ICAAN supports custom domains and discusses whois privacy issues

By EDRi · July 2, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

During its 32nd International Public Meeting in Paris of 22-26 June, the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved the
proposal to expand the world’s Domain Name System.

Dr Paul Twomey, ICANN’s president and CEO, said in a statement: “The Board
today accepted a recommendation from its global stakeholders that it is
possible to implement many new names to the Internet, paving the way for an
expansion of domain name choice and opportunity. (…) The potential here is
huge. It represents a whole new way for people to express themselves on the
Net. It’s a massive increase in the ‘real estate’ of the Internet.”

“This was an extremely successful meeting that will be remembered as a
milestone in the development of the Internet. (…) New generic Top Level
Domains and Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) will open up the Internet
and make it look as diverse as the people who use it,” said Peter Dengate
Thrush, ICANN’s Board Chairman.

Presently, users have only a limited range of 21 top-level domains (TLDs) to
choose from, such as .com, .org or .info. ICANN authorises the launch of
every new TLD, the launch being made by an ICANN-approved registry and the
domain names being sold by registrars. With the new proposal, applicants for
new TLDs can select their domain name themselves and operate as a registry
and they can use the names for their own purposes or offer them for sale to
third parties through registrars. Applicants from anywhere in the world will
have a “limited application period” and the applications will go through an
evaluation process, expected to last nine months. Although trade marks will
not be automatically reserved, owners will benefit of an objection-based
mechanism to consider their arguments for protection. Offensive names will
also be subject to an objection-based process “based on public morality and
order” as stated by ICAAN.

A final version of the implementation plan must be approved by the ICANN
Board before the new process is launched. It is intended that the final
version will be published in early 2009 and applications for new names are
planned to be available in the second quarter of 2009.

On the same occasion, at a meeting before the private network administration
session, Suzanne Sene, a US government representative, said the Governmental
Advisory Committee (GAC) wanted ICANN to organize new studies of the use and
misuse of Whois data about the owners of Internet domains and pay for these
studies. There is no common agreement yet on a Whois model, the debate
between rights holders and the data-protection authorities having lasted
long on providing more security for the Whois databases which list the
owners of domains.

Representatives of US crime-fighting authorities as well as some European
counterparts have frequently expressed the opinion that access to Whois
data should be granted to those having a “justified interest” claiming that
online spammers or swindlers could be investigated properly only by a
completely free access to the databases, without the knowledge of the
parties involved and without a court order. As a result, many proxy servers,
whose data are recorded in Whois instead of those of clients appeared in US.

Following the introduction of some barriers to the publication of extensive
information about domain owners, the British Nominet gives private users an
opt-out to remove their personal data from the publicly accessible Whois
database. And after many debates, EU registrars registering generic TLDs
such as .info and .com benefit from derogation from the ICANN regulations by
submitting a clear request on the part of their own authorities, which
however, has not been achieved yet.

Internet administrators in dispute over data protection for domain owners

ICANN backs custom domains, gives brand-owners nightmares (27.06.2008)

ICANN Concludes Successful 32nd Meeting in Paris (26.06.2008)

Biggest Expansion in gTLDs Approved for Implementation (26.06.2008)