Each national top level domain (TLD) has an administrative model that defines roles and responsibilities in relation to the administration of the domain, and a domain name policy which stipulates rules concerning the allocation of domain names. This document describes the Norwegian administrative model, and other relevant international frameworks.
- Administrative model for the Norwegian top-level domains
- International frameworks
- Other factors influencing the registry operations
- A summary of the domain regulation
- References to other documents
- Operative function
- performs a given task
- Framework function
- sets the framework for the operative function
- Supervisory function
- supervises the other functions
The administrative model for .noThe three-way division into operative, framework and supervisory function can take place on several levels. In the administrative model for the .no domain, the division takes place at two levels, linked by an entity which concurrently carries out both a framework and an operative function.
|Framework function: Norwegian authorities This function sets the high-level framework for the administration of all Norwegian TLDs. The main items covered in the framework are the requirements for the process used to develop the domain name policy, the minimum requirements that a registry administering a TLD has to fulfil, and the consequences if the registry does not fulfil those requirements. The framework function is primarily performed by the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications, by defining the framework in the Domain Name Regulation. Additionally, limits beyond those laid down by the Ministry may follow from general Norwegian law, nationally transposed EU Directives and any other applicable international standards that Norway adheres to.
|Supervisory function: Norwegian parliament When laws are created, procedures exist to ensure that they are created through a proper process, and are consistent with the pre-existing legislation. These procedures inhere primarily in the Norwegian Parliament's enactment of new statutes. Regulations can only be created pursuant to the relevant Acts. This means that in principle the high-level supervisory function in relation to the Domain Name Regulation (and other relevant legislation making up the high-level framework) is held by the Norwegian Parliament.
|Operative function and framework function: The local Internet community This is the community that the .no domain serves. Use of the Internet in Norway has grown to such an extent that this community de facto encompasses the vast bulk of Norwegian society. The Internet community is, in effect, ultimately responsible for shaping the domain name policy for the .no domain within the high-level framework. As such, it performs an operative function in relation to the left triangle. At the same time, it performs a framework function for the right triangle, since it creates the rules according to which the registry registers domain names. As the Norwegian Internet community is not a legal entity, the task of drafting the domain name policy is formally placed with the .no domain registry. The latter is the organization legally responsible for the registration rules and other parts of the domain name policy for .no. The high-level framework (the Domain Name Regulation) requires input to be gathered from the government and the user's representatives before changes are made in the domain name policy. In practice, this is implemented by the registry acting as a secretariat, drafting proposals for changes in the domain name policy which are then put forward for feedback from the Internet community. A policy advisory council (Norpol) with representatives from the private sector, the government, Internet industry, consumer authorities and other relevant parties, helps to ensure that the domain name policy is always adapted to the needs of the Internet community. In addition, a public inquiry is held before any major changes are made to the domain name policy.
|Supervisory function: The Norwegian Communications Authority The Norwegian Communications Authority (Nkom) supervises the process whereby the domain name policy for .no is created or modified. It also checks that the registry complies with both frameworks applicable to it - the Domain Name Regulation and the domain name policy for .no. In addition, a dispute resolution body has been created which functions as an appeal board in relation to the individual decisions that the registry makes regarding domain names under .no. The dispute resolution body also handles disputes between domain name holders and third parties who feel that their rights have been infringed upon, but this task is not part of its supervisory function in relation to the administration of the .no domain. As the entity inhabiting the main supervisory role, Nkom has a responsibility for checking that the dispute resolution body complies with the same frameworks as the registry.
|Operative function: Norid This function administers the .no domain within the applicable frameworks. The primary tasks for the operative function are processing applications and operating the .no zone. The function is performed by the registry for the .no domain, Norid. Norid follows a principle of only handling the essential core tasks in-house, while the other tasks are left to companies who offer registrar services under contract with Norid and compete with each other to offer the best possible service to the applicants.
Consequences of the Norwegian ModelThe Norwegian model aims to incorporate 'the best of both worlds'. The government sets the high-level framework for the system but does not dictate the details. Through their framework and supervisory functions, the government can safeguard that the service continues to operate beneficially for the Norwegian community in the future. At the same time, the model remains true to the principle of self-regulation, upon which the successful growth of the Internet has been based. In line with the principle of self regulation, the people who have a stake in the service - customers registering domain names, registrars selling registration services, users accessing a website under a domain, etc. - are the ones who set the rules for it. As within other areas, market mechanisms regulate, to some degree, both prices and policy. If registering a domain under .no becomes too expensive or the domain name policy too complicated, people will simply stop using the TLD. Even the way the registry is organized can be seen as an attempt to combine the best of what the public and private sectors have to offer. Although it was originally chosen for historical reasons, the fact that the registry on the one hand is organized as a non-profit private company, and on the other hand is owned by the State, results in a unique set of advantages. The registry can be operated with the efficiency, flexibility and low costs made possible by being based within the private sector while at the same time having the neutrality, legitimacy, and stability in ownership provided by the State. A registry with one foot in the private sector and one in the public is also well-suited for understanding the interests of both. Such understanding is useful when trying to create a domain name policy that serves the entire community. One of the clearest examples of the advantages of the chosen administrative model is the interaction around the domain name policy. The Domain Name Regulation sets out certain basic principles, such as transparency and non-discrimination, which all domain name policies have to fulfil. Being placed within a regulation ensures that the principles are not easily changed, which is important as they act as a final 'safety valve' for the domain name policy. The actual policy, however, is a contract governed by private law. This means that the policy is much more adaptable to the changing needs of the Norwegian Internet community than it would have been if it also had been set down as a regulation. As with all compromises, the model has the disadvantage of being complex and somewhat difficult to understand. Even so, despite its complexity, the model is an instance of a very successful private-public partnership.
- The domain name policy for .no
- The Regulation sets certain minimum requirements for the domain name policy: it should ensure cost efficiency and a high technical quality, be non-discriminatory, promote transparency and predictability, protect the interests of Internet users and national interests, and take into account international development of the Internet. The registry has the formal responsibility for setting the domain name policy for .no. Before any significant changes are made in the policy, input is gathered from the user's representatives and the government (both part of the Norwegian Internet community). The Norwegian Communications Authority is informed of all changes.
- Applicant declaration form
- Before registering a domain name, the applicant must sign a declaration stating that the name applied for does not infringe on the rights of a third party, is not in breach of the domain name policy or Norwegian law, does not create an unwarranted impression of relating to public administration and that the applicant agrees that any disputes may be handled by the dispute resolution body.
- The registrar model
- The registrar model has a registry that performs the core operations and a number of registrars. The registrars are the link between the applicant and the registry, and they compete to offer the best possible service.
- The Norwegian Domain Regulation http://www.lovdata.no/for/sf/sd/xd-20030801-0990.html
- How to change the domain name policy of .no? /regelverk/rammer/regelverksprosess.en.html
- Norpol www.norid.no/regelverk/norpol/index.en.html
- IANA - Internet Assigned Numbers Authority http://www.iana.org
- ICANN - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers http://www.icann.org
- RFC1591 ftp://ftp.uninett.no/pub/rfc/rfc1591.txt
- The GAC-principles http://220.127.116.11/web/docs/cctld/cctld.txt
- Exchange of letters between Norid and ICANN /omnorid/icann/icannbrev.en.html
- IETF - Internet Engineering Task Force http://www.ietf.org