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Barclays probably not breaching contract, says ICANN compliance chief

Kevin Murphy, June 16, 2015, 16:58:55 (UTC), Domain Registries

Barclays doesn’t seem to have violated its new gTLD registry agreements, despite admitting to criminal charges related to currency manipulation, according to ICANN’s top compliance executive.

Allen Grogan, chief contract compliance officer, told DI today that a “literal” reading of the Registry Agreements for .barclays and .barclaycard would not see the bank in breach.

“As far as I know we haven’t received a formal compliance complaint about it. If we received a complaint we would investigate it,” Grogan said.

“At first blush I wouldn’t see a clear-cut violation of the literal language of the agreement,” he said.

Barclays’ suitability to be a new gTLD registry has come under the spotlight in CircleID blog posts recently, first by domainer George Kirikos and then Internet Commerce Association counsel Phil Corwin.

All RAs contain a provision that allows ICANN to terminate the contract if any officer or director of the registry is convicted of a financially-related misdemeanor or any felony.

Barclays was one of five banks that recently fessed up to felony currency market fixing charges in the US, paying a combined $2.5 billion fine.

However, as Kirikos, Corwin and now Grogan have pointed out, the RA only talks about crimes committed by officers and directors, not the companies themselves.

Grogran pointed out that to hold a corporation accountable for its crimes long after the fact might be a bit excessive.

Criminal employees and directors can be fired, but a company cannot fire itself.

“Does that means for the next hundred years ICANN or no other corporation should do business with them?” he said.

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Comments (7)

  1. John Berryhill says:

    Lol. It’s okay if the entire organization is a criminal enterprise, as long as no one in it is indicted.

    I’m off to Sicily to sign up a new TLD client. Or maybe South Philly. We’ll have registration offers you can’t refuse.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      It’s almost, but not quite, like when people create vast numbers of bullshit shell companies to avoid liability, don’t you think? But in reverse, maybe? Something like that.

    • Richard Funden says:

      .mob?
      .family?
      .fire-insurance?

      • Volker Greimann says:

        Well, at least those applicants would be very good in “removing” any officers convicted of illegal activities.

  2. Richard Funden says:

    Corporations are people, unless it is inconvenient for them to be so.

  3. John Berryhill says:

    “Grogran pointed out that to hold a corporation accountable for its crimes long after the fact might be a bit excessive.”

    They entered a guilty plea 20 May 2015. My, how time flies.

  4. Maxim Alzoba says:

    According to Compliance Q&A session in BA, 24th JUN 2015 10am… Case might not going to be investigated until the formal compliant is sent to ICANN Compliance Team.

    Transcript of the session is going to be here in few days https://buenosaires53.icann.org/en/schedule/wed-compliance this part is around 1hour and 10-15 minutes after this point.

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