Centre for Internet & Society

During a hearing of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on “Internet Governance Progress After ICANN 53,” President and CEO of ICANN - Mr Fadi Chehade indicated that ICANN follows up with registries and registrars on receipt of any complaint against them about violations of their contract with ICANN.

At CIS, we believe that any exchange of dialogue or any outcome from ICANN acting on these complaints needs to be in the public domain. Thus, our 15th DIDP request to ICANN were for documents pertinent to Verisign’s contractual compliance and actions taken by ICANN stemming from any discrepancies of Verisign’s compliance with its ICANN contract.

The DIDP request filed by Padmini Baruah can be found here.

What ICANN said

After sorting through a response designed to obfuscate information, it was clear that ICANN was not going to provide any of the details we requested. As mentioned in their previous responses, individual audit reports and the names of the registries associated with discrepancies are confidential under the DIDP Defined Conditions of Nondisclosure. Nevertheless, some details from the response are worth mentioning.

According to the response, “As identified in Appendix B of the 2012 Contractual Compliance Year One Audit Program Report, the following TLDs were selected for auditing: DotAsia Organisation Limited (.ASIA), Telnic Limited (.TEL), Public Interest Registry (.ORG), Verisign (.NET), Afilias (.INFO), and Employ Media LLC (.JOBS).” The response goes on to state that out of these 6 registries that were selected, only 5 chose to participate in the audit, the identies of which are once again confidential.

However, on further examination, it can be seen that Verisign (.NET) was chosen to participate in  the audit the year after as well. Therefore, it’s clear that 2013 was the year Verisign was audited. Unfortunately, that was pretty much all that was relevant to our request in ICANN’s response.

Once again, ICANN was able to use the DIDP Defined Conditions of Nondisclosure, especially the following conditions to allow itself the ability not to answer the public:

  • Information exchanged, prepared for, or derived from the deliberative and decision-making process between ICANN, its constituents, and/or other entities with which ICANN cooperates that, if disclosed, would or would be likely to compromise the integrity of the deliberative and decision-making process between and among ICANN, its constituents, and/or other entities with which ICANN cooperates by inhibiting the candid exchange of ideas and communications.
  • Information provided to ICANN by a party that, if disclosed, would or would be likely to materially prejudice the commercial interests, financial interests, and/or competitive position of such party or was provided to ICANN pursuant to a nondisclosure agreement or nondisclosure provision within an agreement.
  • Confidential business information and/or internal policies and procedures.[1]

ICANN’s response to our request can be found here.

[1] See DIDP https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/didp-2012-02-25-en

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