RrSG Position re WHOIS Policy Review Team
April 17, 2011 Registrar Stakeholder Group Position Regarding WHOIS Policy Review Team BACKGROUND The Registrar Stakeholder Group ("RrSG") is providing feedback regarding the WHOIS Policy Review Team ("WHOIS RT"). This position paper captures the overall sentiment expressed by the RrSG members who provided feedback about this matter. Due to time constraints, however, no formal vote regarding this position paper was taken. RrSG POSITION The RrSG generally supports the WHOIS RT's proposed plans contained in Section 1 (Scope of Work), Section 2 (Outreach Plan) and Section 3 (Action Plan). These plans seem reasonable. The RrSG believes, however, that the WHOIS RT's use of word "consumer trust" throughout these sections is cause for concern. In the RrSG's view, defining the key term "consumer trust" will be challenging, particularly through a consensus process. Accordingly, the RrSG suggests that the WHOIS RT arrive at a temporary working definition of "consumer trust" that allows the group to move forward in its mission while continually working to create a more permanent definition of "consumer trust" that is eventually derived through a consensus process. The RrSG's primary concerns with the WHOIS RT's proposed plans center upon the RT's existing definitions for a variety of key terms contained in Section 4, including: Definition 2 (Applicable Laws): This definition is adequate in part, with the exception that UN declarations and resolutions are often non-binding and as such inappropriate for the WHOIS RT's work. Accordingly, in the RrSG's view, non-binding resolutions do not meet the appropriate threshold for an "applicable law" and the WHOIS RT should remove these references from this definition. Definition 3 (Producers and Maintainers): The RrSG supports this definition. Definition 4 (Consumers): The RrSG is concerned with the broad scope that the word "Consumer" may encompass. As mentioned above, creating an overly broad definition of "Consumer" will complicate the further definition of "consumer trust." Accordingly, the RrSG recommends that the WHOIS RT view and interpret the word "Consumer" narrowly and in terms of WHOIS specifically. Notwithstanding the RrSG's concerns with these critical definitions, the RrSG sincerely appreciates the work that the WHOIS RT has accomplished thus far and the RrSG looks forward to providing additional input as the WHOIS RT advances to the next steps outlined in its proposed plans. CONCLUSION The opinions expressed by the RrSG in this position paper should not be interpreted to reflect the individual opinion of any particular RrSG member.