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12 Mar 2007
The first sentence of the ICANN bylaws states:
The mission of The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") is to coordinate, at the overall level, the global Internet's systems of unique identifiers, and in particular to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems.
That seems like a reasonable goal, doesn't it?
ICANN has registry contracts with all the gTLD operators, and accreditation contracts with all of the registrars. And they have compliance programs, to be sure they're all complying. For example, there's a Registrar Compliance Program that says, echoing language in the accreditation contract:
Registrars will be required to submit an electronic copy of their database to ICANN or to an escrow agent according to an approved schedule and format. They must also enter into the appropriate agreement, if applicable, with ICANN, the registrar and the escrow agent.
So, thinking about the current Registerfly mess, if Registerfly implodes, they could take the escrowed registrant data, assign it to some other registrar, and then things will be OK give or take changes since the last escrow deposit. Right? Dream on.
I was astonished to see this in a message sent last week to the GNSO list from NSI's Jon Nevens, who chairs the Registrar constituency:
Every registrar currently is in technical compliance with this provision because ICANN has never implemented a schedule, terms, or a format of the escrow arrangement.
It's been close to a decade, and ICANN hasn't gotten around to setting up the escrow? Isn't that a fairly basic way to protect stability and security? I guess they've been busy with more important stuff like deciding whether .CAT should get added to the DNS before .ASIA or vice versa. I'm speechless.
The agreements also require gTLD registries to escrow their data. I wonder whether any of them do.
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