Please note: we have discontinued our Safeguard Policies and Policy Engine services. See the official announcement for more information.

Note: If you have questions not answered below, please contact us.

Q1. What are these policies designed to cover?

A1. They are specifically designed to cover the six "safeguards" outlined by the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of ICANN in its formal advice from the April 2013 meeting in Beijing that it wishes to see apply to all new gTLDs.


Q2. How did you come up with them?

A2. Many of them had already been drawn up by IFFOR in response to similar GAC concerns over the launch of the dot-xxx registry. They have since been revised for the new gTLDs in response to real-world experience and the Beijing GAC advice.

(Please note: IFFOR's Baseline Policies for dot-xxx contain several policies that are not included within this new set of proposed policies for gTLDs as they were specific to dot-xxx .)


Q3. What do I get if I license your policies?

A3. You get the right to publish the policies on your website and be recognized by IFFOR as a licensee. We are confident the policies meet the GAC safeguard recommendations and so as a licensee you will be able to point to compliance to GAC advice by referring to your license.

With the license will also come a series of related papers that outline IFFOR's experience with implementing and auditing the policies, complete with recommendations for their introduction in a pragmatic and cost-effective manner.

Additionally, over the course of the license term, you will be provided with regular updates on matters that relate to, or potentially impact, the policies. IFFOR continually reviews issues surrounding Internet registries as a part of its job.


Q4 What's to stop me just using your policies without paying a license fee?

A4. IFFOR has spent considerable time and resources developing and revising the policies in question. We act as an independent and trustworthy third party and carry out continual review work through our staff, Policy Council and Board.

We are also accountable for our work through an independent Ombudsman. Our policies are our confidential and proprietary work.


Q5 How much does a license cost?

A5. $2,000 per annum.


Q6. Do you provide a discount for multiple registries?

A6. Yes, we offer a discount rate that increases based on the number of licenses purchased:

  • 25 percent for 5+ TLDs i.e. $1,500 per registry
  • 50 percent for 10+ TLDs i.e. $1,000 per registry
  • 75 percent for 20+ TLDs i.e. $500 per registry
  • 87.5 percent for 50+ TLDs i.e. $250 per registry


Q7. What is the process for licensing IFFOR policies?

A7. You will be able to either license directly with us online through this website, or if you wish to talk through the process and license, email us (info [at] iffor [dot] org) and we will get back to you. If you wish to register your interest or to get further information, please sign up on our policies interest page.

As soon as we receive the license fee, we will provide you with a licensing agreement, an IFFOR licensee badge you can add to your website if you wish, and a series of related papers providing additional insights into the policies.

We will also immediately add you to our publicly available licensee list and add you to the IFFOR mailing list for future information and updates.


Q8. Are you also providing other policy sets for the remaining GAC advice?

A8. We have identified a further six policy sets that we believe will be of significant value to the Internet registry market. They are listed below.

  • Five safeguards requested in GAC advice as covering "consumer protection, sensitive strings, and regulated markets"
  • A further three safeguards identified in the GAC advice for new gTLDs that have "regulated entry requirements"
  • Equitable access policies for those new gTLDs that plan to have restricted registration
  • Public interest policies for those new gTLDs that will have exclusive registry access to generic terms
  • A set of policies for issues not mentioned in the GAC advice but which based on experience we feel all registries would benefit from introducing, for example, tackling child abuse images.
  • A service for providing custom policies to particular new gTLD applicants interested in using policy processes to draw a closer connection with their target markets

If you are interested in hearing more about these policy sets, please do contact us at


Q9. Who is IFFOR and how do you do your work?

A9. The International Foundation for Online Responsibility (IFFOR) is a not-for-profit organization that was established in July 2010 in order to act as an independent policy creator, reviewer and auditor for the dot-xxx registry. It comprises three staff positions, a three-person Board of Directors, and a nine-person Policy Council.

The Policy Council reviews existing and proposed policies developed by staff, and the Board acts as the final approver. We have a formal policy development process, an issue report structure for identifying and discussing issues, and a best practice guidelines process to provide guidance.

For more information see: Who is IFFOR and why should we use you?


Q10. What is the relationship between ICM Registry and IFFOR?

A10. IFFOR was established as the sponsoring organization for dot-xxx but has since expanded its services to include new gTLDs as well.

While IFFOR acts independently of ICM Registry, the company currently has one representative on both the IFFOR Board and Policy Council.

IFFOR audits ICM's compliance efforts and works with it to ensure compliance with policies and to improve its auditing and compliance systems. IFFOR provides regular reports to ICM Registry; parts of those reports are then provided to ICANN under ICM Registry's separate agreement with ICANN.


Q11. Why has IFFOR started providing its services to other registries?

A11. Although IFFOR was originally set up to provided its services exclusively to ICM Registry, our Policy Goals allow IFFOR to take a far broader perspective.

During a strategic review following the first full year of operations, IFFOR identified significant policy gaps in many of the applications for new gTLDs and took a decision to expand its service offerings to all current and prospective Internet registries. That decision was announced in January 2013 alongside IFFOR's new "Policy Engine" service.

IFFOR has been communicating to new gTLD applicants for some time the need for new gTLD policies as well as the business opportunities that exist in well-developed, market-specific policies. The need for new policies was strongly echoed in a letter from ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) at ICANN's meeting in Toronto. And that need was solidified in the recent GAC communiqué from ICANN's meeting in Beijing.

IFFOR believes it can serve the Internet by providing effective and pragmatic registry policies while adhering to its policy goals.


Q12. What other services are you planning to provide?

A12. As well as developing policy, IFFOR is experienced in auditing and compliance. We plan to offer a number of services aimed at helping registries meeting their requirements in a cost-effective manner. For obvious reasons, we feel we are particularly effective at introducing IFFOR policies.

The full range of services we plan to offer are:

Policy audit: A full review of an applicant's policy needs, requirements and readiness, with prioritized recommendations for action.

Policy development: The development of a complete and customized policy from concept through to professional review and audit.

Policy review: Professional review by the IFFOR Policy Council of an applicant-provided policy, with recommendations for possible improvement.

Ombuds services: An independent and professional service for dealing with and resolving third-party complaints.

Compliance and auditing: Full design and/or review of compliance and auditing systems.

Specialist consulting: IFFOR can offer specialist consulting on topics including online child protection, freedom of expression, privacy, security and ICANN processes and procedures.


Q13. What are IFFOR's Policy Goals?


  • Promote user choice, parental control, and the development and adoption of responsible business practices designed to combat online child abuse images.
  • Protect free expression rights as defined in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19.
  • Protect the privacy, security, and consumer rights of Internet users.
  • Foster communication among Internet stakeholders.


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