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[ga] GA summary 2002-08

This summary covers the DNSO GA mailing list's (and related) 
discussions and news during the 8th (and the beginning of the 9th) 
week of 2002.  GA list archives are available online at 
<http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/ga/Arc09/maillist.html>.  Please 
feel free to forward this summary as you believe to be appropriate.


The nomination period for the Names Council chair was ongoing.  The 
gTLD registry constituency has nominated Cary Karp.  Philip Sheppard 
of the Business Constituency, the current chair, is available for a 
second term.


(i) Deleted domain handling; supplemental information on domain name 
redemption.  ICANN published a supplemental paper which detailed the 
proposal in various points: Registrar processes remain mostly 
unchanged, registries should be allowed to take a "cost-recovery 
service charge", and registrants should be able to choose the 
renewing registrar. 

Genie Livingstone was not the only one to mention domain harding as 
a problem which should be addressed first.  However, Genie produced 
a sample of 100 4-letter domains being in "on hold" status, 
beginning with the letter "A", in order to understand what currently 
happens.  The result was that a particularly large number of the 
domains investigated is held by Verisign Registrar, with 
Register.com following on the second place. 

Harold Whiting followed up to notice that "as of a few days ago, NSI 
registrar was backlogged with over 1.3 million names that are 
overdue for deletion." He suggests a Uniform Registrars' Deletion 
Policy which should be mandatory for registrars.  He suggests that, 
upon expiration, a domain should immediately be put "on hold", and 
become unusable for a (uniform, I suppose) period not less than 40 
days.  After that period, domains should be returned to the registry 
and become available for re-registration.  However, "registry shall 
queue all names marked for deletion using the standard '5 day hold' 
process used now."

William Walsh replied that this proposal would tie up some of 
registrars' capital for a 45 day period, which would hurt smaller 
registrars. While the same is the case with the current grace 
period, that one is optional, while Harold's proposal would make it 

Abel Wisman pointed out that a possible solution to this problem may 
be to charge renewal fees to the registrar on the 45th day of 
expiry, unless a domain is returned to the registry.  Fees would 
then be non-returnable.

(ii) Structure.  After the board's retreat over the week-end, a 
restructuring proposal done by ICANN's Lynn was posted.  According 
to this proposal, the current board of directors would be replaced 
by a (smaller) board of trustees.  Some trustees would be appointed 
by governments (one trustee per geographical region), some would 
represent so-called policy councils (replacing the current 
supporting organizations, and being lead by "steering groups" which 
would replace the current councils), and some would be co-opted by 
the board. In particular, there would be no more "at large" 

Constituencies would be replaced by "forums", and would not 
automatically send representatives to the steering groups.

The board of trustees would be expected to make policy decisions by 
itself, as opposed to the current board's mission (as far as theory 
is concerned).

See <http://www.icann.org/general/lynn-reform-proposal-24feb02.htm> 
for details, and <http://www.icannchannel.de/lynn-proposal.pdf> for 
a nice chart of the suggested structure done by Alexander Svensson.

Alexander also provided some preliminary comments, noting, in 
particular, that "the Board seems to elect itself according to this 
proposal." He also asks how non-commercial and individual users make 
sure their voice is heard: Assuming that they have indeed 
representatives in the steering groups (the proposal reserves seats 
for non-commercials and individuals in the steering group of the 
generic TLD names policy council), they would have to convince the 
remainder of the steering group, which could then write a 
recommendation for the board. The board, in turn, could ignore such 
recommendations.  Alexander concludes that, "to have an influence on 
the ICANN process, having a seat on the board and/or the new 
nominating committee seem to be good places."

(iii) Registrar data accuracy.  Danny younger forwarded an excerpt
from a New York Times article on registrar data accuracy.  In the
article, the counsel of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts,
the Internet and Intellectual Property claims that many registrars
did not reply to a message from the committee which requested
information "about whether and how the companies verify customer

Rick Wesson replied that "we" (we being Alice's Registry) "responded
and sent a lengthy letter discussing how difficult it is to identify
invalid addresses.  There is no known method of verifying a snail
mail address in over 100 countries."

Thomas Roessler                        http://log.does-not-exist.org/

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