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Monday, December 07, 2009

ICANN says new RAA deal covers 88% registrars

Global internet coordinator, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has said that six months after new registrant protections were approved by its Board, over 88 per cent of all generic domain names are now covered.

A press statement from the global body said the protections include improved ways of storing data that require registration companies to submit to more stringent rules.

These are included in a revised contract between ICANN and registrars, under the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA).Since the revised RAA was approved on May 21, 2009, about 650 registrars have voluntarily agreed to be bound by the new agreement; collectively they represent 88 per cent of all generic top-level domains registered.

In return, those that have signed the new agreement are recognized by ICANN on its listing of accredited companies. Also, under their existing contract, registrars are not required to sign up to the new RAA until their existing agreement ends, but they can voluntarily sign up early.

“The high level of coverage achieved to date is due primarily to these voluntary early adopters,” ICANN said.

ICANN chief executive officer and President, Mr. Rod Beckstrom was quoted in the press statement as saying that the vast majority of generic domain names are now covered by these protections is a clear sign of the industry’s goodwill and its commitment to effective self-regulation - especially since some of these protections come at a cost to the companies themselves.

“It is an extraordinary achievement in a very short time,” he said. Some of the additional protections afforded registrants under the new contract include enhanced enforcement tools to assure registrar compliance with ICANN policies, enhanced data escrow requirements to protect registrants that use privacy or proxy services, a Registrant Rights & Responsibilities document, new requirements placed on resellers, improved contact information requirements and registrar required training programme.

The Vice President of Oversee.net and chair of the Registrar Stakeholders Group, Mason Cole, said registrars and the ICANN community successfully collaborated to make sure consumers are well protected.

“While respecting the competitive marketplace ICANN has made part of its mandate. It is encouraging to see how quickly and assertively registrars have adopted the terms of the new agreement,” Cole observed.

As an aid to potential registrants, ICANN has added an indicator on each of the public lists of registrars to show which registrars have adopted the 2009 RAA deal.

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