29 Rights Protection Mechanisms

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.RedstoneRedstone Haute Couture Co., Ltd.hichina.comView

Rights protection is a core responsibility of the TLD operator, and is supported by a fully-developed plan for rights protection that includes:
• Establishing mechanisms to prevent unqualified registrations (e.g., registrations made in violation of the registry’s eligibility restrictions or policies);
• Implementing a robust Sunrise program, utilizing the Trademark Clearinghouse, the services of one of ICANN’s approved dispute resolution providers, a trademark validation agent, and drawing upon sunrise policies and rules used successfully in previous gTLD launches;
• Implementing a professional trademark claims program that utilizes the Trademark Clearinghouse, and drawing upon models of similar programs used successfully in previous TLD launches;
• Complying with the URS requirements;
• Complying with the UDRP;
• Complying with the PDDRP, and;
• Including all ICANN-mandated and independently developed rights protection mechanisms (“RPMs”) in the registry-registrar agreement entered into by ICANN-accredited registrars authorized to register names in the TLD.

The response below details the rights protection mechanisms at the launch of the TLD (Sunrise and Trademark Claims Service) which comply with rights protection policies (URS, UDRP, PDDRP, and other ICANN RPMs), outlines additional provisions made for rights protection, and provides the resourcing plans.

Safeguards for rights protection at the launch of the TLD
The launch of this TLD will include the operation of a trademark claims service according to the defined ICANN processes for checking a registration request and alerting trademark holders of potential rights infringement.

The Sunrise Period will be an exclusive period of time, prior to the opening of public registration, when trademark and service mark holders will be able to reserve marks that are an identical match in the .Redstone domain. Following the Sunrise Period, Redstone will open registration to qualified applicants.

The anticipated Rollout Schedule for the Sunrise Period will be approximately as follows:
Launch of the TLD – Sunrise Period begins for applicable trademark holders and service mark holders to submit registrations for their exact or extended marks in the .Redstone domain. To maximize fairness registrations will most likely include the following phases (note that the time frame may be adjusted according to actual condition) in the process:

-- X: date of the launch (depending on ICANN contract, IANA delegation, and registry readiness)
-- X+0~90 days: Government names protection ⁄ activation period
-- X+91~120 days: Pre-Sunrise ⁄ Request-for-Proposal period
-- X+121~180 days: Sunrise Period
-- X+181~210 days: Quiet period ⁄ testing period
-- X+211 days: General Availability period (First-come-first-serve)

Sunrise Period Requirements & Restrictions
Those wishing to reserve their marks in the Redstone domain during the Sunrise Period must own a current trademark or service mark listed in the Trademark Clearinghouse.

Notice will be provided to all trademark holders in the Clearinghouse if someone is seeking a Sunrise registration. This notice will be provided to holders of marks in the Clearinghouse that are an Identical Match (as defined in the Trademark Clearing House) to the name to be registered during Sunrise.

Each Sunrise registration will require a minimum term of one to multiple (from one to five) years depending on actual business needs and community requirement upon the launch of this TLD.

Redstone Haute Couture Co., Ltd. will establish the following Sunrise eligibility requirements (SERs) as minimum requirements, verified by Clearinghouse data, and incorporate a Sunrise Dispute Resolution Policy (SDRP). The SERs include: (i) ownership of a mark that satisfies the criteria set forth in section 7.2 of the Trademark Clearing House specifications, (ii) description of international class of goods or services covered by registration; (iii) representation that all provided information is true and correct; and (iv) provision of data sufficient to document rights in the trademark.

The SDRP will allow challenges based on the following four grounds: (i) at time the challenged domain name was registered, the registrants did not hold a trademark registration of national effect (or regional effect) or the trademark had not been court-validated or protected by statute or treaty; (ii) the domain name is not identical to the mark on which the registrant based its Sunrise registration; (iii) the trademark registration on which the registrant based its Sunrise registration is not of national effect (or regional effect) or the trademark had not been court-validated or protected by statute or treaty; or (iv) the trademark registration on which the domain name registrant based its Sunrise registration did not issue on or before the effective date of the Registry Agreement and was not applied for on or before ICANN announced the applications received.

Ongoing rights protection mechanisms
Several mechanisms will be in place to protect rights in this TLD. As described in our responses to questions #27 and #28, measures are in place to ensure domain transfers and updates are only initiated by the appropriate domain holder, and an experienced team is available to respond to legal actions by law enforcement or court orders.

This TLD will conform to all ICANN RPMs including URS (defined below), UDRP, PDDRP, and all measures defined in Specification 7 of the new TLD agreement.

Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS)
The registry operator will implement decisions rendered under the URS on an ongoing basis. Per the URS policy posted on ICANN’s Web site as of this writing, the registry operator will receive notice of URS actions from the ICANN-approved URS providers. These emails will be directed immediately to the registry operator’s support staff, which is on duty 24x7. The support staff will be responsible for creating a ticket for each case, and for executing the directives from the URS provider. All support staff will receive pertinent training.

As per ICANN’s URS guidelines, within 24 hours of receipt of the notice of complaint from the URS provider, the registry operator shall “lock” the domain, meaning the registry shall restrict all changes to the registration data, including transfer and deletion of the domain names, but the name will remain in the TLD DNS zone file and will thus continue to resolve. The support staff will “lock” the domain by associating the following EPP statuses with the domain and relevant contact objects:
• ServerUpdateProhibited, with an EPP reason code of “URS”
• ServerDeleteProhibited, with an EPP reason code of “URS”
• ServerTransferProhibited, with an EPP reason code of “URS”
• The registry operator’s support staff will then notify the URS provider immediately upon locking the domain name, via email.

The registry operator’s support staff will retain all copies of emails from the URS providers, assign them a tracking or ticket number, and will track the status of each opened URS case through to resolution via spreadsheet or database.

The registry operator’s support staff will execute further operations upon notice from the URS providers. The URS provider is required to specify the remedy and required actions of the registry operator, with notification to the registrant, the complainant, and the registrar.

As per the URS guidelines, if the complainant prevails, the “registry operator shall suspend the domain name, which shall remain suspended for the balance of the registration period and would not resolve to the original web site. The nameservers shall be redirected to an informational web page provided by the URS provider about the URS. The WHOIS for the domain name shall continue to display all of the information of the original registrant except for the redirection of the nameservers. In addition, the WHOIS shall reflect that the domain name will not be able to be transferred, deleted or modified for the life of the registration.”

Rights protection via the RRA
The following will be memorialized and be made binding via the Registry-Registrar and Registrar-Registrant Agreements:

• The registry may reject a registration request or a reservation request, or may delete, revoke, suspend, cancel, or transfer a registration or reservation under the following criteria:
a. to enforce registry policies and ICANN requirements; each as amended from time to time;
b. that is not accompanied by complete and accurate information as required by ICANN requirements and⁄or registry policies or where required information is not updated and⁄or corrected as required by ICANN requirements and⁄or registry policies;
c. to protect the integrity and stability of the registry, its operations, and the TLD system;
d. to comply with any applicable law, regulation, holding, order, or decision issued by a court, administrative authority, or dispute resolution service provider with jurisdiction over the registry;
e. to establish, assert, or defend the legal rights of the registry or a third party or to avoid any civil or criminal liability on the part of the registry and⁄or its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers, directors, representatives, employees, contractors, and stockholders;
f. to correct mistakes made by the registry or any accredited registrar in connection with a registration; or
g. as otherwise provided in the Registry-Registrar Agreement and⁄or the Registrar-Registrant Agreement.

Reducing opportunities for behaviors such as phishing or pharming
In our response to question #28, the registry operator has described its anti-abuse program. Rather than repeating the policies and procedures here, please see our response to question #28 for full details.

With specific respect to phishing and pharming, it should be noted by ICANN that this will be a single entity TLD in which .Redstone has direct control over each registrant (they are typically on staff or otherwise contractually bound) and how each registration may be used. Since all criminal activity (such as phishing and pharming) is precluded by the mission, values and policies of the registry operator (and its parent organization), criminal activity is not expected to be a problem. If such activity occurs due to hacking or other compromises, the registry operator will take prompt and effective steps to eliminate the activity.

In the case of this TLD, Redstone will apply an approach that addresses registered domain names (rather than potentially registered domains). This approach will not infringe upon the rights of eligible registrants to register domains, and allows Redstone internal controls, as well as community-developed UDRP and URS policies and procedures if needed, to deal with complaints, should there be any.

Afilias is a member of various security fora which provide access to lists of names in each TLD which may be used for malicious purposes. Such identified names will be subject to the TLD anti-abuse policy, including rapid suspensions after due process.

Rights protection resourcing plans
Since its founding, Afilias is focused on delivering secure, stable and reliable registry services. Several essential management and staff who designed and launched the Afilias registry in 2001 and expanded the number of TLDs supported, all while maintaining strict service levels over the past decade, are still in place today. This experiential continuity will endure for the implementation and on-going maintenance of this TLD. Afilias operates in a matrix structure, which allows its staff to be allocated to various critical functions in both a dedicated and a shared manner. With a team of specialists and generalists, the Afilias project management methodology allows efficient and effective use of our staff in a focused way.

Supporting RPMs requires several departments within the registry operator as well as within Afilias. The implementation of Sunrise and the Trademark Claims service and on-going RPM activities will pull from the 102 Afilias staff members of the engineering, product management, development, security and policy teams at Afilias and the support staff of the registry operator, which is on duty 24x7. A trademark validator will also be assigned within the registry operator, whose responsibilities may require as much as 50% of full-time employment if the domains under management were to exceed several million. No additional hardware or software resources are required to support this as Afilias has fully-operational capabilities to manage abuse today.

30a Security Policy (Public)

The answer to question #30a is provided by Afilias, the back-end provider of registry services for this TLD.

Afilias aggressively and actively protects the registry system from known threats and vulnerabilities, and has deployed an extensive set of security protocols, policies and procedures to thwart compromise. Afilias’ robust and detailed plans are continually updated and tested to ensure new threats are mitigated prior to becoming issues. Afilias will continue these rigorous security measures, which include:
• Multiple layers of security and access controls throughout registry and support systems;
• 24x7 monitoring of all registry and DNS systems, support systems and facilities;
• Unique, proven registry design that ensures data integrity by granting only authorized access to the registry system, all while meeting performance requirements;
• Detailed incident and problem management processes for rapid review, communications, and problem resolution, and;
• Yearly external audits by independent, industry-leading firms, as well as twice-yearly internal audits.

Security policies and protocols
Afilias has included security in every element of its service, including facilities, hardware, equipment, connectivity⁄Internet services, systems, computer systems, organizational security, outage prevention, monitoring, disaster mitigation, and escrow⁄insurance, from the original design, through development, and finally as part of production deployment. Examples of threats and the confidential and proprietary mitigation procedures are detailed in our response to question #30(b).

There are several important aspects of the security policies and procedures to note:
• Afilias hosts domains in data centers around the world that meet or exceed global best practices.
• Afilias’ DNS infrastructure is massively provisioned as part of its DDoS mitigation strategy, thus ensuring sufficient capacity and redundancy to support new gTLDs.
• Diversity is an integral part of all of our software and hardware stability and robustness plan, thus avoiding any single points of failure in our infrastructure.
• Access to any element of our service (applications, infrastructure and data) is only provided on an as-needed basis to employees and a limited set of others to fulfill their job functions. The principle of least privilege is applied.
• All registry components – critical and non-critical – are monitored 24x7 by staff at our NOCs, and the technical staff has detailed plans and procedures that have stood the test of time for addressing even the smallest anomaly. Well-documented incident management procedures are in place to quickly involve the on-call technical and management staff members to address any issues.

Afilias follows the guidelines from the ISO 27001 Information Security Standard (Reference: http:⁄⁄www.iso.org⁄iso⁄iso_catalogue⁄catalogue_tc⁄catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=42103 ) for the management and implementation of its Information Security Management System. Afilias also utilizes the COBIT IT governance framework to facilitate policy development and enable controls for appropriate management of risk (Reference: http:⁄⁄www.isaca.org⁄cobit). Best practices defined in ISO 27002 are followed for defining the security controls within the organization. Afilias continually looks to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our processes, and follows industry best practices as defined by the IT Infrastructure Library, or ITIL (Reference: http:⁄⁄www.itil-officialsite.com⁄).

The Afilias registry system is located within secure data centers that implement a multitude of security measures both to minimize any potential points of vulnerability and to limit any damage should there be a breach. The characteristics of these data centers are described fully in our response to question #30(b).

The Afilias registry system employs a number of multi-layered measures to prevent unauthorized access to its network and internal systems. Before reaching the registry network, all traffic is required to pass through a firewall system. Packets passing to and from the Internet are inspected, and unauthorized or unexpected attempts to connect to the registry servers are both logged and denied. Management processes are in place to ensure each request is tracked and documented, and regular firewall audits are performed to ensure proper operation. 24x7 monitoring is in place and, if potential malicious activity is detected, appropriate personnel are notified immediately.

Afilias employs a set of security procedures to ensure maximum security on each of its servers, including disabling all unnecessary services and processes and regular application of security-related patches to the operating system and critical system applications. Regular external vulnerability scans are performed to verify that only services intended to be available are accessible.

Regular detailed audits of the server configuration are performed to verify that the configurations comply with current best security practices. Passwords and other access means are changed on a regular schedule and are revoked whenever a staff member’s employment is terminated.

Access to registry system
Access to all production systems and software is strictly limited to authorized operations staff members. Access to technical support and network operations teams where necessary are read only and limited only to components required to help troubleshoot customer issues and perform routine checks. Strict change control procedures are in place and are followed each time a change is required to the production hardware⁄application. User rights are kept to a minimum at all times. In the event of a staff member’s employment termination, all access is removed immediately.

Afilias applications use encrypted network communications. Access to the registry server is controlled. Afilias allows access to an authorized registrar only if each of the authentication factors matches the specific requirements of the requested authorization. These mechanisms are also used to secure any web-based tools that allow authorized registrars to access the registry. Additionally, all write transactions in the registry (whether conducted by authorized registrars or the registryʹs own personnel) are logged.

EPP connections are encrypted using TLS⁄SSL, and mutually authenticated using both certificate checks and login⁄password combinations. Web connections are encrypted using TLS⁄SSL for an encrypted tunnel to the browser, and authenticated to the EPP server using login⁄password combinations.

All systems are monitored for security breaches from within the data center and without, using both system-based and network-based testing tools. Operations staff also monitor systems for security-related performance anomalies. Triple-redundant continual monitoring ensures multiple detection paths for any potential incident or problem. Details are provided in our response to questions #30(b) and #42. Network Operations and Security Operations teams perform regular audits in search of any potential vulnerability.

To ensure that registrar hosts configured erroneously or maliciously cannot deny service to other registrars, Afilias uses traffic shaping technologies to prevent attacks from any single registrar account, IP address, or subnet. This additional layer of security reduces the likelihood of performance degradation for all registrars, even in the case of a security compromise at a subset of registrars.

There is a clear accountability policy that defines what behaviors are acceptable and unacceptable on the part of non-staff users, staff users, and management. Periodic audits of policies and procedures are performed to ensure that any weaknesses are discovered and addressed. Aggressive escalation procedures and well-defined Incident Response management procedures ensure that decision makers are involved at early stages of any event.

In short, security is a consideration in every aspect of business at Afilias, and this is evidenced in a track record of a decade of secure, stable and reliable service.

Independent assessment
Supporting operational excellence as an example of security practices, Afilias performs a number of internal and external security audits each year of the existing policies, procedures and practices for:
• Access control;
• Security policies;
• Production change control;
• Backups and restores;
• Batch monitoring;
• Intrusion detection, and
• Physical security.

Afilias has an annual Type 2 SSAE 16 audit performed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Further, PwC performs testing of the general information technology controls in support of the financial statement audit. A Type 2 report opinion under SSAE 16 covers whether the controls were properly designed, were in place, and operating effectively during the audit period (calendar year). This SSAE 16 audit includes testing of internal controls relevant to Afiliasʹ domain registry system and processes. The report includes testing of key controls related to the following control objectives:
• Controls provide reasonable assurance that registrar account balances and changes to the registrar account balances are authorized, complete, accurate and timely.
• Controls provide reasonable assurance that billable transactions are recorded in the Shared Registry System (SRS) in a complete, accurate and timely manner.
• Controls provide reasonable assurance that revenue is systemically calculated by the Deferred Revenue System (DRS) in a complete, accurate and timely manner.
• Controls provide reasonable assurance that the summary and detail reports, invoices, statements, registrar and registry billing data files, and ICANN transactional reports provided to registry operator(s) are complete, accurate and timely.
• Controls provide reasonable assurance that new applications and changes to existing applications are authorized, tested, approved, properly implemented and documented.
• Controls provide reasonable assurance that changes to existing system software and implementation of new system software are authorized, tested, approved, properly implemented and documented.
• Controls provide reasonable assurance that physical access to data centers is restricted to properly authorized individuals.
• Controls provide reasonable assurance that logical access to system resources is restricted to properly authorized individuals.
• Controls provide reasonable assurance that processing and backups are appropriately authorized and scheduled and that deviations from scheduled processing and backups are identified and resolved.

The last Type 2 report issued was for the year 2010, and it was unqualified, i.e., all systems were evaluated with no material problems found.

During each year, Afilias monitors the key controls related to the SSAE controls. Changes or additions to the control objectives or activities can result due to deployment of new services, software enhancements, infrastructure changes or process enhancements. These are noted and after internal review and approval, adjustments are made for the next review.

In addition to the PricewaterhouseCoopers engagement, Afilias performs internal security audits twice a year. These assessments are constantly being expanded based on risk assessments and changes in business or technology.

Additionally, Afilias engages an independent third-party security organization, PivotPoint Security, to perform external vulnerability assessments and penetration tests on the sites hosting and managing the Registry infrastructure. These assessments are performed with major infrastructure changes, release of new services or major software enhancements. These independent assessments are performed at least annually. A report from a recent assessment is attached with our response to question #30(b).

Afilias has engaged with security companies specializing in application and web security testing to ensure the security of web-based applications offered by Afilias, such as the Web Admin Tool (WAT) for registrars and registry operators.

Finally, Afilias has engaged IBM’s Security services division to perform ISO 27002 gap assessment studies so as to review alignment of Afilias’ procedures and policies with the ISO 27002 standard. Afilias has since made adjustments to its security procedures and policies based on the recommendations by IBM.

Special TLD considerations
Afilias’ rigorous security practices are regularly reviewed; if there is a need to alter or augment procedures for this TLD, they will be done so in a planned and deliberate manner.

Commitments to registrant protection
With over a decade of experience protecting domain registration data, Afilias understands registrant security concerns. Afilias supports a “thick” registry system in which data for all objects are stored in the registry database that is the centralized authoritative source of information. As an active member of IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), ICANN’s SSAC (Security & Stability Advisory Committee), APWG (Anti-Phishing Working Group), MAAWG (Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group), USENIX, and ISACA (Information Systems Audits and Controls Association), the Afilias team is highly attuned to the potential threats and leading tools and procedures for mitigating threats. As such, registrants should be confident that:
• Any confidential information stored within the registry will remain confidential;
• The interaction between their registrar and Afilias is secure;
• The Afilias DNS system will be reliable and accessible from any location;
• The registry system will abide by all polices, including those that address registrant data;
• Afilias will not introduce any features or implement technologies that compromise access to the registry system or that compromise registrant security.

Afilias has directly contributed to the development of the documents listed below and we have implemented them where appropriate. All of these have helped improve registrants’ ability to protect their domains name(s) during the domain name lifecycle.
• [SAC049]: SSAC Report on DNS Zone Risk Assessment and Management (03 June 2011)
• [SAC044]: A Registrantʹs Guide to Protecting Domain Name Registration Accounts (05 November 2010)
• [SAC040]: Measures to Protect Domain Registration Services Against Exploitation or Misuse (19 August 2009)
• [SAC028]: SSAC Advisory on Registrar Impersonation Phishing Attacks (26 May 2008)
• [SAC024]: Report on Domain Name Front Running (February 2008)
• [SAC022]: Domain Name Front Running (SAC022, SAC024) (20 October 2007)
• [SAC011]: Problems caused by the non-renewal of a domain name associated with a DNS Name Server (7 July 2006)
• [SAC010]: Renewal Considerations for Domain Name Registrants (29 June 2006)
• [SAC007]: Domain Name Hijacking Report (SAC007) (12 July 2005)

To protect any unauthorized modification of registrant data, Afilias mandates TLS⁄SSL transport (per RFC 5246) and authentication methodologies for access to the registry applications. Authorized registrars are required to supply a list of specific individuals (five to ten people) who are authorized to contact the registry. Each such individual is assigned a pass phrase. Any support requests made by an authorized registrar to registry customer service are authenticated by registry customer service. All failed authentications are logged and reviewed regularly for potential malicious activity. This prevents unauthorized changes or access to registrant data by individuals posing to be registrars or their authorized contacts.

These items reflect an understanding of the importance of balancing data privacy and access for registrants, both individually and as a collective, worldwide user base.

The Afilias 24⁄7 Customer Service Center consists of highly trained staff who collectively are proficient in 15 languages, and who are capable of responding to queries from registrants whose domain name security has been compromised – for example, a victim of domain name hijacking. Afilias provides specialized registrant assistance guides, including specific hand-holding and follow-through in these kinds of commonly occurring circumstances, which can be highly distressing to registrants

Security resourcing plans
Please refer to our response to question #30b for security resourcing plans.

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