Discuss] Two Years later, Dozens of Registrars Still in the Shadows

Beau Brendler beaubrendler at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 6 14:35:43 UTC 2010

I found Kurt Pritz's reply to my question on compliance at yesterday's presentation in Cartagena rather revealing (and that's assuming I heard it correctly, we will need to listen to the tape). But I am fairly sure I heard him say, in response to my statement that a number of registrars remain out of compliance with the RAA and that some of us in the community don't really think ICANN believes it can enforce contracts, that "enforcement was an interesting question with several answers." (That's not an exact quote, but it was something similarly mysterious and vague). That sounds to me, to quote Carlton, that all animals are created equal but some more than others. Is OnlineNIC one of them? I have plenty of evidence, independent from Knujon, that OnlineNIC is out of compliance with the RAA, and that they were allowed to re-up, and continue their merry way.

I was also concerned that Kurt seemed to characterize compliance progress as a factor of the number of breach notices steadily increasing. The meaningful statistic would be: How many of those breach notices are resolved? And if the system was really working, breach notices should be going down, not up. It's great that ICANN's strategic plan mentions security and contract compliance as goals, but those are going to be tough to achieve with no functioning compliance department.

Repeatedly we have heard the registrar community voice its resistance to oversight and "regulation." But the registrar community should not be trying to shoot the messenger here; it should be considering how to self-police its ranks. If ICANN is not going to do its job, let's dismantle ICANN and take user and consumer concerns to the press, to international law enforcement bodies, and see if we can make better progress. 

-----Original Message-----
>From: gbruen at knujon.com
>Sent: Dec 6, 2010 8:30 AM
>To: "Michele Neylon :: Blacknight" <michele at blacknight.ie>, Carlton Samuels <carlton.samuels at gmail.com>
>Cc: na-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org
>Subject: Re: [NA-Discuss] Two Years later,	Dozens of Registrars Still in the Shadows
>I checked into the claims by Michele (or maybe I should address you as 
>"Blacknight"?) and my suspicions were confirmed. He has completely distorted 
>the issues  and ignored the critical problem. Active Registrar, Compana, 
>GROUP, VOLUSION, YNOT DOMAINS,  and OWN IDENTITY have not corrected the 
>problem as cited since June and ICANN compliance has not addressed the 
>issue. You've glossed over this.
>You've also glossed over the fact that OnLineNIC was allowed to sign on to 
>the 2009 RAA without first complying and has not been held to comply since, 
>even through we were informed they would be held to the RAA after signing.
>In our original report we expressed our concern the the other Registrars 
>would also be allowed to re-sign without meeting this requirement, and why 
>should they have to when it's not enforced? Why would they opt for public 
>disclosure when their competitors are not held by any standard? Does this 
>not concern you?
>The RAA has become meaningless and the Internet user DESERVERS BETTER.
>If you purport to be a leader in this community you'll expect better too.
>From: "Michele Neylon :: Blacknight" <michele at blacknight.ie>
>Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2010 8:31 PM
>To: "Carlton Samuels" <carlton.samuels at gmail.com>
>Cc: <na-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
>Subject: Re: [NA-Discuss] Two Years later, Dozens of Registrars Still in the 
>> I checked into the claims by Knujon and my suspicions were confirmed.
>> Of the registrars supposedly in breach 50% are NOT on the 2009 RAA. They 
>> are, therefore, NOT in breach, so I wonder how long we will have to wait 
>> for a corrected / updated version of this  report
>> Regards
>> Michele
>> Mr. Michele Neylon
>> Blacknight
>> http://Blacknight.tel
>> Via iPhone so excuse typos and brevity
>> On 4 Dec 2010, at 23:14, "Carlton Samuels" <carlton.samuels at gmail.com> 
>> wrote:
>>> Garth:
>>> I commend you and KnuJon for keeping at this issue.  It is one thing to 
>>> be
>>> the slacker in a contract.  But the fact that ICANN fails to embrace its
>>> duty of care to the community in ensuring that contracted parties live up 
>>> to
>>> the terms and condition of contract remains scandalous.
>>> The low hanging fruit of an explanation would be ignorance of its
>>> commitment.  But reason and good judgment suggests that this would be a
>>> stretch for explanation.  Time enough for ICANN to rise to the occasion 
>>> and
>>> do its duty.
>>> Carlton
>>> [Chair, At-Large WHOIS WG]
>>> ==============================
>>> Carlton A Samuels
>>> Mobile: 876-818-1799
>>> Strategy, Planning, Governance, Assessment & Turnaround
>>> =============================
>>>>  1.  Two Years Later Dozens of Registrars Still in the        Shadows
>>>>     (Garth Bruen at KnujOn)
>>>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> Message: 1
>>>> Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2010 11:49:35 -0700
>>>> From: "Garth Bruen at KnujOn" <gbruen at knujon.com>
>>>> Subject: [NA-Discuss] Two Years Later Dozens of Registrars Still in
>>>>       the     Shadows
>>>> To: na-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org
>>>> Folks,
>>>> In June of 2008 KnujOn reported that 70 Registrars did not have a
>>>> business address listed in the InterNIC Registrar Directory. Only after
>>>> reporting a month later that little had changed did ICANN perform a mass
>>>> update of the directory. On further inspection we found many of the
>>>> newly disclosed addresses were phantom locations, false addresses, and
>>>> PO boxes. This lead to a push to amend the RAA and require Registrar
>>>> location disclosure and resulted in RAA 3.16: "Registrar shall provide
>>>> on its web site its accurate contact details including a valid email and
>>>> mailing address." However, policy without policy enforcement is useless.
>>>> So far ICANN compliance has failed to enforce this rule even after being
>>>> provided with extensive evidence in June, 2010. In fact, several
>>>> Registrars cited five months ago for not posting their address have been
>>>> allowed to renew their accreditation without complying.
>>>> The following Registrars still do not disclose their address on their
>>>> website as required in RAA 3.16 and are in continued violation: Active
>>>> Registrar, Inc. (activeregistrar.com), COMPANA LLC (budgetnames.com),
>>>> Directi Internet Solutions Pvt. (publicdomainregistry.com), DOTALLIANCE
>>>> INC (dotalliance.com), EVERYONES INTERNET LTD. (resellone.net), NICCO
>>>> LTD. (nicco.com), RESELLER SERVICES INC. (ResellServ.com), UK2 GROUP
>>>> LTD. (uk2group.com), VOLUSION, INC. (volusion.com), YNOT DOMAINS CORP
>>>> (premiumregistrations.com), AB CONNECT (hosteur.com), FUNPEAS MEDIA
>>>> (isregistrar.com), NEW GREAT DOMAINS (newgreatdomains.com), ONLINENIC
>>>> INC. (onlinenic.com), OPEN SYSTEM LTD. (turbosite.com.br), OWN IDENTITY
>>>> INC (ownidentity.com), PACNAMES LTD (pacnames.com), QUANTUMPAGES
>>>> TECHNOLOGIES (ownregistrar.com), ULTRARPM INC. (metapredict.com), WEBAIR
>>>> INTERNET DEVELOPMENT (webair.com), ZOG MEDIA, INC. (zognames.com),
>>>> NAMEHOUSE, INC. (namehouse.net). The good news is that most of the 400
>>>> plus unique Registrars clearly provide their address in the home page
>>>> footer, a CONTACT US, or ABOUT US link and several Registrars cited in
>>>> June have since done so. Some Registrars bury the address in legal
>>>> documents, while we do not consider this compliant ICANN provides no
>>>> clear direction on where the address should be posted.
>>>> OnLineNIC is particularly troubling since their purported public
>>>> location is an empty lot in California with their true location being in
>>>> China, but only privately disclosed to ICANN. OnLineNIC's own domain
>>>> registration has been cited multiple times by KnujOn as being false.
>>>> Additionally, KnujOn has discovered that nine Registrars have
>>>> non-functional contact email addresses posted in the InterNIC directory:
>>>> RU-CENTER, Best Bulk Register (also has a breach notice for failure to
>>>> pay fees), Dynamic Network Services, Europe Domains, Homestead Limited,
>>>> HTTP.NET, Namescout, Hostmaster.ca, Nameshare Inc, and Universo Online.
>>>> Details of the email failures along with other results will be published
>>>> in our supplemental report on Monday December 6th.
>>>> RAA 3.16 is not the only unenforced contract obligation. In fact, most
>>>> of the RAA is unenforced with the exception being the Cardinal Sin of
>>>> failing to pay ICANN fees. KnujOn will actually detail an unprecedented
>>>> case in which a Registrar termination was reversed after back fees were
>>>> paid.
>>>> While Registrars control the content of their websites, ICANN really is
>>>> to blame for the failure to enforce the RAA and the anti-transparent
>>>> practice of having one Registrar directory for public consumption with
>>>> bad information and another internal list for their use.
>>>> Full article:
>>>> http://www.circleid.com/posts/20101203_two_years_later_dozens_of_registrars_still_in_the_shadows/
>>>> -Garth
>>>> -------------------------------------
>>>> Garth Bruen
>>>> gbruen at knujon.com
>>>> http://www.knujon.com
>>>> http://www.linkedin.com/pub/4/149/724
>>>> Linkedin Group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1870205
>>>> Blog: http://www.circleid.com/members/3296/
>>>> Twitter: @Knujon
>>>> Shop: http://www.cafepress.com/knujon
>>>> Bookstore: http://astore.amazon.com/knujocom-20
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