Registration Abuse Policies WG Charter

Last Updated: 29 August 2009
7 July 2009

Registration Abuse Policies Working Group Charter
as adopted by the GNSO Council on 19 February 2009

Whereas GNSO Council Resolution (20081218-3) dated December 18, 2008 called for the creation of a drafting team “to create a proposed charter for a working group to investigate the open issues documented in the issues report on Registrations[sic] Abuse Policy”.
Whereas a drafting team has formed and its members have discussed and reviewed the open issues documented in the issues report.

Whereas it is the view of the drafting Team that the objective of the Working Group should be to gather facts, define terms, provide the appropriate focus and definition of the policy issue(s), if any, to be addressed, in order to enable the GNSO Council to make an informed decision as to whether to launch PDP on registration abuse.

Whereas the drafting team recommends that the GNSO Council charter a Working Group to (i) further define and research the issues outlined in the Registration Abuse Policies Issues Report; and (ii) take the steps outlined below. The Working Group should complete its work before a decision is taken by the GNSO Council on whether to launch a PDP.

The GNSO Council RESOLVES: To form a Working Group of interested stakeholders and Constituency representatives, to collaborate broadly with knowledgeable individuals and organizations, to further define and research the issues outlined in the Registration Abuse Policies Issues Report; and take the steps outlined in the Charter. The Working Group should address the issues outlined in the Charter and report back to the GNSO Council within 90 days following the end of the ICANN meeting in Mexico City.


Scope and definition of registration abuse – the Working Group should define domain name registration abuse, as distinct from abuse arising solely from use of a domain name while it is registered. The Working Group should also identify which aspects of the subject of registration abuse are within ICANN's mission to address and which are within the set of topics on which ICANN may establish policies that are binding on gTLD registry operators and ICANN-accredited registrars. This task should include an illustrative categorization of known abuses.

Additional research and identifying concrete policy issues – The issues report outlines a number of areas where additional research would be needed in order to understand what problems may exist in relation to registration abuse and their scope, and to fully appreciate the current practices of contracted parties, including research to:
• ‘Understand if registration abuses are occurring that might be curtailed or better addressed if consistent registration abuse policies were established’
• ‘Determine if and how [registration] abuse is dealt with in those registries [and registrars] that do not have any specific [policies] in place’
• ‘Identify how these registration abuse provisions are [...] implemented in practice or deemed effective in addressing registration abuse’.

In addition, additional research should be conducted to include the practices of relevant entities other than the contracted parties, such as abusers, registrants, law enforcement, service providers, and so on.

The Working Group should determine how this research can be conducted in a timely and efficient manner -- by the Working Group itself via a Request for Information (RFI), by obtaining expert advice, and/or by exploring other options.
Based on the additional research and information, the Working Group should identify and recommend specific policy issues and processes for further consideration by the GNSO Council.

SSAC Participation and Collaboration -
The Working Group should (i) consider inviting a representative from the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) to participate in the Working Group; (ii) consider in further detail the SSAC’s invitation to the GNSO Council to participate in a collaborative effort on abuse contacts; and (iii) make a recommendation to the Council about this invitation.

Workshop at ICANN meeting in Mexico City on Registration Abuse Policies - In order to get broad input on and understanding of the specific nature of concerns from community stakeholders, the drafting team proposes to organize a workshop on registration abuse policies in conjunction with the ICANN meeting in Mexico City. The Working Group should review and take into account the discussions and recommendations, if any, from this workshop in its deliberations.

The working group established by this motion will work according to the process defined in working_group_process (

Working Group processes:

While the development of Guidelines for Working Group operations are still to be developed the following guidelines will apply to this WG:

• A chair will be chosen by the group and confirmed by the GNSO Council

• A liaison from the GNSO Council will be appointed to work with the group and the council to coordinate the efforts of the WG as necessary.

• The WG shall function on the basis of rough consensus, meaning all points of view will be discussed until the chair can ascertain that the point of view is understood and has been covered. Consensus views should include the names and affiliations of those in agreement with that view. Anyone with a minority view will be invited to include a discussion in the WG report. Minority report should include the names and affiliations of those contributing to the minority report.

• In producing the WG report, the chair will be responsible for designating each position as having one of the following designations:

o Unanimous consensus position
o Rough consensus position - a position where a small minority disagrees but most agree
o Strong support but significant opposition
o Minority viewpoint(s)

• If several participants in a WG disagree with the designation given to a position by the chair or any other rough consensus call, they can follow these steps sequentially :

o Send email to the chair, copying the WG explaining why the decision is believed to be in error.
o If the chair still disagrees, forward the appeal to the Council liaison(s) to the group. The chair must explain his or her reasoning in the response.
o If the liaisons support the chair's position, forward the appeal to the Council. The liaison(s) must explain his or her reasoning in the response.
o If the Council supports the chair and liaison's position, attach a statement of the appeal to the board report. This statement should include all of the documentation from all steps in the appeals process and should include a statement from the Council.

• The chair, in consultation with the GNSO Council liaison(s) is empowered to restrict the participation of someone who seriously disrupts the WG. Any such restriction will be reviewed by the GNSO Council. Generally the participant should first be warned privately, and then warned publicly before such a restriction is put into place. In extreme circumstances this requirement may be bypassed.

• The WG will have an archived mailing list. The mailing list will be open for reading by the community. All WG meetings will be recorded and all recordings will be available to the public.

• A SocialText wiki will be provided for WG usage

• If the guidelines for WG processes change during the course of the WG, the WG may continue to work under the guidelines active at the time it was (re)chartered or use the new guidelines.

• The council liaisons to the WG will be asked to report on the WG status monthly to the council.

• Any questions about the charter should be addressed to the GNSO council. If the WG decides that the charter needs to be amendeded, those amendments must be discussed with the GNSO council. The GNSO Council is responsible for approving any amendments to the charter.

All WG charters must be reviewed by the GNSO Council every 6 months for renewal.