ICANN Meetings in Carthage
Public Forum Captioning
Wednesday, 30 October 2003
The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Public Forum held 30 October 2003 in Carthage, Tunisia. Although the captioning output is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Faryel Beji: The Internet, ladies and gentlemen, honorable guests, I am very glad to give the address on behalf of the people present here and the (inaudible) the Minister of Information (inaudible) in particular, Dr. Vint Cerf, who is the chairman of ICANN, and I would like to welcome Paul Twomey, who is the President of ICANN. I would like to welcome the Chairman of GAC and so on and so forth.
This conference is taking place in the preparation stage for the World Summit, which will be held in the year 2005. And thanks to the position of Tunisia, several institutions and organizations have decided to set up to organize the meetings here in Tunisia in parallel with the ICANN conference, in particular, ISOC, GAC, the (inaudible) as well as the AFTLD and (inaudible), which have decided to hold a meeting along with ICANN. Allow me to speak in English before I give the floor to our honorable guests and then to His Excellency, the Minister of Communication.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It's a complete pleasure to welcome all of you at this ceremony. I welcome you on behalf of your local host, Tunisian Internet Agency and the company in charge of the ccTLD. I hope you are getting work done and at the same time having a nice day in our country. We have tried to provide all the facilities to ensure the success of the meeting. This morning, we have organized a welcoming ceremony. I thank the Minister for organizing this event. Indeed, the Tunisian government has always been a driving force to a better vision of the future. Also, it's an honor for our country to be chosen to host this event. Furthermore, I have been looking forward to having all of you attending this ICANN meeting, which I hope is of great interest to you.
Ladies and gentlemen, for quite a few years, Tunisia has been struggling at making the communication and information technology a building block in all of its development programs, whether economic or educational or social, as it may be (inaudible) by the many -- just to give you an example, Tunisia has devoted $1.7 billion to organize the sector and set up the appropriate environment for the development of the ACTLDs. It has been selected to host the World Summit for the Information Society, the first stage being scheduled in Geneva in 2003. Your choice to host the ICANN meeting and all the other activities which are taking place in parallel is no doubt an attribute to all that Tunisia has been doing and an incentive to pursue this in order to achieve our goals. The Internet is playing a key role in the world economy. We hope that this meeting will be successful and a step forward toward a better Internet that we achieve together.
Dear guests, I would like to thank you all for your attention and for participating in this meeting. We have an (inaudible) trying to provide all of the facilities for smoothness of this major event for Tunisia. You are our guests and I hope that you feel at home. And if there is anything you may need, do not hesitate to let us know. And I am trying to thank all of you for your consideration and wish you good continuation in both your work and your stay in Tunisia. Thank you very much for your attention. And now I have the pleasure to give the floor to the Professor Vint Cerf. He is the Chairman of ICANN. You have the floor, Professor.
Vint Cerf: Your Excellency Rabah, Minister of Communication and your Excellency Mhiri, Secretary of State, distinguished guests, and distinguished Members of the Board and of the participants in the ICANN meeting here in Tunisia, it is an honor and a pleasure to greet you this morning. I will be brief. You did not come here to listen to me. We have come here to listen to you.
Our task as we spread the Internet around the world and try to create the technology which makes it accessible to everyone requires that we understand the situations, the problems, the challenges, and the opportunities that every country and every citizen in those countries has to take advantage of information technology and the Internet. To do that, we rely upon you. We rely upon our honored guests this morning to help us appreciate how we can improve the way in which the Internet works so that it can be available and accessible to everyone.
I know that we've all been working very hard during the course of this week, and we still have two more days of effort ahead of us, and so I don't want to slow down the pace. I thank you all for your participation and your work. And I look forward to hearing what our guests have to say. I want to ask you to join me in thanking Professor Beji, who has made available all of these facilities to us and who has worked tirelessly this week and in the many weeks before to make our meeting successful. So, Professor Beji, thank you very much for all of your hard work.
And I will turn the lectern back over to you.
Faryel Beji: Thank you very much, Professor, for these nice words about our country and for this nice speech. And now I want to give the floor to Dr. Paul Twomey, President of ICANN, for his welcome speech. Dr. Twomey, please.
Paul Twomey: Your Excellency, honorable guests, ladies and gentlemen, your Excellency, I'd like to welcome you here to our meeting at ICANN here in Tunisia, and I'd like to reinforce the words of Vint Cerf, the thanks we have to the Tunisian Internet agency and Professor Beji for the marvelous assistance we have received.
Your Excellency, I would like to introduce you to ICANN and in 78 many respects, it reminds me of what you are trying to do here in Tunisia. ICANN is an international process, an international entity with an international board, with international participation focusing on a small but very important part of the technical administration of the Internet. If we all do our job well, 750 million people get to use the Internet well and easily. If we don't, they don't. And the way that we're organized reflects in many ways what you have been trying to achieve here in Tunisia.
ICANN is a public/private partnership, just as here in Tunisia you've recognized the need for the government to work with the private sector. ICANN brings a large body of technical people and other organizations linked to the technical community, just as you've played the important emphasis upon training, upon the technical skills in Tunisia. And ICANN also has strong links with the academic environment, just as you have had links with the academic environment and placed an emphasis on Internet at universities and at schools. ICANN is a multi-stakeholder environment. Why? Because these are the people who actually grow the Internet and build it. And I think in many respects, it reflects your own commitment, reflects your own vision of how things should work in Tunisia and broadly around the Mediterranean, the Maghreb, of how you actually pragmatically grow growth and grow the Internet and grow the advanced technologies. We look forward to working with you further, not just at this meeting, but in your very important role in hosting the next round of the World Summit for information society. And we look forward to being one of your partners. Welcome.
Faryel Beji: Thank you very much, Doctor, for your interesting speech. And now I would like to give the floor to Mr. Arial Francais, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Tunisia. Mr. Francais, go ahead, please.
Arial Francais: Thank you.
Chairman of ICANN, Chair of the Tunisia Agency of the Internet, honorable board guests, ladies and gentlemen, I would like first of all to thank you very much and to welcome you to this ICANN Congress organized by ATI under the high patronage of the Minister of Technologies and Communication as well as Transportation. Thus, ladies and gentlemen, after Cairo, Africa is privileged with hosting such an important meeting of the ICANN already in 2002 in his message addressed to your assembly in Accra, the General Secretary of the United Nation, Kofi Annan, for intellectual property, and the ITU for the Implementation of Policies, the Policies of the Internet and the Community of the Users.
During the three latest days, the discussions under strategies for the promotion of the Internet have been undertaken within this very room. These proceedings, this analysis, will enable us to facilitate our thought and our ideas on the implementation of the original strategies of the development and the intensification of network that will provide the opportunity for the countries to share and to benefit from their respective expertise. Ladies and gentlemen, the revitalization is accompanied by -- it's through the Internet, the network of networks, that the flow of information transits, which will be the new vectors of development of -- and for this reason, the acceleration of the Internet in the southern countries of the world focuses nations and for you in particular a strategy priority.
To that effect, as a matter of fact, the UNDP is acting as a pioneer for the promotion of the information and the communication technologies through its initiatives and programs, be it national as well as at the (inaudible) level. It's policy vis-a-vis the development of the Internet is part and parcel of a wider framework dissemination of the information technologies to the benefit of development. And in order to reduce digital gap. Indeed, since 1994, UNDP was in the center of several programs relating to the implementation of networks, access to the Internet, management of domain names, as well as the involvement of experts from development from developing countries in meetings such as those of ICANN. Concretely, we have helped Afghanistan for the development of its domain .af and to finance the first African forum on the Internet governance.
The UNDP contributes largely and has several assets in its capacity of network for development. It has equally large expertise and experience in the field of communication. It has several programs of partnership which it implemented over and over during the related years. The Technologies of Information and Communication have been the principle vector which can enhance and encourage sustainable development and which can solve the two problems that countries are facing.
In the dozens of poor countries, UNDP sets up the necessary foundation for a better world where technology and information is an important role. It has increased and enhanced local economies (inaudible) to reach levels of development, especially with regard to education and health, with an added value for the developing countries, it is equally to reduce cost of services, including the administration services and make development easier. The technologies developing for communication could help developing countries to improve their situation, to reduce poverty, and to promote knowledge in a promising environment, this could happen easily.
Vertically speaking, this can take place through the setting up of production services, (inaudible) services, the Internet, processing of telephony on the Internet. This can happen through the use of modern technologies from the (inaudible) or e-government through electronic commerce or e-commerce as well as decision-making. We know equally that the improving of the access to this technology cannot take place in a vacuum. It requires a clear and promising environment, as (inaudible) by the UNDP has shown, that the constraints facing development in the developing countries have met the infrastructure of the hardware, which are certainly assets, but, rather, the level of education and the presence of men and women who are technically competent to sustain development of this technology. And within this context, the fundamental challenge is a coupled challenge, first of all, accelerating the acceptance and use of the information and communication technologies as factors of development. In addition to this, we have to find a new (inaudible) that can (inaudible) the developing countries to reach their development aim, in particular, the goals of the development of the millennium, which has been planned but (inaudible) in the millennium summit. The goals are the framework of a social contract to have more humane civilizations.
Ladies and gentlemen, your conference takes place in the framework of preparatory meetings in the World Summit for the Society of Information, whose second stage will take place in Tunisia in 2005, and for African countries in particular to voice their opinion, especially with regard to the digital divide. To that effect, the UNDP program acts with other specialized agencies of the UN and acts as a key partner with Tunisia for the preparation and organization of this important summit which will constitute, there is no doubt, a historical major event. Once again, may your proceedings be a success. And I thank you very much for your attention.
Faryel Beji: Thank you very much, for your speech. Now last, but not least, I am very honored to leave the floor to his Excellency, to Mr. Sadok Rabah, to his keynote speech. Your Excellency, you may start.
H.E. Mr. Sadok Rabah: In the name of the (inaudible) and the merciful, Mr. (inaudible), President of ICANN, Mr. Twomey and chairman of ICANN, -- Mrs. Beji, chair of ATI, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much for attending this conference, and I am very glad to preside over this meeting of ICANN from the 27th of October until the 23rd. And I would like you fully to take this opportunity to welcome these eminent personalities who have come from international organizations and who have come from several sister and friendly countries and who belong to the most eminent international and regional organizations specializing in the field of the Internet. I would like equally to extend my thanks to all the participants and those who contributed to the success of this important event, of which Tunisia is very proud to host.
(inaudible) Tunisia hosts for a whole week the ICANN congress, in addition to its hosting to several other events, original events, constitutes at the same time, a proof and an evidence of the efforts deployed by Tunisia under the ability of its president to promote the modern technology of the information and communication, be it at the national level, and in order equally to facilitate its position among the developing countries which are eager to have a very good investment of modern technologies to meet the challenges of sustainable development, on the other hand. Your congress as well as the parallel events, such as the meeting of ISOC and the meeting of the GAC, the meeting of the AINC, the meeting of AFTLD, as well as the meeting of MINC and IFC, constitute an opportunity to elaborate the visions and to set up the future policies for the promotion of the use of the Internet at the international level and to foretell the impacts of the various mutations, technologies mutations, that the world is witnessing at a quick speed and at a quick rate. This congress equally is very important since it is held at a time when the international efforts which aim at preparing the World Summit about the Information Society which will be held following the initiative of Tunisia made in 1998 and, Tunisia, as you know, will host the second stage in November 2005.
Ladies and gentlemen, Tunisia was among the countries that tried to set up the necessary strategies to keep pace of technological and technical development which the world is witnessing or which has witnessed during the latest years in the field of communication and information technologies. And Tunisia has succeeded to set up a national plan which takes into consideration the national and the international needs and which is based on particular programs which aim at ensuring that everybody, the whole society, benefits from the benefits provided by the digital technologies in general and the Internet in particular. The sector has been reorganized through the setting up of the Tunisian agency for the Internet, national bureau for telecommunication, and national board for communication and telecommunication, and national agency for frequencies, in addition to the national agencies for electronic authentication, in addition, of course, to the setting up of a center for the documentation, training in the technological field. Besides, a new code has been enacted, and new law enacted with regard to electronic trade or e-commerce as well as the payment or electronic payment through the Internet. And Tunisia was among the first countries to equip the several networks with the most sophisticated technologies to meet the aspirations of users which contributed to increasing the capacity of the link of the countries during the latest years and which makes Tunisia among the first developing countries in this field, and which enables equally to have better opportunities for the rest of the world.
With regard to the Internet (inaudible) connection, a national network has been set up, and it is in harmony with the requirements of equality and the flow of the information due to the development expected and the increase of the number of participants on the other hand. The number of the users of the Internet in Tunisia has increased and reached in a very short period of time more than 570,000 users against the setting up of the 12 service providers in the various regions of the country, five of which are from the private sector. And in addition to this policy of (inaudible) which encouraged the use of the Internet services, several projects aiming at assimilation of information culture and aiming at encouraging of the research and technological field and equally aiming at (inaudible) of the Internet services in the educational centers, universities, schools, national libraries, youth clubs, in addition to the consideration of the teaching of foreign languages and the information technology and education, which are aimed at the children.
In order to disseminate the use of the Internet, as well as the use of the surface strata, I'd like to remind you that we have a presidential program for the acquisition of what we call Family Computer, enabling Tunisian families to obtain a sophisticated computer at a price which does not exceed 1,000 Dinars. I'd like to remind you that we have an increasing number of Internet cyber cafes or centers, there's about 300 which are scattered all over the country and quarters and areas of Tunisia. And since Tunisia has challenged or has bet on using the perspectives used by the Internet to ensure that the employment sector will benefit from that service as well, we have set up a center called (inaudible) to work or (inaudible) center. We have equally created 12 technology (inaudible) in the -- five of which are in the technology sector as well. We have set up a new system to encourage people to innovate in the technological field. We have equally adopted several incentives to enhance investment in the burgeoning field and the Internet. In addition to that, we have adopted appropriate legislation in order to encourage this development.
Ladies and gentlemen, Tunisia, which under the presidency of our president has confirmed that it was firmly decided to benefit from the possibilities offered by new technologies, Tunisia, as you know, is a country grants due importance to international efforts which aim at enabling everybody to benefit from these new technologies. I'd like equally to remind you that the general assembly of the United Nations has ratified the initiative made by our president in calling for the setting up of an International Fund of Solidarity which enabled us to save huge amounts which will be consecrated to the development of modern technology in the developing countries.
In order to avoid digital gap, we equally give due importance to foreign investment and the development of a partnership between Tunisia and the diverse regional and international organizations. This can be done, or has been done, through the adoption of incentives and fiscal incentives which make it the most important and eminent companies in the field in Tunisia. And we deem that the holding of this conference of ICANN as well as the holding of other meetings which are held in a parallel way prove and reflect this importance granted by Tunisia to the Internet and to the field of technology. We would like to ensure you or would like to ensure equal access to everybody to the Internet.
Ladies and gentlemen, in conclusion, allow me to extend my thanks to anybody who contributed to ensuring the success of this event and thus encourage international partnership in the field of the information technology. I would like equally to extend my thanks to the eminent guests of Tunisia who have opted for Tunisia to host this important meeting of ICANN, and may your stay be nice in Tunisia, land of development and prosperity. Thanks very much for your attention.
Faryel Beji: And also for your support. Now his excellency would like to give the Internet and Information Technology award to professor Vint Cerf for his achievement and contribution to Internet throughout all his years. Professor, please.
Faryel Beji: Congratulations. Now, you may proceed with your scheduled meeting. Thanks very much for your assistance. Thanks.
Vint Cerf: We'll have a brief pause while the board will come up on stage.
Vint Cerf: Ladies and gentlemen, we are just about ready to begin. We are ringing the bell in the lobby to bring any stragglers into the room. So, Paul, you should prepare yourself momentarily.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Vint Cerf. I'm Chairman of the Board of ICANN. It is my pleasure to add my welcome to others to this first public forum session here in Tunisia for our annual general meeting. I'd like to call upon the CEO of ICANN, Paul Twomey, to make his report to the assembled body. Paul.
Paul Twomey: Thank you, Vint, board, and members of the ICANN community. I'll make a brief report to you and then some further detailed parts of the report that I'd like to put on the record but perhaps not to speak to, which we'll share shortly.
I think following the opening introductions from our hosts, I might first focus on what I have discerned in many respects over the last six months since my appointment of expectations of the community and of expectations, in many respects, around the board and outside entities. And if you'd like a little bit, these are sorts of things that are sitting, from the president's perspective, as key things we need to be addressing.
One of the things over six months of extensive interaction with the community in a work sense plus a lot of consultation and discussion, and with a lot of discussion with yourselves, some of the parts of this vision that I think that are beginning to become clearer for us include a commitment to international outreach, a commitment to serving a truly globalized Internet. And I think on that particular point, we have seen some good progress today, but there is still much work to do.
ICANN presently has accredited, for the generic top-level domains, registrars in 26 countries. We have put in place accountability frameworks or agreements with ccTLDs, and they're in place with 15 cc managers. And importantly, in that area, we are further evolving and reviewing that process to focus very much upon the accountability part of those agreements for those frameworks.
The ccNSO membership discussions going reflect interest in more regions of the world, and I'm pleased to report that that seems to be in the final stage of completion. There are approved members, particularly prevalent in Africa, Latin America, Asia Pacific, covering a wide range of cc's. And this I find personally very interesting, because it is a combination of four-plus years of work and dialogue amongst the cc community that many of us witnessed as far back as Santiago or even Singapore. So this is a combination of a bottom-up progress in the community as to how to come together and have a forum and an international forum for what they consider to be the appropriate exercises of global policy where they think that that is relevant. And we are looking forward, I think, to welcoming the ccNSO elected board members, because those board seats are still empty, waiting for the elected board members.
A further aspect of the international outreach mandate or vision, if you like, has been increased cooperation with relevant intergovernmental organizations. And in the last months, ICANN has been involved in such cooperation and discussions with Sitel with the World Summit Information Society, especially in the (inaudible) committee meetings. Importantly with the (inaudible) communications meetings, bolt with ITUD and ITU-T, both areas where we're having some discussions, and in some further work in the Unit C task force. There's also, as one of our hosts or guests mentioned, a cooperation and interaction between ICANN and the UNDP, and he gave the instance of the assistance the UNDP gave in the transition for the .af.
I think a very important part of the international outreach obligation sitting upon this community is looking at introduction of internationalized domain names at the TLD level, and importantly, the work and ongoing challenges we have of ensuring the linkage between things that are locally significant and serve local communities and at the same time maintaining our commitment and our key stewardship for the integrity, the security, and the stability of a single Internet. And I think that's one of the areas of continuing focus for us.
We are moving forward on translation and developing and implementing an appropriate and effective strategy for multi-lingual communications. And this is a key task for us over the next 12 months from the staff level that have already started that process just in producing explanatory documentation around ICANN, and some of you will have seen in this meeting, we actually have documentation in English, French and Arabic available at this meeting. An important part of the international outreach also, as Roberto and others will readily recognize, is the ALAC and its continuing to conduct outreach to encourage the formation of a global at-large framework. That's something that we continue to need to progress and ensure effective completion. So there's a basic report on some of the aspects around the international outreach objective, I think, on that vision.
Other areas that are clearly within that framework, I think, are a commitment to innovation in the domain name system. That's something which is important, but at the same time, with a very clear understanding of our commitment to the integrity, the stability, and the security of the single Internet. And focus on that. And I think, also, one of the key areas, also, in that vision is keeping and building an integrated, cohesive, but in many respects independent community, and that the task that we have of ensuring that we work closely with other bodies, and we've had good discussions, for instance, with the Internet society in this meeting, other bodies like the IETF, others who we need to serve, how to keep an integrated and cohesive approach and at the same time respect each other's tasking and responsibilities.
Moving on from some idea of that vision to a little bit of how do we achieve it or accomplish it, perhaps the most important or significant accomplishment in the last several months has been the finalization of the memorandum of understanding with the United States department of commerce, which was completed in September. That, as many of you will appreciate, is the sixth memorandum of understanding. And for those of us involved at the very founding of ICANN will recall, the United States government has, in two administrations, been committed to the process of privatizing and moving out to an independent, international community-led public/private partnership that's evolved over the period of time to find what the right model is, to transfer to such an entity the functions that they were undertaking in the mid-nineties as a consequence of their efforts that helped build the Internet to start with.
The MOU envisioned by the parties is a three-year term and has a number of detailed issues in it. The details are in many respects are due diligence. So many of the things we have sitting under the MOU's responsibilities I would not perceive as proscriptions from the department of commerce on how it works but what are the due diligence steps on what we need to fulfill to ensure that that transfer can finally and fully take place. Part of that fitting within the MOU will be the development of a strategic plan, and I thought today, this morning I would share some of the headings that should probably sit in such a strategic plan.
Some of the headings I think should sit in are, firstly, how do we build a sustainable business that includes management controls on which we're doing quite a lot of focus? It includes building capable staff and I'm happy to report to you since I last addressed the meeting of the board in an open board meeting like this that we have gone some way toward appointment. I specifically address three appointments. The first is the Vice President for Business Operations, Mr. Kurt Pritz. the second one is the second Vice President, Vice President of Supporting Organizations, Mr. Paul Verhoef who is joining us and who will be based in Europe, and the appointment of the new General Counsel, Mr. John Jeffrey.
We continue to work on the establishment of a capable staff. Importantly, and I think this is important for the community, a staff focused around a business unit model focused around key accountabilities so that we spread the capability and the managerial strength; we don't focus it as it may have been in the past. I think, importantly, we need to have a way of measuring ourselves and making our performance more accountable, and we are working our way how to do that, particularly around performance of the IANA functions, to be able to share more on the statistics and process around those. And also, we're looking to do a review system-wide of efforts to automate our operational processes. This will take some time, but we think there's opportunity to automate much of what's presently being done by the staff.
I think the second part we need to ensure as we build a robust policy assistance group, not so the staff set policy at all, but rather the staff are in a good position to assist the community, the supporting organizations and committees, to actually help progress the tasking they have in the policy making format. An important part of what we need to do is ensure we have stable, adequate, and fair funding, and specifically, that that funding be sufficient to achieve the increasing demands upon us by the community, both in terms of intensity of the existing work, but importantly, also, the geographical spread of such work, which comes back to international outreach.
One of the aspects about that is that we envisage and we have spoken about the potentially opening of some small targeted offices over the next period of time in ICANN's regions, and as you will note the appointment of Mr. Verhoef has allowed the announcement that we intend to establish an office in Brussels. Such offices will be very focused. They'll be lean and mean, to use the phrase, and we'll target very much on cooperation with regional communities and regional organizations. We're not in the business of reinventing the wheel, but we do think there are opportunities there to work in collaboration with other parties.
Perhaps if I can move to questions of potential risks that I think we may be facing. Clearly, one of the risk areas that we need to keep focusing on as an organization is our need to reach community consensus on key issues. And on some of the issues that we have before us, for instance, on things like the WHOIS, WHOIS workshops, particularly on the WIPO II implementation issues, I think it's important that we keep this ICANN 2.0 model a pattern, which is that we bring the community together and various constituencies work together to find pragmatic solutions going forward. And so one of our key focuses remains, as staff, is the challenge back to the community about how not to operate in silos, but importantly, how to ensure that interaction is taking place across the constituencies to produce pragmatic actions going forward.
One of the other areas that we're clearly heavily involved in and have been participating strongly and see a vision of further participation is the World Summit for Participation Society. We've been working very closely with many of the member states of the UN system and have been in attendance of the preparatory committee meetings. But importantly, being in a position to share a vision of what the ICANN community can bring to that objective, and also a vision of what's important to ensure that the technical operations of the Internet continue to grow and to be done, managed, and administered in a sound and effective manner.
I thought perhaps for today's purposes I might leave the presentation to the board at that sort of level. What I do have is quite a degree of detailed reporting available on some functional areas, particularly on finance, technical operations, a number of other areas, staffing, the sort of report function. What we intend to do, rather than taking the time in the meeting now, is to actually post that and to post it for your comment later during the day. Thanks.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Paul.
I'd like to call on the chairman of the Governmental Advisory Committee, Sharil Tarmizi, to offer his traditional communique to the -- this is erby at orby, communication from the GAC.
Sharil Tarmizi: Merci beaucoup, Vint. Bonjour. I will be brief, as you have many times advised.
The Governmental Advisory Committee, of which I am chair, had its meeting here in Tunisia, and we had this meeting from the 26th to the 28th of October. The participating GAC members included representatives from 39 national governments, distinct economies as recognized in international fora, and multi-international governmental and treaty organizations. The GAC addressed several current policy issues affecting ICANN, longer term issues of concern to GAC members, and GAC's future structure and organization. GAC heard a report from the ICANN executive, particularly regarding the issues currently on ICANN's agenda, and changes in the management, staffing, and the creation of regional offices. ICANN presented a thorough review of ccTLD redelegation policies and operations. GAC welcomes ICANN's intention to further improve the performance of the IANA function and encourages the continued implementation of measures to increase efficiency in the IANA function in consultation with the stakeholders as appropriate.
On ccTLD policies, pending redelegations continue to be a concern to a number of GAC members. GAC encouraged ICANN to address the issue of delegation and redelegation in priority. GAC reviewed progress in creating the ccNSO, recalled its advice in Montreal, and encouraged continued work to ensure the fullest participation possible. GAC agreed to move forward with the updating of the GAC principles for the delegation and administration of country code top-level domains. In this regard, GAC stresses the importance of consultations with the ccTLD community and ICANN.
On the implementation of the WIPO II recommendations, GAC welcomed the creation of the joint working group with GAC and representatives of ICANN constituencies. GAC recalls that the mandate of the working group is limited to analyzing the practical and technical aspects of implementing the WIPO II recommendations. Recalling its advice on this issue in Montreal, GAC regrets that the working group has not presented an outline and timetable for its work to the GAC meeting at Carthage, and welcomes the request from the president of ICANN that the working group report to the board at the ICANN meeting in Rome.
On WHOIS data, GAC welcomed the WHOIS advisory committee and expressed strong interest in the outcome of the workshop. The GAC, WHOIS, and gTLD working groups met with the GNSO council and discussed, amongst other things, the GNSO policy development process, and WHOIS issues. The GAC reported on its efforts to compile information regarding public policy users of WHOIS data by GAC members through a questionnaire. The GNSO council expressed its interest in receiving the results of the GAC survey as well as its appreciation for the GAC initiative.
On IPv6, IPv6 is moving from research stage to real use. It was agreed to accelerate the activity of the GAC IPv6 working group to exchange information and experience and to gather information on the IPv6 status on various systems on the Internet, including the DNS root server system and ccTLD servers and to consider the further steps to be taken by GAC. GAC welcomed the initiative of the IPv6 workshop to encourage communication amongst interested parties on this matter.
New registry services, GAC is following the debate about DNS wildcards and received a briefing from the president, CEO of ICANN and the chair of the security and stability committee regarding its review of the Site Finder service. GAC recognizes that many interests in the community have raised concerns about competition, technical and user issues. GAC recognizes the ongoing review and evaluation, and notes that the ICANN president has asked the GNSO to formulate a proposal for timely, transparent, and predictable procedure for the introduction of new registry services. GAC will continue monitoring these processes, particularly where they relate to public policy issues.
On DNS security and root server, GAC takes note of the efforts to date in the employment of anycast mirror root servers as well as it recognizes the efforts undertaken by the root server operators to increase the security and stability of the root server system for the benefit of the whole Internet community. GAC encourages the root server operators to make more information available in order to increase awareness and understanding of these issues.
On outreach, GAC held a successful workshop dedicated to the Arab and African regions with active participation from 17 countries, including government, private sector, and civil society. Reinforcing communications among GAC members will continue to be encouraged on a regional basis in view of the useful results and following the Rio de Janeiro and Carthage presence, future workshops will be considered for future meetings. GAC also considered the question of its future organization and financing. GAC has agreed a procedure for updating the operating principles and for the election of vice chairs later this year. A working group will be set up to consider the structure, organization, and financing of the GAC.
Last, last two paragraphs, the government advisory committee would formally like to express its warm thanks to the government of Tunisia, Agency Tunisia Internet for hosting the meeting in Carthage. Participation from members in the African region was significantly greater. As to its next meeting, the next GAC face-to-face meeting will be in Rome, Italy during the 27th February to 2nd March period. Meanwhile, GAC will continue its work on-line and through the working groups and liaisons. Thank you very much for your attention.
Vint Cerf: Since I'm over here instead of over there, and you finished before I thought you would, I'll take the opportunity, first, to thank Sharil for his work on behalf of the GAC and on behalf of ICANN. And second, I wanted to make an observation about the GAC report.
I hope you noticed that it had more to do with the substance of getting the Internet to work and getting ICANN to function than it did to do with organizational structure and the examination of our navels. And for this, I am most grateful. So thank you, Sharil, for leading the GAC especially towards a more substantive agenda.
So it's my pleasure now to ask Suzanne Woolf to come up to the lectern and to give a report from the root server system advisory committee. Suzanne.
Suzanne Woolf: Thank you, Dr. Cerf. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I will also attempt to be brief.
The root server system advisory committee is one of the original advisory committees. It advises the board on issues pertaining to the review root name servers, and it usually meets at the IETF. It met most recently at the IETF meeting in July. Several important topics were discussed and are in progress in the committee.
Our previous report discussed anycast, stated that several of the roots had begun to deploy anycast. We are happy to report that those improvements in the service and security of the system have continued. several more operators have added anycast, and more will follow.
Varying technical and cost recovery models are in use. We have found anycast to be operationally stable, and an improvement to the system. We also have seen several of the TLDs using the similar technologies to what the roots are using. We believe it's an important improvement overall in the systems stability and security.
We have also been discussing the future of IPv6 in the DNS, and the addition of quad A addresses, IPv6 addresses to the root zone both for the root name servers and for TLDs. We are ready to move forward. We'll be advising IANA on which of the root name servers should have quad A's added first to root servers dot net for the root name servers. There are some technical issues around adding quad A's for TLDs in the root, and we are proceeding with some studies and to advise IANA and the community on guidelines on how to do that. There is an Internet draft in process in the IETF that is attempting to provide some of those guidelines authored by a couple of members of the root server advisory committee.
Other activities. The RSSAC was asked for input to IANA on renumbering of one of the root name servers. this is something that is done periodically for different servers at different intervals in order to improve network connectivity or some other aspect of the system. There were no technical issues raised and the renumbering will proceed in the next few months. The GAC named a liaison to RSSAC at the Rio meeting, and the Vienna meeting included, as invited guests, Dr. Twomey and Stephen Crocker on behalf of the security and stability committee for ICANN. So it's continuing outreach to ICANN and the community. The next meeting will be in Minneapolis with the November IETF. It's a couple of weeks away. For additional information about root server activities, please see these URL’s. There is an ICANN page for the committee as well. Thank you.
Vint Cerf: Suzanne, before you go away, I had one small question.
Suzanne Woolf: Sure.
Vint Cerf: There has been some discussion over the years about trying to improve the security of the root systems information by using digital signatures, the DNSSEC. Is that still under discussion within the RSSAC and other bodies that are interested in this area?
Suzanne Woolf: That is in fact under very active discussion. That's not yet a concern directly for the committee because it's not ready for deployment. We have primarily been waiting on the IETF standardization process and on implementation and test, because it's new technology that needs to be deployed very, very carefully in consultation with everyone affected. But the IETF is getting very close, the DNS working group in the IETF is very close to standardizing a specification that will probably be implementable and deployable. So there is actually progress there, but it's not ready yet.
Vint Cerf: Second question, if you don't mind. As I think about introduction of things like the quad A records for IPv6, that's a fairly significant introduction. Is there a kind of test environment that the RSSAC has available to it that allows it to try these out before we put things in the live network?
Suzanne Woolf: The RSSAC itself does not manage test beds or test environments, but several of the participants do, and we have input from a number of organizations that are running those kinds of tests. A couple of the regional registries and several of the root name server operators do participate in other experimental activities of that kind. So we have input from a variety of people who have been testing and analyzing.
Vint Cerf: Thank you.
Suzanne Woolf: Thank you.
Vint Cerf: Okay. I'd like to put my glasses on so I can see what I'm doing. I'd like to call on Steve Crocker to present the report of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee. Steve.
Steve Crocker: Aha. Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.
As Vint said, my name is Steve Crocker. I chair the Security and Stability Advisory Committee. We have been a very quiet, inactive, small group that had nothing to do until a short while ago. A little humor is always helpful. We have a distinguished group of people on our committee drawn from all of the different quarters of the domain name system: registrars, registries, country code and generic top-level domains. This is a list of the committee members. This committee has been stable pretty much from its inception the early part of last year. As I said, the people on the committee are drawn from the different areas of activity. All of the people on the committee have regular assignments, regular jobs and do this work on a volunteer basis. There are no political or bureaucratic people on the committee. This gives us both a strength in having a good technical basis and access to actual data and potentially a weakness in the sense that we're primarily a technically focused committee and some of the policy issues are broader than fit cleanly within our own activity.
As I think probably most people are aware, our committee's activity in the last month or so has been dominated by an event that started in the middle of September when VeriSign introduced a change to the operation of the com and the net domains in which they redirected responses for unassigned domain names to instead of giving an error response, which they had been doing previously and had been for a long time, instead, generated a response that looked as if it was a regular host. And it was in fact one of their own. And on that host, if it was a web access, they provided the search service, what they called Site Finder. This generated a series of complaints and problem reports quite widespread, and it became evident that our committee would have to get deeply involved. We certainly were not alone.
There was activity in a number of different sectors. A week later, we issued a preliminary advisory. And then we set about to gather more information. And I should emphasize that we are still gathering information and still inviting input. We have set up a comment line. It's actually our regular ongoing comment line, but it's been actively used for this purpose. So I invite you all and to pass the word to any who you know that we are continuing to look for substantive, technical inputs. And it does not have to be biased in one direction or another. We're looking for thoughtful commentary, thoughtful analysis. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We held two public meetings, on October 7th, and then again on October 15th. And in a moment I will show you the agendas for these meetings. And we have also posted all of the information from those meetings on a web site. We will turn our attention now to taking the information we've received and any new information that we receive and writing a report. And this report I will say a bit more about in just a minute.
Let me emphasize again that we are part of a larger process, that matters of security and stability have, of course, a very strong technical aspect to them, which is our strength. And then they also have policy issues and economic impacts that have to be taken up in a broader forum. So I've come to appreciate very much perhaps the least interesting word in our title, which is "advisory." It gives us the comfort that we can say whatever it is that we come to believe and that we think is relevant, and then we can depend upon and rely upon others to interpret and accept or not accept what it is that we have to say. We're not a decision-making body; we're not an enforcement body. And ICANN management has committed to a process for determining what to do on this matter after we issue our report.
There are also matters that are clearly outside of our domain. But there are, more interestingly, issues which fall neither squarely inside nor squarely outside of our domain. And on those issues, we will probably say something, but we will also acknowledge that there is judgment to be required as to whether other inputs should be taken or whether ours should be ignored. For example, there are some aspects of the competition among different parties which, to the extent that they don't affect security and stability directly, are outside of our domain. There are some aspects of competition that actually do have an impact on stability. And so these are where things will get more interesting, in a way.
So, to return to the particular events, as I think most people are aware, VeriSign used this redirection using what's called a wildcard feature in the specification of the protocol and redirected all uninstantiated names. That's basically names that did not previously exist. They redirected these names to their own servers. That caused some things to break.
For example, one of the easier to cite, not necessarily the most important, but one of the things that was pretty clear, is that some Spam-blocking programs would check to see if the mail that is coming in came from a domain that is not nonexistent. And all of a sudden, every domain looked as if it existed, and therefore that strategy became completely ineffective and that Spam-blocking approach broke. There were other more detailed kinds of things that stopped working. In some cases, some software would have a series of domain names to check, and it would find if one didn't exist, it would move on to the next one. Those strategies stopped working.
The general picture is that although the whole network obviously did not come to a grinding halt, there were some pieces that broke in various places. And then that raises sort of a lengthy discussion about whether that's important and what the rules of the game are and who should be allowed to make those decisions. And I don't think that that's going to have a simple, short answer. But it will require some discussion.
Another thing that happened right away, within roughly a day or so, a couple of days, is that some parties took actions to undo the effect of that change that VeriSign had instituted by putting in software patches to reinterpret the responses and turn them back into error codes, and that was a class of change that was made in the resolution software, bind being the most visible of those kinds of software, but software from other providers was also made available that changed the address back into an error code.
Also, some Internet service providers changed the routing inside of their systems to detect that address and route to some other place or to stop the access, essentially blocking that Site Finder access.
Let me go back to that a second. In the process of taking that defensive action, we have a pattern that fortunately did not appear to go much further, but it raises the specter of a change to one part of the system, a counteracting change in another part of the system, and a concern about whether that pattern would continue into a certain degree of escalation. That in and of itself raises a concern about stability, because, generally, one likes changes to be planned and tested and thought about and conferred upon for a considerable period of time. So the change in the process of instituting changes and the prospect of warring changes being introduced is unsettling, particularly to people with a technical training who worry about how the pieces come together in a stable way.
In gathering up the inputs, I think it's fair to group the kinds of concerns that have been expressed into perhaps three broad areas. There are certainly a number of concerns about the way in which the change was introduced, the abruptness, the lack of notice. In this particular case, there had been a substantial amount of internal testing and testing privately with others, but a rather clear lack of interaction in the public sense and testing in a visible way externally. Though, I think, will be relatively easier topics, not totally easy, perhaps, but, nonetheless, easier than some of the other things for us to speak to. And at the end of the day, one might come to a conclusion that except for that, there might not have been anything terribly wrong and one could go down that path, perhaps just at a different speed or in a different way. But there is, and so that's one broad area of concern, the abruptness.
But a different concern is, well, even with considerable visibility and careful introduction, is it the right thing? Is it an appropriate thing to do? Or does it have an inescapable impact on the stability or security aspects of the network? This is a more difficult area to talk about because there are differences of opinion and a substantial amount to say perhaps in both directions. We will have to write carefully on that and offer up some conclusions. But I think we will also offer up some areas that have to be thought about further. And it's unclear precisely where that goes.
On the one hand, it is perhaps easy to say why bother to add such a thing in the first place; why not just leave things as they were? That's certainly a path towards stability. And, in general, one might go even further and say let's not have wildcards at all in the system, particularly in public registries.
The other side of this is that there have been some registries, continue to be some small registries. Museum for one, and a handful of country codes, that have used the wildcard, and one can observe that the world has not come apart. And so that leads to a question, a very natural question, well, if it wasn't a problem before, what creates a problem now? Is it clearly just one of size? And if so, then that's a somewhat difficult area to get into. It's not necessarily inappropriate to make a distinction based on size, but it's obviously better if one can have a clean cut set of rules.
I share all of this with you not so much from a conclusion point of view I want to emphasize, but just to illustrate some of the complexities that arise in this matter. And then the third basket of concerns, if you will, is things that are generally outside of our concern. As I said, competition. There are also some contractual issues. We're not directly involved in creating or enforcing or administering the contracts. Those concerns belong elsewhere.
The initial advisory that we released on September 22nd actually had three recommendations in it, only one of which was addressed to VeriSign. And to VeriSign, we simply said, "please roll back the situation to where it was before and provide time for everyone to think hard about this." We also suggested to the technical community, that is, the IETF, the IAB, and the operators of the networks and the DNS systems, that there may be ambiguity in the specifications or in the best practices and that it would be useful to visit this area and provide clarification. And equally, we suggested to ICANN itself that the process for reviewing such changes might stand some extra visibility and some clarification. I suspect that when we finish writing, we will have more to say basically along each of these lines.
The public meeting that we held on October 7th started with a presentation from VeriSign and then a number of presentations from experts in different areas who brought actual reports, reports of the actual damage that they were seeing, or some of the larger issues, particularly the longer-term effects on the architecture and how one interprets protocols and where the points for innovation versus conservative action are required. We then followed approximately a week later with a much lengthier presentation from VeriSign of the data that they had accumulated prior to releasing the change and some of the data that they had accumulated afterwards. And we also had some additional inputs measuring the responses from the ISPS and the effect on the global name registry. The complete transcripts of both sessions are available on the web site, as well as the slides from each of the presentations.
I apologize. I have not written the name of our web site on here. But it is secsac.icann.org.
And within that page are pointers to each of these elements that I have discussed. I think I've mentioned most of the issues that I think that we're going to write about. And just run quickly through a few. The abruptness and whether or not this was the right thing to do I have mentioned. The systemic stability is the question of change and counter change and whether or not that pattern in itself leads to instabilities.
There's also a question of confidence at several levels. Do the players who want to introduce change or who are operating portions of the system have confidence in the rules of the game? And do the users and the public at large have confidence in the overall system? I've mentioned technical clarity, process clarity.
The displaced costs issue is, if a change is made in one place and it causes others to have to make compensating changes, is there an appropriate way to tie those together so that the costs of doing that can be rationalized or apportioned in an appropriate way or those kinds of decisions can be made? We're not blessed with economists on our committee, so I think we would stop short of any quantitative estimate of that. But to sketch that issue is, I think, appropriate. And that will be part of what we will hand over for others.
I have mentioned innovation at the core versus the edge. And also questions of how the architecture of the whole system evolves.
Another question that has been pointed to is, to what extent does the standard as documented in an RFC represent the totality of the specification or what's appropriate to do? Should one be able to do everything that is there under all circumstances or is there a context in which they are interpreted?
I've also mentioned that some domains already use wildcards. What is the status of that?
And then, finally, are there distinctions that are appropriate to make based upon the size of a registry and its impact?
I think that's it. We will finish, as I said, our work over the next month or so I can't be quite precise, because as a volunteer effort, it's a question of marshalling other people's attention. And then release that report in a fairly visible and public way for ICANN, but also for the community at large to absorb and comment on and take further action from there.
Thank you. Again, let me call for inputs to email@example.com. And I'll be happy to answer questions now.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Steve. I do have one question for clarification. Will the committee be looking at the use of the wildcards in general? In other words, not simply looking at this one instance of it but a more general question of what are the other side effects. You mentioned the other technical communities like the IAB and the IETF have been asked to comment. I hope that this will be looked at in general as opposed to just this one case.
Steve Crocker: Yes, we absolutely will be looking at it in general. And let me say, just to foreshadow a bit more, I think the question you're asking is, are we looking at it narrowly with respect to the com and net domains versus other domains, both prospective ones and existing ones? And the answer is "yes" to all of that.
But let me take that one step further. The wildcard itself is to a certain extent, an internal device for how you implement a broad set of responses or response to a broad set of queries. And if one looks only at the wire line protocol, what is sent and what is received and what the response to that is, in some sense, it doesn't matter what is actually in the zone. It only matters what comes back on the wire line. There could be other kinds of synthesis that are not exactly matched up with wildcards. And I think that it's appropriate to look sort of more broadly at that issue.
There are two general questions. One is, what are expectations in this area. And the other is, what is the impact of change even if one could argue that the current state is not necessarily the optimum one or is somewhat broken, there is, as an organism, one lives in a certain context, a certain ecology. And there's an accommodation that may have grown up that may be at slightly different from what the specs say. And that leads to difficult questions, do you try to align practice with the specs? Do you try to align the specs with the practice? Or do you actually have to live with a certain degree of discrepancy all throughout the system because that's the way it all gets along with each other? These are not quite trivial questions, actually.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Steve.
Steve Crocker: Thank you.
Vint Cerf: I'd like to now ask Vittorio Bertola if he would come to give the At-Large Advisory Committee report.
Vittorio Bertola: Let's see whether it shows up. Okay. So I'm going to run very quickly through my slides so that I can have more time later to grab the microphone during the open forum.
And the activity of the committee since Montreal has been mostly divided into two main lines of activity. One is related to the organization of the at-large. So these are called regional at-large structures, organizations and structures. And the other one is related to the actual substantive issues.
So about the organizing part. What has happened is that the committee has prepared the criteria to accredit the user organizations that will want to get involved with ICANN. And these criteria have been approved by the board in June. We have prepared the application forms in some different languages, and we have started to receive applications. I mean, we have just started, so until this moment, we have eight applications. But I think that our main task in the next month will be getting more and more of them.
So you can see here a quick list of those who have already applied. We have now an approval process for applications, and so we are starting to examine the first ones. And we think we can actually approve some of them in the next weeks. This activity has been followed by other activities in terms of outreach and organization. So we have tried to participate in events all around the world to explain to the people what ICANN and what the at-large mechanism is all about. We have a huge mailing list of individuals.
And we could get a grant by infoDev to bring some African Internet community members here, so actually let them talk among themselves about the African organization and attend the meetings and get acquainted with ICANN. And here in Carthage, we have organized a number of workshops related to the different regions. But, of course, this is going to be really one of our main activities for the next months. So this is something we are going to continue to do. And in the meanwhile, we have been asked to appoint people in different places.
So we have Roberto Gaetano, who is our board liaison. And we have appointed people in different task forces. So I just wanted to give you a quick report about how things are going about at-large organizing in different areas of the world.
So starting from Africa, we have had, as I told, a good workshop here. We have been successfully bringing people here and successfully having a discussion on how to establish a roadmap for information on an African at-large organization. So this is sort of a tentative road map for that formation. And, of course, it's going to take at least a year from now. But at least we have a plan. Of course, the process is going to be more or less the same in all of the different regions.
So first you have to get the organizations to apply to get involved in this mechanism. And then you have to accredit them. And then you have to put them together and discuss how they are going to work together at the regional level. So, of course, this is still a three-step process that needs to happen. And this is why it's going to take many more months.
In Asia Pacific, there have been activities in different countries. Especially in the Far East. But as you may have seen, we have also started to receive application from the Middle East and other parts of Asia. And I think in Asia we have more or less the same roadmap. So we expect it to take, let's say, a year from now to get to the end of the process.
While in Europe, I guess that's perhaps the region where things have been going more quickly. So we have now started to get applications. We aim to get more of them by the end of the year. And if we succeed in getting a good number of applications and a good amount of diversity among these applications, we actually plan to launch the European organization in Rome. This is a very ambitious objective. So if we do not succeed with that, we think we can do it by Kuala Lumpur. We are aiming at doing it by the first half of 2004. I will not be talking in detail about our policy activities. But I just wanted to give you a hint about what we have been doing in that field.
So, of course, one of the main issues of the last couple of months has been the wildcard services and Site Finder. And on this, we have been releasing a first statement just the day after the service came in place, so September 16th. Basically, we've asked to suspend it. We have solicited, and, actually, we got a good number of comments from the community. And we then released a second statement where, basically, our main concern is whether these kind of services should be developed at the core or the network or at the edge of the network. And we have co-sponsored Monday's workshop here in Carthage.
In terms of new gTLDs, we have released a document, so it is sort of a long document, but I really encourage everyone to read it. And the basic points mostly are that we really want ICANN to get a process in place to accurate new TLDs on a regular basis and we think that should mostly be made by a no-harm principle, so just limit itself to a very basic set of requirements. And it's not ICANN's job to decide whether business models or strings are used or not or whatever. We think it's just ICANN's job to check e-mail requirements and then let people proceed on the market.
And finally, WHOIS activities. So we've been participating in the WHOIS steering group, and we've been raising a number of issues. The GNSO council has approved, basically. So yesterday, the GNSO council created three task forces, of which one we think is really important for the committee. So we just released a new statement. You can find it on our web site. Well, I mean, our main point is still about preserving the privacy of the registrants. And of course we support having a cross-constituency group at the top level of ICANN and we are really looking forward to participating to it.
And finally, a side activity has been individual participation in the World Summit Information Society. We think this is going to be a real issue for the ICANN community and it's going to be very important for the community to get information about that. And this is why we've been trying to participate, and we have been organizing a workshop here to bring this information to the ICANN community and to discuss how the ICANN community should interact with the works of the summit.
So I guess this is all. We want to thank you for your attention and thank the local organizers, too.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Vittorio. I just want to observe that the work that you've described is of considerable substance, and it is a great pleasure to see that the at-large elements of the ICANN community are beginning to make their views known and having distinct impact. I can tell you it's been a great pleasure to have your representative, Roberto, helping us on the board. So I look forward to further progress. It looks exciting and by Rome, I'm sure you'll have more good things to tell us. Thank you very much.
Vittorio Bertola: Thank you.
Vint Cerf: I'd like to ask Jonathan Cohen now to come to give the World Intellectual Property Organization II Advisory Group report.
Jonathan Cohen: Good morning. I'm at that awful age where I have to keep my glasses on to see anybody and take them off to read.
This will be the first report of the committee formed to consider the implementation of the recommendations called WIPO II, and this will be a report to the president whose committee is to the board and also perhaps the GAC, perhaps unfortunately after the GAC made its report. The committee is working towards providing a report to the ICANN president, Paul Twomey, with recommendations before the end of Rome. That's a challenging timetable, but we will certainly do our best to meet it.
There are 15 members of the committee made up of GAC and various constituency representatives. Unfortunately, at this meeting, only five members attended the initial meeting with two substitutes who asked to attend on behalf of the formal representatives. But nonetheless, what I've done is set up a very tight telephone conference schedule projected with a fairly significant workload required for the group for each meeting, and I will try my best to be a strict ringmaster. Right now we're at the document sharing phase. I've created a book that I have here in front of me which is fairly thick, which is tabbed and index with all of the important material that has heretofore been produced on this subject; in particular, comments of any of the constituents and other organizations around the world on these subjects. And Diane Schroeder has promised to make copies of this and get them to members of committee within a couple of weeks of this meeting. And I have requested that by the next meeting by telephone conference that each person will have read it and done their homework. Our WIPO Rep on the committee, Mr. Christian B., has also agreed to provide useful additional information which should help the committee to get right up to speed. We're going to have five meetings, one every three weeks, commencing on Tuesday, November 25th. There is the possibility of a meeting being required before Rome, but I think what we will probably do is make an assessment of where we are sometime in mid or late January, and then we'll discuss with Paul Twomey what is appropriate having regard to the budget, et cetera.
The meeting issue area topics have been defined as exclusionary lists, amending the UDRP, independent UDRP, sunset provisions, and a treaty. These will each be looked at under a number of headings which we have defined as appropriate for discussing them, and also we remember that the rules of engagement in ICANN's resolution require careful review of the practical and technical aspects of implementing the recommendations; namely, protection of IGO's and acronyms and country names and your committee will do the best it can to do its work by Rome. If I may before leaving, I'd like to also express my personal thanks to Madam Beji and I think they've done that committee proud and I'm glad to see so many people came and ignored the kind of scare tactics that often associate with some locales. Thank you.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Jonathan. The work that this committee is doing simply underscores the fact that we exist in a much larger universe of issues that somehow have to be addressed, and I appreciate your leadership of that committee.
Jonathan Cohen: My pleasure.
Vint Cerf: We are running late. Thank you very much, Jonathan.
We're running later than we had intended, and I know many of you would like to take a break. What I would like to do before we do that is to ask whether our host for the upcoming meeting in Rome is available. Then let me invite Dr. Giovanni Seppia, at the Istituto di Informatica e Telematica, to excite you about going to Rome, after which we will take a break and then we will have public comments. So I hope you will forgive me for permuting the order, but it turns out that Giovanni needs to catch an airplane and many of you probably want to either get some coffee or get rid of some before we start asking questions.
Giovanni Seppia: Okay. Thanks, Mr. President, and thanks to the Tunisia authorities for the excellent hospitality we have received during these days. On behalf of the Istituto di Informatica e Telematica National Research Council, registry of ccTLD and the company registered, I'm very pleased to be today to present to you ICANN Rome 2004 which will take place from the 2nd until the 6th of March, 2004.
As hosts, we'll do our best to provide all of the participants with the highest level of hospitality and to give them a warm welcome. Since every year millions of tourists come to visit Rome, we strongly suggest you book your hotel as soon as possible. We have already distributed some brochures with a list of selected hotels that will guarantee you a special rate if you book before December 31st. Also, since many of you may need a visa to get to Italy, we strongly recommend you check the www.icann-rome.it web site visa section regarding all the requirements you need to get a visa to Italy. There's an e-mail address in case you need help with the documentation, and we are already in touch with ICANN in order to provide you with all the documentation in order to obtain the visa in time. For certain information, I invite you to visit the web site, icann-rome.it, which will be online starting mid-November, and I do thank you for your attention and please be our guests in Rome. Thank you.
Vint Cerf: Well, I think that you will find a good many people looking forward to visiting Rome, which from this location is not really very far away. Now, considering that we are in Carthage, I'm wondering how many people will plan to take elephants with them when we come to visit Rome?
Thank you very much.
Giovanni Seppia: Thanks.
Vint Cerf: I hope you have a safe journey home.
We will take a 15-minute break and we will convene at approximately 11:26.
Vint Cerf: Okay. Board members, we have a quorum. I believe that Paul Twomey may be delayed a bit, but I think we will begin.
We have, as usual, sources of questions coming from the floor and also from the net. So I have some of those questions before me already, so I'm going to start with one from the network.
We actually had several questions from Richard Henderson. There were about a half dozen of them. Some of his questions were similar to questions raised by others, so I'm going to respond to one ever Mr. Henderson's first.
He writes, "The NTEPPTF Report, which is what Stuart Lynn called the Unpronounceable Acronym Committee Report was adopted by the board and called for the publication of the registry data required under Appendix U of the ICANN registry agreements. Specifically, the registry evaluation reports. A year ago, after repeated requests, ICANN said we are now addressing this issue. A year later these reports have still not been publish. Why not? And is Paul Twomey going to reply to my question about this, which I sent five months ago?”
The answer is that although Paul isn't here to respond, I'll do so on his behalf. The new TLD proof of concept reports have been posted on the ICANN web site for at least six months. We're sorry if Mr. Henderson hasn't been able to locate them. You can find them on the index page for each registry agreement. So if you go to www.icann.org/tld/agreements/info/poc-afilias-082702.pdf, you will find that report for Afilias.
One of the things we have underway is a reorganization of the ICANN web site to make reports like this easier to find. ICANN's web master, Terri Irving, is here in Carthage with a booth and to obtain FAQ with the beta version. And Terri Irving will be making a report today on the redesign of the site. So I hope Mr. Henderson will be able to find those reports.
I'll open the floor now, and I'll call on Wolfgang first to make his questions or comments.
Wolfgang Kleiuwachte: Thank you very much. My name is Wolfgang Kleiuwachte. I'm from the University of (inaudible). I want to make one comment to the report of the At-Large Advisory Committee and one comment to the Governmental Advisory Committee.
The comment on the At-Large Advisory Committee is the following. While I would join Vint Cerf's admiration for the hard work the At-Large Advisory Committee has done so far, I would also recommend to be very realistic and to evaluate the progress and very, let's say, little bit critical way. I was involved eight months in the process to put forward the establishment of a European regional at-large organization, what we call the Milan process because we had a final meeting two weeks ago in Milan in Italy. And the experience from this report is that the interest of the individual Internet users in the organizations was low.
To be frank, the whole mechanism at the moment looks like a Potomkiin Village, and only two of the applications we had so far before this meeting here in Europe came from the two organizations where the two members of the At-Large Advisory Committees are members from ISOC Italy and from Germany. This is Thomas Roessler and Vittorio Bertola's organizations.
So I think we have to look very careful that the at-large process has a very difficult time before, and some, let's say, much more than only a wait-and-see position is needed. The meeting we had in Milan had some models how At-Large Regional Organizations could be built and Vittorio has announced a roadmap that could lead to progress in Roma. But a crucial issue was discovered and this was funding for such a process, and while I think everybody recognized that this is mainly the task of the institutions and individuals involved in the regions, I think it's also ICANN's responsibility not only to encourage this process but also to enable this process.
At the moment, it looks like an empty box which has to be filled, and you have to have some more incentives and more deeper, broader support for this. If this box remains empty, there is a risk that this whole idea will not fly, and some governments and (inaudible) process could claim they are the best representatives of individual Internet users and this could produce some other discussions which probably would not help, moving forward, ICANN 2.0 as it could be.
This was the comment and let me ask one very brief question to the chairman of the Governmental Advisory Committee. It was a very instructive and nice communique but I missed one paragraph to the World Summit which is a governmental affair. Did the Governmental Advisory Committee discuss the World Summit? And if yes, what was the discussion?
Vint Cerf: Lyman.
Lyman Chapin: If I could ask you to come back to the microphone, I actually have a question I'd like to ask, clarification of the comment part of your remarks.
I'm curious to know; I understand the situation that the box appears to be empty, and I'm very concerned about that also. I'd be interested to know what you imagine that ICANN could do. You mentioned that ICANN should not only encourage but also enable that process. And I'd be very interested to know if you have any thoughts as to what you think ICANN might, in fact, constructively do to try to deal with that problem.
Wolfgang Kleiuwachte: To be very frank, what we discussed in Milan very openly is it's a question about funding. And it means, you know, what could be very helpful is the way already Paul Twomey has indicated here, to have small regional office which could get other task to stimulate debate, consultation, dialogue within the regions and to convince existing institutions and users to join. And so the way it could be, you know, for a certain time period, until the end of the memorandum of understanding, to have a special budget in the ICANN budget and to help to build up a small core team in the regions which could be used as a springboard for development of a community in the region which could, after the memorandum of understanding lift us out any support.
Lyman Chapin: do you think --
>>>: Microphone. Microphone.
>>>: It's not working.
Lyman Chapin: You are convinced, though that the level of individual interest would be there if some means were found to actually fund these kinds of organizations. What I'm getting at is some people have said that one of the potential problems is that individual Internet users are in fact not all that interested in participating and that (inaudible) are in some sense lecturing individual users and telling them that they should be interested but they aren't, in fact interested. So I'm curious to know if you believe that there is, in fact, sufficient interest and if funding and other structures were provided to encourage that interest it would grow and develop into something more vital than the empty box you referred to earlier.
Wolfgang Kleiuwachte: Yeah. Hello? Yeah.
With all the experience I had in this eight months in the Milan process, my impression is there's a potential interest. You know, if you go back to 2000, after the announcement of the elections we had 50,000 people in Europe who joined as a member so there was potential interest because it was very easy. Now it's much more complicated to understand the process. That means that people do not link at this very moment their potential interest with this structure.
I think the WHOIS discussion, or IP version 6 and all these issues are relevant for individual Internet users, and they have a position. But they do, at this moment, not understand how this work to join the At-Large Structure and the At-Large Structure has to work with other At-Large Structures to form a Regional At-Large Organization, and this Regional At-Large Organization delegates two persons to an At-Large Advisory Committee which has one nonvoting liaison to support. And you need time to explain this and people will understand that being involved in a bottom-up policy development process is sometimes more important than to have a voting seat in the board. And to explain this, you need some let's say, you know, regular stuff that makes outreach in the region because it cannot be done from Marina Del Rey.
So that's why I believe in a certain period, two or three years, you need to kick start the process and you need people in a region, and as far as Europe is concerned, I'm happy it is diverse for Internet users and they have not to go to Marina Del Rey to get some information.
Vint Cerf: Roberto.
Roberto Gaetano: Sorry, I'm not familiar with that thing.
Well, first of all, I would like to make one thing clear. Since the meeting in Yokohama the previous GAC president, Paul Twomey, who happens now to be the CEO of ICANN, has made clear that there is the need for wide involvement of the user community in the ICANN process. Otherwise, that role would have been fulfilled in a different way, probably by government. That was echoed also by the European Commission. So in my opinion, the question is not the "if," but is the "how," and I would like now to stop the discussions about the if and concentrating on the how.
Now, this process is probably very difficult and long because it is. Actually, let me say one thing. There have been attempts to involve users since the beginning, since the foundation of the DNSO, since even the phase preceding the foundation of ICANN. If, to involve the end users of the Internet would have been an easy process, we would have had a constituency for individual users or for registrants for the wide Internet community already in the former DNSO, since long. If this didn't happen, it's not because of bad will, it happened because it's difficult. It's much more difficult to representative of the user community than business, because business can see how they can have a return on investment in participating in ICANN whereas individual users is a little bit more difficult. And also, we're talking about participation that doesn't come for free, neither in terms of time nor in terms of resources. So it's obviously more difficult.
We concentrated on having abandoned the idea of contacting individual users because we saw this as impractical and more difficult, and we tried it a different way. We contact people who are representative of the user community. We are going on. This process is long, as I said. Europe, that Wolfgang has referred to, has a very aggressive schedule because we plan to use the unique opportunity to have a meeting in Rome to bring the wide user community or the organizations that can be representative of users to come to ICANN and to see what ICANN is and to participate in the process. I have been involved in calling organizations that might have an interest, and obviously the first question that they ask me is why. And so we need to have a corporate answer to this question. And that is what the board, the new board is discussing, is deciding the strategy. And we are going to have an answer, and the only reason why I'm here, I can tell you honestly, is to have this process ongoing because my only interest is to have a higher involvement of the user community.
We will see in one year from now if we are going to be able to have this participation or not. It's a little bit too early, in my opinion, to shoot the ALAC and say it's late, it failed, or, I mean, we need a little bit, give us a little bit more time. I'm sure from my short experience in the board that the board is sensible to this problem. We know that we have to find alternative and innovative way to get the funding, to get the resources. But let's suspend the judgment about the progress until at least Rome. If we can bring a substantial number of user representative organizations in the meeting in Rome, the ALAC Europe would appear as goes forward.
Vint Cerf: Thank you, Roberto.
Sharil, did you want to respond on the other question?
Sharil Tarmizi: Yes, thank you, Vint.
I must admit the time has elapsed for quite sometime that I almost forgot the question. Governments have very short memory but I wrote that down so it's okay.
The question, if I recall correctly, was whether we had discussed issues in relation to WSIS. As you mentioned, this is a large part of what governments do as part of the WSIS process. The response is that we had various discussions surrounding various things, some of which did touch on the WSIS, but if I may, Wolfgang, just as how the Internet is a distributed network, governments are far even more distributed in their own local context. We continue to encourage outreach both to our colleagues in other parts of government to improve understanding but whether this was specifically an issue in the GAC, the answer is no. Thank you.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Sharil.
Izumi, would you like to take the microphone?
Izumi Aizu: Thank you very much, Vint. I'd like to, first of all, support what Wolfgang and Roberto said about ICANN at-large. I'm pleased to see that the ICANN board and staff are starting to take the WSIS process into consideration. Since I think I was the only one at Montreal's public forum to raise this as a very important issue. And after Montreal in June, I attended two preparatory meetings of WSIS, one in Geneva and one in Paris and I saw all the negotiation with working group of governments under the name of NGO and I saw some of the ICANN representatives involved. But I think the issue now of the International Management of the Internet or the Internet Governance, whichever you call, entered into the very mainstream of the international politics. Perhaps we sort of crossed the point of the no return. Big countries full of representatives arguing about what to do with domain name management or the ccTLD issues, and sometimes they may not have full understanding of these technical areas.
But I heard from what camp that the technical peoples, the problem for them is the technical people don't seem to understand the politics; that there's a need to educate both technical people for politics and political or government people about the technology and technical matters. And I urge you don't sort of underestimate the impact of this WSIS process. And we, the At-Large Advisory Committee worked very hard to organize the workshop yesterday and I'm pleased to say we had a very fruitful discussion. If not, the conclusion is single but as diverse as some governments.
I think one of the biggest reasons why some governments are calling for ITU or International Intergovernmental Organizations to take care the policy aspects of the management of the Internet, it clearly says the technical side can be still handled by the private (inaudible) organizations such as ICANN. But if ICANN tries to remain in a narrow technical coordination area, they are left a vast domain of the public policy matters.
I also would like to point out that some of the technical areas, not technology areas but technical areas of choosing new domain names and stuff like that involves the public policy matters. So if we are going to say stick with the narrow technical mission, where these public policy matters should go. Is it ICANN’s job or not. I understand it's not ICANN's main business at all, but the fact is there's no single other international body, be it public or private, exclusively working on these domains. So there's sort of a void. There's a need for more external coordination if ICANN wants to remain in the original domain.
As a member of the ALAC and advocate of the at-large membership for direct user participation to ICANN's decision-making processes, I also like to point out that these governments are saying that while ICANN can continue to take care of the tale tasks, they want to take part of the policy arenas. And with the lack of a strong participation of the end users through the current or improved At-Large mechanisms, these governments will increase their voices as Roberto said, to deny the existing ICANN framework and bring it to the ITU or any other relevant forum.
I understand that most of us don't really like the idea, but we lack the objective analysis of the pros and cons of the different approaches that we should really work hard to come up with that. I'm sure the December summit will not reach any specific agreement amongst the governments as to the Internet governance or the management matters. But the process will continue until at least 2005 to the very same place in Tunisia, immediately after Geneva. And I would like to urge all the ICANN community, not only the board or staff, but ccTLDs or other business, to work together to address this very serious complicated issues. Thank you very much.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Izumi.
I'd like to get a sense for how many other people are queued up to speak. Thomas, I see you're here. But who else? That's it. Please?
Thomas Roessler: Good morning. My name is Thomas Roessler. I'm the ALAC's liaison to the GNSO council.
So when the work for Roberto is just beginning today, I had my hard day yesterday sitting in for 4 hours in an interesting and really hard GNSO council session. And that session once more demonstrated an important aspect of the ALAC's work. In order to get our ICANN side output transmitted, we need to attend meetings. A liaison cannot participate effectively over telephone. It's just not possible. If there is a physical meeting going on, people are sitting and discussing, drafting on the fly.
This brings me relatively directly to another funding issue that we have. This issue is that the At-Large Advisory Committee is currently encumbered with an extremely inflexible budget structure in which travel funds are allocated by the ICANN body which appointed the current members of the At-Large Advisory Committee. There are sufficient funds for those appointed by the nominating committee. There are nearly no funds for those appointed by the board. And the committee has no possibility to reallocate funds according to its working needs. This worked out somehow for this particular meeting, in particular, since at this meeting, two people are able to attend on the budget for one person. But for future meetings and for future budgets, I would request that the board reconsiders this funding structure and gives the ALAC the flexibility to use the money allocated in the most effective way so we can actually -- well, so we can bring those people to meetings who need to attend, who need to interact with the ICANN community. That's my request. Thank you.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Thomas. I have a fist full of questions here and a deep concern about the pace of the meeting. So what I'm going to propose to do is to read a couple of these, if you will allow me to do so. And then go on with the rest of the agenda. And I will try to slide some of these questions in as time permits.
This one is from Brett Fausett. And he asked that we read this in its entirety. He says it's less than 2 minutes long, so please time me.
"Three annual meetings ago, NextDNS incorporated, in partnership with Signoff Corporation, watched as its proposal for a personal name space, .iii, remained in the board's shopping basket as the new TLD applications were pared down from 47 to 20 to 10 and, penultimately, to 8 with 8 TLD applications remaining, the NextDNS proposal for .iii remained in the basket. Based on a misconception about the application, however, the iii TLD was dropped from the final list. A timely reconsideration request seeking to correct that misconception was denied and a timely request for independent review has never been acted upon and remains pending. Nevertheless, NextDNS was assured its application had not been denied, only tabled for another day, and that the .iii proposal would be revisited as soon as the test bed was complete. We still don't know when, if ever, that day will come.
While reasonable people can disagree about the need for new TLDs, no one should doubt that the prospective registries and sponsoring organizations waiting to enter the closed registry market have been treated shabbily by ICANN these last three years. That needs to change. NextDNS and all the other prospective registries and sponsors need clear guidelines about whether, when, and against what criteria their applications will be reviewed. The board can start that process tomorrow and bring welcome clarity and certainty to the companies and organizations that have acted with patient good faith in these last three years.”
I think that Mr. Fausett has made some good points and that we will hear from Paul that an effort to get the TLD process onto a continuous basis will begin soon, to get analyzed and to put a process in place that lets us deal with these problems more expeditiously.
So I'm going to stop with the questions. And I'll keep the rest until I can fit them in. And now ask that we move on to the supporting organization reports. If Hartmut Glaser is in the room, the ASO report is next.
Hartmut Glaser: My name is Hartmut Glaser. I am the co-chair for the address council of the ASO. And I am from the LACNIC area. And we just celebrate our first anniversary. One year ago, LACNIC was accepted, in Shanghai. And after one year, we are now a full partner of the address support organization. And I will give a very brief report about the last activities.
I was thinking before I bring my report if celebration in LACNIC area or Brazil will be only a small word about the history, mention that we are one year old, or if we bring the Samba School to Tunisia to remember the Rio meeting. But it was too expensive to bring all the Samba Group to Tunisia.
So I will be going forward with my report. The AC members, 2003, from each region, are on this slide. For the ARIN, we have Marc Mcfadden, the Chair, Eric Decker, and Kim Hubbard. For the APNIC, we have Seung-Min Lee, Takashi Arano, Kenny Huang, for RIPE, Sabine Jaume, Hans Petter Holen, Willfried -- and.
Some of our project that we completed in the last few months are related to the election process for the ICANN board director. We decided to approve that we introduce a call for nomination 90 days plus two weeks prior to general assembly. Nominations closed two weeks prior to general assembly. The nomination may be made by anyone. Nominees will be reviewed for eligibility by the ASO address council. Public comment period begins at end of this 90 days and lasts for one month. And after the comment period ends, the ASO address council will select the ICANN board member. So this is the process that we approved and will be used for our next election process as the ASO.
We also changed the teleconference schedule from each month to every other month. The problem is that over 20 people worldwide sometimes cannot be on the conference call, because we have from America, Europe, to Asia the sometime zone difference, it's very difficult to put together over 20 people.
Ongoing projects. We are investigating options for electronic voting. And the last project that is under discussion and probably will be discussed in more detail with the ICANN board later, our last October 15th meeting, we discussed the NRO draft. Probably most of you know that the RIRs put together this document. And we, as address council, discussed this document in details. And some of our members raised some problems and questions. You see the four points on the slide. And we hope that this process will be discussed in details and that the final memorandum between ASO, the RIRs, and the NRO will succeed very soon.
I think that the chairman and the CEO of ICANN received information about the creation of the NRO. But this draft will not be discussed at this meeting as we are not ready to go in details because of the time. I think those are the important points. Thank you for this opportunity. I am happy to answer some questions, if needed.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Hartmut.
I don't have questions, but I do want to encourage you and the other RIRs to move as quickly as you can to finalize the draft on the NRO, because I think we would all like to conclude the necessary set of agreements so we can begin working together. Thank you very much.
I'd like to call on Bruce Tonkin now to give the GNSO report. Bruce is somewhere off in the distance there and assembling himself. Please don't trip on any wires, Bruce.
Bruce Tonkin: Okay. Thank you, Vint. I always use these public forums to gain inspiration to prepare my presentation.
Just revisiting the purpose of the GNSO, the GNSO is responsible for developing and recommending to the ICANN board substantive policies related to generic Top-Level Domains. And these domains currently consist of com, net, org, biz, info, aero, coop, museum, pro, and name. As of today, we have six constituencies on the GNSO council, two from the supply area, registries and registrars; and four from the user area, which is business users, intellectual property users, noncommercial constituency, and Internet service provider constituencies. We presently have three representatives per constituency. This has allowed us to have quite broad geographic representation. We have people on the council that live in countries such as the united kingdom, United States, New Zealand, Sweden, Argentina, Korea, Germany, Australia, France, Israel, Spain, Brazil.
So we've been able to achieve fairly broad geographic representation. This has allowed us to get fairly broad outreach to different regions of the world and also a commitment from organizations in those regions for paying the expenses of their members to attend these meetings on the basis that there's real value in being on the council.
We also have a large work program of important issues. And being able to have three representatives per constituency allows us to help manage that work program. We note that the current bylaws will result in a drop in participation and representation down to two per constituency at the end of this annual meeting. The council therefore requests that the board revise the current transition article of the bylaws to allow three representatives per constituency until the end of the annual meeting in 2004. And then during next year, review the performance of the council and reconsider the decision as to whether to go from 3 to 2 at that time.
The current list of GNSO activities, and this is roughly in ranked order, we've had a request from the president of ICANN to develop a policy around the procedures for the introduction of new registry services, and we will be attempting to complete that work by January next year. We also have a large number of issues surrounding WHOIS. We're looking at new gTLDs for next year, considering perhaps improved mechanisms for contract enforcement of the contracts between ICANN and registries and the contract between ICANN and registrars. And, finally, look at fine-tuning the UDRP policy. So one of the key challenges for the GNSO is to try and prioritize these areas, because we can't do them all at one time.
In the area of WHOIS, we have three task forces that were approved in our meeting yesterday. We have a task force that's narrowly focused on the issue of automated electronic processes, often referred to as data mining, for retrieving contact information from the publicly available WHOIS services. We're also considering the issues of how registrants are currently informed about why the data is being collected and how the data is made available to others. And that will then lead on to a review of whether all the data being collected now is necessary and consider potentially revising the amount of data that's made available via the public WHOIS services.
Finally, we're seeking to take further steps to improve accuracy. The tasks for the task force looking at data mining, collecting information on the current, I guess, requests that we receive from different types of users and looking at volumes of queries, what sorts of data that they require. Review some technical approaches that are available to prevent data mining. Try to identify a best practice solution in this area that registries and registrars can use. And feed these requirements through to the IETF for a new standard protocol for accessing this information. The task force looking at data collection and display is first considering information on how registrants are informed about the data, why it's being collected, what happens to it after it's collected at the time of registration, and attempt to identify a best practice in that area. Then move on to conduct an analysis of the purposes for the data being collected today and determine what is necessary to be collected. And this is a very difficult balance between those that seek good contactability and those that seek a level of privacy. We will then determine what's necessary to be displayed publicly and review mechanisms to preserve privacy.
The third area under WHOIS is accuracy. We're seeking to collect information on current techniques used to verify data at the time of collection. Seek information on what techniques have been used by other on-line service providers and see where those techniques may be applicable to the domain name industry. Ultimately, again, seeking to create a best practices document in this area, and particularly move on to look at what we can do to prevent the provision of deliberate false information.
The third major topic area of the meeting yesterday was around the interim round of sponsored TLDs. Many members of the council, in fact, the whole council, became quite concerned in a report on the recent board meeting, which I believe was held on the 13th of October, that seemed to imply that the board may not go ahead with the interim round for sponsored TLDs in preference of preparing for the new strategy in relation to introducing new TLDs. There were strong concerns that there had been, I guess, an understanding of the existing process during 2003 where, at various stages, the board had put out RFPs for comment, a number of organizations had been preparing in good faith to put in proposals for their sponsored TLDs. And the belief, I think, on the council was that the council had strongly supported the initial idea of going ahead with a limited round as being a way that ICANN can make positive progress in this area. And we've been very concerned that this round may be put off or changed in favor of a longer-term process for new TLDs into the future.
So I guess we would seek clarification on what the board's views are on this topic. And we would view that if the board chose not to go ahead with a limited round, we view this as a major change in this area and we would request the board seek advice from the community of the GNSO and, ultimately, through the GNSO council. So that's all the GNSO council covered in its meeting yesterday.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Bruce. That input is extremely useful to us, particularly your last point on the matter of the interim STLD, a subject which is of considerable interest to all of us. Thank you very much for that report.
I think we can now call on Chris Disspain to give the report from the ccNSO launching group.
Chris Disspain: Thank you, Vint. Good afternoon. My name is Chris Disspain, and I am the ccNSO launching group spokesperson. I am delighted to present the report of the ccNSO launching group.
The ccNSO bylaws were adopted at the ICANN meeting in Montreal. The ccNSO is the policy development body for a narrow range of global ccTLD issues within the ICANN structure. It is responsible for developing and recommending to the board global policies relating to country code top-level domains, nurturing consensus across the ccNSO community, including the name-related activities of ccTLDs, and coordinating with other ICANN supporting organizations, committees, and constituencies under ICANN. The ccNSO might also engage in other activities authorized by its members, including developing voluntary best practices for ccTLD managers, assisting in skills building within the global community of ccTLD managers, and enhancing operational and technical cooperation.
In Montreal, the board requested the nine ccTLD members of the ccNSO assistance group to call for an additional six members to join with them to form a launching group for the ccNSO. The launching group is authorized to solicit additional ccTLD managers to join the ccNSO and to establish a schedule and procedures for the selection of the initial ccNSO council.
On the 7th of July, 2003, a call was made for expressions of interest in joining the launching group, and following the response to that call, the launching group was constituted with the following members: Bart Boswinkel, Peter Dengate Thrush, Chris Disspain, Demi Getschko, (listing names) Alf Hansen, (listing names) Jeff Neuman, .U.S. -- Pierre Ouedraogo, Oscar Robles.
The first meeting of the launching group was held on the 13th of August, 2003, and there have been a total of eight meetings to date. Minutes of the meetings are posted on the ccNSO web pages, ccnso.icann.org. The launching group has published brief paper on the ccNSO together with an application form for membership. To date, the launching group has received 48 applications for membership, some of which are duplicates. We have approved 30 applications. Of these, 10 are from the African region, 9 from the Latin American region, 5 from the Asia-pacific region, 3 from the north American region, and one from the European region.
There are currently two new applications on which we are awaiting more information, and there are a number of pending applications that we have not approved for a variety of reasons. In these cases, we have written to the applicants explaining the difficulties with the application and suggested that they reapply. We have written to every ccTLD manager informing them about the ccNSO and encouraging them to consider joining. A members' e-mail list has also now been established.
On the 28th of October, 2003, in Carthage, the launching group hosted the first ccNSO members meeting. This meeting began the process of discussing the election that will need to be held for members of the ccNSO council. Input was received from those present, and a paper on possible election processes and methods will shortly be published and sent to members for further debate and consideration. The meeting also considered some possible clarifications to the bylaws to ensure that they accurately reflect the agreements and understandings reached in Montreal. This matter is still being discussed by the ccNSO members and the ccTLD community generally, and suggestions will be provided to the ICANN board as soon as possible. And that will close the report.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Chris. I want to underscore the importance of the work that you and the others have been doing. There's nothing more valuable to us than having an organized way in which to get the country code TLD input into the ICANN process. I've been, quite frankly, amazed and pleased at the progress between Montreal and now, to see applications coming in and to see the members' group forming and beginning to work on the whole process of representation. It's very encouraging. I don't think that I could underscore any more strongly how important this is to complete the process. I look very much forward to seeing the ccNSO in operation, as I'm sure you do as well. Paul.
Paul Twomey: Thank you, Vint. I wonder if I could reinforce your points and go further and say certainly the staff are very much looking forward to the progress further fulfilling, because there's a range of issues in which we're very much looking forward to ccNSO feedback. I can see such things as the WHOIS issues, the WIPO II discussion is potentially an area. Certainly the issues that we've seen in terms of the TLD discussions, certainly a lot of the IANA discussions we're having. So there's a range of things there where presently we get feedback from other constituencies, but where there is a hole, and we're looking forward to that hole being filled soon.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Chris. Okay.
So we have an opportunity for some public comment on the supporting organization reports. Let me just remind you about the schedule. We are hoping to complete this segment plus brief reports by the committees by 12:45. So if there are public comments, we hope they can be brief. I have, as I say, a handful from the net. So let me pick two more out. This one comes from Pamela Stefanovitz, from Woodland Hills, California.
"During the Montreal meeting, I e-mailed a request asking if the ICANN staff could post updates on the status of the implementation of the transfer policy on the ICANN web site." I assume she means by this the registrar transfer policy. "Although the chairman asked the president of ICANN to take note of my request and direct his staff accordingly, to date, I have not been able to find any updates on the ICANN web site. Could you please give the public an update on the implementation as of today and, again, can you ask the staff to keep the public posted with frequent updates on the status of the transfer policy on the web site." So, Paul, perhaps this is something you could respond to.
As paul checks with his staff to find out whether they can respond. And as soon as we find a victim to respond. Kurt Pritz. Are you going to respond for the staff? Okay. So we actually have an unexpected answer. Bruce.
Bruce Tonkin: Okay. My name's Bruce Tonkin, and I'm on a, I guess a staff group, well, staff-chaired group called the Transfers Assistance Group. And the transfers assistance group consists of members of the ICANN staff, representatives from several registrars, and also some users. And that group's been tasked with converting the actual transfers recommendations, of which there were around 30, into actual contractual changes. And there have been some elements there that have required further development. We've had to develop standard forms for registrars to send when they're initiating a transfer, and standardize the text. And we've also been trying to work out the best way to incorporate the recommendations into the existing contracts.
So that group has been meeting over the past couple of months. And I'm expecting it will probably be another month or so of fine-tuning the contractual changes before the transfers policy would be implemented. So that's my perspective as a member of that committee.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Bruce. Paul, do you have something to add to that?
Paul Twomey: I think partly because it's an evolving area, as Bruce pointed out, but also because (inaudible) it's an area we want to get up on our site. we'll have a posted area within a couple of days for this, but I point out it's a continuing and evolving area, but there will be something on the site within two days.
Vint Cerf: Good. Thank you very much, Paul.
I have one other question. This is again from Richard Henderson. He says that Sebastien Bachollet stated in his report on new TLD evaluation that it would be published in October of 2003. Richard asks where is it. On behalf of Sebastien, who may not be in the room, I have seen the draft report. I've seen that he has a draft report. It's still in production. So my assumption is it will be done not in October but perhaps later in the year. But it is on the way.
One other question from the outside world. This one comes from Tim Ruiz of Go Daddy Software, and he asks, “What are the next steps in resolving the com slash net wildcard issue, and has any further consideration been given to the potential registry agreement violations pointed out by Paul Twomey in his letter to VeriSign of October 3rd?”
I think the simple answer to that is that, as Steve Crocker pointed out, there is continuing evaluation and analysis of the mechanisms used in the Site Finder service, and that until we have those evaluations completed and analysis and recommendations from the technical community, we will simply continue this process of evaluation, and we'll make decisions only after all those inputs are available.
Okay. Marilyn. I'm sorry. Are you waiting, Bruce? No? Okay. Marilyn Cade can have the floor.
Paul Twomey: Vint, I wonder if I could point out to answer the last question that it was last outlined in the letter to VeriSign in October. So that process was outlined.
Marilyn Cade: My name is Marilyn Cade and I'm a member of the GNSO constituency.
First I'd like to support the point made by council's chair in noting the importance of broad geographic participation and representation. This is an issue of much concern within our constituency and we believe we must continue to have the opportunity to broaden and to deepen the participation and the outreach that we're able to do because we do have three representatives. We're able to represent at least three of the five geographic regions, and this, we've been able to rotate and to ensure that we have participation.
The second point that I would like to address again is related to part of the report made by council's chair. And I would like to just give a bit more surround to the resolution or the statement that council made. We spent more than an hour talking about the issue of the interim round of new TLDs. In fact, we extended our meeting by two hours in order to be able to take the time as council to fully discuss this. And I think sometimes it is not possible to capture in a short statement to the board the full scope of the discussion. The transcript is very robust. It's very time consuming for you to read it, but I will just describe to you that all constituencies participated very fully and that the feeling of council, broadly, is that this must be reconsidered and that consultation with council and with the community must be taken.
There is very strong recognition of the burdens and responsibilities that particularly a largely new board and new staff face. We are more than aware of the challenge of your schedule. In fact, we seem to have a very robust schedule of our own as volunteers. But there is a perception that we think we must address, and that is that ICANN never meets deadlines or commitments, and even if those commitments had been built on perceptions, they are viewed as commitments. So I wanted to just share with you the broad feeling that I think is reflected by council's attention to this, and ask you to give consideration to that.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Marilyn. That message is well received. Ron.
Ron Andruff: Good morning. Ron Andruff, Tralliance Corporation. I would just like to echo the comments that Marilyn Cade just made, and I wanted just to read briefly through a few comments.
As the community knows, the travel constituency has been pursuing the .travel sTLD for a few years since the original application and like those not selected in 2000 we are in a pending status. I would like to make two observations and explain our concerns.
The first is that we want everyone to understand that we are very sympathetic to the board and staff issues and concerns and appreciate the amount of work ahead of them. We are also 100% supportive of the president's vision and goals. No one wants a steady-state ICANN more than we. We believe that our actions and participation over these last three years is evidence of that, and we intend to continue in this effort as we are strong supporters of ICANN.
The second observation is that I would like to make is correct any misconceptions that our position with regard to the disappearance to the process that we have been in, that is, the developing and posting of the sTLD RFP, is not that the travel industry has a right to have an industry specific TLD, as no industry could be so presumptive. No industry or group is entitled. We fully understand and respect the basic tenet for applying for a TLD is that all applicants must go through a transparent, predictable process and ultimately meet the criteria approved by the board. Therefore, we fully agree that the issue at hand is far greater than a single applicant's concern and we are heartened that the GNSO council's support and have a strong concern about this situation.
The council's minutes, which are transcribed, are a matter of record and we urge the board to fully review these minutes. We understand that the new board members are seeking to understand and manage many conflicting responsibilities. As is the case for all of us in the community, and that's why it is so important that ICANN achieve an improved delivery of expectations. We believe there was documented support for the introduction of the interim round and we and others in the community accepted the indications and acted with integrity and focused response. It is very important for ICANN's success that the perceived commitments and expectations are met.
It is also important to note that this action imposes significant risks and burdens, financial and otherwise, on all those which have been developing their applications since the process was initiated by ICANN in Shanghai. We are truly hopeful that the board will take all of these points into consideration, but most importantly, we pray that the concern we have raised about the bottom-up consensus driven process will be looked at once again and that the board will look to work with the community to find a solution to this current dilemma in an expeditious time frame as possible.
I would logically like to conclude by once again stating that our intention is to work with the board and community chairman to build a stronger, more reliable ICANN. We thank the board, the ICANN staff and the community for consideration of these comments. Thank you very much.
Vint Cerf: If there was ever a diplomatic and statesmanlike comment, that was it. Thank you, Ron.
Vint Cerf: Do we have any other comments from the floor? In that case, our hungry participants look forward to the rapid completion of the ICANN board committee reports, beginning with board member Ivan Campos for the finance committee.
Ivan Moura Campos: Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I can present my report from here. Dan, are you ready there?
Vint Cerf: Yes, you're quite welcome to. That will speed things up, as a matter of fact.
Ivan Moura Campos: Okay. We have a very quick report. For those of you not familiar with ICANN, the finance committee has four members: myself, as Chairman, Tricia Drakes, Tom Niles and Michael Palage.
The charter, as you can see on the ICANN web site, describes our task as to consult with the president on the annual budget process of the corporation, reviewing and making recommendations on the annual budget submitted by the president, and then developing and recommending long-range financial objectives for the corporation.
Next. We had, apart from numerous messages on the committee list, a teleconference plus two meetings held here, one on Tuesday 28th October, and one on Wednesday, 29th, in which we had a guided walk-through in the current budget. We had a general discussion about the fiscal year 2004-2005 budget development process, about which I will talk more in a second. We did some brainstorming and reevaluation of funding sources, and we discussed at length the challenges ahead.
Next, please. Now here is the anticipated, this is the very, very first draft, of our anticipated budget timetable. This should read fiscal year '04-'05, shouldn't it? What happened?
Vint Cerf: We will repair this momentarily.
Ivan Moura Campos: What's going on? Okay.
Now, this is for the next budget, fiscal year '04-'05. So the title there is mistaken, but nevertheless. I call your attention, Mr. Chairman, to the fact that we have two options. One of them is, in our opinion, clearly impossible.
Our meeting of next year in Malaysia is on the 23rd of July, which means it is in the next fiscal year. So it's after the current budget year. And so in order to approve that in an open major meeting, we would have the option of having the development process and approve it in Rome, which is clearly impossible. So the finance committee asks, actually recommends, that general counsel and the staff study what interim provisions might be needed in order for us to be able to approve the budget in July and have these provisions in place between the end of the current fiscal year and the date we approve the next budget. So there is a request that you direct staff, the CEO and general counsel, to see what has to be done.
Vint Cerf: Ivan, if I could respond immediately, my first thought is that a board resolution for budget could be passed during a telephone conference call preceding the expiration of the fiscal year. Is there a reason that you concluded that the budget approval could not happen until the face-to-face meeting in Malaysia?
Ivan Moura Campos: Yes. We felt that it would be preferable to have this with our well-known routine of approving budgets. But that's also open to comments and discussion.
Vint Cerf: Perhaps, let's take your question up as you've posed it to general counsel, and ask the counsel to look at various alternative ways of solving the problem. I think that this is a matter that can be dealt with.
Ivan Moura Campos: Okay. So that was the spirit of the suggestion; that we look into it and see which provisions might be needed. And with that, I conclude my report.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much for your brevity. Let me ask now that the audit committee report be given by Njeri Rionge. Njeri is not here, so, where is she? Oh, there you are. I'm sorry. You're hiding right next to Ivan. Oh, of course, the audit committee and the budget committee would naturally sit next to each other, as usual.
Njeri Rionge: I'm going to make mine short. This is the audit committee report for October 2003, and the members of the audit committee is Lyman Chapin, Veni Markovski, Thomas Niles, and Njeri Rionge, myself and chair. The audit by ICANN's audit KPMG report for the fiscal year ending 2003 has been completed and has met the requirements of the ICANN bylaws. The audit committee has been presented with the audit and confirms that it has met the accordance with the International Reporting Standards. The management and staff have confirmed to the auditors that to the best of their knowledge the report conforms, I'm sorry, I can't see. I need to use my laptop.
The auditors, KPMG report for the fiscal year 2003 has been completed as required by the ICANN bylaws. The audit committee has been presented with the audit and conforms that it is in accordance with the international reporting standards. The management and staff have confirmed to the auditors that to the best of their knowledge the reports and information used to produce the report was fairly represented and conformed to the accounting standards. The report will be sent to the board members for reviewing and thereafter will be posted on the web site for the community. The committee will be discussing with the auditors to confirm their findings as stipulated by the report.
The committee has requested staff to prepare a call for proposal from other auditors whose proposal we shall review and make recommendations to the board for the current fiscal year 2004. It has been noted that KPMG have prepared the annual audits for ICANN for the last four years, and we deem it fit to use this opportunity to evaluate a possible change in the auditor in order to meet corporate governance standards. The next tasks that the committee will undertake are the risk assessment and review of financial control structures. The committee invites the board members to review and forward comments and questions to the committee for further action. Thank you, and that's the end of the report.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Njeri. I'm looking forward to seeing what the committee has to say about the possibilities of other auditors and, in any event, the audit plans for the upcoming year. Let me now ask Veni Markovski to present the report from the meetings committee.
Veni Markovski: I just want to see whether they managed. Yes, okay.
So the meetings committee, as you may figure out, deals with the meetings of ICANN, which apparently makes it one of the most important committees. It consists of Ivan Campos, Mouhamet Diop, I'm chairing it, and Hualin Qian, and we'd like to start first with, next slide, please, with thanks to Jonathan Cohen, previous chair of the meeting committee, for his good work in providing all the sites for 2004, thus giving the new meeting committee quite a lot of time to get to know each other and to arrange new things. So I'd like all of us to show our gratitude towards Jonathan by using the described in RFC 21151 way of gratitude. That's a big round of applause.
Veni Markovski: He's sitting here, so we just saw him a little while ago. At the same time, though, I have to admit, Jonathan, that your work as the Chairman of the Meeting Committee was causing me, personally, a lot of problems because now that we have this positive experience we have to make sure that the next will be even better and the next meetings to be even better than the ones that you have arranged and I have to admit it's big of a problem.
Now, the format of the meetings committee, we've been discussing and we want to ensure as broad public participation as possible. We've been receiving some e-mails from people asking whether they can be getting more information on-line, is what's happening. We have been reviewing that; however, we have to keep in mind that we have to make sure that the active and fruitful work both of the board and of the constituencies is maintained. So there will be, hopefully, a new format for the meetings which will be created and published on the meeting committee's web page within ICANN's web site shortly, and we will open it for comments. And I hope that you all will be sending comments to that.
The meetings committee is working on the 2005, 2006, and 2007 so that we can leave, for the next meetings committee, one year of useful experience. And we'd like to invite countries from all over the world to organize Internet communities, governments, and private businesses to start to prepare their minds on sending proposals. And I stress on that. We don't have a request for proposal yet ready, but we wanted to start to get together with people in your own countries and think about hosting ICANN's meeting. And I will use the opportunity to thank the Government of Luxembourg, which already has provided such a proposal for 2005. So our aim is by June of next year to have as much proposals as possible for hosting the ICANN meetings in the next three years.
Again, I note that the RFP will be changed, and you should be taking a look at the web site.
So the 2005 and 2006 and 2007 -- next slide, please -- these are the regions. I guess you can see that. So they're using the same rotation that has been used so far. There might be a slight change, like you will note that on the web page right now for 2005 it says Latin America, North America, Europe. We may consider switching that to Latin America, Europe, North America. Then it's Africa, Asia, Latin America. Then Europe, North America, Africa. Basically we're open to any discussions, and I would really appreciate if you have proposals, because especially those of you who have been to all of the ICANN meetings before and know quite a lot more than me. Thank you. That's all the report.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Veni, and thank you and your committee for your hard work. Plainly, it pays off when we find up in locations as effective as this one.
The last committee report comes from Ivan Campos again. It is on behalf of our Vice-Chairman, Alejandro Pisanty, who is Chairman of the Governance Committee but who is in Mexico City following these proceedings on-line. But for convenience, Ivan, I would ask you to give the Governance Committee report.
Ivan Moura Campos: okay. May I add that it's 5:00 a.m. in Mexico City now. So here goes, Alex.
For those of you again who are not familiar with these committees, the board governance committee has as members Ivan Campos, Mouhamet Diop, Tricia Drakes, Masanobu Katoh, Thomas Niles, and Alejandro Pisanty is the chair.
Next, please. Our charter, which is available on the ICANN web site, spells out that the board governance committee has to assist the board and enhance its performance. Leading the board in periodic review of its performance, including its relationship with the ICANN chief executive officer. Recommending for board approval specific processes and procedures for creating a slate of nominees for Board Chair, Board Vice Chair, and chairmanship and membership of each board committee, including any vacancies which may occur in these positions during the year. And "B," implementing such specific processes and procedures, and "C," presenting the slate of nominees for board approval. And recommending to the board corporate governance guidelines applicable to ICANN as a global, private sector corporation serving in the public interest.
So this is a brand-new board with new members, and so we had a part, also, the interaction on the list, we had a meeting on Tuesday, October 28th. And in fulfilling what you just said from our charter, there is a unanimous recommendation from the committee for a slate for chair and vice chair of the board, meaning Vint Cerf for another term as chairman and Alejandro Pisanty as Vice-Chairman. So I think that formally, Mr. Chairman, the committee is moving, is proposing that a resolution be drafted for board vote tomorrow in this regard. So this is the syntax of it, so to speak.
We also discussed the IDN committee evolution, and I would ask our colleague Katoh-San, to give you a briefing of what our thoughts and the IDN committee thoughts on this regard.
Masanobu Katoh: Thank you, Ivan. Currently, we have two IDN-related committees just for your reminder. The first one is called IDN committee. This is the committee created by the board. And it is a temporary advisory committee to discuss policy issues surrounding IDN. It was created in September 2001, and it has survived for more than two years and has a life until the end of next year.
The second IDN-related committee is IDN registry implementation committee. IDN RIC, and this was completed in December last year, focusing more on implementation and the deployment of IDN, knowing that the IETF standard were coming very soon at that time. And this IDN-ric consists of the members from ccTLD and gTLD registries and several IDN experts.
Let me give you a brief history of what happened during last year and this year. Early this year, IETF finally came to a conclusion on the RFCs on internationalized domain names. They published three RFCs on iDNS. Also in June this year, ICANN announced six guidelines, principles, for the registration of iDNS. This works as the guidelines for authorization of ICANN for the registries who want to do the IDN before they request ICANN to do so.
IDN had two meetings, met yesterday, and discussed the current situation and the future of IDN issues. And here is a proposal. And we also all discussed these proposals during the board of governance committee. And they basically reached on the same conclusion, I understand.
The first proposal is to terminate those two current IDN-related committees, and the second proposal is to have a slightly larger, broader discussion forum, well structured discussion forum, to continue to study on the IDN issues.
Here's the reasons: of course IDN has many issues. Now we can safely say IDN finally got its citizenship. It is a part of the broader domain name issues. Therefore, discussing IDN issue only may not be the best way, in some areas. For instance, yesterday we talked about IDN in relation to WHOIS. We should discuss these issues as a broader WHOIS issue, not idn-specific issue only. Although there may be some IDN issues there, it is a mistake to just talk about IDN only. Same is true for new TLDs and UDRP review and so on. But at the same time, as I said, we need some continuation on ongoing issues, and I'd like to point out one very important issue on the practical side, which is the creation of language tables.
Thanks to the very hard effort by the Chinese community, finally the Chinese community created one single language table and I really wanted to congratulate the effort by the joint engineering task force and the many members of the Chinese community to accomplish this very difficult task. They basically studied more than 2,000 characters and created a single language table. The same is true for Japanese and the Koreans and so on. And I understand in Germany and in many other places in Europe, they are doing a similar study. We need information exchange on those issues. We need some forum to discuss all those issues and find out some common issues and common problems and bring those to the attention of the general ICANN community.
So, again, in summary, what we are proposing is to terminate the two current committees and create some sort of discussion forum, and we'd like to ask the Board of Governance Committee to structure or find out the clear mission and the function of this new forum. Thank you.
Ivan Moura Campos: Thank you, Katoh-San. That concludes my report, Mr. chairman.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Ivan. I note that it is now 1:00, and we are 15 minutes past our planned schedule. I propose that we break now and that we reconvene at 2:15, 15 minutes past our original planned schedule. But that, I hope, will give the participants an opportunity to finish lunch. We will have open comments after lunch on the preceding presentations. So we will adjourn for now until 2:15.
Vint Cerf: A two-minute warning, two-minute warning. We'll reconvene in two minutes.
Okay. Would board members please take their seats. Mr. Klensin, we're ready to reconvene. Thank you all for taking that short lunch break.
We left off at the end of the supporting organization reports and the committee reports with an opportunity for public comment. So I'd like to call on Amadeu to open that round of discussion. Amadeu.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: Okay. Thanks. You were missing that, Vint, to tell the truth.
I just come here to say that I will sleep much better now that I know that the meetings committee is thinking about organizing committees in 2007 and that I'm free two months instead of each month. But I'm still not sure that this is required to be using the whole morning.
What I mean is that ICANN needs to allow participation, and it does. ICANN needs to encourage participation and debate. And I've never been sure that we do that in a sufficient way. What I mean is that suggestions for the meetings committee, the governance committee, the staff on the chairman, are we sure that we need that many meetings? Why don't we request a standard that asks everyone who enters the room to tell how many people were there Monday or Tuesday in each room and whether we need that many meetings in small groups and then actually work as a whole here.
We are probably past half the meeting, probably close to two-thirds of the meeting. We have not started to discuss the real issues that probably justify the trip here or everywhere else. There is another real question about the agenda. Why we always put the things that are important at the very end, when you will need to start saying that you only have 30 seconds to explain why you think we should have new TLDs or not, which are really important things.
Second, how can you explain that in this agenda for today, there is not a single place, well, yes, any other business. But you have not provided for a place to say anything about IDN deployments or Site Finder. These are the things that the community is discussing. Okay. There is no concrete action for tomorrow. So it's too early. And in Rome, it will be too late, because it will be done somewhere in between. I repeat, it's not that you are preventing anything. But I think that the duty in organizing the meetings should be encouraging participation and not the contrary. And my feeling is that the time allowance for this does not follow this rule. Thanks.
Vint Cerf: Thank you, as always, Amadeu, for your helpful observations.
I would point out two things: first of all, that there is an open microphone scheduled from 4:30 to 5:30 for items that were not on the agenda. And second, I wonder whether your comments discount the amount of work that was done in the course of the several days leading up to today's open meeting. My impression is that we had an enormous amount of work done on substantive issues among the various constituencies. So I am not entirely persuaded of your argument. But I will take the point that we can try to assure adequate time for substantive issues. I would say that we have been moving in that direction, because there is more substance in the meetings in the last two or three times than we have had before, because at least we're not completely focused on organizational problems.
So thank you for those comments. I think Tony Holmes is next.
Tony Holmes: Thank you.
I'd like to return to the issue of the ASO following the report this morning. On October the 24th, the RIRs sent a letter to ICANN advising ICANN of their intention to move ahead with plans to set in place a new number resource organization and substantially change the role of the address council and its functions as a body where global address policy can be developed. Many board members will recall that the formation of the ASO proved a very difficult and contentious issue during the early days of ICANN. With the proposed changes, global policies may be proposed to the NRO and will be ratified by the boards of the RIRs as a consensus position of the RIRs, then forwarded to the address council. This means the ASO now considers process, not content, before forwarding to the ICANN board. It also sets in place a structure where the NRO mixes both operational and policy development. These two functions demand a clear distinction. It would be preferable if the NRO dealt with non-policy issues and the ASO council undertook the policy responsibility.
Under the current proposals, the RIR executive occupy all of the control points within the policy formation process. Concern exists that the NRO executive council, selected by the RIR boards, cannot be representative of the addressing community. Therefore, ratification of policy by the council is inappropriate.
In their letter, the RIRs acknowledge the benefits of the ICANN structure in terms of providing an open framework and coordination of a number of critical Internet administration functions. At the same time, the RIRs state that ICANN is a private corporate entity and that its future is one that is not absolutely assured. It refers to a risk that the entity may fail. Failure of ICANN includes the risk of freezing of the unallocated number pool. And that would have a very detrimental impact on the Internet.
Whilst recognizing this is not an acceptable outcome under any circumstances, change in the fundamental approach of the ASO in such great haste in order to overcome a doomsday scenario isn't appropriate. The proposed changes in the way the ASO works was discussed during the ISPCP meeting. Whilst the constituency welcomes the creation of the NRO as a body to increase coordination of operational issues, there is considerable concern over the (inaudible) forward and the haste with which it's been progressed.
The imposed timetable has meant that the MOU has not been discussed in open forum by all of the RIRs, although it is accepted that a window to post comment on web sites was provided. However, such action isn't considered enough, as open dialogue remains a prime requirement. Clarification is sought over whether ICANN has responded to the letter from the RIRs and whether it agrees that this issue, which has significant impact for both ICANN and all users of IP addresses, needs to be concluded with such haste that it fails to provide adequate consultation through open discussion with all members of the IP address community impacted, including those at ICANN.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Tony. I surmise that a good deal of thought went into that observation. My first reaction is that we need to get that set of considerations that you've offered into the hands of the RIR, because it's a substantial issue. Paul, do you have some more to add to that, given that you've been handling some of the interactions with the RIRs?
Paul Twomey: Thank you, Vint. Tony, can I just clarify from whom that statement comes? Is the statement you've just read, can you just clarify for me from whom it comes.
Tony Holmes: It comes on behalf of the ISPCP.
Paul Twomey: Okay. Thank you for that.
I'd make three observations. First of all, we have not yet received a formal letter from the RIRs formally communicating the NRO and ASO proposal that they have put forward and discussed. So, to date, it's not yet on the table here. Second observation, the concerns that you have raised have been concerns raised by others. Thirdly, I will be more than happy to communicate your statement and those concerns to the RIRs.
The fourth point I'd make comes to your point about the statement about alternative. In communications with me, it's been made a point several times that that statement is meant to, if you like, coalesce with some of the thinking in the MOU that ICANN has negotiated with the department of commerce. In that MOU, there's a number of provisions which require for the establishment of contingency planning, in the case of what are summarized as catastrophic events. And I'm informed that it's the dovetailing into contingency planning in the case of catastrophic events that that state is directed towards and that it is not directed towards being an alternative to a viable ICANN. If that were to be true, it would be a dovetailing with good business practice that we have considered. But that's what I have been informed.
Tony Holmes: If I could just comment back on that. That being the case, and accepting that's the case, I think we still struggle to us the imposed time frame and the inadequate consultation that's taken place.
Paul Twomey: I can't respond to that, because I can only pass your concerns on to them. At the moment, the NRO and the process around the NRO has been something that they have driven within their own internal processes. It's not something that is a consequence of negotiations with ICANN. They have clearly pursued that, I would think, in the context of being able, then, to enter negotiations with ICANN or the ERC, including the NRO. But we have had no input or control over that time frame. But I'm certainly happy to pass your concerns on to them.
Tony Holmes: Okay. Thank you.
Vint Cerf: Tony, just one other thought. Is there any path by which you can make direct interactions with the RIRs as well? I would assume so. This shouldn't be the only opportunity you have to make these issues known.
Tony Holmes: We will certainly follow that through. Part of the problem is that the 30-day window for comment, which was very tight, has now closed, of course. But we will follow that through.
Vint Cerf: Good. You should pursue many paths. Thank you.
Tony Holmes: Thank you.
Vint Cerf: Ken. Oh, I'm sorry. Lyman. Lyman.
Lyman Chapin: Tony, I'm sorry, if I could call you back to the microphone for just one more question. I apologize. You referred to a problem with the time frame in which this had been taking place, meaning the formation of the NRO. Am I correct in assuming that the difficulty is with the time frame that the RIRs have followed in terms of amount of time for public comment and so forth? Or is it a comment about the time frame that you believe ICANN might use in the follow-on negotiations that we expect to have with those folks about the ASO MOU and related issues that actually have to do with ICANN as opposed to things that the RIRs have done themselves internally?
Tony Holmes: Well, the straight answer to that is yes, yes, yes, yes, actually.
The problem is with the proposals as set out, we feel that there isn't a real mechanism where the policy formation recognizes that the role of the whole Internet community impacted by this. So that's the first thing.
Moving to the, well, I think I emphasize the point during the presentation that the role of the executive council where policy is ratified is basically the execs of the RIRs. So there is an issue, clearly, there.
The point about the time frame, yes, we have problems with the 30-day window. But also, what that 30-day window has meant is that there hasn't been open discussion with the membership of all of the regional Internet registries. I'm well aware that it was discussed at ARIN. It certainly wasn't discussed at RIPE. And I gather it hasn't been discussed in a number of RIRs, either.
Lyman Chapin: I wanted to make sure I understood that. Because, of course, at this point, assuming that, as Paul has said, assuming that we do, in fact, formally receive a letter that recommends, for example, that the NRO and the numbers council and the NRO might serve as the basis for acting as the ASO and the address council and so forth, that's the point at which they will engage structures that are part of ICANN. And, you know, our processes and time frames and so forth I think you'll be much more comfortable with.
Tony Holmes: Okay. Thank you.
Vint Cerf: Okay. Ken Fockler.
Ken Fockler: I'm very low tech, so I'm going to read from something I call paper.
I've been fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend most of the ICANN meetings since leaving the board two years ago. From the perspective of my two years on the board and two years of participating and observing, I want to make a comment. There appears to be a theme developing to reference resources and the recent doc MOU to explain and justify action. I am familiar with that environment, and I empathize with the difficult decisions to be made, especially if those decisions have the perception of the halting of a previous commitment to action in an expeditious manner, as was the wording in one case. I have not read the recent MOU in detail, but I must observe that previous boards also worked under MOUs. They were one-year MOUs with a list of tasks to be accomplished.
In my view, it was never my view that these were just words or tasks written down just for fun and to be ignored, and they were one year. So we, too, worked under MOUs and MOU time lines. Unfortunately, we weren't greatly successful in accomplishing all of the tasks. And I was amazed from my past business experience that we were forgiven and given the opportunity to operate under new MOUs.
Perhaps, as Paul said this morning, the new MOU is considered a final MOU, and thus contains an element of "accomplish these tasks or else." Frankly, that's an environment I'm more familiar with, not always comfortable with, but that's a business environment I'm normal working with. There appears to be a rationale to make these difficult decisions, such as halting a process in which the ICANN constituencies and Internet community have a vested substantial intellectual capital.
I have no doubt the board collectively and individually, because I know a lot of you, are cognizant of this and recognize this concern and potential risk. I say "risk" because we all know from experience that the Internet environment will continue to bring further unforeseen challenges and priority issues, and thus, any kind of precedent like this, if repeated in the future, I think, would weaken ICANN, and I know you're going to do what you can do alleviate that. Thank you.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Ken. Is there anyone else who wishes to take the floor at this point? Wolfgang.
Wolfgang Kleiuwachte: My name is Wolfgang Kleiuwachte. I have only a question.
I think two meetings ago the board established a privacy committee. And the question is, is there any report from this privacy committee and what this committee is doing?
Vint Cerf: The answer is yes. I think Paul Twomey has had contact with the former director, who is working on the privacy committee. Paul, do you have a bit of an update on that?
Paul Twomey: At the Montreal meeting, the privacy committee was convened. And I requested that the privacy committee develop a work program that they put forward for the consideration. I have to say that while I have been receiving individual communication, I have not received something from the privacy committee itself. And so that is at the moment an outstanding work item, that there is no formal communication from the privacy committee as a whole on the approved work program, or the other thing which was requested, any advice on additional members who should be attending or who should be part of such a committee.
Vint Cerf: Thank you, Paul. Okay.
Apologies for that brief delay.
According to my schedule, the ccTLD community should be available to make its report. Is that correct? Am I accelerating too fast? Or do I have....
While we're trying to track those folks down, maybe if Dan Halloran is available, we can pick up the GNSO deletes matter and then come back to the ccTLD community report from Pierre Ouedraogo. Dan.
Dan Halloran: Thanks, Vint.
The next topic is GNSO deletes recommendations, which is shorthand for a proposal to the ICANN board to adopt a set of consensus policy recommendations adopted by the GNSO council. And Steve is going to -- okay.
Bring up the topic paper we posted on this. I'm just going to briefly introduce it to the board. Then the chair of the deletes task force from the GNSO, Jordyn Buchanan, will come up and give an introduction to the proposal itself. The topic paper just introduces it, describes what it is and what the board's being asked to do. This would be a new consensus policy that would be binding on all ICANN-accredited registrars that would impose a uniform practices for handling expired domain names. And the actual text of the recommendations is there in the topic paper, which will be in your briefing books.
And if you could scroll down to the bottom past your IM window there. There's a section on just pointing out the fact that since this was a supermajority recommendation of the GNSO council, I believe it was passed unanimously by the GNSO council, it's up to the board to look at and, Steve's looking, I believe the bylaw is that two-thirds of the board would have to reject it to kick it back down, otherwise it gets passed.
So with that general introduction, if I could ask if Jordyn is in the room, hopefully. Good. Thanks, Jordyn. Do you want to come up here and do it?
Jordyn Buchanan: Okay. I think I have some slides that may be instructive. Just by way of introduction, I'll launch into some of the contents of the first slide, which is just basically how we got here.
As many of you will recall, in the summer of 2001, VeriSign began to suffer a series of what were called add storms at the time, which came about as a result of competition over names being deleted. That led in succession, to discussions about their WLS proposal as well as, eventually, to further discussions about the redemption grace period. Both of those two discussions happened mostly in early 2002.
Subsequent to that, the names council considered a much broader range of deletes-related issue, deletes and domain name expiration and reallocation policy issues in 2002, and identified a number of areas for further consideration. And, ultimately, it was decided that a task force was the best way in order to create some policy recommendations with regards to this.
So 29th of October, 2002, about a year ago, in Shanghai, the task force was chartered. An initial report from -- keep in mind also that the task force was chartered sort of under the new PDP, although we were in a transitional mode at that point, and lacked some of the elements of it, like staff support. But the initial report from the task force was posted on 12 February, 2003, and a final report was posted on 17 June, 2003.
There are four major topic areas that were included in the terms of reference for the task force. These included the uniform practice after expiration of a domain name by registrars. It was determined that registrars did a number of different things that varied by registrar in terms of when a name was deleted after it had been expired, there's a 45-day auto renewal grace period in which the registrars can delete the name and get the money back. And some of them deleted the name very promptly right after the name had expired; some of them deleted it as close to the 45-day mark as close as possible, and some forgot about the 45-day mark altogether and ended up being stuck with domain names that ended up sort of being undeletable to get their money back. So this was a problem for registrants.
The second was deletion following a complaint on WHOIS accuracy. So in the event that names were deleted because the WHOIS information wasn't accurate, what sort of steps registrars ought to take or registries. Third area is registry delete and reallegation process. Once a registry took a name out of availability, what should happen to it. And finally, reversal of a renewal transaction, which means that right now, after a registrar performs a renewal transaction, the only way for them to get their money back for that transaction in the renewal grace period is actually to delete the name. In some cases their goal may be to undo the renewal demand as opposed to getting rid of the domain name altogether. There's no mechanism to do that.
What we found is two of these areas, it wasn't really appropriate to make policy recommendations in. The first we actually ended up drafting an initial set of recommendations, which is the WHOIS accuracy but the WHOIS task force drafted a similar set of recommendations and it overlapped considerably with what the WHOIS task force had done. It didn't make sense to have two competing sets of recommendations on essentially the same topic. So that was stricken. And the reversal of the renewal action we decided was more of a tech issue than a policy one. The fact is the RRP and EPP protocol lack a command to do anything and we thought that best to be taken up by a group like IETF rather than a policy group. So that left us with two areas that we thought recommendations might be appropriate in. It turns out though that we made recommendations only in one, and I'd like to briefly summarize the recommendations as they relate to uniform practice after expiry by registrars, and that's on the next slide.
So there's two. The general set of recommendations are listed on this slide. There's also a unique set just for the case of domain names that expire or deleted during a dispute. But generally speaking we set up two rules that absent extenuating circumstances, registrars have to delete a name by the end of that 45-day grace period. So they can't allow a domain name to go into essentially an undeletable mode, or at least a mode in which they are not likely to get their money back, to add some predictability to that process. And also that in the event that the registration agreement is terminated for cause, either by the registrant, basically telling the registrar they don't want their domain name anymore, or by the registrar because the registrant does something in violation of that agreement, that the name has to be actually deleted within 45 days of that agreement being terminated.
So these seem like very similar dates because the 45 days in the second recommendation exactly matches the current auto-renew grace period. But it actually, they address slightly different issues. And the second general area of recommendation is that there's actually three recommendations related to this but they all relate to giving notice and it basically says registrars have to provide registrants with notice at the time of registration on their web site if they operate one about things like what their deletion policy is. So if they're going to delete a name one day after the expiration, then they ought to tell people about that. If they're going to do it more like 45 days, then they ought to tell people about that. Within certain prescribed windows. I think it's ten days of flexibility that the registrars have.
Similarly, if there's one issue we got mostly through public comment was that people were often not aware that there were fees charged for RGP redemption grace period renewals, and so it was decided it would be good for registrars to provide some indication what the fees associated with RGP redemptions were as well as a related topic.
And as I mentioned earlier, there is this special case of what happens to domain names if they are either deleted or expire in the middle of a UDRP dispute with the concern being that a complainant might dispute a particular domain name. It might get reregistered by someone else and they would have to reinitiate the UDRP process all over again. And the recommendation says in this case the complainant ought to be able to either pay for the renewal or for a redemption on the domain name in order to make sure it doesn't get dropped into the pool of available names. If they do that and the original registrant doesn't also pay for it, then the name gets put in the registry hold state. There's no special rights conveyed to the complainant and the UDRP dispute runs out its course and we see what happens at the end.
As I said, we identified two areas in which we thought recommendations ought to be made, but we only ended up making them with regards to the registrar area. And that's mostly because when we looked at the uniform registry deletion and reallocation policy, and reallocation in the form of whether it be WLS or some other future reallocation service, was something that we decided would be good to have some uniformity on from the perspective of registries having some consistency. But at this point, the options were not clear enough to us, and there was not enough data out there for us to make good and coherent recommendations. And we think that that is probably something that the council may be interested in having a future task force take up.
We also identified two other areas that were related to our work but we didn't feel fell within the scope of our terms of reference and we referred them essentially back to the GNSO for future consideration. One is domain name warehousing. One specific type of domain name warehousing where registrars end up stuck with names because they held on to them beyond the 45-day auto-renew grace period we think is dealt with by this, by our policy recommendations, but there are other situations in which warehousing can occur which are not addressed and one of the most common that came up in our discussions is actually the situation in which a registrar registers a name and it later turns out that that name was paid for fraudulently or payment could not be secured on it because of a charge-back, is usually the case. Registrars end up stuck with knows names and often try to hold on to them or resell them, and the policy on that is unclear to say the least.
The last issue is enforcement. We agree the death penalty was not a very good solution for the various policy recommendations that we raised, and we thought it would be good if there was some other sanction that it might be possible to take against registrars. Again, we felt this was work outside the scope of the task force but we think it's quite urgent that some other group take it up.
One other brief note I'll make is just some reflections on the new PDP, because we are the first task force to be chartered under the new policy development process. The general feeling of the group, and I think you'll note the dates here were much, I think, closer together than what we've typically seen in the past. So we were able to work expeditiously, but fell far short of the 90-day turnaround that is required by the PDP. And we think, therefore, the process is a good one but there's some lack of flexibility within the existing PDP. And the dates may be too aggressive even not taking into account the lack of flexibility.
There are particular problems where interaction back to the constituency is required. For example, when we first had to form the working group, it was supposed to take about ten days of getting people nominated from the various constituencies. It actually took, due to some circumstances such as the holiday season and the fact that we had just had an ICANN meeting as opposed to were just coming up to one, it took about three months in order to get formed. We basically were chartered in October and didn't get started until January.
So that is one big concern. And similarly, when we had to seek input back to the constituencies to get official position papers and so on, those steps took a long time. When the task force was able to work unto itself it was quite efficient. So it's probably important to keep that in mind in terms of thinking about the PDP and maybe some changes to it in the future.
And the second issue is staff support is really critical. We actually wound up in a situation in this case where the staff looked at a report after it had been produced and noticed there were problems with it so we had to go back and revisit the work. Whereas if there was staff support, not only would it have helped our initial work, but we would not have had to go back and revisit the work if we had ongoing staff support. So we definitely urge that future task forces have the level of staff support required by the new PDP if the time lines are going to be adhered to or even get close to.
With that I'll wrap up. I'd like to thank the members of the task force. They're really an exceptional group of people to work with. And I won't mention them all by name for the transcript but they're on the slide for you to look at and appreciate. Thank you.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Jordyn. This is helpful to have this kind of feedback about the process as well as the substantial work that the task force did. And I want to thank you on behalf of the board. I see Michael Palage had his hand up.
Michael Palage: Jordyn, a quick question. During this task force, was the consideration of how to bind the registrars to these new obligations considered specifically in the registrar accreditation agreement or in the individual registry agreements? Was there any thought considered to the potential enforcement?
Jordyn Buchanan: Yeah, like I said. The actual, I mean, enforcement as opposed to contracting of, I think it's clear that modifications will have to be made to both the registry/registrar agreement and likely the accreditation agreement. We did not give specific thought to anything like sanctions or other modes of enforcement beyond just adding it to the contract, and we did identify, within the scope of the policy work, places where we thought changes would have to be made. But there aren't specific textual recommendations. We do that more as the work of staff to resolve after board approval of the policy.
Michael Palage: What contracts were you looking to change? The RRA or registry agreement, or both?
Jordyn Buchanan: I think that the registry agreement itself with the exception of the registry/registrar agreement is probably not required to change. The accreditation agreement is the most likely instrument. There are some portions of the recommendations that are most likely best implemented through changes to the registry/registrar agreement as well.
Michael Palage: And I put it this way. If there could just be a footnote for any implementation committee that's set up. I think that is the appropriate way forward, to have it at the registry level, because going forward with the expanse of the name space, we don't know if there may be a situation where a registry may be able to go direct to registrant. So to have this important safety mechanism incorporated at the registry level I think is something that the implementation committee just needs to sort of put as a footnote.
Jordyn Buchanan: I'll also note, in the first recommendation it's also noted that there's a way that the registries can enforce that particular recommendation by taking some actions on their own. And that actually likely would require some modifications to the registry agreement proper.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Jordyn. It occurred to me you were looking for variations, alternatives to, as you put it, the death penalty public flogging comes to mind as a remedy.
If there aren't any more questions, you can take your seat.
Pierre, are you available for the ccTLD report? It would be earlier than I had promised you, but if you're ready we're happy to accommodate.
Pierre Ouedraogo: Thank you. I will read to you the communique of the worldwide alliance of ccTLD manager. ccTLD managers representing approximately 50 country code Top-Level Domains met at Carthage, Tunisia on June 26 through June 28, 2003. I have a list of attendees, the agenda already on the web.
Our grateful thanks go to professor Faryel Muiria Beji and the staff of agency (inaudible) for organizing the hosting and other arrangements of ICANN's final meeting of 2003. We congratulate the members of AFTLD for their first general assembly meeting held in Carthage this week. We look forward to increasing cooperation between all the regional ccTLD organizations. Further progress towards a ccNSO. Peter Dengate thrust, .nz, of the ccTLD administrative committee gave a presentation regarding the background of the formation of the ccNSO and the bylaws adopted by ICANN board in Montreal. Stephen W. from .de gave a legal analysis of ICANN bylaws as related to members of the ccNSO.
ccTLDs felt that the current text of the ccNSO bylaw needs further consideration, and in all likelihood amendments to make the ccNSO as inclusive as possible. The ccTLD conclude more time for a detailed review and formulation of textual bylaw revision is needed. The ccTLDs renewed their commitment to private sector self-regulation within the ICANN process.
ccNSO launching group held a meeting of the approved ccNSO applicants that was open to all of the ccTLDs. At the meeting, Chris Disspain from .au gave an update on the ccNSO formation progress to date, 30 members so far. Glen De Saint Gery from the GNSO secretariat gave a presentation on election logistics and Nigel Roberts from .gg and Olivier Guillard from .fr gave presentations about electoral methods to prepare for the election of the first ccNSO council. In addition, Peter Dengate thrush on behalf of the ccNSO launching group made initial proposals for amendments of the bylaws. About the IANA function. Dr. Paul Twomey and ICANN staff made a presentation of the IANA process for root management requests and confirmed the work in progress to improve processes. Notably, IANA's new work flow software system would allow some on-line, secure, automatic changes to the IANA database.
ISO 3166 maintenance agency, Willie Black from .uk explained the role of the ISO 3166 maintenance agency and gave an update on the current status of "cs" code element formerly assigned to Czechoslovakia, proposed for reuse by Serbia and Montenegro. Elisabeth Porteneuve from .fr gave an update from the secretary on the possible amendments to rules governing ISO's country code standard to lengthen the period of non-use before reassignment of ISO 3166-1 codes.
During the WHOIS session with GNSO council representative, a useful and fruitful information session was held at which some ccTLD manager briefed the GNSO representative about WHOIS implementation and data protection law in various countries.
About the GAC principles. the gTLDs welcomed the opportunity to send representatives to a session with the GAC ccTLD working group to start the consultation on the forthcoming revision of the GAC ccTLD principles.
Presentation made by other registries and the Arabic ccTLD organization. Presentations were given concerning the history and organization of the management of .ke, .sd,.sn, .za registries from Africa and by the .ht registry from the Caribbean. These presentations stimulated very interesting discussion. A report was received concerning the Arabic ccTLD organization in formation.
Concerning the IDN status, wildcards, Voice over IP and ENUM, Dr. lee from .kr, provided an update to members concerning iDNS. Geoff Sisson from .uk and John Klensin made presentation on wildcard. Hiro Hotta and Paul cane gave an update on Voice over IP and ENUM. Concerning the WSIS Geneva 2003 and Tunisia 2005, the ccTLDs recognized the importance of the two phases of the World Summit on Information Society in Geneva in December 2003 and in Tunisia in 2005. It was greet that ccTLDs should continue their common effort to make their country delegation more aware of the benefit of the current bottom-up, self-regulating ING and stable technical coordination of the Internet.
Finally, concerning the ccTLD secretariat, after presentation from Elisabeth Porteneuve, Nigel Roberts and Peter Dengate, the ccTLD members present in Carthage expressed their support for an impartial ccTLD secretariat that is able to cover ccTLD's needs such as meetings, web site and ccNSO. And I want personally to say thank you to all the ccTLD manager for their understanding, for their willingness to become a united community.
And Chairman, I would like, if you mind give the floor to Mrs. Maimouna Diop from .sn registry for AFTLD communique. Thank you.
Maimouna Diop: Thank you, Chairperson. Ladies and gentlemen, the AFTLD African in 2001, and incorporate more issues in December 2002 as a nonprofit company. The African ccTLD present at the Carthage general assembly congratulate the three member of the AFTLD, (stating names) or achieving incorporation of the AFTLD. The AFTLD objective are the following. The first one is represent the interests of the African ccTLDs including the neighboring islands around the African continent. Two is to promote communication and cooperation between ccTLDs management. Third, outreach to the African Internet community about the ICANN process through awareness and outreach program. And third, provide a common source from where information about Africa ccTLD can be obtained.
The first AFTLD general assembly was held in Carthage, 26th October, 2003, it during the ICANN meeting. The African ccTLD present in Carthage had the opportunity to listen to various ccTLDs experience on African continent. Presentations were made on Senegal, Tunisia, South Africa and Kenya. The African ccTLD are committed to promoting the exchange of best practices between African ccTLDs to achieve the goal of improving the naming services offered to the African local Internet communities. The African ccTLDs are grateful to the other ccTLD regional organization, APTLD for Asia-pacific; LACTLD for Latin America; Centr for Europe, for the presentation they made at the general assembly on their experience.
We highly appreciate their willingness to share with AFTLD, particularly in the field of capacity building, policy development, and software exchange. We expect that the community will keep moving forward to achieve the ccNSO formation. We believe that the ccNSO, as a framework that will favor the development of information exchange between all ccTLDs.
We can report that the Africa region has ten approved member of the ccNSO: Burundi, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Kenya, Mauritania, Malawi, Nigeria, Sudan, and Ugunda.
AFTLD organized a name server training workshop in Carthage during the ICANN meeting. This workshop hosted more than 20 ccTLD operators from the African and Arab regions. AFTLD plans to organize similar workshops in Africa to strengthen technical capabilities and improve the reliability, security, and the stability of African Internet naming systems.
AFTLD member decided to have their next meeting during the ICANN Roma and to hold the second general assembly during the ICANN meeting in Capetown in December 2004. AFTLD members express their grateful thanks to the Professor Beji and Lamia Chaffai and the staff of the agency Internet for their help and hospitality which made the first general assembly and the name server training workshop such a success. The AFTLD web site can be found at www.aftld.org.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much. It's operate good to here there's so much progress being made. The ccTLD community is an important part of our universe, and to see them convening and working together is very encouraging. We're going to once again modify the agenda a little bit.
I have a question for staff. I've been asked earlier when will we get to the afternoon break, and I posited my answer on the expectation we would go through all the items on the agenda leading up to the break. And so I said 4:00 as my estimate. It's now 3:15, and we are actually now ahead of schedule in one respect. The TLD program status is going to be delayed until after the break so I wonder whether I could ask staff if they are prepared to speak to the v6 matter, the ICANN web site redesign. If they are, I will take that agenda item now, and then we'll take a break.
Paul Twomey: We can certainly do the v6 matter.
Vint Cerf: Please. Let's move to IPv6.
John Crain: Let me just find it. Okay. Obviously I wasn't prepared, but I am now.
My name is John Crain. I was asked to come up and talk a little bit about v6 and I'm going to concentrate a little bit on what we do with v6 as ICANN and within IANA. And I'm going to kill my instant messenger before I get a thousand things up, if you'll give me one second.
Let's try that again.
For those of you who don't know, and I'm sure you all do, I've seen you talking about IPv6 here this week. Presently, we are mainly using IP version 4, which is a 32-bit parameter. You'll normally see it noted in something we call dotted quads, a series of four numbers. Typically they'll write three numbers, each one representing 256 numbers or eight bits, bytes.
So here's an example up here of one, and there's about 4 million. A little bit more than 4 billion addresses. Version 6, on the other hand, is 128-bit integer, and, therefore, has 3.4 e to the 38, something more than my calculator could do. And that is referenced typically in hex so it's not as easy to do as it used to be for the non-technical amongst us.
I don't know if any of you have seen the BBC. There was some terrible news, worse than the fires in California. According to the BBC, we're going to run out of IP version 4 addresses in 2005. There's no known evidence to actually support this. And in fact, if you look at some of the latest statistics, and I've got one link here to just one person who is been doing some of this, is a gentleman in Australia, they seem to be showing a lot later now. We have not done these kind of statistics ourselves but we certainly don't see 2005 as being the critical date. So when you watch the news, don't all panicked. We're not going to have to turn the Internet off in a couple of years, or at least not for that reason.
So IPv6, is it here already? Definitely. We're seeing a lot of deployment mainly in Asia and Europe. There is deployment in Africa. There is deployment in Latin America. And there is even deployment in the U.S.A. In this network, if you have a v6 stack, you could be using v6 here. Tunisia, and particularly Amaya Chuffei is very busy with IP version 6. So we've actually got a v6 network within this being building. We could actually use if we wish to.
We'll talk about what we do in the IANA function at ICANN. IPv6 addresses are given out in much the same way as v4, and if you're not familiar with that I'll run you through it. The IANA gives out large blocks of addresses and we give them out to the regional Internet registries. They, in turn, distribute those to the providers, the Internet service providers, be that commercial providers, universities, anybody providing a service. And we give out, at the moment, according to the current policy, blocks of a size that's called a slash 23. Don't worry about that if you don't know what it means. It's a fairly large block. It's not massive, but it's a fairly large block. The important thing to note is we're seeing growth in the amount that we give out at the IANA. So I know people like statistics and charts so I went and made a couple.
We've not given out a lot of v6, but if you see back in 1999, that's when we first gave ranges to the then-current regional Internet registries being LACNIC, the RIPE NCC and ARIN. And they didn't come back for a few years. That lasted them quite a long while. But when they did come back in 2002, they suddenly started using those addresses fairly quickly. In fact, the RIPE NCC in Europe had to come back in the same year, and they then came back the year after. The actual policy of slash 23 or should it be larger each time to the regional Internet registries is under discussion in the policy fora. But as you can see there, the growth is recently started.
The regional Internet registries then go and give address base out to those Internet service providers. Here's the latest numbers I could steal from the regional Internet registries. As you can see by the numbers, and I'm going to show you a graph that sort of demonstrates this a little bit, the most activity seems to be in the European and Northern African areas or the RIPE NCC region, followed by APNIC, then America and Latin America.
This is just the same data in pie chart format. And you see that the green on the left is the Europe and Northern Africa region. And you see that it's definitely a larger size, followed by the APNIC being the blue in the back there. So there's definite growth. I think the message here is that v6 is starting to take off. 1999, when we started with it, we weren't seeing a lot. But since then, we're definitely seeing more and more out there.
The other thing that we're dealing with at IANA at the moment is putting quad A records into the root zone. The RSSAC people talked about this a little bit earlier. Suzanne Woolf got up here and talked about this. So we've basically requested input from the RSSAC on what to do with this. There are implications of putting quad As into the root zone. As Suzanne said, there are people out there doing experiments, finding out exactly what happens when you put a series of quad A records or IPv6 address records into the root zone. We ourselves have also been cooperating on one in the Netherlands where we've provided data.
As you may be aware, we also run a root server, so together with K-Root from the Netherlands, we actually collaborated and gave data to a research to produce a paper on exactly this issue, what happens when we put in quad As. So far, the results look positive. The paper is out there. I didn't actually put the URL here, but if people want it, I can find it for you.
The related issue is IPv6 for root servers. To make IPv6 work, you want it everywhere, not just in the TLDs or in your home computers. You also want it into the root. Once again, we've asked RSSAC for input. This is a fairly recent thing where they came to us. The operators that have requested IPv6 address blocks for the network have all got them. There were some slight policy changes within the regional Internet registries to allow that. They were very accommodating, and now you'll find that quite a few of the root servers have IPv6.
At l root, we haven't, simply because of a lack of native, that's one of the issues that people come across when they try to deploy IPv6 is the actual native connectivity in some areas is not as widespread as we'd hope. So at the moment, the question we have at RSSAC is how many should we add and which ones? And we hope, being there's an RSSAC meeting coming up soon and they're discussing this, that we'll find out fairly quickly.
It was only a ten-minute presentation, so I cut down the amount of slides. You probably can't read these now because there are some URLs here. We're going to make these slides available. I just have some URLs to have them in here.
Basically, pointers to the IANA pages where the IANA keeps data on IPv6, and some quick pointers to the four regional Internet registries, who have a lot of statistics on how they are deploying IPv6 out to the ISPs, who are they are using them in the real world.
Okay. Thank you.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, John. I want to take up a small point that you raised just at the beginning of your report, which was quite concise. Thank you.
You made the observation that IPv6 is presented in hexadecimal format. And it occurs to me that there's a terrible thing happening to the Internet, because if you take into account your observation that IPv6 presents us with these not nearly as easily recalled address representations, and we take into account the way in which we're doing iDNS, with this complex ASCII encoding which we think may escape from time to time the confinement of the software that would render it as understandable script and turn into xn, dash, dash gibberish, I wonder if we've actually done a terrible thing and we're moving the entire system in the direction of complexity and harder to understand. This is very disturbing. But maybe it's a sign of progress.
Thank you very much.
John Crain: I don't know if you want me to comment to that.
Vint Cerf: All right. Is it possible that Terri is available? Why don't we go ahead with the web site redesign. I hope everybody will pay special attention to this, because Terri has said publicly that she is looking for feedback on the redesign of the ICANN web site. And those of us who use it and want to find things more easily have a golden opportunity to make our desires known to Terri, who is going to try to create this new version. So, Terri, it's all yours.
Terri Irving: Thank you.
Oh, that's the address of the web site itself and the address you can send comments to if you don't have a chance to talk to me today. And here it is, the beta web site. I started on this a few months ago. And my goals, of course, being to find everything a little bit more easily. And I'm hoping that I have accomplished that.
Vint Cerf: Terri, excuse me for interrupting you. There are people who are on-line in the room. And it occurs to me that if they wanted to look at it while you're talking, it is at redesign.chicago.icann.org. So just a reminder, if you want. Because it's very hard to look at the web site from as far away as they are on the screen. Thank you.
Terri Irving: Okay.
So the board members who have already provided feedback, thank you very much. And to those of you who haven't, I hope to talk to you before the week is out. And same with everybody in the audience. And I'm hoping to roll this out sometime in December. December 1st was my initial target date. And I'm still hoping to -- I'm still hoping to manage that date. But it will definitely be definitely sometime in December.
That's about it.
Vint Cerf: Well, actually, if you don't mind, is there a kind of design philosophy that you're trying to follow? I mean, simpler is better might be something like that, or less cluttered. But is there something, a theme that is helping you organize the layout of the web site or the way in which the information is distributed?
Terri Irving: Yes. I was looking at the feedback that I have gotten back, these elements are the most looked-for. And I'm also targeting material towards our constituencies, such as individual Internet users, country code managers, making it easier for these individual groups to find the information they need and also for other users in most logical fashion to find what they think, you know, would be perhaps associated with this material, like, for example, on registries, the proof of concept reports, for example.
Also, I have implemented, being that there are many different topics that have material updated on a regular basis and also have public forums associated with them, so there is a topic area that is easy to access and has things listed, background materials, the discussion forums, and a summary of information the public forums are also much easier to find the public forums that have the most activity at the time. As well as other organizations, providing links to them, the organizations that help ICANN in making decisions.
Also I have provided a new user section for people who are just becoming indoctrinated with ICANN and want to find out more about us. They can easily find a listing of documents that's fairly simple -- simply laid out. And, you know, a bunch of FAQs.
Our speeches and publications are much easier to find and much more easily sorted by different criteria. A site index is also being provided, which makes it a little bit easier also to find things. So I've provided several options just for people, different ways of thinking and different ways of looking at a web site.
Vint Cerf: So one other question. What about non-English content, how will you go about putting that into the system? Non-English language, you know, other languages for content, where will you put that in the system?
Terri Irving: On the splash page, right across the top, I will provide links once the material is presented to me, I will provide links in those languages across the top so that right away, our non-English-speaking visitors may find what they need.
Vint Cerf: Let's pick French for example. You had a site index, which is indexed by English terms. Will there be a similar index in French, for example? Or other languages? I'm just wondering how far you're hoping to go in terms of support for language structure in this new web page, or new web site.
Terri Irving: Yeah, those are issues that still need to be addressed, as far as at what level we can actually support other languages, that I still need to be able to, once the actual languages, the issue of translations, once they are actually addressed, then I can go further and –
Vint Cerf: Okay. So I see that Sharil has his hand up. Go ahead.
Sharil Tarmizi: Thank you, Vint.
As a contribution, the GAC already has a form of a GAC outreach document which talks about ICANN and what it does in 14 languages already translated. So that could be used as a primary base to at least have something, a very basic document, in at least Arabic, Bulgarian, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Croatian, English, French, Greek, Hungarian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish. So at least if we had those documents, well, they are word documents, or at least you can still go to them and read something about ICANN, as a start.
Vint Cerf: That's wonderful. Thank you. Mouhamet.
Mouhamet Diop: We have already talked about this translation issue that becomes very important in terms of internationalization of ICANN. It's very important that other people feel comfortable when they get on the web page that they were not lost. Because I am part of a region in Africa where people are French-speaking, and when they ask about ICANN and I give them the URL, when they get in, they just close the page, because they do not understand anything. And we need to address the issue of translation and language in ICANN just in order to avoid to be in a very complex part -- we can take reference from existing scheme, like the UN example in terms of translating, how many languages we need to address for official document, for working document. And this issue has to be addressed internal with the staff, and we have to start thinking about it. But it needs to be addressed seriously, because people need to understand really what are the issues and at least to get it translated into different working languages is something that people are really concerned about.
Vint Cerf: You and I share a common interest there. I was going to suggest, for your consideration, Terri, and I know this is a research issue, so don't misunderstand the observation, but it seems to me that if we are going to be helpful to non-English speakers, we need the navigational structure of the web site to reflect the language requirement. So it isn't enough to simply translate documents but have to navigate in English.
I think we seriously have to look at structuring the web site so that it has a place to go that will be essentially all whatever it is, French, or all German or all Chinese or all Japanese, recognizing that there is an enormous undertaking, could be very expensive, but philosophically, I think we need to position ourselves to try to accommodate things along those lines.
Okay. Any other comments? In that case, what I would propose to do is, I have a question for staff. If the coffee or other liquid is not yet there, I will open up the floor for some public comments. If the coffee is available, we can take a break now. John, can you check to see whether we have any?
Veni Markovski: Being out just a few minutes ago, the cookies were there. So I guess the coffee goes with the cookies.
Vint Cerf: Cookies are there. Well, that almost certainly determines whether we should take a break or not. So I will declare that we'll take a break now, and we will reconvene at a little bit past, let's say, 4:00.
Vint Cerf: Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to reconvene the meeting. I have a very important question to ask before we go into the agenda item. For those people who are present, are any of you currently using the translators upstairs? Are any of you still in need of translation? The rest of the meeting is going to be presented, I think, Sebastien, in English?
So I don't see any hands up. So I would like to ask you to do two things. First of all, I want you to thank our translators, who have been working for 7 hours, and they are fasting for Ramadan. So we thank you all up there.
Vint Cerf: And, second, we bid you adieu. Please have a pleasant rest of the day.
And now what I would like to do is ask Sebastien Bachollet to come and give a report on the status evaluation of the new TLDs.
Sebastien Bachollet: Thank you, Vint. Thank you, everybody. I will give a shot status update on where we are with the evolution of the report.
First to tell you that evolution team is now working very hardly to deliver a report. I will come back when it will be done. But I want to present you Miriam Sapiro. Maybe she is in the room. A lot of you know her. She made a report for the sTLD, on some issue on the sTLD a few months ago. And it's why we thought that it was a good opportunity to keep her on this type of issue.
And we and Michel Briche is interviewing some people, I guess Chairman of the Security Committee, now is not here with us, and myself. We still have to deliver answer on the 12 questions we were critiquing number 1 on the report made by the new TLD evaluation process task force. And we will do so.
There are two questions at the technical level. There are six questions on business level. We asked three questions on the legal issue and one question about the process. I tried to make as much as possible presentation in each constituency and to see a lot of people. If you wish to interact with us, I am at your disposal, and my colleague also, to work with you on that issue. Timetable.
Up to this meeting, we worked on the framework of the evolution. We worked on documentation. And, really, we are entering into a new phase with the interview itself and some data compilation and so on. And we will need input of the community, input of the main people who are involved and are still involved in the introduction of the new gTLD. And we will obviously meet with the 7 registries, with GNSO constituency, with board members, total board members, but also the members of the board at the time of the decision, GAC members, and some other folks. And now I know that a lot of people are waiting for the evaluation itself. But we think that it's a very short period. We will try to deliver the report in January, middle or end of January next year. And that's our main goal. And we will achieve that if you help us.
Thank you very much.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Sebastien. Are there any questions right now? No. Okay. In that case, we've now run through the agenda items that were scheduled for the open public premium. So I'd like to open the microphone now for public comments on matters that either were not covered earlier or matters that were not on the agenda to which people would like to speak.
Oh, dear, I was afraid of that. Welcome, Amadeu.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: Sorry, Vint. Have you got the general business open microphone now?
Vint Cerf: (nod of the head.)
Amadeu Abril I Abril: Okay. I have a question regarding iDNS. And it's not the general question about iDNS. You know, I'm afraid of that. I don't know how it will really work. And I suspect that it'll be easier to have script-specific TLDs instead of lots of different script in the same TLDs. But this is not my point now.
My point is that I see there are some requests, some approvals for deploying iDNS, and I'm glad to see that also VeriSign seems to be exactly in the same line, in the same package, so we will have something more or less coherent with many of the important players. The question here is, as always, just the policy question, the contractual question for ICANN. One of these players in the IDN arena is VeriSign, who has been running a so-called test bed for iDNS for a couple of years now. So they have some preregistrations in their own test bed. I don't know the number, but I think it's quite significant, 800,000, I don't know. It doesn't matter, even if it was 400.
The question here is that at that time, if this was claimed by them that this was not a registry service in the sense of the contracts of ICANN, this was something that was happening outside of ICANN, it was just a test, fair enough. If that's the case, this is exactly the same as if I start a TLD in my machine at home or new net, (inaudible) a test, we have nothing against, but we can, provided that it doesn't create problems to our, you know, domains, DNS in our root, and provided that they don't claim any special right that they have the right to come up with all this package to the root.
The question now is, what will happen with the deployment of iDNS not from the technical point of view, but what will happen with all these names that are there. Will there be grandfathered directly? If this is the case, just read again what you -- what we, what ICANN, said about new net. And we said that this was because of new net. It was our general policy about not granting special rights from things that are experiments outside our process. And I think it's a very good principle. We have established principle for first come, first served. Once the service exists, but we have also a policy of not granting a special right for those who came outside and first of that service existing. And I think there are ways of solving that.
I have been trying to ask this question many times inside the board and outside. And I still don't know how we will handle that, if in any way. Thanks.
Vint Cerf: Thank you. Katoh-San.
Masanobu Katoh: First of all, you know, on your very first point about the language, in a different language, domain names or some commingling, different languages and so on. And if you look at one of the six principles ICANN announced in June, we are strongly discouraging the commingling of different language into one, you know, domain names. So I hope the registries will be very much appreciative of those practices.
Regarding VeriSign's past test bed registration, I do not think ICANN has taken any position on this. And that is something ICANN should take a look at that time if ICANN is going to authorize the VeriSign's IDN in the future.
John Klensin: Just as an observation which feeds into this, a year ago, we were all getting very strong advice in the Unicode consortium that this one language, one label rule would solve most of the difficult problems and be very useful. They seem to have changed their minds. And while they still believe the one-language, one-label rule is helpful to us, their current estimate as to the number of unpleasant and conflicting and potentially problematic cases that that will eliminate is not large, and we are likely down the road to need additional consideration of this issue and possibly some additional policy making.
Vint Cerf: Let's go back to the other question about what happens to the domain names that have been registered already in the test beds. I'm not going to try to guess at what the answer is, Amadeu. But I can suggest what various outcomes could be.
One possibility is that when the new IDNA standards are in place and operating, which they are today, that people who registered in the test bed would have to reregister under whatever the normal ground rules are for registration of those multi-lingual names in the VeriSign top-level domains. That's one possibility.
Another possibility is that VeriSign might ask for policy guidance as to grandfathering those registered domain names. And I understand Amadeu's argument against that. It seems to me important to ask other questions, for example, what have people been doing with those test bed names? If it was simply an experiment to see what they looked like and what kind of names would be registered but they were not in fact being used or were not resolving to anything, that would lead to one conclusion. If they have been in use for a period of time and actually resolving and performing certain functions, one might view that differently.
I think the best way to deal with this question, in part, is to remand the question to our counsel, first of all, to find out what the agreements say between ourselves and VeriSign. It seems to me we want to be careful about the precedent, as Amadeu says, and not set one which later creates an unworkable problem for us in some other dimension. But I also have some sensibility for people who might be using these things in the normal course of work. So I don't know the answer to that. But I would want us to look at all the various possibilities. Amadeu.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: Very shortly, it's, as always, perhaps there are middle grounds or nothing. As you said, I am really worried about the precedent thing more than the concrete use. You can be told that also, you know, many of the alternative roots and alternative domains have been used somehow by some people in some circumstances. But we've been telling very consistently that this does not grant prior rights.
Perhaps one way of solving that, one way, is that we need to establish initial mechanisms. We can have sunrise or not. Perhaps IP is a thing that we need a sunrise. I don't know. But in case that we start to keep an (inaudible) there will be queues of registrars with preregistrations, indeed. So perhaps we should treat all these preregistration as a single queue, somehow competing with an increase that will come when this is approved, having therefore increased the chances but not completely, you know, prior right regarding anybody else that simply was waiting for ICANN to say that iDNS existed.
Vint Cerf: Thank you, Amadeu. I do appreciate very much the point that we don't want to accidentally create a precedence in which one could abuse the possibility of preregistrations and experiments in other top-level domains.
Masanobu Katoh: Yes, I just want to, you know, echo what Amadeu said. I know as part of the further study of the registration policy by the registries, sunrise and blocking certain names from the beginning and so on would be the considerations.
Going back to whether we should grandfather some of the names pre-registered during the time of the test bed by VeriSign, bear in mind that the conversion to punycode is relatively easy, I understand, technically. So it is more like the policy question of what we should do in this area.
Vint Cerf: Okay. Thank you. Are there any other comments?
Okay. I'm going to read a question which has come in off the net. This is from Paige Howe. It's a moderately long question but I'll try to go through it.
Paige Howe is connected with the .kids Domain, Incorporated. It seems that the board has decided to, one, put off the round of contemplated applications for sTLDs on which public comments have been accepted and fixed time lines proposed. This process was going on at the same time that the board was considering, two, a parallel process, the continuation of the time line established by Mr. Lynn's unofficial plan to reintroduce new TLDs requested by the board, which was preempting part three, a process to evaluate the initial round of TLDs from the lottery in 2000, and now there's a fourth goal, satisfaction of the MOU requirements by September of 2004.
Please comment on whether having four time lines itself is a failure on the part of the ICANN board staff and constituencies to manage the introductions of TLDs. Confusion exists on the part of potential applicants as to which time line we should be following. In the interest of providing clarity to potential applicants and the Internet community as a whole can you resist the convenient urge to table and postpone a complicated decision and take it up at this meeting and decide, not defer, on a process to introduce new TLDs? As a minimum, can you tell us which processes, if any, have been abandoned?
It's signed Paige Howe. We will take the matter up. We are not going to duck this problem anymore.
Okay. Other comments from the floor? Please. Say again? Oh, okay.
Is there anyone next? I've lost something here. Is there anyone from the floor who wants to speak next? Please identify yourself for the audience.
Desiree Miloshevic: I'm Desiree Miloshevic from Afilias, but I'm speaking in a personal capacity today.
I'd like the chairman -- I'll try and stand up. High heels next time. Thank you.
I would like to ask the chairman if he would make a brief comment on the recent discussion of the reassignment of the two-letter cs code previously belong belonging to Czechoslovakia to form Yugoslavia. Given my background and continuing contacts within the industry businesses and the local community in Serbia and Montenegro, I feel I can speak with some authority on this subject.
Firstly, I would like to underline the objections, both from the global and the local Internet community, with regards to this process. We were surprised with the ISO 3166 ma agency decision-making process that took place, primarily with the fact there was no consultation with the local Internet community and the current ccTLD administrator of .yu. There was a contact with the local ISO contact in Yugoslavia as far as we understand.
Secondly, it was not known that ICANN had or was supposed to have a voting right on the ISO 3166 ma, which might have been helpful to know. Some further clarification as to why this remained unknown would have been helpful. The local Internet community in Serbia and Montenegro wishes to keep the yu two-letter country code that is currently in use for at least another two years until the next refer et takes place in the country and whether it's known whether. There was a suggestion from ma 3166 that the country code also adopts another two-letter country code, yy. Suring the transition period from yu to cs, which will even further confuse the Internet users and businesses and affect the multi-national transactions that take place on the net.
Another illustration that we heard the other day at the ccNSO meeting was the British Library, for example, would also have a problem of reusing the cs code which determines the origins of the books that are being published.
So finally, I would like ICANN and CEO to urge ISO 3166 and urge them not to proceed with assignment of any new two-letter codes until the next referendum takes place in the country. Thank you.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much. That is a quite relevant question. I have some comments and I think Paul will have some as well.
First of all, it is not the case that IANA or ICANN is taking any position or insisting that the current operator of .yu make any change. There was notification, at least it was intended to notify the operator that the 3166 ma had conveyed to us an intention to change the code. A number of people in the Internet community had technical concerns about such a change, at least the timing of it, if not an absolute prohibition, from changing from .yu to a previously used top-level domain. So some of your comments speak to that, and you would be joined by a number of people in the community expressing concern along the lines of the British Libraries that the reuse of .cs would lead to some potential confusion.
It's my understanding that we were offered a voting representation at 3166 ma. That post has not been filled as yet. It would have been helpful if we had had better connectivity with the management agency to be made aware of what they were considering sooner, but in any case, we are concerned, I am concerned, about the relationship of our representation in the 3166 ma and the responsibilities of those parties who fill those positions.
ICANN has sought to take great care that it not become embroiled or involved in a decision about which top-level domains should be assigned to which entities. However, the technical side effects of making those decisions must be made known to the maintenance agency if only to help them understand the side effects of their actions.
I don't believe that there is, at the moment, any imminent intention that a change be made, but it is clear that the question is now on the table and actions eventually have to be taken, if possibly to either do nothing or to use something other than .cs.
Paul, what would you like to add to that?
Paul Twomey: I just would confirm that, Vint, and make two other observations. After the board had considered the request from someone from ICANN for someone to be on that board, the decision had not yet been made as to who the appropriate person or expert was to be appointed. I would just note that, fortunately or unfortunately, my name was put down as a contact point on their list, but I wish to make quite clear I'm actually not a member and had no role whatsoever to do with that decision and did not know about it. So even though my name appears amongst the other members of the agency, it's -- not guilty, sir.
And the second comment on that is it appears to be two levels of communication that takes place. One level of communication, which is the reason why I think my name was put down is there is general communication. There is then communication with the members which was secure communication and we had not had access to that until recently. Again this all took place before we had full cognizance. Having said that, we have communicated very expressly the concerns and reinforced the concerns raised by the IAB and others back, and I think that has contributed to the reconsideration process presently under way.
Vint Cerf: Okay. Any other -- oh, let me get Roberto and then Amadeu. Roberto.
Roberto Gaetano: Yes. I would like to make sure that the problem is clear. We have two level of discussion. One is the ISO code as determined by the ISO 3166 maintenance agency in the 3166-1, and the other one is the TLD of Serbia and Montenegro, or the former Czechoslovakia.
So the concern of the Internet community of Serbia Montenegro, we assume, can be summarized in the fact that the code .yu is not redelegated -- okay, let me word it in a different way. That a different code is not assigned to Serbia and Montenegro, and the code .eyu is kept, which is a different thing that the decision of the ISO maintenance agency to reassign the ISO code. In other words, I was trying to clarify, but I understand that I'm making that more confused. But my point is that we have no power to accept, suggesting except pushing the ISO maintenance agency as to what the decision will be for what the fate of the .cs code will be in terms of ISO 3166.
A separate problem will be in terms of IANA. Will IANA delegate .cs to the Serbia and Montenegro will keep the .yu. Those are two separate programs. Even if the ISO 3166 maintenance agency is not able to reconsider for political reasons, form a decision, that does not mean automatically, the way I see things, but I'm also speaking personally, that doesn't mean that automatically IANA has the need to reassign the code.
There are other discrepancies between the 3166 list and the TLDs, like, for instance, gb, and I think within a few years, the whole matter might be revisited. I think those are basically different questions.
Vint Cerf: Veni.
Veni Markovski: I have one small reservation. If the cs is assigned now to Serbia and Montenegro and in two years time a new Top-Level Domain would is to be assigned to Serbia and a different one to Montenegro, we'll have a situation where we will have to keep the .yu for, I think, five years, the .cs, which will be used only for two years, for another five years, and two additional codes. And this will cause more problems, even compared to the fact that let's imagine that they will keep the cs for one of the countries.
John Klensin: I'm going to try to keep this neutral because as the board knows, I have strong opinions. Our historical understanding, going back to the beginning of use of 3166 by IANA, we use these codes in determining what to allocate but not to deallocate. That's our decision.
These five-year rules, 3166 ma has made it quite clear at this point from complaining by the IAB, from complaining by the British Library, from a number of other things, that they have suddenly discovered that they are not dealing with postal codes or currency codes alone anymore. Those things were designed on the basis of things like postal codes and currency codes and they made the quite rational decision that if a package was still lost in international transit in five years it probably wasn't going to turn up.
So they're reconsidering the five-year rule. The IAB has advised them that the hundred years would be better than five. I think the British Library has an even longer time frame. So I think for the next case, that particular problem will go away. The question as to when or if we reallocate yu or move people from yu to something else is our decision, which it seems to me should be made in conjunction with the registry and with the possibility of having to do something else two years from now in mind.
Vint Cerf: Thank you, John. Amadeu.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: Okay, thanks. First, I fully support what Desiree and Roberto said here. My question is not here, what will happen in Yugoslavia, Serbia, Montenegro or Norway in the next five years. The question about our role regarding the TLDs, as you said, Vint, we cannot be involved in telling the political realities of the world, what they are, what they are not. If the local Internet community represented by the government, with agreement or not, comes here and says we have changed our name and we want this new TLD and this is in the ISO 3166 list, we certainly need to create that TLD.
But I'm submitting that we should consider making at least an advice to all of the ccTLD managers, all of the governments. And this is a formal request to Sharil to bring that to the GAC to establish a policy or at least strong advice that the TLDs are not only national resources but also are Internet resources. And people use that as addresses.
And any political reality has the right to change the name, and then they will freeze all possible registrations for the old name, they don't like for whatever reason, and go to the new one. But we should not delete the existing TLD, not even in five years. If they want to force everybody in the country by sending the police or offering money to go to the new TLD, that's fine. But still, the TLD that existed for historical reasons, it's only history, but history has a role and has an important role in addresses. And for a long time, lots of people will not know about the political realities and all the realities of application embedded names and links will go there. So it's not a question of five years or not.
We should think about advising, not request the relation of an old TLD when a new one is created. This goes for ccTLD and the former and su and now this case of su and cs. And we will have many cases in the future.
Vint Cerf: Thank you, Amadeu. John, you had your hand up.
John Klensin: I think this is good advice at one level, and at another level we're in this odd position of having to understand how the DNS works, which is always a technical difficulty which intrudes on policy matters.
A domain left allocated, which doesn't have anyone maintaining it and worrying about name servers is a danger for a different set of reasons than an old TLD name. So I think advising countries to think about this problem carefully, to be very conservative about asking for a change of name when codes change, is quite wise. And again, it has historical precedent in terms of what IANA was doing ten or 15 years ago.
To actually keep such a domain up rather than reserving it and making certain nobody else is using it, or using that name, without active maintenance of name servers and active maintenance of individual names in the environment puts other things at high risk. The IAB's comment about the cs thing is that if one wanted to reallocate cs, if one could somehow determine what all of the names were which were ever allocated in that domain under the Czechoslovakian Regime and reserve those names forever so they could not be allocated by Serbia Montenegro, then that would be a relatively safe thing to do in terms of the integrity to the references to the old domain. Now, to do that is very nearly impossible, and that's why the real intent of that recommendation is something else.
But I think we need to balance this very carefully. And as I say, I think the general tone of your advice is exactly correct, but to keep these things in the zone root file is often a bad idea. Thank you.
Vint Cerf: Who's next? Yes, please.
Alick Wilson: My name is Alick Wilson, I'm a noncom appointee to GNSO council, but my comment today is not a statement from council.
We've heard comment from various officers and staff related to staff workload and difficulty in meeting all the demands placed upon them. It seems to me in order to meet ICANN's obligations in the governance of the Internet, it may continue to need more professional support for policy, for legal, and possibly even technical.
I note that the Site Finder issue has cost 68 man days so far and $50,000, and I have no doubt it will cost a lot more staff resource and money in the continuing months. And to that extent, not only is possibly a threat to the stability and security of the Internet in a technical sense but it certainly may well be in a commercial sense if ICANN does not have the money to fund the staff resource, external resource that might be required.
I suggest, therefore, that the board considers increasing its levies so it can afford the additional resources it needs. I know the issue of increasing levies is unpopular; nonetheless, if additional funding is required to meet ICANN's obligations to the Internet community and the doc pursuant to the MOU, ICANN has very few choices.
If it needs to explain the reasons for this, then there are several things it could do by way of explanation. One is to point out that the original agreement with VeriSign, which has cost money so far and is going to cost more money and resource, was not the doing of this current or former ICANN board. The second point is that the MOU is, I guess, a consequence, if there are cost consequences that are not negotiable, then failing to meet those merely because money has not been raised is not an option.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much. I'm sure that the CEO would appreciate the convenience of being able to create funding whenever it was needed, but your point is very well taken, and the finance committee has begun to consider a variety of ways for improving the financial support for the organization, not merely considering things like raising the levies, to use your word, from the traditional funding sources but to look to other measures as well.
So we are very cognizant of the need to support the staff in sufficient measure to accomplish all of its responsibilities. Although I think in the end, we still will be faced with prioritization, I think we would like to do so in a more supported environment than we have even today.
I will point out that since Paul Twomey has become CEO, we have added a significant new set of staff with superb skills, and I'm sure that that will serve us well as we tackle these various tasks that are on our plate. Paul, do you need anything to add to that or are you –
Paul Twomey: I fear if I respond I'll be accused of being self-serving.
Vint Cerf: Fair enough. All right. Yes, Ivan.
Ivan Moura Campos: I wonder if we can modify the bylaws in a very fast way. I would like to invite the gentleman to join the finance committee. You're preaching to the choir. We love it.
Vint Cerf: The finance committee is free to call upon any advice and guidance that it wishes to have.
All right. Are there any other people who wish to make comments? Please.
Ritva Siren: Ritva Siren from Nokia, and I would like to talk about the special Top-Level Domain and of course I am delighted of the proposed round of new TLDs. In recent months ICANN has been active in solidifying the (inaudible) DNS and analyzing the extension of DNS in the direction. Internationalization.
ICANN also promptly responded to emergence of Site Finder and related issues of whether we must respect the existing practices of core functionality, not only letters of a standard or of an agreement. ICANN has, however, failed to respect its own well and repeatedly communicated intentions, and also expressed opinions of the Internet community in the issue of new TLDs. It has allowed itself to be dragged into a discussion of stability, for example, as a justification of blocking of the new.
I'm sorry to say that I feel on behalf of the mobile industry somewhat insulted by comments about the stability of the Internet in case of mobile TLD. Here we are talking about the industry with extremely high quality standards, an industry which always follows new implementations before going to full-scale implementations. I cannot see mobile industry jumping into a large-scale exploitation of anything new without at least equally serious testing of new features as the Internet communities used to do.
That is, in fact, one of the reasons why we need to go ahead as soon as possible to have some time for learning before the big wave hits. Please have some trust to the industry which runs now communication services for more than one billion users worldwide. We have also seen a lot of discussions about fairness. It means whether granting TLDs to someone based on one principle is unfair to somebody else. I can't really see how denying a TLD from some group would make it more fair to those who, in both cases, would be left without.
We are talking about a resource which is limited only by the season, not by nature. The only limited resource seems to be the ICANN staff. Instead of saying no, ICANN should look at possibilities of using, for example, outside resources to conduct necessary activities of grant or granting a limited number of TLDs in parallel with development of the new longer term plan for TLD allocations.
Looking also at the required learnings from year 2003 TLDs, I see them from our viewpoint, from the viewpoint of mobile TLD, to be a very limited ones due to the fact that the TLDs are small and often lack (inaudible) to their intended customer base. In the TLD case, both new and, yes, there have been some losers. Now it looks like winners continue to be the ones who benefit or, I would even rather say believe that they benefit from the delay or no decision. I would like to emphasize that inactivity is also a decision and can have consequences that can be as severe to the world of the global DNS as is an error in operations of the current TLD. New types of DNS continue to emerge. Without a larger plan of optimal ways of integrating new functionality to what exists, major problems are quite probably. Site Finder case has shown us that problems of dot com are equally problematic to the commercial side of the Internet use as are problems in the root level. Now new commercial services continue to accumulate to the dot com making it more and more the actual root of the commercial part of the Internet. Furthermore, only very small additional amount of income to the registry or ICANN is coming from these new devices which are registered or new users which are registered because they fall into the current schemes of existing TLDs. And, therefore, are already among the payers.
Inactivity has also an impact on new features development in the Internet space, which make serious impact to innovation. Now I hear you say that we can do our experimenting in the second or third level, which in some sense is true. Actually, what makes you think that we have not done any experimenting yet? ICANN does not have visibility and, therefore, control over what is done in lower layers of DNS hierarchy; however, experimenting in lower layers does not give us the full feeling or possibilities and makes full experimenting, especially of acceptance of customers and developers, nearly impossible.
Additionally, based on the nature of DNS, (inaudible) lower layer experiments with important features can be equally fatal to the well-being of the naming system as the misuse of the TLD level can and therefore should not be used as an excuse for delaying new TLDs. Currently the yearly market of new mobile phones is approaching 500 million, and rapidly increasing part of new phones have TCP/IP capabilities included. How can you assume that this amount of new potential users and related services does not have an impact to the Internet regardless of whether the mobile TLD is granted or not?
Talking about new technologies, another area which has not been discussed before in this context, is the naming of services, IP services, over new European and nation version of digital tv. There will be a lot of services which really are data services, not pure digital television services, and a natural way of finding those services is DNS.
Let's all make sure that naming of these new functions is done with good planning and indirect influence of the address whose possibilities of business and innovation are enacted. Thank you.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much.
Vint Cerf: I have some sympathy for what you said. Let me say that though I do not speak for the entire board I think many of us would like to see a simpler method for accepting applications and processing them for top-level domains.
Setting aside for a moment uncertainty about the scalability of the Top-Level Domain, of the root itself, it would be a lot easier for the staff and it would be a lot easier for the Internet community if it were possible to make an application, satisfy a certain set of concrete and clear criteria, and essentially get a Top-Level Domain on that basis rather than the more complex process that we have already lived through once.
Part of the dilemma for me, anyway, is in looking at the existing proposed sTLD RFP that it introduces a degree of analysis and complexity which many of us, I think, would prefer not to have to exercise. But in the absence of having the full TLD analysis and design for continuous acceptance of applications, which is something that we are committed to achieving, we are faced with this more complicated and more expensive and perhaps even more time consuming method for trying to determine what applicants should be allowed to open up a new Top-Level Domain.
One thing that you said earlier about the mobile community and the care with which it introduces new products and services is, at least in one respect, not exactly the case. There was one service that I seem to recall that was called wireless application protocol which was introduced, and it was rather different from the iMode version in Japan.
The two had different experiences in the marketplace. I don't raise this as an accusation of any kind at all much it's just to say that none of us are capable of predicting what some of the new ideas will result in, even if we do local experimentation. But I do take your point, and I think the board has heard the point that making it easier to introduce new Top-Level Domains, provided that we are able to protect registrants from any harmful side effects of the failure to operate that Top-Level Domain, I think would be a good goal. Did you want to respond?
Ritva Siren: Yes. I would like, actually, to respond concerning WAP. To my understanding, it worked, but it was not done to necessarily the best interest of the user community. That's one learning and one reason why we are here.
We like to look at more open ways of providing consumer services. And we do believe that mobile applications more and more will be in Internet. There is already lots and lots of them emerging. So it's not something which is waiting behind. But we don't have yet a good space for these services to be identified, recognized.
The small devices, anyway, need their own approaches, pricing a wireless business needs its own attention. It is going to be different from wire-line pricing because of the natural limitations of the media and also the fact that I don't want to have full half-megabyte of CNN page, for example, in my handset. And then I make the next click, I get another half-megabyte of material. So there are lots of things which we need to do. And we are doing that. And name-wise, we'd like to have our own identity for the services we are doing and for the users with mobile devices.
Vint Cerf: I can't resist at least one other comment, if you'll forgive me.
You and I have had discussions before about the technical implementations of coping with devices that have different capabilities. And a part of me continues to believe that it would be really helpful if there were a protocol that allowed a server to find out a lot more about the capabilities of an end device independent of its domain name. This does not invalidate the idea of having a domain name; it just says it would be really helpful if it were possible to inquire of a device what its capabilities are.
The reason that I bring this up now is that some devices will find themselves moving from one environment to another and, actually, experiencing different capabilities. The simplest example in the wireless world is moving, for example, from 802.11a at 50 or 60 megabits a second to 802.11b at ten megabits a second to perhaps a GSM channel at 19.2 kilobits per second. This same device needs to be able to express to its server that its environment has changed and is different. This doesn't mean that we're in disagreement; it just means that I hope that we pay attention to that side of the equation.
Ritva Siren: (inaudible).
Vint Cerf: Good. Okay. Do we have any others that wish to make comments in the open microphone session? Yes, please.
Joop Teernstra: Members of the board, my name is -- I'll bend. My name is Joop Teernstra, of the ICANN At-Large. I've traveled to this meeting with the help of Internet New Zealand, but I'm speaking in a personal capacity. I would like to thank them, though, publicly for the help that they have given. I have come largely to give person-to-person meetings and give diplomacy a chance.
So it's with hesitation that I actually stand up again behind the microphone. I shouldn't actually do this.
ICANN At-Large is an organization attempt of at large members that were familiar with ICANN affairs, started up with the help of the former At-Large study committee members Pindar Wong and Esther Dyson. But it subsequently has been orphaned in favor of RALO and other approach.
Our members, about a thousand that joined around the time of the Accra meeting, have been polled on the RALO structure and have, in majority, shown themselves unenthusiastic to apply as At-Large structure and join.
It has become clear to me, especially here in this meeting, that ICANN needs a knowledgeable At-Large community. And the ALAC may be hard-pressed to find it outside the old crowd of camp followers of ICANN.
My question, Mr. Chairman, is, is it possible that the board about find time and inclination to reconsider the At-Large setup proposals and make them more attractive for us individuals to join?
Vint Cerf: Thank you, Joop.
My first thought, honestly, is to give the At-Large organization an opportunity to develop its program, which is what they asked for. Before we decide it's time to reconsider, the baby has barely been born or maybe is not yet even born. In any event, as we examine the results of the At-Large Advisory Committee work and its results, the board will always be open to reconsideration of methods and procedures for expanding ICANN's ability to draw on the knowledge of its constituents. But I am not sure that I would be in favor of opening up a new round of At-Large reconsideration until we at least find out how the existing structure will work.
In the meantime, let me ask if you can think of ways to take that community that you know about and somehow position it to fit into the At-Large structure that's currently proposed. At the very least, we might be working from two ends of the spectrum trying to meet in the middle. Do I have any other comments from the floor?
Werner Staub: My name is Werner Staub. I speak in a personal capacity about the experience with new TLDs, which I have personally followed for six years now.
We have something new in the recent communications from the board in hearing that the board is concerned about lack of time to address this increasingly daunting subject. I think it is important to remember this subject is becoming more difficult the longer we wait, and, specifically, it is becoming more difficult the less we give the community an idea that there is going to be an ongoing, regular, stable process of application.
Right now, people are led to believe that new TLDs are something for predators. You have to be able to run fast and you have to be highly capitalized to win in the political game. That is not the best way to give the community good TLDs out of which to make conclusions such as they might be useful. If we have a process that favors, so to speak, the paradoxical situations and outcome, you would, then, it is probably of little interest to analyze the result and ask ourselves if those TLDs are going to be useful.
Vint Cerf: Thank you, Werner. I think many of us, and certainly speaking for myself, would like to have a much more regular process, and simpler, continuous procedure for the introduction of new TLDs. Amadeu.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: Okay.
I'm not speaking yet about new TLDs, because I think that we have a slot for these, and I'm expecting the board to explain what is the current position. So I go to the other issue that had pending in my agenda. It's Site Finder.
I don't want to discuss whether Site Finder is good or not, what happened with the process. But now we have a situation in which ICANN requested VeriSign, who requested, you know, (inaudible) to stop it, and VeriSign did. And at the same time, you have the initiation of a PDP process for approval of new registry services that more or less will be finished by January, you say. And then you have approval for processes.
My question is first to ICANN's CEO whether he would advise the board to deal with Site Finder as an other case or wait for the PDP process to be complete and channel it there? And then the question will be for VeriSign, if they could comment, and I don't know whether Chuck is here or not and if he would be able or willing to comment whether they will have this service on hold until this process is done.
Vint Cerf: Paul.
Paul Twomey: Thanks, Amadeu.
It's been made clear in communications to the GNSO in the request that was made of them, and also in communications to other parties, that present registry service requests that are before ICANN are not covered by the request for the GNSO for the work they are doing. That applies to future requests, considering the fact that the requests are already in play, they have already been made. Those requests are not just from VeriSign or related to VeriSign. They also relate to other registries, two of which will come up in potential consideration tomorrow by the board.
Vint Cerf: Okay. Point of clarification. Amadeu, I think that you said that you thought there was another slot open for discussion of new TLDs.
There is a misunderstanding of the term "new TLD." I feel like the former President Clinton, we have to determine what the meaning of "new" is. The presentation by Monsieur Bachollet was supposed to be the discussion about the old new TLDs. And that was the only item on the agenda. So we do not have another agenda item. So if you want to speak to new, new TLDs, now would be a good time to do so.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: No. I will do that in Rome.
My question was regarding the status of the -- you know, the process was started one day to have an RFP for a limited number of sTLDs that were started in Shanghai, went over to Amsterdam, Rio, and different (inaudible) in Montreal. And according to the minutes of your meeting of October 13th, it seems to be that it's not on the pipeline anymore. And it was to this concrete question that I wanted to speak later. But I was waiting for an explanation of that. And I thought that it was coming after this public mike session. Sorry.
Vint Cerf: Not yet.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: Okay. So to keep it brief, and just not to try to steal too much time, please move ahead with what was proposed at least. And, indeed, move ahead also with the general problem of having more or less a stable system for approving new TLDs. But at very least what was proposed in Shanghai and carried on in Montreal when we had some last-minute surprise.
I wouldn't say there was any commitment or anything else, but probably there were some legitimate expectations from both those who wanted to apply and from those who were watching the process and seeing we were moving forward. And without very clear explanations that go beyond, we have too much thing to do which are completely true but not enough in this process, because we don't travel the world just to learn that we don't have the resources.
We have a problem; we need the solution. What I mean is that, then, please move forward on that. And if you need help, you know, we will all contribute time with, you know, no professional fees to the staff to help drafting anything they need.
Vint Cerf: Thank you very much, Amadeu, for that kind offer. We do need to make progress in this dimension. And I think a lot of people will agree with your point of view.
I am conscious of the time. Are there any other comments from the floor? Are there any comments from the board? In that case, let us call this meeting to a close. We will reconvene tomorrow at 9:00 in this room for the public board meeting. And I wish you all a pleasant evening and some opportunities to -- I'm sorry.
What is this, Paul?
So I wish you a pleasant evening and an opportunity to think over what you've heard during the course of the day. The meeting is adjourned until 9:00 tomorrow morning. Board members, don't go away yet.
(meeting adjourned. 5:15 p.m.)