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[registrars] Re: [registrar-announce] Registrar Advisory Concerning InappropriateLending of Registry Access

  • To: Registrars List <Registrars@dnso.org>
  • Subject: [registrars] Re: [registrar-announce] Registrar Advisory Concerning InappropriateLending of Registry Access
  • From: Rick H Wesson <wessorh@ar.com>
  • Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 01:17:26 -0800 (PST)
  • In-Reply-To: <bulk.15078.20020212183507@mailhub.icann.org>
  • Sender: owner-registrars@dnso.org

Do folks think that this should be discussed as part of our session on


On Tue, 12 Feb 2002 registrar-announce@icann.org wrote:

> To: ICANN-Accredited Registrars
> From:  ICANN
> Based on recent communications with registrars, it has become apparent
> that some ICANN-accredited registrars may be inappropriately lending
> their access to registries to third-party proxies. If not appropriately
> conducted, providing registry access to third parties can violate
> registrars' agreements with ICANN and jeopardize their continued
> accreditation. While registrars are permitted to enter into reseller
> arrangements with agents that assist them in providing service to
> customers, registrars are not permitted otherwise to lend access to
> their connections directly to entities that are not accredited
> registrars.
> The purpose of this advisory is to assist registrars in understanding
> their obligations under the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) in
> matters relating to lending access to entities that are not accredited
> registrars. Where appropriate, ICANN will exercise its right to audit
> registrar records in order to ensure compliance with the RAA.
> Pertinent Provisions of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement
> The current version of the RAA is divided into 5 sections: section 1
> defines terms; section 2 describes ICANN's obligations to registrars;
> section 3 describes registrars' obligations to ICANN; section 4
> describes how ICANN's consensus process can create new policies that
> would be binding on registrars; and section 5 covers miscellaneous
> subjects such as termination and assignment.
> Section 3's "Registrar Obligations" cover topics such as submission of
> data to registries, data retention requirements, public access to Whois
> data, accreditation fees, and also various business requirements and
> restrictions binding on registrars. These operational mandates are set
> forth in Section 3.7, entitled "Business Dealings, Including with
> Registered Name Holders." Several of these provisions are relevant to
> lending of registrar-registry access. These include:
>    3.3.1 At its expense, Registrar shall provide an interactive web
>    page and a port 43 Whois service providing free public query-based
>    access to up-to-date (i.e., updated at least daily) data concerning
>    all active Registered Names sponsored by Registrar for each TLD in
>    which it is accredited. ...
>    3.4.2 During the Term of this Agreement and for three years
>    thereafter, Registrar (itself or by its agent(s)) shall maintain ...
>    records relating to its dealings with the Registry Operator(s) and
>    Registered Name Holders ... .
>    3.7.3 Registrar shall not represent to any actual or potential
>    Registered Name Holder that Registrar enjoys access to a registry
>    for which Registrar is Accredited that is superior to that of any
>    other registrar Accredited for that registry.
>    3.7.4 Registrar shall not activate any Registered Name unless and
>    until it is satisfied that it has received a reasonable assurance
>    of payment of its registration fee.
>    3.7.7 Registrar shall require all Registered Name Holders to enter
>    into an electronic or paper registration agreement with
>    Registrar ... .
> In summary, based on these provisions a registrar:
>   * must have a contract with a registrant for every domain name it
>     registers (3.7.7);
>   * must not "add" domains into a registry without advance assurance
>     of payment of the registration fee (3.7.4);
>   * must not represent that it has superior access to the registry
>     (3.7.3);
>   * must maintain a record of all registration data it submits to
>     the registry (3.4.2); and
>   * must provide Whois data, updated at least daily, for every domain
>     it sponsors in the registry (3.3.1).
> Registrar Access-Lending Schemes
> At least one registrar access-lending scheme currently in operation
> raises significant issues under these provisions of the RAA. One
> registrar recently reported that it was unaware that it was responsible
> for hundreds of domain registrations that had been added to and then
> deleted from the registry without the registrar's participation. The
> registrations had been processed through a machine provided by a third
> party that had been installed on the registrar's network. This registrar
> had agreed to install the third party's machine in exchange for monetary
> compensation paid to the registrar. The third party was using the
> machine's access to the registry to add domain registrations into the
> registry on behalf of the third party's customers.
> Those customers had not agreed to enter into the registrar's
> registration agreement (in violation of RAA section 3.7.7); indeed, it
> appears the registrar had no relationship with the customers involved.
> The customers had not paid (or promised to pay) the registrar prior to
> the activation of the registrations (in violation of 3.7.4). The
> registrar apparently did not have any record of the domains that had
> been registered (and subsequently deleted) through its systems (in
> violation of 3.4.2). Since the registrar didn't even know it had made
> some of the registrations, it was not providing updated Whois data for
> those registrations (in violation of 3.3.1).
> Overarching these other violations is a breach of section 3.7.3, which
> prohibits registrars from representing that they have superior registry
> access. It appears that the third party has been claiming it offered the
> best chance to acquire expired names. Registrars allowing, in violation
> of the above provisions, a third party to enjoy the registrars' access
> to the registry are responsible for the superior-access claims that
> third party makes.
> Permissible Registrar Wholesale/Reseller Models Distinguished
> Many ICANN-accredited registrars operate or participate in
> wholesale/reseller business models that can be readily distinguished
> from the impermissible access-lending schemes outlined above. In a
> standard registrar/reseller model, the registrar complies with all of
> the above provisions of the RAA. The registrar that processes domain
> registrations through resellers is required to have a contract with
> every registrant, obtain assurance of payment before activating
> registrations, maintain its own records of all registration data, and
> provide public access to updated data for all domains it sponsors.
> Conclusion
> All ICANN-accredited registrars are strongly encouraged to undertake an
> immediate review of any access-lending schemes in which they are
> currently participating to ensure that they are in compliance with all
> of the provisions of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement. Registrars
> that continue to operate in breach of the RAA should review section 5.3
> of the agreement, which covers termination of accreditation. ICANN
> considers registrar compliance with accreditation agreements to be a
> high priority. ICANN will exercise its right under Section 3.4.3 to
> audit registrar records as appropriate.
> ========================================================================
> You are receiving this message because your e-mail address is in ICANN's
> database.  If the e-mail address is incorrect, please send an e-mail to
> <registrar-announce@icann.org> explaining the situation.

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