Joined on July 24, 2003 – Luxembourg
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Thomas has been involved with the ICANN process for almost a decade, serving in several iterations of the DNSO's and GNSO's WHOIS work, as the At-Large Advisory Committee's liaison to the GNSO Council, and more recently as the Technical Liaison to the ICANN Board (2009 and 2012).
Thomas works as Technology and Society Domain Leader for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and oversees the Consortium's work on Security, Privacy, and Semantic Web technologies.
Except where otherwise noted, all postings by Thomas Roessler on CircleID are licensed under a Creative Commons License.
With all the recent attention to WHOIS, it's time for a confession: I'm somewhat guilty for the infamous WHOIS Data Reminder Policy. With hindsight, it's a bad policy, and it needs to die. The year was 2002. ICANN's DNSO (soon to be renamed as the GNSO) had a WHOIS Task Force, and was trying to extract policy choices from an ill-conceived and worse-executed survey of assorted self-selected stakeholders. more»
ICANN's GNSO council had WHOIS on its agenda for today. The options on the table: (1) Accepting the outcome of years of policy development processes; (2) rejecting that outcome (again?), but calling for some kind of fact-gathering to feed into future policy work, in order to keep the space occupied; (3) acknowledging that there is broad dissent in the Internet community, and calling for a sunset on the WHOIS clauses in current agreements, as these clauses are not backed by community consensus any more. Not very surprisingly, motions (1) and (3) failed; (2) was accepted; all that after lengthy discussion, with lots of procedural bells and whistles. more»
The domain registrars discussion -- despite the occasional bizarrity -- mostly demonstrates that there is no unanimity among registrars on this issue. So, what arguments can be made in favor of either model, from a registrant's point of view? The thick domain registry model -- under the assumption that registries are more diligent with registrant data than some registrars may be -- helps take care of escrow concerns... more»
This is a preliminary input for the current policy-development process on "new registry services" that was prepared by ALAC members; Jonathan Weinberg has provided input and comments in response to earlier drafts. The ALAC is currently soliciting comments on this text. Comments can be submitted either to CircleID (see comment section), or to the ALAC's public comment address at firstname.lastname@example.org. ..."In the present document, we will focus on substantive criteria to be used by ICANN in evaluating requests to review proposed changes to the architecture or operation of a gTLD registry. We are, however, not stating any opinion about the kinds of requests that ICANN currently has the authority (or obligation) to consider." more»
But even if the collateral damage is left out of the picture, the very idea behind SiteFinder is user-unfriendly, and that's the second half of the ALAC's note: SiteFinder is, ultimately, about short-cutting other error handling methods, and redirecting any users that enter non-existing domain names into a web browser to Verisign's own service, for commercial purposes. SiteFinder is designed so it becomes difficult to deploy superior error handling services that would compete with it -- because errors aren't flagged. more»
The ICANN At-Large Advisory Committee would like to bring to ICANN's attention concerns about VeriSign's surprising roll-out of the "SiteFinder" service for .com and .net. This practice raises grave technical concerns, as it de facto removes error diagnostics from the DNS protocol, and replaces them by an error handling method that is tailored for HTTP, which is just one of the many Internet protocols that make use of the DNS.
Bruce Young tells a story of an Internet user who gets into trouble because "his" domain name was registered in the name of a web hosting provider that went bankrupt later on...As far as registrars are concerned, ICANN is currently doing its homework on domain name portability. As far as web hosting companies are concerned, though, these suggestions only look appealing at first sight. Upon closer inspection, they wouldn't be good policy... more»
At a workshop held in late June in Montreal (Canada) -- Karl Auerbach had submitted some live coverage to CircleID --, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) had an in-depth look at various aspects of the Internet's WHOIS databases. These databases associate social information (like holders' names and contact information) with network identifiers, such as IP addresses and domain names. Current policy for these databases -- in particular in the generic top level domain area -- is part of ICANN's contracts with domain name retailers ("registrars") and database operators ("registries"), and permits for use of the data by arbitrary parties for arbitrary purposes. more»