.SAARLAND (1603) dotSaarland GmbH

Application details

  • Application Type Geographic
  • Application Status
  • Language
  • Batch Not Yet Determined
  • Number of Objections None
  • Registry Back End KSRegistry

Applicant Information

  • ICANN Region Europe
  • Country Germany
  • City
  • Parent Company
  • Legal Form Limited Liability Company (in German: GmbH)
  • Legal Jurisdiction Germany / German Law
  • Website
  • Directors Alexander Siffrin, Thorsten Smeets, Ulrich Kiefer
  • Shareholders
  • Officers Alexander Siffrin, Dorothea Marx, Dr. Nina Muellers, Kathrin Hares, Volker Greimann

Primary Contact

Secondary Contact

Application Questions

Question 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.

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

dotSaarland GmbH, the company behind .SAARLAND, is committed to provide a platform that will: serve the needs of the regional community of the Saarland, provide a common internet address to the community, and promote the region and its people, services and regional attractions to all who share an interest in it.

The term “Saarland” refers to a federal state within Germany and is a regional identifier for a community consisting of those who live, have lived, work or have spent time in the Saarland region, those who want to promote the different cultural or economic aspects of the Saarland online, and/or those who want to address their online communications to that community.
The Saarland is one of Germany?s forerunners in the areas of economic growth and the concentration of apprenticeship training positions. Vehicle construction, mechanical engineering and the local steel industry are the core areas of economic activity. Complementing these sectors is an active mixture of research institutes and spin-offs from all areas of IT and nanotechnology.
In addition, Saarland is a major site of European industrial culture, including a UNESCO World Heritage site, the “Völklinger Hütte”.
The Saarland is located at the heart of “Saar-Lor-Lux” region, an economic metropolitan area including parts of France, Germany and Luxemburg with classic industrial locations; the federal state Saarland is a leading IT research location in Germany.
The mission of the Applicant, dotSaarland GmbH, is to provide a secure Internet space for the region that will facilitate the distribution and exchange of information among Saarland stakeholders by means of for example websites, social networks, email and other technologies that will reside within the .SAARLAND domain name space. In addition, and as technology needs advance and change, ancillary services may be provided in relation to registration of domains within the TLD, including but not limited to website hosting, SEO, marketing and consulting services. With .SAARLAND, online content can be targeted directly at the Saarland community: The .SAARLAND TLD will act as an identifier for regional content, enabling local businesses, organizations, and individuals to present their content in a fashion that makes it easy to discover and locate for Internet users seeking content and information related to the region.
With .SAARLAND, all Saarland people, communities, organizations, companies, and many more will find a common space in the virtual world, enabling them to register domain names which are currently not available in current gTLDs and ccTLDs such as .com with over 90 million registrations and .de with more than 13 million registrations. .SAARLAND domain names will help them establishing their online life or business using attractive 2nd level domain names.
Starting in April 2008, the founders of dotSaarland GmbH have been involved with the local government in talks about creating a specific TLD for the Saarland region.
The dotSaarland association was founded in 2009 as a supporting organization to facilitate the launch of .SAARLAND, to generate public interest in the creation of the regional TLD and to create a forum for the local community to be directly involved in the proposed policies and uses.
The dotSaarland GmbH (limited liability company) was founded in 2011 to apply for and later operate the TLD. The dotSaarland registered association is represented through a permanent seat in management board meetings according to the company statutes to ensure that the operator and the community coordinate their efforts to the benefit of the regional community.
.SAARLAND corresponds perfectly with the high ranking, politically supported campaign „Umbrella Brand Saarland“ (see http://www.saarland.de/6867_87814.htm). The government initiative to strengthen the marketing capacities of local brands through providing a state aided platform to increase employment and attract experts. Thus providing a means of communication and the possibility to use .SAARLAND will support the umbrella brand Saarland as well as attracting further users for the name space.
The .SAARLAND association is an active part of the political, social and public life in the federal state and the domain extension .SAARLAND is eagerly awaited by many players and citizens in various fields.

This can be seen as positive and written feedback, which is listed below. There are more letters of support reaching DotSaarland Association daily, so this list is far from being complete:
- Industrie- und Handelskammer des Saarlandes, Saarland Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Handwerkskammer des Saarlandes, Saarland Chamber of Crafts
- gwSaar, Saarland economic promotion corporation
- Vereinigung der saarländischen Unternehmensverbände e.V., Parent organization for business associations in Saarland
- Unternehmensverband Saarland e.V., Business association Saarland
- Verband der Metall- und Elektroindustrie des Saarlandes e.V., Association of the metal and electrical industry in Saarland
- SHS Foundation, Association for the cultural and economic promotion in Saarland
- Saarbrücker Zeitung Verlag und Druckerei GmbH, Publishing company for the regional newspaper Saarbrücker Zeitung, the internet portal sol.de and the radio station bigFM Saarland
- RADIO SALÜ Euro-Radio Saar GmbH, Operator of the regional radio station RADIO SALÜ and the online portal salue.de
- Landessportverband für das Saarland, Regional sports association, corporation under public law
- Saarländischer Turnerbund e.V., Regional gymnastics organization
- Saar Connect GmbH, Operator of saarshopping.de, a reginal online shopping portal
- Key-Systems GmbH, Saarland domain registrar
- Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Dury, Law firm
- Private Care, Insurance intermediary
The letters are attached as Q21b_Fig3_supporting_letters.

The support of .SAARLAND is also expressed by a quote of the Minister of Economic Affairs (also the signatory of the letter of endorsement, see question 21): „Das Wirtschaftsministerium unterstützt die Initiative für die Einführung der Top-Level-Domain .SAARLAND. Mit .SAARLAND unterstreichen wir unsere Bedeutung als innovativer IT-Standort. Zudem können Saarländer und Saarländerinnen mit dieser Internet-Endung für ihr Bundesland werben.“ [Peter Jacoby, Saarl. Wirtschaftsminister] The closest English translation of this statement would be: ?The Ministry of Economy supports the initiative for the introduction of the top-level domain .SAARLAND. With .SAARLAND we emphasize our role as an innovative IT location. In addition, all Saarland people may advertise for their state using this internet extension.? (Peter Jacoby, Minister of Economic Affairs)
Users of .SAARLAND will benefit from the elevated recognition in their target markets and identification with their native region. With .SAARLAND users will be able to step ahead of the competition and distinguish themselves from said competition.
Companies, individuals and associations will be enabled to build a targeted regional internet presence. The regionally targeted user experience will support our goal of communicating a message of regional identity.
From public information and industry knowledge, dotSaarland GmbH expects that numerous regional TLD name spaces will be applied for and the use of regional name spaces will be a natural and common experience for internet users.
The dotSaarland GmbH intends that .SAARLAND names will be mainly registered and used by persons and entities within the Saarland region or persons who maintain an affinity towards the region. However, .SAARLAND domain registrations will not be restricted to such persons and entities. Our goal is to promote the Saarland region and culture in general and as such anyone will be able to register a .SAARLAND domain name. We have therefore decided not to apply for a community TLD.

Question 18(b): How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?

As a regional TLD, .SAARLAND will in many ways function (and be perceived) as a “miniature ccTLD”, e.g. a local address space targeted at and representing a specific community.

The new .SAARLAND gTLD will create a new online name space for the regional community of the Saarland and its people, allowing businesses to provide local services and regional organizations, individuals and initiatives to show their affiliation with their home state within a regionally defined online presence that will be available for internet users worldwide. Being a regional domain extension for all Saarland people, the TLD will be a home on the Internet, strengthening the community of Saarland’s citizens and friends.

The spirit of community of the inhabitants and friends of the Saarland will benefit from the new name space. DotSAARLAND GmbH, The Applicant, expects that the TLD name space will evolve into a virtual mirror of the state, its people and friends as well as all those who do business in or around the state and provide content specifically of interest to the Saarland community. The inhabitants of the German federal state of Saarland and its neighboring areas, friends of the Saarland and former Saarlandians will be able to express their regional roots by registering domain names in the .SAARLAND TLD and creating locally relevant content according to their individual needs and interests. Domain names that were formerly unavailable in other TLDs will become available and make it easier to target a locally relevant audience. By the same reasoning, a .SAARLAND domain name will make locally targeted or relevant content easier to find, as it is expected that search engines will at least partially refocus on offering targeted and localized results for individual search queries, i.e. offering specific regional results. Registrants will therefore benefit from their greater visibility to their target audience.

Closely cooperating with the Saarland state government the applicant aims to transfer the visibility of the Saarland into the virtual realm, showcasing the position of the Saarland as a technology-leader within Germany, highlighting its distinctiveness and originality and promoting the image of the Saarland as an innovative and progressive state online, please find press commentaries attached as Q21b_fig4_press_commentary.pdf, documenting the wish for the own TLD of Saarland.

By implementing the states? request to reserve a number of relevant domain names for government agencies, the Applicant will ensure that government agencies, cities and public institutions can offer their services and information at a distinctive, easy to find place, thereby promoting e-government initiatives and easier access.

.SAARLAND will implement a Founders Initiative to ensure that reserved premium domain names with high local or generic relevance can be used to provide the best service possible to internet users. An independent jury with representatives from local institutions, organizations, and initiatives organized in the dot Saarland e.V. (registered association - independent from dotSaarland GmbH) will review applications for the domain names that will be initially reserved for the Founders Initiative and determine which proposal promises to provide the greatest benefit to the local community in a fair and neutral process.


A. What is the goal of your proposed gTLD in terms of areas of specialty, service levels, or reputation?

.SAARLAND aims to become a virtual home for all people living in or near the geographic Saarland region as well as everyone doing business in the region. The TLD will aim at providing a common address for local content for the regional community. To achieve this aim, the Applicant recognizes that a positive reputation of the TLD is essential.

The TLD will provide a valuable service at a fair price to people who are interested in the Saarland lifestyle, values, and culture.

We aim to create a positive reputation and clean and safe image to internet users. As a proliferation of abusive registrations or abusive use in a zone can be highly detrimental to the reputation of the zone in general, the Applicant has proposed and will rigorously enforce the anti-abuse mechanisms described in the answer to question 28. It is however estimated that the TLD will not become a primary target for the most common types of abusive use due to its regional outreach and comparatively small target audience.

.SAARLAND aims to be a building block for the umbrella brand “Saarland” promoted by the local state government by using .SAARLAND domain names to promote tourism, as well as local businesses and brands, and thereby further strengthening its reputation as the virtual home of the region on the internet.

To further maintain a positive reputation, the Applicant has in cooperation with the local administration developed a blacklist of domain names that will not become available for registration.


B. What do you anticipate your proposed gTLD will add to the current space, in terms of competition, differentiation, or innovation?

From observation of proposed new gTLD applications and domain industry knowledge, the Applicant expects that with the new gTLD program, a new landscape of regional gTLDS will evolve as an alternative to the current generic Top Level Domains, similar in many ways in its outreach to the existing .CAT gTLD. As a part of this new landscape the .SAARLAND TLD will enable registrants to distinguish their site as a local web site, and allow internet users to find regionally relevant sites more easily.

The applicant expects that .SAARLAND will not compete with existing TLDs, but rather supplement the German and French speaking ccTLDs such as .fr,.de, .at and .ch due to its regional outreach. The applicant does not expect that domain names in other TLDs will be replaced by .SAARLAND domain names, the new name space will rather open up new domain names for local initiatives, individuals and businesses that are currently unavailable under other TLDs. By addressing a .SAARLAND domain name, internet users will be able to navigate intuitively to specific, regional sites that provide local services or information. Domain names under a .SAARLAND TLD demonstrate a definitive regional perspective and would not likely be confused with domain names in currently existing TLDs.

C. What goals does your proposed gTLD have in terms of user experience?

.SAARLAND is intended to provide a trustworthy online infrastructure for users within the region or users searching specifically for content related to the region. Furthermore, a number of .SAARLAND domains will be reserved for the state and thus provide people an easy to recognize platform to interact with public offices. The TLD will enable the local community to search for relevant content and promote themselves and their interests, to provide a platform for businesses and tourism and in addition provide a trustworthy platform for public offices and official information.

The allocation of premium domain names through a founders initiative is directed at creating value for the internet user by providing relevant information at those internet addresses where the internet user expects them to be.

All areas of interest named above will be found under the umbrella of .SAARLAND and thus users will find a well-organized and comprehensive network connecting public administration, businesses, and individuals.

Domain usage guidelines, rights protection mechanisms and abuse policies, as well as strong security policies will be established and enforced to constantly reinforce the .SAARLAND user experience and the positive reputation of the name space.


D. Provide a complete description of the applicant’s intended registration policies in support of the goals listed above.

.SAARLAND domain names can be registered by everyone just like most current gTLDs are open and unrestricted. We believe that any restriction of the circle of eligible registrants will in all likelihood limit the potential for innovation in the use of domain names in this TLD. Bad faith registrations violating third party rights and other illegal uses will not be tolerated and handled according to the respective policies.

The dotSaarland GmbH and Association will provide a fair delegation process for all .SAARLAND domain applications. To guarantee a transparent and structured domain allocation, the launch plan for .SAARLAND schedules four different phases. The time frame set for the whole launch process is 89 days.

To encourage the public attention for .SAARLAND, a Founders Program will be carried out. This gives prospective founders the opportunity to register a premium .SAARLAND domain by presenting a binding concept for the use of the domain name. As these domains will be delegated first and are connected to a promising utilization, they will help to promote the idea of .SAARLAND among all Saarland citizens and friends.

We will furthermore reserve a number of domain names for the exclusive use of the state government and its local divisions. Domain names with a high potential for illegal use or abuse will be blacklisted and not be made available for general registration. We will also reserve several domain names for exclusive registry use. We are working with the state government of the Saarland to ensure that all domains which need to be reserved or blocked are defined prior to the .SAARLAND launch window.

In the .SAARLAND Sunrise phase, trademark rights holders will be afforded an opportunity to protect their proprietary rights by registering their appropriate domain names. The Sunrise eligibility will be expanded to also include companies and associations registered in commercial trade registers or association registers of Saarland courts. Applicants domiciled in the Saarland region will be granted priority over other domain applicants during the Landrush phase. As .SAARLAND is defined as an open and unrestricted TLD for anyone interested in Saarland, anyone can apply for .SAARLAND domain names during the Landrush and General Availability phases. The complete launch plan is described in detail under answer 18 c (i).

This launch plan and policy of reserved names is intended to reduce potential user confusion by preventing domain names where internet users would expect certain information to be provided by public institutions from potentially abusive third party registrations. Furthermore, this allows the applicable governmental institutions to provide their services on a local platform, without first having to resort to legal action to retrieve a name registered in bad-faith.


E. 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.

The .SAARLAND TLD aims to be perceived by Internet users as a trustworthy source of information for Internet users in general, but also for businesses and the local administration. User trust is enhanced when users are confident that they are in fact interacting with websites and services they intend to interact with, and that their private or confidential information is protected. We will therefore sign the .SAARLAND zone file using DNSSEC, allowing the relying party to establish a chain of trust from the DNS root down to the individual domain name.

We intend to provide a safe and legitimate Internet space, enhancing user experience by mitigating security-associated risks. The enforcement of the abuse policy and the establishment of an abuse point of contact will allow the applicant to continuously remove content in conflict with policies and this goal. We will comply with all policies and practices as required by ICANN in the Registry Agreement and/or Consensus Policy.

We will comply with all applicable laws and regulations relating to Internet security and the privacy of users’ confidential information. In particular, .SAARLAND will be in compliance with European data protection policies and regulations as well as ICANN WHOIS policies, ensuring that complete and accurate WHOIS information is readily accessible for every domain name in the TLD. We will however protect personal information of registrants against abuse by implementing privacy settings into the public WHOIS, such as limiting access to public, web-based WHOIS data by methods such as “CAPTCHA” verification that are designed to exclude automated access to the web-based WHOIS by information gathering tools.


F. Describe whether and in what ways outreach and communications will help to achieve your projected benefits.

We will closely cooperate with the independently constituted dotSaarland e.V (registered association) in communications and outreach and have consulted with them on both the registration policies and marketing outreach. The dotSaarland e.V. is open for membership for individuals, businesses and organizations and represents a broad community of parties interested in the success of the TLD. We will continue to coordinate its efforts in promoting and developing the TLD with the dotSaarland society and expect the society to continue to act as a communications and outreach multiplier for the TLD. The society is entitled to be represented and heard at meetings of our management board to ensure this cooperation is carried into the future and we will always consider the views of the local community.

Our outreach and communication campaigns will mainly focus on creating interest within the local community and to promote lighthouse projects through the implementation of a founders program and gaining the support of media partners.

By cooperating with local promotion partners and registrars and resellers for .SAARLAND domain names and generating their interest in the TLD, we expect to be able to generate awareness at relatively low cost. At least one registrar has already firmly committed to apply for an accreditation for .Saarland. The TLD is intended to become a tool for regional third-party marketing initiatives and constitute a platform for local businesses, organizations and individual internet users.

The state government and administration will be provided with a new platform for administrative interaction and the provision services and information for the citizens of the Saarland region.

The expected use of the TLD by the early adopters, the local authorities and through the founders initiative will effectively communicate to the entire audience, but especially to the German-speaking audience that the .SAARLAND TLD has been introduced and will be available for the general public and their individual purposes.

We will direct our marketing efforts to the local media outlets through viral and regular campaigns, who so far have shown great interest and pledged support for the TLD.

Anyone seeking administrative information will safely find an authoritative official site under .SAARLAND. Searching for local businesses will be facilitated through the use of a .SAARLAND Domain. Individuals will be given a new means to display their commitment to the Region.

.SAARLAND will showcase the role of the Saarland as a cutting-edge technology leader and innovator in Germany and the neighboring regions. The use of the TLD in the local business and administrative and private environment enhances its awareness and will strengthen its use and reputation.

Outreach and communication with the local opinion-makers are important in order to achieve the projected benefits of the TLD for all kinds of potential users. These were already initiated in the years leading up to this application and will continue to be expanded and followed up in the time leading up to the launch and thereafter. Continued media support and viral campaigns will enhance the word-of-mouth about the new TLD for the Region .SAARLAND will lead the way for the use of TLDs in a region for businesses, people and public offices alike. It is to be expected that users who wish to find specific information of the region – both commercial and governmental – will greatly benefit from easier access to this information. We expect that the best promotion for the TLD is its early adoption and use by as many parties as possible, who will be sustaining and growing the name space by their use thereof.

Question 18(c): What operating rules will you adopt to eliminate or minimize social costs?

The DotSaarland GmbH will vigilantly pursue policies, procedures and technologies that facilitate and maintain a safe and positive user experience. Eliminating fraud, cyber-squatting and other activities that degrade the user’s trust are of paramount concern. Additionally, our procedures need to be simple for users to follow and understand and the TLD needs to be easy to find and register for.

Our technical answers will address the specifics in more detail. As noted before, we have partnered with KSregistry GmbH as a technical backend provider because of their established architecture, security measures and proven platform.


A. How will multiple applications for a particular domain name be resolved, for example, by auction or on a first-come/first-serve basis?

DotSaarland GmbH will offer a phased launch through its accredited registrars, consistent with many prior gTLD domain name launches. The goal will be to protect brand holders and other concerned parties from malicious practices and to ensure accuracy. The rights protection mechanisms implemented during the launch phases are described in detail in the answers to question 29.
First, a Founders initiative will make available premium domain names of general interest to registrants willing to commit to using the domain names in a way that benefits the regional community (“Founder”). The applications for domain names reserved for the Founders initiative will be evaluated by an independent panel established by the association dotSaarland e.V.
A Sunrise Period as required by ICANN for trademark holders and similar rights holders such as publicly registered companies and associations, as well as statutory corporations or institutions to register domain names that correspond to their marks and/or registered/statutory names will be offered at the same time as the Founders initiative. If there is more than one qualified Sunrise applicant, then all applicants will be invited to participate in a closed auction to select the registrant of the contested name. In case a premium domain name is applied for by a qualified Sunrise applicant as well as by a Founder, the Sunrise application will be given preference.
A Landrush Phase period will follow the Sunrise Phase to allow entities that may not have a brand to protect but desire early or preferred access to a specific domain. Within the Landrush phase, a special preference will be given to registrants based in the Saarland region to further promote the regional character and outlook of the TLD. The Landrush Phase will be structured as an application process and which will not be “first come, first served”. Applications for identical domains will follow an auction process; however local applications will have precedence over other Landrush applications.
After the Landrush Phase, we will make names generally available for open registration by any interested person or entity on a first come, first served basis. This General Availability Period will open shortly after the Landrush Period has closed, and will allow unrestricted registrations of all unreserved, unblocked, remaining and available names.

An overview of our phased approach is provided below, with dates notational based on registry agreement with ICANN. The start-up plan provides for the orderly introduction of the .SAARLAND TLD in a transparent and logical way, for the purpose of ensuring competition, fairness and reliability for ICANN-Accredited Registrars, registrants, and the .SAARLAND potential registrants. It is intended to create a stable and effective registration process for the benefit of the Internet community in general, and effected stakeholders in particular while minimizing the number of potential conflicts.

A.1 Launch Plan .SAARLAND

The launch plan for .SAARLAND sets the frame for processes, procedures and rules for the registration of .SAARLAND domain names. The introduction of the .SAARLAND top-level domain will be divided into four phases.

Launch Phases:

Phase 1: Founders Initiative

With this initiative, prospective Founders (companies, organizations and individuals) will be given the opportunity to apply for the registration of a certain domain name by submitting a proposal for utilization in a business plan / development plan.
Founders may also suggest a development plan for other generic domain names that are not included in the list of premium domain names, however no applications during the Founders Initiative will be reviewed in case of a conflicting Sunrise application for an identical term. All complete and applicable applications received will be reviewed by the dotSaarland e.V. (registered association) in a fair and independent process and the applied-for domain names shall be awarded in case the development plan promises to be beneficial to the local community, contractually binding the Founders to realize the development plan.
The application window for Founders Program proposals will be timed to run parallel to the Sunrise phase. The development plans for domain names allocated during the Founders Program must be realized within one year after delegation and we will conduct random validation checks of domain names allocated in the Founders initiative to ensure compliance. The validation of the use according to the proposal for utilization will occur approximately one year after delegation.
Domain names awarded in the Founders Program will be locked against transfer for the first two years after their registration date (Status: serverTransferProhibited) to prevent abuse of the program.
Minimum Registration Period: 2 years
Duration: 45 days

Founders Quiet Phase
During the Founders Quiet Phase, the dotSaarland e.V. will decide, which of the founders? applications comply with the goal of being beneficial to the Saarland community. All premium domain names without applications or with rejected applications during the Founders Program will go into auction.
Duration: 7 days (starting after the end of the Founders Program)

Premium Domain Auction
Premium domain names will not be available during the Landrush or General Availability phases. All premium names not awarded during the Founders Program (or applied for as a Sunrise domain name) will go into auction. While the Premium Domain Auction is running, the dotSaarland e.V. will decide about the multiple, beneficial applications for the same domain name in the Founders Program. DotSaarland GmbH reserves the right to exclude premium domain names without applications from the premium domain auction program prior to its launch for a release at a later date. All domains with successful applications in the Founders Program will be published and will be delegated after the end of the Premium Domain Auction. (66 days after the start of the Founders program).
Duration: 14 days (starting after the end of the Founders Quiet Phase)

Phase 2: Sunrise

For easier reference, the Sunrise phase will be split into two concurrent phases, Sunrise A and Sunrise B. Applications for either will be treated without preference over the other and be treated equally.
Sunrise A Applications
The Sunrise phase will run partly parallel to the Founders Initiative, launching on the 15th day of the application window for the Founders Initiative. During the Sunrise all entities with a registered trade or service mark will be able to register the corresponding domain name (Sunrise A application). The intellectual property and similar rights have to be registered before July 01, 2011. The dotSaarland GmbH will only accept trademark applications with the applicant capacity ?Owner?.
Required specifications for a trademark application during this phase will be: Registered Trademark, Registration Number, Registration Country, Registration Date and Applicant Capacity (must be ?Owner?).
The following trade or service marks are eligible for Applications in Sunrise A:
- Word marks that are nationally or internationally registered and for which proof of use (which can be a declaration and a single specimen of current use) was submitted to, and validated by, the Trademark Clearinghouse
- Trademarks not in the Clearinghouse but that are verified by a third party trademark validation contractor and conform to the following standards:
- the domain name is identical to the textual or word elements of the trademark or service mark registration on which the registration of the domain name is based
AND the trademark or service mark registration on which the registration of the domain name is based is of national effect
AND the trademark or service mark registration on which the registration of the domain name was based was issued (registered) prior to July 01, 2011.

Sunrise B Applications
Furthermore, during the Sunrise phase all companies enlisted in the commercial registers of Saarland will be allowed to register domain names corresponding to their registered name (Sunrise B application).
Required specifications for an application by a company enlisted in the commercial register of Saarland for the corresponding domain will be: Registered Company, Registration Number, Registration Date and Register Name. Registered companies will have to provide their excerpt from the commercial register (certificate of registration). The date of first registration must be prior to July 01, 2011.
All registered associations recorded in the Saarland registers of associations will also be allowed to register domain names corresponding to their registered name during Sunrise (Sunrise B application). The date of first registration must be prior to July 01, 2011.
Finally, the Sunrise B will also allow statutory corporations or institutions of the Saarland to register domain names corresponding to their registered or statutory names during Sunrise (Sunrise B application). The date of first registration or the statute must be prior to July 01, 2011.
Required specifications for an application by an association will be: Registered Association, Register Number, Registration Date and Register Name. Registered associations will have to provide their excerpt from the register of associations (certificate of registration). Statutory corporations or institutions will be required to provide the appropriate statutory reference to their statutory establishment.
All Sunrise B applications by companies registered in the commercial registers of Saarland and associations recorded in the Saarland registers of associations will be verified by an external validation service.
Minimum Registration Period: 2 years
Duration: 30 days (starting during the Founders Initiative to terminate at the same time as the Founders Initiative)

Sunrise Quiet Phase
During the Sunrise Quiet Phase, which will run in parallel to the Founders Quiet Phase, the dotSaarland GmbH will complete the Sunrise validation together with the validation provider(s). If multiple valid Sunrise applications are received for the same name, the domain name will go into a closed auction. All domains with one valid Sunrise application will resolve after the end of the Sunrise Quiet Phase.
Duration: 7 days (starting after the end of the Sunrise)

Sunrise Auction
The Sunrise domain names will not be available for Landrush or General Availability. All names with multiple, valid Sunrise applications will go into a closed auction between the respective Sunrise applicants.
Duration: 14 days (starting after the end of the Sunrise Quiet Phase)

Phase 3: Landrush

Landrush A Applications
During Landrush, the so-called Landrush A applications by companies, organizations and natural persons having a domicile within the state of Saarland are favored. Landrush A applications from persons/entities not having their domicile in Saarland will be rejected without refunds. These applicants are only qualified for Landrush B applications. Required specifications for a Landrush A application by Saarland applicants will be: Valid address in Saarland.
The validation of the address will be executed by zip code comparison. Furthermore, a post-registration validation will be executed in case of an abuse notification and based on random sampling.

Landrush B Applications
With the Landrush B applications anyone interested will be able to apply for domain names.
During the Landrush phase, the price for domain registrations will be somewhat higher than in the subsequent General Availability due to the time preference.
Minimum Registration Period: 2 years

Duration: 30 days (starting after the end of the Sunrise Quiet Phase)

Landrush Quiet Phase
During the Landrush Quiet Phase, the dotSaarland GmbH will separate all multiple, valid Landrush A/B applications from all single, valid applications. If multiple, valid Landrush A applications are received for the same name, the domain name will go into a closed auction. If multiple, valid Landrush B applications are received for the same name, the domain name will also go into a closed auction. In case of a Landrush A and Landrush B application for the same domain name, the Landrush A application will be preferred. All domains with only one valid Landrush application will be delegated to the applicant after the end of the Landrush Quiet Phase.
Duration: 7 days (starting after the end of the Landrush)

Landrush Auction
The domain names applied for during the Landrush Phases will not initially become available for General Availability. All multiple, valid Landrush A/B applications will be resolved through a closed auction between the applicants for the domain name. In case there is no bidder, the Landrush applications will be resolved on a first-come, first-served basis.
Duration: 14 days (starting after the end of the Landrush Quiet Phase)

Phase 4: General Availability

After completion of the Landrush Quiet Phase, the registration of domain names will proceed on a “first-come, first-served” basis in accordance with the registration rules.
Registration Period: 1 – 10 year(s)
Start: after the end of the Landrush Quiet Phase


B. Explain any cost benefits for registrants you intend to implement (e.g., advantageous pricing, introductory discounts, bulk registration discounts)

dotSaarland GmbH does not intend to promote early adoption of the .SAARLAND TLD by offering discounts for initial multi-year registrations or for purchase of multiple domain registrations.

We intend to incentivize the registration of domain names contained in the list of domain names reserved for the state government by the appropriate authorities by offering volume discounts for the registration of such domain names.

From time to time promotional campaigns and special offers may be provided to all accredited registrars. Market conditions, market research and the level of public acceptance of the TLD in its target audience will drive many of the promotions and marketing messages.


C. Do you intend to make contractual commitments to registrants regarding the magnitude of price escalation?

We also intend to make clear contractual commitments to registrants regarding the magnitude of price escalation upon renewal. We will contractually commit to not raising the base price (exclusive of any discounts, taxes, etc.) of .SAARLAND domain name renewals by more than ten percent in any calendar year. This commitment will be included in Registry-Registrar Agreements, requiring registrars to include this commitment in all .SAARLAND Domain Name Registration Agreements. We are also committed by our agreement with the state government of the Saarland to maintain a registry pricing level similar to that of other TLDs of comparable size and outreach.

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

We have engaged KSregistry GmbH to deliver registry services for this TLD.

This response describes protection of geographic names as implemented in the managed TLD registry service.


A. PROTECTION OF GEOGRAPHIC NAMES

In accordance with Specification 5 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement, the Registry Operator must initially reserve Country and Territory names at the second level and at all other levels within the TLD at which the Registry Operator provides for registrations.

DotSaarland GmbH will support this requirement by using the following internationally recognized lists to develop a comprehensive master list of all geographic names that will be initially reserved and therefore unavailable for registration:

- The 2-letter alpha-2 code of all country and territory names contained on the ISO 3166-1 list, including all reserved and unassigned codes [http://www.iso.org/iso/support/country_codes/iso_3166_code_lists/iso-31661_ decoding_table.htm];
- The short form (in English) of all country and territory names contained on the ISO 3166-1 list, 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-31661_ decoding_table.htm#EU];
- 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. This lists the names of 193 independent States generally recognised by the international community in the language or languages used in an official capacity within each country and is current as of August 2006 [http://unstats.un.org/unsd/geoinfo/ungegn%20tech%20ref%20manual_M87_combined.pdf]; and
- The list of UN member states in 6 official UN languages prepared by the Working Group on Country Names of the United Nations Conference on the standardization of Geographical Names [http://unstats.un.org/unsd/geoinfo/UNGEGN/docs/9th-uncsgndocs/ econf/9th_UNCSGN_e-conf-98-89-add1.pdf]

Names on this reserved list (see attached Q22_fig1_all_lists.pdf for reverence) in the TLD registry will be prevented from registration as domain names by matching any registration request against the master list, unless and until any such names are released from reservation per DotSaarland GmbH’s release procedures generally described below.

A corresponding list of reserved geographic names will be made available to the public via Ksregistry GmbH’s website in order to inform Registrars and potential Registrants of the reserved status of such names.

The lists previously noted will be regularly monitored for revisions and the reserved lists (both the internal list and the list publicly available) will continually be updated to reflect any changes.

In addition to these requirements, KSregistry GmbH is able to support the wishes of DotSaarland GmbH in regards to the reservation of additional terms on a case by case basis. The managed TLD registry allows such additions to the reserved list to be made by appropriately authorized staff, with no further system development changes required.

The following applies to all Domain Names contained within the managed TLD registry reserved list:

- Attempts to register reserved Domain Names will be rejected;
- WhoIs queries for listed Domain Names will receive responses indicating their reserved status;
- Reserved names will not appear in the TLD zone file; and
- DNS queries for reserved domain names will result in an NXDOMAIN response.


B. PROCEDURES FOR RELEASE

We understand that if and when DotSaarland GmbH wishes to release any reserved names at a later date, this will require further approval from ICANN and in the case of geographic names, the approval of the government(s) and/or the GAC as well.

Consistent with the .info release of geographic names, as referenced in the new gTLD Application, DotSaarland GmbH initially will present the GAC Representatives with an option, at no charge, of objecting to release and use of any initially reserved names at the second level and submit list of reserved names where a release is desired to the apropriate government(s) for approval. In order to release reserved names, DotSaarland GmbH will then make a proposal to ICANN via the RSEP or other future processes created by ICANN for this purpose.

DotSaarland GmbH expects these reserved names to have significant value to the TLD and the registrant community. Moreover, DotSaarland GmbH expects there would be minimal confusion or damage to anyone if geographic terms are released for use in the .SAARLAND TLD, as the TLD itself already denotes a specific geographic location, thereby limiting the potential for third party confusion. Therefore, DotSaarland GmbH expects to apply for and receive ICANN’s approval to release geographic names for registration and use at the appropriate time, in accordance with Specification 5 of the Registry Agreement.

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


KSregistry has been chosen as technical backend for registry operations because of the company?s extensive knowledge of the domain industry and technical infrastructure. The parent company of KSregistry, Key-Systems GmbH, has extensive knowledge in the area of handling gTLDs (as of today all gTLDs are already supported) as well as more than 200 different ccTLDs (including com.br, de, jp, be, co.uk, us, etc.). This experience also covers IDN relevant topics as well as DNSSEC and industry best practice elements. Having participated in the early days of the IDN testbed of Verisign, which included the transition to the punycode standard in 2004, KSregistrys? parent company gained insight into transitioning processes and all aspects of IDNs. The KSregistry shared registry system (“SRS”) is based on the MetaRegistry platform, which is in use as the domain management platform of Key-Systems. The scalability of the system has been proven in 2007 by handling the transition of the former Namestore ccTLD system for countrycodes (other than CC and TV) from VeriSign to Key-Systems, as well as the growth of the customer base of Key-Systems. With more than 1800 reseller-registrars and over 3 million domain names under management, the systems? scalability is proven with the number of domains under management and the number of simultaneous connections from different reseller-registrars. With more than 5 years of experience in running and maintaining an EPP server KSregistry can guarantee the compliance and stability required to run a gTLD EPP service in accordance with the ICANN specifications. The KSregistry staff has repeatedly assisted gTLD and ccTLD operators in improving their systems.



These technical and operational specifications for the Registry TLD consist of the following parts:



The EPP-based KSregistry (KSR) platform provides a stable, DNSSEC and IPv6-enabled SRS that is scalable, state-of-the-art, and secure.



All registry services will be provided by the KSregistry in a responsible manner adhering to all ICANN requirements for TLD operations. KSregistry has already been chosen as the new technical registry service provider by the operators of the following ccTLDs : dotDM, dotTC, dotVG and dotGD.



The goal is to operate an ICANN compliant technical registry platform meeting industry best practice standards to allow registrations under the applied for new top level domain.



All registry services described in our responses to questions 23-44 are managed in a contract based on a fixed yearly fee plus a per domain name fee per year.



Thus KSregistry has been mandated to manage all technical tasks related to operating our TLD, and will further support us with their legal resources, as described inter alia in our responses to question 27,31,35,39,43,44 as well as 28 and 29.



Hence, the responses to question 23-44 have been developed together with KSregistry.



All ICANN accredited registrars that meet the registry operators established eligibility criteria must use EPP (see section A below) to interact with the registry and manage their sponsored domain names. Due to the nature of the string as a “regional TLD” with a limited international target audience, it is expected that only a very limited number of registrars will seek accreditation.



All fundamental registry services will be subject to the SLAs as defined in question 24. All services are continuously monitored for compliance with the SLAs and to discover increased system load and performance issues prior to affecting the experience of the registrars or end-users? of the TLD.



The registry will implement several blacklists to ensure compliance with ICANN guidelines, including but not limited to Specification 5 of the New gTLD agreement specifications.



All domain name availability checks and registrations will be checked against the implemented blacklists and eligible registration guidelines to ensure standard compliance and policy guidelines (such as hyphens in third and fourth place are only allowed for valid IDN registrations ?xn--?).



Two character labels, country and territory names as stated in ISO 3166-1 and all successors thereto, will be blocked and only released if a written confirmation of such a release is granted by the applicable governments. Detailed descriptions on the handling of reserved domain names can be found in answer to question 22.



None of the registry services are offered in a manner that is unique to this TLD. They are offered as standard registry services as is the case for established gTLDs today, and no new services are defined for this TLD.



KSregistry will support this TLD in accordance with the policies established by ICANN and the applicant leveraging a fully operational registry infrastructure supported by experienced professional staff and fully provisioned to immediately launch this and a number of other gTLDs to meet or exceed the Service Levels required in the ICANN contract.



Standard Policies and Dispute Resolution



Domain name registration in the zone are subject to the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), PDP, URS and all successors thereto.



Inter-registrar transfers are subject to the ICANN transfer policy as described in http://www.icann.org/en/transfers/policy-en.htm, and the transfer dispute policy as described in http://www.icann.org/en/transfers/dispute-policy-12jul04.htm.



The registry operator is committed to using best practice standards as described by industry members and ICANN.



Data Escrow Service



To ensure compliance with the Data Escrow requirements the registry will be using Group NCC to act as the third party data escrow agent (see answer 38 for details). All data uploaded to the escrow agent will follow the specifications published at http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-arias-noguchi-registry-data-escrow-02 or any successor RFC.



The purpose of the third party data escrow service is to allow a registry data transition in the case that the registry provider fails to fulfill its SLA or is incapable of continuing the registry operations in a manner defined by ICANN.



Reports will be generated on a regular basis to be used for reportings to ICANN.





A. Receipt of Data from Registrars



A.1 Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP)



For the purpose of data exchange with the registrar, EPP is used in combination with an SSL encryption on a dedicated port. The registry will issue an SSL certificate for usage by the registrars.



Our EPP specifications follow the existing RFCs and will comply with all relevant successor standards. RFCs considered for the EPP protocol are: RFC 3735, 5730 – 5734, 5910 and 3915.



The following commands will be available for registry operation:



- CreateDomain, CreateContact, CreateHost

- ModifyDomain, ModifyContact, ModifyHost

- InfoDomain, InfoContact, InfoHost

- DeleteDomain, DeleteContact, DeleteHost

- CheckDomain, CheckContact, CheckHost

- TransferDomain

- RenewDomain



Check commands will be available for accredited registrars to check availability of contact handles, host objects, and domain names.



CreateContact will be used to create contact handles used for subsequent domain registrations and modifications.



CreateHost will be used to create host objects serving as nameservers.



CreateDomain will enable all ICANN accredited registrars to create a domain name under the respective TLD of this application.



Several ?Info? commands will be available to provision status information on domains, contacts and host objects to the accredited registrars.



See attached fig. Q23_Figure1.pdf.



Detailed EPP descriptions can be found in the answers to the questions 25, which are incorporated here by reference.



A.2 Production and Operational Testing and Evaluation (OT&E) EPP Servers



There will be two EPP servers to interact with the registry. One will be for production purposes and the other for testing and evaluation (referred to as the OT&E server) of new software versions and EPP client implementations. The production server consists of at least two load balanced servers (n+1). Each new stable production release will be released on the OT&E EPP server at least 30 days in advance. To increase security, a registrar IP address limitation is in place for the EPP servers (both production and OT&E).



A limitation on the allowable commands per time interval will prevent the registrar from affecting other clients in the SRS environment in regard to performance issues and increased system load.



Each registrar in the SRS environment will be entitled to up to five sessions from two different IP addresses. The registrar will be forced to update the registry password for the EPP servers and registrar extranet (see below) at least once every six months.



A.3 Registrar Extranet and SFTP Area



In addition to the EPP system the registrar can chose to interact with the registry through the registry specific registrar extranet and SFTP area. Access to the SFTP area will be secured by protocol specific encryption mechanisms. Aside from the EPP registrar-registry interaction, the registry extranet is mainly used to adjust registrar specific settings such as accounting, default values for RDDS (WHOIS), and reporting. Different tiers of access are granted to the registrars for this purpose. Access can be limited on a per user and group basis to either read only or write operations for the following objects: domains, hosts, contacts, user and group rights, accounting lists and current account statement.



The registrar extranet will enable registrars to update their IP address range and passwords for the EPP production, OT&E and SFTP areas. When changes are made to the IP address range a support agent will contact the registrar to verify the changes prior to the implementation. The registry will provide marketing material and/or detailed reports to all registrars on a regular basis via the registrar specific SFTP area.



Documents will be generated on a regular basis for all registrars and can be found in the SFTP area. These include transaction reports, monthly billing details, and detailed lists on domain names with a status of PendingDelete, domain names under registrars? management, and contacts used.



Access to the registry extranet and SFTP area is also limited to a set of IP addresses as defined by the registrar during the accreditation process.



A.4 Support Case Handling



Each support case received by the KSregistry system either by email (ticket system) or phone will be subject to a passphrase authentication scheme. The passphrases are given during the registrar accreditation process and will be used to identify authorized persons belonging to the registrar. This will thwart any social hacking attempts by unauthorized users.



Support will be handled through 3 different locations:



- USA, VA, Leesburg: 8 am – 5 pm EST / UTC/GMT -5 hours

- Germany, St. Ingbert: 7 am – 6 pm UTC/GMT

- Mexico, Monterey: UTC/GMT -6 hours



Supported languages are: English, German, Spanish, French, Polish and Mandarin Chinese.



Registrar technical support will be available through a dedicated technical support team 24 x 7 x 365. The support team is committed to delivering support by utilizing best practices and industry standards.



A.5 Provisioning of Zone Status Information to Registrars



Registrars can query the status of a domain name with the “InfoDomain” command or through RDDS. In order to query status information on an existing host-object the command “InfoHost” is used.



The registry operator will inform registrars by email in the cases of unplanned (emergency) or scheduled maintenance.



Information on planned system maintenance will be sent to all accredited registrars at least 30 days prior to the deployment in the OT&E and production system. Registrars will also be informed in the event that system performance drops below normal operational standards and in the event of unforeseen system outages.





B. Dissemination of TLD Zone Files



Nameserver operations for the Registry TLD will comply with RFCs 1034, 1035, and 2182 and all future successors and updates thereto. Additional details on the dissemination of TLD Zone Files can be found in answers to question 35 of this application, which are incorporated here by reference.

Distribution of zone files among all secondary nodes will be handled by a dedicated hidden master.



Updates to the primary master node will be performed every 15 minutes and distributed to a secondary master node (operated by PCH.NET, an external service provider specialized in providing anycast DNS services). For additional stability, the two hidden primary servers (master nodes) will be used in two different geographic locations. All other anycast and unicast nodes will query the secondary master node for zone file updates and update their records accordingly. Several checks will ensure the integrity of the distributed zone file before it is uploaded to the master node. Zone transfers will use the AXFR/IXFR zone file transfer method after successful verification of the newly generated zone. The distribution of new zone files will be continuously checked with each of the client nodes.





C. Dissemination of Contact or Other Information Concerning Domain Name Registration



A port 43 RDDS (WHOIS) server (RFC 3912) will be available for legitimate WHOIS lookups. The service will be load balanced on a cluster system updated in near real time. Query limitations on a per IP and subnet basis will apply to prevent system abuse and data harvesting. IP addresses stated in the ICANN RADAR section will be entitled to an increased query limit to facilitate inter-registrar transfers. A website WHOIS will be available on the registry?s website to facilitate legitimate WHOIS queries using a normal browser. All services will be provided in full compliance with the ICANN requirements and applicable law. Additional details will be described as part of the answer to question 26 (RDDS) and question 44 (IDN).



In order to prevent system abuse of the website whois, a Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHA) will be used. Each IP address will be entitled to up to six lookups per minute and up to 360 lookups per hour. Each subnet will be entitled to 12 lookups per minute and up to 720 lookups per hour.



IP Addresses listed in the ICANN RADAR section will be entitled to 20 lookups per minute and up to 1200 lookups per hour. For clients using Ipv6, appropriate limitations will be in place to prevent data mining and abusive WHOIS queries.



Information used for WHOIS lookups will be distributed to the WHOIS server cluster using default SQL replication mechanisms. A dedicated read-only database (load balanced) will be used to store all relevant data at the location of the WHOIS server. To prevent any unauthorized access to the database all external communications to the database are blocked.

The WHOIS output will contain information such as domain names and contacts associated with the domain name registration, dates such as registration date and expiration date, status of a domain name, and host objects.



Example Request: Query for domain “example.string” (please refer to Q26 section 8 for additional information concerning the WHOIS output)

Example Response:

Domain Name: EXAMPLE.STRING

Domain ID: 213232132-TLD

WHOIS Server: WHOIS.example.string

Referral URL: http://www.example.string

Updated Date: 2011-07-22T01:44:02Z

Creation Date: 2011-06-01T23:45:33Z

Registry Expiry Date: 2012-06-01T23:59:59Z

Sponsoring Registrar: EXAMPLE REGISTRAR

Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 1234567890

Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited

Registrant ID: 123456-STR

Registrant Name: EXAMPLE REGISTRANT

Registrant Organization: EXAMPLE ORGANIZATION

Registrant Street: 123 EXAMPLE STREET

Registrant City: SOMEWHERE

Registrant State/Province: AP

Registrant Postal Code: 12345

Registrant Country: EX

Registrant Phone: +1.5555522222

Registrant Fax: +1.55555544444

Registrant Email: EMAIL@EXAMPLE.STRING

Admin ID: 392839283-STR

Admin Name: EXAMPLE REGISTRANT ADMINISTRATIVE

Admin Organization: EXAMPLE REGISTRANT ORGANIZATION

Admin Street: 123 EXAMPLE STREET

Admin City: SOMEWHERE

Admin State/Province: AP

Admin Postal Code: 12345

Admin Country: EX

Admin Phone: +1.5555551212

Admin Phone Ext: 1234

Admin Fax: +1.5555551213

Admin Fax Ext:

Admin Email: EMAIL@EXAMPLE.STRING

Tech ID: 392811183-STR

Tech Name: EXAMPLE REGISTRAR TECHNICAL

Tech Organization: EXAMPLE REGISTRAR LLC

Tech Street: 123 EXAMPLE STREET

Tech City: SOMEWHERE

Tech State/Province: AP

Tech Postal Code: 12345

Tech Country: EX

Tech Phone: +1.1235551234

Tech Phone Ext: 1234

Tech Fax: +1.5555551213

Tech Fax Ext: 93

Tech Email: EMAIL@EXAMPLE.STRING

Billing ID: 112811183-STR

Billing Name: EXAMPLE REGISTRAR BILLING

Billing Organization: EXAMPLE REGISTRAR LLC

Billing Street: 123 EXAMPLE STREET

Billing City: SOMEWHERE

Billing State/Province: AP

Billing Postal Code: 12345

Billing Country: EX

Billing Phone: +1.1235551234

Billing Phone Ext: 1234

Billing Fax: +1.5555551213

Billing Fax Ext: 93

Billing Email: EMAIL@EXAMPLE.STRING

Name Server: NS01.EXAMPLEREGISTRAR.STRING

Name Server: NS02.EXAMPLEREGISTRAR.STRING

DNSSEC: signedDelegation

DNSSEC: unsigned0





D. Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs)



The applicant will offer IDNs and is in compliance with with RFCs 5890, 5891, 5892, 5893 and their successors and the ICANN IDN Guidelines at ?http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/implementation-guidelines.htm?, as they may be amended, modified, or superseded from time to time. The registry will publish and keep updated its IDN tables and IDN registration rules in the IANA repository of IDN practices as specified in the ICANN IDN guidelines.

Full detailed description of IDN handling can be found in answers to question 44, which are incorporated here by reference.



The following languages will be supported for this TLD:



- German



See respective language table “Q44_Figure6.pdf” - attached to the answer of question 44.





E. DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC)



DNS Servers will provide DNSSEC capability according to RFCs 5910, 4641, 4034 and all successors and updates thereto. EPP DNSSEC specifications will be implemented according to RFC 4310. Zones will be signed on the signing server and distributed to the hidden master nameservers which will then distribute them to the secondary servers. A full detailed description of DNS and DNSSEC related topics can be found in answers to question 43, which are incorporated here by reference.





F. Additional Proposed Registry Services



F.1 Bulk Zonefile Access



Clients with a legitimate interest in accessing the registry zone file will be entitled to access this file once a day. For this purpose a dedicated SFTP access will be granted and the zone file will be uploaded once a day. This service will be subject to an additional agreement fully executed between the interested party and the registry.



F.2 Tiered Registration



As this is a open TLD, apart from a 30 days sunrise period no additional tiered registration phases with eligibility requirements will be offered.





G. List of Attachments



- Q23_Figure1.pdf - List of supported EPP commands / EPP object relationship

- Q23_Figure2.pdf - List of Codes throughout the Application







?? SPECIAL NOTE: IN OUR RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS 25, 29, 32, 36, 38, 42, 43, AND 44 WE ARE DEMONSTRATING EXAMPLES OF CODE TO ILLUSTRATE HOW OUR REGISTRY SERVICES WORK. OUR CODE CONTAINS THE BRACKETS ??? AND ???. WHEN GENERATING HTML PREVIEW VERSIONS OF AN APPLICATION VIA THE TAS, WE HAVE DETECTED THAT BROWSERS, OR PROGRAMS SUCH AS MICROSOFT WORD AND ADOBE READER, DO NOT SHOW THESE CODES (THEY ARE, HOWEVER, SHOWN IF YOU OPEN THE FILE WITH NOTEPAD OR SIMILAR TEXT EDITORS). HENCE, WE HAVE DECIDED TO ATTACH CODE FOR QUESTIONS 25, 29, 32, 36, 38, 42, 43, AND 44 IN ORDER FOR EVALUATORS TO HAVE AN EASY ACCESS TO ALL THE CODE EXAMPLES.

Question 24: Shared Registration System (SRS) Performance

The KSregistry (KSR) system is a domain registry system capable of registering domain names managed by multiple registrars. In addition to the SRS system, KSR provides RFC conforming interfaces for EPP, RDDS (WHOIS), DNS, and DNSSEC. KSR is capable of running any IDN string as well as IPv6. KSR uses recognized and proven technologies such as MySQL database software and BIND DNS servers, as well as industry standard backup and monitoring solutions.

KSR uses a thick registry model wherein all contact details are stored in a central location by the registry. All services are set up as a fully redundant solution (n+1). Additionally, there are two geographically separate data centers (Tier 3, all components are available at least n+1), one active and one which is designed to function as a warm-standby solution to ensure a maximum of data security and business continuity. All SRS and DNS related information is replicated in real-time between the data centers.

KSR?s modular design allows for quick and easy installation or removal of system components at any time. This ensures KSR?s ability to react to any business needs or system loads in an appropriate manner at all times.

KSR is managed by trained personnel only. Its operations follow well-defined business and security processes which are based on the ITILv3 standard and in accordance with ISO 27001.

KSR has a NOC and support team available at two different locations (St. Ingbert, Germany and Munich, Germany) which allows 24 x 7 x 365 monitoring of all systems and provides customers with an easy way to reach KSR personnel regarding any issue they may have.

The SRS is protected against unauthorized access. Data integrity is ensured by both physical and software security and protection mechanisms.
All these measures together are the basis for running a robust and reliable SRS and are in compliance with Specification 6 and 10.


A. Detailed KSR Description

The following section refers to attachment Q24_Figure1.pdf.

Figure 1 contains a high level functional overview of all KSR components which are described below. All described services and functions are in compliance with Specification 6 and 10 based on their design and setup.

For all of the services listed below the following applies:

The application servers (e.g. EPP, DNS, and RDDS) are set up as a cluster to guarantee a high-availability solution. The sizing of the servers and the databases are calculated to meet the needs of each business case. Additionally, the system is set up to be scalable so that an increase of domains or registrars can be easily handled by installing additional hardware as needed.

A.1 Services Integrated into KSR

Domain Name System (DNS)

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical distributed naming system for computers, services, and any other resource connected to the Internet or a private network. The registry will be set up with a mix of anycast and unicast name servers. This service is provided by an external provider called PCH.NET which has over 10 years of experience in this area. This partnership with PCH.NET ensures a 100% guaranteed uptime of the service and worldwide DNS coverage. DNS and zone file creation is performed periodically (every 15 minutes), uploaded to the primary hidden master name server, and spread to the anycast clouds (PCH.NET) within 180 seconds. The communication between the primary hidden master name server and the DNS cloud is facilitated by zone transfer {AXFR (Asynchronous Full Transfer Zone)/IXFR (Incremental Zone Transfer)} to the worldwide anycast net.

DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC)

DNSSEC adds security to the Domain Name System. DNSSEC helps in preventing cache poisoning or man in the middle attacks. This helps to protect users? personal and/or financial information from being compromised on the Internet. This additional security helps in protecting end users and the reputation of brands.

Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP)

The EPP gives registrars the ability to fully automate the management of their domain names. KSR uses EPP as a protocol for registering and managing domain names in a very standardized way. KSR is in compliance with RFCs 3735 and 5730-5734 as well as with Specifications 6 and 10 of the registry agreement. EPP compliance is ensured by technical validation (XML validator) and through the change management process which includes a quality assurance program.

Web Interface

The web interface provides the registrars the ability to manage their domain names through a comfortable user interface and grants access to reports and accounting information.

RDDS (WHOIS)

The Whois is a data directory service which grants public free access regarding domain information. The RDDS (WHOIS) service is provided as a web-based directory service via port 43 in accordance with RFC 3912. This service provides different information depending on the request. The data this will offer includes, but is not limited to:

- Domain name
- Address information on the registrant, administration-, technical-, and billing contacts.
- IP addresses of the name servers
- The identity of the registrar
- Domain creation and expiration dates

There will be a searchable Whois accessible via the web interface. This service will only be available to registrars in respect to confidential data. In order to prevent any abuse of the provided data, additional limitations on the service include IP-based limitations and masking of critical customer data.

SFTP / SCP Access to the File Store

The SFTP area grants access to all reports which are available in the KSR. Communication is only possible over an encrypted connection, such as with SFTP or SSH, protecting registrars from unauthorized access to their data. In addition to command line access, KSR offers access through the https-based web interface.

Escrow

KSR generates two types of deposits: full and differential. The escrow data provides all SRS-related information to an escrow agent as required for running a registry in compliance with the approved registry services.

The escrow file is generated in compliance with the format specifications as described in Specification 2. The file will be transferred (SFTP) to the escrow agent as a compressed (ZIP RFC 4880) and encrypted file.

KSR is working with the escrow agent NCC Group.

The required data for generating the deposits are always stored in both data centers at all times. This enables the KSR to generate these files even in disaster scenarios.

Reports

The KSR system generates all ICANN reports on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis. In addition to the ICANN related reports, reports for the registrars are created which contain invoicing and domain portfolio information:

- Per-registrar transactions report (Specification 3)
- Registry functions activity report (Specification 3)
- Up-to-date registration data (escrow format as described in Specification 2)
- Thick registration data in case of a registrar failure, de-accreditation, court order, etc. (escrow format as described in Specification 2)
- Technical and operational reports describing performance specifications (Specification 10)
- Registrar based domain and contact reports
- Monthly invoicing reports
- Name server reports
- Data escrow (full and differential as required in Specification 2)


Internationalized Domain Name (IDN)

An IDN is an internet domain name that contains at least one label that is displayed in software applications, in whole or in part, in a language-specific script or alphabet.

KSR has fully integrated IDNs in the SRS and related DNS, DNSSEC, RDDS (WHOIS), and EPP services. The domain registration must be submitted in PUNY code (ascii-encoding) with the appropriate language tag. There is no different handling or billing between the IDN and ASCII domains.


B. Network Diagram

See attached fig. 2 in Q32_Figure1.pdf for the detailed network overview.

B.1 Hardware (Number of Servers)

Network Components:

- Two (2) or more firewalls (Vyatta) (load balanced) Vyatta 6.3
- Two (2) or more network switches frontend (Juniper), EX2200, EX4200
- Two (2) or more network switches transfer (Juniper), EX2200, EX4200
- Two (2) or more network switches backnet (Juniper), EX2200, EX4200
- Two (2) or more load balancer (Keepalived) and SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension

B.2 Server Components

Typical components for all servers:

Server: IBM compatible Linux server
Processor: INTEL 64bit multicore CPU
Memory: Up to 64 GB ECC DDR2 RAM modules
Disk: Internal RAID 5 for operating system and software, additional intern RAID 5 for data, iSCSI support
Network Adapter: Average 4 100/1000 mbit network interface

- Two (2) or more webservers for the web interface (load balanced)
- Two (2) or more EPP server (load balanced)
- Two (2) or more RDDS (WHOIS) servers (load balanced)
- Two (2) or more SFTP servers (load balanced)
- Two (2) or more tools servers (cron, batch) (n+1 redundant with failover)
- Two (2) or more database servers (load balanced)
- Two (2) or more storage servers (load balanced)
- One (1) BIND hidden master
- One (1) Generator
- One (1) Signer / HSM

Full detailed hardware description can be found in attached fig. Q32_Figure3.pdf.

The listed hardware satisfies the SLA requirements as described in Specification 10.


C. Description of Inter-Connectivity with Other Registry Systems

The modular design of the KSR solution has the advantage of being very flexible and highly scalable. The SRS, EPP, and RDDS (WHOIS) services communicate through an internal API which protects the system from direct database access while providing real-time information to all SRS related services.

The DNS and DNSSEC information is provided every 15 minutes to the primary hidden master name server and then spread to the anycast/unicast cloud within 180 seconds. The communication between the primary hidden master name server and the DNS cloud is facilitated by AXFR/IXFR.

The escrow data (full and differential deposit) is generated, zipped, and encrypted once a day and sent to the escrow agent in compliance with Specification 2.

The complete SRS database information is shared between both data centers (primary site, warm-standby). This is achieved by real-time data synchronization. In addition, the SRS program code and binaries are also shared between both data centers at any given time. Only one of the two data centers is actually running in production mode at a time, while the other one is always on standby but not active until needed.

The two data centers are connected through a VPN connection which is used for synchronization of the services described above. In the unlikely event of the complete loss of one data center, the KSR can be switched from one site to another within minutes and with no data loss. The DNS/DNSSEC is secure and highly available due to its worldwide setup.

The system?s complete inter-connectivity is integrated into the system monitoring and ensures the readiness of the failover locations at any time. In addition to monitoring, a controlled failover testing from the production data center to the warm-standby data center is performed once a year.

These measures ensure compliance with registry continuity in Specification 6.


D. Frequency of Synchronization Between Servers

The frequency of the server synchronization depends on the service being synchronized. Some services are synchronized in real-time while others are synchronized at fixed periods.

The database is set up as a cluster solution (with n+1 redundancy) in each data center. Since only one data center is running in production mode at a time, the other data center is connected to the production database by real-time replication. This guarantees a complete set of SRS/DNS information at all sites.

As the DNS/DNSSEC is generated from the database information, KSR always has the complete zone file information available at all data center sites. The zone file itself is generated every four minutes and uploaded to the primary hidden master name server. From there, the zone file is distributed to 95% of all DNS servers worldwide within 180 seconds.

The RDDS (WHOIS) is retrieved from the database in real-time and is available at both data center locations at all times.

Like RDDS, the EPP interface retrieves and submits its information in real-time and is also connected to the database.

In addition to storing the complete registry-related data in the database, KSR also distributes the complete SRS source and binary codes to both data center locations at all times. This is achieved by a central repository which is synchronized at every location.

The combination of synchronization of source and binaries of each SRS-related service and the centralized database allows the KSR solution to switch from one data center to the other within 30 minutes. During a failover, the DNS service remains unaffected by the switch.

The data escrow files are generated in accordance with the registry Specification 2.

- Full Deposit: Each Sunday by 23:59 UTC
- Differential Deposit: Monday through Saturday by 23:59 UTC

These measures ensure the compliance with registry continuity in Specification 6.


E. Synchronization Scheme (warm-standby)

The setup of the system includes two geographically separate data centers configured as a warm-standby system (one active, the other in warm-standby, see fig. 1 in attachment Q24_Figure1.pdf). If the production data center is hit by a disaster which results in the complete loss of the data center, the warm-standby system can be brought online within minutes to completely take over.

The complete SRS data (domains, contacts, DNS, etc.) is always available at both data centers at any given time, safeguarding the SRS data from being lost. This is achieved by the setup of the SRS databases as clusters and distributed over both data centers. The cluster is synchronized in real-time.

Using PCH.NET as a partner for DNS/DNSSEC, KSR always has ten different locations available worldwide.

These measurements ensure the compliance with Specification 6.


F. Project Resources and Roles

Key-Systems GmbH has gathered experience in various roles in the domain business for more than ten years and has access to extensive knowledge in the domain industry. This deep industry knowledge and experience has been transferred to KSregistry GmbH, the technical provider of the KSregistry system (KSR), and is evident in many trusted persons serving in different roles throughout the company.

All employees, contractors, and consultants that have access to or control of the KSregistry system are trusted persons.

Each role is staffed with multiple human resources for backup and capacity purposes.

Prior to commencement of employment in a trusted role, KSregistry GmbH performs the following background checks on a prospective candidate:

- Criminal records bureau check
- Verification of previous employment
- Check of professional references

F.1 Role Descriptions

All of the following roles have a backup available in each separate location in Germany (St. Ingbert and Munich).

Security Role

The Chief Security Officer (CSO) is dedicated to the security role. The CSO is the person responsible for the security of a company?s communications and other business systems. The CSO is involved in both the business (including people) and technical aspects of security. CSO responsibilities include training of personnel regarding security awareness, developing secure business and communication practices, purchasing security products, and ensuring that security practices are followed. The CSO has a stand-in backup available.

Designated Engineering Role

The designated engineering role includes the software developers of the entire SRS and all related interfaces such as EPP, RDDS (WHOIS), escrow, etc. All engineers are also integrated into 3rd level support of the SRS and related interfaces.

System Administration Role

The system administrators take care of the infrastructure of the SRS system. This includes the entire network, hardware and system installations as well as the cluster setup of the databases and all data backups which are made.

The NOC team is composed of system administrators. This team is responsible for clean, well-documented, and reliable data center operations. All access to the data center is restricted to members of the NOC team and persons accompanied by members of the NOC team only. There is an emergency team of at least two people at all times. This team is reachable 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Security Administrator

Members of this role define HSM domains/tokens and administer HSM users and the overall HSM policy. Security administrators guarantee a working HSM domain for DNSSEC signing.

Support Role

The support role covers the first and second levels of support (Service Desk). All registrars and SRS customers may contact the support role as the first line of contact. Requests can be submitted via email or phone and can be placed 24 x 7. The support role is located in two geographically separate locations, one in Germany and the other in Mexico. If problems are traced back to an erroneous system behavior as the cause, all available data are gathered and a problem report is generated and handed over to the change management team.

DNS/DNSSEC Role

The DNSSEC administrator role is staffed with at least two persons. Members of this role are responsible for the overall Open DNSSEC setup and maintenance. This includes the connection to the HSM cluster as well as compliance to the HSM policy for the DNSSEC domain.

Quality Management Role

The Quality Management (QM) role takes care of each software component which is integrated into the SRS system and related interfaces. After a development cycle is finished, the QM performs full integration testing of the entire system. The testing is performed entirely on a separate testing system (OT&E) which mirrors the production system. The QM ensures the production readiness of each and every software upgrade, including emergency software patches. No software or system change will be promoted to production without the explicit approval of the QM.

Change Management / Project Management Role (CM/PM)

The CM and PM role ensures that all steps in the development and system change processes are assessed, approved, implemented, and reviewed in a controlled manner. They also chair the Change Advisory Board (CAB) and the Emergency Change Advisory Board (ECAB). These boards are comprised of selected people from other functions within the company. The CM/PM reviews and closes requests for change and reports to management.

F.2 Project Resources

The table in (fig. 2 in attachment Q24_Figure2.pdf) shows how the roles described above are planned for the SRS system. The calculations differ between the project phase and the years after the operational start. The project phase requires more resources as there is much planning, management, and development required. All human resources are only engaged in the domain industry and are experts in their area.

However, as the resources are shared and are not dedicated exclusively to one SRS project, the columns contain the number of resources available for this role and the percentage of all people working for this specific TLD. This percentage is the guaranteed time the resources for this SRS project assure.


G. List of Attachments

- Q24_Figure1.pdf
- Q24_Figure2.pdf
- Q32_Figure1.pdf
- Q32_Figure3.pdf

Question 25: Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP)

Key-Systems GmbH first gained experience working on the client side of the Extensible Provisioning Protocol(EPP) with the .Info registry (launched in 2001). This deep industry knowledge and experience has been transferred to its subsidiary, KSregistry GmbH. Launched against early Internet Drafts, a great deal was learned in the first years leading to important protocol revisions. Some of these included changes to prevent the formation of orphaned glue records in an EPP registry and the ability to affect mass internal host updates with a single request. Most importantly, EPP brought the required functionality of populating registration contact data in the registry, allowing the subsequent implementation of a centralized or “thick” Whois service.

EPP was largely motivated by the growth in the number of accredited registrars that occurred beginning in 1999. Technologists working on EPP believed that the emergence of many new TLD registries was imminent and sought to ease the client-to-server implementation work that would flood the registry/registrar community if a standardized protocol was not developed through which to interact with domain registries. The effort was largely successful, although there has been extensive distinct diversion among overlapping EPP extensions between different registries over the years.

These many EPP extension difference first led KSregistry (KSR) to write a EPP proxy server in May 2009. The KSR RFC compliant EPP server implementation has been serving over 300 large and small registrars, passing up to 7000 EPP transactions per minute to over 280 registries. Some of these well known registries include: com, net, org, biz, info.

KSR EPP Server Interface

The EPP server is set up as a cluster to guarantee a high availability solution. The sizing of the servers and databases are calculated to meet the needs of each business case. The system is set up in a scalable way so that an increase of domains or registrars can be handled by adding hardware as needed. The KSR EPP API is offered over TCP on port 700 with mandatory SSL session enforcement for registrars for automated interaction with username and password.
To increase security, a registrar IP address limitation is in place for the EPP servers (both production and OT&E).This API also supports a secure web-based (over https) EPP client for registrars? manual use only. The web-based graphical interface interacts with the EPP server through standard EPP XML queries. The EPP XML responses are in turn displayed in the web interface. This allows the registrars to perform registry transactions through the web-based interface.

The KSR EPP Interface is capable of supporting up to 5000 read transactions per minute and 2000 write transactions (concurrently). It is provisioned in a highly redundant,duplicative environment using stateless, multiple application instances. Please see Q. 31 for details on expected transaction volumes for this TLD registry.


A. RFC Relevance to KSregistry (KSR)

A.1 RFC 5730

This RFC is a base protocol document for EPP. EPP is an XML-text object based client-server protocol, atomic in its transactions, and developed to support multiple transports and lower level security protocols. There are no partial failures; all commands either succeed or fail definitively. Object-to-object associations are standard with limited application of parent-child relationships where delegate relationships are necessary for affected functionality, such as internal host data and its relationship to domain objects. The KSR registry fully implements the service discovery, commands, responses, and the extension framework described.

A.2 RFC 5731

This RFC explains the mapping of the primary EPP registry object, the domain object. It reviews associated attributes and states of the domain object as well as child object relationships (hosts). It also details associations with other contact objects. KSR complies with the full XML examples and descriptions and applies flexibility where permitted. For example, 5731 allows operators to implement the info command with different responses for a “sponsoring registrar” and a “non-sponsoring registrar” in regards to most domain object attributes. KSR implements this as a base protocol document for EPP.

A.3 RFC 5732

KSR implements this as a base protocol document for EPP. KSR notes this RFC describes the mapping of relationships to host objects, which are by definition subordinate to the superordinate domain name object. Host objects that are defined as internal or in the namespace of the registry must be related to a superordinate domain object to be created. Internal hosts, as full child objects, face restrictions associated with the management of their superordinate domain object. External hosts are hosts belonging to another domain namespace and as such are not subordinate in the present namespace. Internal hosts can have a glue or an A record associated with them, external hosts refer to another namespace or zone for the associated A record.

A.4 RFC 5733

Another base RFC implemented in the KSR server, this RFC describes the contact object mappings in EPP. Contact objects are used to contain related data surrounding the standardized contacts types in TLD registries including attributes such as contact type, country, telephone numbers, email addresses, etc. As a standalone object, a contact object can be created and associated with no domain objects or with any number of domain objects available in the registry. This is used commonly by registrars to update common contact information associated across large numbers of domains in a single transaction. Like the domain object, it can be secured with a passphrase or “authinfo” code. Contact object data represents the definitive data source for authoritative RDDS (WHOIS) in new TLDs.

A.5 RFC 5734

KSR will implement this RFC as the preferred industry transport and in compliance with ICANN?s requirements. Early implementations of EPP were considered over BEEP. This RFC describes a standard implementation of TCP incorporating TLS. As mentioned earlier, EPP can be implemented over multiple transports. The transport of choice for the EPP registry community has been TCP. Implementers are encouraged to take precautions against denial of service attacks through the use of standard technologies such as firewall and border router filters. IANA awarded port 700 as the dedicated port for the server side. There is no dedicated port assignment for the client side.

A.6 RFC 5735

KSR will implement this RFC as applicable to any extensions it utilizes as this RFC provides specific and detailed guidance on EPP extensions. An important principle in creating extensions to, as opposed to modifying, the EPP protocol was to fully preserve the integrity of the existing protocol schema. Additionally, a valid extension itself should be extensible. Another important requirement in the RFC is to include announcements of all available extensions in the EPP server greeting element before establishing an interactive client session.

A.7 RFC 3915

KSR will support this extension since this TLD implements the grace period implementation known as the Redemption Grace Period or “RGP”. When RGP is in use, domains are deleted into the RGP where Registrars may request a restoration of the domain. This is a billable event and requires a three-step process: placement of the domain into a pending restore state, submission of a restore report explaining why the domain is being restored, and finally the restoration of the domain. The RFC extends the domain update command, adds related domain statuses, such as ?redemptionPeriod? and ?pendingRestore,? and extends the responses of domain info and other details. The RFC provides a lifecycle description of the RGP and defines the format and content for client to server submission of the associated restore reports.

A.8 RFC 5910

KSR will support DNSSEC from the initiation of this TLD and therefore will also support this extension from initiation of the registration process. DNSSEC is a mechanism for cryptographically verifying that each delegate zone in the DNS hierarchy has been referred to or is referring to its genuine parent or child zone respectively. Since TLD zone files are generated from authoritative registry data, this extension specifically provides the ability to add elements to the domain-create and domain-update functions and to the domain-info responses, allowing registrars to submit associated delegated signer information of the child zone indicating it is digitally signed and that the parent zone recognizes the indicated key as a valid zone key for the child zone.


B. Extensions used by KSR and Related Internet Drafts

B.1 Draft-tan-epp-launchphase-01 (Launch Phase Mapping for the EPP)

KSR intends to use this EPP internet draft to facilitate Sunrise phases during the initiation of this TLD registry. This internet draft proposes an extension mechanism that supports the organization of Sunrise related domain applications. The extension considers the following elements:

?lp:phase?
This element allows a Sunrise application submission to be marked by the EPP client as a particular Sunrise application type, in respect to running different types of Sunrise applications during a concurrent submission period. KSR will use this to identify Sunrise A and Sunrise B application types.

?lp:status?
This element allows the EPP server to assign one of a number of statuses indicating what stage the Sunrise application is in. These statuses can be expressed through the domaininfo command response and, optionally, through the RDDS service if applicable. The statuses listed below can be assigned uniquely or in combinations where appropriate:

?pvrc?
The Pre-Validation Result Code, an opaque string issued by a third-party validation agent

?claimIssuer?
contains the ID of a contact object (as described in RFC 5733 [RFC5733]) identifying the contact information of the authority which issued the right (for example, a trade mark office or company registration bureau)

?claimName?
identifying the text string in which the applicant is claiming a prior right

?claimNumber?
the registration number of the right (ie trademark number or company registration number)

?claimType?
indicates the type of claim being made (eg trademark, symbol, combined mark, company name)

?claimEntitlement?
indicates the applicant?s entitlement to the claim (ie, owner or licensee)

?claimRegDate?
the date of registration of the claim

?claimExDate?
the date of expiration of the claim

?claimCountry?
indicates the country in which the claim is valid

?claimRegion?
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.ST3]

The complete draft is described in attachment Q25_Figure3.pdf.

B.2 Draft-obispo-epp-idn-00 (Internationalized Domain Name Mapping Extension for the EPP)

KSR intends to use this EPP internet draft to facilitate the usage of provisioning Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). This internet draft extends the EPP domain name mapping to provide additional features that are required to implement registrations of domain names in character sets other than ASCII.

The extension considers the following element in both the domain create request and the domain-info response:

?idn:language?
This element allows for association of a domain name to a language tag, as defined in the code division of the Unicode code chart.

This element allows the registrar submitting the registration to identify a language tag associated with a punycode registration. The language tag refers the server to consider a declared set of table- and/or algorithmic-driven policies regarding a set and/or combination of defined unicode points, including variations of the punycode registration.
Insert Attachment with entire RFC including full xml schema examples

The complete draft is described in attachment Q25_Figure4.pdf.


C. KSR EPP Server

C.1 KSR EPP Command and Elements and Overview

Attachment Q25_Figure1.pdf contains the table with the supported EPP commands and the EPP object relationship.
Note: There are at least 2 name servers required for an active domain. Otherwise, the domain will be in the inactive status.

C.2 EPP Compliance Assurance:

KSR is committed to ensuring and maintaining compliance with the aforementioned EPP RFCs and, to this end, employs numerous mechanisms as listed below:

Quality Assurance Program

KSR runs a robust Quality Assurance (QA) program with multiple dedicated QA engineers. KSR has developed complete unit, regression, and stress based automated test suites for positive and negative use case testing. The test suites are self-developed and optimized for the relevant use cases. KSR reviews its use cases regularly with the entire development and registry operations teams for consideration as additional test cases. Additionally, KSR hosts periodic events where we bring together registrar engineers to discuss these use cases and seek new cornerstone cases that registrars may be able to offer from their experiences and points of view.
KSR provides its QA team with a robust production grade testing environment with client load emulation capabilities that far exceed the load (through rate limiting) permitted on the KSR production environment.

OT&E

All new candidate EPP application versions will be released to a pre-candidate Registrar Operational and Testing Environment (OT&E) before promotion. Minor revisions, defined as new optional functionality, will have a minimum 30 day period in OT&E. Major changes, defined as requiring changes on the registrar client side, will have a minimum 90 day period in OT&E.

Inline XML Validator

The KSR EPP application uses the following XML validator in its server implementation. (Perl library XML::LibXML) XML errors or malformed XML will fail EPP transactions with the client atomically and the server will detail the failure state in the returned error message as well as the incorrect XML.

Third Party Validation

KSR is partnered with another Registry Service Provider (RSP), Internetwire, and has a bilateral agreement for each party to independently test and verify each other?s EPP RFC compliance. KSR may also opt to engage other third parties for compliance testing.


D. Resources and Roles

D.1 Resources

Key-Systems GmbH has gathered experience in various roles in the domain business for more than ten years and has access to extensive knowledge in the domain industry. This deep industry knowledge and experience has been transferred to KSregistry GmbH, the technical provider of the KSregistry system (KSR), and is evident in many trusted persons serving in different roles throughout the company.

All employees, contractors, and consultants that have access to or control of the KSregistry system are trusted persons.

Each role is staffed with multiple human resources for backup and capacity purposes.

Prior to commencement of employment in a trusted role, KSregistry GmbH performs the following background checks on a prospective candidate:

- Criminal records bureau check
- Verification of previous employment
- Check of professional references

D.2 Roles

Designated Engineering Role

The designated engineering role includes the software developers of the entire SRS and all related interfaces (EPP, RDDS (Whois), escrow, etc.). All engineers are also integrated into 3rd level support of the SRS and related interfaces. The members of the engineering role are located in two geographically separate locations in Germany (St. Ingbert and Munich).

System Administration Role

The system administrators take care of the infrastructure of the SRS system. This includes the entire network, hardware, and system installations, as well as the cluster setup of the databases and all data backups which are made. Further, the installation of the hardware security module is performed by this role. This includes network setup, operating system installation, and HSM activation.

Support Role

The support role covers the first and second levels of support (service desk). All registrars and SRS customers may contact the support role as the first line of contact. Requests can be submitted via email or phone and can be placed 24 x 7. The support role is located in two geographically separate locations: one in Germany and the other in Mexico.
The first level of support receives all incoming requests from registrars and SRS customers and establishes the first contact. All problems that arise due to improper usage of the system or a misunderstanding of procedures will be resolved by the first level support. In addition, the first level points the customers to the online wiki and knowledge bases to prevent such requests in the future.

The second level support takes care of all problems which could not be solved by the first level. If problems are traced back to an erroneous system behavior as the cause, all available data are gathered and a problem report is generated and handed over to the change management team.

Quality Management Role

The Quality Management (QM) role takes care of each software component which is integrated into the SRS system and related interfaces. After a development cycle is finished, the QM performs full integration testing of the entire system. The testing is performed on a separate testing system (OT&E) which mirrors the production system. The QM ensures production readiness of each and every software upgrade, including emergency software patches. No software or system change will be promoted to production without the explicit approval of the QM.

Change Management (CM) / Project Management (PM)

The CM and PM role ensures that all steps in the development and system change processes are assessed, approved, implemented and reviewed in a controlled manner. This role filters requests so that only useful, valid and approved changes are implemented. They are also responsible for managing development efforts and changes to ensure that the changes are applied in accordance with predefined processes. They also chair the Change Advisory Board (CAB) and the Emergency Change Advisory Board (ECAB). These boards are comprised of selected people from other functions within the company. The project and change management role reviews and closes requests for change and reports to management.


The table in (fig. 2 in attachment Q25_Figure2.pdf) shows how the roles described above are planned for the SRS system. The calculations differ between the project phase and the years after the operational start. The project phase requires more resources as there is much planning, management, and development required. All human resources are only engaged in the domain industry and are experts in their area.

However, as the resources are shared and are not dedicated exclusively to one SRS project, the columns contain the number of resources available for this role and the percentage of all people working for this specific TLD. This percentage is the guaranteed time the resources for this SRS project assure.


E. List of Attachments

- Q25_Figure1.pdf
- Q25_Figure2.pdf
- Q25_Figure3.pdf
- Q25_Figure4.pdf

Question 26: Whois

The KSregistry (KSR) provides both web and command line (port 43) publicly accessible RDDS (WHOIS) which offers a central location for all authoritative TLD related information when registering or modifying a domain name. The RDDS (WHOIS) information is reflected in real-time to the public.
The RDDS (WHOIS) service is a public service for interested stakeholders such as registries, registrars, individuals, law enforcement, and trademark owners that require detailed information on one of the following categories of information:

- Domain name including status, creation, and expiration date
- Information on domain registrant, administration, technical and billing contact
- Name server and IP address
- Registrar information

This information will provide the public with the ability to get in touch with the domain holder for any reason that requires action to be taken (e.g. trademark issues, violations with registry policies, offensive content, etc.). In addition to the search capabilities, the service has methods of limiting abuse.

The RDDS (WHOIS) service is in compliance with RFC 3912 and Specifications 4 and 6 of the registry agreement and global best practices.

KSR is already running a RDDS (WHOIS) server in full compliance with RFC 3912. The service has been in place for over 11 years without any major incidents. Experienced personnel are on board for operating and maintaining the RDDS (WHOIS) service.


A. Searchable RDDS (WHOIS)

The KSR RDDS (WHOIS) includes a web-based searchable service for registrars only which reveals more detailed information, satisfying the requirements for a score of 2.

Fig. 2 in attachment Q26_Figure2.pdf shows the complete list of all possible queries which can be made.

For security reasons and legal restrictions some search capabilities are only available in the registrar web-based RDDS (WHOIS). This includes partial match capabilities regarding the registrant?s postal address.


B. Abuse Protections

There are technical restrictions in place for all RDDS (WHOIS) types to prevent the abuse of the data from such methods as data mining or DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service). Following best practices, KSR protects the web-based whois service with CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) and port 43 whois service with IP limitations.

In addition to these technical restrictions, the registry policy disallows data mining or comparable approaches of collecting data.


C. Technical Overview

The RDDS (WHOIS) service is set up as a two server cluster with a redundant load balancer in front of it to ensure a highly available solution (n+1 redundancy).

The server software is running on a SuSE Linux Enterprise Server and is configured to be scalable, allowing KSR to be extended by simply adding additional servers to the setup during regular operations.

The sizing of the servers and the databases are calculated to meet the needs of the individual business case and are able to handle a sustained and significant load. The available RDDS (WHOIS) servers are always active at one regional site and may be switched to another regional site within minutes as necessary. There are two different sites available for running the RDDS (WHOIS) service.

- Primary Site: St. Ingbert, Germany
- Secondary Site: Munich, Germany

All sites have a permanent highly secure VPN connection to the (current) primary site in order to synchronize the complete SRS, EPP, DNS/DNSSEC, escrow and RDDS (WHOIS) related database information. All network traffic between the VPN gateways will be encrypted using 1024 bit RSA keys. The complete availability of KSR information at all times allows for a safe failover from the primary site to the secondary or disaster site within minutes.

The RDDS (WHOIS) information data is stored in a MySQL database which is setup as an active/active database cluster. This cluster is permanently replicated to all other sites. The RDDS (WHOIS) data is also stored daily by the KSR backup system. The backups are also sent to the secondary site.

In addition to the performance aspect of the RDDS (WHOIS) service, the KSR detects abusive usage levels such as those that occur from excessive numbers of queries from one source. This is accomplished by checking the source IP of the request on the port 43 RDDS (WHOIS). The web-based RDDS (WHOIS) comes with an additional CAPTCHA mechanism in order to prevent abuse.

Further protections to the WHOIS service from incidents like DDOS (Distributed Denial Of Service) attacks are assured by an IDS (Intrusion Detection System) which provides KSR overall protection.

Daily generated escrow data files containing all RDDS (WHOIS) related data are stored at the NCC Group as the KSR escrow provider.

The full RDDS (WHOIS) architecture is described in fig. 1 in attachment Figure Q26_Figure1.


D. Quality Measurements and Validation of Compliance with Specifications 4 and 10

KSR takes several measurements in order to ensure ongoing Service Level Agreement (SLA) checking, RFC compliance, and compliance with Specifications 4 and 10 of the registry agreement. For the following, KSR refers to the RDDS (WHOIS) as RDDS (Registration Data Directory Services) in order to describe the collective of RDDS (WHOIS) and web-based RDDS (WHOIS) services.

In order to facilitate the registry performance specification (Specification 10), the following checks are performed on the RDDS (WHOIS) periodically:

- RDDS availability
- RDDS query RTT
- Web-based RDDS query RTT
- RDDS update time
- RDDS test

All available RDDS (WHOIS) search patterns are randomly checked with a data parser compliant with RFC 3912 and Specification 4 in order to check if the data output satisfies the given requirements.

A non-registry partner also validates RFC 3912 compliance. KSR also performs backwards RFC compliance checks on the non-registry partner through its registry partnership with Internetwire. All software enhancements or corrections go through the change management process. This includes full regression testing with the complete SRS system. Provided that all quality tests and the change is approved by the Change Management Board (CMB), a change will be made in the OT&E system. Once the testing phase in the OT&E is done and no problems are found while testing with the registrars, the software change of the new version will be made in production.


E. System Capacity

KSR sizing calculations have been performed to assess the hardware resources necessary to support the expected volume of transactions from the business case for this TLD and are based on available statistics from the monthly ICANN registry reports of existing gTLDs like .Com, .Org, .Info and the ccTLD .Be.

Taking into account that the KSR is setup and designed to host multiple strings, the maximum number of this specific string does not fully load the maximum capacity of the system.

KSR is capable of handling up to the following volumes as a maximum with the current capability of the hardware:

For this TLD the expected number of domain name registrations will be significantly less than 21,000 over a period of 3 years.

Max. RDDS (WHOIS) capacity of KSR: 200,000,000 queries/month

If the system reporting and alerts indicate that the current volumes of data or transactions is reaching 75% of the maximum capacity of the system, the system will be upgraded by adding additional servers to the setup. This can be done during regular operations without requiring any downtime.

KSR used the gathered statistics to derive blended base and peak transaction volume expectations per domain. Calculations of traffic presented below are derived strictly from peak transaction volumes in support of conservative estimates and the intent that a margin of error should result in over-provisioning registry services, versus under-provisioning.

First Year:
RDDS up to 78 queries per domain per month

For a 21K domain name registry:
RDDS up to 1,638,000 queries per month

Note: benchmark calculations from values from public registry data are raised by 50% for RDDS in the first year in respect to related registry launch activities.

Second Year:

RDDS up to 52 queries per domain per month

For a 21K domain name registry:
RDDS up to 1,092,000 queries per month


F. Hardware Specifications

The hardware specifications are based on the analysis from the system capacity numbers.

KSR?s primary and secondary data center were chosen to fit a common architecture, providing the following benefits:

- at least TIER III certification
- n+1 redundancy on power supply, cooling network
- at least one 1 Gbit uplink provider
- latest fire prevention system
- 10 Gbit internal network transfer for KSR systems

The detailed hardware list is described in the table in fig. 3 in attachment Q26_Figure3.pdf.

RDDS plans are consistent with the technical, operational, and financial approach as described in the application


G. Roles and Resources

G.1 Resources

Key-Systems GmbH has gathered experience in various roles in the domain business for more than ten years and has access to extensive knowledge in the domain business. This deep industry knowledge and experience has also been transferred to KSregistry GmbH, the technical provider of the KSregistry system (KSR) and is evident in many trusted persons serving in different roles throughout the company.

The table in (fig. 4 in attachment Q26_Figure4.pdf) shows how the roles described above are planned for the SRS system. All resources at KSregistry are dedicated to the registry business. The calculations differ between the project phase and the years after the operational start. The project phase requires more resources as there is much planning, managing, and development required. All resources are engaged in the domain industry only and are experts in their field.

However, as the resources are shared and are not dedicated exclusively to one SRS project, the columns contain the number of resources available for this role and the percentage of all people working for this specific TLD. This percentage is the guaranteed time the resources for this SRS project assure.

G.2 Roles

Engineering Role

The designated engineering role includes the software developers of the entire SRS and all related interfaces (EPP, RDDS (WHOIS), escrow, etc.). All engineers are also integrated into 3rd level support of the SRS and related interfaces. The members of the engineering role are located in two geographically separate locations in Germany (St. Ingbert and Munich).

System Administration Role

The system administrators take care of the infrastructure of the SRS system. This includes the entire network, hardware, and system installations, as well as the cluster setup of the databases and all data backups which are made. Further, the installation of the hardware security module is performed by this role. This includes network setup, operating system installation, and HSM activation.

The members of the administration role are spread across two geographically separate locations inside of Germany (St. Ingbert and Munich).

Quality Management Role

The Quality Management (QM) role takes care of each software component which is integrated into the SRS system and related interfaces. After a development cycle is finished, the QM performs full integration testing of the entire system. The testing is performed on a separate testing system (OT&E) which mirrors the production system. The QM ensures production readiness of each and every software upgrade including emergency software patches. No software or system change will be promoted to production without the explicit approval of the QM.

Change Management (CM) / Project Management (PM)

The CM and PM role ensures that all steps in the development and system change processes are assessed, approved, implemented and reviewed in a controlled manner. This role filters requests so that only useful, valid and approved changes are implemented. They are also responsible for managing development efforts and changes to ensure that the changes are applied in accordance with predefined processes. They also chair the Change Advisory Board (CAB) and the Emergency Change Advisory Board (ECAB). These boards are comprised of selected people from other functions within the company. The project and change management role reviews and closes requests for change and reports to management.


H. Whois Output Fields

Query on domain name data displays the following information:

Domain Name
Domain ID
WHOIS Server
Referral URL
Domain Last Updated Date
Domain Registration Date
Domain Expiration Date
Sponsoring registrar
Sponsoring registrar IANA ID
Domain Status
Registrant, Administrative, Technical and Billing Contact
Information including
Contact ID
Contact Name
Contact Organization
Contact Address, City, State/Province, Country
Contact Postal Code
Contact Phone, Fax, E-mail
Name Servers associated with this domain
DNSSEC information

Example Request: Query for domain “example.string”
Example Response:
Domain Name: EXAMPLE.STRING
Domain ID: 213232132-TLD
WHOIS Server: WHOIS.example.string
Referral URL: http://www.example.string
Updated Date: 2011-07-22T01:44:02Z
Creation Date: 2011-06-01T23:45:33Z
Registry Expiry Date: 2012-06-01T23:59:59Z
Sponsoring Registrar: EXAMPLE REGISTRAR
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 1234567890
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
Registrant ID: 123456-STR
Registrant Name: EXAMPLE REGISTRANT
Registrant Organization: EXAMPLE ORGANIZATION
Registrant Street: 123 EXAMPLE STREET
Registrant City: SOMEWHERE
Registrant State/Province: AP
Registrant Postal Code: 12345
Registrant Country: EX
Registrant Phone: +1.5555522222
Registrant Fax: +1.55555544444
Registrant Email: EMAIL@EXAMPLE.STRING
Admin ID: 392839283-STR
Admin Name: EXAMPLE REGISTRANT ADMINISTRATIVE
Admin Organization: EXAMPLE REGISTRANT ORGANIZATION
Admin Street: 123 EXAMPLE STREET
Admin City: SOMEWHERE
Admin State/Province: AP
Admin Postal Code: 12345
Admin Country: EX
Admin Phone: +1.5555551212
Admin Phone Ext: 1234
Admin Fax: +1.5555551213
Admin Fax Ext:
Admin Email: EMAIL@EXAMPLE.STRING
Tech ID: 392811183-STR
Tech Name: EXAMPLE REGISTRAR TECHNICAL
Tech Organization: EXAMPLE REGISTRAR LLC
Tech Street: 123 EXAMPLE STREET
Tech City: SOMEWHERE
Tech State/Province: AP
Tech Postal Code: 12345
Tech Country: EX
Tech Phone: +1.1235551234
Tech Phone Ext: 1234
Tech Fax: +1.5555551213
Tech Fax Ext: 93
Tech Email: EMAIL@EXAMPLE.STRING
Billing ID: 112811183-STR
Billing Name: EXAMPLE REGISTRAR BILLING
Billing Organization: EXAMPLE REGISTRAR LLC
Billing Street: 123 EXAMPLE STREET
Billing City: SOMEWHERE
Billing State/Province: AP
Billing Postal Code: 12345
Billing Country: EX
Billing Phone: +1.1235551234
Billing Phone Ext: 1234
Billing Fax: +1.5555551213
Billing Fax Ext: 93
Billing Email: EMAIL@EXAMPLE.STRING
Name Server: NS01.EXAMPLEREGISTRAR.STRING
Name Server: NS02.EXAMPLEREGISTRAR.STRING
DNSSEC: signedDelegation
DNSSEC: unsigned0

Query on name server name data displays the following information:

Name Server Host Name
Name Server IP Addresses if applicable
Sponsoring registrar
Name Server Creation Date
Name Server Last Updated Date

Example Request: Query for name server ns1.example.string
Example Response:
Server Name: NS1.EXAMPLE.STRING
IP Address: 192.0.3.123
IP Address: 2001:0DB8::1
Registrar: Example Registrar, Inc.
Creation Date: 2011-06-01T23:45:33Z
Updated Date: 2011-07-22T01:44:02Z

Query on registrar displays the following information:

Registrar ID
Registrar Name
Registrar Status
Registrar Address, City, State/Province, Country
Registrar Postal Code
Registrar Phone, Fax, E-mail
Registrar Creation Date
Registrar Last Updated Date
Administrative, Technical Contact
Information including
Contact Phone, Fax, E-mail

Example request: Query for registrar Example Registrar, Inc.
Example response:
Registrar Name: Example Registrar, Inc.
Street: 4231 King Street
City: London
State/Province: XY
Postal Code: 123445
Country: XR
Phone Number: +1.3105559999
Fax Number: +1.3105559911
Email: registrar@example.string
Admin Contact: Pete Registrar
Phone Number: +1.3105551213
Fax Number: +1.3105551213
Email: pete@example-registrar.string
Technical Contact: Karlo Schlapp
Phone Number: +1.5610555222
Fax Number: +1.33105551111
Email: karlo@example-registrar.string


I. List of Attachments

- Q26_Figure1.pdf
- Q26_Figure2.pdf
- Q26_Figure3.pdf
- Q26_Figure4.pdf

Question 27: Registration Life Cycle

This TLD operates with a open registrant policy and only offers one year registration and renewal periods. The KSR platform, however, is also supporting the handling of multiple year periods, as is it capable of managing multiple registrars, as described in the following.

A. Registration Life Cycle Periods

The registration life cycle of a domain name includes the following periods: available, add-grace period, registered, expired, auto-renew grace period, redemption grace period, pending delete, and released. This life cycle offers the possibility for different business cases, such as domain auctioning, drop catching, and domain tasting. As this TLD operates with a open registrant policy, auctioning, drop catching, and domain tasting may occur. It also includes the domain deletion excess fee in order to avoid massive abuse of the add-grace period. The complete registration life cycle is shown in attached fig. Q27_Figure1.1.pdf.

A.1 Available

The domain name is available for registration. Each registrar can register the domain name using a create domain command. The first registrar which submits the domain registration order and has sufficient funding will receive the domain name. After the successful registration of the domain name, the add-grace period will begin. An available domain name cannot be transferred, deleted, updated, or restored and will not be included in the zone file.

A.2 Add-Grace Period (AGP)

The AGP starts after the successful registration of the domain name and lasts for five days. During this period the registrar can submit a delete domain command to delete the domain name and will receive a complete refund of the registration fee. This refund does not include non-refundable fees of the registration process. However, the AGP follows the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) AGP consensus policy to charge the registrar for excessive deletion activity during this period. During the AGP, the domain name is considered registered and therefore offers the same possibilities available during the registered period described below. A domain name in the AGP is included in the zone file and may not be transferred. The registrar license and agreement prohibits a domain name holder from changing registrars within the first 60 days of the initial registration, enforced by the SRS. If a domain name is renewed during this period and then subsequently deleted, the owning registrar will only receive a refund for the initial registration fee.

A.3 Registered

A domain name can be registered for a period of one to ten years. During this period the domain name can be transferred to another registrar using the transfer domain command if the requesting registrar has sufficient funding to pay the transfer domain fee. The transfer of a domain name will extend the registration period for one year, but cannot exceed ten years total registration period. The domain name can be renewed any time by the owning registrar using the renew domain command if the owning registrar has enough funding for the domain renewal fee. However, the maximum registration period of ten years can never be exceeded. A registered domain name is included in the zone file if associated with any host objects.

A.4 Expired

If the domain name passes its expiration date without being renewed by the owning registrar, the domain name will enter the auto-renew grace period. An expired domain name is included in the zone file if associated with any host objects.

A.5 Auto-Renew Grace Period (ARGP)

During this period the owning registrar has the possibility to delete the domain name using the delete domain command and receive a refund of the domain renewal fee. The ARGP lasts for 45 days. A transfer to another registrar is possible if the requesting registrar has enough funding for the domain transfer fee. A transfer process will extend the domain registration period for one year, but cannot exceed ten years total registration period. If the registration period is already ten years, the transfer will not extend the registration period. After 45 days without a renewal, the domain name will enter the redemption-grace period. During the ARGP the domain name will still be in the zone file if associated with any host objects.

A.6 Redemption Grace Period (RGP)

If a domain name enters the RGP it will be excluded from the zone file and the domain name will no longer resolve. During this period no renewal, transfer, or new registration of the domain name is possible. The RGP lasts for 30 days. During this time the owning registrar can restore the domain name. The registrar can submit an extended update domain command (restore) to reactivate the domain name if the registrar has enough funding for the restore domain fee. If a domain is restored it will enter the registered status with a registration period of one year. It will be included into the zone file with the associated host objects that were used before entering the redemption grace period. If a domain name passes the 30 days of redemption grace period (75 days total after expiration) the domain name will enter the pending delete period and can no longer be restored.

A.7 Pending Delete

In the pending delete period the domain name is set for deletion. The period lasts for five days and prohibits any process from occurring regarding the domain name. It will not be included in the zone file. After five days the domain name will be released and available for new registration through a valid domain registration order.

A.8 Released

The domain name is deleted from the SRS and enters the available period. The domain name will be immediately available for registration to all registrars.


B. Domain Name Operations

B.1 Create Domain

A registrar uses the create command to register a domain name. Before a domain name can be created the registrar should use the check command to determine if the domain name is available. The domain name will be registered for the period specified by the registrar. This period may be from one to ten years (the default is one year). Upon registration of a domain name the registrar?s credit is immediately debited by the registration fee multiplied by the number of years requested. The registry operator may also add an initial setup fee for a new registration. To be included into the zone file, the domain name must have at least two but no more than thirteen name servers. The registrant may add an authentication code for the domain during the creation or a randomly generated authentication code will be set for the domain name.

B.2 Delete Domain

The delete domain command allows the owning registrar of the domain name to delete it. A request to delete a domain name will cause all child name servers of the domain name to also be deleted. A domain must not be deleted if it has child name servers hosting other domains. When a domain name is deleted outside of the AGP it goes into the redemption-grace period status for 30 days. When a domain name is deleted within the AGP it is deleted immediately from the SRS and the zone file and will be available for a new registration.

B.3 Transfer Domain

The transfer process begins when a registrar initiates a transfer with a transfer domain command, the correct authentication code, and sufficient funding in his account for the transfer domain fee. The domain will be flagged in the SRS as being requested for transfer (“pendingTransfer” status). The current registrar has five calendar days to approve or reject the transfer request. If the losing registrar explicitly approves the request the domain is transferred and one year is added to the expiration date. However, the registration period cannot exceed ten years total and will be capped at a maximum of ten years. If the losing registrar explicitly denies the request, then the transfer is immediately canceled and the requesting registrar will receive a refund of the transfer fee. If the gaining registrar mistakenly sends a transfer request, they may cancel the request as long as the transfer is pending. In this case the requesting registrar receives a refund of the transfer fee. Once one of these three actions is complete the SRS creates a poll message to all participating registrars for the domain name. If no action is taken within five days, the request is automatically approved by the SRS batch system. Once a transfer is requested the losing registrar has the response options to reject, approve, or do nothing (auto approve). After the successful transfer of a domain name the old authentication code will be replaced with a new randomly generated authentication code.

B.4 Update Domain

The update command enables the owning registrar of the domain name to perform four different update operations on the domain name: Update the name servers, the authentication code, the associated contacts, and the statuses of a domain name. Possible statuses that can be updated include “clientHold”, “clientDeleteProhibited”, “clientUpdateProhibited”, “clientTransferProhibited”, and “clientRenewProhibited”. If an update command removes all name servers of a domain name, it will no longer be included in the zone file and will receive the status “inactive”.

B.5 Renew Domain

The renew domain command allows the registrar of the domain name to extend the registration period if they have enough funds for the renew domain fee multiplied by the number of years the registration period will be extended. For this TLD only one year renewals will be offered. The request for a renewal should contain the period to identify the number of years to be added to the registration period. If not provided, the SRS uses a default value of one year. The renewal request should contain the current expiration date to ensure that the domain name will not be renewed multiple times if the request was submitted multiple times due to connection problems between the SRS and the registrar. If no expiration date is given, the SRS will automatically use the current expiration date as the default value. The SRS will renew the domain name for the period specified by the registrar and returns the new registration expiration date.

B.5 Restore Domain

The restore domain command enables a registrar to restore a deleted domain name after the AGP. In order to successfully restore a domain, the registrar must submit a restore domain command and have sufficient funding for the restore domain fee. The restore operation adds the “pendingRestore” status to the domain name until completion of the request. A successful restore will extend the registration period of the domain name by one year but is capped at a total registration period of ten years. After the restore operation, the domain name will be added back into the zone file as long as there is at least one name server and no “clientHold” or “serverHold” status associated. If the restore operation fails, the domain will stay in the RGP until it enters the pending delete period and the registrar will receive a refund of the restore domain fee.


C. Domain Name Statuses

To ensure the registration domain life cycle there are several domain statuses that can be seen by everyone using the RDDP (WHOIS) or by any registrar using the extensible provisioning protocol (EPP). These statuses are very important in identifying the current period a domain name is in, or identifying the problems a registrar can encounter while managing a domain name (e.g. a failing transfer request caused by a “serverTransferProhibited” status). A foreign registrar may also be interested in the statuses of a domain name to identify when a specific domain name will be available for registration again (drop catching). Domain name statuses include EPP and RGP domain name statuses as referenced in RFC 3915. Depending on the life cycle period of a domain name, it can have an EPP and a RGP status at the same time. In some cases these two statuses can be different.

These domain statuses are compliant with the RFCs 3915, 5730-5734, and 5910. The domain statues are:

- addPeriod
- autoRenewPeriod
- inactive
- ok
- pendingRestore
- pendingDelete
- pendingTransfer
- redemptionPeriod
- serverDeleteProhibited
- serverHold
- serverRenewProhibited
- serverTransferProhibited
- serverUpdateProhibited

All server statuses are always set by the SRS. However, the owning registrar also has the ability to assign statuses to a domain name, offering the same functionality as the server statuses. These statuses are:

- clientDeleteProhibited
- clientHold
- clientRenewProhibited
- clientTransferProhibited

A domain name may have more than one status at a time, but must have at least one status. Some statuses prohibit other statuses on the same domain name.

C.1 ok

This is the default status of a domain name that has no operations or prohibitions. This value is set and removed by the SRS system as other status values are added or removed and cannot be combined with any other status. The SRS sets this status upon initial creation. A domain name with this status may be updated with any “client” statuses and will be included in the zone file if there is at least one name server associated with it.

C.2 inactive

If the delegation information has not been associated with the domain name, this status is applied. This is the default status when a domain name has no associated host objects for the DNS delegation. This status will be set by the SRS when all host-object associations are removed.

C.3 clientHold

The owning registrar may set the domain name to this status to prevent the domain name from being included in the zone file.

C.4 clientUpdateProhibited

If a domain name status is “clientUpdateProhibited” it cannot be updated using an update domain command. The name servers, authentication code, contacts, and other statuses of the domain name cannot be updated until this status is removed.

C.5 clientTransferProhibited

The owning registrar can set this status to a domain name to prevent any other registrar from successfully requesting a transfer for this domain name.

C.6 clientDeleteProhibited

If a domain name status is “clientDeleteProhibited”, it cannot be deleted from the SRS using the delete domain command. The domain can still expire after the registration period has passed.

C.7 clientRenewProhibited

If a domain name status is “clientRenewProhibited”, it cannot be renewed explicitly by the registrar using the renew domain command. It can still be automatically renewed by the SRS batch system if the owning registrar has set the renewal mode of the domain name to auto renew.

C.8 serverHold

The SRS administrator may set the domain name to this status to exclude it from the zone file.

C.9 serverUpdateProhibited

The SRS may set the domain name to this status to prevent any updates using the update domain command. The name servers, authentication code, contacts, and the domain name statuses cannot be updated until this status is removed.

C.10 serverTransferProhibited

The SRS may set the domain name to this status to prevent any registrar from successfully requesting a transfer for this domain name.

C.11 serverDeleteProhibited

The SRS may set the domain name to this status. If a domain name status is “serverDeleteProhibited” it cannot be deleted from the SRS using the delete domain command. This status is slightly different from the “clientDeleteProhibited” as the domain will not even be deleted after the redemption-grace period.

C.12 serverRenewProhibited

The SRS may set the domain name to this status. If a domain name status is “serverRenewProhibited”, it cannot be explicitly renewed by the owning registrar using the renew domain command. It can still be automatically renewed by the SRS batch system.

In addition, the SRS batch system may set the RGP pending period statuses as listed below. In EPP, the RGP pending period statuses are represented as substatuses of the EPP statuses.

C.13 redemptionPeriod

The SRS sets the domain name to this status when a domain is deleted after the AGP. Only the restore domain operation is allowed on a domain with the “redemptionPeriod” status.

C.14 pendingRestore

The SRS sets the domain name to this status when a restore is requested. If a domain name status is “pendingRestore”, then no additional restore request can be successfully submitted.

C.15 pendingDelete

The SRS sets the domain name to this status once it has been in “redemptionPeriod” for 30 days. A domain name remains on “pendingDelete” status for five days before it is finally deleted from the SRS.

C.16 pendingTransfer

The “pendingTransfer” status is automatically set when a domain transfer is requested by a registrar. A domain name remains in “pendingTransfer” status until the transfer is approved, automatically approved through the SRS batch system, rejected, or canceled by the requesting registrar.

C.17 addPeriod

This period is entered after the initial registration of a domain name. If the domain name is deleted by the owning registrar during this period he will receive a refund of the domain registration fee in compliance with ICANN?s AGP consensus policy.

C.18 autoRenewPeriod

This period is set after a domain name registration period expires and is renewed automatically by the SRS. If the domain name is deleted by the owning registrar during this period he will receive a refund of the domain renewal fee.


D. Reserved Premium Domain Names

The registry operator reserves the option to define specific domain names as reserved or premium domain names. These domain names will be in compliance with the described registration life cycle with the addition of a manual registration process through the registry operator support and legal team. Special fees may be accounted for those domain names to reflect manual processing.


E. Roles

The table in attached fig. Q27_Figure5.1.pdf shows how the roles described below are planned for the SRS system.

As the resources are shared among the TLDs operated through the KSR, they are not dedicated exclusively only to one SRS project. The columns contain the number of human resources available for this role and the percentage of all people who are working for this specific gTLD. The entire registration life cycle process is fully automated by the SRS batch system. This process monitors all actions and problems regarding the registration life cycle and creates automated reports for the registrars and the registry operator.

Support Role

The support role of the registry operator will review these reports. If there is a logical problem, an engineer will be assigned to solve the problem. The support may manually correct or influence the life cycle of a domain name if necessary. The registry operator?s support role will also take care of any submitted registrar problems regarding the registration life cycle, either through the telephonic support or the ticket system.

Legal Role

All legal issues and dispute cases will be manually reviewed and processed by the legal role of the registry operator in compliance with the registry operator?s policy. The legal role may manually correct or influence the life cycle of a domain name if necessary.

Administration Role

The ticket system and the telephone system where the registrars submit their problem requests will be set up and maintained by the administrators.

Designated Engineering Role

Each technical issue that is assigned by a supporter will be reviewed and solved by an engineer. Another task of the engineering role is the development of the tools that enable the support and legal roles to influence and maintain the domain life cycle.


F. List of Attachments

- Q27_Figure1.1.pdf
- Q27_Figure5.1.pdf

Question 28: Abuse Prevention and Mitigation

Question 28: Concerns on Abuse Prevention and Mitigation

The Applicantís proposed registration policies for the .SAARLAND TLD will include robust protection mechanisms designed to preclude, prevent or at least mitigate abusive registrations and abusive use of registrations within the name space. The business model and purpose of the TLD as described in Question 18 a-c is based on substantial user confidence, trust and acceptance of by the target audience, therefore dotDaarland GmbH is highly incentivized in making sure that any abuse can be taken care of swiftly and effectively.

Accordingly, the Applicant will adopt a comprehensive reporting mechanism and set of registration policies to ensure a high level of security for the TLD.

dotDaarland GmbH will additionally:

- Develop a trusted method of communication for all correspondence between dotDaarland GmbH and the TLD?s registrars, to ensure only properly authorized registrar requests will be processed.
- Implement effective mechanisms for identifying and addressing patterns of abusive practices.
- Establish a point of contact for third-party reporting of abusive practices.
- Ensure accurate WHOIS data by implementing and enforcing a strict policy on maintained whois accuracy, which shall be passed down to registrants by the registrars in their registration agreements.
- Determine and implement a streamlined practice for addressing and removing orphan glue records.
- Develop, publish on its website and implement as binding registry policy an Anti-Abuse Policy, described in detail below, which provides applicable definitions of abuse and outlines steps dotDaarland GmbH will take to address any such situations.
- Continuously communicate with other registry operators on current trends in abusive behavior and effective countermeasures.


A. Point of Contact for Abuse Complaints

The abuse email inbox will be routinely and continuously monitored several times per day. Complainants will be provided with a responsive communication containing an auditable tracking or case number.

The abuse point of contact will be responsive and effective, tasked with answering email quickly, empowered to take effective action, and guided by well-defined written criteria. This role-based function will be performed by trained and qualified staff provided on a shared basis by the registry service provider as part of its service, who will ensure that the abuse point of contact has a broad familiarity with current industry knowledge and a high-level awareness of evolving online security risks. Initially, at least one shared employee of the registry service provider who has experience in abuse report handling will be tasked with overseeing the TLD as part of his/her duties. One or more additional employees will be trained in the role as well, in order to provide ìback upî assistance as needed. The abuse point of contact will be further supported by the registry backend service providers? technical staff in order to coordinate technical reactions necessary to respond to or mitigate abusive behavior in a timely manner. The technical registry service provider KSregistry GmbH is a subsidiary of Key-Systems GmbH, a top 10 gTLD domain name registrar with long-term involvement in ICANN, and is able to draw upon its parents years of experience in the handling of abuse reports, qualifying it to assist and advise dotSaarland GmbH and perform the role of abuse point of contact. The shared abuse point of contact will be further supported in more complex legal issues by a German Attorney at Law contracted through the registry service provider, with whom the primary abuse point of contact may consult and coordinate the correct management of disputes and reported abuse. With regard to the comparatively low estimated number of registrations, these allocated shared resources will be sufficient to handle the expected initial volume of abuse complaints. Abuse complaint metrics will be tracked and reviewed carefully each year, and adequate resources will be expended to ensure appropriate trending of those metrics, thus providing the abuse point of contact with sufficient resources.

Given the Applicantís belief that infrastructure protection, rights protection, and user security are of paramount importance for a TLD, the Applicant expects to ensure sufficient resources for this critical role by utilizing the services of KSregistry GmbH, and to do whatever is reasonably necessary to ensure a secure and trusted zone.


B. Anti-Abuse Policy

The Applicant will develop and implement upon launch of the TLD an Anti-Abuse Policy (AAP). The AAP will be made binding for all registrants by contractually obligating registrars through the Registry-Registrar Agreement to pass on the AAP as part of their registration agreements. The AAP will also be published prominently on the Registry website alongside the abuse point of contact and with instructions on how to best report any suspected violations of the AAP to the registry.

The AAP will be based on and expand upon existing registry policies to ensure best industry practice is followed. The goal of the AAP is to limit significant harm to internet users, to enable the Applicant or accredited registrars to investigate and to take action in case of malicious use of domain names and to deter registrants from engaging in illegal or fraudulent use of domain names.

The Applicant defines abuse as an action that causes actual and substantial harm, or is a material predicate of such harm, and is illegal, illegitimate, or otherwise contrary to Company policy.

ìAbuseî includes, but is not limited to, the following:

- Use of a domain to defraud or attempt to defraud members of the public in any way
- Use of a domain to distribute or publish hateful, defamatory, or derogatory content based on racial, ethnic, or political grounds, intended or generally able to cause or incite injury, damage or harm of any kind to any person or entity
- Use of a domain name to publish content threatening or invading the privacy or property rights of a third party
- Use of a domain name to publish content that infringes the trademarks, copyrights, patent rights, trade secrets or other intellectual property rights, or any other legal rights of the Applicant or any third party, or any action infringing on the named rights
- Violation of any applicable local, state, national or international law or regulation
- Use of a domain name for the promotion, involvement in or assisting in, illegal activity of any kind, as well as the promotion of business opportunities or investments that are not permitted under applicable law
- Advertisement or offer for sale any unlawful goods or services in breach of any national or international law or regulation
- Use of domain names to contribute to the sale or distribution of prescription medication without a valid prescription as well as the sale and distribution of unlicensed or unapproved medication
- Distribution of Child Pornography or other content depicting minors engaged in any activity of a sexual nature or which may otherwise harm minors
- Use of domain names to cause minors to view sexually explicit material
- Any use of domain names with regard to spam in any form, including through e-mail, instant messaging, mobile messaging, or the spamming of Web sites or Internet forums, as well as advertising for a domain name through spam
- Initiation or intentional participation in denial-of-service attacks (ìDDoS attacksî)
- The use of domain names in phishing activities, tricking Internet users into divulging personal data such as usernames, passwords, or financial data
- The use of domain names in pharming, such as DNS hijacking and poisoning
- The use of domain names for the intentional distribution of spyware, botware, keylogger bots, viruses, worms, trojans or other forms of malware
- The use of a domain name in unauthorized fast flux hosting, disguising the location of internet addresses or Internet services. Fast flux hosting may be used only with prior permission of the Applicant
- The use of domain names to command and control botnets, i.e. a network of compromised computers or ìzombiesî
- The use of domain names in activities intended to gain illegal access to other computers or networks (ìhackingî), as well as any activity to prepare for such system penetration

In accordance with best practices in current generic Top Level Domains, the Applicant reserves the right to either directly or through the issuing of a request to an accredited registrar deny, cancel or transfer any registration or transaction, or place any domain name(s) on permanent or temporary registry lock, hold or similar status, that it deems necessary, in its discretion:

- to protect the integrity and stability of the .SAARLAND TLD and/or prevent the abuse of any .SAARLAND domain name
- to comply with any applicable laws, government rules or requirements, requests of law enforcement, or any dispute resolution process
- to avoid any liability, civil or criminal, on the part of the dotsaarland GmbH, as well as its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers, directors, and employees
- per the terms of the Registry Agreement or
- to correct mistakes made by dotsaarland GmbH, Registry Service Provider or any Registrar(s) in connection with a domain name registration

The Applicant also reserves the right to place a domain upon registry lock, hold or similar status name during resolution of an investigation or dispute.


C. Handling of Abuse Reports

All abuse reports received by the abuse point of contact will be tracked internally in a ticketing system to ensure accountability and ease of reference, and a tracking number will be provided to the reporter. Each report will be carefully reviewed and evaluated regarding its credibility, to determine whether the reported issue is an abuse concern and to assess the required action(s), if any. The Applicant will work in cooperation with the sponsoring registrar as well as with the registry service provider to rapidly address potential threats or abuse complaints, investigate all reasonable complaints, and take any appropriate action(s) thereto.

As standard practice, dotSaarland GmbH will forward all credible and actionable reports, including the accompanying evidence, if any, to the sponsoring registrar, with a request to investigate the issue further and to take appropriate action. The sponsoring registrar has a direct relationship with the registrant and therefore possesses further information not available to the registry operator, such as payment details, sales history, and IP addresses of the customer, reseller data (if applicable) and other specific data unique to the customer. In case the registrar determines in the course of the investigation that the use of the domain name violates the applicable terms of use, ICANN policies or the AAP, the registrar is expected to take action within reasonable time. dotsaarland GmbH further reserves the right to act directly and immediately in cases of obvious and significant malicious conduct.

dotsaarland GmbH will implement all valid court orders or seizure warrants from courts, arbitration tribunals, or law enforcement agencies of applicable jurisdictions as a top priority. dotsaarland GmbH will further work closely with law enforcement agencies if necessary and provide them with an additional, fast-track access to the abuse point if contact.

Based upon the applicable registration policies and the estimated size of the TLD dotsaarland GmbH does not expect further measures to be required to effectively prevent or stop malicious use. In case of an unexpected volume of credible abuse complaints, dotSaarland GmbH will take advantage of additional resources such as spam databases and blocklists, anti-phishing feeds, analysis of registration data, and DNS queries.


D. Orphan Glue Records

According to the ICANN SSAC paper SAC048 at: http://www.icann.org/en/committees/security/sac048.pdf orphan glue records are defined as follows:

ìBy definition, orphan records used to be glue records. A glue record becomes an ëorphaní when the delegation point NS record referencing it is removed without also removing the corresponding glue record. The delegation point NS record is sometimes referred to as the parent NS record.î

An orphan glue record can occur whenever a domain is placed in ServerHold or ClientHold status. In these cases, the domain is removed from the zone file but existing name servers of this domain will be kept in the zone file so that other sites which are still using these name servers are still kept functional.

Example:
ìexample.stringî is deleted from the zone file by setting to ServerHold status, but ìns1.example.stringî will be kept in the zone file.

D.1 Prevention of Orphan Glue Records During Domain Deletion

Deleting a domain name is only possible if there are no glue records used by other domains associated with the domain being deleted.

If there are glue records available but not used by other domains in the registry, the glue records will be deleted prior to the domain deletion. Whenever there are glue records available which are still in use, this has to be resolved first. If there are no glue records at all the domain can be deleted instantly.

Solving the problem of glue records for domains which are supposed to be deleted can be done by checking the zone file. The zone file reveals the domains which are using the name servers. Once the required information is available, the named registrars must be contacted and new name servers should be set for the remaining domains in order to release the glue records.

In cases where glue records are being used in a malicious way, the abuse point of contact has to be contacted. The abuse point of contact will check this issue and take any appropriate actions, which may result in removing relevant records from the zone file in case the abuse complaint is valid.


E. Preventive Countermeasures

Pharming is an abusive practice used to gain illegal access to personal and confidential internet user information by diverting internet traffic through the manipulation of the information between the recursive resolver name server and the client software (e.g. web browser) (DNS-cache poisoning). Since pharming is commonly accomplished by redirecting traffic at the recursive DNS level, mitigation is most effective at the ISP level.

However, as an added countermeasure, the Registry Service Provider will sign the domain zone using DNSSEC, as detailed in the answer to question 35, allowing the relying party to establish a chain of trust from the DNS root down to the domain name, thus validating DNS queries in the zone.

Registrars will be encouraged to use a DNSSEC enabled DNS hoster and to provision the related delegation signers (originating from the DNS hoster) to KSregistryís SRS via EPP. This way it will be possible for the relying party to validate DNS queries and to protect from DNS tampering to a certain degree.

DNSSEC is a set of records and protocol modifications that provide authentication of the signer of the DNS data, verification of integrity of the DNS data against modification, non-repudiation of DNS data that have been signed, and authenticated denial of existence of DNS records. DNS data secured with DNSSEC are cryptographically signed and incorporate asymmetric cryptography in the DNS hierarchy, whereby trust follows the same chain as the DNS tree, meaning that trust originates from the root and is delegated in the same way as the control of a domain. When a domain name in the TLD is requested by a browser, the signature is validated with the public key stored in the parent zone.


F. Promoting Accurate WHOIS Data

dotsaarland GmbH is committed to maintaining the .SAARLAND space as a safe, secure online environment. A key component of such a plan is the creation and upkeep of accurate WHOIS records for the registry. As indicated in detail in the above answer to Question 26, the Applicant will develop policies to improve the accuracy and privacy of the data stored in the WHOIS database, and will further ensure that such records will be publicly-available to interested parties to the extent required by ICANN WHOIS policies and regulations as well as permitted by local law.

The WHOIS records for this TLD will constitute an authoritative ìthickî WHOIS, combining all applicable data and information for domain name registrants in a central location. The individual registrars offering this specific TLD domain names will be responsible, under the terms of the Registry-Registrar Agreement, for providing and promptly updating the WHOIS database with current, accurate and complete information as provided by the registrant and to promptly investigate any reports of inaccuracy of the WHOIS data. As publicly announced by ICANN, the next version of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement will expand the obligations of ICANN accredited registrars further by inclusion of required verification measures. These obligations will be mirrored with corresponding obligations and penalties in the Registry-Registrar agreement. The Registry Service Provider will as part of the service be responsible for monitoring such information and records to ensure that registrars comply with the contractual agreements to provide accurate data, including the use of field-valid telephone numbers and the use of country names as defined under ISO 3166. dotsaarland GmbH shall expressly reserve the right to cancel or suspend any domain name registrations within the space should a registrant fail to provide accurate or complete WHOIS information.

At all times, ICANNís WHOIS Data Problem Reporting System (WDPRS) will be available to anyone wishing to file a complaint regarding the accuracy or sufficiency of WHOIS records within this TLD, which will initiate an obligation of the sponsoring registrar and the registrant to verify the reported inaccuracy.

G. Ensuring Proper Access to Domain Functions

The Registry will be operated using a comprehensive and detailed authentication system designed to implement a wide range of registry functions for both internal operations and as external registrar access. Registrar access will be limited by IP address control lists and TLS/SSL certificates, as well as verification processes for proper authentication and appropriate limitations to restrict access to the sponsored objects.

Each domain name will be assigned a unique AUTH-INFO code. The AUTH-INFO code is a 6- to 16-character code assigned by the registrar at the time a domain is created and which can be modified by the registrar at any time. Its purpose is to aid in the identification of the domain owner so that proper authority can be established. For example, a registrar-to-registrar transfer can be initiated only by using the correct AUTH-INFO code, to ensure that domain updates (update contact information, transfer, or deletion) are undertaken by the authorized registrant. Access to the domainís AUTH-INFO code, stored in the registry, is limited to the sponsoring registrar and is accessible only via encrypted, password-protected channels.

Further security measures are anticipated and will be implemented in the new space, but are currently treated as confidential for security reasons. Accordingly, a full explanation of these mechanisms may be found in the response to Question 30(b).

H. Prevention of Conflicts of Interest during launch

dotSaarland GmbH is committed to preventing Conflict of Interest during the launch phases and will develop and implement policies containing restrictions to be applied to employees, contractors, consultants and significant investors of the Registry disallowing participation in Sunrise auctions and the evaluation of Founders applications.


I. References and Attachments

http://www.icann.org/en/committees/security/sac048.pdf

Question 29: Rights Protection Mechanisms

Rights holder protection is a core element of dotSaarland GmbH (subsequently ?the Applicant?) approach to the management of new TLD spaces. We have built our comprehensive rights-protection plan by carefully reviewing the many mechanisms developed during the launch of other recently introduced and already established TLDs in order to learn from previous experience and find innovative or proven solutions to certain common issues. Our outsourced registry service provider, KSregistry GmbH, will comply with all required management and gateway mechanisms needed for the TLD. Thus, the outsourced registry service provider and the Applicant will jointly undertake the following actions:

- Implement appropriate registration enforcement mechanisms during the various critical phases of the registry launch
- Execute a well-defined Sunrise period in compliance with ICANN requirements, which will include implementation of the Trademark Clearinghouse notification system
- Implement a professional Trademark Claims program, utilizing the Trademark Clearinghouse and drawing upon models of similar programs used successfully in previous TLD launches
- Enlist a third party Trademark validation service, as necessary, during the Sunrise period in conjunction with using the Trademark Clearinghouse
- Commit to operating the URS (Universal Rapid Suspension) Policy as described in the draft Registry Agreement
- Commit to operating and implementing the UDRP (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy) when and as needed in our capacity as the Registry Service Provider for the space
- Comply with the new Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure (PDDRP)
- Comply, as a named party, with findings issued in any Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedures (PDDRP)
- Embed all rights protection elements that require compliance support or involvement with Registrars and/or their resellers into the Registry-Registrar Accreditation Agreement for all domains of the .SAARLAND TLD
- Ensure the inclusion of all ICANN-mandated and TLD-specific rights-protection mechanisms in the Registry-Registrar Agreement entered into by ICANN-accredited registrars authorized to register names in the TLD, including oversight of all provisions to be included in the end-user Registration Agreements in effect as between the registrar and registrants of the .SAARLAND TLD.

The following provides a brief outline of the steps the Registry Service Provider intends to implement in conjunction with the Registry Operator for the proper function of this new TLD space.


A. Trademark Clearinghouse

The Trademark Clearinghouse is a new service offering provided for under the ICANN New gTLD program. It will provide a mechanism to notify trademark holders of qualified Sunrise applications for textual strings that present an identical match to their trademarks. The Clearinghouse system will be comprised of the following elements:

- Registration of marks in the Clearinghouse by trademark holders will be validated by the Clearinghouse operator, utilizing trademark filings and other rights as applicable under the established policies for the Trademark Clearinghouse
- An asynchronous comparison of marks submitted during Sunrise with the Trademark Clearinghouse
- Should an exact match be identified between an applied-for textual string and a mark registered in the Clearinghouse database, notification will be provided to the relevant mark holder and the Sunrise applicant in the manner and means specified in the Applicant Guidebook

The Applicant will comply with all required elements of the Trademark Clearinghouse system, and will utilize a trademark validation agent as necessary to assist with the Sunrise procedure.


B. Sunrise Procedure

B.1 Sunrise Mechanism

The TLD Sunrise period will be conducted in compliance with ICANN specifications. As indicated above, under the answers to Question 18, everyone is generally entitled to apply through an accredited registrar for registrations of domain names under the .SAARLAND TLD, however the Sunrise Phase is more strictly regulated to protect rights holders.

To ensure legal rights such as trademarks and similar rights, the Applicant will implement a fully compliant Sunrise policy, as described in more detail in the answers to question 18c, which will define who can apply for domain names during Sunrise applications and detail all dispute policies, including its SDRP (Sunrise Dispute Resolution Policy), for challenging the validity of Sunrise registration. The elected SDRP dispute provider will be a member of ICANNís list of approved UDRP providers. The Applicant will consult with both the dispute provider and expert legal counsel in drafting and finalizing the Sunrise Policy.

The Sunrise period will run for a minimum of 30 days prior to the general availability of domain names and will include a minimum one week quiet period. The registration functions will not be available during the quiet period while we work to complete related Trademark Clearinghouse matches and related notifications.


C. Eligible Rights

The proposed Sunrise Eligibility Requirements (SERs) will conform to the following qualifications derived from numerous past TLD Sunrise programs and also take into account other eligible rights:

C.1 Ownership of a qualifying mark or similar right

The registry will recognize and honor all:

- Word marks that are nationally or regionally registered and for which proof of use (which can be a declaration and a single specimen of current use) was submitted to, and validated by, the Trademark Clearinghouse
- Trademarks not in the Clearinghouse but that are verified by a third party Trademark validation contractor and conform to the following standards:
* the Domain Name is identical to the textual or word elements of the trademark or service mark registration on which the registration of the Domain Name is based; AND
* the trademark or service mark registration on which the registration of the Domain Name is based is of national effect; AND
* the trademark or service mark registration on which the registration of the Domain Name was based was issued (registered) prior to [a cutoff date to be determined]
- Company Names of companies registered in the public trade registers of the federal state of the Saarland
- Names of registered associations registered in the public association registers of the federal state of the Saarland
- Names of statutory entities based in Saarland will be verified by reference to their founding federal or state statute
- Representation that all provided information is true and correct
- Provision of data sufficient to document rights in the trademark or similar right


D. Application Process

All submissions during Sunrise will be accepted as applications only and not a full registration until the Trademark or similar right has been validated to conform per the SERs listed above, and the Sunrise applicant has been determined to meet the eligibility requirements for registration in the .SAARLAND TLD. Multiple applications for the same string, when they occur, will be allowed from multiple rights holders. Contention will be resolved through auction if there are more than one qualifying applicant. Following winning an auction, or if there is a single qualifying applicant, the application will be promoted to a full domain registration.

D.1 Field Submission and Validation Safeguards

D.1.1 Sunrise A
To support the Sunrise A process the registry system will apply requirements to data submissions, in the registry application. KSregistry will use the data fields/extensions similar to the DotAsia and DotXXX launches. The field types listed below are mandatory for Sunrise A submissions and are not able to be updated once an application has been submitted in order to avoid manipulation of the validation process. Please see the related EPP extension ?Q25_Figure3.pdf? attached to the Question 25 response.

IPR Name ?claimName?

The word mark of the trademark, as noted in the trademark or service mark registration record.

IPR Number ?claimnumber?

The registration number (not the application number) of the trademark.

IPR Registration Date ?claimRegDate?

The date the trademark was registered. This is the date that the trademark was granted.

IPR Registration Locality ?claimCountry?

ClaimCountry defines the two-letter code for the nation or national jurisdiction the trademark was registered in. Allowable values will be limited to identify national trademark registries and regional trademark registries (such as the Benelux and EU trademark registry registrations).

IPR Entitlement ?claimentitlement?

Whether the applicant (corresponding to the Registrant Contact) holds the trademark as the original ?owner,? ?co-owner,? or ?assignee?.

D.1.2 Sunrise B
To support the Sunrise B process the registry system will apply requirements to data submissions, in the registry application. KSregistry will use data fields/extensions similar to the DotAsia and DotXXX launches for this process. The field types listed below are mandatory for Sunrise B submissions and are not able to be updated once an application has been submitted in order to avoid manipulation of the validation process. Please see the related EPP extension ?Q25_Figure3.pdf? attached to the Question 25 response.

IPR Type ?claimType?

The type of claim being made (eg company name, association, statutory entity)

IPR Name ?claimName?

The name of the registered entity, as registered in the trade or association register registration record.

IPR Number ?claimnumber?

The registration number of the registered entity, as well as the location of the registration. For statutory corporations or institutions, this field will also allow the entry of the legal statute giving rise to the entity.

IPR Registration Date ?claimRegDate?

The date the entity name was registered. This is the date of the first entry in the public record. For statutory entities, this field will require the date of the corresponding statute.

IPR Entitlement ?claimentitlement?

Whether the applicant (corresponding to the Registrant Contact) holds the right as the original ?owner,? ?co-owner,? or ?assignee?.

IPR Registration Locality ?claimRegion?

ClaimRegion may be used to designate a city or state in which the claim is valid.

D.2 Validation and Safeguards

As mentioned previously we will employ a third party Trademark validator to examine Sunrise A applications. The Trademark Validator will have the ability to request additional data or clarifying materials about any Sunrise A Application, including additional direct verification of the Sunrise A applicantís identity in respect to the cited trademark.

We will further employ a third party rights validator to examine Sunrise B applications. The rights Validator will have the ability to request additional data or clarifying materials about any Sunrise B Application, including additional direct verification of the Sunrise B applicantís identity in respect to the cited registration.

The contracted parties will be experienced in intellectual property law and will employ the following stepped process and functions:

Examination of Trademark or Registration of similar rights

Trademarks will be validated against either the Trademark Clearinghouse, or against a National Trademark Database from a qualifying country. This is required for a Sunrise A application to be considered ?qualified or validated?.

Registered entity names will be verified against the public registers. Statutory entities will be verified against the public statutes and by confirmation from the appropriate supervisory bodies, if any. This is required for a Sunrise B application to be considered ?qualified or validated?.

Deterrents

In policy documents, training materials, and FAQs, we will communicate clear language indicating that administration fees associated with filing Sunrise applications are NOT refundable. The administration fee will be designed to recover validation costs and should financially dissuade frivolous applications. In our experience, it will be possible for registrars to pay the validation fees for their sponsored applications directly to the validator.

D.3 Contending Applications, Sunrise Auctions

The Registry will complete all Sunrise application validations following the close of the Sunrise period. Sunrise A and B applications will be treated equally with no preference of either over the other. There are only three possibilities for outcome and subsequent actions:

- One valid application for a given string:
* The domain will be awarded to that applicant
- Two or more valid applications for the same string:
* The domain name will be offered to the applicants at auction. The highest bidder will be awarded the domain.
- No valid applicants for a given string:
* The domain name will made available by the Registry in subsequent phases but without Trademark requirements.

D.4 Additional Considerations

Sunrise auctions may take some time to conduct and likely will run over other later phases such as Landrush. In the event no applicant bids at auction, the first valid application received will be awarded the domain name.

Domain names awarded under Sunrise will be locked (Sunrise lock status) for at least 60 days following the procedure to support parties wishing to file a Sunrise Challenge.

Once a Sunrise domain name is awarded, it will be promoted to a full registration and the relevant RDDS (WHOIS) data will be published as per standard Registry RDDS (WHOIS) policy.

Conflict of Interest restrictions will be applied to employees, contractors, consultants and significant investors of the Registry disallowing participation in Sunrise auctions. See also the answer to Question 28.


E. Sunrise Challenges

The Sunrise Dispute Resolution Process (SDRP) will allow challenges based on the following four grounds:

1. at the time the challenged domain name was registered, the registrant did not hold a trademark registration of national effect or similar right
2. the domain name is not identical to the mark or similar right registration on which the registrant based its Sunrise registration
3. the trademark registration on which the registrant based its Sunrise registration is not of national effect (or regional effect)
4. 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

We see that ICANNís Module 4, ?Trademark Clearinghouse? document, paragraph 6.2.5 says ?The Clearinghouse will maintain the SERs, validate and authenticate marks, as applicable, and hear challenges.? We are not sure exactly what ?hearing challenges? entails. If it means that the Clearinghouse Provider is the only party that can adjudicate Sunrise Challenges, then of course the TLD?s Sunrise Challenges will go there to be heard. Otherwise, we will retain the services of a well-known dispute resolution provider such as WIPO to receive and adjudicate the Sunrise Challenges. All applicants and registrars will be contractually obligated to follow the decisions handed down by the dispute resolution provider.

After any Sunrise name is awarded to an applicant, it will remain under a ?Sunrise Lock? status for at least 60 days so that parties will have an opportunity to file Sunrise Challenges. During this Sunrise Lock period the domain name will not resolve and cannot be modified, transferred, or deleted by the sponsoring registrar. The domain name will be unlocked at the end of that lock period only if it is not the subject of a Sunrise Challenge. Challenged domains will remain locked until the dispute resolution provider has issued a decision, which the registry operator will promptly execute.


F. Continuing Rights Protection Mechanisms in the Specific TLD Space

Following the conclusion of the Sunrise period for the .SAARLAND TLD space, certain rights protection mechanisms will continue to be active. These mechanisms are the dispute resolution policies, which shall include the URS, UDRP, Trademark PDDRP, a Trademark Claims service, and any other policies ICANN may enact from time to time via the adoption of Consensus Policies.

F.1 Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS)

The registry operator will implement decisions rendered under the URS on an ongoing basis.

As per the URS policy, the .SAARLAND registry operator will receive notice of URS actions from ICANN-approved URS providers. These e-mails will be directed immediately to registry service providers emergency support staff, which is on duty 24 x 7 x 365. The emergency support staff will be responsible for executing the directives from the URS Provider, and all emergency support staff will receive training in the proper procedures.

As per ICANNís URS guidelines, within 24 hours of receipt of the Notice of Complaint from the URS Provider, staff will 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 continue to resolve. The support staff will accomplish this by associating the following EPP statuses with the domains and relevant contact objects:

- ServerDeleteProhibited, with an EPP reason code of ?URS?
- ServerTransferProhibited, with an EPP reason code of ?URS?
- ServerUpdateProhibited, with an EPP reason code of ?URS?

Shared support staff of the registry service provider (included in the registry service providers service fees) will then notify the URS Provider via e-mail immediately upon locking the domain name.

All copies of the e-mails from the URS providers will be retained. Each case or order will be assigned a tracking or ticket number. We will use this to track the status of each opened URS case through to resolution via a database.

The support staff will then execute further operations upon notice from the URS providers. Each 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. We will set up the necessary DNS re-pointing required by the URS guidelines.

The guidelines state that 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.?

F.2 Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)

Although UDRP actions are typically implemented at the Registrar level, itís conceivable that a court order may be directed to the Registry through the APOC. Such an order would be escalated to the support and/or legal department contacts as required. Support staff would quickly affect a mandated transfer, if so ordered, or an order requiring the lock-down of a domain name. The Registryís legal counsel would also typically verify the court order. Registry functionality outlined in the answer to Question 27 describes the necessary functionality required by Registrars to support their UDRP commitments, and the Applicant is committed to meeting these standards.

F.3 Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure (Trademark PDDRP)

The Applicant would be the defending party in a Trademark PDDRP. The Applicant commits to abiding by the directives of the Trademark PDDRP Provider assigned by ICANN, up to and including the cessation of all registration activities and cancellation of the Registry Agreement with ICANN.

F.4 Trademark Claims Service:

For at least the first 60 days of general registration, the Applicant will enable a Trademark Claims service for trademarks recorded in the Trademark Clearinghouse, which will provide a real-time notice to a party attempting to register a domain name if it matches a trademark in the Clearinghouse and notify trademark holders when domain names are registered that match marks in the Clearinghouse.

G. Contractual Operation of Provision via the Registry-Registrar Agreement

The Registry-Registrar Agreement will be signed by all registrars interested in offering registrations under the .SAARLAND TLD. This agreement will contractually bind such registrars to follow certain registry-mandated procedures, and will include inter alia the following provisions:

- The registrar will ensure that the relevant Registrar-Registration Agreements between itself and any prospective registrant in the TLD space will incorporate all registry-mandated policies, restrictions, and guidelines
- The registrar will comply with all eligibility and registration restriction criteria and policies established by the registry in issuing registrations within the .SAARLAND space. The registrar shall not register a domain name to an individual or entity who does not meet the eligibility criteria for registration within the TLD
- The registry shall have the authority to refuse or reject any registration request received for a domain name within the TLD?s space, or to cancel, transfer, delete, suspend, revoke, or otherwise modify a registration within the space, for the following reasons:
* The domain name was registered through a registrar error or oversight, the provision of inaccurate data, fraud, or mistake, and the registrant is determined to be ineligible to register domain names within the TLD
* The request for registration was not made in the proper format, did not contain sufficient information under ICANN and/or registry requirements, or such information was not properly updated as required by ICANN and/or registry requirements
* In order to rectify or correct any mistake or error made by the registry or registrar in the registration of the domain name
* In order to comply with any request received from law enforcement, a court order, arbitral panel decision, appropriate dispute resolution provider, or to comply with any applicable laws or regulations
* For the purpose of protecting the stability, safety and integrity of the registry, the TLD infrastructure, or the stability of the DNS
* In order to avoid any civil or criminal liability on the party of the registry, its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers, directors, representatives, employees, contractors, and stockholders
* In order to establish, assert or defend the rights of the registry or any third party
* For any other reason provided for in either the Registry-Registrar Agreement or the Registrar-Registrant Agreement.


H. Preventative Safeguards

The Applicant will implement several additional mechanisms to prevent misuse of the TLD space, including the introduction of best practices, standards, and a comprehensive monitoring system.

H.1 Best Practices - Reducing Opportunities for Behaviors such as Phishing or Pharming

The extensive mark requirements and trademark validation procedures during the Sunrise phase will prevent the registration of effective phishing domains during the start-up period.

In our answer to Question 28 (?Abuse Prevention and Mitigation?) above, we described our strong anti-abuse program, which is proven to shut down phishing and pharming and has provisions for rapid takedown of domain name abuses. The system prompts notification of relevant registrars for rapid take-down action should phishing activity be identified. Please see the full explanation of this system above under Question #28.

This program will deter bad actors from operating within the space by reducing the effectiveness of their attempts to initiate phishing domains, without infringing upon the rights of legitimate registrants. Since pharming is commonly accomplished by redirecting traffic at the recursive DNS level, mitigation is effective at the ISP level.

H.2 Monitoring of the Success of Abuse Prevention Programs

Every six months, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) publishes its latest Global Phishing Survey, which is made publicly available on the Groupís website. This study contains an analysis of phishing per TLD. The Applicant will review the performance of our anti-abuse program by using the APWG reports and other metrics developed within the security community. The Applicant notes that, according the APWGís available data for 2011, only around 12% of malicious phishing sites contained a brand name (or misspelled variant) in the relevant domain name, and that in the 2010-2011 data only 5,700 brand-targeted phishing sites were known worldwide. Accordingly, phishing represents a very small percentage of brand-targeted domain name registrations, and the Applicant believes its adopted best practices and restrictive registration policies will mitigate the risk of bad actors entering the TLD space.

H.3 Ongoing Rights Protection Resources

The maintenance of the new TLD space and the ongoing monitoring and RPM mechanisms will require dedicated resources and staff from both the registry service provider and the Registry Operator. KSregistry maintains a team of experts dedicated to these procedures, which draws from a wide pool of experience and includes engineers, developers, security, and enforcement personnel, which are provided to the applicant as a shared resource. The Applicant additionally has in place state-of-the-art technical equipment and software systems, and is capable of implementing the proposed mechanisms.

The Registry Operator likewise is staffed according to the described requirements and ready to undertake the procedures outlined in this application and maintains dedicated personnel for the oversight and management of the new TLD.

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

KSregistry GmbH, as the registry backend provider of the KSregistry system (KSR), attaches great importance to the security of the entire registry infrastructure as well as business and customer data. Having more than ten years of experience in the domain business, Key-Systems has imparted extensive expertise about threats, possible vulnerabilities, and suitable countermeasures to its new subsidiary KSregistry GmbH. In case of an attack, the entire staff working on the KSR is trained to react quickly to any security issue that may arise. Distinct escalation plans with clear roles for each employee at KSregistry GmbH are defined for any possible incident. All team members have access to these plans at any time, according to their security clearance and role.

These plans and security rules are subject to a regular audit schedule and are documented in KSregistry GmbH?s security policy, which includes the Registry Information Security Policy that covers the basic registry services. These services include, but are not limited to, the safety of the technical backend (covering items such as EPP and RDDS, DNS and DNSSEC policies, an ESCROW policy, SFTP, etc.).


A. Security Policy

KSregistry GmbH has established a security policy that contains the complete Registry Service Policy, covering the basic registry services. The Registry Service Policy is complimented by policies regarding technical, organizational, and personnel issues for:

- Network structure
- Network and system access
- Wireless networks
- Malware
- Setup of servers and client systems
- System and software updates
- Firewall and IDS
- Removable media
- DNSSEC
- Backups and ESCROW
- Physical Security
- Emergencies and Monitoring
- Continuity

Additional policies cover the behavior of employees concerning passwords, remote access, general communication and allowed tools and describe the handling of general procedures, audits, maintenance and monitoring. These policies are described in detail and attached to AGB question 30b.

The security policy drafted by KSregistry GmbH is based on an extensive threat analysis and is thus tailored closely to the registry services. The introductory investigation of both common and rare security issues to the registry service and to the business in general is accompanied by examples with representative solutions and references to the corresponding policies.

Based on the analysis, certain notable aspects of the policy, as determined by the threat analysis, are (a more complete description of the policy is detailed in answer 30b):

- To prevent unauthorized access to internal and external services as well as data of all possible security levels, all employees are only provided with the access rights needed for their assigned role and obliged to follow a strict policy regarding the strength, the periodical change and the storage of their password. Updates or new software installations can not be deployed by engineers themselves but must be managed by the change manager, who reviews the quality management reports and determines deployment procedures
- The administration is also split into different roles to prevent too much access being given to one single point. Access to servers is only possible with individual user rights, there are no superuser logins. All actions on the servers are logged and monitored. All servers are secured against external manipulation by physical separation and limitation to internal IP addresses as far as possible. The network is also separated into different layers depending on each layer?s function and security level with each layer having its own security measures installed, including firewalls that check every request traveling from one layer to another
- The object data stored by KSregistry GmbH is secured in several, geographically distributed data centers with high security standards and which are constantly being backed up to prevent the danger of data loss and to guarantee continuity
- Denial of Service attacks are countered by measures appropriate to the target within the infrastructure. The DNS infrastructure of KSregistry GmbH is widespread and reliable to withstand attacks and is additionally secured against manipulation by DNSSEC. Attacks against other services are immediately identified by the Intrusion Detection System and repelled by the firewall and its corresponding rules
- Authorized registrars connect to services offered by KSregistry GmbH via encrypted communication. The EPP gateway can be only used with SSL or TSL and an additional check is made for correct authorization credentials for each connection. Each writing operation is logged which allows the reconstruction of every past transaction
- The registrars? frequency of usage of the non-public services is generally monitored to prevent flooding and to guarantee reliable and stable services for all other registrars
- All software used by KSregistry GmbH, both developed in-house and acquired from third-party providers, is not deployed until it has been intensely tested by the quality management team. All registry systems, both hardware and software, are under constant monitoring from at least two different locations, and quick reaction times from the Administration Team, the ERT and the engineers are guaranteed 24 X 7 with defined emergency plans and procedures for all kinds of security issues or misbehavior of any component of the infrastructure. The monitoring is fully redundant on system and network level with different software solutions being used to additionally eliminate possible malfunction. Two leading enterprise monitoring solutions are used with the services running on separate hardware. All checks within the monitoring are continuously optimized by engineers and administrators, especially after software updates which are followed by determined check reviews

Regular audits of policies and procedures ensure a steady state of preparation for the entire team and allow for fast and appropriate escalation procedures. In case of an emergency incident, the administration will be very quickly mobilized by the monitoring and then follow the defined emergency procedures by either solving the problem immediately or activating the responsible roles within the company. Procedures and guidelines for any possible incident have been defined from the preceding threat analysis and describe:

- all required steps such as data restoration from backups or fail over to a secondary data center;
- the affected, involved, and responsible roles; and
- the necessary details for the concluding report

After the incident, the involved team members file an accurate report which they forward to the role responsible for the corresponding policies, who then checks the policies for complete coverage. The policies then undergo a review by the responsible team members and the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of KSregistry GmbH to determine necessary changes based on the report. In case of changes, the CSO is responsible for a final review and the supervision of the policy revisions. Policy reviews are also triggered prior to software updates, the introduction or change of processes, or changes to the infrastructure in general. This procedure guarantees that the policies are continuously up to date and that their coverage is complete.

The beginning and end of employment of a team member also follow defined routines especially the assignation and termination of access rights, respectively. Each policy contains strict rules for enforcement and the measures taken in case of policy violation. The CSO of KSregistry GmbH holds the general responsibility for policy compliance. The security policy describes additional responsibilities of certain roles and the corresponding policies and lists all affected roles within the company.

The KSregistry GmbH develops these policies alongside the ISO/IEC 27001 requirements, accompanied by the code of practice given in the ISO/IEC 27002 (source: http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail?csnumber=42103). More details can be found in section B. The backup strategy is a TIER 4 strategy following the best practice guide by IBM redBooks (source: http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/tips0340.html?Open).


B. Independent Assessment

As a merchant using credit card payment systems, KSregistry GmbH is obligated to meet the requirements defined by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS). Validation of compliance is done annually by an externally Qualified Security Assessor. For KSregistry GmbH this validation is provided by the IT security experts from Acertigo AG located in Stuttgart, Germany. Security requirements of the standard are reviewed using a Self Assessment Questionnaire covering the following control objectives: build and maintain a secure network, protect cardholder data, maintain a vulnerability management program, implement strong access control measures, regularly monitor and test networks, and maintain an information security policy. The review of the questionnaire is accompanied by vulnerability scans for all systems which are also carried out by Acertigo quarterly. The resulting reports document a constant security level and certify compliance to the PCIDSS standard, thereby also meeting the security requirements for the registry services.

The PCI security scans facilitate the identification of vulnerabilities and misconfigurations of web sites and all infrastructures with public services including, for example, mailservers and internet access for employees. Acertigo determines active IP addresses and services by probing a complete list of external IP addresses relevant to the PCIDSS (provided by KSregistry GmbH) and also ensures that only services intended for external use are accessible. The list includes web, application, and mail servers, as well as domain name servers and virtual hosts. Acertigo also scans for open IP addresses outside the scope given by KSregistry GmbH to ensure the integrity of the scans. The IDS of the KSR is configured to allow access to all systems for the IP addresses from which the scans originate.

Since the introduction of the PCIDSS, KSregistry GmbH has constantly been compliant to the standard. The quarterly scan reports are reviewed by KSregistry GmbH administrators and the chief security officer and necessary measures are taken immediately. In addition to the benefits for the security of KSregistry GmbH?s proprietary software, the scans also help to keep third-party software up to date and add another level of malware detection to the already established detection system.

While its policies already cover a part of the ISO/IEC 27001 standard and are are compliant to it, the KSregistry GmbH is also working towards an official certification. This implies the implementation of an Information Security Management System (ISMS) compliant to ISO/IEC 27001 and includes changes to and extensions of the security policies and procedures. Part of the requirements of the ISMS are periodic internal audits which will be executed by the ?safe and secure systems – evaluation and verification? department of the DFKI GmbH (the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence), the leading German AI research institute and an officially approved ISO/IEC 27001 auditor. The DFKI GmbH will also certificate the complete compliance to ISO/IEC 27001 until the end of 2012 and subsequently provide periodical assessment reports.


C. Commitments

KSregistry GmbH, the registry backend technology provider for the domain registrar Key-Systems, benefits from Key-Systems? more than ten years of experience in the domain business and its associated processes (with some team members working even longer in this field). As an ICANN accredited registrar and member in several work groups and technical boards representing a range of registries, Key-Systems is developing all systems in keeping with the requirements of registrars, registrants, and brandowners worldwide.

These requirements are covered by our security policy in general and are implemented in certain policies as our registry service policy or other specifically mentioned policies. The customers of KSregistry GmbH can rely on:

- Secure storage and handling of confidential customer data, with clearly defined access rules for virtual access in our “Network and System Access Policy” and physical access in our “Physical Security Policy”
- All objects are stored in one secured, central registry database as KSregistry GmbH supports a thick registry system
- A reliable and widespread DNS system, additionally secured by DNSSEC with its rules being defined in our “DNSSEC Policy”
- Secure communication from the registrants, over the registrars to the registry
- A guarantee that no changes to the registry technology will be made if these changes bear a risk of malfunction, as described in our specific “System and Software Update Policy”

KSregistry GmbH will also enforce the policies distributed on all levels of usage of the registry system. The complete staff is trained and audited in every policy the team member is affected by and constantly aware of the great importance of a secure system.

The registry operator is obligated to inform the registrars about all important agreements, general terms and conditions, events and notifications, and must also include these in its own registration agreement that is passed to the registrants. KSregistry GmbH?s extensive documentation of the registry system interfaces such as EPP is provided as white-label and can be forwarded from the registry to registrars or even registrants if desired.

Accredited registrars should nominate persons who are authorized to contact the KSregistry GmbH 24/7 support in urgent emergency cases. These individuals have to prove their identity with a previously agreed passphrase. It is the registrars responsibility to provide support for their registrants and to decide if support requests have to be escalated to the registry at any time benefiting from KSregistry GmbHs Support described above.


D. gTLD Specific

KSregistry GmbH guarantees a high level of security that is also reviewed and refined on a regular basis. The security policies and procedures comply with the general requirements of a technical registry operator with no need for deviation for this TLD. If any changes to the description of this TLD should occur in the future, KSregistry GmbH is able to rapidly adapt new policies and procedures as required.


E. Resources and Roles

E.1 Trusted Roles

Key-Systems GmbH has gathered experience in various roles in the domain business for more than ten years and has access to extensive knowledge in the domain business. This deep industry knowledge and experience has also been transferred to KSregistry GmbH, the technical provider of the KSregistry system (KSR) and is evident in many trusted persons serving in different roles throughout the company.

All employees, contractors, and consultants that have access to or control of the KSregistry system are regarded as trusted persons.

The following Trusted Roles are used for managing the KSR solution:

- Security Role: Chief Security Officer (CSO)
- Designated Engineering Role
- System Administration Role
- Security Administrator Role
- DNS/DNSSEC Role
- Operational Role
- Support Role
- Quality Management Role
- Change Management / Project Management Role
- Financial / Controlling Role
- Legal Role

Each role is staffed with multiple human resources for backup and capacity purposes.

Prior to employment in a Trusted Role, KSregistry GmbH performs the following background checks on a prospective candidate:

- Criminal Records Bureau check
- Verification of previous employment
- Check of professional references

Complete role descriptions are given in the security policy in answer 30b.

E.2 Project Resources

The table in fig. Q30a_Figure1.pdf shows how the roles described above are planned for the SRS system. All resources at KSR are dedicated to the registry business. The calculations differ between the project phase and the years after the operational start. The project phase requires more resources as there is much planning, managing, and development required. All resources are engaged in the domain industry only and are experts in their field.

However, as the resources are shared among the TLDs operated through KSR and are not dedicated exclusively to one SRS project, the columns in the attached figure contain the number of human resources available for this role and the percentage of time those people are working for this specific string. This percentage is the guaranteed time the resources are allocated to each SRS project.


F. List of attachments

- Q30a_Figure1.pdf

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