18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?
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The proposed .voting gTLD will offer a namespace dedicated to carrying out polls and surveys or operating forums.
Both registrants and Internet users will benefit from transparent rules for the TLD, in terms of acceptable use versus abuse and also in the area of data protection. This will make it easier for registrants to achieve their goal, namely obtaining opinions from as many users as possible, and also easier for Internet users to participate, since they will know that .voting domain names are governed by policies ensuring a high quality standard and high reputation.
Since the .voting gTLD allows for IDN registrations in either Latin or Cyrillic character sets at the second level, the namespace is attractive to both registrants and Internet users in Europe, Russian speaking countries and the US and Australia, which are the key markets for the applicant.
The applicant will have information on the registry’s website in all respective languages and provide FAQs and support in German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian and Russian.
In order to achieve this, the .voting gTLD will be based on the following pillars:
A. The namespace will indicate to Internet users that their opinion will be asked for. As a self-explanatory TLD, it will make it easier for those who are conducting a survey, a poll or providing a forum for discussion to direct Internet users immediately to such offers.
B. The proposed .voting gTLD is a place on the Internet run exclusively for surveys, polls or forums. No other content or services are allowed (with the exception of the domain names run by the registry itself).
D. Freedom and diversity of expression is a core value of the .voting Registry. Thus, forums for the exchange of information can be provided without disclosing the identity of the operator. However, this may only be done in compliance with the rules established by the .voting Registry and provided that no information on the user is gathered beyond the information that is inevitably submitted by the user’s computer and that such information is not stored by the website operator beyond potential legal requirements.
Summarising,the .voting registry will establish and communicate three rules:
- You will never be asked financial information such as your credit card number on a .voting domain name (except on websites operated by the registry).
- Whenever you are asked to provide your name, address or e-mail address or other personal data, you can expect to be told who is collecting the information and to be given a clear explanation of what information is collected and how it is going to be used.
- If the operator of a website does not disclose its identity, you should never be asked for any personal data.
The .voting Registry will not only provide robust policies which clearly present the content restrictions and requirements, but also provide a response mechanism which enables users to report websites not abiding by the rules. .voting Registry will be responsive to such reports and escalate actionable reports in accordance with its Anti Abuse Policy.
In order to stimulate (i) the use of the domain names as such and (ii) the creation of unique content, the applicant will offer all registrants of .voting domain names the “advanced” version of Votingtool, which they can customize to carry out their polls or surveys or use to manage their forum for free. Additional functionalities are present in the “premium” version of Votingtool, which can be purchased from the applicant.
The Votingtool would be “glued” to the domain name as follows: The customer creates an account with Votingtool. During this process, the customer’s e-mail address is verified. The customer then downloads a preliminary installation package, which is a single file with a generated authentication token. This file is placed on the webserver connected to the .voting domain name. The customer then sends a verification request to Votingtool via a web interface. This establishes that the user of the Votingtool is actually the registrant of the domain name. Once the token has been verified, the service is unlocked and the customer can download the Software Development Kit (SDK) using the web interface on his web server.
The applicant will provide the Votingtool in all languages covered by the proposed IDN characters. Support will be provided in German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian and Russian.
In addition to the rules and policies mandated by the new gTLD Agreement, .voting will include the following in its policies:
In order to support the goal of creating a namespace with unique content the applicant has chosen to give special treatment to certain domain names.
Certain Premium Names will be blocked from general registration and will be sold and⁄or auctioned off by the applicant. By doing so, the applicant reduces the risk of speculative domain registrations for domain names that are important for the namespace. It can be expected that such domain names will be primarily invested in by parties wishing to use the domain names to offer content or services.
The applicant further has the right to reserve certain .voting domain names for personal and⁄or internal use and to provide information or services to populate the namespace with valuable information relevant to the TLD. With this measure, the applicant will help population of the namespace with unique content from the very beginning, in order to stimulate the creation and publication of content relevant to TLD.
Further, the applicant will use an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) which provides for clear demarcations of acceptable use versus abuse.
The AUP will differentiate between “registration abuse” and “usage abuse” (together “malicious use”).
“Registration abuse” is:
- use of faulty⁄falsified⁄incomplete⁄stolen person-related or company-related data on registration (danger to WHOIS accuracy, see answer to q28);
- registration of illegal domain names, which themselves constitute a breach of applicable laws;
“Usage abuse” is:
- violation of applicable laws or regulation; in particular the provisions of the German Criminal Code, the German Youth Protection Act and the German Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors in the Media (JMStV); content and services that are not liable to detrimentally affect the development of young persons and no adult material may not be offered without restrictions;
- use of a domain to publish content which incites hatred against parts of the population or against a national, racial, religious or ethnic group, content which glorifies violence, content which violates human dignity, content which denies or plays down acts committed under the National Socialist regime;
- distribution of child abusive material;
- use of a domain name for the dissemination of spam, i.e. unsolicited bulk electronic communication (e-mail, instant messaging, on websites, in forums or mobile messaging) or advertising a domain name by means of spam;
- use of a domain name for Distributed Denial-of-service attacks (“DDoS attacks”);
- use of domain names in phishing activities, tricking Internet users into divulging personal data such as names, addresses, usernames, passwords, or financial data;
- use of domain names in pharming , such as DNS hijacking and DNS cache poisoning;
- use of domain names for the intentional distribution of malicious code such as spyware, botware, keylogger bots, viruses, worms or trojans;
- use of domain names to command and control botnets , i.e. a network of compromised computers or “zombies,”
- use of domain names in activities intended to gain illegal access to other computers or networks (“hacking”), as well as any activity to prepare for such a system penetration;
The AUP will be enforced by means of robust escalation procedures including response times to provide for swift action, if needed.
Due to the fact that the AUP is based on the rigid youth protection provisions in Germany, registrants are required to make adult material available only in closed user groups using age verification systems that follow standards issued by the Commission for the protection of minors in the media (www.kjm-online.de) and material which is detrimental to the development of minors or harmful to minors may only be made available when criteria laid down in the respective legislation are met and which will be further specified in a transparent manner in the policies). This will help providing for a high level of protection and exceptional user experience.
Preserving diversity and freedom of opinion is one of the core values of the applicant. Within the boundaries of applicable laws, these constitutional rights will be supported by the applicant’s registry. Thus, the use of proxy and privacy services to protect the privacy or confidential information of registrants or users will be allowed at the discretion of registrars and registrants. However, the applicant will implement all policies and requirements ICANN may impose on the subject of privacy and proxy services. In addition to this, the registry will conduct its business in compliance with German⁄European data protection laws, which provide for a high level of protection. Finally, the use of privacy or proxy services does not release the registrants or website operators from abiding by all .voting policies.
In order to raise awareness for the .voting gTLD, the applicant will issue press releases and offer background briefings to specialist journalists. In addition, information will be published on the registry’s website and information packages offered to registrars containing banner ads, tutorials and videos. The information will also be issued to the existing customer base via e-mail and regular mail.
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