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WHOIS Task Force 3 minutes

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WHOIS Task Force 3 Teleconference September 22, 2004 - Minutes


GNSO Constituency representatives:
Intellectual Property Interests Constituency - Brian Darville - Chair:

Registrars Constituency - Ross Rader

Non Commercial Users constituency - Frannie Wellings

Internet Service Providers and connectivity providers Constituency - Greg Ruth

Government Advisory Committee (GAC) liaison - Suzanne Sene

GNSO Secretariat: Glen de Saint Géry


gTLD Registries constituency: - Ken Stubbs - apologies

Commercial and Business Users constituency - Sarah Deutsch

Intellectual Property Interests Constituency - Kiyoshi Tsuru

Intellectual Property Interests Constituency - Terry Clark

At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) liaisons: - Vittorio Bertola

ICANN Staff Manager: Barbara Roseman - absent - apologies

MP3 recording



Attached is a document which identifies some potential opportunities for agreement between the majority and minority positions of TF3. Discussion of these and other potential points of agreement.

Click here to view the document.

Brain Darville referred to an Bruce Tonkin's email which resulted from a conference call with Ross Rader, Steve Metalitz, Brian Darville and Bruce Tonkin (in his personal capacity as a registrar), the pupose being to come to an agreement regarding Whois data accuracy because of split positions where registars were taking the position that they were not willing to agree to any recommendations.

Brian Darville stated there was no agreement in the discussion but Bruce Tonkin put forward some ideas that he as a registrar and Ross Rader as the Registrar constituency representative on the task force could agree to. However, from an Intellectual Property Constituency point of view Brian Darville had problems with the propositions.

Bruce Tonkin's email referred to 2 relevant clauses in the Registrar Accreditation Agreement: (RAA).

: " A Registered Name Holder's willful provision of inaccurate or unreliable information, its willful failure promptly to update information provided to Registrar, or its failure to respond for over fifteen calendar days to inquiries by Registrar concerning the accuracy of contact details associated with the Registered Name Holder's registration shall constitute a material breach of the Registered Name Holder-registrar contract and be a basis for cancellation of the Registered Name registration."

"3.7.8 Registrar shall abide by any specifications or policies established according to Section 4 requiring reasonable and commercially practicable (a) verification, at the time of registration, of contact information associated with a Registered Name sponsored by Registrar or (b) periodic re-verification of such information. Registrar shall, upon notification by any person of an inaccuracy in the contact information associated with a Registered Name sponsored by Registrar, take reasonable steps to investigate that claimed inaccuracy. In the event Registrar learns of inaccurate contact information associated with a Registered Name it sponsors, it shall take reasonable steps to correct that inaccuracy."

(1) With respect to verification at time of registration:

The registrars constituency would prefer to focus on improving the process for dealing with complaints, because adding verification at the time of registration may be a significant cost burden across all registrations, the vast majority of which are for legitimate purposes and do not infringement any 3rd party IP rights. Improved verification can first be implemented when WHOIS data is corrected following a complaint (see (2) below). The effective of this approach can then be evaluated prior to considering adding this at time of registration.

Brain Darville felt that it begged the question of the purpose of the task force which was to improve accuracy. Being concerned about accuracy after a complaint was filed was not consistent with the requirements of the RAA.

Brian Darville mentioned that the task force preliminary report suggested verifying 2 contact data elements while during the call verification of only one data element was discussed. Brian was of the opinion that email verification at the time of the registration was an obligation as Registrants were contractually required to provide accurate data.

Ross Rader was of the opinion that verifying email at the time a domain name was registered would result in a backlog in the pending queue, a regression in the registrar industry and the progress made with real time registration, while the economic impact on registrar sector could be millions of dollars

- customer loss

- increased costs

- decreased value of service level.

Frannie Wellings agreed with data verification after a complaint and felt it would be a wasted effort to verify data at the time of registration and asked how would one differentiate between a mistake and purposeful inaccurate data.


Greg Ruth commented on the validation of every registration versus complaints only saying that where there were complaints time could be spent tracking them down as they would be few in number but checking everyone would probably lead to a perfunctory job and not serve purposes.

Ross Rader requested that the whole line of discussion be killed but that deferring the issue each time was not satisfactory.

No decision could be taken because there were not enough people on the call.

Ross Rader suggested that the issues be put to the task force vote:

a. Was it a valid assumption that it was desirable policy ie, verification at the time of registration

b. Is this a change that the community is willing to accept?

(2) Reasonable steps to investigate inaccuracy

Reasonable steps can be clarified further to state that a registrar must use at least one of email, phone, fax, or postal mail to notify a registrant of a complaint about accuracy. If one of these methods fails (e.g receive a return to sender mail, email bounces, number is disconnected, or there is no fax service connected to the number) then another method must be used. If all of email, phone, and fax fail, then the name should be placed on registrar HOLD (ie the name decommissioned).

Brian Darville suggested adding reasonable time limits.

A registrant would still have 15 days to respond before further action is taken. To correct an inaccuracy registrars (or their resellers) must verify at least one of the following three data elements: - phone, Fax, or email Verification would take the form of: - customer provides data - registrars contacts customer using data - customer confirms registration A registrar may charge the registrant to recover costs of correcting the inaccuracy and may place a name on Transfer LOCK during this process. The pricing of this would be left to market forces. To ensure effective measurement of the compliance with this policy, all complaints should be lodged through the centralised WHOIS Data Problem Report system. Registrars must close cases lodged in the system to report on how they have been resolved. ICANN will be able to provide regular public reporting on the number of complaints and the follow up to these complaints.

Brian Darville referred to item 2 and suggested verifying more data elements at this point, to which Ross Rader commented that there was a moderately accurate data base, every indication showed that all the steps that have been taken to increase accurate data have been effective and was not sure that there was the degree of inaccuracy that some people presumed. The requirement/drive/need for further accuracy should be identified.

Item 2 should not be seen in isolation from item 3.

(3) Extra steps to investigate inaccuracy

A complainant may pay a registrar for an extra inaccuracy investigation service. A registrar in parallel will use all forms of contact to notify the customer: email Phone Fax Post - via registered mail (to ensure receipt) If all forms of communications fail - the name will immediately be placed on HOLD, (or redirected to a notification website). The customer will have 15 days to respond. When the registrant responds to update details, all of Email Phone Fax Post will be individually verified. Again at the cost of the complainant. The advantage of this service is it will provide a concrete set of contact details for further action by a complainant. The cost of this service will initially be left to market forces.

A lengthy discussion followed about who should be responsible for paying for inaccurate data.

Brian Darville was of the opinion that it was a non starter to charge anybody but the registrant.

Ross Rader explained that there could be different models and different levels of fees depending on which registrar was chosen but that the registrar may not choose anybody but the registrant to pay for the service was equally not acceptable.

Ross Rader
suggested that item 2 was a starting point for future compromise.

Brian Darville suggested continuing the discussion on the next task force call and encouraged task force members to express their positions regarding verifying email contact data at the time of registration.

Next week 29 September 2004


Continue the discussion on the following items:

1. Verification at the time of registration of contact information

2. Reasonable steps to investigate inaccuracy

- clarify timelines in the process

3. Extra steps to investigate inaccuracy

Brian Darville thanked everyone for their presence and participation and ended the call at noon EST, 16:00 UTC.

Next call: Wednesday 29 September 15:30 UTC, 10:30 EST, 7:30 Los Angeles, 16:30 CET.