By Geoff Bickers, Director of Security
The “Staff Focus” is a monthly report about what is on the minds of ICANN staff. Each month will be written by a different ICANN staff member.
Many in the ICANN community have expressed their concerns regarding
security following the violent protests in downtown Nairobi on 15 January
and the threat against the Kenyatta International Conference Center
(KICC) received by US Embassy staff on 10 February. Following those
events, ICANN staff and Board reexamined the security situation in
Nairobi and worked with our local host and the Kenyan Government to
take additional security measures for the meeting.
Our Kenyan host, KENIC, is providing hospitality desks to assist
arriving attendees at the Kenyatta Airport, organizing a laptop tagging
system to reduce the risk of property theft within the KICC and arranging
shuttle bus services to connect the KICC and the recommended
downtown hotels. The Kenyan Government has increased the involvement
of their national security agencies such as the National Security Intelligence
Service (NSIS), the Anti-terrorist Police Unit (ATPU) and the Kenyan
Diplomatic Protection Unit (DPU) in planning and protection for the
meeting. The Kenyan Police and KICC security unit are taking increased
steps to ensure safety through increased screening procedures at the
KICC, increased personnel deployed within the KICC, hotels, and official
venues, and increased patrols along the road from the airport to the
central business district.
Staff have engaged with various international and regional security
consultants to obtain up to date assessments of the security threats
and best available measures to mitigate them. Additional experts in
event security and crisis management are working with staff and the
Kenyan Government to help provide a secure environment for all delegates
to the meeting.
The most important factor in ensuring your safety and security while
in Nairobi will be taking personal responsibility for your actions
and observing commonsense precautions, such as:
- Use hotel arranged taxis rather than walking. Vehicle traffic
in the central business district is frequently
congested and walking may seem safe but you should avoid walking the
streets of Nairobi anywhere at night even for short distances.
- If approached on the street by an individual or a group,
be polite, but wary and exercise caution. There
has been an increase of con men on the streets. They are normally
very polite and well dressed and might ask you to change money, split
a bill, or offer services. Some con men may claim to be plainclothes
police officers or NGO workers and want information, etc.
- Always be vigilant and alert for muggers/robbers/gangs
and rioters. Do not carry or display large sums of money, especially
while shopping. Use credit cards where possible.
- When in public places, do not display cash, expensive watches
or jewelry, do not leave mobile phones unattended,
and do not leave your handbag or briefcase hung on restaurant chairs
or under the table.
- Be prepared for power blackouts, which may occur at any
time. Be aware that crime may increase during these periods.
- Exercise caution at ATM machines or when withdrawing money
from banks. Be cautious about who sees you withdrawing
cash and where you withdraw it.
- Credit card fraud is common in Nairobi as in many other
large cities, so follow commonsense rules. Try to ensure that credit
card slips are endorsed in your presence. If you have to use a slip
as a deposit, always fill the amount in and check that you get the
- Taxis - Jatco, Kenatco, and Jim Cab provide reliable taxi
service. Unlicensed taxis are often unreliable
or unsafe and should be avoided. Always confirm the fare in advance.
Do not use the Matatu
buses or accept offers of a lift from a stranger.
- Never give out your hotel room number or invite strangers
to your room.
- Avoid leaving valuables lying around in your room while
you are out, even for the shortest of moments.
- Never leave a bag or valuables unattended in restaurants,
swimming pool area, etc.
- Always use the safety lock on your hotel room door, even
- Always use room safe for valuables, or use lockable storage
for valuables at the front desk, but make sure
they issue a receipt for your items.
ICANN security staff will continue to monitor the preparations for
the meeting and changes to the overall security situation in Nairobi.
We will continue to communicate relevant information and changes on
an ongoing basis. Those wishing to familiarize themselves with Nairobi
and monitor political and social news will find many resources available.
Here are a few that may be of use:
See you in Nairobi!
Geoff Bickers, ICANN Director of Security Operations
One World. One Internet. Everyone Connected.
In this area we will be reporting on the activities of our President
and CEO, Rod Beckstrom, as he travels around the world representing
one unified, interoperable, Internet.
I spent the last week of January in Washington, DC, meeting
with government officials, speaking on ICANN, the Internet, and cybersecurity,
and mingling with the community during a couple ICANN sponsored events.
It was a busy week to say the least as I managed to pack more than
40 meetings and speaking engagements in the span of a brief five days.
My agenda kicked off with an extensive television interview with
Toufic Gebran of Alhurra TV for Alhurras weekly I-Tech
program. Immediately following that interview I had the
opportunity to turn the tables a bit and interview Toufic,
discussing with him the launch of internationalized domain
names (IDNs) and what that means for people in the Middle East. I encourage
you to take a few minutes and check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEKOxX4CKoE.
I also had the opportunity to give a lecture at Georgetown University
on what is ICANN. The graduate studies class, led by Professor
Matthew G. Devost, is assigned my best-selling book, The Starfish
and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations as
required reading. It really was a great opportunity to
share with the students information about ICANN and explain the importance
role in keeping the Internet unified. You can view my lecture
Moving on in the week I had several meetings with prominent members
of the United States Congress, including Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman
of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Olympia Snowe (R-ME), who sits on
the Senate Commerce and Intel Committees, Henry Waxman, Chairman of
the House Commerce Committee, and Darrell Issa, Ranking Member of the
House Government Oversight Committee and member of the House Judiciary
Committee. These meetings provided the perfect opportunity for me to
introduce myself to members who have an abiding interest in ICANN.
Plenty of lively discussions were had about ICANN’s mandate, its new
relationship with the U.S. Government following the execution of the
Affirmation of Commitments, the new gTLD program, and securing the
DNS root. Overall, it was a very productive series of meetings that
positioned ICANN well for success as an independent, global organization.
Other productive meetings were with Larry Strickling, Assistant Secretary
Department of Commerce and Administrator of the National
Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) and with Ambassador
Philip Verveer, the U.S. State Department’s Coordinator for International
Communications and Information Policy.
I had previously worked closely with Secretary Strickling in developing
the “Affirmation of Commitments” and securing ICANN’s independence
from U.S. Government. ICANN will continue to work closely with NTIA
in carrying out the Reviews called for by the Affirmation and in ICANN’s
capacity as the contractor for the IANA function.
In my meeting with Ambassador Verveer much of my discussion focused
on the importance of maintaining the ICANN model of private-sector
led, multi-stakeholder, bottom-up, policy development. As the meeting
occurred about a week after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech
on Internet Freedom, we also spoke a great deal about ICANN’s role
in ensuring the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet’s
Domain Name System.
I also had the honor of speaking before three different audiences
about ICANN and cybersecurity. A highlight was being included on a
panel hosted by the Public Interest Registry (.org) that addressed
ICANN generally and its role in cybsersecurity (see article at http:/www.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/
Here I was able to talk about the future of ICANN and the
importance of remaining open, transparent, and multi-stakeholder led.
I gave a similar talk at the Center of Strategic and International
Studies. I also participated in a roundtable discussion held at the
Aspen Institute’s DC offices in which government officials, economists,
industry government affairs representatives and others discussed U.S.
and international ICT policy. And lastly, I spoke before the Council
on Foreign Relations where I shared my views on today’s cybersecurity
challenges and offered some possible approaches to combat the gravest
threats without undermining the Internet’s enormous value as an engine
of economic and social innovation.
As many of you may already know, I believe it is very important to
make myself available and accessible to the members of our community.
I like to do this in social settings which allow me an opportunity
to connect with people informally and discuss issues of common interest.
Approximately 125 people attended an ICANN hosted cocktail reception
at the W Hotel. You can check out a video of some of the event’s highlights,
including an introduction of ICANN’s new VP of Government Affairs at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeKB67hJFYY.
I also caught up with a good crowd at the first ever “meet
up” at which members of the community mingled over beer and billiards.
I find these types of gatherings extremely beneficial and look forward
to more on my travels.
I was very pleased to be able to use this week
to introduce Jamie Hedlund, our new VP of Government
Affairs – Americas. Jamie accompanied me for most of the week and I
believe Jamie will be an invaluable addition to the ICANN team and
we are extremely happy to have him on board.
ICANN’s New Vice President, Policy Development Support—David Olive
Welcome David Olive, Vice President, Policy Development Support,
to the ICANN staff. Keep reading to learn a bit more about David, his
background and vision for policy development at ICANN.
ICANN: Tell us a little bit about yourself,
what is your background?
David: I come to ICANN via Chicago, Brussels, Rome,
Tokyo, and now Washington, D.C.
I was born and raised in Chicago, a city with a large multi-ethnic
population where many languages are spoken. This rich environment
undoubtedly helped to foster my international interests and perspective.
Next, with 15 years as a United States diplomat, I served in Brussels
and Rome and also participated in negotiations and policy dialogues
relating to high technology with the European Union, Japan, and Italy.
My next stop was in Washington, D.C. where I was tasked with opening
the corporate representative office of a global information technology
company in 1990. I worked with various international business groups
to help design national and international public policies that facilitate
the development and use of information and communications technology,
greater utilization of the Internet, online business, protection of
intellectual property, and workforce issues.
During this process, my wife and I raised two boys as the information
technology and the Internet era emerged both at home and at school.
As both the boys and the Internet grew, I served as tech support and
e-Dad for the family’s Internet and computer needs. Of course,
I began to adopt and adjust to new applications and focus on privacy
and security concerns, as my sons became more active Internet users.
Now, I look to Nairobi and Brussels for the ICANN meetings there
as well as other locations to promote our policy development process
and to encourage greater participation and involvement.
ICANN: What attracted you to ICANN?
David: In 1996, I was involved in the work of the
Global Internet Project (GIP), an international group of
senior executives committed to fostering the continued rapid growth
of the Internet worldwide. GIP participants included well-known leaders
representing Internet-centric companies based in Australia, East and
South Asia, Europe, and North America. Dr. James Clark, former Chairman
of Netscape, founded the group. The GIP was an early
supporter of ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model for coordinating and managing
the global Internet’s unique identifiers.
Furthermore, I was also involved in ICANN matters when I served as
the Public Policy Chairman for the World Information Technology and
Services Alliance (WITSA). WITSA supported ICANN’s role and activities.
ICANN: What is your vision for Policy Development
within ICANN/what do you want to accomplish?
David: It is my pleasure to be working with ICANN’s
Policy Team and to build upon its existing foundation and policy expertise
(with special thanks to the leadership of Denise Michel).
I was impressed by ICANN’s bottom up coordination and consensus based
policy development during my corporate and WITSA involvement. It would
be my goal to improve further that process while reaching out to incorporate
new organizations, emerging international communities, and individuals
worldwide. Through our globally minded efforts, I would like
to see ICANN continue to evolve as a trusted, transparent and accountable
steward for the technical management and coordination of the unique
indicators of the Internet and associated policies.
ICANN: What challenges do you see?
David: The evolution and acceptance of ICANN to
date within the international community can be seen as
a result of the good will, hard work, and collaboration
of the stakeholders involved. As
the Internet grows, ICANN’s informational resources to
facilitate informed and meaningful participation must continue
to improve and be easily accessible to the diverse range
of interested stakeholders. I know ICANN
provides a number of mechanisms by which an organization,
business, NGO, government or individual can be involved,
and we must constantly seek new and innovative ways to
reach out to these communities.
ICANN: What is your first priority in your new
like to see ICANN continue to evolve as a trusted,
transparent and accountable steward for the technical management and
coordination of the unique identifiers of the Internet and associated
David: The Policy Team is briefing me on the details
of ongoing policy issues and activities of the supporting
organizations and advisory committees.
My first priority is to meet in person with the leadership of these
supporting organizations and advisory committees to listen and learn
about their policy priorities and workload matters. The ICANN meeting
in Nairobi will provide me with that opportunity in early March.
ICANN: Is there anything else you’d like us
to know about you or what you’d like to accomplish?
David: I have had satisfying careers in government
and in the private sector dealing with technology, Internet issues,
international trade and investment, international business, and economic
issues. I look forward to bringing my experience to bear on the
challenging issues facing ICANN and its policy development process
today. The goal should be to facilitate thoughtful, innovative,
and effective approaches supported by our community.
Denise Michel, ICANN Vice President of Policy, has accepted the new
position of Advisor to the CEO, effective 15 February. David Olive
assumes Denise’s former role.
Belize Joins ccNSO
On 8 February, the country code Name Supporting Organization (ccNSO)
accepted the membership application of Belize (.bz).
ccNSO Prepares for Members Meeting in Nairobi
The ccNSO will convene on a full agenda of topics in Nairobi, Kenya.
Members will share tips on operating and marketing a country code top-level
domain (ccTLD), and exchange views on topics such as wildcarding, data
escrow, and incident response.
Council Decides to Take On Vertical Integration
The GNSO Council has initiated a policy development process (PDP)
on the issue of vertical integration between registrars
and registries. A work team is being assembled from the community to
explore whether policies should be adopted that allow or restrict vertical
integration and cross-ownership between registrars and registries.
New gTLD Program: STI Recommendations on Trademark Protections
Go to the Board
The GNSO Council has responded to a Board request with a series of
recommendations developed by the Special Trademark Issues (STI) drafting
team. The team recommended creating a Trademark Clearinghouse and a
Uniform Rapid Suspension Procedure to protect trademarks in new generic
Top Level Domains (new gTLDs).
Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy WG Analyzes Complaints, Comments
The Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP) aims to provide a straightforward
procedure for domain name holders to transfer their names from one
ICANN-accredited registrar to another. The GNSO is reviewing and considering
revisions to this policy.
Registration Abuse Policies Group Publishes Initial Report
Registries and registrars seem to lack uniform approaches for dealing
with domain name registration abuse, and questions persist as to what
actions "registration abuse" refers. The GNSO Council has
launched a Registration Abuse Policies (RAP) Working Group to examine
registration abuse policies.
Analysis Continues on Potential Studies of Whois
Whois is the data repository containing registered domain names,
registrant contacts and other critical information. Questions persist
concerning the use and misuse of this important public resource. The
GNSO Council continues its inquiries into the suitability of Whois
as the Internet evolves. Whois has global scale and critical importance,
so adjustments to Whois must be handled with great care. Evaluating
Whois will take years, but the process has begun.
GNSO Improvements: Work Teams Progress; Council Refines New
Members of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) community
are working to implement a comprehensive series of organizational changes
designed to improve the effectiveness and accessibility of the organization.
The GNSO Improvements fall into five main areas;
Restructuring the GNSO Council;
Revising the GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP);
Adopting a New Working Group Model for Policy Development;
Enhancing Constituencies; and
Improving Communication and Coordination with ICANN Structures.
To understand the GNSO's new structure and organization, please see
the discussion and diagrams on the GNSO
Improvements webpage. For the reasons and history motivating the
improvements, see the Background
Adoption of Proposal for Recovered IPv4 Addresses Seems Imminent
– in Two Flavors
Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) are discussing a proposed global
policy for handling IPv4 address space returned from the
RIRs to IANA. According to the proposal, IANA would act
as a repository of returned address space and, once the
free pool of IANA IPv4 address space has been depleted,
allocate such space to the RIRs in smaller blocks than it currently
Three of Five RIRs Approve 2011 for Transition to 32-Bit
Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) are discussing a proposed global
policy for Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs). The proposal would change
the date for a full transition from 16-bit to 32-bit ASNs from the
beginning of 2010 to the beginning of 2011, in order to allow more
time for necessary upgrades of the systems involved.
Comments Sought on Selecting an At-Large ICANN Board Member
On 5 February, 2010, the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), in collaboration
with the At-Large Community, posted its first-ever public consultation
by opening a 30 day public
comment period on a proposal for how At-Large should select a voting
member of the ICANN Board.
AFRALO Publishes Outreach Brochure
Members of the At-Large African Regional Organization (AFRALO) worked
collaboratively to create a brochure, which they will use
for outreach activities and information dissemination.
Issues Active with the SSAC
The Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) is considering
several security related issues, including the Report of the Root Scaling
Study Team, display and usage of Internationalized registration data
(Whois data), and domain name history.
Issues Currently Open for Public Comment
Numerous public comment periods are open on issues
of interest to the ICANN community. Act now for the opportunity to
share your views on such items as:
Process for the 2010 Selection of an ICANN At-Large Board Member
On 27 August 2009, the ICANN Board of Directors resolved, in principle,
“to add one voting director appointed from the At-Large Community to
the ICANN Board of Directors, and removing the present ALAC Liaison
to the Board (…).” This paper outlines how the At-Large community proposes
to select their new Board member. Comment by 6 March 2010.
As part of the GNSO Improvements Process, which aims to improve the
structure and operations of the Generic Names Supporting Organization
(GNSO), a Work Team was tasked with developing a Working Group Model.
This Working Group Model should become the focal point for policy
development, and make it more inclusive and representative. Are these
Guidelines complete? Comments accepted through 22 March 2010.
Abuse Policies Initial Report
The GNSO Registration Abuse Policies Working Group has published
its Initial Report, including concrete recommendations
to address domain name
registration abuse in gTLDs. Comment by 28 March 2010.
Strategic Initiatives for Improved DNS Security, Stability, and Resiliency
This paper presents the rationale, key features and projected costs
of two strategic initiatives that ICANN believes are necessary to fulfill
its obligations under its Bylaws, the 2009 Affirmation of Commitments,
and the 2010-2013 ICANN Strategic Plan. Comment by 29 March 2010.
DNS-CERT Business Case
This paper describes the case for the creation of a Domain Name
System-Computer Emergency Response Team devoted to both proactive and
reactive measures related to DNS security, stability and resiliency.
The paper includes a description of the operational concept, services
analysis, and suggested governance and funding models. Comment by 29
July 2010 – June 2013 Strategic Plan Posted
After extensive consultation with the community, including
a workshop in Seoul as well as a first time ever survey conducted
last Fall, the Strategic
Plan is being posted following its approval by the ICANN Board at
its February meeting. In the joint
communication from ICANN's Chairman and CEO, it is noted that the
Strategic Plan sets out ICANN's priorities for the next three
years and is used as the basis for shaping ICANN's annual operating
plan and budget. Details of the annual planning cycle can be found at http://www.icann.org/en/planning/
by two-time fellow Naveed Ul-Haq
An ‘always on’ Experience
My name is Naveed Ul-Haq, and I am a two-time ICANN fellowship alumni,
who, like others before me, would like to share my story
of becoming a
member of the ICANN community. I have been learning through Internet-related
technologies since the start of my career; initially as a network
engineer configuring, running and managing local DNS, e-mail and Internet
services for my organization, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority
(PTA). More recently, over the last three years, I have been involved
with research, policy and regulatory work on various information and
communication technologies (ICTs).
Though I did have some basic knowledge about IANA, ICANN and RIRs,
the details about the Internet’s unique identifiers policy management
were revealed to me during a presentation at “APT IPv6 workshop” Langkawi,
Malaysia (Feb 2006). This workshop allowed me to develop a comprehensive
wiki regarding ICANN and its functions while preparing an in-house
presentation on ‘Internet’, which was delivered to PTA officers.
In order to explore more about ICANN policy issues, my best resource
was the ICANN website. The most significant part for me was the public
comments section, which really kick started my interest in reading
ICANN documents and putting forth my thoughts on them. The way ICANN
has provided various open platforms for anyone around the globe to
contribute into the policy development process of these identifiers
is commendable. I still remember that Improving Institutional Confidence,
the Operating and Budget plan 2009 and IDN Fast track process were
among the first ever ICANN policy documents that were read and commented
on by me.
In 2007, I was placed as a member of PTA’s resource person group
on the role of APNIC, ICANN, ISOC, IETF, etc …and their impact on
national regulations. My first official assignment as a resource person
was to act in response to an e-mail forwarded by the International
Chamber of Commerce (ICC) regarding ICANN JPA. The information was
to be circulated among the Internet stakeholders of Pakistan. While
preparing the response, ICANN’s relevant documents really helped in
my information gathering, and I submitted a response to the open consultation
process undertaken by NTIA during February 2008.
My fellowship journey started with a click on the ‘fellowship office’
link on the ICANN website. While going through the fellowship details,
I found myself eligible to apply and was impressed by ICANN’s support
for citizens of developing countries to attend an ICANN meeting as
it is almost impossible for us to acquire funding from our limited
ICT training budgets. I still remember the excitement brought to me
when I saw the fellowship selection results for the ICANN meeting in
Cairo. My first ICANN meeting!
The Cairo meeting was a lifetime experience, from the time I arrived
at the Cairo Airport to the time I was at the departure lounge. I felt
like I was in a family of diverse professionals from around the world:
discussing, deliberating and sharing a bunch of words about Internet
Nirvana. I learned and learned and learned! DNSSEC, Internet Governance,
Cyber squatting, etc were a few of the terminologies that were heard
for the first time by my ears.
Since my participation at Cairo and subsequently at the Sydney meeting,
I have grown professionally on Internet issues, have made excellent
global networking connections, contributed towards ICANN policy process
through public comments, and most importantly, have had the opportunity
to do something for my community.
With regards to opening new windows of learning for me, I have undertaken
Diplo online Internet Governance Capacity building program 2009 (told
to me by an ICANN fellow), and am presently enrolled in the research
phase. I also earned an ISOC ambassadorship to the IGF meeting
at Sharm El Sheikh.
The fellowship assisted me in carrying out several official assignments,
including the Establishment of Local Internet Peering points and transition
of .pk ccTLD. Moreover, while gaining knowledge during ICANN meetings
about IDNs and IPv6, I have been encouraged to initiate new projects
like the creation of an IPv6 monitory group and development of a local
version of my organization, PTA’s website.
I believe that IDNs will be an excellent platform for increasing
Internet usage and growth in developing regions where language is rated
as one of the barriers behind Internet proliferation. I think it is
very important to develop local language versions of our websites in
order to give a complete post-IDN experience to end-users.
I have also delivered presentations on ICANN to university students,
wrote an article on IDNs and new gTLDs and in the near future, plan
to hold a one-day workshop on ICANN, IGF and their issues. General
awareness about ICANN is very limited in my part of the world and it
is imperative to bridge the gap as much as possible. However, my journey
has just started, and there is a long way to go!
I would like to encourage eligible citizens of the developing world
to avail themselves of this amazing fellowship opportunity and be a
part of the ICANN community. The future of the Internet is transforming
and ICANN is a major stakeholder in this change. The door is open for
you to come via public
comments, blog, mailing lists, newsletters, etc to put your thoughts
For those who are new to ICANN fellowship program, I would
like to suggest that you try to collaborate with each other
and of course the alumni. Speak out, ask questions and become involved
with the ICANN community during the meeting. ICANN is an open organization
so don’t hesitate to ask questions when you come across a Constituency
member; they do embrace the fellows!. Whenever I close my eyes
and try to visualize ICANN meetings, I feel an ‘Always On’ experience.
Thank you ICANN for this!
Policy update: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/policy/
Monthly magazine: http://www.icann.org/en/magazine/
Public Participation: http://public.icann.org/
HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD
Visit the Public Participation Site and let us know what you think about the current issues.
If you care about the Internet and how it evolves, your voice will only be heard if you get involved.