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[Download as a PDF Document]  [Download as a Word Document]

Background: -

The initial meeting took place in London on 14th May 2002. The following were present: -

  • Richard Almeida (chair)
  • Peter Gradwell
  • Denesh Bhabuta
  • Ben Laurie
  • James Cronin
  • Clive Feather
  • Felicity Hoad (invited from Nominet)

Felicity Hoad of Nominet informed the meeting that the Nominet web site was being re-designed, the content would be mainly static and all information would be available to anyone.

We decided that any policy recommendations would not be based solely on saving costs but on improving communications with stakeholders without substantially increasing costs. It was acknowledged that implementing electronic mechanisms for communications may well reduce staff costs at members and Nominet.

We categorised the communication areas to be addressed as follows: -

  1. Nominet to/from Members.
  2. Nominet to/from Tagholders.
  3. Nominet to/from Registrants.
  4. Nominet to/from Other Stakeholders.
  5. Tagholder to/from Tagholders.
  6. Tagholder to/from Other Stakeholders.
  7. PAB to all of the above.

And then confirmed that we had covered all issues raised in the paper submitted by Tom Pinder.

Further work was done at the next two PAB meetings and the document updated appropriately.

Recommendations: -

The following policy recommendations were made: -

  1. Nominet to/from Members

    1.1 Mailing Lists - General

    The existing basic mailing list mechanisms should be extended as follows: -

    1. A web based archive of the list should be available to current list members
    2. A web based read/post mechanism, preferably threaded, preferably available via NNRP should be implemented.
    3. Daily digests (by email) should be available if required.
    4. The list of receivers of the list may not be the same as the list of those able to send to the list
    5. New mailing list members should be sent the policy for that list on first subscription, and that policy should be available via http.
    6. Members must be able to electronically (real-time) update their list details [and thus lists of who may post on behalf of the member].

    1.2 Policy for nom-steer

    The following policy is recommended: -

    1. To receive or post to nom-steer you must be either: -
      1. an agent of a member or of Nominet. (This must be enforced by anyone who operates a list expander, the member must inform Nominet when any of it's agent are no longer authorised to receive mail, and Nominet must remove all a member's email addresses if the member ceases to be a member), or
      2. A PAB Member, or
      3. A PAB or Council of Management election candidate.
    2. Posters must be authenticated.
    3. The PAB has no view on the amount of addresses per member that should be allowed to post.
    4. There should be unlimited addresses allowed per member.
    5. Nominet's agents should declare themselves as such when they post.

    1.3 nom-announce

    1. Members should be required to provide an email address for use by the nom-announce mailing list.
  2. Nominet to/from Tagholders
    1. Nominet needs to provide full electronic visibility to a tagholder of the register and billing information for domains tagged to that tagholder.
    2. A standards based synchronous interface is needed for tagholders to access/modify/register domain names and other information in the database. This allows tagholders to maintain database consistency with their databases (increasing the accuracy of the register), and as other registries are implementing standards based interfaces it will improve global consistency and maintain Nominet's position as a leading global registry.
    3. Tagholders should be able to electronically perform, on behalf of a registrant, all the functions that a registrant can perform except where Nominet is obliged to deal directly with the Registrant, or where such action may increase Nominet's legal liability. This item and 2b may also reduce the load on Nominet's support staff. Nominet should consider whether a tagholder should be allowed to de-register a domain.
    4. Nominet should create an announcement list (like nom-announce) for announcements to tagholders only.
  3. Nominet to/from Registrants
    1. An opt-in mailing list should be created for Nominet to communicate with registrants (much like the nom-announce list, but for registrants of domains). On registration of a domain Nominet should email the reg-email: contact telling them about the mailing list and the contact name subscribed. This would allow Nominet to tell registrants directly about things that may affect them (such as changes to the whois output). Only contacts with domain names in the registry would be on this list.
    2. Nominet should investigate appropriate secure electronic mechanisms for registrants to update their details in the database. Nominet should charge registrants appropriately for this service.
    3. Electronic certificates should be implemented. This will improve the paper based system and also may provide authentication for 3b.
    4. Nominet should not create a web based mechanism that allows end users to directly [automatically] register domain names and charge them for it - registrants can already use services like this that exist in the market place.
  4. Nominet to/from Other Stakeholders
    1. An opt-in mailing list should be created for Nominet to communicate with other stakeholders. Anyone should be able to subscribe to this list. It should be used for announcements in the way that nom-announce is used. This list will contain anyone who wishes to receive information from Nominet.
    2. A separate similar list should be available for announcements to the press.
  5. Tagholder to/from Tagholders
    1. An email based mechanism should be implemented that allows tagholders to communicate with other tagholders in a way that provides some degree of authentication, preferably the same authentication that is used for other purposes. (I.E PGP signed email)
  6. Tagholder to/from Other Stakeholders
    1. Nominet should not involve itself in communication between its members and others.
  7. PAB to all of the above.
    1. Nominet should investigate electronic sampling/poling of members so that the PAB can consult with members earlier. Nominet should involve the membership in this investigation to find out what members would like to see. It is clear that nom-steer is not a suitable mechanism for poling, and that other stake-holders can not be addressed via nom-steer.
  8. General
    1. An electronic ticketing system should be implemented that results in an automatically assigned ticket number, with a mechanism that the sender can electronically view the ticket status. This should be used for all mails received by Nominet to non personal email addresses.
    2. The COM should create an open working party to investigate the synchronous electronic interface.
    3. The to-be-appointed Director of IT should deal with the recommendations in this paper and publish the appropriate roadmaps for its implementation (as adopted).
  9. Other items in the Tom Pinder paper
    1. The PAB was not in favour of web space given to all members, but suggests that Nominet implement a central repository for member submitted papers with a mechanism for feedback.
    2. Creating a market place for members to communicate/sell-services to each other is not the role of Nominet.
    3. The PAB has not recommended a web-only based discussion board and therefore log visibility is not an issue.
    4. An XML only interface is regarded as a barrier to communications. The working party (see 8c) may or may not choose to recommend XML.
    5. The PAB has confidence in the executive to manage priorities and provide appropriate information in the COM reports and in the annual reports of the company.

Richard Almeida. Version 1.3 20th August 2002

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