Category: News & Announcements (page 2 of 3)

Request for Proposal for RrSG Secretariat

The Registrar Stakeholder Group is seeking a contractor to assist us in the day to day running of our stakeholder group. Full details below:

Request for Proposal for RrSG Secretariat


The Registrar Stakeholder Group (RrSG) (  is one of several stakeholder groups within the ICANN community and is the representative body of domain name registrars. It is a diverse and active group that works to ensure the interests of registrars and their customers are effectively advanced.  The RrSG’s Executive Committee is elected on an annual basis by the members and consists of a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.  They work closely with the GNSO Councilors selected by the RrSG members.

Overview of RFP

The RrSG is seeking a contractor to perform administrative duties and provide operational support for the Executive Committee and RrSG members.  Administrative duties will vary based on need and areas of focus throughout the year. The RFP response should be delivered via email to the RrSG Secretary, Darcy Southwell, at by 24 June 2016 at 23:59 UTC.

Secretariat Activities

  • Coordinate and schedule regular membership and Executive Committee meetings, prepare and send out agendas
  • Meet regularly with leadership to ensure needs, deadlines, issues are identified
  • Proactively track needs, deadlines, issues
  • Proactively work with members who serve on working groups, implementation review teams, and committees to ensure their updates/issues are included on needed agendas
  • Prepare annual operating budget and perform quarterly budget review/evaluation
  • Q/A RrSG website content
  • Manage new member onboarding
  • Manage membership list and membership mailing list
  • Manage all ICANN meeting issues (assist in meeting agenda development, coordinate all meeting needs (e.g., guest speakers, presentations, catering orders, etc.))
  • Manage all member voting, member surveys/polls
  • Collect, track, and report on membership dues
  • Manage bank account reconciliation
  • Support other leadership and membership needs


Contract Details

The term of the contract will run from 1 July to 30 June each year to coincide with the RrSG’s stated fiscal year.  If a candidate is selected on or after 1 July 2016, the contract term will run from the date of contract execution through 30 June 2017.  Payment will be made on a monthly basis for the prior month’s work.


Please submit the following no later than 24 June 2016 at 23:59 UTC to RrSG Secretary, Darcy Southwell, at

  1. A summary of your recent and relevant projects along with a detailed description of your skills and how they would apply to the scope of work described above.
  2. Proposed monthly fee.
  3. Current Curriculum Vitae or Resume.
  4. Names, phone numbers, and email addresses for professional references that you have interacted or worked with within the past eighteen months.

We intend to hold interviews (via phone or Skype)  with final candidates during the week of 4 or 11 July 2016.  If you have questions, please email them to RrSG Secretary, Darcy Southwell, at


PDF of the above announcement:

Nominations Now Open

In common with other stakeholder groups within ICANN, the Registrar Stakeholder Group has several elected positions. Within the stakeholder group itself we have our Executive Committee officer positions, namely Chair, Vice-Chair & Technology Officer, Secretary and Treasurer. We also have 3 GNSO councillors and an appointee to ICANN’s Nominating Committee.

Yesterday we opened nominations for several of those positions:

  • Chair
  • Vice Chair & Technology Officer
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  •  GNSO Council representative
  • Nominating Committee Representative

Members of the Registrar Stakeholder Group can submit nominations via the members mailing list until 2359 UTC on Tuesday June 7th 2016.

ICANN 55 For Registrars

ICANN 55 kicks off officially this weekend.

As usual it will be a very busy week and many of our members will be both in attendance and heavily involved in many of the meeting’s key sessions. I’ve tried to highlight several sessions that might be of interest to registrars. It’s not definitive and one of the wonderful things about ICANN meetings is that you can access more than 90% of the sessions by just turning up.

The full schedule is available here, or via the official meeting mobile app.

Friday is all about the IANA transition

Saturday and Sunday the GNSO council sits all day. Our stakeholder group is represented by:

  • James Bladel, GoDaddy, USA – GNSO Chair
  • Volker Greimann, Key Systems, Germany
  • Jennifer Standiford,, USA

If you are interested in finding out what’s going on with the various GNSO policy development groups, then the GNSO working sessions are a good way to get up to speed.

Monday is the official opening ceremony, which will be the last one presided over by ICANN’s current CEO Fadi Chehadé. There will be quite a varied selection of sessions for people to choose from. We are meeting with Law Enforcement / Public Safety Working Group on Monday afternoon. There is also a number of IANA related sessions, as well as the public forum in the late afternoon

Tuesday the Registrar Stakeholder Group meets all day. You can find details of the meeting here. If you cannot attend in person there will be remote participation throughout the day, though bear in mind that when we move rooms you will need to reconnect to the new room! We’ll have two sessions in other locations:

  • when we meet with the registries
  • our joint meeting with the registries and the ICANN Board

Wednesday has a very full agenda, but the “GNSO Next-Generation gTLD Registration Directory Services PDP Working Group ” meeting is probably of interest to most registrars. It’s all about whois and its possible replacement.

Thursday has several sessions of interest to registrars, including a session with ICANN’s Compliance team, as well as one on the upcoming changes to domain transfer policy (IRTP). Both of these sessions are very important for registrars, so please attend them. There will also be a second public forum.

If you’re attending the ICANN meeting in person I look forward to seeing you there!

RrSG Bylaws Discussion Teleconference

Click here to listen to the entire teleconference

Registrar Stakeholder Group Negotiating Team (Registrar NT) Statement Regarding ICANN RAA Negotiations

After nearly 18 months of negotiations with ICANN over a new Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), formal negotiations have concluded. The posting of a “proposed” 2013 RAA by ICANN for public comment signals that ICANN staff believes that negotiations have concluded and the remaining issues will not be resolved.

The Registrars’ NT disagrees. To be clear, this is NOT the outcome that registrars wanted, and they remain ready and willing to continue negotiations.

Prior to the Toronto ICANN meeting (October 2012), all parties acknowledged that they were very close to agreement on all remaining issues. The process appeared to be reaching a favorable conclusion and when ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé communicated his desire to have RAA negotiations wrapped up by the end of 2012, registrars felt it was an ambitious timeframe, but one worth pursuing for the benefit of all parties.

When negotiations finally resumed in February 2013 much to the surprise of registrars, the few remaining issues were not the only items under discussion. ICANN staff presented a list of 10 brand new items for inclusion in the agreement, under the pretext of enhancing the “public interest.” Furthermore, these new items came along with an arbitrary deadline and decision to link the 2013 RAA to the new gTLD timeline.

Among these new demands was a Registrant Rights and Responsibilities document (R3), a temporary privacy accreditation program and a requirement that registrars accept and implement recommendations of the WHOIS Expert Working Group, which had yet to be formed and whose work is just beginning.

Although registrars were surprised by these new demands, registrars worked in good faith with ICANN to accommodate its intentions. For example, registrars consulted with their members to fine-tune the R3 document to make it easier to understand and readily translatable in other languages.

Some of the other new items for inclusion transcend the RAA and could affect the entirety of the multi-stakeholder model. For example, ICANN insisted on including a proposed Revocation (or “blow up”) Clause that would have given them the ability to unilaterally terminate all registrar accreditations. After major pushback, ICANN staff relented and in its place proposed giving the ICANN Board the ability to unilaterally amend the RAA. This is identical to what ICANN inserted into the proposed new gTLD registry agreement – a clause met with strong opposition not only from the Registry Stakeholder Group but from the broader ICANN community.

The effect of such a clause in the primary agreements between ICANN and its commercial stakeholders would be devastating to the bottom-up, multi-stakeholder model. First, it will effectively mean the end of the GNSO’s PDP, as the Board will become the central arena for all controversial issues, not the community. Second, it creates an imbalance of authority in the ICANN model, with no limits on the scope or frequency of unilateral amendments, and no protections for registrars and more important registrants.

In addition to the new items for inclusion there was a surprise announcement that all new gTLD registries must only use registrars that have signed the 2013 RAA, a transparent effort by ICANN to arbitrarily link the new gTLD program to the outcome of RAA negotiations. This requirement would create separate “classes” or “levels” of registrars, which is unprecedented in the DNS industry. There can and must be only one meaning of “ICANN-Accredited.”

All of the items that have been agreed to over the past 18 months would, by themselves, produce an RAA that is vastly improved over the current 2009 version. If adopted, that RAA would significantly raise performance requirements for every ICANN accredited registrar and bring dramatic improvements to the domain name ecosystem. Nearly all of the Law Enforcement requests that were endorsed by the GAC have been included, as well as the major items that were requested by the GNSO are included in that RAA. That RAA would bring registrant verification. That RAA would bring enhanced compliance tools.

Registrars must emphasize that the key differences between that RAA and the one currently proposed by ICANN are not issues raised by Law Enforcement, GAC or the GNSO but by ICANN staff.

It now moves to the greater ICANN community to review these competing draft RAAs, and registrars look forward to those public discussions. We welcome engagement with all stakeholders on the new 2013 RAA, and what it means for registrars, registrants, and the management of the DNS as a whole.

ICANN 44 Wrap Up by RrSG Chairman, Matt Serlin

The Registrar Stakeholder Group (RrSG) and its members had an incredibly busy and productive week in Prague during ICANN’s latest meeting. The RrSG would like to provide a brief update on a few of the topics and initiatives that members spent time on during our week in Prague.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank outgoing ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom for his efforts over the past 3 years and look forward to working with current CEO Akram Atallah and incoming CEO Fadi Chehadé when he joins the organization in October.

Members of the RrSG participated in a wide range of interactions with many different members of the community during the week in Prague and would like to provide a summary on some of those discussions:

GAC Interaction

  • On Sunday, a number of registrars participated in a briefing with the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) regarding the Domain Name Marketplace and the role of registrars in the ecosystem. Alongside ICANN staff and registry operators, the registrars set out to provide GAC members with information regarding a variety of registrar business models, the role resellers play in relation to registrars and the diverse nature of the RrSG members. After a brief presentation, GAC members had an opportunity to ask questions and there was very good interaction between all participants. Of particular interest for GAC members was the role of resellers and ICANN’s interaction and oversight of those parties. Additionally, the introduction of new gTLDs and its implications on the marketplace as it stands today was also a topic of interest. The RrSG appreciated the time provided by the GAC for this interaction and looks forward to further briefings and discussions with the GAC at ICANN meetings in the future.

RAA Update

  • Registrars participated in a number of sessions during the week relating to the current status of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) negotiations with ICANN. Registrars have been actively engaged in these discussions with ICANN staff since November 2011 and significant progress has been made. Prior to the start of the Prague meeting, ICANN posted a draft RAA ( and the RrSG subsequently provided its feedback and commentary to that draft (category/icann-rrsg-meetings/). The RrSG encourages both its members and members of the broader ICANN community to provide feedback regarding the draft RAA as posted by ICANN.
  • The RrSG met directly with representatives from the Law Enforcement community on Monday to provide an update to them and to report to them on the status of the 12 requests they had previously indicated were important to them relative to the RAA. The RrSG has accepted 10 of the 12 proposals mostly unchanged, but believes the remaining two items (as requested) require greater community feedback with registrars cooperatively working with the community and law enforcement in an attempt to resolve those additional requests. The RrSG appreciates the viewpoint and requests of the law enforcement groups and believes what has already been agreed to provides a significant improvement to what is included in the agreement currently. For example, the current registrar proposal regarding whois verification includes a requirement for registrars to verify either an e-mail address or phone/SMS (post-registration). This new requirement is a meaningful step in the ongoing efforts of the community to increase whois accuracy.
  • Alongside ICANN staff, members of the RrSG participated in an update to the community on the status of the RAA negotiations. In addition to highlighting the significant progress made on the law enforcement requests, the session was meant as an opportunity to get community feedback on both whois verification and data retention as those remain issues which registrars feel will not be resolved in these current RAA negotiations. Additionally, the RrSG wanted to bring attention to its own “asks” which include removal of bulk access to whois data, removal of port 43 access for “thick” registries, alignment of consensus policy language with the new gTLD registry agreement and the automatic accreditation in all new gTLDs. Community feedback was very constructive and many participants urged caution relating to both the whois verification and data retention issues.

RrSG Tuesday Meeting

  • The RrSG met all day Tuesday to have interactions with a variety of ICANN staff and other groups within the community including the ICANN Board. Among the topics discussed were the RAA, the introduction of new gTLD’s and its implications on registrars, ICANN compliance efforts and updates on a variety of policy developments currently underway. Registrars also interacted with members of the ICANN Registrar Relations team to discuss a wide variety of operational topics that are of keen interest to members.
  • The Executive Committee of the RrSG met with the ICANN Board Tuesday afternoon for a very good interaction. One of the main focus areas of this discussion was the status of the RAA and the view of the RrSG that we have worked hard to address the vast majority of law enforcement requests and we are hopeful to wrap up these negotiations as quickly as possible and move outstanding issues through the policy development process with the broader community. The topic of organizational readiness regarding rollout of the new gTLD program was an additional topic the RrSG members brought up with the Board and how registrars will be impacted once new gTLDs start to enter the marketplace. We also discussed current pressures on the ICANN model from outside influences and how those influences were being monitored by the board.
  • Additionally, the RrSG discussed its ongoing efforts to reach out to existing members to encourage increased participation and have a broader representation to the community on a variety of topics. The RrSG Executive Committee was extremely pleased to have several new members join and participate in Tuesday’s meeting and we look forward to continuing to look for ways to encourage participation further in future meetings.

The RrSG would like to thank all of our members who were able to join us in person in Prague as well as those members who participated remotely.

Additionally, we would like to thank our local hosts (cz nic), ICANN meeting staff, Hilton Prague staff and all of the technical and operational support which allowed us to have a very successful meeting.

We look forward to seeing our members and members of the community at ICANN’s next meeting in Toronto later this year.


Click for presentations, photos and other documents from ICANN 44 and previous meetings

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