Registrar Accreditation Agreement: What it is and why it matters
The Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) is an agreement between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and domain name registrars. The RAA outlines the terms and conditions for domain name registration and management, as well as the obligations of registrars to ICANN.
Why does the RAA matter?
The RAA is important for a few reasons. First, it establishes the minimum requirements that registrars must meet in order to be accredited by ICANN. This includes requirements related to customer service, financial stability, and compliance with ICANN policies.
Second, the RAA sets standards for domain name management, such as the Whois database. Whois is a publicly accessible database that contains information about domain name registrants, including their contact details. The RAA requires registrars to maintain accurate and up-to-date Whois records.
Finally, the RAA serves as a mechanism for enforcing ICANN policies. When a registrar violates the RAA, ICANN can take action against the registrar, including revoking its accreditation.
What are some of the key provisions of the RAA?
One of the most significant provisions of the RAA is the requirement for registrars to verify the accuracy of Whois records. This is important for several reasons. First, it helps to prevent fraud and other illegal activities, such as spamming and phishing. Second, it provides a mechanism for resolving disputes related to domain name ownership.
Another important provision of the RAA is the requirement for registrars to comply with ICANN policies related to domain name transfers. This includes providing clear and concise information to registrants about the transfer process, as well as responding promptly to transfer requests.
The RAA also requires registrars to provide timely and effective customer service. This includes responding to customer inquiries within a reasonable timeframe, and providing accurate and helpful information.
In addition, the RAA prohibits registrars from engaging in certain activities, such as domain name front-running and domain name tasting. Domain name front-running is the practice of registering a domain name immediately after a user searches for it, in an attempt to sell the domain back to the user at a higher price. Domain name tasting is the practice of registering a domain name for a short period of time to determine whether it is worth keeping.
In conclusion, the Registrar Accreditation Agreement is an important document that sets the standards for domain name registration and management. It establishes the minimum requirements that registrars must meet in order to be accredited by ICANN, and provides a mechanism for enforcing ICANN policies. The RAA helps to ensure a safe and secure online environment for users, and helps to promote the stability and security of the Internet.