GNSO WHOIS Task Force Teleconference on 7 January 2003


ISP - Tony Harris - co- chair
BC - Marilyn Cade - co-chair
Registrars- GNSO Council Chair - Bruce Tonkin
Registrars - Ken Stubbs
BC - Bret Fausett
Former GA - Thomas Roessler
Former GA additional - Abel Wisman
Former GA additional - Kristy McKee
IPC - Steve Metalitz
Non Com Users Constit. - Ruchika Agrawal

GNSO Sec - Glen de Saint Géry


Bruce Tonkin, GNSO Council Chair, a guest on the call, was asked to discuss the WHOIS implementation committee with the task force members.

Bruce Tonkin explained that the documents sent to the task force were an abbreviated starting point for the implementation committee. (The word "Committee" was chosen as a neutral term.)


In the WHOIS Recommendations related to accuracy of data, three areas were extracted under "new obligations" that would be created.

(A) EXISTING contractual requirements relating to accuracy in the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (http://www.icann.org/registrars/ra-agreement-17may01.htm)
(B) WHOIS Task Force Recommendations on Accuracy related to ICANN Obligations
(C) WHOIS Task Force Recommendations on Accuracy related to Registrar Obligations

In the WHOIS Recommendations related to Bulk Access:
(A) EXISTING contractual requirements relating to provision of WHOIS in the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (http://www.icann.org/registrars/ra-agreement-17may01.htm)
(B) WHOIS Task Force Recommendations on bulk access related to Registrar Obligations
Bruce Tonkin suggested starting with the recommendation that the task force wanted to change, and if the change was not accepted, then move on to the alternate recommendation.

Bruce Tonkin went on to clarify further that the implementation committee would go through the recommendations, comment on the issues and tighten up the language.

Steve Metalitz commented on the usefulness of condensing the recommendations.
Ruchika Agrawal asked whether the implementation committee would define what was meant by "marketing activities"?
This led to a broader question on the function of the implementation committee versus policy clarification when an issue should be sent back to the task force by the GNSO Council. Feedback would be needed from the ICANN staff as to whether it could be enforced.

The task force expressed concerns about the marketing use of data.
Thomas Roessler suggested changing the intent. The recommendation as it stands places a restriction in the bulk access agreement.
Steve Metalitz raised the point that bulk data for marketing purposes overall or only applying to bulk access in the contract? Would the registrar still be able to make bulk data available?
Marilyn Cade expressed concern that marketing uses are not consistent with the purpose for which the data was gathered, and that in AT&T, no WHOIS data marketing was strongly recommended.
Bruce Tonkin said that "compulsory" was the crux of the matter. It would be up to the Registrar's discretion.
Ken Stubbs said that the background to the problem was with Network Solutions who argued that bulk data was propriety to them and put pressure on the test bed registrars which resolved in the original Registrars agreement.

Marilyn Cade said that the broad general consensus was not to support marketing uses of WHOIS data.
Bruce Tonkin said that third party access should not be used for marketing.
Marilyn Cade expressed concern about privacy if it was left up to the Registrars to decide if they would sell WHOIS data where B. Tonkin said that "Registrars shall not provide marketing to a third party" may be included.

Ruchika Agrawal asked about privacy guidelines provisions in the Registrars Agreement, to which Marilyn Cade replied that the OECD guidelines were a framework to enact legislation. The directive does not specifically mention WHOIS data.
B. Tonkin said that different countries had different laws. The issue was the contract between ICANN and the Registrars and registrars must obey the laws of the country.

After further discussion Bruce Tonkin said that the suggested revisions for registrars to modify their bulk access agreements do not go far enough.

Marilyn Cade drew attention to the report being open for comments until January 9, 2003. Additional changes could be incorporated, if a recommendation is to be made it could be included as an addition. The mid-term item is not a policy item unless comments received showed support for this.
Ken Stubbs urged that policies or recommendations should be specific and clear enough for the Board to move forward.
Bruce Tonkin said that the implementation committee's purpose was to test the assumptions.
Kristy McKee agreed with Ken Stubbs and added that the task force had not set out their definition of bulk access and marketing.
Thomas Roessler commented on "legitimate purposes" saying that marketing purposes has a blacklist, but "What does marketing mean?" is the question.
Bruce Tonkin said it was important to understand what was wanted and what was behind the recommendations. The task force and the GNSO council should concentrate on making small positive steps.

To a question from Ruchika Agrawal about extending the January 9 timeline for comments, the group was reminded that a report had to be completed by the end of March so that the process could move to a conclusion. This did not exclude input which could be archived in another volume of comments that would stay open.

Action: Open a new volume of the comments after January 9, 2003.

Marilyn Cade mentioned that there had been some confusion on the part the registrars as to what was in the Interim report and the Final report.
Bruce Tonkin explained that restating the recommendations in summary facilitated the process. With regard to accuracy, he referred to an advisory note ICANN published in May and drew attention to the difference between ICANN providing guidelines and contracts - the latter can only be changed by consensus policy.
Advisory was further clarified as not requiring consensus policy, it was not a contractual obligation.
The registrars were not able to focus on the interim recommendations until they became the final recommendations.
The next working stage requires an implementation group taking an ongoing look with more participation and comment from registrars themselves.
Bruce Tonkin said that the task force will come to an end when the recommendations are accepted.
The next steps in the process are:
- Identify the areas where more work is needed
- Create a separate issues report
- GNSO council decides the merit in the issues
- GNSO task force is created - establishing a common membership with the last task force.

Ken Stubbs recognized that the task force had extended itself but that the registrar's primary concern was transfers and as the latter moves on, WHOIS will receive more focus. He also expressed concern that there was little participation from European Registrars.
Bruce Tonkin added that registrars were neutral to WHOIS issues, sanctions created a negative perspective, and that the summary would attract focus and comments.

Ruchika Agrawal inquired about the accessibility timeline.
Marilyn Cade replied that an issue document would be drafted and forwarded to the GNSO Council for the council to make recommendations how best to persue it, as would be done for the mid-term recommendations.

Bruce Tonkin suggested that Thomas Roessler, Steve Metalitz, Antonio Harris and Marilyn Cade (as alternate) be added as representatives to the WHOIS implementation Committee.

Marilyn Cade announced that further WHOIS task force calls would be scheduled for the weeks to come.

Antonio Harris, on behalf of the task force, thanked Bruce Tonkin for his participation and expressed appreciation of the recommendation summary.
In addition he drew attention to organizing for the ICANN meetings in Rio de Janeiro.

The teleconference ended at 15:10 EST, Tuesday Jan 7, 07:10 Wednesday Jan 8, Melbourne time.