Report on the Delegation of the .срб (“srb”) domain representing Serbia in Cyrillic

ICANN has received a request to delegate the .срб domain, a country-code top-level domain representing Serbia, to Serbian National Register of Internet Domain Names (RNIDS). ICANN Staff have assessed the request, and provide this report for the ICANN Board of Directors to consider.

Factual Information

Country

The “RS” ISO 3166-1 code from which the application’s eligibility derives, is designated for use to represent Serbia.

String

The domain under consideration for delegation at the DNS root level is “срб”. This is represented in ASCII-compatible encoding according to the IDNA specification as “xn--90a3ac”. The individual Unicode code points that comprise this string are U+0441 U+0440 U+0431.

In Serbian language, the string is an abbreviation of Serbia, with a transliteration and pronunciation in English as “srb”. The string is expressed using the Cyrillic script.

Chronology of events

On 8 July 2006, the Founding Assembly of the Serbian National Register of Internet Domain Names (RNIDS) was organised when decision on establishing RNIDS was brought up with the basic task “to administer and manage national Internet domain names.” The organisation was subsequently formally founded as a non-profit, non-governmental entity in December 2006. It was registered according to its articles of association with a resolution No. 415-00-00010/2007-14 by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia with the “aim to organize the management of the Country Code Top Level Domain .” Its legal name in the local language is “Registrar Nacionalnog Internet Domena Srbije”.

On 27 March 2007, RNIDS successfully applied for a delegation of .RS ASCII country code top-level domain for Serbia and redelegation of the subsequently retired .YU country code top-level domain for Yugoslavia.

On 14 January 2010, pursuant to Article 43, Paragraph 3 of the Law on the Government (“The Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, number 55/05, 71/05-amendment, 101/07 and 65/08), at proposal of the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society, the Government brought the Decision (05 Number: 345-178/2010) on the responsibility of the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society for establishing conditions for allocation of the national Internet domain in the Cyrillic script, for the sake of implementation.

On 3 February 2010, the Round table dedicated to “The way of conducting the public discussion for choosing the Cyrillic domain of Serbia” was held in the Serbian Chamber of Commerce. Representatives from various sectors of the economy, civil society, educational institutions, mass media and government were present. The decision was made to form the working group for choosing the Cyrillic IDN for Serbia.

On 5 March 2010, RNIDS announced the official beginning of the public discussion on selecting the national Cyrillic domain. Several public forums were opened among other activities. After proposals were collected and evaluated, final voting results showed that “срб” string received the most support.

On 1 September 2010, an application was made to the “IDN Fast Track” process to have the string “срб” recognised as representing Serbia. The request was supported by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, “Mikro PC World” magazine, BeotelNet ISP, I Net Ltd. (one of the founders of RNIDS), Adizes SEE, the IT Association of Serbia.

On 23 October 2010, review by the IDN Fast Track DNS Stability Panel found that "the applied-for strings ... present none of the threats to the stability or security of the DNS identified in [the IDN Fast Track implementation plan] ... and present an acceptably low risk of user confusion". The request for the string to represent the Serbia was subsequently approved.

From 17 November to 31 December 2010, RNIDS conducted a forum to discuss principles for managing .срб domain.

On 23 December 2010, the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society signed a cooperation agreement with RNIDS outlining the status and activities of RNIDS. In accordance with the signed document, RNIDS agrees to function and enhance “its operations in accordance with current regulations, ICANN rules and its founding documents, in the best general interest of all citizens of Serbia and complying with principles of quality, efficiency, independence and transparency of activities.”

On 9 February 2011, the RNIDS commenced a request to ICANN for delegation of “срб” as a top-level domain.


Proposed Sponsoring Organisation and Contacts

The proposed sponsoring organisation is Serbian National Register of Internet Domain Names (formally, Registar Nacionalnog Internet Domena Srbije), a non-profit, non-governmental entity, founded in December 2006 and registered according to its articles of association with a resolution No.415-00-00010/2007-14 by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia with the “aim to organize the management of the Country Code Top Level Domain.” RNIDS is managed by the Assembly composed of 49 legal entities. RNIDS is the current operator of the .RS ASCII country code top-level domain for Serbia.

The proposed administrative and technical contact is Nenad Marinkovic, Director of RNIDS. The administrative contact is understood to be based in Serbia.

Evaluation of the Request

String Eligibility

The top-level domain is eligible for delegation under ICANN policy, as the string has been deemed an appropriate representation of Serbia through the ICANN Fast Track String Selection process, and Serbia is presently listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.

Public Interest

Explicit government support for the application was provided in the letter from the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society, stating “based on our review of results RNIDS has achieved up to date in managing the .rs domain registry, the Ministry considers that the Serbian National Register of Internet Domain Names fulfils technical and organizational requirements for managing the registry of internationalized domain names in Cyrillic, laid down by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).”

Comprehensive support for the application was received from a variety of sectors of the community. Documented support was provided on behalf of the Internet Service Providers (Telecom Srbija and EUnet); Civil Society (Burek.com online community, the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises and Entrepreneurs, the General Association of entrepreneurs from Leskovac, Association for Applying Information Technologies RUDNET, Serbian Chamber of Commerce, and Telecommunications Society, DIPLO foundation); Intelectual Property interests (the Intellectual Property Office and “Art Lighthouse Agency” Ltd); e-commerce providers (Centre for Promotion and Advancement of IT Consciousness - “NIIT”, Banca Intesa ad Beograd, Agency E-trgovina); mass media (“Mikro PC World” magazine, PC PRESS, Politika, Pregled); educational institutions (Faculty of Law and School of Electrical Engineering from the University of Belgrade and the Singidunum University); and Internet-based companies (AgitPROP, Contrast).

RNIDS structure allows for local Internet community to delegate its representatives for the RNIDS Assembly. RNIDS has stated that “every member of the Internet community can use RNIDS forum in order to propose and discuss various issues related to the ccTLD’s management.”

The application is consistent with known applicable local laws in Serbia.

The proposed sponsoring organisation undertakes to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner.

Based in country

The proposed sponsoring organisation is constituted in Serbia. The proposed administrative contact is understood to be resident in Serbia. The registry is to be operated in the country.

Stability

The application does not involve a transfer of domain operations from an existing domain registry, and therefore stability aspects relating to registry transfer have not been evaluated.

The application is not known to be contested.

Competency

The application has provided satisfactory details on the technical and operational infrastructure and expertise that will be used to operate the proposed new domain. The proposed operator is the current manager of .RS ASCII country code top-level domain for Serbia.

Proposed policies for management of the domain have also been tendered.

Evaluation Procedure

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is tasked with managing the Domain Name System root zone as part of a set of functions governed by a contract with the U.S. Government. This includes managing the delegations of top-level domains.

A subset of top-level domains are designated for the local Internet communities in countries to operate in a way that best suits their local needs. These are known as country-code top-level domains, and are assigned by ICANN to responsible trustees (known as “Sponsoring Organisations”) who meet a number of public-interest criteria for eligibility. These criteria largely relate to the level of support the trustee has from their local Internet community, their capacity to ensure stable operation of the domain, and their applicability under any relevant local laws.

Through an ICANN department known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), requests are received for delegating new country-code top-level domains, and redelegating or revoking existing country-code top-level domains. An investigation is performed on the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and, when appropriate, the requests are implemented. Decisions on whether to implement requests are made by the ICANN Board of Directors, taking into account ICANN’s core mission of ensuring the stable and secure operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems.

Purpose of evaluations

The evaluation of eligibility for country-code top-level domains, and of evaluating responsible trustees charged with operating them, is guided by a number of principles. The objective of the assessment is that the action enhances the secure and stable operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems. The evolution of the principles has been documented in “Domain Name System Structure and Delegation” (RFC 1591), “Internet Domain Name System Structure and Delegation” (ICP-1), and other informational memoranda.

In considering requests to delegate or redelegate country-code top-level domains, input is sought regarding the proposed new Sponsoring Organisation, as well as from persons and organisations that may be significantly affected by the change, particularly those within the nation or territory to which the ccTLD is designated.

The assessment is focussed on the capacity for the proposed sponsoring organisation to meet the following criteria:

Method of evaluation

To assess these criteria, information is requested from the applicant regarding the proposed sponsoring organisation and method of operation. In summary, a request template is sought specifying the exact details of the delegation being sought in the root zone. In addition, various documentation is sought describing: the views of the local internet community on the application; the competencies and skills of the trustee to operate the domain; the legal authenticity, status and character of the proposed trustee; and the nature of government support fort he proposal. The view of any current trustee is obtained, and in the event of a redelegation, the transfer plan from the previous sponsoring organisation to the new sponsoring organisation is also assessed with a view to ensuring ongoing stable operation of the domain.

After receiving this documentation and input, it is analysed in relation to existing root zone management procedures, seeking input from parties both related to as well as independent of the proposed sponsoring organisation should the information provided in the original application be deficient. The applicant is given the opportunity to cure any deficiencies before a final assessment is made.

Once all the documentation has been received, various technical checks are performed on the proposed sponsoring organisation’s DNS infrastructure to ensure name servers are properly configured and are able to respond to queries for the top-level domain being requested. Should any anomalies be detected, ICANN staff will work with the applicant to address the issues.

Assuming all issues are resolved, an assessment is compiled providing all relevant details regarding the proposed sponsoring organisation and its suitability to operate the top-level domain being requested. This assessment is submitted to ICANN’s Board of Directors for its determination on whether to proceed with the request.