So far this year has been a very busy year for ICANN.
The aftermath of the RegisterFly meltdown is having a very tangible knockon effect, while .travel’s “close call” has also opened up a whole range of questions that might not have been asked otherwise.
So what would happen if a registry (not a registrar) were to fail?
That’s one of the questions that is currently being asked and will be a topic for discussion at the next ICANN meeting in San Juan later this month.
At the registrar level the pressing question in the light of RegisterFly has been data escrow which is aimed at avoiding future issues with registrant data:
Through the RDE program, ICANN seeks to ensure protection of registrants in the event of registrar failure or other termination of a registrar’s accreditation agreement. Through this RFP ICANN seeks to engage an agent to provide RDE services for those registrars who elect not to escrow data with an independent third-party escrow agent
Of course there is one serious issue with any of these plans – it cannot account for the data input by the end user. Previous studies of whois data revealed a high level of inaccuracy, which this kind of “solution” would not fix. Whois, however, is also a very hot topic for debate at present, as there are very different opinions on what it should and shouldn’t reveal.