ICANN Update: October 2014

This month, we look at the latest issues in the Internet Governance world, including debates around a 2nd gTLD round, Privacy and Proxy Services and domain ownership.

2nd gTLD Round

ICANN committed to review the current gTLD application round and has set up a team to develop recommendations to the ICANN Board of Directors for any subsequent rounds. With many brands realizing that they missed out on the first round, and existing applicants wanting to fully maximize their first mover advantage, we would expect a strong debate in the build-up to a second round. Currently, a subsequent application round is not expected to launch until 2016 at the earliest.

Privacy and Proxy Services

The concept of domain privacy and proxy services was officially recognized within the 2013 Registry Registrar Agreement (RRA), albeit with a temporary specification. A community working group is currently debating the issues surrounding the accreditation of such service providers and developing a set of policies to match. It is a sensitive issue and we expect it to be debated heavily.

Registry Registrar Agreement

As many Registrants will know, the 2013 RRA has made domain ownership more difficult, with many businesses being taken offline due to Registrant Verification. A challenge was laid down in the London meeting for evidence to be provided that these changes have made a material difference to the harms they were supposed to prevent. There is a provision in the RRA to allow for renegotiation and a debate around this is expected.