Application Preview

Application number: 1-854-19943 for LANCASTER

Generated on 11 06 2012


Applicant Information


1. Full legal name

LANCASTER

2. Address of the principal place of business


3. Phone number

+33684848878

4. Fax number

+33141838889

5. If applicable, website or URL


Primary Contact


6(a). Name

Mr. Thomas TCHEN

6(b). Title

CEO

6(c). Address


6(d). Phone Number

+33684848878

6(e). Fax Number

+33141838889

6(f). Email Address

[email protected]

Secondary Contact


7(a). Name

Ms. VANESSA XU

7(b). Title

MANAGER

7(c). Address


7(d). Phone Number

+33684848878

7(e). Fax Number

+33141838889

7(f). Email Address

[email protected]

Proof of Legal Establishment


8(a). Legal form of the Applicant

SARL

8(b). State the specific national or other jursidiction that defines the type of entity identified in 8(a).

FRANCE FRENCH LAW

8(c). Attach evidence of the applicant's establishment.

Not Available

9(a). If applying company is publicly traded, provide the exchange and symbol.


9(b). If the applying entity is a subsidiary, provide the parent company.


9(c). If the applying entity is a joint venture, list all joint venture partners.


Applicant Background


11(a). Name(s) and position(s) of all directors

Kil Tchun TchenCEO

11(b). Name(s) and position(s) of all officers and partners

Kil Tchun TchenCEO

11(c). Name(s) and position(s) of all shareholders holding at least 15% of shares

TCHENCEO

11(d). For an applying entity that does not have directors, officers, partners, or shareholders: Name(s) and position(s) of all individuals having legal or executive responsibility

TCHENCEO

Applied-for gTLD string


13. Provide the applied-for gTLD string. If an IDN, provide the U-label.

LANCASTER

14(a). If an IDN, provide the A-label (beginning with "xn--").


14(b). If an IDN, provide the meaning or restatement of the string in English, that is, a description of the literal meaning of the string in the opinion of the applicant.


14(c). If an IDN, provide the language of the label (in English).


14(c). If an IDN, provide the language of the label (as referenced by ISO-639-1).


14(d). If an IDN, provide the script of the label (in English).


14(d). If an IDN, provide the script of the label (as referenced by ISO 15924).


14(e). If an IDN, list all code points contained in the U-label according to Unicode form.


15(a). If an IDN, Attach IDN Tables for the proposed registry.

Not Available

15(b). Describe the process used for development of the IDN tables submitted, including consultations and sources used.


15(c). List any variant strings to the applied-for gTLD string according to the relevant IDN tables.


16. Describe the applicant's efforts to ensure that there are no known operational or rendering problems concerning the applied-for gTLD string. If such issues are known, describe steps that will be taken to mitigate these issues in software and other applications.

Lancaster (ʺthe Applicantʺ) can confirm that to the best of their knowledge there are no rendering problems with regard to .LANCASTER, based on the fact that this is a US-ASCII based string and does not contain any non-US-ASCII characters.

In addition the string .LANCASTER is compliant with the following technical standards:

•	DOD Internet Host Table Specification (RFC 952)
•	Domain Names: Implementation and Specification (RFC 1035)
•	Requirements for Internet Hosts — Application and Support (RFC 1123)
•	Clarifications to the DNS Specification (RFC 2181)
•	Application Techniques for Checking and Transformation of Names (RFC 3696)

With regard to potential operational issues, as outlined in RFC 3696, there are potential issues with regard to software not recognising new TLD names as valid or in some cases attempting to ʺguessʺ what the user may be looking for when the software judges the TLD to be invalid.  

However, the Applicant recognises that ICANN has taken steps to mitigate this by promoting the Universal Acceptance of all Top-Level Domains and providing TLD verification code for use by software developers and application providers.

17. (OPTIONAL) Provide a representation of the label according to the International Phonetic Alphabet (http://www.langsci.ucl.ac.uk/ipa/).


Mission/Purpose


18(a). Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD.

The mission and purpose of the proposed .LANCASTER Top Level Domain (TLD) is the creation and operation of a TLD dedicated to the Applicant, its brand, services and key customers. As such the objective is that the .LANCASTER TLD will serve as an official, trusted, secure and dedicated name space for the LANCASTER brand and products. To this end the Applicant seeks to launch the .LANCASTER TLD and to create and operate an innovative and secure platform in a manner which is consistent with its subject matter whilst committing to the promotion of consumer trust, consumer protection and integrity of the .LANCASTER TLD and the associated Internet space.

The Applicant is committed to ensure that it fully complies and meets or exceeds the requirements of ICANN in terms of competition, consumer protection, security, stability and resiliency, malicious abuse issues, and rights protection in relation to the expansion of the generic Top Level Domain name space by devising and implementing mechanisms in line with ICANNʹs Consensus Policies and Temporary Policies.

The Applicant proposes to launch and operate the .LANCASTER TLD to create a new Internet ecosystem dedicated to the Applicant and to enable and facilitate potential innovations, creation and promotion of new initiatives from the Applicant. The domain name space associated with the .LANCASTER TLD will create a new environment which will enhance diversity, choice and utility of the Domain Name System, based on a segmented approach, hence encouraging specialisation, differentiation, consumer recognition, and consumer choice in line with ICANN policy development.

In order to ensure the integrity, success and to build confidence in the .LANCASTER TLD and the associated domain name space, the Applicant is dedicated to ensuring that appropriate safeguards are put in place with a view to protecting, among other things, public interest, customers, trade mark owners and other third party rights owners.

Operating and overseeing this new Internet space in a transparent, fair and efficient manner will be essential to create goodwill in the .LANCASTER TLD and to develop confidence and trust in the .LANCASTER TLD.

The fact that the Applicant intends to operate the .LANCASTER TLD as a single registrant⁄single user registry model will allow the Applicant to control the operations of the .LANCASTER TLD and prevent violation of public interest, trade mark infringement and other types of malicious conducts. The .LANCASTER TLD will thus create an environment where opportunities for abuse and malevolent conduct will be virtually eliminated.

Furthermore, the Applicant is dedicated to ensuring that the creation and operation of the .LANCASTER TLD will not have an adverse or negative affect on the operational security and stability of the Internet and the Domain Name System.

The .LANCASTER TLD will be a continuously evolving platform and serve as a base for new content and services with a view to optimising specialisation, high level of service, reliable quality content, consumer trust and innovation.

The Applicant has considered potential uses of the .LANCASTER TLD which would include creating second-level domain names that correspond with:

1. The specialisation areas of the Applicant such as:
BAGS.LANCASTER
LEATHER.LANCASTER
2. Corporate portal for key customers, such as:
CUSTOMER.LANCASTER

These are some of the potential uses which have been identified as being in line with the operation of the proposed .LANCASTER TLD following the single registrant⁄single user registry model. In addition, the Applicant will explore potential new ways of ensuring that the .LANCASTER TLD is an environment which is conducive to consumer choice and recognition, business visibility and specialisation and may in this respect implement additional types of use of the .LANCASTER TLD within the scope of the Registry Agreement to be executed before delegation of the .LANCASTER TLD.

1.1 The LANCASTER Business

The Applicant is Lancaster SARL, a French limited liability company, registered with the French Companies House Register of Bobigny under number B 387 651 565, with its registered office at 95 rue du Parc, Noisy-Le-Sec, 93130, France.

LANCASTER specialises in the design and production of well-known leather goods. The Applicant is one of the leading names in the French leather goods and accessible luxury markets.

Headquartered in Paris, the Applicant operates stores in prime city centre positions worldwide in New York, Los Angeles and Brussels, in prestigious corner outlets in leading department stores. The Applicantʹs products are available in most high-quality leather shops and online.

1.2 The LANCASTER Brand

Since its formation in 1992, LANCASTER has acquired and constantly developed reputation and goodwill in its LANCASTER brand and services worldwide through continuous and significant investment, use and effort.

The Applicant and its Director own numerous trade mark registrations in the term LANCASTER in many jurisdictions (including the United States, China, Latvia, Liechtenstein, South Africa, Switzerland, France and South Korea) in several classes of goods including class 18 (handbags, traveling bags, school bags, briefcases, purses, credit card cases, pocket wallets, luggage, luggage trunks, suitcases, harness for animals, umbrellas), class 25 ( trousers, t-shirts, scarves, shirts, footwear, hats, skirts, ties, socks, coats and belts), class 9 ( sunglasses) and class 14 (watches, jewellery).

Reflecting its global reach, the Applicant owns numerous domain names consisting of or comprising the term LANCASTER in many available TLDs (including .COM, .PRO, .INFO, .FR, .TW, .EU and .US).

The LANCASTER brand, trade marks and domain names are invaluable assets and serve to identify the LANCASTER business as a trusted source of the highest quality goods.

18(b). How proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others

The main goals of the .LANCASTER TLD are specialisation, differentiation, innovation, consumer recognition and trust.

Given the intended mission and purpose for the .LANCASTER TLD, the volume of second level domain name registrations will not be a pertinent indicator to assess or measure its success. The Applicant will rather focus and strive to achieve a high level of consumer recognition and trust in the .LANCASTER TLD.

Operating and overseeing this new dedicated Internet space in a transparent, fair and efficient manner will be a key factor in creating goodwill in the .LANCASTER TLD that will match the reputation the Applicant has developed in its brand. As a result Internet users and customers of LANCASTER will come to have the same levels of confidence and trust in the .LANCASTER TLD.

The creation of a dedicated Internet name space which is indelibly associated with the LANCASTER brand assurance of quality, will create a clear benefit to Internet users and to the Applicant as it will establish certainty and trust as to the source of the content.

2.1 18(b)(1): What is the goal of your proposed gTLD in terms of areas of speciality, service levels, or reputation?

(a) Goals in terms of speciality
The creation and operation of the .LANCASTER TLD will create specialisation by creating a segment of the Domain Name System solely dedicated to the Applicant.

Currently there is no Top Level Domain that specifically corresponds to the Applicant and to its businesses, brands, trade marks, products and key customers. Thus no existing Top Level Domain could conceivably deliver the level of specialisation which could potentially be achieved by the .LANCASTER TLD.

Based on the significant goodwill and consumer recognition that the Applicant has acquired and developed in the term LANCASTER, it is anticipated that the .LANCASTER TLD will, by association, clearly and visibly demonstrate the specialised nature of the .LANCASTER TLD resulting in consumer recognition and trust. Internet users will know that they are getting genuine information and are able to access goods, information and services relating solely to the Applicant by virtue of the .LANCASTER TLD.

Specialisation is a key element for the Applicant and for the proposed creation and operation of the .LANCASTER TLD. It is anticipated that this drive for specialisation will in the future become the standard for Internet users, key customers and other third parties. As such the .LANCASTER TLD will provide a defined, unique and clear indication to Internet users that the .LANCASTER domain name space is one that is dedicated to the Applicant.

Therefore, the .LANCASTER TLD will be designed as a single source dedicated segment of the Internet and the Domain Name System where it will be possible to locate and access data in an efficient manner relating to the products and services of the Applicant with the same level of trust which the Applicantʹs customers place in the Applicantʹs brand, all within a secure environment.

(b) Goals in terms of service levels
The Applicant is fully committed to providing the highest levels of service in the course of the operation of the .LANCASTER TLD.

Given the Applicantʹs commitments in terms of service levels associated with the .LANCASTER TLD, the Applicant has entered into contractual agreements for the provision of services by third party service providers who are all leaders in their respective fields of activity. Thus the Applicant is seeking to ensure that both its internal resources and third party service providers have the capacity to achieve the highest levels of service performance in the course of the operation of the .LANCASTER TLD.

A key goal of the Applicant in the operation of the .LANCASTER TLD will be to provide services in a highly secure environment so as to significantly reduce opportunities for malicious conduct. As the Applicant intends to operate the .LANCASTER TLD following the single registrant⁄single user registry model, the Applicant will be able to fully control operation of the .LANCASTER TLD and to ensure that services will be provided through the LANCASTER TLD in a secured, reliable and trusted manner.

(c) Goals in terms of reputation
The Applicant will use best endeavours to ensure that it operates the .LANCASTER TLD in a manner that furthers its excellent reputation in terms of quality of content and service, security and trust.

Since its formation in 1992, the Applicant has acquired and constantly developed reputation and goodwill in its LANCASTER brand and services through continuous and significant investment, use and effort.

Thus, the creation, delegation and operation of the .LANCASTER TLD will be consistent with the Applicantʹs continuously increasing use of its LANCASTER brand and will allow the Applicant to further promote the Applicantʹs reputation for excellence, quality of goods, innovation and specialisation.

Given the increasing importance of the Internet as part of the Applicantʹs business and services, for instance as a result of the development of online shopping, creating and operating a dedicated segment of the Internet is of utmost importance to the Applicant for the brandʹs credibility and reputation.

As the Applicant intends to operate the .LANCASTER TLD following the single registrant⁄single user registry model, the Applicant will be able to fully control and oversee operation of the .LANCASTER TLD. As a result, the .LANCASTER TLD will by its very nature be associated with trusted and genuine content which will help the Applicant furthering the development of its reputation and consumer recognition in its LANCASTER brand. Whilst the very nature of the .LANCASTER TLD will help avoiding abuse and infringements, the Applicant is fully committed to address potential abuses and infringements in a timely and efficient manner if and when they occur.

2.2 18(b) (2): What do you anticipate your proposed gTLD will add to the current space, in terms of competition, differentiation, or innovation?

(a) Goals in terms of competition
The .LANCASTER TLD will contribute to the creation of a more competitive Domain Name System by operating a Top Level Domain dedicated to a particular commercial entity and thus incentivising competitors to position themselves on this new market in order not to lose ground to the Applicant and to potentially provide new services or content or existing services or content in new ways.

Thus the Applicant will contribute by its .LANCASTER TLD initiative to the development of dedicated and specialised segments of the Domain Name Space and the diversification of content and services available on the Internet.

The .LANCASTER TLD initiative, the specialisation, quality, innovation and high level of consumer recognition and trust that the Applicant anticipates to achieve through the .LANCASTER TLD will likely trigger a reaction from other economic agents and thus indirectly lead to the creation and availability of new and improved resources, products, services, and contents on the Internet.

Thus, the creation and operation of the .LANCASTER TLD will benefit consumers by fostering innovation, competition, trust, diversity of content and availability of quality goods for consumers.

(b) Goals in terms of differentiation
The .LANCASTER TLD will be operated on a single registrant⁄single user registry model and second level domain names will be reserved for exclusive registration by the Applicant for the exclusive use of the Applicant.

The .LANCASTER TLD will, by its very nature, be highly distinctive and differentiated from all other Top Level Domains currently available and likely to be available in the future because it will be comprised of the Applicantʹs renowned and distinctive LANCASTER brand.

Thus the .LANCASTER TLD will clearly and officially indicate to users the source of the TLD.

The .LANCASTER TLD and all second level domain name registrations under it will act as a clear corporate identifier of the source of the dedicated goods and services.

Therefore, differentiation will be achieved in three ways:

• At the Top Level
• At the second level
• Through dedicated content

(c) Goals in terms of innovation
The Applicant has established a reputation as a leading company in the field of leather goods and luxury products and the Applicantʹs purpose in applying for the .LANCASTER TLD is to pursue further innovation through a new dedicated platform based on the creation of the .LANCASTER TLD.

The .LANCASTER TLD will serve as a base for allowing the Applicant to provide its products and services to their key customers and Internet users in innovative and diverse ways.

The .LANCASTER TLD will be a new technological ecosystem for the Applicant to take its mission of innovation further.

2.3 18(b) (3): What goals does your proposed gTLD have in terms of user experience?

Given that the Applicant will operate and oversee the .LANCASTER TLD on a single registrant⁄single user registry model, user experience will in this context refer to two types of use:

(a) Exclusive use by the Applicant
The Applicant will design a platform within the .LANCASTER TLD which will allow the Applicant to use this dedicated segment of the Internet in rationalised and unprecedented ways and allow access, experience, exchange, provision and updating of content and information.

Only the Applicant will have the possibility to alter the content with respect to domain names, to manage domain names and to take other actions necessary for the maintenance of domain names under the .LANCASTER TLD.

(b) Passive use by third parties
Whilst the exclusive use of the .LANCASTER TLD will be reserved for the Applicant, other users will be able to access content, information and services within the . LANCASTER TLD.

The .LANCASTER TLD will provide a single, genuine, secure and trusted ecosystem where users worldwide will be able to experience and access goods, information and services relating to the Applicant. The specialisation and visibility of the .LANCASTER TLD as the dedicated Top Level Domain of the Applicant will provide considerable legitimacy and recognition to the .LANCASTER TLD and thus be an online landmark for users worldwide.

By virtue of operating its own dedicated TLD registry this will enable the Applicant to ensure a high degree of content quality and integrity which should result in an optimal user experience within the new .LANCASTER dedicated segment of the Internet name space.

2.4 18(b) (4): Provide a complete description of the Applicant’s intended registration policies in support of the goals listed above.
The Applicant intends to create and operate the .LANCASTER TLD as a single registrant⁄single user registry and will reserve domain names under the .LANCASTER TLD for exclusive registration by the Applicant to the exclusion of other parties. Thus it will not be possible for individuals or entities who are not the Applicant to register domain names under the .LANCASTER TLD.

In addition, the Applicant does not intend to sell, distribute or transfer control or use of any second level domain name registrations in the .LANCASTER TLD to any party that is not an Affiliate of the Applicant.

As a result, rules and regulations aiming at protecting the public interest in the event of the opening of a TLD to general registration will not be relevant.

Accordingly the intended registration policies in support of the goals set out in the Applicantʹs LANCASTER TLD application will not contain provisions relating to registration by parties that are not the Applicant who will solely and wholly control and maintain registrations under the .LANCASTER TLD.

Such policies will be consistent with all applicable ICANN’s Consensus Policies and Temporary Policies and the Applicant is committed to ensure that said policies are strictly complied with.

2.5 18(b) (5): Will your proposed gTLD impose any measures for protecting the privacy or confidential information of registrants or users? If so, please describe any such measures.
Given that the Applicant will operate the .LANCASTER TLD on a single registrant⁄single user registry model, confidential information relating to the sole registrant (the Applicant) and exclusive users (the Applicant and its Affiliates) will be the responsibility of the Applicant and its Affiliates and will be addressed by existing internal policies implemented within the Applicantʹs organisation.

In relation to the information on users who will access content, information and services within the .LANCASTER TLD, the Applicant will ensure that the operation of the .LANCASTER TLD is at all times consistent with the Applicantʹs privacy policies as well as applicable laws and regulations.


The Applicant will seek to deploy this experience in the .LANCASTER TLD with a view to protecting the privacy and confidential information of users.

2.6 18(b) (6): Describe whether and in what ways outreach and communications will help to achieve your projected benefits.
It is anticipated that the use made of the .LANCASTER TLD will continuously evolve so as to ensure adaptation and innovation mirroring market trends, consumer demand and fostering quality advancement.

As the Applicant identifies new demands, needs, innovative and beneficial types of uses, the Applicant may implement new types of use of the .LANCASTER TLD.

Communication on the .LANCASTER TLD and the services that it will offer will be crucial and the Applicant will make extensive use of its in-house capabilities and experience. In addition, the Applicant will use preferred third party service providers if necessary to ensure efficient and visible communication, promotion and public information on the .LANCASTER TLD and on the content, information and services available within this dedicated segment of the Internet.

18(c). Describe operating rules to eliminate or minimize social costs or financial resource costs, various types of consumer vulnerabilities.

Given that the Applicant intends to operate the .LANCASTER TLD as a single registrant⁄single user registry, the Applicant will be the only registrant of second level domain names under the .LANCASTER TLD to the exclusion of any other entity or individual.

In light of the intended structure and operating model of the .LANCASTER TLD, the Applicant does not anticipate that its Top Level Domain will have any known negative consequences or cost implications to consumers.

The .LANCASTER TLD operating model which will be based on the Applicantʹs sole control should actually create an environment with an unprecedented level of security, consumer trust, consumer protection, content quality and reliable indication of source.

3.1 18(c) (1): How will multiple applications for a particular domain name be resolved, for example, by auction or on a first-come⁄first-serve basis?
The Applicant will be the only registrant of second level domain names under the .LANCASTER TLD to the exclusion of any other entity or individual.

Given the closed nature of the proposed single registrant⁄single user registry model for the .LANCASTER TLD, the Applicant does not anticipate that the scenario of multiple applications for a particular domain name could ever occur.

In view of the above, it is neither necessary nor pertinent within the context of the .LANCASTER TLD to implement mechanisms to resolve multiple applications for a particular domain name.

For the sake of completeness, should the Applicant, after the delegation of the .LANCASTER TLD, wish to apply to ICANN for a modification of its single registrant⁄single user registry model, then the Applicant undertakes that it will implement appropriate mechanisms to ensure resolution of multiple applications for a particular domain name in the most transparent and fair manner and in accordance with all applicable ICANN’s Consensus Policies and Temporary Policies.

3.2 18(c) (2): Explain any cost benefits for registrants you intend to implement (e.g., advantageous pricing, introductory discounts, bulk registration discounts).
The Applicant will be the only registrant of second level domain names under the .LANCASTER TLD to the exclusion of any other entity or individual.

Given the closed nature of the proposed single registrant⁄single user registry model for the .LANCASTER TLD, there are no cost benefits to implement for registrants given that the only registrant under the .LANCASTER TLD will be the Applicant.

In view of the above, it is neither necessary nor pertinent within the context of the .LANCASTER TLD to implement any cost benefits for registrants.

For the sake of completeness, should the Applicant, after the delegation of the .LANCASTER TLD, wish to apply to ICANN for a modification of its single registrant⁄single user registry model, then the Applicant undertakes that it will implement appropriate mechanisms to achieve cost benefits for registrants in the most transparent and fair manner and in accordance with all applicable ICANN’s Consensus Policies and Temporary Policies.

3.3 18(c) (3): Note that the Registry Agreement requires that registrars be offered the option to obtain initial domain name registrations for periods of one to ten years at the discretion of the registrar, but no greater than ten years. Additionally, the Registry Agreement requires advance written notice of price increases. Do you intend to make contractual commitments to registrants regarding the magnitude of price escalation? If so, please describe your plans.
The Applicant will be the only registrant of second level domain names under the .LANCASTER TLD to the exclusion of any other entity or individual.

Given the closed nature of the proposed single registrant⁄single user registry model for the .LANCASTER TLD, contractual commitments to registrants regarding price escalation will not be relevant to the Applicant’s mission or goals for the .LANCASTER TLD.

In view of the above, it is neither necessary nor pertinent within the context of the .LANCASTER TLD to implement the types of mechanisms contemplated by question 18(c) (3).

For the sake of completeness, should the Applicant, after the delegation of the .LANCASTER TLD, wish to apply to ICANN for a modification of its single registrant⁄single user registry model, then the Applicant undertakes that it will implement appropriate mechanisms in order to comply with the Registry Agreement and all applicable ICANN’s Consensus Policies and Temporary Policies.

Community-based Designation


19. Is the application for a community-based TLD?

No

20(a). Provide the name and full description of the community that the applicant is committing to serve.


20(b). Explain the applicant's relationship to the community identified in 20(a).


20(c). Provide a description of the community-based purpose of the applied-for gTLD.


20(d). Explain the relationship between the applied-for gTLD string and the community identified in 20(a).


20(e). Provide a description of the applicant's intended registration policies in support of the community-based purpose of the applied-for gTLD.


20(f). Attach any written endorsements from institutions/groups representative of the community identified in 20(a).

Not Available

Geographic Names


21(a). Is the application for a geographic name?

No

Protection of Geographic Names


22. Describe proposed measures for protection of geographic names at the second and other levels in the applied-for gTLD.

Introduction

Lancaster (ʺApplicantʺ) is aware of the substantial amount of work and effort that has gone into developing policy to address the issue of the reservation and release of geographic names under new gTLDs with valuable input from ICANNʹs Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), the Generic Names Supporting Organisation Reserved Names Working Group, Registry Operators and from elsewhere within the ICANN community.


The Applicant is aware of the requirements set forth in the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook and the GAC advice with regard to protection of geographic names at the second level (or other levels) under .LANCASTER and thus the Applicant has incorporated GAC advice as set out below.


As a result of this, the Applicant will implement appropriate measures to ensure that it meets its responsibilities and complies with these requirements as a gTLD Registry Operator with regard to both the reservation and release of such geographic names at the second level (or other levels).


Reservation of Geographic Names

The initial GAC advice on the protection of geographic names is contained in the GAC document “Principles Regarding New gTLDs” which was presented by the GAC on 28 March 2007. At Section 2.7(a) of this document it is stated that new gTLD applicants should “adopt, before the new gTLD is introduced, appropriate procedures for blocking, at no cost and upon demand of governments, public authorities or IGOs, names with national or geographic significance at the second level of any new gTLD”.

Specification 5 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement provides further clarity and details the Schedule of Reserved Names at the Second Level (or other levels) in gTLD Registries, whereby the Registry Operator undertakes to reserve certain domain names and prevent them from being registered, delegated or used.

Section 2 of Specification 5 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement requires that all two character labels are initially reserved. This is to avoid conflicts and confusion with existing ccTLD extensions.

Section 5 of Specification 5 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement is more comprehensive and states that:

“5. Country and territory names contained in the following internationally recognized lists shall be initially reserved at the second level and at all other levels within the TLD at which the Registry Operator provides for registrations:

5.1. the short form (in English) of all country and territory names contained on the ISO 3166-
1 list, as updated from time to time, including the European Union, which is exceptionally reserved on the ISO 3166-1 list, and its scope extended in August 1999 to any application needing to represent the name European Union 〈http:⁄⁄www.iso.org⁄iso⁄support⁄country_codes⁄iso_3166_code_lists⁄iso-3166-
1_decoding_table.htm#EU〉;

5.2. the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, Technical Reference Manual for the Standardization of Geographical Names, Part III Names of Countries of the World; and

5.3. the list of United Nations member states in 6 official United Nations languages prepared by the Working Group on Country Names of the United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names”.

In order to meet this requirement regarding country and territory names, the Applicant will ensure that it is in possession of current copies of the aforementioned internationally recognized lists and that all labels contained therein are afforded the requisite levels of protection.

Accordingly the Applicant undertakes to ensure that all labels that match the above requirements will initially not be available for registration, delegation or use at the second level (or other levels). In order to ensure that this is implemented correctly, all such labels will be blocked from registration by the Applicant in order to prevent their delegation and use.

Release of Reserved Geographic Names

Specification 5 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement also contains provisions for the release of country and territory names on the basis that agreement is reached with “the applicable government(s), provided, further, that Registry Operator may also propose release of these reservations, subject to review by ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee and approval by ICANN”. In addition, the Applicant has thoroughly reviewed the .INFO methodology for reservation and release of country names.

As specified throughout this application and as defined in the registration policies, Applicant plans to operate the applied-for TLD as a single registrant⁄single user registry with domain names being allocated only to the Applicant. As such the Applicant will not permit any third party to register any second-level domain names within the .LANCASTER TLD.

On this basis the Applicant would like to explore with ICANN and the GAC the possibility to seek to have the release of such reserved terms for the exclusive use by the Applicant and⁄or its Affiliates for promoting, providing information about and⁄or offering the Applicant’s goods and services directly to the customers or potential customers from the relevant country or territory indicated by the domain name.

At all times, the Applicant will ensure through internal guidelines that all reasonable efforts will be made to reduce user confusion regarding the source or affiliation of the geographic domain name, and that security measures will be taken to protect confidential third-party information in accordance with that geographic area’s data and financial privacy laws.

In addition to the above, the Applicant will also adhere to and implement ICANN policy with regards to the reservation and release of such terms as and when required.

Registry Services


23. Provide name and full description of all the Registry Services to be provided.

Table of Contents :

1 - Receipt of data from registrars concerning registration of domain names and nameservers : Shared Registration System (SRS)
2 - Operation of the Registry zone servers
3 - Provision to registrars of status information relating to the zone servers for the TLD
3.1 - Standard DNS related status information
3.2 - Emergency DNS related status information
4 - Dissemination of TLD zone files.
4.1 - Incremental updates every 10 minutes
4.2 - Complete publication of the zone
4.3 - Propagation mechanism
4.4 - Zone File Access⁄Distribution
5 - Dissemination of contact or other information concerning domain name registrations (Whois service)
6 - Internationalized Domain Names
7 - DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC)
7.1 - Registrar Services
7.2 - Signing Activity
8 - Other relevant services
8.1 - Security and Redundancy
8.2 - Consensus Policy Compliance


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1 - Receipt of data from registrars concerning registration of domain names and nameservers : Shared Registration System (SRS)

Operated by AFNIC, the .LANCASTER TLD will adapt a domain shared registration system used in production by AFNIC to operate .fr zone and which has been fully functional for the past 15 years. This Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) based Shared Registration System (SRS) has exhibited the ability to meet stringent SLAs as well as to scale from the operational management of an initial thousands of domain names to over 2 million in late 2011.

The SRS exists to interact with the Registrar’s systems, who are responsible for the provisioning of a registrant’s domain name with the .LANCASTER TLD registry. Registrars interact with the registry through two primary mechanisms :
* Communication machine to machine via an EPP client (Registrar) to an EPP Server API (Registry).
* A Web Portal Interface that expresses the functionality of the EPP API. The Web Portal also provides access to user configuration and other back-office functions such as report and invoice retrieval.

SRS functionality includes standard functions and features such as :

* Domain Registration : The AFNIC SRS supports synchronous registrations (creations) of domain names through the EPP domain create command. It supports updates of associative status, DNS and DNSSEC delegation information and EPP contact objects with a domain and the deletion of existing domains. This allows Registrars to create domain registrations, modify them and ultimately delete them.

* Domain Renewal : The AFNIC SRS allows registrars to renew sponsored domains using the EPP renew command. The SRS automatically renews domain names upon expiry.

* Transfer : The AFNIC SRS supports the transfer of a given domain between two Registrars in a secure fashion by requiring two party confirmations and the exchange of a token (the EPP authinfo code) associated with the domain.

* Contact Objects : The AFNIC SRS supports the creation, update, association to domain objects, and deletion of EPP contact objects. This functionality supports the required information to supply contact data displayed in Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS) (Whois) systems.

* Hosts : A subordinate object of the domain object in an EPP based SRS, internal hosts are supported in the AFNIC SRS. These hosts cannot be removed when other 2nd level domains within the .LANCASTER TLD zone are delegated to these nameservers. Delegation must be removed prior to the removal of the child hosts and a parent domain name to a given host in turn cannot be removed prior to the deletion of the related child host.

* Redemption Grace Period (RGP) & Restoring deleted domain name registrations : AFNIC SRS supports the RGP for the purpose of retrieving erroneously deleted domain names prior to being made available again for public registration.

Other features include :

* Additional EPP commands in order to manage and update both domain and contact objects in the registry which are EPP info, check, delete and update commands.

* An inline billing system which is synchronised with the SRS. Actions can be taken daily from simple alerts to concrete account blocking.

* Grace Periods and Refunds : the AFNIC SRS will support standard grace periods such as Add, Renew, Autorenew, Transfer and RGP grace periods. Refunds issued will reflect actual values deducted from registrar’s balance in consideration of any rebates issued conjunctively or separately for the relevant domain registration.

* The capacity to deal with reserved domain name registration. Reserved names are stored in a specific back office tool. Specific authorisations codes can be delivered out of band by support team to “unlock” creation of these reserved names. SRS uses standard EPP auth_info field in conformity with EPP RFCs to prevent or allow the registration of the domain name.

[see attached diagram Q23_1_authorisation_code_workflow.pdf]
Diagram : Reserved names unlock
Description : This diagram illustrates process to unlock registration of reserved names. An out of band email process is used to deliver a specific authorisation_code, that can be used in EPP or through the web interface to register the domain name.

SRS EPP functions are compatible with the following list of RFCs :
RFCs 5910, 5730, 5731, 5732, 5733 and 5734. Since AFNIC will implement the Registry Grace Period (RGP), it will comply with RFC 3915 and the successors of the aforementioned RFCs.


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2 - Operation of the Registry zone servers

The DNS resolution service is a core business of the Registry Operator. It is an essential function that must be provided with a very high level of service quality to satisfy queries concerning a zone 100% of the time with a response time as short as possible.

As the registry back-end service provider for the .LANCASTER TLD, AFNIC has a set of sites, distributed internationally, to answer these queries. The high availability of responses is ensured by the number of servers that host the zone information; the response time is in turn linked to the geographical location of the servers (as near as possible to the exchange points and as a result to users).

To ensure a very high level of availability of information and a response time as short as possible to a DNS query for a given zone, AFNIC has chosen to deploy its own DNS architecture, operated by our teams, while also relying on a set of internationally recognized service providers in order to significantly increase the number of servers hosting the zone to be published.

The AFNIC DNS service is based on the standards of RFCs (RFCs 1034, 1035, 1982, 2181, 2182, 2671, 3226, 3596, 3597, 4343, and 5966 and any future successors), related to the Internet, and the DNS in particular.

In addition, special attention has been paid to the security component of the DNS servers and services in order to maintain a very high level of availability of the information, for example in the event of attacks or the denial of services. At present, a series of national and international servers are deployed as close as possible to the exchange points to ensure the DNS resolution service. To ensure a high level of availability, Anycast technology is applied to overcome the issues involved in the geographical location of sensitive servers. Through an effective pooling of DNS server resources, it ensures better resistance to denial of service attacks as the number of physical servers to attack is very high, and the geographical attraction of traffic by each server is very strong. Maintenance of the nodes is also improved since interventions on a given server have no effect on the visibility of the Anycast cloud for users.
As explained in the answer to Question 34 (Geographic Diversity), the registry also relies on two operators of Anycast clouds to expand the international coverage of the DNS nodes which must respond to queries for the domain extensions hosted on them. The two operators are Netnod Autonomica and PCH (Packet Clearing House) who are both known for their high quality services; in addition, Netnod Autonomica hosts one the root server i.root-servers.net.


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3 - Provision to registrars of status information relating to the zone servers for the TLD

Registrars interactions with the Registry Systems in two states in regards to the state of the TLD zone servers :
* an operational state where normal registry transactions and operational policies⁄practices result in a cause and effect in resolution of relevant domains AND
* an emergency state where resolution could be threatened by operational problems due to either internal or external factors to the DNS services.

------------------------
3.1 - Standard DNS related status information

The SRS supports related updates to domain objects that allow a Registrar to populate internal (glue record) and or external DNS hosts associated with the domain. External hosts result in the correct associated NS records being inserted into the current TLD zone file, this in turns results in DNS resolution being delegated to the identified external hosts. The SRS expresses this status to the Registrar as “Active” in both the EPP API and the SRS Web Portal. The registrar may suspend the NS records associated with the external hosts by applying an EPP client HOLD in the system, which will also be displayed as a status in the same manner. This holds true of the Registry when it applied “Server Hold”. Internal hosts follow the same behaviour with one exception, IP addresses must also be provided to the SRS by the registrar for Internal hosts, resulting in A records or⁄and AAAA records for IPv6 (also known as glue records) being added to the zone file.

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3.2 - Emergency DNS related status information

AFNIC registry services maintain emergency Network Operation Center (NOC) and Customer Service personnel on a 24⁄7⁄365 basis to address escalation and customer issue management. Part of these teams responsibility is to maintain contact lists for technical notification of regular or emergency situations including email lists, names and contact numbers. In the unlikely event that DNS resolution or DNS updates were or were expected to fall out of ICANN mandated SLAs, registrars will be contacted proactively by their email lists, status alerts will be posted to the Registry Operator’s Registrar Relations Web Portals and Customer Service personnel will be prepared to take and address calls on the current DNS status.


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4 - Dissemination of TLD zone files.

Publication of DNS resolution data to the TLD DNS nodes serving resolution :
One of the main challenges of DNS resolution is to provide updated information about the resources associated with a registered domain name. As soon as information is updated by a registrar on behalf of a customer, the latter expects the server to be accessible to its users as soon as possible.
For this reason, updates of DNS resolution data (publication) are entered into the AFNIC SRS, subsequently generated into incremented zone files, and are distributed to the authoritative DNS servers using the two following methods :
* Incremental updates every 10 minutes
and
* Complete publication of the zone.

------------------------
4.1 - Incremental updates every 10 minutes

The principle of publication by Dynamic Update (RFC 2136 and 2137) is designed to publish only the changes to the zone that have occurred since the last update. At the registry level, we have opted to propagate every 10 minutes the changes made during the last 10 minutes on all the zones managed. In this way, any changes made will naturally be published in the next 10 minutes.

------------------------
4.2 - Complete publication of the zone

In addition to the publication described above, the registry’s DNS operations team produces a complete publication of all the data for all the zones once a week by running a series of computer scripts which regenerates zonefile from database, through the same validation and integrity mechanisms as dynamic publication. This is used as a training for eventual recovery measures to be triggered.

------------------------
4.3 - Propagation mechanism

Whether during the publication by Dynamic Update or complete publication, the propagation mechanism is the same. The process involving the generation of the various zone files is triggered, without blocking any operation on the registration system.
These zone files are then transmitted in full to the authoritative server, via the AXFR protocol in conformance with RFC 5936. Once received and processed by the authoritative server, notifications are sent to secondary servers that will retrieve the changes in the different zones via the IXFR protocol in conformity with RFC 1995. The choice of an incremental (rather than complete) update of the zone files to the secondary servers during the dissemination process has been made to avoid sending large amounts of data to remote sites.

------------------------
4.4 - Zone File Access⁄Distribution

In compliance with Specification 4, Section 2, AFNIC registry services will offer a subscription service for qualifying applicants to download a stateful copy of the TLD zone file no more than once per 24 hours period. Distribution of the zone file will occur through the ICANN authorized Centralized Zone Data Access Provider.


------------------------
5 - Dissemination of contact or other information concerning domain name registrations (Whois service)

The AFNIC RDDS (Whois) service is in direct connection with the database of the Shared Registration System and offers access to the public administrative and technical data of the TLD. Contact data associated with registrations in the SRS is accessible both on port 43 (following specifications of RFC 3912) and through web access.

Data that can be accessed through the RDDS include:
* contact data : holder, administrative, technical, billing
* domain data : domain name, status
* host data : name servers, IP addresses
* ephemeris : creation, expiration dates
* registrar data
These data elements are fully compliant to the mapping of RFCs 5730 to 5734 and an example of standard port 43 output is given at the end of answer to Question 26 (WHOIS).

Both web and port 43 RDDS offer natively compliance with privacy law with a “restricted diffusion” flag. This option is activated through EPP (see Question 25 (EPP)) while creating or updating a contact and automatically understood by the Whois server to anonymize the data. The choice to activate restricted diffusion is made in compliance with the policy and the local rules of the TLD.

This service is accessible both in IPv4 and IPv6. The AFNIC RDDS service access is rate limited to ensure performance in the event of extreme query volumes generated in the cases of distributed denial of service (DDOS) and⁄or RDDS data-mining activities.


------------------------
6 - Internationalized Domain Names

Based on AFNIC’s Back-end registry’s operation experience, the .LANCASTER TLD will allow registration of IDN domain names in full compliance with RFCs 5890 to 5893 and based on the character set described in detail in our answer to Question 44 (IDN). IDN will be implemented following the policies presented in detail in our answer to Question 44 (IDN). For the purpose of clarity, a brief summary of this information is presented below.


The list of characters includes the French language as well as several other regional languages in use in France : Occitan, Breton, Frankish, Reunion Creole, Catalan, Corsican and Guadeloupe Creole. The list consists of some of the characters of the Latin1 standard (ISO-8859-1) and the Latin9 standard (ISO-8859-15), respectively in Unicode Latin-1 Supplement and Latin Extended-A blocks.


This list may be extended to include other scripts in the future.


------------------------
7 - DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC).

AFNIC registry services fully support DNSSEC and will sign the .LANCASTER TLD zone from initiation into the root servers.

------------------------
7.1 - Registrar Services

Operations are available for registrars through EPP with the SecDNS EPP extension version 1.1 exclusively (as defined in RFC 5910) or through registrars extranet (with a web form). Among the two interfaces defined in the RFC 5910, AFNIC chose the “dsData” interface : domain names keys are solely under registrars management and are not exchanged, only the keys hashes (DS records) are sent by the registrars to the registry back-end service provider. Each domain name can be associated to 6 distinct key materials at most.

Zonecheck : A complementary monitoring and validation service.
AFNIC notes that “Zonecheck” is a DNS monitoring and validation service that is outside standard registry services and could be offered by third parties other than a Registry Operator. In respect of DNSSEC monitoring, each change of DS data related to a domain name is verified by the AFNIC ZoneCheck tool, out of band of standard EPP registry functions. Registrar are notified via email of detected errors. This helps Registrars ensure the DNSSEC validation will operate correctly, for example by avoiding the “Security Lameness” scenario outlined in section 4.4.3 of RFC 4641.

Registrar transfer by default removes DS data from the zonefile. This is done to cover cases when a current signed domain names goes from a DNSSEC enabled registrar to another registrar that is not yet prepared to handle DNSSEC materials (the registrar can also be the DNS hoster or not, but in both cases DS data of the domain name has to flow from the registrar to the registry, hence the registrar must have the technical capabilities to do so).

------------------------
7.2 - Signing Activity


Each public-facing DNS server operated by AFNIC or through its anycast providers is fully DNSSEC enabled through RFC 4033, 4034, and 4035 by virtue of using standard open source software (BIND & NSD) that are developed according to these RFCs.

Each zone uses a standard Key Signing Key (KSK)⁄Zone Signing Key (ZSK) split (as defined in RFC 4641, section 3.1), which enables longer KSKs and frequent re-signing of zone content to deter DNSSEC-related brute force attacks and to make sure that keys rollovers are part of registry staff operational habits. All keys are created using RSA algorithms, as defined in RFC 4641 section 3.4 : KSKs are 2048 bits long (as recommended for “high value domains” in section 3.5 of RFC 4641), and ZSKs are 1024 bits. Algorithm SHA-256 (as defined in RFC 4509) is used for DS generations. Signatures of zone resources records are done using SHA-2 and more specifically RSA⁄SHA-256 as defined by RFC 5702.

Each zone has its set of dedicated KSKs and ZSKs: one of each is active at all time, while a second of each is ready to be used at next rollover. A third ZSK may be kept in the zone after being inactive (not used any more for signing) to ease transitions and make sure DNS caches can still use it to verify old resource records signatures. Following recommendations in section 4.1.1 “Time considerations” of RFC 4641, with a zone maximum TTL being 2 days and a zone minimum TTL of 1.5 hour, ZSK rollovers are done each 2 months, KSK rollovers are done each 2 years. Their expirations are monitored. Rollovers are operated according to the “Pre-Publish Key Rollover” procedure detailed in section 4.2.1.1 of RFC 4641.

1 year worth of key materials is generated in advance. Encrypted backup of keys is made on Hardware Security Module (HSM) cards (Storage Master Key), which are securely stored physically.


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8 - Other relevant services

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8.1 - Security and Redundancy

AFNIC maintains primary and secondary datacenter locations as well as redundant key personal operating locations. High availability of AFNIC Registry infrastructure is provided through the implementation of either load‐balancing, or fail­‐over capacity in various layers of the architecture. It also enables fast scalability through expertise in virtualization technologies. AFNIC’s infrastructure is globally virtualized apart from services requiring very high performance rate and⁄or specific access to dedicated CPU for demanding computation such as DNSSEC zone signing or databases.
AFNIC maintains robust secure policies, protocols and third party testing and certification of security measures and practises. Systems involved in the AFNIC registry services used standard multi-factor authentication, high encryption transmission of data and are kept current with industry advancement in security technologies and best practices in prevention of data breaches. Registry systems follow standard EPP practices including required passphrases associated with each domain object and the use of those passphrases to successfully negotiate and verify domain transfers. Registrars are networked source restricted (2 IP addresses authorized by registrar) for SRS access in addition to the use of digital certificates and contact to Customer Service is restricted to registered Registrar personnel only (identified by personal passphrases⁄credentials listed on file).

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8.2 - Consensus Policy Compliance

AFNIC registry services will fully comply with Specification 1 of the Application Guidebook, below is a list of current consensus policies that have cause and effect on the systems of a registry operator. This list will be updated from time to time as per the ICANN process and the AFNIC registry services will be adjusted to maintain and support full compliance.

* Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (adopted by ICANN Board 26 August 1999; form of implementation documents approved 24 October 1999).
* Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (effective on 12 November 2004, adopted by ICANN Board 25 April 2003; implementation documents issued 13 July 2004).
* Registry Services Evaluation Policy (effective on 15 August 2006, adopted by ICANN Board 8 November 2005; implementation documents posted 25 July 2006)
* AGP Limits Policy (effective on 1 April 2009, adopted by ICANN Board on 26 June 2008; implementation documents posted 17 December 2008)

Demonstration of Technical & Operational Capability


24. Shared Registration System (SRS) Performance

Table of Contents

1 - Global description
2 - Shared Registration System (SRS) architecture
3 - SRS architecture diagram
4 - Detailed infrastructure
5 - Rate limitation
6 - Interconnectivity and synchronization with other systems
7 - Performance and scalability
8 - Resources
8.1 - Initial implementation
8.2 - On-going maintenance


------------------------
1 - Global description

As one of the critical registry functions, the SRS is part of the core of AFNIC back-end registry solution as deployed to fit the needs of the .LANCASTER TLD.
It both provides services for registrars and generates the data used for DNS publication and resolution service. In that aspect, it is responsible for most of the SLA’s to be respected. The following description will provide full and detailed description of the architecture of the SRS both from an application and from an infrastructure point of view.
This architecture is the same as the one used in production by AFNIC to operate .fr zone and has been fully functional for the last 15 years, with the ability to meet stringent SLAs as well as to scale from the management of a few thousands domain names in operations to over 2 million in late 2011.


------------------------
2 - Shared Registration System (SRS) architecture

AFNIC SRS is based on a three-layer architecture : front-end, business logic, middleware.
These three layers are supported by the data layer which is described in detail in Question 33 (Database Capabilities).

= Front end : Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) and extranet =

The automated front-end of the SRS is EPP.
The EPP interface and implementation complies with RFCs 3735 and 5730-5734. It is itself described in detail in Question 25 (EPP).
An extranet web interface also offers the same functions as the EPP interface.
Both theses interfaces are supported by the same middleware layer.

= Business logic : flexible policies =

The Business logic enables configurability in order to allow for the adjustment of registry systems to the chosen registry policies. Various policy-related parameters such as delay for redemption, access rate-limiting and penalties can be configured in this layer.
The Business logic also incorporates a scheduler which provides for semi-automated processes with human validation in order to address specific policy needs which cannot or should not be fully automated.

= Middleware : a guaranty for evolution and scalability =

The Middleware layer guarantees a consistent and registry oriented access for all the TLD data. All registry applications operate through this layer in order to centralize object management rules. It enables access through different programming languages (Java, php and Perl in AFNIC solution) with same rules and ease of switching from one language to another in case of application refactoring or migration.

= Data =

The Data layer is the structured data repository for domain, contact, operations, historization of transactions, as well as registrars and contracts data. It provides all the necessary resilient mechanisms to ensure 100% uptime and full recovery and backup.
It also provides a complete toolbox for the fine tuning of the various applications. This layer is described in more details in Question 33 (Database capacities).


------------------------
3 - SRS architecture diagram

[see attached diagram Q24_3_SRS_architecture_diagram.pdf]
Diagram : SRS architecture diagram
Description : This diagram shows global interaction between Internet, DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) and private network zones. Topology of network and servers is illustrated including dedicated IP address scheme and network flows.

This diagram does not shows additional sandbox and preproduction services. These services are offered respectively for registrars and back-end developer team to stabilize developments before production delivery. They are fully iso-functional to the SRS description above.

= SRS logical diagram =

Our robust infrastructure shows dual Internet Service Provider (ISP) connectivity both in IPv4 and IPv6 (Jaguar and RENATER), redundant firewall and switching infrastructure. This part of the architecture is mutualised for all TLDs hosted.

The networking architecture dedicates LAN for administration, backup and production.

Servers are hosted on different network zones : database for database, private for servers not visible on the internet and public for external servers visible on the DMZ. Dedicated zones are also set up for monitoring servers, administration servers or desktop and backup servers.
Each server is load balanced and the service is not impacted by the loss of one server, the capacity of each server being sized to be able to host the whole traffic.

Servers hosting the .LANCASTER TLD are shared with up to an estimated number of 20 TLDs of comparable scale and use case.

= SRS physical diagram =

The IP scheme used is the following :

2001:67c:2218:1::4:0⁄64 for IPv6 Internet homing
192.134.4.0⁄24 for Ipv4 Internet homing

Production LAN

192.134.4.0⁄24 for public network IP range
10.1.50.0⁄24, 10.1.30.0⁄24 for private network IP ranges distributed on the zones described above.


Backup LAN

172.x.y.0⁄24 : x is different on each network zone. y is fixed to the value of the associated production LAN in the same zone (for example Private zone production LAN being 10.1.”50”.0⁄24, Private zone backup LAN is 172.16.”50”.0⁄24)

Administration LAN

172.z.y.0⁄24 : z is the value of x+1, x being the digit chosen for the corresponding Backup LAN in the same zone. y is fixed to the value of the associated production LAN in the same zone (for example Private zone production LAN being 10.1.”50”.0⁄24, Private zone administration LAN is 172.17.”50”.0⁄24).

Hot standby of the production database is automatically taken into account by the SRS Oracle Transparent Network Substrate configuration. Therefore if the database are migrated in hot standby due to failure of part of the system, the SRS access is automatically swapped to the new base.


------------------------
4 - Detailed infrastructure

The SRS modules play a central role in the back-end registry infrastructure. This is highlighted in terms of capacity expenditures (CAPEX) by the fact that SRS modules account for approximately 30% of the global CAPEX of the solution.

In the following description “server” will refer to either a physical or a virtual server.
Due to very fast growth of performance in storage and processors technologies, the infrastructure described below could be replaced by more powerful one available at the time of the set up for the same cost.

At the applicative and system level, AFNIC’s SRS systems are shared with up to an estimated number of 20 TLDs of comparable scale and use case.

AFNIC has invested in very efficient VMWare Vsphere virtualization infrastructure. It provides a flexible approach to recovery both through quick activation of a new fresh server in case of local failure (cold standby) and through global failover to a mirrored infrastructure on another site.
This comes in addition to natural redundancy provided by the load balanced servers.

Nevertheless, internal protocols and best practices for server virtualization have shown that very high I⁄O-intensive (Input⁄Output) application servers are not good clients for virtualization. The SRS is therefore hosted on virtualized infrastructure to the exception of the database, which presents very high rate of I⁄O, and is hosted on a dedicated physical infrastructure.

The whole SRS service is located in the primary datacenter used by AFNIC in production, the secondary datacenter serves as failover capacity.

The Front end is hosted on two load balanced virtual servers and two load balanced reverse proxies ensuring authentication of registrars.

The Business logic is hosted on two load balanced dedicated virtual servers. Scalability of these servers is ensured by quick resizing offered by virtualization technology if needed.

The Middleware is hosted on two load balanced dedicated virtual servers. It can be extended to any amount of servers needed to ensure performance commensurate with the amount of traffic expected. The dual use of Apache HAproxy and of a centralized lock mechanism ensure good queuing of each request in the system despite heavy load and parallelized middleware data access.

Scalability of all these servers are ensured by quick resizing offered by virtualization technology if needed.

All databases are based on Oracle technologies. The main database is replicated logically on two sites. Full local recovery processes are in place in case of loss of integrity through the Oracle redolog functions which provides full recovery by replay of historized logged requests.

The whole SRS service is located in the primary Tier 3 datacenter used by AFNIC in production, the secondary datacenter serves as failover capacity. Continuity mechanisms at a datacenter level are described in Questions 34 (Geographic Diversity), 39 (Registry Continuity) and 41 (Failover testing).

The detailed list of infrastructures involved can be described as follows :

This infrastructure is designed to host up to an estimated number of 20 TLDs of comparable scale and use case.

= Virtual servers =

EPP proxy : 2 servers
* Processor: 1 bi-core CPU
* Main memory: 8 GB of RAM
* Operating system: RedHat RHEL 6
* Disk space: 500 GB

EPP service : 2 servers
* Processor: 1 quad-core CPU
* Main memory: 16 GB of RAM
* Operating system: RedHat RHEL 6
* Disk space: 1 TB

Business logic : 2 servers
* Processor: 1 bi-core CPU
* Main memory: 16 GB of RAM
* Operating system: RedHat RHEL 6
* Disk space: 500 GB

Data Gateway : 2 servers
* Processor: 1 quad-core CPU
* Main memory: 16 GB of RAM
* Operating system: RedHat RHEL 6
* Disk space: 1 TB

= Data storage : see Question 33 (Database Capabilities) =

= Physical server =

Rate limiting database : 1 server
* Processor: 1 bi-core CPU
* Main memory: 8 GB of RAM
* Operating system: RedHat RHEL 6
* Disk space: 500 GB

Back up servers, backup libraries, Web whois server : mutualized with the global registry service provider infrastructure

= Additionnal infrastructure =

Failover infrastructure : 6 servers
* 1 bi-core CPU, 8 GB of RAM, RedHat RHEL 6, 500 GB

Sandbox infrastructure : 6 servers
* 1 bi-core CPU, 8 GB of RAM, RedHat RHEL 6, 500 GB

Preproduction infrastructure : 1 server
* 1 quad-core CPU, 16 GB of RAM, RedHat RHEL 6, 1 TB


------------------------
5 - Rate limitation

To ensure resiliency of the SRS a rate limitation and penalty mechanisms are in place.
Rate limitation and penalties are directly implemented on the front end server.

Access is rate limited through token-bucket algorithms with rate-limiting IP data stored on a dedicated database.
Penalties are applied as follow :
* Any command that follows a login command is immediately executed but the next one is only taken into account 2 seconds later. The following commands are not penalized (unless they do not follow one of the limitation rules).
* For the same domain name, the domain:check commands will not be able to follow themselves more than 2 times every 4 seconds. Beyond this rate, a 2 second penalty will be applied on the following domain:check commands (for the same domain name). For instance, it is possible to have a domain:check follow a domain:create command that already followed a first domain:check on a same domain name without any penalty.
* On the other hand, a customer making several domain:check commands on a same domain name will need to respect a 4 second delay between the first and the third call if he wishes not to be penalized.
* Any domain:create command on an already existing domain name induce an additional 2 seconds in the answer time of this command.
* Any domain:info command on a domain name that is not in your portfolio and for which you do not indicate the auth_info induce an additional 1 second in the answer time of this command.

The rate limiting database is hosted on one physical dedicated physical server. This server represents no failure point as a failure of the rate limiting system doesn’t affect the service (a standard uniform limitation is then applied instead of intelligent rate limiting).


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6 - Interconnectivity and synchronization with other systems

= Whois (RDDS) =

The whois service will be described in detail in question 27. It is hosted on two servers directly connected to the main production database through read only API. Data updated by the SRS are immediately visible in the Whois with no further synchronisation needed. Rate limitation is applied on RDDS service to avoid any load on the database due to Whois direct access. Hot standby of the production database is automatically taken into account by the Whois Oracle Transparent Network Substrate configuration. Therefore if SRS and database are migrated in hot standby due to failure of part of the system, the Whois service is automatically swapped to the new architecture.


= Back office⁄billing⁄Escrow =

Back-office, escrow and billing system is hosted on mutualized server. It operates directly on production data through the middleware layer to ensure integrity of data. These can be considered as fully synchronous applications. Hot standby of the production database is automatically taken into account by the Middleware layer Transparent Network Substrate configuration. Therefore if SRS and database are migrated in hot standby due to failure of part of the system, the back office and billing service are automatically swapped to the new architecture.


= Monitoring =

Monitoring is operated through probes and agents scanning systems with a 5 minutes period. The monitoring system gets snmp data from all servers described in the SRS architecture and also from dedicated Oracle monitoring agent for the database. A specific prove for EPP simulating a full domain creation is also activated, still with the 5 minutes period.

= Dispute resolution =

Any operation on domain names triggered in the context of a dispute resolution is made through a back-office tool (see Back office)

= DNS publication =

DNS publication relies on a specific table of the production database hosted on the same oracle instance. These data are directly generated by the SRS system. Dynamic Update batches are generated at each operation. The use of theses batches for DNS Dynamic update or of the whole data for full zonefile generation are made directly from these production data. No further synchronization is needed. The detail of frequency and workflow for dns publication is described in Question 35 (DNS) and Question 32 (Architecture). Hot standby of the production database is automatically taken into account by the DNS publication Transparent Network Substrate configuration. Therefore if SRS and database are migrated in hot standby due to failure of part of the system, the dns publication is automatically swapped to the new architecture.


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7 - Performance and scalability

The Registry’s SRS offers high level production SLAs and derives from the branch of systems that have evolved over the last 15 years to successfully operate a set of french ccTLDs.

The Registry’s SRS is used to operate .fr, .re, .yt, .pm, .tf, .wf TLDs. It is used by more than 800 registrars in parallel managing more than 2 millions domain names.

AFNIC’s SRS is designed to meet ICANN’s Service-level requirements as specified in Specification 10 (SLA Matrix) attached to the Registry Agreement.

Actual and current average performance of AFNIC’s SRS is :
* SRS availability : 99,4%
* SRS session-command RTT : 400ms for 99,4% of requests
* SRS query command RTT : 500ms
* SRS transform command RTT : 1,4 s on availability period
* SRS max downtime : 2 hours⁄month

As described in Question 31 (Technical Overview) in relation to each of the phases of the TLD’s operations, the following transaction loads are expected on the SRS :
* Launch phase : up to 150 queries⁄hour
* Routine ongoing operations : up to 1,000 queries⁄hour

The system is designed to handle up to 50,000 domain names and up to 2 requests per second.

The targeted TLD size being approximately 1,000 domain names after 3 years of operations and the expected peak transaction rate being 1,000 queries⁄hour, this ensures that enough capacity is available to handle the launch phase, unexpected demand peaks, as well as rapid scalability needs.

Capacity planning indicators are set up to anticipate exceptional growth of the TLD.
Technologies used enables quick upgrade on all fields :
* Servers : virtual resizing to add CPUs or disk space if resource is available on the production ESX servers. If not, 2 spare additional ESX servers can be brought live if additional performance is needed.
* Database : database capacity has been greatly oversized to avoid need of replacement of this physical highly capable server. Precise capacity planning will ensure that sufficient delay will be available to acquire new server if needed. A threshold of 40% of CPU use or total storage capacity triggers alert for acquisition.


------------------------
8 - Resources

Four categories of profiles are needed to run the Registry’s Technical Operations : Registry Operations Specialists (I), Registry Systems Administrators (II), Registry Software Developer (III) and Registry Expert Engineers (IV). These categories, skillset and global availability of resources have been detailed in Question 31 (Technical Overview of Proposed Registry) including specific resources set and organisation to provide 24⁄7 coverage and maintenance capacity.
Specific workload for SRS management is detailed below.

------------------------
8.1 - Initial implementation

The set up is operated on the pre-installed virtualization infrastructure. It implies actions by system, database and network administrators to create the virtual servers and install the applicative packages.

Then, developers, assisted by a team of experts and senior staff members apply proper configuration for the given TLD. Specific policy rules are configured and tested.

The initial implementation effort is estimated as follows :

Database Administrator 0.03 man.day
Network Administrator 0.03 man.day
System Administrator 0.03 man.day
Software Developer 0.10 man.day
Database Engineer 0.10 man.day
Software Engineer 0.20 man.day
DNS Expert Engineer 0.10 man.day

------------------------
8.2 - On-going maintenance


On-going maintenance on the SRS includes integration of new policy rules, evolution of technology, bug fixing, infrastructure evolution, failover testing.

Although all the defined technical profiles are needed for such on-going maintenance operations, on a regular basis, it is mainly a workload handled by monitoring and development teams for alert management and new functional developments, respectively.

The on-going maintenance effort per year is estimated as follows, on a yearly basis :

Operations Specialist 0.40 man.day
Database Administrator 0.10 man.day
Network Administrator 0.10 man.day
System Administrator 0.10 man.day
Software Developer 0.20 man.day
Database Engineer 0.05 man.day
Network Engineer 0.05 man.day
System Engineer 0.05 man.day
Software Engineer 0.05 man.day

25. Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP)

Table of Contents

1 - Global description
2 - Description of commands
2.1 - Introduction
2.2 - Global commands
2.2.1 - session management commands ‘greeting’, ‘hello’, ‘login’, ‘logout’
2.2.2 - poll command ‘poll’
2.3 - domain commands
2.3.1 - query commands ‘check’, ‘info’
2.3.2 - transform commands
2.4 - contact command
2.5 - Return Codes
3 - Compliance to RFCs
3.1 - Delivery process
3.2 - XML validation
3.3 - Cross checking
4 - Specific extensions
4.1 - Specific extension : DNSSEC
4.2 - Specific extension : IDN
4.3 - Specific extension : Sunrise period
4.3.1 - New objects
4.3.2 - Command extensions
4.3.2.1 - EPP Query Commands
4.3.2.2 - EPP Transform Commands
4.3.2.2.1 - EPP ʹcreateʹ Command
4.3.2.2.2 - EPP ʹupdateʹ Command
4.3.2.2.3 - EPP ʹdeleteʹ Command
5 - Resources
5.1 - Initial implementation
5.2 - On-going maintenance


------------------------
1 - Global description

The main service of the Shared Registration System (SRS) for its registrars is the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) interface. The interface has been developed and is maintained in full compliance with the relevant standards RFCs 5730-5732 and with RFCs 5910 and 3735 for the standard registration interface. Contacts are handled as described in RFC 5733. Transport is guaranteed according to RFC 5734. In addition, AFNIC’s EPP implementation is also compliant with RFCs 4034, 5730 and 5731 for DNSSEC support and with RFCs 5890 and 5891 for Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) support.

The EPP service is available through IPv4 and IPv6, based on a SSL certificate authentication.
No specific extension is used.

Note : Throughout the document we write the XML markups describing the EPP requests between the two characters ʹ and ʹ.

For contact management, the registry service provider uses a dedicated “Repository Identifier” for each TLD, this Repository identifier being declared to IANA prior to the launch of the TLD. It is also used as a post-extension to contact nic-handles, each contact for a given TLD being then identified by a unique code XX1234-REPID. An example of this declaration can be found for .fr extension (2008-05-10) at IANA epp repository identifier’s page :

[...]
NORID, #x004E #x004F #x0052 #x0049 #x0044 UNINETT Norid AS 2007-12-10 info&norid.no
FRNIC, #x0046 #x0052 #x004e #x0049 #x0043 AFNIC 2008-05-29 tld-tech&afnic.fr
CIRA, #x0043 #x0049 #x0052 #x0041 Canadian Internet Registration Authority 2009-07-22 info&cira.ca
[...]


------------------------
2 - Description of commands

------------------------
2.1 - Introduction

The EPP interface, based on a double system of real-time answer by the server and asynchronous notifications, implements all standard operations : ‘domain:create’ (1 to 10 years), ‘domain:info’, ‘domain:checkʹ, ‘domain:transfer’, ‘domain:update’, ‘domain:renew’. Similar commands are available concerning contact objects.
The registry’s EPP server implement name servers management as domain name attributes in conformity with RFC 5732.

[see attached diagram Q25_2.1_EPP_xsd_main_schema.pdf]
Diagram : EPP xsd main schema
Description : Registry service provider SRS EPP interface is based on standard xsd schema as defined in RFC 5730.

In the following description of the commands, an example of client command and server answer has been added only for the create command as an example. All other commands work in the same way in full compliance with descriptions and schema of RFCs 5730-5734 and same examples can be found in the RFCs text.

------------------------
2.2 - Global commands

------------------------
2.2.1 - session management commands ‘greeting’, ‘hello’, ‘login’, ‘logout’

As all of these commands are basic and totally compliant with the IETF’s STD69 (RFCs 5730 to 5734), they have not be described again here.

Focus points are :
* Enforcing a limit of 2 simultaneous connection per registrar (checked at login), ensuring equitable access for all registrars.
* List of namespaces announced in ʹgreetingʹ is strictly checked in registrar ʹloginʹ command.
* ʹhelloʹ can be used by registrars as a keepalive command, otherwise inactive sessions are closed by server after 20 minutes.

------------------------
2.2.2 - poll command ʹpollʹ

For some operation on objects, notifications are added in a queue that can be read by using the ʹpollʹ command. The use of the ʹpollʹ command will retrieve the oldest message in the queue. The number of messages awaiting in the queue is indicated at each command answer with the ʹmsgQʹ element. To delete a message from the queue, the ʹpollʹ command should be used with the message number as indicated in RFC 5730.

------------------------
2.3 - domain commands

------------------------
2.3.1 - query commands ʹcheckʹ, ʹinfoʹ

ʹcheckʹ command allows the client to check if a domain object is available.
ʹinfoʹ command allows the client to retrieve information on any objects (domain names or contacts) that are indicated in the command. Registrars can only use this command for objects they already manage in their portfolio. This command can also be used for domain names outside the registrar’s portfolio if the ʹauth_infoʹ code that protects the domain is given as well.

------------------------
2.3.2 - transform commands

In compliance with RFCs 5730 (commands presentation), 5731 (domain objects), 5732 (contact objects) and 5910 (DNSSEC specifications) AFNIC’s Registry solution use the following commands that allow for objects updates :

= ʹcreateʹ =

The EPP protocol (RFC 5730) allows domain name creation (RFC 5731). The registry service provider allows two types of creations: direct domain creations (with auth_info freely determined by the registrar) and domain names creation “with authorization code” (the correct auth_info value must be sent for the creation to succeed)

Both are standard domain:create command as defined in the RFCs.

[see attached diagram Q25_2.3.2_EPP_create_command_example.pdf]
Diagram : EPP client create command and server answer example
Description : This is a standard EPP client create command following RFC 5731. Parameters sent in the following example are domain name, period of registration, registrant identifier, administrative, technical and billing identifier, and auth_info password followed by standard EPP server create command answer compliant with RFC 5731. Parameters sent in the answer are result code, message, creation and expiry date, and client and server transaction ID.

Creation “with authorization code” enables the registry service provider to manage protected names or names under specific registration conditions. An authorization code is associated to three items (the registrar, the domain name and the holder nic-handle ) and is delivered outside the automated process through a manual process defined by a specific policy rule. The registry-generated authorization code must be present in the ʹdomain:authInfoʹ item of the creation request. No registrar-computed value is permitted.
In every case, domain creation proceeds through standard EPP command.

[see attached diagram Q25_2.3.2_SRS_authorisation_code.pdf]
Diagram : SRS authorisation code
Description : The EPP auth_info field that can usually be freely filled in by the registrar has a specific use for registration of reserved names : an authorisation_code is delivered through an out of band process and must be used in the create command for the answer to be successful.

= ʹupdateʹ =

The registry offers EPP ʹdomain:updateʹ command to :
* update the administrative, technical, registrant contacts of a domain name
* update the DNS and DNSsec configuration of a domain name
* update the status of a domain name or its auth_info

This command is also used to add or delete signed delegations (DS records), through a ʹsecDNS:updateʹ extension if DNSSEC operations are wanted and if the secDNS extension was chosen by the client at login.

When requested the status of domain name is changed to “pendingUpdate”.

= ʹdeleteʹ =

The whole deletion process (including redemption grace period and pending delete) of a domain name comes with a restoration mechanism (restore). This mechanism, based on RFC 3915, is applied to the deletion operation only.

The status of the domain name is switched to ʺpendingDeleteʺ for the total duration of the ʺredemption grace periodʺ and as long as the domain is not restored or totally deleted.

= ʹtransferʹ =

The registry offers standard EPP ʹdomain:transferʹ command to allow a change of registrar to the registrant.

A transfer can be initiated only by an incoming registrar and using the auth_info that the registrant has given him. This standard mechanism acts as a security and associates the triggering of transfer to the acceptance of the owner of the domain.
The transfer operation can be triggered only if the domain is not protected by a clientTransferProhibited lock.

The transfer implementation follows RFC 5730 section 2.9.3.4 and its lifecycle follow the inter registrar transfer policy as revised by the ICANN in 2008.

------------------------
2.4 - contact command

Postal addresses are managed as indicated in RFC 5731 with the following specific rules : only the type “loc” for postal addresses is accepted and only one element of type ʹcontact:postalInfoʹ can be indicated for the contact .

ʹdiscloseʹ parameters is implemented and enables to activate restricted publication in the RDDS.
The choice to activate restricted diffusion is made in compliance with the policy and the local rules of the TLD towards privacy law.

------------------------
2.5 - Return Codes

Some operations under normal working conditions of the SRS will answer with a 1000 return code. Otherwise, two different levels of return codes have been chosen according to the two different types of problems that can happen on the SRS :
* minor problems answer with Return code 1001 : Minor problems do not affect requests reception. This code indicates the command was taken into account but that its complete execution is delayed. The final result will be known later on and will be sent in a message placed in the notification queue of the concerned registrar(s).
* blocking problems answer with Return code 2400 “command failed” : no operations that transform a domain name can be taken into account.


------------------------
3 - Compliance to RFCs

The system has been launched compliant with RFCs. Mechanisms are in place to ensure that ongoing maintenance and new functional delivery stay compliant with RFCs.

------------------------
3.1 - Delivery process

The SRS evolutions are developed on the development environment.
The development process implies strict coding rules and use of shared best practices. Pair programming is standard practice. Unit test are developed prior to function development to ensure resiliency of the produced code.

Delivery process take place in four steps :
* 1st step : XML validation and RFC compliance is checked through automated tools. A 100% compliance signal must be received to be able to proceed to second step.
* 2nd step : delivery to the pre-production environment. The development is delivered on the preproduction environment. This environment is available for internal testing team. They proceed through a standard Operational Test which goes through a full lifecycle of a domain name. Specific tests are made on new functions in any.
* 3rd step : delivery to the sandbox environment. This sandbox environment is opened for registrar where they have two accounts to validate their clients before production activation.
* 4th step : the new release is delivered in production.

------------------------
3.2 - XML validation

EPP RFC compliance is reached through three mechanisms :
* a batch of unitary tests on each operation, each answer of the server being validated through the XSD schema.
* XML validation through perl XML::LibXML::Schema library
* fuzzy testing, by sending garbage input and checking error return codes.

------------------------
3.3 - Cross checking

EPP cross checking partnership is established with .at Registry operator to validate in sandbox environment prior to delivery in production through mutual agreement.


------------------------
4 - Specific extensions

------------------------
4.1 - Specific extension : DNSSEC

The EPP server provides the secDNS-1-1 extension as described in RFC 5910. Implementation specifications are as follows :
* The server only supports “the DS data interface” (ʹsecDNS:dsDataʹ); section 4.1 of RFC 5910, without information on the associated key (the ʹsecDNS:keyDataʹ element is not included); if information on the key is indicated the server will answer with a 2102 error code.
* DNSSEC elements are only accepted during an update operation request. If included during a create operation the server will answer with a 2103 error code.
* Each domain name can have up to 6 associated DS records : the number of elements ʹsecDNS:dsDataʹ present in the ʹsecDNS:addʹ section during an update operation is therefore limited in order to have the domain name’s final status with no more than 6 DS records.
* The maxSigLife attribute is not supported, its presence inside a client request will generate a 2102 error code.
* The urgent attribute is not supported, its presence inside a client request will generate a 2102 error code.

[see attached diagram Q25_4.1_EPP_xsd_dnssec_extension_schema.pdf]
Diagram : EPP xsd dnssec extension schema
Description : Registry service provider DNSsec EPP secDNS-1-1 extension is based on standard xsd schema as defined in RFC 5910.

------------------------
4.2 - Specific extension : IDN

No specific IDN extension has been used. The script used for the TLD is declared in the greetings and no further indication is needed in the following transaction. Usage is in full compliance with RFCs 5890, 5891, 5892, 5893, and 5894. This may be a pending situation : if a standard IDN extension was to be produced in the months to come it would be added to the EPP schema in order to deal more precisely with each specific language management policies.

------------------------
4.3. Specific extension : Sunrise period

Sunrise period is managed through a specific EPP extension. The sunrise registration workflow is described in Question 29 (Right Protection Mechanism).

The extension used is described below but will follow work in progress at the IETF initiated by Cloud Registry (draft-tan-epp-launchphase-01.txt). The xsd schema has been designed by AFNIC’s partner CORE and is fully in accordance with the draft. It could be modified before the launch if the IETF draft was to be accepted as an RFC with modifications.

AFNIC Registry extension is fully compatible with extension mechanism described in RFC 5730. It offers trademark holders a specific mapping to provide information related to trademarks. It also enables query function to keep the sunrise process transparent to everybody.

For illustration and further information purposes, please refer to the Q25_4.3_EPP_xsd_sunrise_extension_schema.pdf file attached (EPP XSD sunrise extension schema) which describes the registry back-end services provider’s EPP extension XSD schema used to deal with sunrise period. This schema is designed based on the work in progress at IETF, as initiated by Cloud Registry (draft-tan-epp-launchphase-01.txt). This extension is fully compatible with extension mechanism described in RFC 5730.

------------------------
4.3.1 New objects

application : to deal with multiple demands on same domain name. The server creates an application object corresponding to the request and assigns an identifier for the application and returns it to the client. This mapping defines an ʹlp:applicationIDʹ element which is used to specify an ID to this object.

phase : optionnal element ʹlp:phaseʹ to be used in case of multiple sunrise phases.

status : status of each application in link with internal state of the process of the application. The ʹlp:statusʹ values that can be used in order to process the applications are pending, invalid, validated, allocated, rejected. These statuses have to be mapped with the sunrise workflow described in Question 29 (Right Protection Mechanism).

claim : claim object contains the details needed to applicantʹs prior right to the domain name.
The ʹlp:claimʹ element has the boolean ʺpreValidatedʺ attribute, which indicates whether a third party validation agency has already validated the claim in case of inter connection with the IP clearing house.

Several child elements of the ʹlp:claimʹ element are defined :
ʹlp:pvrcʹ, the Pre-Validation Result Code, is a string issued by a third-party validation agent. ʹlp:claimIssuerʹ contains the ID of a contact object (as described in RFC 5733) identifying the contact information of the authority which issued the right (for example, a trade mark office or company registration bureau).
ʹlp:claimNameʹ identifies the text string in which the applicant is claiming a prior right. ʹlp:claimNumberʹ contains the registration number of the right (i.e. trademark number or company registration number).
ʹlp:claimTypeʹ indicates the type of claim being made (e.g. trademark, symbol, combined mark,
company name).
ʹlp:claimEntitlementʹ indicates the applicantʹs entitlement to the claim (i.e. owner or licensee). ʹlp:claimRegDateʹ contains the date of registration of the claim.
ʹlp:claimExDateʹ contains the date of expiration of the claim.
ʹlp:claimCountryʹ indicates the country in which the claim is valid.
ʹlp:claimRegionʹ indicates the name of a city, state, province or other geographic region in which the claim is valid. This may be a two-character code from WIPO standard ST.3.


------------------------
4.3.2 command extensions

------------------------
4.3.2.1 EPP Query Commands


ʹinfoʹ command is the only extended query command.

In order to indicate that the query is meant for an application object, an ʹlp:infoʹ element is sent along with the regular ʹinfoʹ domain command.

The ʹlp:infoʹ element contains the following child elements :
ʹlp:applicationIDʹ, the application identifier for which the client wishes to query, and ʹlp:phaseʹ (optional), the phase the application is associated with.
If the query was successful, the server replies with an ʹlp:infDataʹ element along with the regular EPP ʹresDataʹ. The ʹlp:infData contains the following child elements:
* ʹlp:applicationIDʹ the application identifier of the returned application.
* ʹlp:phaseʹ (optional) the phase during which the application was submitted or is associated with.
* ʹlp:statusʹ (optional) status of the application.
* ʹlp:claimʹ (optional) one or more ʹlp:claimʹ elements.
If present, the ʹlp:claimʹ elements may contain the child elements as described above in the claim object description.

------------------------
4.3.2.2 EPP Transform Commands

There are three extended EPP transform commands : ʹcreateʹ, ʹdeleteʹ and ʹrenewʹ

------------------------
4.3.2.2.1 EPP ʹcreateʹ Command

The EPP ʹcreateʹ command is used to create an application. Additional information is required to submit a domain name application during a launch phase :
* ʹlp:phaseʹ (optional), the phase the application should be associated with
* ʹlp:claimʹ (optional) elements to substantiate the prior rights of the applicant.

When such a ʹcreateʹ command has been processed successfully, the EPP ʹextensionʹ element in the response contains a child ʹlp:creDataʹ element that identifies the registry launchphase namespace and the location of the registry launchphase schema. The ʹlp:creDataʹ element contains a child ʹlp:applicationIDʹ element, which informs the registrar about the application ID the server has assigned.

------------------------
4.3.2.2.2 EPP ʹupdateʹ Command

This extension defines additional elements to extend the EPP ʹupdateʹ command to be used in conjunction with the domain name mapping.
Registry policies permitting, clients may update an application object by submitting an EPP ʹupdateʹ command along with an ʹlp:updateʹ element to indicate the application object to be updated.
The ʹlp:updateʹ element contains the following child elements:
* ʹlp:applicationIDʹ the application identifier for which the client wishes to update.
* ʹlp:phaseʹ (optional) the phase during which the application was submitted or is associated with.

------------------------
4.3.2.2.3 EPP ʹdeleteʹ Command

Registry policies permitting, clients may withdraw an application by submitting an EPP ʹdeleteʹ command along with an ʹlp:deleteʹ element to indicate the application object to be deleted. The ʹlp:deleteʹ element contains the following child elements:
* ʹlp:applicationIDʹ the application identifier for which the client wishes to delete.
* ʹlp:phaseʹ (optional) the phase during which the application was submitted or is associated with.


------------------------
5 - Resources

Four categories of profiles are needed to run the Registry’s Technical Operations : Registry Operations Specialists (I), Registry Systems Administrators (II), Registry Software Developer (III) and Registry Expert Engineers (IV). These categories, skill set and global availability of resources have been detailed in Question 31 (Technical Overview of Proposed Registry) including specific resources set and organisation to provide 24⁄7 coverage and maintenance capacity.
Specific workload for EPP management is detailed below.

------------------------
5.1 - Initial implementation

The set up is operated on the pre-installed virtualization infrastructure. It implies actions by system, database and network administrators to create the virtual servers and install the applicative packages.

Then, developers, assisted by a senior staff member expert in internet technologies and RFCs apply proper configuration for the given TLD. Compliance is strictly tested.

The initial implementation effort is estimated as follows :

Database Administrator 0.03 man.day
Network Administrator 0.03 man.day
System Administrator 0.03 man.day
Software Developer 0.10 man.day
Software Engineer 0.20 man.day
------------------------
5.2 - On-going maintenance

On-going maintenance on the SRS includes integration of new policy rules, evolution of technology, bug fixing, infrastructure evolution, failover testing.

Although all the defined technical profiles are needed for such on-going maintenance operations, on a regular basis, it is mainly a workload handled by monitoring and development teams for alert management, new functional developments and RFC compliance checks, respectively.

The on-going maintenance effort per year is estimated as follows, on a yearly basis :

Operations Specialist 0.20 man.day
System Administrator 0.10 man.day
Software Developer 0.15 man.day
Software Engineer 0.10 man.day

26. Whois

Table of Contents

1 - General description
2 - Data access
2.1 Typology of accessible data
2.2 Profiles for data access control
3 - RDDS architecture
4 - RDDS infrastructure
5 - Rate limitation
6 - Reverse lookups
7 - Interconnectivity and synchronization with other systems
8 - Performance and scalability
9 - ICANN Bulk access compliance
10 - RFC compliance
11 - Resources
11.1 - Initial implementation
11.2 - On-going maintenance


------------------------
1 - General description

Registration Data Directory Service (RDDS) is one of the five vital functions of the Registry.
It is in direct connection with the database of the Shared Registration System and offers access to the public administrative and technical data of the registry.
The registry back-end solution implements data access through various interfaces that will be described below as well as their data access policies.

The main focus will be made on Whois on port 43 following RFC 3912 which is the main point of access.
The web Whois offers similar functionalities, is based on the same architecture and will be presented through screenshots.

The following description will provide full and detailed description of the architecture of the RDDS both from an application and from an infrastructure point of view.
This architecture is the same as the one used in production by AFNIC for .FR zone and has been fully functional for the last 15 years, with the ability to meet stringent SLAs as well as to scale from the management of a few thousands domain names in operations to over 2 million in late 2011.


------------------------
2 - Data access

When considering the data access services, we must address :
* the typology of accessible data
* access control : who can access what kind of data
* performance : guarantee of availability and performance for requesting data

Potential limitations to the systems will also be described.
To be able to maintain a good access to everybody (registrar, holders, outside world), our back-end solution provides multiple access with consistent role and access policies.

------------------------
2.1 Typology of accessible data

Data that can be accessed through the RDDS are mainly :
* contact data : holder, administrative, technical, billing
* domain data : domain name, status
* host data : name servers, IP addresses
* ephemeris : creation, expiration dates
* registrar data

These data are all described in the RFCs and fully compliant to the mapping of RFCs 5730 to 5734 and an example of standard port 43 output is given at the end of the present answer.

------------------------
2.2 Profiles for data access control

= Whois for registrars =

The main registrar access tool is our RDDS service accessible both on port 43 following specifications of RFC 3912 and through web access.
Both web and port 43 RDDS offer natively compliance with privacy law with a “restricted disclosure” flag if needed by the TLD. This option is activated through Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) standard ʹdiscloseʹ parameters while creating or updating a contact and automatically understood by the whois server to anonymize the data.
This service is accessible both in IPv4 and IPv6.
RDDS access for registrar is rate limited to ensure performance. (see performance)

= Public whois =

RDDS access is also available on port 43 to everybody through a rate limited access to ensure performance. (see performance)

= Legal requirements =

AFNIC back end solution implements by default French privacy laws with opt-out holder personal data privacy.
This option can be deactivated if necessary to be compliant with the policy of the TLD.


------------------------
3 - RDDS architecture

= RDDS architecture =

RDDS is running on two load balanced front virtual servers directly connected to two databases : the production database for data access, and a rate-limiting service database which applies rate-limiting policies and store IP involved. This server implements token bucket algorithm to flatten traffic on the server.

The two front servers are load balanced using classical round robin implementation.

The network infrastructure is the same as described in the global architecture (referred to below) and no specific dedicated switch or router is to be considered as the rate limiting tool is an applicative one. A global description of the network infrastructure (switch and routers involved) can be found in answers to Question 32 (Architecture).

[see attached diagram Q26_3_RDDS_architecture_diagram.pdf]
Diagram : RDDS architecture diagram
Description : This diagram shows global interaction between Internet, DMZ and private network zones. Topology of network and servers is illustrated including dedicated IP address scheme and network flows.

= RDDS logical diagram =

Our robust infrastructure shows dual Internet Service Provider (ISP) connectivity both in Ipv4 and Ipv6 (Jaguar and RENATER), redundant firewall and switching infrastructure. This part of the architecture is mutualized for all TLDs hosted.

The networking architecture dedicates LAN for administration, backup and production.

Servers are hosted on different network zones : database for database, private for servers not visible on the internet and public for external servers visible on the DMZ. Dedicated zones are also set up for monitoring servers, administration servers or desktop and backup servers.
RDDS servers are directly on the public zone.
Each server is load balanced and the service is not impacted by the loss of one server, the capacity of each server being sized to be able to host the whole traffic.

Servers hosting the .LANCASTER TLD are shared with up to an estimated number of 20 TLDs of comparable scale and use case.

= RDDS physical diagram =

The IP scheme used is the following :

2001:67c:2218:1::4:0⁄64 for IPv6 Internet homing
192.134.4.0⁄24 for Ipv4 Internet homing

Production LAN
192.134.4.0⁄24 for public network IP range
10.1.50.0⁄24, 10.1.30.0⁄24 for private network IP ranges distributed on the zones described above.

Backup LAN
172.x.y.0⁄24 : x is a different on each network zone. y is fixed to the value of the associated production LAN in the same zone (for example Private zone production LAN being 10.1.”50”.0⁄24, Private zone backup LAN is 172.16.”50”.0⁄24)

Administration LAN
172.z.y.0⁄24 : z is the value of x+1, x being the digit chosen for the corresponding Backup LAN in the same zone. y is fixed to the value of the associated production LAN in the same zone (for example Private zone production LAN being 10.1.”50”.0⁄24, Private zone administration LAN is 172.17.”50”.0⁄24)

Hot standby of the production database is automatically taken into account by the RDDS Oracle Transparent Network Substrate configuration. Therefore if the database are migrated in hot standby due to failure of part of the system, the Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS) access is automatically swapped to the new base.


------------------------
4 - RDDS infrastructure

In the following description “server” will refer to either a physical or a virtual server.
Due to very fast growth of performance in storage and processors technologies, the infrastructure described below could be replaced by more powerful one available at the time of the set up for the same cost.

At the applicative and system level, AFNIC’s SRS systems are shared with up to an estimated number of 20 TLDs of comparable scale and use case.

AFNIC has invested in very efficient VMWare Vsphere virtualization infrastructure. It provides a flexible approach to recovery both through quick activation of a new fresh server in case of local failure (cold standby) and through global failover to a mirrored infrastructure on another site.
This comes in addition to natural redundancy provided by the load balanced servers.

The RDDS is therefore hosted on virtualized infrastructure on the public zone (Demilitarized Zone - MZ) to the exception of the database, which presents very high rate of I⁄O (Input⁄Output), and is hosted on a dedicated physical infrastructure on the private zone.

The rate limiting database is hosted on one physical dedicated physical server. This server represents no failure point as a failure of the rate limiting system doesn’t affect the service (a standard uniform limitation is then applied instead of intelligent rate limiting).
The main database is the production database also used by the SRS and other registry vital functions and is described more in detail in Question 33 (Database Capabilities).

Databases are based on Oracle technologies. The main database is replicated logically on two sites. Full local recovery processes are in place in case of loss of integrity through the Oracle redolog functions which provides full recovery by replay of historized logged requests.

The whole RDDS service is located in the primary Tier 3 datacenter used by AFNIC in production, the
secondary datacenter serves as failover capacity. Continuity mechanisms at a datacenter level are described in Questions 34 (Geographic Diversity), 39 (Registry Continuity) and 41 (Failover testing).

The detailed list of infrastructures involved can be described as follows :

This infrastructure is designed to host up to an estimated number of 20 TLDs of comparable scale and use case.

= Virtual servers =

RDDS server : 2 servers
* Processor: 1 bi-core CPU
* Main memory: 16 GB of RAM
* Operating system: RedHat RHEL 6
* Disk space: 500 GB

= Data storage : see Question 33 (Database Capabilities) =

= Physical server =

Rate limiting database : 1 server
* Processor: 1 bi-core CPU
* Main memory: 8 GB of RAM
* Operating system: RedHat RHEL 6
* Disk space: 500 GB

Back up servers, backup libraries, Web whois server : mutualized with the global registry service provider infrastructure

= Additionnal infrastructure =

Failover, sandbox, preproduction infrastructure : 3 servers
* 1 bi-core CPU, 16 GB of RAM, RedHat RHEL 6, 500 GB


------------------------
5 - Rate limitation

To ensure resiliency of the RDDS a rate limitation mechanism is in place.
RDDS is largely used by various public users and registrars, some of them for domain name drop catching. Potentiality of heavy load on this service is very high.
Therefore a rate limitation is applied with threshold calculated from the level of activity expected in order not to penalize normal use of the service. A double level mechanism enables different threshold for identified IP (white list) from registrar and for the public access.

Rate limitation is directly implemented on the front end server.

Access is rate limited through token-bucket algorithms with rate-limiting IP data stored on a dedicated database.
Penalties are applied as follow :
* any IP : 7,200 request ⁄ 24 hour ⁄ IP.
* white listed IP for registrars : 86,400 requests⁄ 24 hour ⁄IP.


------------------------
6 - Reverse lookups

The web RDDS access offers advanced searchability capacities.
The following functions are available :

= Direct queries =

* Partial match query on domain name, administrative, technical, and billing contact name and address, registrant name and address, registrar name including all the sub-fields described in EPP (e.g., street, city, state or province, etc.).
* Exact match query on registrar id, name server name, and name server’s IP glue records
The result of direct queries is the object queried (contact, domain, ...)

= Reverse queries =

* Partial match query on domain name, administrative, technical, and billing contact name and address, registrant name and address, registrar name including all the sub-fields described in EPP (e.g., street, city, state or province, etc.).
* Exact match query on registrar id, name server name, and name server’s IP glue records including IPv6 queries.
The result of reverse queries is the list of objects of a given type linked with the result object (list of domains with a given contact result, or name server result,...)

This powerful tool is limited in access :
* Captcha system avoids scripting of the interface.
* Direct queries are open to every user but the number of result objects is limited to 1,000 answers for 1 query.
* Reverse queries can only be done by registrars on the extranet interface, and the number of result objects is limited to 10,000 answers for 1 query. The interface cannot be used more than 100 times a day.


------------------------
7 - Interconnectivity and synchronization with other systems

= SRS =

Data updated by the SRS are immediately visible in the RDDS with no further synchronisation needed. Rate limitation is applied both on SRS and RDDS service to avoid any load on the database. SRS and RDDS are partly in the same network zone, both RDDS servers and EPP SSL reverse proxies being in the public network zone (DMZ).

= Main database =

Hot standby of the production database is automatically taken into account by the RDDS Oracle Transparent Network Substrate configuration. Therefore if database are migrated in hot standby due to failure of part of the system, the RDDS service is automatically swapped to the new architecture.

= Rate limiting database =

No standby is implemented on the rate-limiting database. In case of failure, a standard global limitation is applied while, replacement of the database is operated.

= Monitoring =

Monitoring is operated through probes and agents scanning systems with a 5 minutes period. The monitoring system gets snmp data from all servers described in the RDDS architecture and also from dedicated Oracle monitoring agent for the database.
Hot standby is not implemented on monitoring agents.


------------------------
8 - Performance and scalability

The Registry’s RDDS offers high level production SLAs and derives from the branch of systems that have evolved over the last 12 years to successfully operate a set of french ccTLDs.

The Registry’s RDDS is used to publish .fr, .re, .yt, .pm, .tf, .wf TLDs information. It is used by more than 800 registrars in parallel managing more than 2 millions domain names and by a large user community.

AFNIC’s RDDS is designed to meet ICANN’s Service-level requirements as specified in Specification 10 (SLA Matrix) attached to the Registry Agreement.

As described in Question 31 (Technical Overview) in relation to each of the phases of the TLD’s operations, the following transaction loads are expected on the WHOIS servers : 12 queries⁄hour on average for both launch phase and on going operations.

AFNIC’s WHOIS systems can serve up to 10,000 requests⁄min on load balanced service to be compatible with the launch and growth scenario described in Question 31 (Technical Overview).

The targeted TLD objective being around 1,000 domain names with a provision for 12 queries⁄hour on average, this ensures that enough capacity is available to handle the launching period, as well as demand peaks and unexpected overhead.

Capacity planning indicators are set up to anticipate exceptional growth of the TLD.
Technologies used enables quick upgrade on all fields :
* Servers : virtual resizing to add CPUs or disk space if resource is available on the production ESX servers. If not, 2 spare additional ESX servers can be brought live if additional performance is needed.
* Servers (alternate) : additional servers can be added and taken into account immediately through dns round robin algorithm.
* Database : database capacity has been greatly oversized to avoid need of replacement of this physical powerful server. Precise capacity planning will ensure that sufficient delay will be available to acquire new server if needed. A threshold of 40% of CPU use or total storage capacity triggers alert for acquisition.


------------------------
9 - ICANN Bulk access compliance

The Registry Operator will provide both data escrow and ICANN bulk access in a same process.
Data escrow generates data on a daily basis. One file per week is kept for ICANN access to bulk data.


------------------------
10 - RFC compliance

The system has been launched compliant with RFCs. Mechanisms are in place to ensure that on going maintenance and new functional delivery stay compliant with RFCs.

= Delivery process =

The RDDS evolutions are developed on the development environment.
The development process implies strict coding rules and use of shared best practices. Pair programming is standard practice. Unit test are developed prior to function development to ensure resiliency of the produced code.

Delivery process take place in four steps :
* 1st step : RDDS validation and RFC compliance is checked through automated tools. A 100% compliance signal must be received to be able to proceed to second step.
* 2nd step : delivery to the pre-production environment. The development is delivered on the preproduction environment. This environment is available for internal testing team.
* 3rd step : delivery to the sandbox environment. This sandbox environment is opened for registrar where they have two accounts to validate their clients before production activation.
* 4th step : the new release is delivered in production.

= Format validation =

RDDS rfc compliance is reached through a specific RDDS checker which is use for non-regression test before each new release.

= Cross checking =

Whois cross checking partnership is established with .at Registry operator to validate in sandbox environment prior to delivery in production through mutual agreement.

= Whois Output =

Output of a whois query is 100% similar to the whois query example available in RFC 3912.


------------------------
11 - Resources

Four categories of profiles are needed to run the Registry’s Technical Operations : Registry Operations Specialists (I), Registry Systems Administrators (II), Registry Software Developer (III) and Registry Expert Engineers (IV). These categories, skillset and global availability of resources have been detailed in Question 31 (Technical Overview of Proposed Registry) including specific resources set and organisation to provide 24⁄7 coverage and maintenance capacity.
Specific workload for RDDS management is detailed below.

------------------------
11.1 - Initial implementation

The initial implementation effort is estimated as follows :

Database Administrator 0.03 man.day
Network Administrator 0.03 man.day
System Administrator 0.03 man.day
Software Developer 0.10 man.day
Software Engineer 0.05 man.day

------------------------
11.2 - On-going maintenance

On-going maintenance on the RDDS module includes mainly integration of new policy rules, privacy law evolutions, evolution of contracts, infrastructure evolution, failover testing.

Although all the defined technical profiles are needed for such on-going maintenance operations, on a regular basis, it is mainly a workload handled by monitoring and development teams for alert management and new functional developments, respectively.

The on-going maintenance effort per year is estimated as follows, on a yearly basis :

Operations Specialist 0.15 man.day
System Administrator 0.05 man.day
Software Developer 0.05 man.day
Software Engineer 0.10 man.day

27. Registration Life Cycle

Table of Contents

1 - Global description
2 - Data associated with a domain name
2.1 - Technical data
2.2 - Administrative data
3 - Full domain name lifecycle overview
4 - Basic create⁄update⁄delete life cycle
4.1 - create
4.2 - update
4.2.1 - technical update
4.2.2 - administrative update
4.2.3 - context update
4.3 - delete⁄restore
5 - Transfer
6 - Renewal and auto-renewal
7 - Grace period and refund
8 - Resources allocated
8.1 - Initial implementation
8.2 - On-going maintenance


------------------------
1 - Global description

Domain names represents the core technical part of the Domain Name System. The lifecycle of a domain name can have both technical impacts, when it relates to technical data associated with the domain name, and administrative impact when related to the registrant of the domain name.

The following diagrams and descriptions will bring detailed answers to the question of the lifecycle of the domain name in regards to both these aspects


------------------------
2 - Data associated with a domain name

To clearly understand the lifecycle of the domain name, we must first give an exhaustive description of the data involved in the various operations to be made.

------------------------
2.1 - Technical data

A domain name is a technical label used for Domain name resolution. To be effective, it is associated with nameservers -server hosting the configuration of the domain name -, IPv4 and IPv6 addresses - to identify on the network servers independently of the DNS, DNSsec signature information - delegation signer and cryptographic algorithm used-.
Less directly related to the technical basic configuration are :
* = clientHold = label : relates to the DNS or not DNS-publication status of the domain name.
* = auth_info = : a protection code linked with the domain and used by the owner to unlock some operations
* = client*Prohibited = : a list of status activated by the registrar to lock the domain name and prevent some operations
* = server*Prohibited = : a list of status activated by the registry service provider to lock the domain name and prevent some operations

------------------------
2.2 - Administrative data

A domain name has to be managed by his owner. Therefore it comes associated with a list of operational and administrative contacts that can be used to get in relation with the domain name owner or technical staff. The most important are administrative contact, technical contact, billing contact, and of course registrant contact. The last contact object is the registrar object which shows which registrar is in charge of domain name operations at the registry level.

Both these administrative and technical data are modified and used in the lifecycle and we will now describe this in detail.


------------------------
3 - Full domain name lifecycle overview

We have chosen to illustrate the registration lifecycle through a state diagram
This state diagram is joined as a separate file.

[see attached diagram Q27_3_global_lifecycle.pdf]
Diagram : Global Lifecycle
Description : Considering the wide range of the states and transition, the choice has been made to present a linear scenario going through all available operations. In this scenario, impact on registrar objects, registrant objects, domain objects, host objects are described at each step. Also statuses and forbidden operations at each step are indicated.
The following domain states have been introduced to describe the lifecycle major steps :
* registered : the domain name is registered, published in the Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS) but not in the DNS (clientHold label is set or there is no host information)
* active : the domain name is registered, published in the RDDS and in the DNS
redemption : the domain name is registered, published in the RDDS but not in the DNS. It will be - deleted if no action is taken by the registrar.
* locked : specific operations as transfer or delete have been forbidden by the registrar.
Impact on expiry dates has also been indicated though adequate formulas.

All aspects of the registration lifecycle are covered by standard Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) RFCs and the EPP implementation is described in Question 25 (EPP).


------------------------
4 - Basic create⁄update⁄delete life cycle

The basic life cycle is described below without explanation of add grace period. The behavior of add grace period is described in chapter 7.

------------------------
4.1 - create

A domain name is created through a standard EPP domain:create command.
Administrative data linked with the creation are registrant contact, admin contact and technical contact, period before renewal.
Technical data linked with the creation are nameservers host objects, IP address for glue records, auth_info code.
The state of the domain name is REGISTERED if no host objects have been filled.
The state of the domain name is ACTIVE if host objects have been filled.
The state of the domain name can exceptionally be PENDING during the operation if a technical issue makes it asynchronous.
Otherwise this operation is real time and there is no delay elements to be considered.

Elements needed to create a domain are contacts (mandatory), host objects (optional) and auth_code (mandatory).
It can then be managed through domain:update commands.

------------------------
4.2 - update

domain:update commands enables a wide range of fields updates

------------------------
4.2.1 - technical update

Part of the fields of the update enables to update technical configuration. It enables nameserver, IP address, and dnssec options management. It is also used to remove a technical configuration..

The state of the domain name is REGISTERED if no host objects have been filled or have been removed.
The state of the domain name is ACTIVE if host objects have been filled.
The state of the domain name can exceptionally be PENDING during the operation if a technical issue makes it asynchronous.

------------------------
4.2.2 - administrative update

It is used to freely modify the various contacts linked with the domain name : administrative, technical, billing, and registrant contact.
The state of the domain name is not modified if only these fields are used.
The state of the domain name can exceptionally be PENDING during the operation if a technical issue makes it asynchronous.

------------------------
4.2.3 - context update

It is used by the client to modify status of the domain name and⁄or to modify the auth-info code linked with the domain name.
The status that can be changed are the following : clientHold, clientTransferProhibited, clientUpdateProhibited, clientDeleteProhibited, clientRenewProhibited.
The clientHold flag enables to remove the domain name from publication temporarily without deleting its technical configuration.
The other client*Prohibited statuses prevent the corresponding operation to be used.
The state of the domain name is REGISTERED if status is updated to clientHOLD.
The state of the domain name is LOCKED if status is updated to clientTransferProhibited.
The state of the domain name can exceptionally be PENDING during the operation if a technical issue makes it asynchronous.

------------------------
4.3 - delete⁄restore

Deletion can be used only by the registrar in charge of the domain name. It brings the domain name in Redemption grace period for a period of 30 days. It can be restored at any time during this period without any changes to the data. Deletion remove the domain name from the DNS publication service.
The state of the domain name is DELETED during redemption period.
The redemption period lasts 30 days. The domain is destroyed at the end of this period and a notification is sent.


------------------------
5 - Transfer

The transfer is described below without explanation of transfer grace period. The behavior of transfer grace period is described in chapter 7.

A transfer can be initiated only by an incoming registrar and using the auth_info that the owner has given him. This standard mechanism acts as a security and associates the triggering of transfer to the acceptance of the owner of the domain.
The transfer operation can be triggered only if the domain is not protected by a clientTransferProhibited lock.

[see attached diagram Q27_5_transfer_lifecycle.pdf]
Diagram : Transfer lifecycle
Description : Transfer operation includes various steps with impact on both outgoing and incoming registrars.

The outgoing registrar receive a transfer notification and can technically accept or reject the registrar change. Rejection can only be done in specific cases described in ICANN consensus policies.
If the outgoing registrar accepts the transfer, the operation is accepted immediately.
If the outgoing registrar does not validate the transfer, the operation is automatically accepted after 5 days.
If the outgoing registrar rejects the transfer, the operation is automatically cancelled and both registrars are notified of the rejection.
When the transfer succeeds, both registrars are notified through their EPP notification queue.

A reverse transfer can be asked by the losing registrar. The documents and cases where this cancellation of the transfer can be asked follow ICANN consensus policies on transfers. In case of disputes, the ICANN TDRP (Registrar Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy) is followed.

The state of the domain name is PENDING during the operation.


------------------------
6 - Renewal and auto-renewal

Domain:renew command is used by the registrar to increase the period of registration. If a domain name is registered for less than 10 years it can be renewed for a period up to 10 years at any time. The expiry date is updated.
The domain:renew command can be sent at any phase of the lifecycle (exception of add grace period is described in next chapter).

The registry lifecycle works with auto-renewal mechanisms. If a registrar do not renew or delete the name when it reaches the expiration date, a one year auto-renew period is added. As for other commands, a grace period is linked with this action (see chapter 7)

[see attached diagram Q27_6_grace_period_renew_autorenew_lifecycle.pdf]
Diagram : Grace Period renew⁄autorenew lifecycle
Description : This renew⁄autorenew lifecycle sum up impact of operations on domain name availability and statuses.


------------------------
7 - Grace period and refund

= Grace period =

The Grace Period mechanism refers to a specified period following an operation or change of status in which the operation may be reversed and a credit may be issued to the Registrar.

= Redemption Grace Period =

The Redemption Grace Period has been described in the delete⁄restore chapter.
During this period, domain name is still registered and can be reactivated through domain:restore command. No specific refund is linked with this period.

= Create - Add Grace Period (AGP) =

The implemented AGP is a five-day period following the domain:create command of a domain name.
The Registrar may delete the domain name at any time during this period and receive a full credit for the registration fee from the Operator. Once a domain name is deleted by the registry at this stage, it is immediately available for registration by any registrant through any Registrar.

= Auto-renew Grace Period =

The auto-renew add grace period is implemented. If during this 45 days period the domain is deleted by the incoming registrar, the ʹdomain:renewʹ command is refunded.

= Renew Grace Period =

The renew grace period is implemented. If during the 5 days period following explicit renew bye the registrar, the domain name is deleted, the renew is then refunded.

= Transfer Grace Period =

The transfer grace period is implemented. If during the 5 days period following a transfer the domain is deleted, the transfer is then refunded.

= AGP Limits Policy =

If too many deletions take place during the AGP from a given registrars, a financial penalty is applied.
The Add Grace Period Limits Policy allows a registrarʹs account to be debited each month for all AGP deletions that exceed the greater of either:
* 50 domain names, or
* 10% of net new adds for the previous month


------------------------
8 - Resources allocated

Four categories of profiles are needed to run the Registry’s Technical Operations : Registry Operations Specialists (I), Registry Systems Administrators (II), Registry Software Developer (III) and Registry Expert Engineers (IV). These categories, skillset and global availability of resources have been detailed in Question 31 (Technical Overview of Proposed Registry). Specific workload for this question is detailed below.

------------------------
8.1 - Initial implementation

The set up of a precise lifecycle implies actions by developers, assisted by a senior staff member expert in internet technologies and RFCs to apply proper configuration for the given TLD. Compliance is strictly tested.

The initial implementation effort is estimated as follows :

Software Developer 0.20 man.day
Software Engineer 0.20 man.day

------------------------
8.2 - On-going maintenance

On-going maintenance on the lifecycle includes mainly integration of new policy rules.
The on-going maintenance effort per year is estimated as follows, on a yearly basis :

Software Developer 0.20 man.day
Software Engineer 0.20 man.day

28. Abuse Prevention and Mitigation

1. Overview

Our objective in answering question 28 is to provide a thorough explanation of our policies and procedures to minimize abuse registration and other activities that have a negative impact on Internet users.

Protection of Internet users is a core value and a fundamental commitment of Lancaster and AFNIC, its registry backend service provider and is key to ensure consumer trust and to optimise user experience as described in the response to question 18. By implementing anti-abuse policy the registry will also contribute and protect the integrity, security and stability of the DNS.

In its online presentation of Registration Abuse Policy (RAP - available at http:⁄⁄www.icann.org⁄en⁄resources⁄policy⁄background⁄rap), ICANN offers the following definition:

“In general, the term covers a broad variety of illegal or illegitimate behaviors considered contrary to the intent and design of normal domain registration processes. Registration abuse often involves malicious actors trying to register in ways that avoid lawful authorities or conceal a registrantʹs identity. Registration abuse can also enable other kinds of abuses, such as phishing and spam.”

The .LANCASTER registry is committed to create and implement policies and procedure that prevent abusive registrations and other activities that have a negative impact on Internet users. According to the industry best practices presented in the Registration Abuse Policies Issues Report (ICANN 2008), the .LANCASTER registry will offer a wide range of effective safeguards to prevent abusive uses of domain names such as phishing, spamming, and also unlawful or fraudulent actions. The registry operator will regularly update these policies and procedures in order to maximize its readiness to deal with new threats at all levels and new forms of abuse.

For that purpose, the .LANCASTER registry will implement prevention and mitigations policies.

The main and most crucial strategy of the .LANCASTER TLD in terms of abuse prevention and mitigation results from the single user ⁄ single registrant registry model which will be followed to operate .LANCASTER.

Lancaster will thus be able to fully control and oversee operation of the .LANCASTER TLD. As a result, the .LANCASTER TLD will by its very nature be associated with trusted and genuine content. This model will allow the Applicant to control the operations of the .LANCASTER TLD and prevent violation of public interest, trade mark infringement and other types of malicious conducts. The .LANCASTER TLD will thus create an environment where opportunities for abuse and malevolent conduct will be virtually eliminated.

Whilst the very nature of the .LANCASTER TLD will help avoiding abuse and infringements, the Applicant is fully committed to address potential abuses and infringements in a timely and efficient manner if and when they occur.


Prevention starts at the time of registration, Whois accuracy (2) is therefore the first and main focus of .LANCASTER abuse prevention policies. The following answer describes in details the mechanisms in place to maximize Whois accuracy. Others mechanisms (3) will be implemented and described here, including removal of orphan glue records (4).

In addition to strong preventive measure against various forms of abuse, .LANCASTER will implement mitigation policies to address actual cases of abuse that may eventually occur. This answer will describe these mitigation measures in detail: single abuse point of contact (5), complaint handling policy and takedown procedures (6).

Resources allocated to handle prevention and mitigation (7) will be described at the end of this answer.
2. Definitions of what constitutes abuse in the TLD (based on the “Domain Name Anti-Abuse Policy” of PIR)

Spam: The use of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages. The term applies to e-mail spam and similar abuses such as instant messaging spam, mobile messaging spam, and the spamming of Web sites and Internet forums. An example, for purposes of illustration, would be the use of email in denial-of-service attacks;

Phishing: The use of counterfeit Web pages that are designed to trick recipients into divulging sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, or financial data;

Pharming: The redirecting of unknowing users to fraudulent sites or services, typically through DNS hijacking or poisoning;

Willful distribution of malware: The dissemination of software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the ownerʹs informed consent. Examples include, without limitation, computer viruses, worms, keyloggers, and trojan horses.

Fast flux hosting: Use of fast-flux techniques to disguise the location of Web sites or other Internet services, or to avoid detection and mitigation efforts, or to host illegal activities. Fast-flux techniques use DNS to frequently change the location on the Internet to which the domain name of an Internet host or name server resolves. Fast flux hosting may be used only with prior permission of PIR;

Botnet command and control: Services run on a domain name that are used to control a collection of compromised computers or ʺzombies,ʺ or to direct denial-of-service attacks (DDoS attacks);

Distribution of child pornography;

Illegal Access to Other Computers or Networks: Illegally accessing computers, accounts, or networks belonging to another party, or attempting to penetrate security measures of another individualʹs system (often known as ʺhackingʺ). Also, any activity that might be used as a precursor to an attempted system penetration (e.g., port scan, stealth scan, or other information gathering activity).

Unlawful content or any content that contravene public order according to applicable legislation including French law and in particular to Law on the Freedom of the Press of 29 July 1881 (crimes against humanity apology⁄promotion or contestation, incitement to discrimination, hatred or violence).

2. Whois Abuse Prevention Policies

2.1 Whois Accuracy

RFC3912 specifies the Whois protocol and explain it as follows:

Whois is a TCP-based transaction-oriented query⁄response protocol that is widely used to provide information services to Internet users. While originally used to provide ʺwhite pagesʺ services and information about registered domain names, current deployments cover a much broader range of information services. The protocol delivers its content in a human-readable format.

Information about registered domain names is very sensitive. Lancaster and AFNIC, its registry backend service provider, shall insure the accuracy of the registrant contact information, including administrative, technical and billing contact details. In case of malicious or abusive activity, the Whois contact is usually the first and most important source of information. Whois accuracy is therefore a major step to counter malicious conducts. This information may be required by law-enforcement authorities to identify individuals and organizations responsible for domain names.

Given that the Applicant will be the only registrant of second level domain names under the .LANCASTER TLD to the exclusion of any other entity or individual, Whois accuracy should be extremely high or even perfect.

2.1.1 Syntactic and semantic registration constraints:

The .LANCASTER registry is firmly committed to run a “thick-registry” with high quality of data. The first step to accuracy is achieved through syntactic and semantic checks.

Standard EPP checks : a first set of tests is implemented in compliance with standards :
- RFC 5733, the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) Contact Mapping, requires contact data to contain a name, a city, a country code and an e-mail address for a syntactically complete EPP request

Additional checks : the following syntactic checks are implemented :
- a test to ensure that the domain name has the proper number of labels (which is two for a traditional registry that allows only second level domains to be registered),
- a test to ensure that no hyphens occur in position 3 and 4 of any of the domainʹs U-labels (to protect ʺxn--ʺ and future ACE prefixes),
- a test to disallow hyphens at the beginning or end of the name,
- a test to find ASCII characters which are neither a letter, nor a digit or a hyphen,
- a test to find invalid IDN characters, i.e. characters not contained in any of the support IDN character tables
- a test to validate IP address format using the following scheme :
〈ipv4-addr〉 [1-255](\.[0-255]){3,3}
〈ipv6-addr〉 [a-fA-F0-9:]+(:〈ipv4-addr〉)?
- a test to validate telephone and mail format using the following scheme (with specific tests for fr numbers):
〈num tel〉 \+[1-9][0-9]{0,3}〈sp〉[1-9]([〈sp〉\.-]?[0-9])+
〈num tel fr〉 \+33〈sp〉[1-9]([〈sp〉\.-]?[0-9]){8}
〈e-mail〉 (([^\s\(\)\[\]\.\\〉〈,;:ʺ@]+(\.[^\s\(\)\[\]\.\\〉〈,;:ʺ@]+)*)|(ʺ[^ʺ@\\\r\n]+ʺ))@〈label〉(\.〈label〉)*

Additional checks : the following semantic checks are implemented :
- a test to disallow reserved names if authorisation code is not present
- a test to disallow registry reserved names if authorisation code is not present
- a test to disallow ICANN reserved names
- a test to disallow otherwise reserved or unsuitable names
- a test to ensure that at least one address element is given

2.1.2 Verification tools

This verification procedure is designed to guarantee the reliability and the accuracy of the Whois database.

The .LANCASTER registry will conduct Whois accuracy verification for compliance with criteria concerning the reliability of registrant identification: the registry will verify whether the information provided by the registrant when registering the domain name contains inaccurate or false information about the registrantʹs identity.

Those verifications will be carried out periodically, on a random basis and following legitimate third-party requests.

A domain name may be blocked when a verification of the identification data provided by the registrant shows that it is inaccurate or that the registrant is not eligible.

A domain name may also be deleted further to such procedure. The deletion of a domain name can only occur after the registrant has been formally asked to rectify the situation and to modify its registration data to comply with eligibility criteria.

During the redemption period, the domain name can be reactivated with the same configuration. Once deleted, the domain name will re-enter the public domain and can be registered by a new applicant.

Given that the Applicant will be the only registrant of second level domain names under the .LANCASTER TLD to the exclusion of any other entity or individual, it will be virtually impossible for any domain name registrations not to comply with the registryʹs eligibility rules.

2.1.3 Whois Data Reminder Policy (WDRP)

In 2003, ICANN adopted the ʺWhois Data Reminder Policyʺ (WDRP, http:⁄⁄www.icann.org⁄en⁄registrars⁄wdrp.htm) which obliges ICANN-accredited registrars to send yearly Whois data reminder notices to registrants. These notices contain the Whois data currently on file for the respective domain, as well as instructions for the registrant about ways to correct the data if required. While the .LANCASTER Registry does not intend to replicate this reminder procedure on the registry level, the .LANCASTER registry will require that ICANN accredited registrar comply with WDRP.

2.2 Protection against unfair use of Whois service

The .LANCASTER registry is committed to insure the protection of said data against abusive behaviours. Firstly, the .LANCASTER registry will implement technical measures to prevent data mining on the Whois, such as automated collection of registrants’ email addresses, that may result in spamming. Secondly, the .LANCASTER registry and its registry backend service provider, AFNIC, will deploy all necessary means to secure access to its database, specifically by implementing procedures in order to prevent Unauthorized Data Modifications. These procedures will reinforce the security of both EPP and Web-based access to Whois data.

2.2.1 Protection against Data Mining

The .LANCASTER registry database user commits to using the published data according to the laws and regulations in effect. Besides, the user shall respect the provisions of all applicable data protection legislations.

As the user is accessing personal data, he must refrain from any collection, misuse or any act that could lead to invasion of privacy or damaging the reputation of individuals.

The .LANCASTER registry will be able at any time to filter the access to its services in case of malevolent use suspicions.

2.2.1.1 Captcha: users shall pass a Captcha before access is granted to the web based RDDS.

2.2.1.2 Rate-limiting: The registry has chosen limitation measures for the number of requests in order to prevent abuse in the use of personal data and to guarantee the quality of the service.

By a transparent parameter adjustment policy, the registry guarantees quality of service to the punctual users and professionals. The rates and thresholds of this system are described in the registry use case as part of answer to question 26.

2.2.1.3 White list: The white list mechanism offers specific access for registrars to the port 43 Whois considering that the incoming traffic must come from two pre-defined IP address. This white list access offers higher thresholds of rate limiting for the users.
2.2.2 Prevention of Unauthorized data modification

Data modification is managed through strict authentication and access policies.
- SSL⁄TLS protocol is used on all interfaces with clients (both EPP and web based SRS).
- a password policy is applied both on the password itself (minimum length, mandatory digits and non-alphanumerical characters), and on the live length of the password
- use of an SSL client certificate pre-installed by the registry for EPP access.
- IP authentication limited to two addresses.

The .LANCASTER registry backend service provider, AFNIC, will deploy its experience in the .FR ccTLD with a view to ensuring effective, timely and sufficient Domain Data Access Control.

Importantly, given that Lancaster will fully control and oversee operation of the .LANCASTER TLD, unauthorised data modifications will be virtually impossible.

3 Prevention of other abusive conducts

Whilst the very nature of the .LANCASTER TLD will help avoiding abuse and infringements, the Applicant is fully committed to address potential abuses and infringements in a timely and efficient manner if and when they occur.

3.1 DNSSEC (cache poisoning):
One of the main authentication issue encountered on the DNS is cache poisoning. This directly affects data flow at the DNS level without having to corrupt or modify data in the registry database.
The answer to this issue is implementation and deployment of DNSSEC. The registry operator already manages DNSSEC-enabled zones successfully: on September, 29th 2010, the .LANCASTER registry back-end service provider, AFNIC, finished adding its 6 ccTLDs key materials (DS records) into the IANA root zone, ending with .FR after extensive tests with its other TLDs. Since then, related DNSSEC operations and monitoring are spread inside the organization, alongside all other standard day to day operations, so that DNSSEC is a core service enabled by default.

3.2 Domain name Sniping (grabbing):
Domain name sniping refers to the practice of trying to re-register potentially interesting domain names immediately after they are deleted.

The .LANCASTER Registry supports the Redemption Grace Period as proposed by ICANN and implements it in full compliance with RFC 3915 (ʺDomain Registry Grace Period Mapping for the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP)ʺ). This greatly reduces the possibility of a domain name being “forgotten” by its registrant.

4. Removal of Orphan Glue Records

According to the definition found in the ʺSSAC Comment on the Orphan Glue Records in the Draft Applicant Guidebook”, a glue record becomes an ʺorphanʺ when the delegation point NS record (the ʺparent NS recordʺ) that references is removed while retaining the glue record itself in the zone. Consequently, the glue record becomes ʺorphanedʺ since it no longer has a parent NS record. In such a situation, registrars and registrants usually lose administrative control over the record, and the recordʹs attribution to a certain registrar may become unclear, which makes it a potential vector for abuse.

The glue record policy in effect for the .LANCASTER TLD avoids this situation entirely by disallowing orphan glue records altogether. This corresponds to policy #3 mentioned in section 4.3 (page 6) of the SSAC document mentioned above. The technical implementation within the Registry and its associated zone generation process ensures this by the following measures:

- Any host object which is a glue record can be created only if the domain name exist and is sponsored by the registrar creating the host.

- Any deletion of a domain name which will subordinate hosts can be done only when these hosts are deleted. If these hosts are used in delegations for other .extension domain names, these delegations have to be removed to delete the host objects and then the domain name.
If the sponsored registrar of the domain name cannot remove these delegations (explicit refusal or inactivity from subordinate hosts registrar’s), it is possible to use a specific procedure by asking directly the registry. Then, the registry will contact the domain name(s) registrar which used in delegation the host object(s) and ask them to remove the delegations. Registrars have 10 days to remove these delegations, failing which registry will deactivate directly the DNS configuration of the domain name(s) concerned. At the end of the procedure, the registry will contact the sponsored registrar to tell them that he can delete the host object(s) and the domain name.

5. Single Abuse Point of Contact

To avoid abusive registration practices, the .LANCASTER registry will provide Internet users with a single point of contact on its website to report abuses.

This point of contact will include a contact web interface offering the possibility to Internet users to report any abuse concerning a name registered in the .LANCASTER registry.

Such contact web interface will be displayed on the registry’s website (phishing, spamming, trademark abuse etc.)

This single point of contact will enable a quicker and better management of complaints. Complaints will be addressed by filling out form through online services on the .LANCASTER registry website.

A dedicated team will be in charge of handling these various complaints in a due time. All requests should be acknowledged and processed within 24 hours. According to the nature of the reported abuse (phishing, spamming, trademark abuse, etc), an appropriate response will be taken by the .LANCASTER registry.

Moreover, Internet users will be given access to all necessary information regarding remedies for abusive online conducts on the registry Single Point of Contact webpage. The single abuse point of contact webpage will also contain links to all the relevant organizations addressing these issues.

6. Policies for handling complaints regarding abuse

6.1 Response to Abuse Notifications

The .LANCASTER registry will process each complaint in a timely manner and will take all the necessary steps to ensure a fully satisfactory and compliant resolution including by rapid takedown or suspension mechanisms.

Should immediate action be taken by competent authorities, the .LANCASTER registry is committed to alert such authorities without delay. As the French registry, AFNIC has already a proven record of handling such cases and will continue to work closely with these authorities. This may concerns the following cases (but limited to):

● Court orders
● Inquiries from law enforcement bodies (e.g, OCLCTIC - The Office central de lutte contre la criminalité liée aux technologies de lʹinformation et de la communication is the French Police unit specialized in cybercrime)
● Anti-phishing groups (e.g, CERTs)


6.2 Trademark abuse

Mechanisms aimed at addressing trade mark abuse and infringements are detailed as part of response to question 29.

7. Resourcing Plans

The .LANCASTER back-end registry services provider AFNIC provides the following resources:
Initial Implementation : Thanks to the experience and prior investment by its Registry Back-end Service Provider (AFNIC), the registry already supports the above mentioned technical abuse prevention and mitigation measures. No additional engineering is required for these, nor are additional development resources needed.
Ongoing maintenance: In support of the Registry Operator’s staff allocated to this function, AFNIC will have specially trained support staff available to assist in the implementation of potential verifications and takedown procedure for the prevention and resolution of potential abuse. Given the scale of the .LANCASTER TLD as well as the restrictive nature of its registration policy, we estimate that this would require no more than 5 man days per year of AFNIC anti-abuse support staff.

29. Rights Protection Mechanisms

The Applicant has decided to engage AFNIC (the French Network Information Centre) as its registry back-end service provider for .LANCASTER. AFNIC is the non-for profit organisation that runs and is responsible for the following ccTLDs: .fr (France), .re (Reunion Island), .pm (St. Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna) and .yt (Mayotte).
AFNIC has a long proven track-record in the domain name industry and has acquired and developed significant reputation as a registry operator. AFNIC has created, developed and implemented policies, procedures, mechanisms and safeguards to build a stable, secure, resilient and innovative Internet domain name space for the various ccTLDs it is responsible for.

As the Applicantʹs registry back-end service provider, AFNIC is committed to ensure that it fully complies and meets or exceeds the requirements of ICANN in terms of security, stability and resiliency, malicious abuse issues, and rights protection in relation to the expansion of the generic Top Level Domain name space by devising and implementing mechanisms in line with ICANN’s Consensus Policies and Temporary Policies. The Applicant and AFNIC will provide for an environment for .LANCASTER where opportunities for abuse and malevolent conduct will be significantly reduced. To this end, the Applicantʹs registry back-end service provider will, inter alia, implement and adhere to all rights protection mechanisms that may be mandated from time to time by ICANN, pursuant to Specification 7 of the Draft New gTLD Agreement.

AFNIC, the Applicantʹs registry back-end service provider, has extensive knowledge, awareness and understanding of existing rights protection mechanisms designed by ICANN and it is a core objective of the Applicant and AFNIC to guarantee effective and timely implementation of said mechanisms. The Applicant and its registry back-end service provider will implement mechanisms designed to (1) prevent abusive registrations, and (2) identify and address the abusive use of registered domain names on an on-going basis.

AFNIC has closely followed ICANNʹs policy development in relation to the adequate and effective protection of the legal rights of trade mark owners in the new gTLD environment including the work of the Implementation Recommendation Team (ʺIRTʺ) formed by ICANNʹs Intellectual Property Constituency in accordance with the 6 March 2009 ICANN Board resolution at the request of the community seeking solutions for potential risks to trade mark holders in the implementation of new gTLDs.

AFNIC is at the forefront of innovation in the domain name industry and has appointed for that purpose a committee of industry experts and academics (the Scientific Council) to help AFNIC to carry out its mission of innovation, security and high levels of service. AFNIC has contributed to the creation and the implementation of dedicated rights protection mechanisms for the ccTLDs AFNIC is responsible for and has a dedicated legal department with pertinent skills and experience in the field of rights protection mechanisms to prevent abusive registrations and identify and address the abusive use of registered names on an on-going basis.

AFNIC, as the Applicantʹs back-end registry service provider will seek to deploy this experience in the .LANCASTER with a view to ensuring effective, timely and sufficient protection of the rights of others.

The Applicant intends to create and operate the .LANCASTER as a single registrant⁄single user registry and will reserve domain names under .LANCASTER for exclusive registration by the Applicant.

In addition, the Applicant does not intend to sell, distribute or transfer control or use of any second level domain name registrations under .LANCASTER to any party that is not an Affiliate of the Applicant as defined in the Draft New gTLD Registry Agreement in section 2.9 (c) version 2012-01-11.

As a result of the adoption of this operating model, the .LANCASTER will create an environment with extremely limited opportunities for any abusive or malicious conducts.

Support and interaction with the Trademark Clearinghouse

As the Applicantʹs registry back-end service provider, AFNIC will ensure that it fully supports and interacts with the Trademark Clearinghouse, a central repository for information to be authenticated, stored, and disseminated, pertaining to the rights of trade mark holders.

The Applicant will use the Trademark Clearinghouse to support its pre-launch or initial launch period rights protection mechanisms which will consist of, at a minimum, a Sunrise process and a Trademark Claims service.

Sunrise process

The Applicant will implement a Sunrise process for registration under .LANCASTER for a minimum of 30 days during the pre-launch period and subject to the .LANCASTER eligibility requirements.

Given that the Applicant intends to create and operate the .LANCASTER as a single registrant⁄single user registry and will reserve domain names under .LANCASTER for exclusive registration by the Applicant, this will significantly limit registrations during the Sunrise process.

This pre-launch phase will provide trade mark holders with the opportunity to register domain names under .LANCASTER before registration is generally available to the public, enabling them to register names that are either identical or similar to their trade marks with a view to avoiding malicious practices from third parties.

Prior to the commencement of the Sunrise process, the Applicant will define sunrise eligibility requirements (SERs) for registration under .LANCASTER. These requirements will need to be met and verified by Trademark Clearinghouse data. The Sunrise Registration Process will incorporate a Sunrise Dispute Resolution Policy (SDRP). The SERs will include: (i) ownership of a mark that meets certain requirements as defined by ICANN, (ii) optional .LANCASTER registry elected requirements in relation to international class of goods or services covered by registration, (iii) a representation that all provided information is true and correct and (iv) provision of data sufficient to document rights in the trade mark.

Trademark Claims

AFNIC has experience of similar mechanisms through its use of the Clearing House for Intellectual Property (CHIP) which it appointed to manage the Claims Mechanisms for several of its ccTLDs (.pm, .re, .tf, .wf and .yt). When a domain name is registered in one of said ccTLDs that corresponds to a trade mark in the CHIP database, an automatic notification is sent to the trade mark owner registered in the CHIP and, provided that the email address of the domain name registrant or administrative contact is available, an additional notification will be sent to these email addresses as well.

This experience will prove very pertinent in the implementation of the Trademark Claims service for .LANCASTER.

The Trademark Claims service will be offered for at least the first 60 days that registration is open for general registration. The purpose of this service is to provide clear notice to a prospective registrant of the scope of a particular trade mark ownerʹs rights in order to minimize the chilling effect on registrants (Trademark Claims Notice).

The Applicant, through its registry back-end service provider AFNIC, will comply with all requirements set out by ICANN in relation to the Trademark Claims service and described in clause 6.1 of the Schedule relating to the Trademark Clearinghouse of the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook in its version of 11 January 2012 or in any subsequent version published by ICANN.

Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)

Whilst the role of registry operators is rather limited under the UDRP as responsibility for implementation is primarily placed on registrars, the Applicant and its registry back-end registry service provider are committed to fully cooperate so as to ensure the implementation of all UDRP decisions.

The UDRP was adopted in 1999 by ICANN as a means of providing trade mark owners with a relatively fast and cheap alternative dispute resolution mechanism to tackle cases of abusive use of their trade marks in a domain name. AFNIC will monitor and maintain a record of all UDRP decisions involving a domain name registered under the .LANCASTER.

AFNIC has implemented alternative dispute resolution procedures similar to the UDRP, including the so-called SYRELI procedure, introduced on 21 October 2011 which applies to disputes involving domain names registered within the ccTLDs under the responsibility of AFNIC. This procedure is administered by AFNIC itself and illustrates how the Applicantʹs registry back-end service provider is at the forefront of the protection of rights of third parties in the domain name space.

Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure (PDDRP)

The Applicant is committed to prevent the occurrence of the type of circumstances the PDDRP is designed to address. The Applicant completely understands the PDDRP mechanism and its rationale. The Applicant and its registry back-end service provider are fully committed to comply with the PDDRP and to implement decisions rendered under the PDDRP on an on-going basis and to fully cooperate in this respect.

Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS)

In light of the anticipated expansion of the Domain Name System with the future delegation of new Top Level Domains, The IRT proposed in its Final Report of 29 May 2009 a new mechanism to tackle those ʺcases in which there is no genuine contestable issue as to the infringement and abuse that is taking placeʺ. This new rights protection mechanism was retained by ICANN and AFNIC is fully aware of all requirements of the URS and will implement decisions under the URS on an on-going basis and in a timely fashion.

Within 24 hours of receipt of the Notice of Complaint from the URS Provider by email, AFNIC, as the Applicantʹs registry back-end service provider, will lock the disputed domain name thereby restricting all changes to the registration data, including transfer and deletion of the disputed domain name. In such instance, the disputed domain name will continue to resolve. Upon locking the disputed domain name, AFNIC will immediately send a Notice of Lock to the URS Provider.

The obligations placed on registry operators by the URS also include an obligation for the registry operator, namely AFNIC in the context of .LANCASTER, to suspend a disputed domain name immediately upon receipt of a determination in favour of a complainant, so that the disputed domain name remains suspended for the reminder of the registration period and does not resolve to the original website.

Interestingly, the Applicantʹs registry back-end service provider used to administer an alternative dispute resolution procedure similar to the URS, the PREDEC procedure which is a further illustration of AFNICʹs advance in the field of rights protection mechanisms.

Implementation of a Thick WHOIS Model for .LANCASTER

This was also part of the recommendations of the IRT, aiming at facilitating the identification and location of infringing parties thus making it easier for trade mark owners whose rights have been infringed to take action against potential infringements.

Subject to applicable privacy and data protection legislations, AFNIC, the Applicantʹs registry back-end service provider will implement a thick WHOIS model in relation to domain names registered under .LANCASTER.

Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC)

The Applicantʹs registry back-end service provider completed the development of DNSSEC. This system was put in place to ensure the security of domain names by activating an authentication chain. In this way, all registrars will be able to use their automated EPP to communicate signature elements concerning domain names to AFNIC. As a result, the authentication chain will be secured. More specifically, this system, will prevent attacks aimed at capturing and diverting queries without users realising it, thus avoiding the risk that users may disclose personal data in the belief that they are on the legitimate site of the attack victim. AFNIC will deploy its experience of DNSSEC within .LANCASTER.

Abusive Use Policy and Takedown procedures

As highlighted in answer to question 28, AFNIC, as the Applicantʹs registry back-end service provider, will design and implement an Abusive Use Policy in order to reduce opportunities for malicious conducts such as phishing or pharming. Such Abusive Use Policy includes a takedown procedure, as explained in response to question 28.

Registrant Pre-Verification and Eligibility Requirements

The Applicant will implement a Naming Policy for .LANCASTER which will define, inter alia, eligibility requirements and conditions as well as undertakings aimed at preventing abusive registrations within .LANCASTER. .LANCASTER Naming Policy will need to be accepted by each registrant of .LANCASTER in order to be able to register a domain name under .LANCASTER and each registrant will need to make a representation that it meets the eligibility requirements and provide any evidence of the same, as may be required from the Applicant. The Applicant and AFNIC reserve the right to reject a request for domain name registration if the eligibility requirements are not met by a particular prospective registrant. By accepting the terms of the Naming Policy, each registrant under .LANCASTER will undertake not to use any domain names under .LANCASTER in an abusive, infringing or detrimental manner so as to prevent detriment to trade mark owners, the public interest and other third party rights owners.

Resources

The Applicant and its registry back-end service provider AFNIC, have an adequate level of resources on hand and committed to carry out the implementation of all rights protection mechanisms set out in this response to answer 29.

AFNIC has a substantial knowledge, awareness and experience of targeted and pragmatic rights protection mechanisms and will deploy this experience to (1) prevent abusive registrations, and (2) identify and address the abusive use of registered domain names on an on-going basis.

AFNIC considers training to be a major focus of its human resources management policy. It therefore applies an ambitious training policy in line with its strategy, with developments in domain name services and with technology. AFNIC is committed to the development of the skills of its employees and the promotion of their efficiency and adaptability by providing training to its employees in order to ensure the most efficient implementation of all right protection mechanisms.

The Applicant and AFNIC will ensure that suitable resources and staffing are available and committed as described further in answer to question 31.

More specifically, AFNIC has a dedicated legal department responsible for monitoring and addressing issues of abuse and infringement such as those highlighted above.
Thanks to the experience and prior investment by its Registry Service Provider (AFNIC), the .LANCASTER Registry already supports the above mentioned functions and their support systems.

One aspect to be considered for resource planning is the registry systemʹs connection to the Trademark Clearinghouse; since the involved API isnʹt fully defined at the time of writing, some software development will have to be done in order to integrate the Clearinghouse into the sunrise workflow, as well as to incorporate it into the designated Trademark Claims Service. It is estimated that a Software Developer will be allocated to work 10 man.day on the development of this feature.

Staff that are already on hand will be assigned this work as soon as ICANN releases the relevant technical specifications.

30(a). Security Policy: Summary of the security policy for the proposed registry

Table of Contents

1 - Background
2 - Organization of security
2.1 - The place of Security in AFNIC’s processes:
2.2 - Security Coordination
2.3 - Assignment of responsibilities
2.3.1 - Organizational chain of responsibility
2.3.2 - Relations with the authorities and groups of specialists
2.4 - Independent security review
2.5 - Relations with third parties
2.5.1 - Risk Management
2.5.2 - Security of sensitive areas
2.5.3 - Sensitive external sites
2.5.4 - Security assurances for domain name registrants
3 - Registry Asset Management
3.1 - Responsibilities for Registry assets
3.1.1 - Inventory of assets
3.1.2 - Qualification of support assets
3.1.3 - Ownership of assets
3.1.4 - Good and fair use of assets
3.2 - Guidelines for the classification of information
4 - Security related to human resources
4.1 - Roles and Responsibilities
4.2 - Background checks conducted on security personnel
5 - Physical and environmental security
5.1 - Secure areas
5.2 - Hardware security
6 - Operations Management and Telecommunications
6.1 - Procedures and responsibilities related to operations
6.2 - Scheduling and acceptance testing of the system
6.3 - Protection against malicious and mobile code
6.4 - Back-up
6.5 - Security management of network services
6.6 - Monitoring operation of the System
7 - Access Control
7.1 - Business requirements for access control
7.2 - Control of network access
7.3 - Control of access to operating systems
8 - Acquisition, development and maintenance of information systems
8.1 - Cryptographic measures
8.2 - Management of technical vulnerabilities
9 - Managing incidents related to information security
9.1 - Managing improvement and incidents related to information security
10 - IT Disaster Recovery Plan
11 - Integrating audits of the information system


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1 - Background

The security policy is designed to ensure proper management of the risks that may significantly impact the services provided, the contexts in which they are implemented, and the key personnel involved in operating the Registry. It also defines security level for the scalability ⁄ responsiveness to security incidents, the Registry Data integrity and the confidentiality of personal data of domain name owners.

The Information Security Policy is reviewed at least once a year.


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2 - Organization of security

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2.1 - The place of Security in AFNIC’s processes:

AFNIC has set up a Quality Management System (QMS) following the European Framework for QUality Management (EFQM) excellence model. It describes AFNIC’s activities as a series of business processes. Security Process called “ENSURE SECURITY AND BUSINESS CONTINUITY” is one of the cross-business-processes supporting process. It is designed to be compliant with the ISO 27001 norm.
Ensuring security and business continuity mainly consists in defining and controlling how to :
* Supervise the governance of security,
* Apply security measures into the concerned operational fields,
* Manage the risks that could negatively impact the Registries operations.

The implementation of the AFNICʹs ISMS (Information Security Management System) is performed in the framework of the Security process with a view to obtaining ISO 27001 certification by 2014.

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2.2 - Security Coordination

The overall responsibility for security rests with the CEO. He is assisted in this role by the AFNIC Security Manager (ASM).

Strategic supervision is ensured in a concerted manner by the AFNIC Security Council (ASC) chaired by the AFNIC CEO. The purpose of the ASC is to assist and ensure that the conditions are conducive to attaining the security objectives that fall within the scope of the current strategy.

The ASC further supports the development of security practices at AFNIC through the supporting of operation business functions in implementing security policies, business continuity plans, and staff awareness activities. In carrying out its assignment, the ASC may refer at any time to the Executive Management for advice or a decision on the security of AFNIC and TLD.

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2.3 - Assignment of responsibilities

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2.3.1 - Organizational chain of responsibility

The application of security measures to the SRS, DNS, Whois, and other Information Systems is the responsibility of the CTO (head of the Information Systems Division).
The implementation of security measures for staff and premises is the responsibility of the CFO.
The implementation of security measures with respect to legal obligations and registry policies is the responsibility of the Registryʹs Legal Affairs and Policies Director.
The application of security measures relating to damage to the Registryʹs image is the responsibility of the Marketing and Innovation Director.
All the collaborators must be aware of their responsibility concerning the security of resources and information they are accessing, manipulating, publishing.

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2.3.2 - Relations with the authorities and groups of specialists

AFNIC has an agreement with the French National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (ANSSI). Against this background, the two structures cooperate on security issues that may affect AFNIC services related to its Internet business and risk management in this area.
They cooperate within the framework of two programs on the resilience of the Internet in France :
* Cooperation between the operators of vitals infrastructures in order to improve their capacity to respond to major crises affecting several operators at the same time: the Internet critical services (IP Routing and DNS) are now included in the nomenclature;
* Cooperation to assess the resilience of the French .fr TLD and more generally all the TLDs operated by AFNIC for use by the public.

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2.4 - Independent security review

Security audits must be conducted by independent organizations twice a year on global and ⁄ or specific issues related to security.

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2.5 - Relations with third parties

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2.5.1 - Risk Management

Risk studies are conducted using the EBIOS methodology (Expression of Business needs and Identification of Security Objectives, in French). This method was designed in 1995 by the French National Agency for Information Security. It is currently used to identify the worst-case scenarios that could affect registry activity. That leads Afnic to design and apply mitigation measures to enhance the protection against these worst-case scenarios.

The control of the effectiveness and efficiency of mitigation measures is performed by the AFNIC’s Security Council all along the year.

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2.5.2 - Security of sensitive areas

All sensitive areas are under control. That means that access must be controlled and could be restricted to authorized personnel only.
Co-contractors may be requested to sign a confidentiality agreement if required by the sensitivity of information and data they need to know and⁄or use. They only have access to critical technical facilities if accompanied, and never work on production systems.

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2.5.3 - Sensitive external sites

All security must be applied to protect AFNIC’s resources on external sites. That can be made by private zones and access control to them managed by AFNIC itself.

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2.5.4 - Security assurances for domain name registrants

The Registry guarantees the following for registrants :
* The continuous availability of operations on its portfolio of domain names, in accordance with the SLA on the SRS
* The continuous availability of information related to the domain, on condition that the registrant uses the services provided to carry out the operations in question,
* The confidentiality of the registrantsʹ personal data (except where other special conditions apply related to the policy of the registry)
* The confidentiality of non-public data relating to the domain and ⁄ or its portfolio of domain names,
* The confidentiality of the transactions with the Registryʹs system,
* The integrity of the information related to its domain name,and published in the WHOIS and the DNS.


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3 - Registry Asset Management

The security of the registryʹs assets is ensured by the staff assigned to the registryʹs production operations and management activities.
Considering the network connectivity provided by third party, AFNIC’s property begins at the service delivery point.

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3.1 - Responsibilities for Registry assets

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3.1.1 - Inventory of assets

Assets used in the run of critical services are identified, qualified, and managed under the guidance of the present policy. Assets considered are staff, infrastructure, software, connectivity, data and providers.

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3.1.2 - Qualification of support assets

The assets contributing to the Services are classified in 3 main categories :
* Computer Systems and Telecommunications : Hardware and Software; Communications Channels; Outsourced Services;
* Organizations : Staff; Corporate departments;
* Physical locations for business : Offices; Hosting Datacenters;

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3.1.3 - Ownership of assets

Registry data belong to the Registry owner. They are subject to the rules of the contract with ICANN, plus the applicable legal and ⁄ or legislative rules depending on the context in which the registry is implemented

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3.1.4 - Good and fair use of assets

All the registry operations and services must be used by third party in accordance with the contractual rules defined by the owner and the operator of the TLD.

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3.2 - Guidelines for the classification of information

The data used or produced in the context of the Registry are classified in the 3 following categories :

= Critical information = : it can⁄must be accessed⁄showed only by accredited persons. Disclosure or alteration may result in significant damage but repairable.

= Reserved information = : Information is limited to persons, entities or authorized partners. Disclosure or alteration may result in significant harm.

= Internal Information = : Information is available to staff of AFNIC and authorized partners. Disclosure or alteration may perturb the normal functioning of the company, without lasting consequence.


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4 - Security related to human resources

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4.1 - Roles and Responsibilities

There are 2 categories of staff :

* Technical staff : These personnel have access to resources according to defined rights.
* Administrators in charge of administering production resources. They can access all the production resources and data.
* Technicians in charge of the operation, maintenance and monitoring of the production system. They have limited rights of access to production resources. They can access certain resources on request and when accompanied by an administrator.
* Experts in charge of the design and development of production resources. They only have access to the production resources on request and when accompanied by a technician and ⁄ or an administrator.
* Non-technical staff :
* Administrative staff and managers (excluding production).

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4.2 - Background checks conducted on security personnel

French law applies to all staff. The contract they sign with their employer contains sufficient provisions in terms of professionalism and ethics for the activity involving the TLD. Same rules are applicable a Data Center level.


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5 - Physical and environmental security

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5.1 - Secure areas

AFNIC production sites are secured at the means of access to them. The DATA CENTER sites must meet the standards of industrial and environmental security compatible with the constraints implied by their activity. The layout of the premises must be such that access is restricted only to authorized personnel at entry points selected and controlled by AFNIC.

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5.2 - Hardware security

The Data centers that host AFNIC services ensure at least Tier 3 levels of resilience.


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6 - Operations Management and Telecommunications

AFNIC controls the operation of all the resources used to deliver essential services with the exception, of course, of outsourced services such as certain DNS servers.
AFNIC operates dark fiber connections between its sites. The terminals are owned by AFNIC. They are operated by AFNIC personnel.

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6.1 - Procedures and responsibilities related to operations

Operating procedures are documented and kept up to date on the intranet of the IT team.
Access to the applications, servers and databases must be defined and kept up to date for each staff member.
Access privileges are defined in order to respect the security rules associated with the classification of information.
Operations related to DNSSEC are subject to even more stringent security regulations and require respecting the DPS procedure.

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6.2 - Scheduling and acceptance testing of the system

The test, pre-production and production phases must be clearly specified. Any production launch must be announced to the registrars at least 2 month before it applies.

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6.3 - Protection against malicious and mobile code

All the entry points to the production servers are filtered by the firewall, which applies the filtering policy common to all the procedures, whether they involve a human operator or an automated process.

Each development must apply security rules and recommendations on the development of application.
The Web access must be protected against the most common (Script kiddies, SQL injection …)

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6.4 - Back-up

Registry data are stored and secured using the real-time replication mechanisms of the production Database Management System (production DBMS).
In addition, a physical backup of the entire database must be performed at the same time as the back-up of the other components of the SRS.
To be compliant with the ICANN requirements, a data escrow deposit must be performed every day between 0:00 am end 12:00pm

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6.5 - Security management of network services

A strict partitioning into zones must be implemented in order to avoid interconnections between the external production, administration and backup networks.

Any internal and external attempts to access production servers must pass through a Firewall. They are recorded in a log file for later analysis. The detection of malicious code based on a regularly updated list must be performed at this level.

An intrusion detections system must be installed and running between firewall and production servers.

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6.6 - Monitoring operation of the System

Automated monitoring must be implemented. It must cover the hardware, software systems and production applications.
Any failure must be subject to a specific alert sent to the staff:
* on duty during office hours;
* on standby outside office hours;


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7 - Access Control

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7.1 - Business requirements for access control

Access to the information system requires prior identification and authentication. The use of shared or anonymous accounts must be avoided. Mechanisms to limit the services, data, and privileges to which the users have access based on their role at AFNIC and the Registry must be implemented wherever possible.

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7.2 - Control of network access

The internal network must be partitioned to isolate the different services and applications and limit the impact of incidents. In particular it is highly desirable to isolate services visible from the outside in a semi-open zone (DMZ). Similarly, access to the wireless network must be controlled and the network must be subject to appropriate encryption.

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7.3 - Control of access to operating systems

The production servers must be confined in secure facilities. Access must be restricted to authorized personnel only. The personnel in question are the members of the operating teams and their managers, IT personnel and those of the Security Manager.


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8 - Acquisition, development and maintenance of information systems

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8.1 - Cryptographic measures

Cryptographic measures must be implemented to secure the exchanges :
* between the workstations of technical staff and the access proxies to production servers;
* between the Registrars and the EPP server;
* between the DNS master servers and the resolution servers;
* to upload the records of the Escrow Agent.

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8.2 - Management of technical vulnerabilities

The technical configuration of hardware and software used must be subject to up to date documentation.
The changes in technical configurations must be constantly monitored and documented.
Security alerts involving updates and ⁄ or patches to production systems must be constantly monitored.
Application procedures must be documented and updated based on the recommendations of the designers of a component.


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9 - Managing incidents related to information security

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9.1 - Managing improvement and incidents related to information security

The crisis management procedure serves to mobilize at a sufficiently high echelon, all the appropriate levels of responsibility for taking decisions on the actions required to resolve the crisis and return to normal.
Each security incident must be analyzed under the cover of the Security Council and the recommendations, if any, are applied, checked and evaluated as required by the QMS.


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10 - IT Disaster Recovery Plan

The risk analysis must produce some inputs for the elaboration of a disaster recovery plan. That plan has to be established and regularly tested in order to maintain or recover Registry activity and make critical services available at the required SLA after an interruption or a crash of critical services of the Registry.


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11 - Integrating audits of the information system

Security audits are performed annually. They are launched on the initiative of the CTO or upon request from the ASC. They are carried out by independent bodies and relate to one or more of the essentials services of the Registry.

The ASC and the ASM control the implementation and the efficiency of these measures in the framework of S3 process (see section 2.1).



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