The benefits of the .HALAL gTLD will be manifold, not just to registrants but also to tens of millions of Muslim internet users, as well as many others with an interest in or curiosity regarding Islam. The presence of a Muslim-specific gTLD will increase the volume of online Islamic resources, as the emergence of .HALAL second-level domains sees a network effect kick in. This network effect will create an additional incentive for the digitization of existing Islamic materials, so as to facilitate their posting online as the demand for such material grows.
Consequently, the new .HALAL gTLD will also increase access to online resources as the tens of millions of people that read Islamic and Islam-related materials are able, for the first time, to find the material they seek within the sites operating under the .HALAL gTLD. Existing website registrants will be able to extend their presence to that audience with new .HALAL sites, while new registrants will emerge from those Muslim populations brought together by the .HALAL gTLD, adding to the value of the Internet in ways not currently possible.
As the global population expands, more people become willing Internet users and seek out second-level domains. The .HALAL gTLD is flexible, and is thus capable of being used for sites focused on ecommerce, information dissemination, charitable endeavors and many more functions among Muslims. A transformation in competition is anticipated for web sites within .HALAL, to depart from conventional methods of attracting new customers in this expanding market. This is because it will encourage competitors, targeting the extensive and diverse collection of global Islamic Internet users. This incentive doesnʹt currently exist in an online space devoid of the .HALAL gTLD, where competition amongst the already saturated existing TLDs is stagnant.
In terms of goals in the areas of specialty, service levels, and reputation for the proposed .HALAL gTLD, Asia Green IT System Bilgisayar San. ve Tic. Ltd. Sti. (AGITSys) is committed to offering choice in top level domain extensions among the Islamic community. AGITSys recognizes many new gTLDs will naturally have a relatively narrow appeal and audience. The .HALAL gTLD is different, as it not only targets a distinct online community, but one that spans the globe. AGITSys is prepared to utilize its home market of Turkey as a leading source of registrants and sites, while incorporating the power of the web to connect with myriad other registrants and Internet users beyond Turkey. Further, we intend to adopt and follow the highest standards in registry operations exceeding service levels and expectations thus producing a consistent reputation.
AGITSys has been at the forefront of the ICANN community effort in working to bring the Global Muslim community together through a dedicated gTLD, as well as bringing Muslims in to the larger online community. No organization has a greater understanding both of the opportunities a .HALAL gTLD will afford as well as the challenges that its adoption and spread will bring. AGITSys is prepared to ensure the success of .HALAL, such that it is a shining example of ICANNʹs wisdom in granting the gTLD.
The company is committed to bringing top-level domain registration services to registrants. To this end, AGITSys has contracted CoCCA Registry Services (NZ) Limited (“CoCCA”) to provide hosted Registry Services for the .HALAL gTLD. CoCCA has over nine years experience authoring open source registry software systems and providing TLD registry support services. CoCCA was originally incorporated in Australia in 2003 as CoCCA Registry Services Limited, in January 2009 CoCCA re-located to New Zealand and trades as CoCCA Registry Services (NZ) Limited. CoCCA is a privately held NZ company.
CoCCA’s clients are managers of county code top level domains (ccTLDs) as of 31 March 2012, 33 national country code top level domains (“ccTLDs”) are have selected CoCCA’s SRS technology or services to manage their critical infrastructure. Several other ccTLDs have committed to migration to CoCCA’s “pamoja” EPP Shared Registry System (“SRS”) in 2012 pending the outcome of re-delegations.
CoCCA’s pamoja SRS is the most widely deployed, field-tested SRS in use today. CoCCA’s SRS is a mature product that has grown organically over the past decade as new standards have been developed and published. It is doubtful any other Registry Services provider has accumulated CoCCA’s level of experience operating multiple small to medium sized TLDs efficiently and securely.
AGITSys’ team is also well-known in the ICANN community as a selfless champion of the interests of Muslims around the world, including communities tied to the Islamic heritage. We also have a long history of advising the Turkish internet industry. Our reputation is solid, and we have every incentive to maintain that reputation as we roll out the .HALAL gTLD.
Under the shepherding of AGITSys, the .HALAL gTLD will increase competition, provide more online differentiation for customers and consumers, while driving digital innovation. The addition of the .HALAL gTLD will create new competition for names within the domain name space. Not only will the offering of .HALAL domains create competition within content providers for users of Islamic content, but it is expected that competition will be enhanced among the varying service providers that users require to deploy said content.
As it is rolled out, the .HALAL gTLD will rapidly develop as the gTLD of choice among Muslims in all countries. The demand for Islamic content from this group isn’t and wonʹt be satisfied by .COM or .ORG offerings within the current gTLDs and in fact has hampered collaboration and innovation. The Islamic people demand content that is tailored to their own unique needs and wants, under the umbrella of a dedicated gTLD. As stated in 18(a) above, as Islamic-content sites increasingly seek to differentiate themselves to consumers, and registrants seek to differentiate themselves to acquirers of second-level domains, the power to differentiate will come from innovative approaches to customer service and the creation of a trusted online environment.
It is AGITSys’ mission that competition and differentiation of the .HALAL gTLD will be coupled with a user experience online that is reliable and predictable. To make this as likely as possible, AGITSys will work both with existing registrars seeking to reach new audiences, as well as new registrars that may emerge from within the global Muslim community, thereby supporting ICANNʹs mission to create more capacity in developing countries. AGITSys feels it can foster more competition at the registrar level by offering assistance and encouragement to new registrars in this way. We also believe that this should and will be coupled with a positive experience for Internet users. Indeed, this is critical to the success of the .HALAL gTLD. By working with the right registrars (who maintain the right, stringent) standards for adoption and use by their own customers, AGITSys can reach its goal of having the .HALAL gTLD become synonymous with a safe and trusted online experience.
As a part of this, since the .HALAL gTLD is community based and designed to serve those of Muslim faith, as well as to protect its good name, AGITSys intends to limit second-level domain registrations to those of Muslim faith, or those with a clear interest in serving the Muslim community and faith beneficially. Such a designation is almost impossible to police, because faith is a highly personal thing requiring no proof beyond belief, and to restrict, for example, registrations to those geographically located in predominantly Muslim nations would alienate the myriad Muslims in other nations. Thus, these limitations will mostly be self-imposed, with registrants agreeing themselves that they are either of Muslim faith, or have a clear interest in ameliorating the community. Equally, AGITSys will not tolerate radical content, nor will it tolerate content that criticizes Islam and the Muslim faith. Immediate and severe action will be taken against registrants promulgating either, and a black list will be created in an attempt to pre-empt any such attempts. Once content is registered, the community will be to an extent self-policing, with facilities to report abusive, irrelevant or anti-Muslim registrations available on the Registry website.
Because of its dedication to the Muslim community and the .HALAL gTLD which is intended to serve it, AGITSys will implement protection measures for registrations to ensure an abuse free environment whilst maintaining choice. This will be accomplished with Registration safeguards, wildcard alerts, name selection polices, all governed by an Acceptable Use Policy and post registration protections via Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy and Uniform Rapid Suspension. More details on these policies can be found in answer to Questions 28 and 29.
The privacy offered will be total, within the rules and procedures provided by ICANN. These policies will be transparent and rigorous, modeled after successful policies implemented by currently delegated TLDs and accompanied by vigilant processes and technologies to prevent unauthorized access to information. This is a manifestation of the larger goal of the .HALAL gTLD, that of a trusted source of safe online transactions, as stipulated in 18(a).
Privacy and security will be key elements of our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). The AUP will govern how a registrant may use its registered name, with a specific focus on protecting Internet users. AUP language would specifically address privacy by prohibiting a registrant from using a domain for any activity that violates the privacy or publicity rights of another person or entity, or breaches any duty of confidentiality owed to any other person or entity. The AUP also would prohibit spam or other unsolicited bulk email, or computer or network hacking or cracking, as well as the installation of any viruses, worms, bugs, Trojan horses or other code, files or programs designed to, or capable of, disrupting, damaging or limiting the functionality of any software or hardware. We would maintain complete enforcement rights over the use of the domain name. Should a registrant find itself in breach of the AUP, we would reserve the right to revoke, suspend, terminate, cancel or otherwise modify their rights to the domain name.
In terms of community outreach by the .HALAL gTLD, it is expected that the momentum around .HALAL will build quickly, given the pent-up demand that has been building for years within the ranks of the Muslim faithful and associated community. AGITSys, as its champion in gTLD discussions, knows full well how popular this service will be.
As more sites offer information, services, and opportunities for interconnection to the .HALAL community as a whole, more members of the community will navigate to those sites. Many of those will provide their own content, and their activity there will spark further growth of second-level .HALAL domains. At some point, Islamic information and service providers currently not offering sites, will see the demand for .HALAL-related content and will migrate their offerings to .HALAL sites as well, furthering the offerings to the community and further driving community members to .HALAL sites. The future benefits of interlinking this diverse and global community are incalculable but immense.
Augmenting this, AGITSys is also active in the business community within Turkey and Middle Eastern countries and interconnected across the spectrum of the Muslim community due to its promotional efforts with ICANN and elsewhere. It will leverage that network to spread the word of the .HALAL gTLD in order to promote adoption. The best steps AGITSys can take to ensure the gTLDʹs adoption and growth, however, are to ensure a system encouraging robust, safe and dynamic second-level domain sites. At that point, the word will spread through the network effect.