ICANN sends breach notice to Tucows

Organization sends notice of breach to third largest domain name registrar.

ICANN has sent a notice of breach to Tucows, the third largest domain name registrar.

This breach notice is unusual in that it seems to stem from a dispute over a particular domain name.

According to the letter, Tucows is in breach of its registrar accreditation agreement for two reasons:

1. Tucows’ failure to maintain registration data and records pursuant to Section 3.4 of the RAA; and
2. Tucows’ failure to make registration data and records available to ICANN upon reasonable notice, pursuant to Section 3.4 of the RAA.

ICANN asks Tucows to take two steps prior to July 16 to cure the breach:

1. Make registration data and records relating to Tucows’ dealings with the Registry Operator and Registered Name Holder regarding the domain name cybernomics.com for the period between 1 May 2011 to the present available to ICANN, as required under Section 3.4 of the RAA; and

2. Demonstrate to ICANN that Tucows maintains all the required registration data and records relating to its dealings with the Registry Operators and Registered Name Holders for each active Registered Name sponsored by Tucows within each TLD for which it is accredited, as required under Section 3.4 of the RAA.

This is a very intriguing breach notice given the content and the size of the registrar. Most breach notices are for missed payments and not escrowing whois data. In this case the issue seems to stem from a simple matter and I would expect that both ICANN and Tucows had a conversation about the issue before the breach notice was sent.

I’ve reached out to Tucows for comment and details. [Update: Tucows declined to comment.]

[Update 10/26/12: ICANN updated its web site to show the breach has been cured.]


  1. Larry says

    This happened because Tucows ignored the request by ICANN for info on that domain name. We’ve had interactions with ICANN regarding info which has involved other registrars and ICANN was pretty reasonable with the other registrar (and Stacy was involved). Most likely either Tucows was dragging their feet or totally ignoring ICANN’s requests. Now a hornets nest has been stirred and ICANN wants much more info than was necessary with what they originally requested.

  2. Jim says

    Could the problem be that the reseller and the owner of the domain are within a few minutes of Tucows? This could get fun.

  3. Louise says

    Enter BTAPPA. I told you this was coming. After letting major Registrars get away with all kinds of RAA violations through history, except the cardinal mistake of not paying up, ICANN is going to reward its insider Registrars now by finding registrars with desirable portfolios in violation, and redistributing the valuable dot coms to its insider Registrars. Tucows is the Registrar of Yummy Names. It has some of the most desireable dot coms around!

    Also, it’s a tall order to make sure ALL the Whosis records are correct before July 16th – almost impossible to comply with! There are sure to be some bad whosis records planted by verisign/major resistrar insiders from its pool of paid Registrants. That is my opinion. We’ll see what happens.

  4. says

    I always thought “RAA violations” is ICANN-speak for “you did not spend enough sponsoring our meetings and/or you did not supply strippers.” I mean, c’mon, bringing 2 cows to a meetings as compared to GoDaddy girls? What does Tucows expect?

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