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WHOIS Task Forces 1 2 3 Minutes

Last Updated:
31 August 2009

WHOIS Task Forces 1 2 3

17 May 2005 - Minutes


GNSO Constituency representatives:
Jordyn Buchanan - Chair

Registrars constituency - Paul Stahura

Registrars constituency - Ross Rader

Registrars constituency - Tom Keller

Internet Service and Connectivity Providers constituency - Tony Harris

gTLD Registries constituency - Ken Stubbs

Commercial and Business Users constituency - Marilyn Cade

Intellectual Property Interests Constituency - Steve Metalitz

Intellectual Property Interests Constituency - Niklas Lagergren


At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) liaisons - Bret Fausett

At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) liaisons - Wendy Seltzer

GAC Liaison - Suzanne Sene absent - apologies

ICANN Staff:

Maria Farrell Farrell - ICANN GNSO Policy Officer

GNSO Secretariat - Glen de Saint Géry


Internet Service and Connectivity Providers constituency - Greg Ruth

gTLD Registries constituency - David Maher - apologies

Registrars constituency - Tim Ruiz

Non Commercial Users Constituency - Marc Schneiders

Non Commercial Users Constituency - Kathy Kleiman

Non Commercial Users Constituency - Milton Mueller

Non Commercial Users Constituency - Frannie Wellings

Commercial and Business Users Constituency - David Fares

Commercial and Business Users Constituency - Sarah Deutsch - apologies

Internet Service and Connectivity Providers constituency - Maggie Mansourkia

MP3 Recording

Preliminary Summary & list of implementation issues and questions regarding the recommendation on notification


1. Document management

2. Brief recap on third draft of Whois Terms of Reference

3. Discussion on Task force Final report

1. Document management

Marilyn Cade suggested asking the ICANN staff for ideas on how to better convert documents and working with Kent Crispin to develop a template for submitting documents that would make publishing easier and quicker. Perhaps the major documents that staff work on could adhere to html format and not word.

Jordyn Buchanan proposed taking Marilyn Cade's comments as under advisement and work in html and see how it affected the work of the task force.

1) Summary        Document file types


Staff to consult internally on preparing major documents for circulation in .html. 
Glen and Maria will consult internally and refer back to the task force at a later date.

2. Third draft of terms of reference

Jordyn Buchanan reported that the GNSO Council, at its meeting on 12 May 2005, did not vote on the new terms of reference. Councilors felt more time was needed given the various issues raised. It was agreed that the task force make submissions suggesting additional modifications to the terms of reference. Council also solicited input from the task force on how the ongoing work should be accommodated in the terms of reference specifically with regard to the work on recommendations 1 and 2 as these were not included in the current terms of reference. There was informal agreement from the task force that the work on the 2 recommendations should continue and that Jordyn Buchanan and Maria Farrell suggest language incorporating them into the terms of reference.


- resolve the two outstanding recommendations in the next few weeks and

- then focus most of the task force time on the the new terms of reference

2 Summary           Task force terms of reference

The GNSO Council has not yet finalized the Whois task force’s terms of reference and has solicited input from the task force on how ongoing task force work items should be accommodated. 


  • Jordyn and Maria will develop language to incorporate into the terms of reference the two recommendations currently in development by the task force.
  • List participants to review the follow-up topics and prioritise them for future discussion. 

3. Discussion on task force final report

Jordyn Buchanan clarified that the report before the task force should be the final document that would be sent to the GNSO council. The policy development process did not specify an additional vote before the report was sent to the council. The bylaws stated that the final report should encompasses the public comments. The task force could review the recommendations in light of the comments.

Jordyn suggested that if any substantive changes were made in light of the public comments and the task force discussion, that another vote be solicited, but if there were no substantive changes, then the previous vote be forwarded to the council.

Marilyn Cade suggested the following additions and modifications to the report:

- a cover document explaining that the public comments had been added to the preliminary report

- 1.2 "Summary of public comments voting on the recommendation" should be changed as the people who provided comments were not voting on the recommendation.

Marilyn expressed concern about how the present discussion would be summarised and transmitted to the council so they would fully understand the recommendation and suggested a transmittal document.

- the last paragraph in the 'background' section gave a very different timeframe assumption from the reality.

Jordyn Buchanan agreed

- to add some additional history which would include the vote, and the public comments

- re title 1.2

- need to differentiate between 1.2 and 1.3 that there were different public comment periods on different topics. - to work with Maria to incorporate the suggestions in a future draft.

Jordyn Buchanan suggested, in response to Marilyn Cade's comment about the spam filter, recommending that the list software give a message to the poster that ‘your message was posted’ or 'diverted to the spam list' that would help the poster take corrective action.

Jordyn Buchanan noted that 2 public comments were from participants in the process, 3 were unsupportive of the recommendation.

Marilyn Cade made a comment in support, also clarifying some of the purpose.

Alan Levin commented that he was not in favour because the recommendations did not clearly state that consent or checking the box only had to be done once during the relationship with the registrar.

This topic had actually come up in a previous discussion when Paul Stahura made the point that if someone registered names often they should not have to go through the procedures more than once. Reviewing the recommendations, there seemed to be some ambiguity on this point.

Marilyn Cade commented that from her experience users had to be frequently reminded.

Her understanding of the recommendation was that the registrant would have to acknowledge the reminder before proceeding with the registration.

Jordyn Buchanan suggested getting consensus within the task force on the issue.

Paul Stahura commented that some registrants registered many names every day, and it did not seem practical for them to click on a notice 10 times a day.

Jordyn Buchanan summarised the options on the table.

1. each domain name required explicit acknowledgement of the conditions.

2. each batch of domain names registered at one time required explicit acknowledgement of the conditions.

3. each relationship required explicit acknowledgement of the conditions.

4. variations; such as in number 2 unless at the time they create the relationship they agree they don’t want to be notified any more, or notification with every third batch, or other variations.

Jordyn Buchanan commented that different registrars had different practices with different customers. At, people are provided with a service agreement, to which they have to agree, each time they register a batch of domain names. Whereas corporate clients sign a one time agreement.

Paul Stahura commented that in the case of ENOM, resellers showed the agreement to the registrants when they registered names. If an account was set up, all the agreements shown to the registrants were for all the registrations made in that account, and not every time a name was registered. They were reminded on a yearly basis at the same time as the reminder was sent out for accurate whois data for each name.

Steve Metalitz said that from the recommendation, Registrars had to do 3 things:

1. Tell the registrant during the registration process.

2. If the registrar presented the disclosures with the agreement, it had to have them broken out of the agreement or separately.

3. Either way they would have to acknowledge each time that they had read and understood the disclosures.

It appeared to be flexible and accommodated a lot of different models.

Paul Stahura agreed that the process was flexible but since the issue had been discussed previously, there was perhaps a need to spell out an example. "Would you consider someone, who had gone through the whole process, six months later coming back to register a domain name, not going through the notice process a second time?."

Steve Metalitz
responded that in his opinion, what happened on day one of the registration process was in compliance with the notification requirement.

Marilyn Cade proposed that the level of detail being discussed belonged to the policy implementation of the recommendation which was not envisioned in the pdp process. Personally and on behalf of the Commercial and Business Users constituency she felt comfortable with a "regular" ( undefined) disclosure that met the three parts in the recommendation.

>From the discussion that ensued, Marilyn Cade requested that the issue be forwarded to the Council with the suggestion that "during the registration process" be defined.

Jordyn Buchanan commented that there were 2 issues

- agreed that the question of once per batch, domain name, etc. could be deferred to an implementation group - but a periodic notification requirement appeared to be policy change that should be reflected in the text.

Tony Harris
commented that notification should be given when registering for the first time and every time a registration was renewed, and in the case of an automatic renewal process an email could be sent to the registrant with the automatic renewal.

Paul Stahura commented that emails were not automatically sent to customers whose domain names were renewed automatically. With regard to registrations for 10 year periods, a Whois accuracy notification was sent once a year.

Jordyn Buchanan
saw possible agreement for revised recommendations that would be accepted by the council:

- to tie additional notification onto the wdrp notice

- to put such notification in a privacy policy

Steve Metalitz reminded the group that discussion of details belonged in an implementation group

Tony Harris suggested a process whereby when a registration was completed, a reply would indicate that it was in order and in that email reply, the registrant could be asked to acknowledge having read the disclosure section. However this was not in the current RAA and a new process would have to be created to make it obligatory.

Jordyn Buchanan commented that it was unlikely that the recommendation would become consensus policy given the opposition from the registrar and registry constituencies and the weighting of votes at the council level. Thus, he asked the task force whether it would be worthwhile revisiting the recommendations in light of the discussion and the public comments or whether they should be forwarded to the council in the present state, recognizing that there was additional work to be done by the implementation committee, if they were approved by council.

Tony Harris
considered it was worth revisiting to give value to the work the task force had done

Steve Metalitz considered that the registrars and registry representatives had had adequate time to consider the recommendation and that it should be referred to an implementation committee.

Marilyn Cade clarified that if a recommendation was voted on in the council and did not receive the required two thirds majority, but simply a majority, council could decide to send it to an implementation committee or to the ICANN Board as 'policy recommended by the council ' which would not be binding as in the case of consensus policy.

Suggested options:

- taking into account the present discussion it might be feasible for the task force to make a recommendation about how to explore the implementation issue

- for the task force to do more work on implementation itself before sending the report forward

- the periodic notification issue would not be an implementation issue, but a new adjustment to the recommendations

Jordyn Buchanan proposed

1. Working with Maria on to document the questions and issues arising out of the discussion that may become implementation questions

- there was more value in forwarding a set of recommendations that was likely to pass and become consensus policy

2 Encourage on list discussion of possible suggestions,

- language to forward to the implementation group,

- adjustments to the recommendations that address these issues

3 If broad support in the task force for adjustments to the recommendations, they should be modified and discussed before forwarding to the council.

Time frame:

- to be completed in the next week unless a vote is called for on the adjustments

- if not, the task force forwards the recommendations to the council.

Marilyn Cade commented that implementation groups can only implement policy, not change it. Guidance or input from the task force to an implementation working group may be considered.

Steve Metaltz did not object to the proposals but stated that they were not consistent with the pdp, and that the report should be forwarded to the Board. It degraded the work of the task force if after 6 months new issues came up at the last moment and were considered.

Jordyn Buchanan responded that part of the previous step was to attempt to reconcile constituency concerns. It was not consistent with the pdp but the task force agreed that it would be useful to react to the public comments.

Marilyn Cade proposed that a definition be provided for ‘during the registration process’ which could result in sufficient modification for agreement in the task force.

3  Summary        Final task force report on notification

Maria prepared the final task force report, incorporating summaries of the public comments.  Unless substantial changes are made to the recommendations of the report, there will be no further vote on it by the task force. 


  • Editing changes will be made to the final report; changing of the title of section 1.2 on public comments to differentiate between different public comment periods on different topics, complete summary of task force work process to date.
  • A list of implementation issues and questions will be circulated to the list for online discussion on possible suggestions to forward to the implementation group or adjustments to the recommendation.  If there is broad support for adjustments to the recommendations, the task force will modify the recommendations and discuss them further before forwarding to the Council.  If no substantive changes are made and broadly agreed by Tuesday 24 May, the task force report will be forwarded in its current state to the Council.    


  • Maria to incorporate changes to the final task force report.
  • Maria/Glen to inquire about the capability of the list software to give confirmations of messages sent to the public comment forums.
  • Jordyn/Maria to prepare a list of implementation issues and questions discussed on the call and circulate to the list for online discussion.
  • Following any subsequent mailing list discussion, Jordyn will send a note to the Council advising them of the steps being taken to resolve any outstanding undefined issues before 2nd June 2005 (date of the next GNSO Council meeting). 

Topics for next week’s call:

  • Follow-up discussion on recommendation on notification
  • Discussion of the form of the recommendation on conflicts of laws – policy or advice?

Jordyn Buchanan thanked everyone for their participation and the call ended at 17:00 CET