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Re: [ga] ICANN's accredited registrars and trying to renew one name

  • To: "Richard Henderson" <richardhenderson@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, <ga@xxxxxxxx>, <halloran@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [ga] ICANN's accredited registrars and trying to renew one name
  • From: "Richard Henderson" <richardhenderson@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2003 11:32:45 +0100
  • Cc: <DannyYounger@xxxxxx>, <vinton.g.cerf@xxxxxxxx>, <michael@xxxxxxxxxx>, <grant_toomey@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <twomey@xxxxxxxxx>
  • References: <001801c368ac$193b82e0$0154fc3e@r6yll>
  • Sender: owner-ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

HelpDoes ICANN accreditation mean nothing?

During the .biz and .info launches, there were demonstrable cases of registrar fraud and registrar abuse of process, but although ICANN was given specific detail, they failed to respond to complaints and continue to accredit the registrars in question.

That leaves the disturbing concern that consumers, who see the 'accredited by ICANN' label at the sites of these registrars (or on the ICANN site), are misled by ICANN to believe that they are trustworthy companies when they have actually been shown to have broken rules, and abused process to the disadvantage of ordinary consumers.

ICANN seems to take the view that if these registrars fulfil certain technical criteria, then they merit 'accreditation', regardless of the business practices, regardless of breach of ICANN agreements, regardless of harm to the consumer.

The appalling abuse of the ICANN-Registry-Registrar agreements by some registrars during the New TLDs launch has been archived and demonstrated in posts to this list, in posts at ICANNWatch, and  - with no response - in posts to ICANN's Registrar Liaison Executive, Mr Dan Halloran.

Let me give you a more recent example of the failure of ICANN's accreditation system, an example which is all too familiar to many internet users when they attempt to transfer or renew their domain names.

I have been making plans for a year to create a website where - with the sanction of their schools - pupils from all over the world can communicate together, can share their life experiences, and hopefully build better understanding between nations. I have been in contact with schools from many nations and every continent (excluding Antarctica). I have trialled the process at a subsidiary site. I centred my project on what I felt was the very appropriate domain name TheHumanRace.com.

One ordinary individual wanting to use the Internet, and dependent on the structures ICANN oversees in order for it all to work.

However, I have been unable to renew my domain name because the ICANN-accredited registrar with whom the name is registered cannot be contacted. I have sent repeated e-mails. I have phoned and continue to phone daily but there is no answer. And now I see my domain name past its renewal date and in the final grace period before the deletion process occurs.

How can ICANN justify accrediting a registrar, if that registrar will not meet basic and reasonable and necessary business standards, and if that registrar fails in its duties, which include the maintenance and protection of names for which it is responsible?

I formally call on Dan Halloran to act as liaison between ICANN and Libris (dba DomReg) and to insist that they renew this domain name and enable communication between registrant and registrar (at least, by responding to my e-mails).

In the context of Dan's failure (over 490 days) to respond to any of my previous e-mails to him at ICANN, I suppose I might assume this is a forlorn hope. It would be possible to suggest a culture of disdain and consumer neglect, endemic not only among certain registrars but right at the heart of ICANN itself.

Even Paul Twomey, who I appealed to in person, has failed to respond over a 60 day period.

One person's dismay over his/her problems can of course be marginalised and ignored.

The truly disappointing point is that there are people all over the world who experience these kinds of problems with a de-regulated or non-regulated registrar industry. The cases can be seen in numerous mailing lists. Certain registrars appear again and again. Inaccessible or unresponsive outfits who take your money then become almost impossible to contact. Many of you will have experienced this kind of thing at some stage.

It's also disappointing for another reason. There are many brilliant registrars, conducting efficient businesses, providing time and good service. I've been on the phone this morning to Hans-Peter Oswald at Secura. He always answers the phone. He is always helpful and courteous. His service has been invaluable to me. But it's shameful that his reputation as a registrar gets tarnished by the bad reputation created for registrars in general by the 'cowboys' who run wild in this de-regulated environment.

Therefore, I strongly argue the case for ICANN setting down - in its accreditation arrangements - specific minimum standards of good business practice... standards which include responsiveness and accessibility, and which also bind registrars to abide by the Agreements ICANN oversees for Registries and Registrars. ICANN - in the interests of the Registrar community and in the interests of individual consumers - should then enforce their minimum standards, by removing accreditation from registrars who fail in their basic duties or are caught out abusing the system and agreements.

To fail to do this is to fail the whole internet community.

ICANN has espoused what Dan Halloran famously called a "Laissez Faire" culture. I would call it dereliction of duty and the abandonment of the consumer.

ICANN is supposed to ensure the safe, fair and efficient operation of the domain name system. How can it be right that individuals lose their right to use names in the system, simply because ICANN allows its accredited registrars to abandon their basic responsibilities?

I have made every effort (and continue to make every effort) to contact accredited registrar Libris. They ignore my mail and don't answer the phone which I call several times each day.

I call on Dan Halloran to explain ICANN's position, and request him to liaise between ICANN and this registrar, to insist that as an accredited registrar Libris must have reasonable contact procedures, and must safeguard the domains for which they are responsible.

I call on Paul Twomey to guarantee this liaison takes place, or to preside over an arrogant an unresponsive organisation which ignores the grassroots needs of ordinary individuals to fairly use and access the DNS.

Please could anyone else help save The Human Race. It's for kids who are the future of our world.

Thank you


Richard Henderson

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