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ICANN Adopts Domain Organization Framework

The Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers this week adopted a domain name registrar accreditation policy and a framework for the Domain Name Supporting Organization.

The Domain Name Supporting Organization will advise ICANN on Domain Name System policies and will have three of ICANN's 19 board seats.

Meeting in Singapore, the board also adopted a conflict of interest policy and established procedures that allow the group to reconsider certain decisions.

ICANN refined its accreditation policies for competing registrars for .com, .org and .net top-level domains. The new rules clarify legal liabilities of registrants that license names to anonymous third parties. The group also clarified registrant requirements and strengthened data escrow provisions.

ICANN also adopted a number of concepts that will be used to draft bylaws detailing the structure and roles of DNSOs.

Among the provisions in the framework:

  • The Domain Name Supporting Organization should be a consensus-based policy advisory both within ICANN. It should include a general assembly open to any individual or entity
  • The DNSO should include self-organized constituency groups with interest and expertise in DNSO matters. The initial DNSO constituency groups will be top-level domain registries, commercial and business entities, ISPs and connectivity providers, non-commercial domain holders, registrars, trademark and anti-counterfeiting groups as well as intellectual property groups.

ICANN said there should be no limit to the number of constituency groups in which a group may participate. However, no more than one employee of any organization should be permitted to serve on the Names Council at one time. The Names Council will act as a steering committee for the DNSO, making recommendations to ICANN's board on top-level domain issues.

The Names Council will be elected by DNSO members, with each electing three Names Council members. Recommendations from the Names Council will be forwarded to ICANN's board for consideration.

The DNSO Names Council will seek nominations for individuals to serve on ICANN's board. A vote among Names Council members will decide which nominees will be forwarded to ICANN's board. The board will then hold an election to determine who will serve as directors.