Under par. 5.5 of the Terms and Conditions of Domain Name Registration in .RU and .РФ, the domain name delegation may be terminated without the registrant’s consent, if the registrar receives a written decision to this effect from the head (deputy head or similar official) of an authority carrying out operational search activities.
The process whereby a registrar withdraws a domain from delegation has the following specific features that have to be taken into consideration:
As a general rule under the current laws, a decision by the head (deputy head or similar official) of an authority carrying out operational search activities has to be substantiated and well-grounded. In particular, a written decision shall include:
- a brief description of information which, according to the person making the decision, was published in breach of the applicable law;
- classification of the offense as per the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation or the Administrative Offenses Code of the Russian Federation, where the actions by the domain name registrant subject to a probe or prosecution created conditions for committing the offense;
- legal grounds for issuing a decision of this kind, restricting the registrant’s rights (referencing the statute and the clause of the Terms and Conditions of Domain Name Registration);
- a statement that all reasonable avenues for contacting the resource’s registrant and hosting provider were exhausted or they refused to delete information in cases set forth in this explanation;
- contact details enabling the registrant to settle the claims directly with the issuing authority without the registrar’s involvement.
- Since the laws set out a specific procedure for terminating the work of an online mass media outlet, the domain name delegation cannot be terminated as per par. 5.5 of the Terms and Conditions of Domain Name Registration in the case of a duly registered online mass media outlet. At the same time, the registrant must notify the registrar in advance that the domain name is used by an online mass media outlet.
- Since the procedure for suspending website hosting services is regulated by the applicable Russian laws on communications, whenever the online resource using a .RU or .РФ domain name is located within the Russian Federation, delegation can be terminated as per par. 5.5 of the Terms and Conditions only after the hosting provider refuses to suspend the hosting services for the website featuring content that is banned or restricted under the laws of the Russian Federation, or until all reasonable avenues for having the hosting provider make a decision to this effect are exhausted.
- Delegation cannot be terminated as per par. 5.5 of the Terms and Conditions, if the claims concern social media, a network resource with a significant number of users, and also when the claims concern information posted on third-level domains (ххх.ххх.хх), and reasonable avenues to contact the second-level domain registrant (resource managers) were not exhausted prior to that, or a refusal to delete the illegal content was received.
In this case, the registrar may provide the necessary organizational and technical assistance to the issuing authority by sharing data on the domain name registrant as per the applicable laws, as well as information on the actual location of the resource and the website’s hosting provider. Delegation is terminated upon receiving confirmation that the reasonable avenues to contact the domain name registrant (resource managers) were exhausted, that the latter failed to respond to the claims, or information that the actual location of the illegal content is outside of the Russian Federation
- The registrar may send the registrant copies of documents on the grounds of which the delegation was terminated. If the registrant objects to the grounds for terminating delegation, the registrant can challenge the decision issued by the authority through due process of law.
- Apart from cases set out in the laws (court ruling or cancellation of the decision by the issuing authority), delegation can be resumed when the registrant states that the reasons for the termination have been addressed in full. In this case, domain name delegation can be resumed once the registrar receives confirmation from the issuing authority or in the absence of a reply from the latter within thirty days from the registrar’s request to resume delegation.