Mr Bruce Tonkin
Generic Names Supporting Organisation
It would appear that speculation continues among some members of the
community as to the meaning of the WHOIS clause in the Affirmation of
Responsibilities Resolution passed by the Board last week.
I thought it would be useful for me to write to you to make clear my
understanding, and my understanding of the Board, on this.
There is nothing in the WHOIS clause in the Resolution which prohibits
any proper and complete development of new policy in accordance with
ICANN's bylaws. The text in the Affirmation of Responsibilities is a
statement of policy as it presently stands - not a statement of what is
immutable or what we can't do.
This clause in the Affirmation of Responsibilities Resolution is not,
and cannot be, counter to the ICANN bylaws, including those which
outline ICANN's policy development procedures.
But if, and until, there is any change to the WHOIS policy according to
these procedures, ICANN will continue to enforce the existing WHOIS
policy like we would do any other policy. Indeed resources are
earmarked in this year's operational plan for such compliance work.
On the topic of the ongoing work on WHOIS, I would note that as part of
a broader WHOIS PDP process other Supporting Organisations and Advisory
Committees will have the opportunity to comment on any policy work if
and when it is passed on by the Council. But this is like any other
policy considered by the Board.
I understand that the general thrust of what I have written above has
already been communicated to the Council by Denise Michel.
I hope this will give some clarity to members of the Council and the
I would appreciate it if you were to share this communication with the
Council members, the public WHOIS list, and constituencies you consider
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Dr Paul Twomey
President and CEO