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COA submission re .net evaluation report

  • To: <net-rfp-general@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: COA submission re .net evaluation report
  • From: "Steve Metalitz" <metalitz@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 08:41:45 -0400

April 6, 2005 

The Coalition for Online Accountability (COA) appreciates this opportunity to 
comment on Telcordia Technologies' "ICANN .net RFP Evaluation Final Report."  

COA commented on February 4, 2005 on the applications lodged with ICANN by 
candidates to operate the .net registry.  Please refer to that submission, at 
http://forum.icann.org/lists/net-rfp-general/msg00022.html, for further 
information about COA.  I wish to emphasize that COA does not take a position 
on which applicant ICANN should choose as the next .net registry operator, 
among those that satisfy all the absolute criteria for the competition. 

As noted in our February 4 submission, COA believes that the application 
submitted by DENIC failed to satisfy an absolute criterion established by 
ICANN, i.e., compliance with the specifications of Appendix O (regarding 
publicly accessible Whois) of either the current .net agreement or the .org 
agreement, depending on whether a thin or thick registry was proposed.  We also 
pointed out ambiguities in the applications of two other candidates with regard 
to this absolute criterion.  

Accordingly, we do not agree with Telcordia's conclusion, in section 2.5.b.xii 
of its report, that all applicants satisfied this absolute criterion.  
Specifically, we do not understand how Telcordia could have concluded that 
DENIC satisfied the stated evaluation criterion of "meet[ing] or exceed[ing] 
standards in appendi[x] O," when its application clearly states that it will 
fall far short of providing public access to the Whois data elements required 
by appendix O.  DENIC proposes to migrate .NET to a thick registry model, but 
its proposed Whois service does not resemble in any way the specification 
contained in Appendix O of the .ORG registry agreement.  See .ORG Registry 
Agreement, Appendix O, at 
http://www.icann.org/tlds/agreements/org/registry-agmt-appo-19aug03.htm.  Under 
Section 7.3 of that Appendix, the registry Whois output for both the Domain 
Record and the Contact Record contains a number of data elements to enable the 
Whois requester to identify and contact the registrant and the administrative 
and technical contacts of the registrant.  By contrast, under DENIC's proposed 
Appendix O, see http://www.icann.org/tlds/net-rfp/applications/denic.htm, 
registry Whois data output would include only registrant name and street 
address, with no other contact data (e-mail, phone, or even city/state/country) 
 or any listing of administrative or technical contact information.  
Furthermore, the nameserver data provided would not include IP address.  

Telcordia's report provides no explanation for this obvious discrepancy.  Nor 
does the report indicate how Telcordia evaluated Sentan's compliance with this 
criterion, since Sentan proposed a registry Whois output that is non-compliant 
with the applicable Appendix O, but stated its willingness to achieve full 
compliance "in the event ICANN desires" it to do so.  

Although we are not in a position to evaluate other aspects of Telcordia's 
report, this unexplained failure to apply one of the absolute criteria should 
cast some doubt on its overall credibility.  We urge the ICANN Board to 
scrutinize the entire report with great care and to make its own independent 
determination about which applicant to negotiate with first for operation of 
the .net registry. 

We thank the ICANN Board for considering our views.

Respectfully submitted,  

Steven J. Metalitz
Counsel, Coalition for Online Accountability 

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