GNSO Council Teleconference Minutes

Last Updated: 31 August 2009
Date: 
25 September 2003

26 September 2003

Proposed agenda and related documents

List of attendees:
Philip Sheppard - Commercial & Business users C.
Marilyn Cade - Commercial & Business users C.
Grant Forsyth - Commercial & Business users C.
Greg Ruth - ISCPC
Antonio Harris - ISCPC - absent, apologies, proxy to Tony Holmes/Greg Ruth
Tony Holmes - ISCPC -
Thomas Keller- Registrars
Ken Stubbs - Registrars
Bruce Tonkin - Registrars
Jeff Neuman - gTLD
Jordyn Buchanan - gTLD
Cary Karp - gTLD
Ellen Shankman - Intellectual Property Interests C. - absent, apologies, proxy to Laurence Djolakian/ Lynda Roesch
Laurence Djolakian - Intellectual Property Interests C.- absent, apologies, proxy to Lynda Roesch
Lynda Roesch - Intellectual Property Interests C. - absent
Milton Mueller - Non Commercial users C.
Chun Eung Hwi - Non Commercial users C. -absent, apologies, proxy to Milton Mueller
Gabriel Pineiro - Non Commercial users C. - absent
Alick Wilson
Demi Getschko
Amadeu Abril I Abril

15 Council Members

John Jeffrey - ICANN General Counsel

Audri Mukhopadhyay - GAC Liaison
Thomas Roessler- ALAC Liaison
Young-Eum Lee - ccTLD Liaison

Steve Crocker from the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SECSAC), Chuck Gomes and Scott Hollenbeck from Verisign attended for item 4 on the agenda.

Glen de Saint G�ry - GNSO Secretariat

Quorum present at 14:07 CET
MP3 recording
http://gnso-audio.icann.org/GNSO-20030814.mp3

Bruce Tonkin chaired this teleconference.

  • Item 1: Approval of the Agenda
    Agenda approved
  • Item 2: Summary of last minutes

    Ken Stubbs moved the adoption of the minutes seconded by Marilyn Cade.

    The Council approved the adoption of the minutes.
    Decision 1: Motion adopted.


    Item: 3. Actions arising from last meeting
    - Each constituency to appoint one member to the President's committee on WIPO -II
    The constituencies returned the following names:
    Commercial and Business Users Constituency: Philip Sheppard:
    Non-Commercial Users Constituency: Michael Froomkin:
    gTLD Registries Constituency: David Maher:
    Intellectual Property Interests constituency: Mike Heltzer:
    Registrars' constituency: Robert F. Connelly:
    Internet Service and Connectivity Providers Constituency: Maggie Mansourkia

    - Each constituency to supply list of top 5 UDRP issues
    Three constituencies, the Commercial and Business Users (BC), Non-Commercial Users (NCUC) and Registrars responded with a wide divergence. The Registrars and the BC had issues:
    (9) Should the procedure for implementing orders to transfer registrations be amended?
    (11) Should the policy be changed to require registrars to wait until appeal deadlines expire before taking action in response to court orders? in common
    while the NCUC and the Registrars had
    4) Should the provider and panel selection processes be modified to address concerns about potential conflicts of interest?
    (5) Should standards for accrediting providers and panelists be promulgated? in common.

    - Request Discussion with the Board on extension of 3 representatives per constituency until annual meeting in 2004
    Bruce Tonkin
    reported that the request had been forwarded to Vint Cerf, Chairman of the ICANN Board, and raised with the ICANN President, Paul Twomey and the General Counsel, John Jeffrey.
    Philip Sheppard drew the attention to the fact that the timing element of the issue was linked into the Tunisia meeting.
    Jeff Neuman urged that the issue be put on the Board agenda before Tunisia and noted that the gTLD Registries constituency was proceeding with the election of 2 representatives and 1 alternate.
    Bruce Tonkin reminded Council, that in terms of the bylaws, the ICANN Secretary should be notified of new appointments in each constituency by October 1, but in fact he had noted to the ICANN Secretary and General Counsel that it was unlikely the timeline would be met.
    New Council members should take up their positions after the Tunisia meeting when the terms of the current GNSO council members expire.
    John Jeffrey stated that there was no clear determination whether it would be on the agenda for Tunisia but suggested two representatives should be appointed with an alternative third. The timing issue was under investigation.
    Bruce Tonkin noted that the Council strongly suggests that the recommendation extending 3 representatives per GNSO constituency until the annual meeting in 2004, be on the ICANN Board meeting agenda for Tunisia.
    In addition, each constituency should start the election process.

    - Issues with introducing new tlds
    Jeff Neuman
    thanked the Latin American Internet Service Providers for running tests for the new registries to which Tony Holmes responded that Europe was following up as well.
    Jeff Neuman suggested reserving further Council action until Tunisia.


  • Item 5. Update on WHOIS Privacy Steering Group

    Bruce Tonkin
    suggested that while waiting for Steve Crocker from the Security and Stability Advisory Committee, to join the call, the WHOIS Privacy steering group proceed with reporting on their progress.

    Bruce Tonkin
    reported that each constituency had provided their 5 top issues to the WHOIS Steering group. The issues that drew the most interest were:
    - data mining
    - disclosing to registrants what would happen with their data
    - issues of accuracy were identified by the Commercial and Business Users and the Intellectual Property constituencies
    Following the input received, draft terms of reference for three task forces were put forward.
    Task force 1: data mining
    Task force 2: data disclosure and collection
    Task force 3: accuracy - deliberately incorrect information provided.
    Task Forces 1 and 2 drew interest from the Steering committee and terms of reference will be discussed at the Steering Committee teleconference on 2/3 October.
    The timeline to be followed is to have the terms of reference submitted by the GNSO Council meeting in Tunisia to be voted on. The decision whether one or two task forces will be initiated, which met with mixed views, will be left to the Council at the Tunisia meeting, taking into account the resources within the GNSO community to work on the task forces.
    Bruce Tonkin reported on the group being led by the ICANN's President, Paul Twomey, referring to a statement that was made on the ICANN website and the proposed half day workshop in Tunisia.
    Four areas being examined:
    1. The requirements for a new protocol, Cross-Registry Information Service Protocol (CRISP) which should operate in a policy environment. It would be the task of the GNSO Council to look at the policy involved.
    2. Review of WHOIS data elements, what is being done with the data collected and is it necessary, which would fit into the GNSO Council's task force 2.
    3. Domain Name Registrant Classification being investigated by the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) WHOIS Working Group.
    4. The collection of current best practice information, especially with regard to privacy matters, from selected country code registries and registrars.
    Because WHOIS issues cut across many ICANN constituencies, a �President�s Committee on WHOIS� will be established to support coordination and collaboration in further fact-finding and analysis, and Supporting Organization development of draft policy and practice recommendations. Invitations to serve on the Committee were extended to all interested and should be sent to:
    Twomey@icann.org before the ICANN meetings in Tunisia.
    Bruce Tonkin clarified that there had been two meetings of representatives from the GNSO, Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), Addressing supporting organization (ASO) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to identify the priority areas. The memorandum was the outcome of the meetings while the Workshop in Tunisia and the President's committee were steps moving forward.

  • Item 4. Issues associated with Verisign's introduction of wild card entries (*.com and *.net in the .com and .net zonefile)

    Bruce Tonkin declared a conflict of interest as an employee of Melbourne IT, which is a customer of Verisign, as well as a supplier of domain name services to Yahoo and Microsoft. He stepped down and handed the chair to the immediate past chair, Philip Sheppard.

    Philip Sheppard, in his role as chair, called for further conflict of interests.
    Cary Karp (.museum) said that he may have, but had no prior need to articulate conflict. Jeff Neumann (.biz), notified Council about a previous experiment; but stated that they did not operate wildcards nor were there plans to run them in the immediate future. Ken Stubbs, Director of Afilias stated that there had been no communication regarding this issue. Tom Keller and Jordyn Buchanan both stated that their companies were shareholders in Aflilias.

    John Jeffrey introduced himself as the new General Counsel and pointed to the ICANN Advisory . ICANN requested the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SecSac), and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), to review the impact of the changes implemented by VeriSign. Reports had been created and posted and a review process of the reports and related contractual issues was underway.
    Steve Crocker, from the Security and Stability Advisory Committee, expressed his appreciation in being asked to join the call. SecSac's focus was on security, stability, good order and the operation of the Internet as affected by the DNS. An advisory with opinions and recommendations that was issued should be viewed as the first steps while further work is needed to figure out details. A fact-gathering exercise which includes a meeting, scheduled to be held in Washington DC. on October 7, 2003, is in the middle of a three-step process. The first step being input from all sources and the last step being putting all the pieces together in a report. SecSac is conscious that they are part of larger process in an advisory and not an enforcement position. A two-way communication stream is expected, input from the GNSO Council and output which would be useful to ICANN, ICANN Board, the technical community and the world at large. There are:
    (1) specific technical issues regarding what has been effected and the consequences thereof;
    (2) larger issues, (a) stability from an engineering point of view from changes and counterchanges being made that lead to instability in a system
    (b) less tangible issue, public confidence. The dependence and trust that people have on the expected behaviour of the Internet.
    These were some of the areas for further examination.
    Comments were invited by all parties interested and should be addressed to secsac-comment@icann.org

    Philip Sheppard asked whether the set of technical concerns, some in control of Verisign, some outside control of Verisign, combined caused the call for suspension of service?
    Steve Crocker responded that in consultation with ICANN, it was suggested that change be rolled back for multiple reasons such as, counterreactions, public outcry and claims that services stopped working.
    Ken Stubbs suggested that a FAQ be developed to promote better understanding in the general community.
    Amadeu Abril I Abril asked whether there were similarities, besides nature or scale between the Verisign Sitefinder and services in other TLDs, such as, .museum?
    Thomas Roessler referred to the ALAC statement sent to the ICANN Board and the GNSO Council on September 16, expressing concerns about:
    1. assumptions wired in code and minds have been broken, affecting among other, the UDRP cancellation remedy and the WHOIS accuracy
    2. centralization of decisions
    3. wildcards affect all Internet protocols
    The ALAC proposed that sitefinder should be abandoned.
    Marilyn Cade stated that AT&T had technical concerns about the lack of notice and comment.
    Jordyn Buchanan expressed concerns that it was not clear whether RFCs or Internet standards were violated, asked how it differed from wildcard issues in .museum and sought further explanation about the chain of reactions to circumvent the service.?
    Philip Sheppard suggested that the technical questions be moved off-line.
    Milton Mueller emphasized that the core of the problem was the fundamental relationship about how ICANN, as a regulator relates to the industry and the public.

    (Audri Mukhopadhyay, GAC liaison, joins call)

    Philip Sheppard invited Steve Crocker to address three questions:
    - comparison to other similar systems
    - Request for Comments (RFCs)
    - measures and countermeasures
    - innovation versus stability

    Steve Crocker
    Comparison to other similar systems: commenting on .museum and other ccTLDs using wildcards said there were multiple precedents. Earlier in the year, Verisign brought out a related service of redirecting queries that were unregistered and had character codes that suggested they may have been untranslated Chinese Japanese Korean attempts. The SecSAC looked closely at Verisign's effort, found it challenging and did not want to make an issue of it as the impact of the change, on technical grounds, was not very threatening and was seen as helping the transition to proper software. However, this view was not shared by the Internet Architecture Board. SecSac did not interact with .museum or ccTLDs with respect to their decision to use wildcards. The whole question in the present issue turns on scale and process and SecSaC became involved only after they heard about the consequences.

    Request for comments (RFCs) are part of a larger picture and represent the best efforts of the technical community to specify agreements on how things should work and are not the absolute last word on what is permitted or how things should be operated. Good practices and conservatism have brought the Internet to where it is today.

    Measures and countermeasures: The Internet Software Consortium (ISC) released a new version of Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) which intercepts replies coming back from Verisign and transforms them back into a non existing domain. There are different places in the stream where people intercept and change what is going in both directions. It has been reported that some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are changing routing to avoid traffic going to Verisign but there is no documentation available yet.

    Innovation versus stability. Innovation, which has been responsible for the important venture the Internet is today, takes place on a stable base with the IP protocol serving as the important plank for this. The "Hourglass figure" illustrates the system where the Internet Protocol (IP) is in the middle, below there is innovation on physical transports, where changes occur in medium from copperwire to fiber to wireless, while above application protocols of all sorts are found. The Domain Name System (DNS) is close to the neck of the hourglass figure forming part of the core infrastructure. Many protocols and services depend on the good order and operation of that service. Registries are not actually competitive, as there is no alternative as to who runs the database for .com, or .org, and so domain name queries go to one place.

    Philip Sheppard invited comments from Chuck Gomes and Scott Hollenbeck from Verisign.
    Chuck: Gomes stated that as a first step, Verisign was still gathering data and would provide detailed technical responses to the SecSac report. In addition a panel had been formed in cooperation with SecSAC, IAB, and others and continue to look at feed-back from community to examine questions and issues raised. Verisign has not taken any countermeasures against those taken by others. They believe there is room to create best practices for such services in working together. With regard to other TLD wildcard similarities, there are at least 11 other TLDs that currently support wildcards, all except .museum are ccTLDs and two ccTLDs, .cc, .tv are run by Verisign. .cc has been running Wildcards since 1997 with no adverse effects. With regard to .com, .net, domain name registration services and domain name resolution happen in a secure and stable manner in keeping with the Verisign objectives. The behaviour of Stiefinder for domain names on hold (ie not in the zonefile) is similar to the behaviour of browser based solutions that direct a user to a different site when a domain name is not found in the zonefile. The issue is being looked at carefully and attention is paid to what Registrars are saying. Thomas Roessler was invited to communicate offline about the issues raised by ALAC. Careful preparation with months of market and technical research, and testing, was undertaken to ensure sure full compliance with the RFCs.

    Philip Sheppard called for discussion on Marilyn Cade's proposed resolution, circulated to the GNSO Council on the mailing list September 25, 2003.


    -- "Whereas, the primary and overriding imperative to ICANN's mission is the stability and reliability of the global DNS and the Internet. All entities of ICANN share responsibility to consider reliable, predictable, secure, and stable operation of the DNS and the Internet infrastructure in the development of any policies, or any changes in operations or introduction of new services.
    Whereas, the global Internet is dependent upon standards and design principles and practices that are undertaken and agreed to by the private sector through collegial and bottom up, consensus based processes.
    Whereas, on September 15, 2003, VeriSign Registry introduced a wild card registry service into .com and .net zones that creates a registry-synthesized address record in response to look ups of domain names that are not present in the zone. This registry service changes the routing of traffic by directing traffic that would have otherwise resulted in a 'no domain' notification to the "sender" to a VeriSign operated web site with search results and links to paid advertisements.
    Whereas this change creates the appearance that any possible string of letters is a "live" domain, a significant operational change with many implications that are not yet fully understood. The VeriSign server also substantially changes the way email is queued, routed, and responded to in the .com and .net domains; presenting burdens on ISPs and network connectivity providers of all sizes.
    Whereas applications developed to rely on a RCODE 3 response for a non existing domain have been negatively affected by this change. Whereas work around at the routing and at the DNS level have been deployed by various members of the community to stop the effect of the wildcards.
    Whereas, concerns have been expressed by many in the community that wildcards in such significant zones negatively affects the stability of the DNS.
    Whereas complaints have been received about the service and its harmful and burdensome impact on other service providers and including but not limited to: anti-Spam software is being negatively affected.
    Whereas, there was no notice, comment, nor consultation with affected infrastructure entities by Verisign Registry.
    Whereas, significant questions of harm to the stability and reliability of the Internet are raised in a variety of technical forums
    Whereas the IAB commentary published its architectural Concerns on the use of DNS wildcards on 19 September 2003.
    Whereas VeriSign Registry on 21 September 2003, responded to Paul Twomey, President and CEO, ICANN, acknowledging ICANN's advisory and declining to suspend the service until they (VeriSign) has an opportunity to collect and review available data.
    Whereas the Security and Stability Advisory Committee, 22 September 2003, has published its recommendations related to the service advising that the stability of the Internet has been considerably weakened through the introduction of ambiguous and inaccurate responses in the DNS, calling on Verisign to voluntarily suspend the service and participate in the various review processes now underway and on ICANN to examine the procedures of change in service, including provisions to protect users from abrupt changes in service.

    Therefore, the gNSO Council:

    Supports ICANN's actions to
    1) monitor community reaction and experiences with the new registry service
    2) request advice from the Security and Stability Advisory Committee and from the IAB on the impact of change introduced by the registry service of VeriSign
    3) encourages broad participation by the community in the upcoming meeting hosted by the Security and Stability Advisory Committee
    4) pledges its members support for the upcoming meeting

    Requests that ICANN
    1) provide a ruling of whether this service is a registry level service, in violation of existing accreditation agreements and if so, take immediate appropriate steps to end the service until required process is undertaken;
    4) in any event, obtain a suspension of the service until the various reviews on the service are completed and presented to ICANN, whether through voluntary or involuntary means

    Pledges to
    1) work cooperatively to ensure full opportunity to fully understand the service, its implications for the DNS, and what steps are needed for retroactively addressing service introduction, and proactively present a recommendation regarding the need for a formal notice and comment process in the introduction of new services at the registry level via undertaking a PDP. *

    Marilyn Cade summarized the purpose of the resolution:
    - to establish Council's interest and concern in the issue,
    - to show support to the ICANN Board, the President the community and the Security and Stability Advisory Committee for their actions,
    - to indicate Council's commitment to fully participate in all processes to better understand the impact of the new Registry service on the Domain Name System (DNS) and
    - advise the Board of Council's intent to undertake any appropriate work related to policy development that is needed.
    - to request ICANN to provide a determination of whether it is a Registry level service.
    If it were a Registry level service it would require notice and comment from the community which has been denied and thus
    ICANN is requested to take immediate action and suspend the service until further investigations.
    The "whereas" clauses were intended to capture the history of what has happened.
    Jeff Neuman expressed concern about the "whereas" clauses that were subjective and stated that it was not feasible, from a registry level, speaking on behalf of .biz, to introduce a policy development process every time a new registry level service is bought out.
    Marilyn Cade commented that the introduction of services affecting DNS was different from innovation at the edge.
    Steve Crocker suggested that the important core issue were the different responses given in Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, rather than the discussion on whether or not it was a registry service.
    Milton Mueller expressed concern that the resolution was too broad.
    Bruce Tonkin commented from a process point of view and suggested spreading the resolution over couple of council meetings.
    He proposed:
    - support for current process under way.
    - a request from the GNSO Council to ICANN General Counsel to give a ruling whether Sitefinder is considered by ICANN to be registry service.
    - future action, such as whether or not a policy development process is required, should be left to the next meeting in Carthage.
    Ken Stubbs suggested that there should be a methodology for preconsultation with constituencies and expressed concern about individuals taking countermeasures.
    Alick Wilson asked why the sitefinder service was considered to be in order for .museum and .tv, but not for .com?
    Steve Crocker responded that it was never said to be in order for .museum and .tv., but it had not drawn attention previously.
    Alick Wilson suggest that the resolution should be depersonalized from Verisign and as a policy issue, when registry contracts were renewed there should be room for review during the course of the contract.
    Demi Getscho pointed to the fact that many top level domains (TLDs) had .com as a second level domain and the new behaviour of .com produced trouble in nonexistent domains.
    Jeff Neuman and Bruce Tonkin stressed the importance of predictability in running a registry and from a users perspective and change without notice was not conducive to predictability and stability.

    Philip Sheppard read the amended motion proposed by Marilyn Cade and called for a vote:

    Whereas, on September 15, 2003, VeriSign Registry introduced a wild card service into .com and .net zones that creates a registry-synthesized address record in response to look ups of domain names that are not present in the zone. This service changes the routing of traffic by directing traffic that would have otherwise resulted in a 'no domain' notification to the "sender" to a VeriSign operated web site with search results and links to paid advertisements.
    Whereas the IAB commentary published its architectural Concerns on the use of DNS wildcards on 19 September 2003.
    Whereas VeriSign Registry on 21 September 2003, responded to Paul Twomey, President and CEO, ICANN, acknowledging ICANN's advisory and declining to suspend the service until they (VeriSign) has an opportunity to collect and review available data.
    Whereas the Security and Stability Advisory Committee, 22 September 2003,has published its recommendations at www.icann.org

    Therefore, the gNSO Council:
    Supports ICANN's actions to:
    1) monitor community reaction and experiences with the new service
    2) request advice from the Security and Stability Advisory Committee and from the IAB on the impact of change introduced by the registry service of VeriSign
    3) encourages broad participation by the community in the upcoming meeting hosted by the Security and Stability Advisory Committee

    Pledges to
    1) Support the recommendation of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee, 22 September 2003
    2) work cooperatively to ensure full opportunity to fully understand the service, its implications for the DNS, and any implications for the need for policy development within the scope of the gNSO.

    The motion carried,
    17 votes in support

    Registrars constituency (6), Commercial and Business Users constituency (3), Internet Service and Connectivity Providers constituency (3) , Non Commercial Users constituency(2), Alick Wilson, Demi Getschko, Amadeu Abril I Abril (3),
    6 abstaining votes from the gTLD Registries constituency,
    Intellectual Property Interests constituency absent, no proxy votes.

    Decision 2
    The gNSO Council:
    Supports ICANN's actions to:
    1) monitor community reaction and experiences with the new service
    2) request advice from the Security and Stability Advisory Committee and from the IAB on the impact of change introduced by the registry service of VeriSign
    3) encourages broad participation by the community in the upcoming meeting hosted by the Security and Stability Advisory Committee

    Pledges to
    1) Support the recommendation of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee, 22 September 2003
    2) work cooperatively to ensure full opportunity to fully understand the service, its implications for the DNS, and any implications for the need for policy development within the scope of the gNSO.


    Bruce Tonkin thanked Philip Sheppard and resumed the chair.

  • Item 6. Discussion of top 5 UDRP issues
    - Receive input from each constituency and see if there is common interest in taking some issues forward into policy development

    Bruce Tonkin
    requested those constituencies that had not identified the top 5 issues, to reply to the GNSO Secretariat so that the responses could be summarized.

  • Item 7. Any other business

    Audri Mukhopadhyay - GAC Liaison, proposed that members of the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) meet with the GNSO Council during the Carthage meetings.
    Bruce Tonkin proposed that there should be a meeting with the GNSO Council members and the GAC members as well as a meeting with the WHOIS Privacy Steering Committee and the GAC.
    Marilyn Cade suggested looking at other topics on the agenda, such as the World Summit Information Society (WSIS) activity before deciding on the topics for common discussion.
    Philip Sheppard suggested scheduling the meetings for Monday 27 October in Carthage

    Bruce Tonkin declared GNSO teleconference closed, and thanked everybody for attending.
    The meeting ended at, 14:20 UTC,
    00:20, 26 September Melbourne.

    Next GNSO Council meeting to be held at the Carthage Palace Hotel in historic Carthage, Tunisia. : Wednesday October 29, 2003 at 12:00 UTC
    see:http://gnso.icann.org/calendar/