2018-02-04

News Review | GDPR & ICANN WHOIS: "We're all Europeans now"

graphic "News Review" ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2018-02-04) with analysis and opinion: Features •  1) GDPR & ICANN WHOIS: "We're all Europeans now",  2) Other ICANN news, 3) Names, Domains & Trademarks: a. Collapse in new gTLDs' Domain Name Registrations Continues into 2018, b. ccTLD .au, c. Verisign $VRSN Q4 2017 4) ICYMI Internet Domain News, 5) Most Read.

1. EU GDPR & ICANN WHOIS: "We're all Europeans now"
GDPR Summary of Important Aspects | Eureka.eu: "The EU General Data Protection Regulation is the world's biggest change to information security ever and is poised to export Europe's data protection and data privacy principles to the rest of the world."
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes enforceable on May 25, 2018, and marks the biggest overhaul of personal data privacy rules in the history of the internet, directly impacting ICANN and its "contracted parties" (gTLD registry operators and registrars), who are considered "controllers" of domain name registrants' personal data.
The 2006 Definition of Whois Purpose: Case study of the “bad old days” in ICANN | InternetGovernance.org: "... the legal situation is changing in ways that make it difficult, if not impossible, to keep evading the issue ..."
WHAT IS Going to Happen With WHOIS? | Motherboard.vice.com: "... an overhaul of this nearly 30-year-old protocol [WHOIS] is long overdue. The notion that individual data should require a requester to also provide their own data is both equitable and intuitive—the only remaining question is how to make it work."
Diagram of interim models presented at ICANN webinar Feb 2, 2018
Editor's note: a webinar was conducted by ICANN management on Friday, February 2, 2018, which I attended along with more than 300 other stakeholders, and learned:
  1. ICANN acknowledges it is a "controller" subject to the EU's GDPR law;
  2. ICANN acknowledges that the GDPR law is a "compliance issue" for the ICANN organization, not a policy issue, and that ICANN org is working on a single, global model, for complying with the GDPR;
  3. According to ICANN CEO Goran Marby, ICANN is "working around the clock" and hopes to have more information about its "model" by mid-February;
  4. Here's a work paper explaining differences between the models.
Legal Analyses, Proposed Compliance Models, & Community Feedback | ICANN.org:

29 January 2018 Rafik Dammak NCSG Policy Committee Chair, Non Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG), re: ICANN-Proposed Compliance Models Comments (pdf, 330KB) excerpt (emphasis added):
Our evaluation of the models offered by ICANN are based on three fundamental principles. No model that fails to conform to all three is acceptable to the NCSG.
1. The purpose of whois must be strictly tied to ICANN's mission. That is, the data that is collected and the data that are published must directly and demonstrably contribute to ICANN's mission as defined in Article 1 of its new bylaws. We reject any definition of Whois purpose that is based on the way people happen to make use of data that can be accessed indiscriminately in a public directory. The fact that certain people currently use Whois for any purpose does not mean that the purpose of Whois is to provide thick data about the domain and its registrant to anyone who wants it for any reason.
2. Whois service, like the DNS itself, should be globally uniform and not vary by jurisdiction. ICANN was created to provide globalized governance of the DNS so that it would continue to be globally compatible and coordinated. Any solution that involves fragmenting the policies and practices of Whois along jurisdictional lines is not desirable.
3. No tiered access solution that involves establishing new criteria for access can feasibly be created in the next 3 months. We would strongly resist throwing the community into a hopeless rush to come up with entirely new policies, standards and practices involving tiered access to data, and we do not want ICANN staff to invent a policy that is not subject to community review and approval. Based on these three principles, we believe that Model 3 is the only viable option available.
2 February 2018 Maryant Fernandez Perez, European Digital Rights (EDRi) ICANN-Proposed Compliance Models Comments (pdf, 56 KB) ".... it appears that only model 3 is reconcilable with the GDPR, provided that the issues noted above are addressed. Both models 1 and 2 result in the potential publication of personal data on a scale that is neither necessary, nor proportionate ..."

See also 29 January 2018 Letter from Dimitris Avramopoulos, Věra Jourová & Sir Julian King [European Commission] to ICANN CEO Göran Marby re: European Commission Concerns Regarding GDPR and WHOIS.

Read the other comments here. My comment is here (pdf).

Related Links:

2) Other ICANN news
graphic "ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers"
a. Announcing Draft Plan For Continuing With The KSK Roll | ICANN.org"The plan calls for rolling the root zone KSK on 11 October 2018 (one year later than originally planned)"--ICANN public comment period is open and closes 2 Apr 2018 23:59 UTC.

b. Information Transparency Initiative Update: The Content Audit and ICANN Taxonomy | ICANN.org: "ICANN is performing a first-ever quantitative and qualitative audit of all the content on www.icann.org. The audit began in November 2017 and will continue through to August 2018."

c. Global DNS and gTLDs--recommended reading for ICANN leadership and others--We have plundered the commons | weforum.org. See also: The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers thrive and work does not pay (London, Biteback, 2017).

3) Names, Domains & Trademarks
graphic "Names, Domains & Trademarks" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
a. Collapse in new gTLDs' domain name registrations continues into 2018--Editor's noteThe below is NOT a picture of "Lack of Awareness" but "Registrant Rejection" of new gTLDs--
Top: Jan 2017 - Jan 2018;  Bottom: January 2018 (source: ntldstats.com)
After the collapse in new gTLDs' domain name registrations in 2017, some were hoping for a 'turnaround' starting in January 2018--no such luck--nobody wants these "losers" anymore--not even Chinese speculators (who have since moved on to crypto). Here are the details from the ntldstats.com data:
New gTLDs' domain name registrations as of 12/31/2017: 23,819,095
New gTLDs' domain name registrations as of 01/31/2018: 23,046,656
Net LOSS in January 2018 --------------------------------------- (772,439)
January Net Loss (772,439) X 12 (months) = Projected Net LOSS of (9,269,268) new gTLDs' domain name registrations for all of 2018 at January's rate, which would be equal to a net loss of 39% of all new gTLDs' domain name registrations existing on the last day of 2017.

Data at namestat.org shows only 19.8 million new gTLD domain name registrations as of Feb 1, 2018.

Editor's note: As I noted last month, it is now obvious to everyone (except 'deniers') that ICANN grossly mismanaged its ill-conceived and misbegotten expansion of gTLDs (from just 22 to over 1200). Among the multitude of mistakes, probably the most egregious were rejecting the advice of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (pdf) and U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (pdf) with regard to competition, pricing power, and consumer (registrant) benefits and protections. The above referenced letter from the US DOJ Antitrust Division was attached to a letter to ICANN from NTIA in Dec 2008 (pdf).

b. ccTLD .au: 'Yourname.au' proposed as discussion opens on Australia's domain future | ZDNet.com

c. Q4 2017 Earnings season: Verisign | NASDAQ: VRSN Feb 8, 4:30pm ET. Versign is a registry services provider and operator, including gTLDs .COM and .NET, as well as internet security services provider, internet Root Zone Maintainer, and manager of  Root Servers A and J.

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
graphic "ICYMI Internet Domain News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
  • "In Geneva, the UN working group did not reach agreement on recommendations for the UNGA [United Nations General Assembly] on the role of governments in international internet policy. NL and like-minded countries oppose UN control over the Internet and supported multi-stakeholder approach."--Arnold van Rhijn Jan 31, 2018
  • Internet Freedom Festival 2018 Schedule IFF 2018: March 5-9, 2018, Valencia, Spain.

5) Most Read Posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this past week on DomainMondo.com: 
graphic "Domain Mondo" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
1. News Review | IANA Transition Unwind? ICANN Nightmare or Fantasy?
2. Amazon $AMZN, Apple $AAPL, Google $GOOGL, LIVE Webcasts Feb 1
3. Tech Review | Is Google Done? 'Can No Longer Innovate' Says Ex-Googler 
4. Facebook $FB Q4 2017 Earnings LIVE Webcast, Jan 31, 5pm ET 
5. Starbucks $SBUX CEO Kevin Johnson On Earnings & Future Of The Brand 

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

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