Under pressure from a wide variety of stakeholders for a direct, written statement clarifying the meaning of the highly prescriptive Whois section in ICANN's new, allegedly more light-handed agreement with the Commerce Department, ICANN CEO Paul Twomey obliged. In an email to GNSO Council Chair Bruce Tonkin, Twomey wrote:
"There is nothing in the WHOIS clause in the Resolution which prohibits any proper and complete development of new policy in accordance with ICANN's bylaws. The text in the Affirmation of Responsibilities is a statement of policy as it presently stands - not a statement of what is immutable or what we can't do."
"But if, and until, there is any change to the WHOIS policy according to these procedures, ICANN will continue to enforce the existing WHOIS policy like we would do any other policy. Indeed resources are earmarked in this year's operational plan for such compliance work."
The obvious follow up question was asked by Canadian registrar Ross Rader: "then why is this text in here in the first place. Isn't ICANN always bound to enforce its policies?"
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