Yoda says:”purpose you shall have.”

Or when I returned from Copenhagen ICANN 58, you shall have a purpose.

I have been struggling with the upcoming EU GDPR for a year now. Read the GDPR, read a few books and it just didn’t sink in, let alone I could figure out how to attack this thing on ICANN level or at the Registrar I work for.

For more than a year the RDS WG, the group that is working on a replacement for the WHOIS, has been collecting requirements on what is required for this RDS. The number of requirements we gathered is insane, over 1000 requirements.

We heard from about every stakeholder what they need, and in every discussion, privacy would come up, and how that should work, usually such discussion would look more like a trench war, as most folks think privacy does not equal the abuse problems we are facing.
But ICANN 58 a group of EU Data Commissioners assisted us, including the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy and Caroline Goemans-Dorny INTERPOL’s data protection officer.

During the RDS session on Wednesday, something happened that provided me with total clarity. We were running out of time, and we did not really get into the question session we prepared. At one point the Chair of the RDS WG fired off like four questions at once, related to a thin WHOIS output that was shown on the slides.

The U.N. Special Rapporteur said:”I will answer all your questions, with one question,” what is the purpose?
This almost Yoda-like response gave me a real sense of clarity.
Why do we put an expiry date in the WHOIS?
Why do put a create date in the WHOIS?
Why do we put an update date in the WHOIS?

My cell phone subscription is not being published in a public directory, nor is it mentioned when I upgraded my cell phone subscription in a public directory. At that point, it was clear to me that this was not about thin or thick WHOIS, we put the cart before the horse.
I expressed my gratitude in public to the U.N. Special Rapporteur.
After the session I was having a smoke and saw the U.N. Special Rapporteur leave the building real quick, rushing to a taxi (busy person) and just when he hailed a taxi he spotted me, walked up to me, shook my hand and said:”Thank you for the support, and I have the feeling you now have a clear vision on what purpose is”.

I have it for sure, and the entire EU GDPR makes sense now. The EU GDPR is Europe setting a very high ambition trying to create logic in how you process or collect data. The EU GDPR text itself does not provide clear answers; it just shows ambition.

All your current processes need to be re-evaluated, and you have to ask what the purpose is? If you have a clear purpose and you can motivate it, then most likely you are on the right track. The EU GDPR can provide more guidance.
If however you encounter a situation and you ask what the purpose is, and the answer is dodgy, shady or not clear, or the answer is, it is nice to have, then you are most likely on the wrong track.

How does this guide me when it comes to the RDS and the WHOIS?
Simple, the WHOIS is a “nice to have,” that completely spiraled out of control and has no place in this day and age.

RDS? Even though we are still in its early stages, it seems we are working on a compromise to keep everyone happy. Keeping everyone happy and yet complying with the law, is not possible, so the current purpose of RDS will turn into a failure.

Later this week I will go more into detail why RDS will never work and what is required and how we should combat abuse, though I did not figure out the abuse part, yet.

Theo Geurts ICANN RDS WG member.

This blog post was created while listening to:

ASOP Global Internet Pharmacy Safety E-Commerce Leadership Award.

And I won it, at ICANN 58 in Copenhagen.

And it did not cost me a much energy at all. That is the deciding factor how I won the award. Connecting key players (LEA’s), connecting key actors (Registries & Registrars) and as such the internet became safer, consulting, advising, participation, things, that give me energy. And if it gives one energy, it all becomes easy.

The award was handed to me by ASOP.EU. Their goal:

An early objective for the coalition will be to develop and issue a ‘call for action’ inviting the European authorities to evaluate policies and legal measures to tackle illegal online sales and launch a dialogue with key stakeholders including internet intermediaries to take action against illegal online pharmacies.  The coalition will play a valuable role in demonstrating broad-based support for urgent action to tackle this patient safety threat. It should rapidly become a trusted partner of the authorities as measures are developed to deal with illegal online pharmacies.

The award looks like this:

I guess the photo does not do complete justice to the award. It was however so large (and heavy) that I asked the hotel staff to have UPS ship it back to me, as there was no way it would fit in my carry-on luggage.

ICANN 58 took place in this great convention center, Bella Sky in Copenhagen. Expect more updates soon.

ASOP press release can be read here.


ICANN’s contract with the USA Expires.


So it has been done, and we are on our way. Years of discussions come to an end? Not likely but we have a significant milestone here.

The ICANN board is more accountable now and can be replaced.

The GAC aka governments can no longer take over the interwebz.

The USA demonstrated to the world that it takes the multi-stakeholder model serious and as such, it is out of the grasp of the UN or the ITU. Imagine the UN run the internet 😉 Ted Cruz and some other idiots who demonstrated clearly

Ted Cruz and some other idiots who demonstrated clearly that they have no idea how the internet runs can pack it in. The internet will keep on working as it is. Beside ICANN only has a clerical function when it comes to the internet and is not the content policy or has any mandate when it comes to content. ICANN can only create policies through the stakeholder model wich is a bottom-up process and not a top-down process.

Theo Geurts ICANN community member.

Comment on the Transition NTIA’s Stewardship of the IANA Functions to ICANN

So ICANN wanted comments, we gave them one. While this was being drafted, Javier Rodriguez released a very interesting read, called 2050: The Internet Odyssey – How We Lost It and a Way to Get It Back. Interesting read right? Are we at the crossroads? Looks like it. However, it seems we got the message, yet tons of work ahead.  Guess I better get a few more wifi routers 😉 Cya folks at ICANN 50! Ping me if you want to meet.

Anyways here is our statement, signed by yours truly.

Late edit, I forgot to mention where one can find the comment URL.


Comments on the Call for Public Input: Draft Proposal, Based on Initial

Community Feedback, of the Principles and Mechanisms and the Process to
Develop a Proposal to Transition NTIA’s Stewardship of the IANA Functions

Date: 8 May 2014

Public Comment URL:

The undersigned registrars (“Registrars”), some of whom may also present
individual comments, respectfully submit the attached comments on the Proposal
for the Call for Public Input: Draft Proposal, Based on Initial Community
Feedback, of the Principles and Mechanisms and the Process to Develop a
Proposal to Transition NTIA’s Stewardship of the IANA Functions

We thank the IANA Team for preparing this proposal.

The Registrar Stakeholder Group is currently reviewing this issue and discussing
the ways in which it may impact the global registrar community. We do, however,
have initial comments on specific points that have arisen as a result of the Call
for Public Input.

Several members of the Registrar Stakeholder Group believe that having two
Steering Group representatives for the GNSO will not be sufficient in ensuring
that the interests of all GNSO stakeholders are properly reflected. As the GNSO
is the largest and most diverse structure within ICANN, we find that a “one size
fits all” approach to delegation is not appropriate. Instead, we propose that each
SO/AC submit a number of representatives that it believes to be sufficiently
representative, but be encouraged to keep the number as small as possible.

With regard to the selection process, we recommend that delegates to The
Steering Group should not be selected, chosen or screened by ICANN Staff, as
we have seen recently with Expert Working Groups and Strategy Panels.

We propose that to ensure the most effective process, The ICANN Staff avoid
top-down engagement with the Steering Group. The Steering Group’s legitimacy
with Registrars and other stakeholders will depend upon its ability to choose its
own path forward (with public input) and need not accept the staff-produced
blueprint for developing a transition proposal. Ideally, the role of ICANN Staff
(particularly Executive Staff) would be limited to supporting this effort.

The Registrar Stakeholder Group would like to note that currently, there are three
issues are intertwined with this effort that must be considered dependent, or even prerequisite, issues:

First, the effort to review/improve Accountability Mechanisms must complete
before any transition can occur. There is a general belief that existing
mechanisms are ineffectual.

Second, we need to understand the technical & operational impacts of this
change. Recent events (CZDS outage, TAS “glitch”, etc.) clearly indicate that
ICANN is not up to the task of operating the Root Zone Maintainer function. Will
VeriSign retain this role? If not, who will fill it?

Third, the role of governments is an essential component of the NTIA plan,
however this presumes that the GAC’s structure and operation will be similar to
how it exists today. The transition proposal should ensure that any potential
structural changes by the GAC or other third-parties would not negatively impact
NTIA’s requirement that IANA control must not transition to a government or
inter-governmental organization.

We respectfully request that the above issues be taken into consideration before
a proposal to transition is completed.

Thank you,

Thomas Barrett, EnCirca
John Berryhill, Uniregistry
James Bladel, GoDaddy
Robert Birkner, 1API
Graeme Bunton, Tucows
Jeffrey Eckhaus, eNom
Theo Geurts, Realtime Register
Rob Golding, Astutium
Frédéric Guillemaut, Mailclub
Rob Hall, Momentous
Thomas Keller, 1&1 Internet
Louise Lentino, Instra Corporation
Michele Neylon, Blacknight
Chris Pelling, NetEarth One
Benny Samuelsen, Nordreg AB
Luc Seufer, EuroDNS
Dr. Michael Shohat, Cronon AG
Bruce Tonkin, Melbourne IT
Bob Wiegand, Web.com