ICANN issued a proposed final RAA earlier today.

The RAA is a big step toward getting the New gTLD program registries online in the next few months. The main changes in the RAA appear to be in the Term/Termination sec. 5.2 (Renewal) where earlier language that required a registrar to apply for renewal of its accreditation has been replaced with “will be” – making renewal for a registrar essentially automatic as long as the registrar is not in breach pursuant to 5.2.1-4.

The RAA has a bunch of different Specifications and Addendums that we are still going through, but there are a couple of interesting items that are worth noting:

WHOIS ACCURACY SPECIFICATION

  • Omits paragraph 8 which noted that the WHOIS program may be replaced by new data directory model that is being studied at ICANN’s initiation. 

DATA RETENTION SPECIFICATION

  • Allows registrars to get an exemption from the Data Retention requirements (sec. 2) if it gets an “Opinion” from counsel that a specified “data element” violates applicable law.  

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