ICANN Open Forum in Montreal Real-Time Captioning
25 June 2003
Note: The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Open Forum held 25 June 2003 in Montreal, Canada. 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.
Wednesday, 25 June, 2003
Vinton Cerf: Good afternoon. I just thought I would give you a status check. We're probably not going to start for a few more minutes, thinking that speaking to an empty room is not too useful. But thank you for those of you who have come on time.
Ladies and gentlemen, I think we will reconvene the meeting in spite of light attendance because we have a lot of material to cover this afternoon and I want to give people an opportunity to speak from the floor. So I'll call upon Paul Twomey, our CEO to give his President's and CEO report. Paul.
Paul Twomey: Thank you, Vint. And thank you to the board members. Clearly the appoint of a new CEO is an anticlimax. There's no great excitement in the audience.
Can I just take the opportunity to address a few issues in the President's report? Many of the other issues that have been the focus of the ICANN staff in the last three months will be discussed under separate headings as we go through this afternoon. So I'd like to just update the community on four basic areas.
One is on some work that's been done internally on internal organization and strengthening for support of the community. The three other points are actually work program commitments that I want to give some reports on. One is on the WIPO II recommendations; one's on the independent third-party review requirements; and the last one's on the President's standing committee on privacy, which was called for in Rio.
If I can just make some observations to members of the community, as you all know, I have had a long experience with ICANN in its limited life. Coming in as the President and CEO, I have to take my hat off to the staff to the degree of work and the complexity and intensity of work that's been undertaken in the staff office. Part of the work we've done together since I've been there is looking at our structure. And I don't know if that's clear or not, but we've actually been talking about what sort of functions are required.
Can you read that, Paul Wilson?
Paul Wilson: No.
Paul Twomey: Okay. Is that any better? Probably not. I'm sorry it's so small.
The key thing that we've actually worked on is moving towards a sort of business-like model for management, putting in another layer of management in place, and putting clearer accountabilities and structures in the staff work.
Just to talk through them in some detail, there is the IANA function having its own clear stand-alone accountability and reporting structure with the General Manager; implementing the new bylaw requirements for a General Manager for Public Participation, but also expanding that to include communications; is what grandiose title, which is probably too great for an organization of our size, but because we do a lot of interaction in the international arena, a role around global partnerships in the interactions we have. And then I think importantly for the community, position a set of staff who are focused on supporting the supporting organizations and the committee support.
So there's been a position created, Vice President, Supporting Organization and Committee Support. And this position is designed towards ensuring great support for the constituency organizations and supporting organizations that they communicate together. It's not to create policy. I want to be quite clear that the forum here in the board creates policy. The staff doesn't. But this is a position to support and help and grease the wheels to make sure that people are talking to each other well in preparation.
Then there is a Vice President, Business Operations, basically, a coo type role, to ensure that the office is operating well, and a General Manager, Technical Operations. Five of these positions are presently being advertised, and you can find them on the web site. And I would draw your attention to it. We are very much looking to the community to help identify people who could well be suited for those positions. So I ask you to look at the web site for the positions.
Moving on, the WIPO II recommendations, you may recall that the board followed the GAC's recommendations in Rio on calling for a working group to assess implication of implementation of the WIPO working group. The joint working group is a -- there's a typo here. Membership is being discussed at Montreal, not Rio.
The final membership we expect to announce in July with discussions at the GNSO council, also with the GAC, and also with some of the present board members that we actually put together a working group. And I expect that working group, then, to present a work plan at the next ICANN meeting. So priority of work and a work plan to be commenced and a report received at the next ICANN meeting. So that's just to ensure that that working group is being put together and the discussions are taking place here on identification of the right participants.
Just to point out that the board does a resolution on the 2nd of June -- that I, in consultation with the chairs of the GNSO council, the ALAC, and the GAC, form this working group, including participants in the GNSO, the ALAC, and the GAC, to propose implementation issues. The board has also asked the present General Counsel be directed to investigate, analyze legal aspects of the relationship between ICANN's mission and the recommendations conveyed by the 12th February letter from WIPO and to report to the board and to the working group formed.
The board is very conscious of the points made by the community during the reform process to ensure that the board stays within the defined mission. So the purpose of this advice on legal aspects is about how this affects ICANN's mission, and does it fall within scope.
So just to explain that request. Third point is on independent third-party review. You will recall that the new bylaws have three mechanisms for review of ICANN's work. One is the ombudsman, which, by the way, there's a study being undertaken to design the ombudsman process. The second one is a review committee of the board. And the third one is to establish an independent third-party review process where there are actions by the board inconsistent with the articles of incorporation or the bylaws.
The staff are currently reviewing an option for independent review panels and, actually, evaluating three longstanding, well-known international arbitration entities, and a proposal will go to the board outlining the pros and cons of each of them for a board decision shortly on which one we should ask to help us establish this third-party review mechanism.
The final point that I will report at this briefing is, you may recall that in Rio, the board asked the President to establish a standing committee on privacy. And the charter for that committee was to monitor the implications of existing and proposed ICANN policies on the handling of personal data. Now, the President was quite conscious that this was a request that was being received at the same time that the community was spending a lot of time talking about Whois, where there were privacy issues in Whois. And talking to members of a group for the standing committee, we've decided that it's probably best to ensure we have a small work group, small committee at this stage, which is working just basically focusing on definition of the issues and on potential work program such that there's not a sense that we have a competing parallel process to the work program being done on Whois.
So I wanted to explain that carefully. Andy Mueller-Maguhn is the chair of the standing committee, and I'm pleased to state that Becky Burr and Liz Williams have agreed to be members of that standing committee. So we've got three people from three different parts of the world. And the focus is very much on defining the issues for the standing committee, defining a work program, and potentially identifying a list of key people who need to be further engaged.
The standing committee is quite concerned that they do this work going up to Carthage but not in any way to be seen as a competing or parallel process to the Whois process that we talked about before the break.
Vint, I wonder if I can make just one observation further to what I said before lunch.
I did say before lunch that I was calling on the chairs of the GAC, the GNSO, the liaison for the IAB, and potentially the ccNSO, if it exists, if they wish to participate to participate in this program. I should also say if the ALAC wants to participate in that joint group on Whois, that's another group that should be invited. And similarly the community around the ASO is a group that I want to engage if they wish to participate.
So what I flagged before lunch were the three groups that are presently doing work. There are two other parts of the community who may have interest in this arena who may want to participate and I will be talking to them as well.
Vinton Cerf: It may turn out that some board members will have an interest in this. I'm sure you wouldn't turn down advice from the board as well.
That's it? Okay. In that case, I'd like to call upon the Root Server System Advisory Committee to make its report. And Suzanne Woolf, if she is here, is scheduled to do that.
Suzanne Woolf: Let me see if I can -- you're a lot taller than I am, Paul.
Good afternoon. I'm Suzanne Woolf from ISC and I'm here to give you a brief update. Keep it quick, from the Root Server Advisory Committee.
For those of you who might not know, the RSSAC is one of the original ICANN committees, and we give advice to the board and staff on issues involving the root name servers. We last met at the IETF, that's our typical meeting venue, right before the Rio ICANN board meeting, so we haven't met since the last ICANN meeting. So what we can do today is a quick update on some of the things we discussed there.
A topic from the previous meeting was (inaudible). We have now deployment plans. Any root servers are using anycast, or are planning to, soon. All the teams have been coordinating closely to monitor what's going on and to make sure we're keeping the community informed of what we're doing and how it's going. We've also seen some of the TLD operators being motivated to pick up on some of the technology we've been working with.
The other major outstanding issue we discussed in the IETF meeting and then in Rio has been in the addition of IPv6. There are technical limits involved and the RSSAC has been asked to give input and make sure it works and there are no technical problems with it.
That analysis is continuing. So far it looks as if we'll be able to avoid the potential compatibility problems we were concerned about. But that discussion continues. Some of the work under that item has been submitted to the IETF DNS operations working group for further review. There is an Internet draft on that subject, and giving the results of that analysis.
The RSSAC will next meet in Vienna in July and in the meantime you can find out more about the root servers at www.root-servers.org and more about RSSAC at ICANN's web site. There's also an address for questions and comments to the committee.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, Suzanne. I'd like to call about Stephen Crocker, who is the Chairman of the Security and Stability Committee to give his report.
Stephen Crocker: (inaudible) The nightmare scenario was at exactly the moment Vint said "stability" I would trip. That didn't happen so that's a good sign.
So I'll keep this very brief. I'm the Chair of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee. We have an extremely distinguished and capable group of people on the committee.
The critical thing about these people is that they come from all of the different technical and operational components and that they are people of practical and technical experience, who have day jobs. They have real functions quite apart from the time that they spend with us. They're not policy or political generally in their orientation. And we try to take up issues related to DNS and address space security, and also to have a slightly broader perspective of what the major security issues throughout the Internet infrastructure are, not that they fall under our purview but that it's good to know what that set of issues is and how our purview fits into that.
We try to work closely with the related committees, the RSSAC, the ccTLD group, the GAC and so forth. And those relationships are evolving as each group move forward. So, for example, Suzanne, who just reported on the root server group, sat with us yesterday during our meeting and on issues like IPv6 coordination, that's certainly the kind of thing that is of mutual concern.
In Rio, I presented the list on the left of the activities that we've been involved in. Excuse me. The check marks represent items we've completed. The right arrow, bullets, are things under way, and the circle represents things that we have committed to do something about but have not really made any forward progress on.
In the relatively short time since Rio, we've added the items on the right to our list. We will be issuing a memo on what issues, if any, are created by Anycast. The short answer is there really aren't broad new issues.
We're very, very interested in the deployment of DNSSEC and understanding what that sequence will look like. We're not chartered to solve the technical issues or to chrome the operational issues either. But it's useful to maintain a perspective or develop a perspective of whether all the pieces are in place and to identify who the players are.
Well, let me back up. When we first started, we had some internal discussions about the quality of the DNS servers and how many errors existed. And surveys abound showing large numbers of errors throughout the system. And one of my reactions to that is, boy, these statistics look so bad, the sky must be falling. But it's easy to go outside and see that the sky has not yet fallen.
So I'm eager, and I think the committee is eager, to bring some perspective on what the actual status is with respect to errors in configuration or missing information, and other things that affect the stability of the DNS service throughout the world. What we will be trying to do is work with those folks who do those kind of measurements and who monitor systems, and bring a level playing field and clarity to the categorization and measurement process so that we don't have a gross overstatement of how serious the problem is and yet still have some focus on what class the problems are.
More recently, there has been quite a lot of concern about a phenomenon related to the introduction of new TLDs. And what's appearing is for a variety of reasons that are not located entirely within the server structure; some of the new TLDs are not accessible from some areas. And we have only fragmented and preliminary information, but it appears that there are some flaws in implementation of resolvers, some limitations in ISPs, and not enough clarity as to what those issues are. So we want to try to bring some of that to light.
So that's the current workload that we have under way. We welcome anybody raising issues, as we try to operate as openly as we can.
We are chartered as an advisory committee to the board and so we try to be responsive to the board when they raise questions, but we also listen to other committees, to the world in general, and we try to communicate as broadly as we can to the community.
Let's see if I've got this right. We have a small set of documents that we've issued so far, and we're trying to restructure ourselves so that we can bring out additional documents in a timely way, and separate short-term things from longer-term discussions that we have to undertake.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, Steve. I'd like to invite the former Chairman of ICANN, Esther Dyson, and I guess Denise Michel, to give a report on the status of the At-large Advisory Committee.
Denise Michel: I'm just the laptop carrier.
Vinton Cerf: This is the modern day version of the spear-carrier, I guess.
Esther Dyson: We'll see if it works, and if it doesn't, we'll go ahead so as not to delay things.
The first slide is probably illegible from the back anyway. It simply lists the new members of the committee along with the old members. And I feel much like Paul Twomey. It's kind of an anti-climax. The board can see it. It's kind of an anti-climax to be sitting up here to announce what we hope is the imminent go ahead from the board to begin organizing of the at-large structures outside of ICANN.
Our activities so far have been focused very much on organizing ourselves and starting to organize outside, but our fundamental purpose is not our own creation. It's to provide an effective voice for users and individuals within ICANN. The way this is going to be successful is, number one, if the at-large structures themselves are credible, well-organized and brings useful input to the table. And, two, if they believe that the ICANN policy-making organizations and the ICANN board are, in fact, paying attention to their concerns. And I think we've made a lot of progress in both directions over the past year.
We're now moving to the second slide, having mentioned that we got five new ALAC members from the nominating committee in addition to the ten that we already have. There are a number of them here. I see Izumi Aizu, anyone else? Toshifumi Mashimoto. Did I say it right?
We now have new bylaws that we created as part of the ICANN reform, and our next steps are to move forward and actually create the infrastructure and start creating the participation that is going to make the ALAC successful. We're working with a lot of regional groups, existing organizations such as ISOC and people like that, because ICANN alone cannot create that kind of infrastructure.
Secondly, we're well aware that ICANN is not at the forefront of most people's minds, but it is part of an overall interest in the Internet. So to the extent that existing organizations are getting people involved in Internet activities, we intend to work with them on topics that are specific to ICANN.
Okay. What have we done so far? I'm just going to ignore the slides. Excuse me about this.
In addition to our own organizing efforts, we have contributed to the selection of the new board. We had five people active in the nominating committee, and that doesn't mean that we simply registered some interest. It means our people worked with the nominating committee to develop a slate as a whole, we, the ALAC delegates, felt comfortable with. It was not simply we got two candidates in, but, rather, the slate represents a broad slate that a number of constituencies, including the ALAC, were happy with. And I'm sure Linda Wilson will discuss this further.
We've also solicited input, gone out and talked to the user communities in various places, and we have provided the individual user voice in policy development in groups such as the GNSO council, the UDRP task force, the new gTLD committee, the Whois task force, the GNSO Whois privacy steering committee, and other important groups.
And of course we've sent a proposal to the board to launch the at-large organizing, which we hope will be approved tomorrow.
Okay. What do we need to do now? And this is where I'm just going to forget about the slides and talk to you directly.
We really have two missions. One is to create our structure, and the second is to provide useful input. In order to do this, we are going to need funding, and we are not expecting much of it from ICANN. We don't think that's realistic. ICANN has other needs and issues.
But we do hope for ICANN and the ICANN community's support as we go to outside parties looking for funding to help organize the at large, make sure that individuals are able not simply to post online but actually to show up at meetings and contribute in the face-to-face conversations, like the ones you're having here, that make so much difference.
We also want to remind you that the ALAC is a really important part of ICANN. When ICANN was originally created, the concept was that the at-large, in whatever form it took, would represent half the board. That may or may not be appropriate, but the at-large does represent one tremendously important, whether it's half or not is probably not germane, but it represents a tremendously important constituency, audience, customer for ICANN and the ICANN community as a whole. And it's important both within ICANN and outside of ICANN for the ALAC to be perceived as an important and respected part of the ICANN community.
We're attempting to help make that happen, not simply by asking for it, but by developing a structure, a set of participants, a community, and a mechanism for those people to be heard that will be worthy of that respect and that will be able to provide useful input.
And with that, I'd like to offer to answer any questions from the board.
Vinton Cerf: Okay, thank you, Esther. Are there any questions? Amadeu.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: Esther, my greatest respect for (inaudible) I wouldn't have any idea of where to start if it wasn't there.
My question is when organizing these structures, to what extent are you relying on previously existing organizations and structures or to what extent are you starting a new structure from scratch?
Esther Dyson: In general, we are going to be working with existing structures, just as a practical matter. It's going to vary from geography to geography what exists already and what needs to be created. We had a very encouraging meeting on Tuesday with some Europeans where there are existing organizations that are ready to spring into action. So it's not a question of principle. It's simply a question of what will work. And we hope that in the long run, more individuals will come in.
There are a lot of issues concerning should everybody be represented by a group or can they participate as individuals? What about issues that are not geographically defined? Do the geographies end up squeezing out the voices of certain individuals? These are really interesting questions but I think it's more important to create the ALAC so we can start to address them rather than try to address them all up front. So we're tremendously pragmatic.
Okay. You will hear from us later this afternoon about exactly how we go about organizing these things, and we very much appreciate your support, and we look forward to working with you and providing you useful input.
Thank you very much.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, Esther. Oh, I'm sorry, a question from Nii.
Nii Quaynor: Yes. My question has to do with the likelihood of getting multiple RALOs proposals from a region, and what you may have been planning to ensure that only one emerges. Because as already documents, I felt that it may be very possible that as you recognize at-large structures, they may choose to group themselves a little differently, and therefore, you could have multiple requests or for recognition of RALOs. And I'm asking what's the likelihood and also what's the mechanism you're anticipating for resolving this.
Esther Dyson: We're planning to act kind of like an amoeba or Microsoft and engulf and devour anybody who shows up. Fundamentally, one of the most basic criteria is for these organizations to be open. And if they reject or don't welcome other groups into themselves, they themselves may lose accreditation.
So a lot of what we're going to be doing is very much on the ground organizing, making people work together, making sure that they are open in fact as well as in principle. And getting it the "look in the face" test. I'm also being encouraged by Louis that you'll have another crack at this this afternoon.
Andy Mueller-Maguhn: Just for clarification, Esther. So that means in Europe if we have one regional at-large organization that may consist of closed membership organizations? Yes, does it?
Esther Dyson: But what?
Andy Mueller-Maguhn: Just because you said they have to be open. So the openness is the one regional at-large organization; right? But not necessarily its membership organizations?
Esther Dyson: It's kind of like the board selection, in the sense that if you're an organization designed for engineers, we do not consider you closed because you don't accept actresses. But the overall RALO has to accept both actresses and engineers, et cetera. We're trying to make sense. Okay. You got the answer.
Andy Mueller-Maguhn: That was it. Thank you.
Vinton Cerf: I would have thought some of the engineers would have been happy to have some actresses around. Anyway, we'll leave that for another time.
Thank you, Esther, for your persistence. I'd like to call upon Sharil Tarmizi who is the head of the Governmental Advisory Committee to make his communiqu to the assembled body.
Sharil Tarmizi: Thank you, Vint, and a very good afternoon to all of you. I shall try to make this snappy and short. I will be delivering the GAC communiqu for its Montreal meeting.
The governmental advisory committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN, met in Montreal, Canada from the 22nd to 24th of June. The participating GAC members included representatives from 37 national governments, distinct economies as recognized in international FORA, and faculty lateral governmental and treaty organizations. They engaged in a follow-up to previous GAC advice, moved forward the activities of the GAC working groups and had useful discussions, including an exchange of views with other ICANN constituencies and the ICANN Evolution and Reform Committee.
The Governmental Advisory Committee expresses its warm thanks to Canada for hosting and organizations this meeting in Montreal. GAC welcomed the presence of several new members participating for the first time and they are Botswana, India, Nigeria, Palau, Tunisia, and Uganda. They also welcomed the membership of Mali and Slovenia who have already joined the GAC since the Rio de Janeiro meeting.
At the last meeting in Rio de Janeiro, GAC had set up a system of liaisons with ICANN and GAC working groups. This new system is working well, and has contributed to accelerating and deepening aspects of GAC's policy work and facilitating, in certain areas, the dialogue between GAC and the ICANN constituencies, supporting organizations, and advisory bodies.
GAC noted that all members support the current policy of open and transparent communications with ICANN constituencies. Regarding IDN, GAC took good note of recent decisions by ICANN to facilitate the deployment of internationalized domain names.
Regarding the implementation of WIPO II, GAC recalls its advice from the Rio de Janeiro meeting on the WIPO recommendations on names of countries and intergovernmental organizations, IGO's. GAC welcomed ICANN's decision of 2nd June, resolution 03.83, to set up the joint working group at Montreal. GAC requests that the working group should present an outline and timetable for its work to the ICANN and GAC meetings at Carthage.
The GAC encourages the group to complete its work by the Cape Town meeting December 2004. The terms of reference of the working group should be limited to the practical and technical aspects of the implementation of the WIPO recommendations, and notably the implication for the UDRP. The working group should propose solutions for overcoming any problems identified.
GAC is prepared to appoint delegates to the ICANN/GAC working group, and GAC requests to be consulted on terms of reference of the joint working group. Regarding the proposed bylaws amendments for the creation of the country code names supporting organizations, or ccNSO, the GAC gives the following advice:
The Governmental Advisory Committee restated its intercessional advice to the ERC of 16 May and has had further consultations with the ccTLD community and the ERC in Montreal. You will see the URL on the screen there, the GAC advice is available.
In the short time available, GAC has done its utmost to provide constructive advice on the revised bylaws. In this context, GAC welcomes the positive spirit shown by the ccTLD community and the ERC in constructively responding to GAC's questions and concerns.
The GAC expresses its appreciation for the extended efforts of the ICANN community regarding the preparation of the ccNSO, notably the evolution and reform committee, the ccNSO assistance group, and the ccTLD community as a whole. GAC has taken note of recent ERC proposals for the ccNSO bylaws. GAC agreed to the importance of the ccNSO becoming as inclusive an organization as possible.
In light of the further consultations that have taken place during the Montreal meeting, GAC concurs that the proposed bylaws, as presented to the GAC at the end of its meeting, adequately reflect GAC's advice.
The GAC hopes that the revised bylaws will be the framework for good working relationship between the ccTLD registries, ICANN, and the GAC in establishing global ccTLD related policies. It notes, however, that an important measure of success of the ccNSO will be how it will operate in practice and, in particular, to what extent it will attract extensive participation of the ccTLD registries. GAC notes that a review of the functioning of the ccNSO and the ccNSO council will be initiated and would wish to participate in that review.
Regarding the updating of the GAC ccTLD principles, GAC requested that the ccTLD working group and the GAC to prepare a document for consideration at the next meeting in Carthage, Tunisia. GAC has participated extensively in the development, preparation and presentation of the ICANN Whois workshop. The GAC chair has asked the Whois working group to prepare a written report on the proceedings of the workshop for the information and consideration of GAC members, particularly those who are not able to be present here in Montreal.
The policy issues arising from the Whois workshop will be further considered by the GAC at its next meeting as appropriate.
On outreach, the GAC confirms that the approach to non-member countries would continue and that efforts should be enhanced, particularly in the context of the forthcoming meeting in Carthage, Tunisia. Reinforcing communications amongst GAC members would continue to be encouraged on a regional basis.
As to the next meeting, the next face-to-face GAC meeting will be in Carthage, Tunisia in October 2003. Meanwhile, GAC will continue its work online and in conference calls and through the ICANN.
That's the end of the communiqu, but I would like to point out there's an attachment to the communiqu which contains the names of the liaisons. That's the end of my communiqu. May I personally now say on a personal basis it has been an honor for me personally to work with the members of the ERC and the assistance group and the ccTLD community?
Thank you very much.
Vinton Cerf: Before I call on the board with any questions it might have, let me take the opportunity to thank you personally, and also the members of the GAC, for what I consider to be an extraordinary level of engagement well beyond anything I had either expected or hoped for, especially in the last several months.
The GAC has become a very, very effective and important component of the ICANN operation. And I hope I can speak for the rest of the board members in thanking you and your colleagues for the level of effort that you're putting forth to help make ICANN a successful activity. So thank you very much for that.
Sharil Tarmizi: Thank you, sir.
Vinton Cerf: Are there any other questions, perhaps, for Sharil? No. Thank you very much. We actually have an opportunity for any questions from the floor regarding the last four reports and the President's report, if there are some.
So let me remind you to introduce yourselves and to speak with some care, because you will be transcribed, as you know.
Wolfgang Kleiuwachte: Okay. My name is Wolfgang Kleiuwachte. I am from the University of (inaudible). I have a question. which is related to the new ICANN scheme which was presented by Paul Twomey.
My understanding from the scheme is that the new Vice President is responsible for all supporting organizations and Advisory Committees, with one exception. This is the At-large Advisory Committee, which falls under the responsibility of the General Manager for Public Participation.
Is there any reason why the Vice President is not directly responsible for the At-large Advisory Committee? Thank you.
Paul Twomey: Thanks for the question. And it's reassuring that some people are reading it very carefully.
Although this general heading of accountability, there's an expectation that the management group will work as a whole as well. That position of Vice President, supporting organization and committees, is really focused on ensuring the smooth communications. The at-large Advisory Committee is part of that as well, but it also is part of the outreach program, and so it has its own special level of support.
We have interactions with the registries and technical community both through John Clinton's role on the board, but also the IANA has that role as well. So that's not example that Vice Presidents direct business unit. But the VP still has the sort of overall accountability to keep us honest that everybody is being supported properly.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Next.
Sotiris Sotiropoulos: Sotiris Sotiropoulos, individual at-large member.
I am relaying the concerns of Ron Sherwood from the Virgin Islands with respect to the division into the at-large -- Regional at-large Organizations, the five geographic delineations. Ron Sherwood writes:
"I am specifically concerned that my Caribbean region, with its own unique connectivity, Telco monopoly, high bandwidth cost, and inferior infrastructure problems, is lumped into the Latin American region.
The U.S. Virgin Islands are permitted to be a part of the North American region, but our neighbors, the Dutch, English, French, Spanish, and many independent countries are lumped together in the Latin American region.
Decent ISP service has to be back hauled to super ISPs that may be on any of the three surrounding continents, dependent on who owns the fiber.
These infrastructure contractors and super ISPs often do not fit into the RALO regions set up by ICANN.
There is a very real need for ICANN and the ALAC to recognize that at-large Organizations should be formed where needed for whatever purpose the users need them and still be recognized by ALAC without having to be fitted into their five RALO boxes.
Language is one of the reasons. But infrastructure, culture, and the need to deal with monopoly situations are all valid reasons for at-large users to create their own regional groups."
Vinton Cerf: Thank you. Are there any other questions? Any from the board? We're actually on schedule, or very nearly so, anyway.
Now it's time for supporting organization reports. And I'd like to call on Mark McFadden to give the ASO report. Mark. Someday we'll figure out how to do wireless connections to the projection unit. And, of course, the problem then will be that there will be a security awkwardness when someone in the audience takes over control of the projection unit and puts up something you didn't intend.
Mark McFadden: Thanks, Vint.
The last word in ICANN is "numbers." And so that's what I'm here to talk about, something that we don't spend a lot of time thinking about here, but it's very important to all of us. And the part of ICANN that deals with numbers is the Address Supporting Organization.
At each ICANN meeting, the address council, which is a part of the Address Supporting Organization, comes up with an update. And this is that report.
The address council and the Address Supporting Organization meet at regional registries throughout the year. That's where their regular business takes place. And sort of like the Root Server Advisory Committee, meets at IETF, the natural home for the addressing community is in the four regional registries.
We have recently had a general assembly. We held that in Santiago de Chile in April of 2003. That was very well-attended meeting, a pretty effective meeting, and the ASO also met this week on Monday morning. That was also a fairly well attended meeting and had a lot of interesting discussion, which I will come to in a moment.
In terms of what's going on in the address council, one of the things that has been important to the address council is stabilizing its own internal operations, and also, ICANN has asked the address council, as have the four Internet regional registries, to provide some advice on the relationship between the Address Supporting Organization and ICANN as a whole.
And so what I can report to the board today is that we've done some of that work.
We've done some of the work since I have last reported to you, some work on the nominations committee. And, of course, after Shanghai, we have had some new people on the address council. Speaking of that, for people in the room who might not know about the address council, the address council is part of the Address Supporting Organizations.
There are three elected representatives in a bottom-up fashion, three elected representatives for each registry region. three from RIPE; three from the ARIN region, three from APNIC and three from LACNIC. Those address council members do not have to be currently RIR members. In fact, in one of the regions in the world, we actually do have people on the address council who are not members of the RIR.
The bottom bullet here is the really important one and the one with the most effect on the address council. And that is that the role of the address council and the relationship between the address council, the RIRS, and the ICANN board is changing.
Those are going to be some new challenges for us. Building those relationships is going to be very, very important. And I know a lot of energy was spent this week on that very topic. Here I won't read them, but the three representatives from each of the regions are listed here.
Enough said about that, I guess.
One of the things that the address council has not had a direct hand in but has been a participant in is actually working on and reflecting on the ability for the African region to have its own regional registry.
One of the things that has happened in the last three years is the Latin American and south American communities have worked extremely hard to build the trust, interorganizational cooperation, and the business and technical skills to have a regional registry that serves the need of that part of the world. One can easily imagine that that would happen in the African region.
And the Latin American community did something very special recently. They held a meeting bringing together expertise from around the world to help the African community move forward, to give them some skills, to provide them examples of how things changed with LACNIC and how LACNIC was built. This has been very effective and the address council has been pleased to primarily be an observer in this process.
In terms of other activities that the address council has done since I last reported is that we have actually built an effective standard deterministic election method for board of directors on the ICANN board. The same thing for people on the Nomcom.
And of course one of the ongoing effort of ours that was started in my region was the active effort to revise one of the foundation documents that serves our community. We also are working on new strategies to do a little bit better job of promoting international participation.
One of our problems is that we're an international gang of 12, and so it's very difficult to get us together, even by teleconference. So we're working on new ways to do that.
I have actually put on the ASO web site, www.aso.Icann.org a roadmap of the tasks that we're scheduled to complete here by the end of the year, sort of a roadmap of our work plan for 2003. And one part of that which is long completed now but one part of that was to hold a face-to-face workshop at the RIPE meeting in Amsterdam. We did that in January.
Maybe the most important thing that I have to tell you and the most important thing here in the few minutes that I have is to say that the address council has been working both with the ERC and the RIRS on the reform process and the relationship between the address council, the ASO, RIRS, and ICANN. It's a very, very complicated issue. It's a contractual arrangement, after all, between the RIRS and ICANN. But the address council naturally is very interested in the process.
One of the offers that we have made to the ERC and also to the RIRS as well, is that we as an address council are ready to stand as a facilitator or someone who acts as a third party to help the discussion process. The RIRS have asked for formal input, and in a moment I'll talk a little bit about that, both the RIRS and the ERC has gotten some formal input.
And two of the AC members have issued, for discussion purposes mostly, a draft memorandum of understanding, a draft structure for organizing the work of a new address council, a new ASO, and a new relationship between ICANN and the RIRS.
Also, two address councils created a one-page principles document that is basically a statement of the principles that should be in place for any arrangement between the RIRS and ICANN.
One of the things that we did very recently was conduct a survey on the matter of reform. Reform with ICANN 2.0 coming to us, we're the part of the organization that is perhaps farthest behind in terms of implementation. And there are many reasons for that.
One of the reasons is that it's a complex relationship. There are many parts of the organization to be brought together. And one of the things that we did recently was survey the address council on what they thought the new relationship should look like.
And I thought what I'd do is just take a few more minutes, a couple more minutes here, and talk about what those results are. Intriguingly, although perhaps not unexpectedly, 100% of the people who responded to the survey said that there should continue to be an Address Supporting Organization. And when asked about what the role of the Address Supporting Organization should be, 100% of those responding said that it should still elect an ICANN board member, it should still elect representatives to the Nomcom, it should still advise ICANN on global addressing issues. And intriguingly, and a bone of some contention, I might add, all the people who responded said it should also coordinate global addressing policy.
Now, those are words that are perhaps, in retrospect, not carefully enough chosen. But the intent is that the address council and the Address Supporting Organization have a role in the relationship for IP and other number resources in a global community.
Now, there wasn't much agreement on the size of the Address Supporting Organization. In fact, 50% of those people who responded said that it wasn't a significant issue at all. As an example, for who should be in the address council, 87% said that the RIR communities, that's the people who are part of the organizations that do addressing, should elect either two or three members. 67% said the RIR boards should elect one member to the ASO. And only one out of ten said that ICANN's existing nominations committee should have that role. Finally, as part of the survey, we actually asked some questions about the internal operations of the Address Supporting Organization.
One of the things that's very difficult for us is the electronic voting issue. The group agreed to that. And also, a concept of temporary observers, one of the things that we can imagine is a situation in which the Address Supporting Organization and the address council needs to have people with specific expertise to help them do their jobs. We don't have a mechanism for doing that in our bylaws currently. And that's something that we would change.
To finish up here, one of the things that we have done since I have last reported is that we were very lucky to have German Valdez represent us on the nominations committee. And I think I can say from the address council that we, as an address council, are very appreciative of the work that the nominations committee did. They did an excellent job on very, very difficult work on a short time scale.
And, Vint, thank you.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Mark. Are there any questions for Mark? Okay. Thank you. I'd like to call on Bruce Tonkin, then, to make a report for the GNSO.
Bruce Tonkin: Thank you, Vint.
Just to reflect again on the purpose of the GNSO, it's responsible for developing and recommending to the ICANN board substantive policies relating to generic top-level domains.
We have actually got yet another new consensus policy recommendation that was approved by the GNSO council yesterday, which I think makes for the third one this year. And this is regarding the business processes for deleting second-level domains within global top-level domains.
There have been some issues where names have not been renewed by a registrant but have not subsequently become available for registration by other members of the community. And there are a number of issues surrounding why that might be occurring.
This policy basically says that names must be deleted within roughly a 45-day period after a registrant has filed to renew the name. But there are a series of extenuating circumstances defined there, including, for example, that a name may well be used by a name server that, in turn, is hosting many names. And so to delete that name server could have a serious impact on the users.
Also that registrars, to provide some more transparency into these processes, must provide their registrants with their policies surrounding deletion and renewal, and also provide information on what fees they may charge if a name is not renewed, it is subsequently deleted, and the registrant then needs to pay potentially a higher fee to retrieve the name.
Finally, there were some issues identified with the UDRP process where if a dispute was currently surrounding a domain name and the domain name was up for renewal and the registrant failed to renew the name, then the domain name could have been deleted, someone else subsequently register the name, and the dispute process have to start all over again.
So there is now a mechanism where the complainant in a dispute can, at its option, make an arrangement with the registrar to continue and renew the name until the dispute is resolved. So that's the new consensus policy recommendation.
The GNSO was also asked by the ICANN board for advice on whether the new gTLDs should be in some way pre-chosen, some sort of taxonomic structure, or whether it should be left to the market. This was something that required quite an extensive degree of discussion within the constituencies of the GNSO.
The outcome of that is that the GNSO advises the board that the expansion of the gTLD name space should be a bottom-up approach, and the names should be proposed by those individuals or organizations that wish to operate a top-level name. This expansion therefore should be demand-driven rather than defined up-front.
But furthermore, there needs to be a set of objective criteria to be met in any future expansion so that we have a very clear defined process for those individuals or organizations that wish to apply for top-level domain and that process is as objective as possible. Some ideas regarding what that set of objective criteria should be has been produced in a report by the council, which will be provided to the board for some initial ideas. It's certainly not a final result, and did not go through a formal policy development process.
The council basically recommends to the board that the criteria that it used in expanding the gTLD name space should be objective and should go through the policy development process of the GNSO.
The other main activity of the GNSO at this stage is forming a Whois privacy steering group that will determine a work program to carry out policy development surrounding the problems that have been identified with the current Whois. This steering group, as Paul has requested as ICANN President, will coordinate closely with the GAC, Whois working group, the Internet architecture board, and the ccTLDs. And that would be, obviously, through the ccNSO, if it's formed.
Another thing that was identified, and this is something that has been put in train, is to try and evaluate the initial experiment of adding seven new gTLDs and what the issues were surrounding adding those new gTLDs.
One of the issues that's been identified by some of the new operators is that users have experienced problems reaching domain names associated with those names. And part of this is because not all DNS software follows the IETF standards, and not all name servers are properly configured. And this is certainly a general issue that the security committee has identified. But this does have an impact on the registrants in those new spaces.
And this will also be an issue for the introduction of international domain names in that, again, the end user software may not be able to correctly interpret those names, and that needs to be considered.
So I guess the issue here is that we need to ensure we provide sufficient outreach to infrastructure providers, whether they are communications carriers, whether they are ISPs, or whether they're even just large corporate networks, and end users, so that we, the community, can take advantage of the improvements that are coming out from ICANN with regard to DNS structure.
Another issue that was raised was improving the coordination between the GNSO and the ICANN board. And the GNSO chair has been asked to talk to the ICANN President to look at ways we can improve the communication and dialogue so that we can ensure that the board is informed of the issues the council is currently working on.
Another thing that's become apparent is that now that the GNSO has been producing consensus policies, it is starting to create a bit of a backlog for the ICANN staff. And we need to ensure that there are sufficient staff resources to implement new policies as they are created. And these currently are in the areas of Whois and transfers.
Also, we need sufficient resources to meet the policy development process. And that requires a staff manager's report on issues before policy development is started. And, for example, we are waiting for one of those on the review of the UDRP process.
The council continues to support the creation of the ccNSO, recognizing that, originally, the old domain name supporting organization did have a constituency of country code domains. We do believe it's very important for the gTLD policy development that we can get advice and experience from the ccTLD operators, because that's a very valuable resource for us. And, hopefully, we'll be able to do that through a ccNSO. So we're welcoming progress being made there.
Finally, the council, in its meeting yesterday, in fact gave a standing ovation for Louis Touton. And those that have worked closely with the council know that they're a pretty tough crowd to impress. And I have never seen that occur within the council. And I think that shows that although they are a great deal of pressure perhaps placed on Louis from time to time, there is a huge respect for his dedication to ICANN in his role as General Counsel. And his contribution to the policy development of the GNSO has also been very significant through providing both timely and often very practical advice on often complex issues associated with the current registry/registrar agreements.
So that's all I have to present. Thanks, Vint.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much. Let's see. Karl has a question for you. So don't go away.
Karl Auerbach: Yeah.
With regard to internationalized domain names, I personally feel we're in pretty good shape on the domain names themselves and the DNS protocols. But can you give me some degree of assurance that if a customer walks up, not only with an internationalized domain name, but an internationalized address, personal name, phone number, whatever, that the registration systems will be able to accept it? And the Whois will be able to display it?
Bruce Tonkin: I'm certainly not prepared to give a personal assurance on that. But, technically, certainly the registration systems and the Whois can cope with it. Some of the registrars have already experimented with international domain names and have been able to display those. But just as the issue occurs with user software, in that the number of users of the Internet, certainly in the billions, at least we don't have that many registrars at this point.
But, obviously, as the IDNs are rolled out, there will also be a corresponding rollout of that technology through the registration systems of the different registrars and the Whois services of the different registrars.
Karl Auerbach: Just following up, I was asking about the personal information being expressed in international character sets, not about the domain name itself.
Bruce Tonkin: Right.
Karl Auerbach: So we are on.
Bruce Tonkin: The answer applies, the same answer applies.
Karl Auerbach: Okay.
Bruce Tonkin: Certainly if you're from Melbourne it's personal experience, we have had experience in that area.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Any other questions? Thank you very much, Bruce.
We have an opportunity now for public comments, if there are any, with regard to both the ASO and the GNSO reports.
So I'm going to go on to the next item, which is back to the budget.
Oh, I'm sorry. No, we actually have a break. I beg your pardon. We actually have a break. Yeah, thank goodness. So we'll break until about 2:35. Well, 2:45. So we're back here at 2:45.
Vinton Cerf: Hello? Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to reconvene the meeting now, if I could ask the directors to take their seats.
Ladies and gentlemen, if I could ask you to be seated, we'd like to continue the afternoon session with the report on the proposed 2003-2004 budget.
We have a technical announcement before we get to the budget.
John Crain: Okay, we're having trouble finding you so the people who are running as peer-to-peer networks, could you check your configuration because you're blocking other people from getting to the network. Thank you.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Paul, I'd like to call on you for the budget report, please.
Paul Twomey: Thank you, Vint.
Thank you, Vint. If I could just take the community through the 2003-2004 proposed budget ? Much of this budget was discussed in Rio, presented by Stuart Lynn, and has been discussed several times with the budget advisory group, and we met again yesterday afternoon to talk to this proposed budget.
I'd like to do basically two things. One is show you the general themes of the budget. Secondly is to take you through some of the detail and some of the changes that have taken place from the draft budget that was posted in Rio.
The key points of the budget overall, the budget is geared towards implementing the reform program developed over the last 12 months. Implementing the staff reorganization and augmentation, which I discussed earlier.
There's a program for modest outreach effort with some developing country regions, and there's an allocation to continue to fund ICANN's reserves.
Some major points that are different, major changes to the draft budget as it was posted in Rio are really geared around how to fund the organizational change. And I might just say as an aside, I think I said before, but I am stunned at the degree of work that some of the staff have been undertaking recently, and certainly the CEO, and I have to particularly mention Louis and legal counsel have taken for a period of time. It's phenomenal. And part of this restructuring and increase in the management is part of the regular cognition that no human being can keep doing the workloads these people have been doing.
So part of the change in the budget includes a $265,000 proposal to increase the staff figure. A $30,000 increase in funding support for the 2004 nominating committee. A $90,000 increase for travel to board meetings for the three members of the GNSO council, and the five members of the ALAC selected by the nominating committee.
And then to pay for these changes, a reduction of $210,000 in the travel and other meetings and administrative and systems line items. And a shifting of the June 2004 ICANN board meeting in Kuala Lumpur to July of 2004, reducing this year's financial expenditures by $175,000.
The principle behind these changes was there's to be no change to the revenue line. So the revenue line did not change from the draft budget to the final proposed budget. I just worked through in changing, with the finance committee and the budget advisory group, we worked through changing just some of the allocations in the expenditure line.
So the budget as it stands finally is a full-time employee equivalent of 38. It's up from 27 in the 2002-2003 budget. That increase represents the increased positions that the community thought were important for the implementation of reform.
Total expenditures is just under 8 million, 7.99, and total revenues is 8.6, giving us a reserve of about 600,000.
So that's the overall budget. And as you said, in aggregate the numbers are very similar to that which you saw in Rio. There's just been some shifting in some of the line areas in expenditures.
As well as that shifting, there are a number of other short-term changes to the budget which have been proposed recently, and they are basically to do with carry-forwards.
There's a number of tasks, which because of the pressures of the reform process and CEO changeover, et cetera, have not been completed, and these are being carried forward from this budget to the next budget. One is for the fit out of the office. We've got a bit of extra office space for the extra staff we haven't fitted out yet because it's been delayed.
Similarly, we've been investigating upgrading infrastructure for the l-root, and that's well in progress but we just haven't managed to get to the point of making the purchase this year so we'll make the purchase early next year.
There's money allocated for the organizing of the regional at-large organizations, and there's some tasks of the 2003 nominating committee which are not yet completed and some spillover so it's approximately $50,000.
So these are basically things, programs for this year's budget which will be carried over to next year's budget and completed in the next month or two.
That's my presentation of the budget, if there are any questions.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Let me ask if there are any questions from the board. Karl.
Karl Auerbach: Yeah. I was thinking, in terms of reserves, our target has been one year's reserves, and our budget keeps increasing. And I have concern that we're on a horse that's galloping away but the goal keeps moving further and further away.
I talked to Jonathan about this but I'm also curious to hear your opinion, and when will the budget tend to stabilize, and is one year's worth of reserves too much?
Paul Twomey: Karl, it's a good question. It's a question I've asked as well as an incoming CEO.
The cautious approach should be that you can meet all your obligations if you have to wind the company up. Plus, potentially, the position we're in of having to consider that we may be a target for legal action, and, therefore, we may need some reserves to meet those exigencies.
I can't answer you what that equals. I have actually asked the finance committee their perspective, and I've been told that the perspective is one year's revenue, has been an often benchmark figure that's been used. But it's a live question, and I can reassure you it's a question I keep asking but I can't tell you whether the answer I'm getting is incorrect or not.
Vinton Cerf: Any other questions?
Paul Twomey: Let me make it clear, as you say the budget is getting bigger but what's driving the budget bigger is personnel costs, the staff. If we have to wind the company up, there will be all sorts of costs associated with letting people go.
Vinton Cerf: One observation I would make is that historically, ICANN has operated not only on a budget but also paying close attention to its cash situation. And so despite the apparent authority to expend in the budget, expenditures have been withheld in consequence of the cash situation.
So there is some balancing there. But I do agree with Karl that it's an important question to consider. Jonathan.
Jonathan Cohen: Well, since Karl mentioned his conversation with me, I thought I should share it with you because I just gave him my personal thoughts. And after several years on the board and on this committee, my own sense of it is that we're closing in on a number that will not be increasing substantially every year.
My personal guess is we're within a couple of million dollars of a year of where the budget will settle down and only increase in relation to inflationary pressures or otherwise, and as to the reserve, I think I agree with everybody. I don't think that one year's reserve is necessarily the magic figure but certainly it will be a number of substance and certainly that will have to be worked on over the next year or two by the next finance committee.
Vinton Cerf: Alex.
Alejandro Pisanty: Paul, allow me to relay a question that has been made in public forum by a person that's not present here who is Adam Peake, and which I also endorse. He is pointing out that he didn't find any provisions for translation of documents into languages other than English.
There has been a mandate from the board to attempt this. We have all analyzed this and know how unrealistic it is to translate absolutely everything that's written about or even within ICANN. And because of the provision and volatile nature of some of it, it doesn't even make sense.
But have you already taken a look at this as CEO?
Paul Twomey: I can't say that I have looked at this myself in the last several weeks except to say that the emphasis upon having translated documents has been a product both of I think some of the discussions that take place with hosts for meetings, where there's translation and translation documentation as part of that host service, and also, I know some parts of the constituency actually do translations. The GAC, some of the GAC members ensure that there are translations of the web site in Chinese, for instance, there's a translation, and I think there's been some work done in French and other languages.
But as for actual allocation of money for the translation of documents, I couldn't answer whether that's actually informally sitting in the budget. Let me put it this way, it's something I'll take on board to look at.
Alejandro Pisanty: I think many of us who come from regions where English is not the mother language would definitely encourage you to do so. And we also point out that there have been some efforts done independently, (inaudible) and (inaudible) Martinez have undertaken and finished the translation of the bylaws, which is one of the minimal documents in that set, into Spanish, and (stating name) has done similarly for Portuguese as you are well aware.
But these are volunteer efforts, and the texts may be lacking in legal validity, as they have not been made by professional certified legal translators.
Vinton Cerf: We actually have built-in time in the calendar for the floor to ask questions about the budget, if there are any from the attendees. Apparently not. Sorry. Izumi.
Izumi Aizu: Thank you, Vint and Paul. To follow what Alejandro mentioned, it's a question I'm perhaps asking you, Paul, if you could consider to enhance more participation from the developing parts of the world to ICANN meetings. The background is there used to be some kind of external funding from the (inaudible) for other foundations to help noncommercial participants, particularly from developing countries to attend ICANN meetings. And these, somehow, funding are no longer available. Some of the guys we know very well who are serious to participate are not able to come to this meeting in Montreal. And unless there's a measure taken -- I'm not asking ICANN, per se, to fund this, but if we together work to seek for external funding, there are certain areas that we can do. And it relates also to the ALAC participation. So I think if you could consider it within the, you know, framework, that would be great.
Paul Twomey: Thanks for that. Thanks for that, and one of the things I could say is that part of having a modest outreach program is having a bit of our own money on the table for a program I'd like to do this year of engaging other parties who are involved in helping to fund developing country outreach so we can be a partner in actually also engaging them in potential funding. So I think, Izumi, that's a good idea.
Vint, perhaps I can report that I'm told that the mailbox for comments on the budget consists of, presently, 695 mails. 694 of those are spam, and one is on topic from Adam Peake.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you. I thought you were going to say 694 were males and one was female.
Willie Black: Stuart Lynn promised a couple of years ago he wanted to push the process of internationalization of the staff. Now the staff has grown from 10 members to 38. Could you say something about your strategy and how many non-Americans are now working in Marina Del Rey, and do you plan to open an office elsewhere in the world next to Marina Del Rey?
Paul Twomey: I reckon the most important staff member is not an American.
Paul Twomey: Sorry, that wasn't as funny as I thought, anyway.
Paul Twomey: We have, if I think about it quickly, we have most of our recent hires are non-Americans from the Europe and Asia-pacific and Africa, and we're certainly, in our hiring process now, very much geared towards a professional hiring program based on skills and very clear outlines of the position required and looking for international applications. So one of the reasons for posting as many as five senior positions prior to Montreal was partly to send a message to the community that we're looking for applicants that you may know for those positions from around the world, and that's part of our aim to continue doing that.
In terms of opening offices in other parts of the world, I couldn't make a comment on that at the moment but I certainly would say there's an increasing demand, if you like the globalizing demands upon us. It doesn't strike me as unnatural you're asking the question.
Karl Auerbach: Just a follow-up on that. What sort of problems, if any, are we having with respect to U.S. work laws and getting permits and the like for non-U.S. residents? Is it a problem, is actually what I'm asking.
Paul Twomey: It's specific by specific. Perhaps I can turn your question a little bit the other way. Can I just say that as the organization internationalizes its labor force, I think it needs to recognize that it's going to need to have some flexibility? It's the old thing of one size does not fit all.
So it's the old thing of where are you coming from and your home jurisdiction issues, you may need some combinations of what you need to do to make things work. That's my answer because you'll find we have different solutions for people from different parts of the world, driven as much by the home rules as by anything in the U.S.
Vinton Cerf: Jonathan.
Jonathan Cohen: Sorry, just a quick comment. My earlier statement, we were within a couple million dollars. Let's see, funding outreach, translation cost, and opening an office elsewhere, all certainly worthy causes, three or four or five million.
Vinton Cerf: And you weren't volunteering to contribute that, I assume.
Jonathan Cohen: (Inaudible).
Alejandro Pisanty: Sorry, Paul. On the outreach effort, again I think we have an opportunity of multiplying it by using the Internet itself and other networks and ways of diffusing this at a distance. We already have an example of an outreach meeting in Mexico and I will be volunteering and offering to call on our and other institutions to support this.
Vinton Cerf: Are there any other questions? Sorry. Oh, Nii.
Nii Quaynor: Yeah, I think on underlaying some of these concerns is what we may anticipate for 2004-2005. Are we going to continue the same growth rate in head counts or are you beginning to see it stabilize? And since you indicated that's a major portion of the budget.
So there's a clear growth rate, and one is wondering whether we are tapering off or we are still ramping up.
Paul Twomey: Can I answer that question purely on a personal level? Because I'm hesitant to make any forecast sufficiently for that far out. But if I can make the personal observation, when ICANN was first founded, the issues that were engaging ICANN were in the green paper stated as North American issues. When eventually it became a white paper process, it was sort of an OECD country-level type issues.
What clearly the case now is the issues of ICANN and the Internet are truly global, engaging more and more of the developing world. And it strikes me the cost imposition on the organization in such an environment is going to be both horizontal and vertical. The vertical is around the issue, horizontal is around the engagement. I can suspect the vertical may begin to stabilize but we may still have challenges on the horizontal about how we engage.
And if we do do that, we must be very committed to partnerships. Even if we were to have another range of growth for that engagement broader in the world, we must not try to do things by ourselves. We should try to do very much in partnership.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. I think we need to move on to the next topic.
Thank you very much, Paul. Andrew, would you like to bring us up-to-date on the IDN implementation?
Andrew McLaughlin: Thanks. This is going to be a brief update on the status of IDN issues within the ICANN context.
First of all, the IDN implementation guidelines, as you may have seen, last week, version 1.0 of these was posted. You shouldn't think of this as a best practices document, because we all recognize we don't know what the best practices are with IDNs. We're just beginning to find it. Instead it's really a four-point set of good practices, common-sense good practices.
It was developed by a group of registries together with ICANN, CNNIC, TWNIC, JPRS, Afilias; we also had participation from VeriSign, KRNIC and others. And they have been agreed to by CNNIC, TWNIC, JPRS and Afilias.
The consensus was to post them as they now stand as a version 1.0. There is a consensus that we will review and revise this as we go along and gain experience. This is not really a document with any kind of magical, formal status but rather a snapshot of where the IDN registries now think the best launch approach lies.
The group that developed it is just simply those registries that showed up to work on it together. So any other registries are welcome to join, to consider supporting them, to consider suggesting improvements to them. This is not a static document, we hope, but one that will change with time.
Issue number 2 is IDN authorizations. We talked about this in Rio. Those registries that have ICANN agreements require authorization to begin registrations of IDNs. Specifically, that means registrations of domain names with hyphens in the third and fourth positions under the IDNA standards documents, that's how you encode your non-ASCII characters in ASCII.
And so the actual authorization process is simple. The registry sends a two-paragraph note to ICANN and ICANN sends back an authorization. But we needed an objective basis for authorization, and as we presented in Rio and as the board approved, the guidelines document is the basis for that authorization.
So of the registries under agreement, we've now done authorizations with JP and TW.
We have yet to do Afilias, VeriSign, and any of the other gTLDs or ccTLDs that have ICANN agreements. We're in discussion with VeriSign right now. We expect to do the authorization for Afilias on the basis of the guidelines, and so far none of the other gTLDs or ccTLDs that have agreements have come forward, but we expect it to be a relatively painless process for the remainder.
I should also say that the IDN registry implementation committee which is maybe a little bit misnamed in the sense that it's not so much a committee as it is an informal registry committee coordinating group, ICANN's role is to provide a mailing list and to participate in the discussions.
We target the list for project manager types at the registries. It's supposed to be an implementation group and not a policy discussion group. The list is open. You should tell me if any of you out there in the audience would like to join; please do. The objective is to learn from each other, to share implementation experiences, to discuss any common IDN issues.
For example, some of the next steps will be setting up a general IDN information web site that will collect IDN registration policies, and any character equivalents or variants tables. We're currently engaged in discussions on the Chinese character variant tables. This is to a large extent a matter of the Chinese speaking registries educating the rest of us about the nature of their guidelines. They have been working extremely hard together with the KRNIC and JPRS on a joint engineering team document for IDN registrations using Han characters and their relatives.
Likewise, there is now discussion about the need for variants tables for Cyrillic, Greek, roman and Armenian character sets which have a whole series of extremely difficult headaches associated with them. Also the Arabic language and a number of others.
We're going to be, in some way, shape or form, hoping to facilitate registry dialogue with browser makers because at the browser level, the client level, it's quite important. That would apply I suppose to e-mail clients and so forth as well.
There's a pending question about how best to publish implementation documents like character variants tables, and there's some discussion about whether the IANA might establish a registry that would simply list in number versions a number of IDN character tables as they are finalized by the local community groups.
There is a meeting tonight. It's a continuation of a get-together we had yesterday, from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. as I said before it's really targeted towards project managers for IDN at registries. Any kind of registry.
See me if you're interested in joining us. We had good dialogue yesterday, and we'll be focusing on some of the issues I mentioned and some others when we meet later tonight.
That's the status report.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Andrew. Amadeu.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: Okay. I have one question for Andrew -
Andrew McLaughlin: Speak into the mic.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: I have one question for Andrew and two questions not for Andrew but other participants if they are in the room.
The question for you is regarding the authorization you mentioned to go ahead on that. And while it's my understanding that one thing is the technical problems here and implementation problems but there are all sorts of different policy problems. For all purposes, introducing these sort of characters, like introducing a new TLD and you have the land rush problems et cetera.
So I hope this is not simply a sort of administrative authorization but we will have discussion on how to do that from the traditional policy place, and also from the ICANN processes in order to launch that.
And then I would have a question for any representative of KRNIC and VeriSign if they are in the room as to whether or not they could explain us what are, in their view, the things that have made that they are not adhering to the guidelines yet, and whether it's a question of process or serious problems with the guidelines as they are.
Andrew McLaughlin: We should say about KRNIC that they don't have a contract with ICANN. So we actually have never looked at them to look for formal approval. The CNNIC people stepped forward and said they wanted to endorse the guidelines because they agreed with them. So I wouldn't put KRNIC in the same category as VeriSign. I don't know if there's a VeriSign person who wants to comment on it.
Neil Edwards: Do I need a microphone?
Andrew McLaughlin: We're web casting, so?
Vinton Cerf: We can't do the transcript for people who are out there observing on the net without the microphone.
Neil Edwards: So VeriSign's position is very simple. We've helped develop the guidelines, and we're implementing them. I think our only issue is that we think point one we agree should be manned degree. That's compliance with the RFC's. We think points two through six quite honestly are going to change and really our only objection is the use of "will" versus "should" in the language. And we're working through that with ICANN right now.
Andrew McLaughlin: Yeah, we basically are in violent agreement about the substance of the guidelines, and we are having the kind of discussion we often fall into here about the helping verbs in this case, not even the verbs. And we'll work through it, I'm sure.
Neil Edwards: Yeah. And we're actually well down the road to implementing most of the guidelines in our program. So we're supportive of working with ICANN on this.
Vinton Cerf: The implication I would take from that is even if VeriSign didn't sign the agreement, it may still wind up actually operating the system with a capability to do IDNs.
Okay. Are there any other questions for Andrew on IDN?
Amadeu Abril I Abril: You haven't said anything about the question of policy implications and implementation of a sort of land rush when launching this service.
Andrew McLaughlin: This won't answer your question directly, but it's an excuse to make a point, which is that on the ICANN side, we've viewed IDNs as a registry problem. It's a registry issue, registry problem, and registry task. It's not an ICANN issue, fundamentally. And what that means is that each registry has the freedom and flexibility to do what it thinks is best for its TLD and its community and so forth. That's especially true in the ccTLD community.
So the guidelines document that you see is a kind of set of very general commitments to think really hard before you deploy a character set related to a language or group of languages, so that you are sure that you're thinking through the problems. It's kind of the registry's commitment to the community to do that.
But we have not viewed it as an ICANN problem to get into the prescriptive details. And I think it will be an interesting details for a ccNSO or for the GNSO to consider the common problems to the extent that the registries think there are common problems. But fundamentally this is a registry issue to be resolved by the registries, not on a global level. Other than technical standards, which of course are global.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: When you say on ICANN side, there's the thinking, please say on the ICANN staff side. I can provide you a long list of ICANN members who would not agree, including on the board.
Andrew McLaughlin: Yes, although we're working off the board's Rio resolution, which gave us instructions on how to do authorizations.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Any other questions? .Thank you very much, Andrew.
Okay. Paul, we're ready to move on to the TLD program status.
Paul Twomey: Thank you, Vint.
There is a presentation on this which I'll ensure is put up on the web site, but which I won't go through in presentation. Perhaps I'll just speak to it over the next five minutes or so.
There's presently, as required by the board, a review being undertaken of the seven new gTLDs that were launched in the first stage, at least, of the test bed process for new TLDs. The purpose of this report is to evaluate the lessons learned from the introduction of seven new gTLDs and to report them back to the community with some expectation that would be an educational input to any further consideration about what should happen with liberalization of gTLD allocation.
The piece of work has commenced. It's not yet been completed. But perhaps I might just give you some sense of the timing and what's being looked at.
Just to remind you that the new gTLDs that are being sort of evaluated in terms of the implementation experience has been sponsored TLDs that have been restricted; that is .museum, .aero, .co-op. Unsponsored TLDs are .biz, .name, .pro and an unsponsored gTLD, which is unrestricted, .info. So they fall into three classifications.
And the questions that were set the evaluation program were set by the TLD advisory committee, which is to provide overall coordination and guidance to the evaluation team in conjunction with the coordinator. The coordinator Sebastien. Sebastien, perhaps you'll stand and wave.
Sebastien is looking to speak to many people during this next couple of days, and if you want to talk about experiences of the introduction to the new TLDs, you need to speak to Sebastien.
And the TEAC is still having coordination of the evaluation team. They sent 12 questions to be evaluated, and they're really in subgroups. I won't go through what's actually closer to 40 questions but I might just go through the subgroups so that you have some idea.
The subgroups are the technical impact of new TLDs, the performance of the DNS, Whois questions, competition issues, operational aspects of the startup phases, legal aspects of the startup phases, the legal framework, experience in legal framework, any experience (inaudible), continuity of service and ICANN processes.
There's a series of about another 30 questions that really fall off those 12. 24, 30 questions which are being explored by the group. The timetable is from March to July of 2003.
The President appoints the TEAC and there's an evaluation plan.
And here in Montreal, they are in contact with the 7 registries and also in contact with the registrar constituency. And there's a series of evaluation teams being set up under those various headings. Between now and September, they will be doing that evaluation. And we aim to have by October a draft final evaluation report issued for community comments. The aim would be to have this piece of work done for the Carthage meeting. And again I would repeat, this is an evaluation of the experience of the first part of the test bed, if you like. And it's considered to be a report back to the board and to the community as a whole about the lessons learned.
It's not a report coming back saying what should happen in the future. It is an input for consideration by the community in a broader conversation about what should happen in the future, not a report back saying, you know, "dear board, please do the following."
If there are any questions, perhaps it's best to do them directly through to me or I would direct you to Sebastien offline.
Vinton Cerf: Okay.
Well, I want to hold questions on this topic until we get through one more piece. And then we'll have wrap-up questions. But thank you very much, Paul.
Paul Twomey: I will have a PowerPoint version of this put into the record.
Vinton Cerf: Yes, we'll do that.
So the next topic is the sponsored TLD RFP. And Louis Touton is going to present that now. Thank you, Louis.
Louis Touton: Yes. Thank you, Vint.
I'm going to ask Dan to put up on the screen a draft Request For Proposal, staff draft that was put up yesterday morning. And let me begin by going through in just a bit the background of this document.
In late 2002, August 2002, the ICANN board accepted the report of the new TLD evaluation process planning task force and directed then-president Stuart Lynn to prepare a plan for action on how to move forward with new TLDs.
Stuart presented that plan at the Shanghai meeting in a PowerPoint presentation later posted on the web, which described a three-point proposal for moving forward in the process of new TLDs based on the final report of the new TLD evaluation process planning task force.
The three points to his proposal or plan were, first, to study the items identified by the final report of the NTEPPTF, as it is called, and to prioritize in that study the 12 or 14 high-priority topics, the task force actually identified I believe about three to four times that number of topics that were of interest and relevant.
But it also realized that they could not all be studied in any relevant time frame and that there would have to be prioritization of certain more important issues. Paul Twomey has just described the progress on that evaluation.
The second point of the plan was well, then the domain name supporting organization in Shanghai, now the GNSO, to address a question regarding whether the domain name space should be structured, and if so, how. And Bruce Tonkin in his status report today, described the conclusions of the GNSO council conveyed to the board on that topic.
The third point of Stuart's plan for action was to proceed in parallel with a limited introduction of sponsored TLDs. And that's mainly what I'm here to talk about today.
The reason for Stuart's recommendation as described in his document was that there seemed to be a pretty broad feeling that a limited number of TLDs in the sponsored category, which are highly restricted domains for a specific purpose that are actually run not only by a registry operator, but have a sponsor dedicated to the particular community they serve in a way that ICANN is dedicated to the entire Internet community, was not likely to create significant problems and that while there was substantial questions about how best to proceed forward in the general topic of introducing new top-level domains, that it might be prudent to look at whether some limited number of sponsored TLDs should be introduced.
I should just highlight what Paul has given in his presentation is that, going back to the first point, the study. That study is an important part but not the entirety of the analysis of how to move forward. It's really just generating the facts and the evaluation upon which that analysis might be based.
At the Rio de Janeiro meeting, a set of criteria was presented for a possible RFP in parallel for a limited number of sponsored TLDs, and discussed. And the board directed the staff to move forward and prepare a draft of such a Request For Proposal. We were finally able to complete that task in the early hours of yesterday. And let me just go through the elements of it. It's posted on our web site.
The lead document is a Request For Proposal itself, which is displayed up there. And it describes the general nature of the request for proposal and how the process is intended to work. It is, in an effort to learn from prior processes, refined in certain ways.
First, as proposed by Stuart, it involves only sponsored top-level domains. In the 2000 process, from which 7 were selected, 7 top-level domains were selected, both unsponsored and sponsored top-level domains were invited, proposals for them were invited. And people came forward with varying proposals in each category.
The fundamental difference is that an unsponsored top-level domain is intended to be a general-purpose, those perhaps restricted top-level domain, the policies for which are generated within ICANN and the ICANN process. It's recognized that there was some interest at the time for smaller top-level domains that were dedicated to particular communities; the three that were ultimately chosen in the 2000 process were the museum community, the aeronautics industry community, and the community of cooperative business associations and other associations.
But that these restricted communities could better be served not by ICANN, but by an organization that operated in an open and transparent way to develop policy, and unlike in the case of unsponsored TLDs where ICANN would select the registry operator, the sponsor would select the registry operator and would generate the appropriate policies in the context of the sponsor operating with an overriding obligation to serve the interests of the sponsored TLD community.
The basic elements as described in the RFP are that there should be a clearly-defined community that is to be served by the TLD, that it, the sponsor, should have a structure that assures that it operates openly and transparently and with an overriding responsibility to the sponsored TLD community. And that it should propose procedures for a development of policy that are responsive to the needs of the STLD community. Once such a sponsor is located and identified and ICANN moves forward, there has been developed a contractual regime between ICANN and the sponsor that is actually a delegation of a portion of ICANN's authority to that sponsored TLD to act as the policy development body for that sponsored purpose.
The sponsored TLD agreements have been developed on that basis in the context of museum, aero, and coop. And they do, in fact, from a legal point of view depend importantly on the sponsor having the appropriate characteristics, including having an overriding responsibility to the sponsored TLD community, rather than being a strictly commercial concern with a disjoint set of investors to which it owes its legal obligations.
One of the restrictions stated in the RFP is that it is targeted at those who in the 2000 process applied for sponsored TLDs. It proposes an application fee reduced to $25,000. The purpose of this limitation is several-fold.
First, the legitimacy of Stuart Lynn's proposal in going forward is founded on proceeding as an extension of the existing proof of concept. Under ICANN's procedures, embarking on a wholly new plan for expansion of the name space and opening things up to those who did not previously participate would involve concerns about properly following the bottom-up process to which ICANN is dedicated and to which Paul Twomey just described a plan for building a bottom-up policy development process to figure out how, in the long range, to introduce new top-level domains, given the concerns that the way that has been followed in the past could be improved in several regards.
Nevertheless, we have embarked on a few improvements, based on experience, that are obvious adjustments in our view. First, with regard to sponsored TLDs, there are some new provisions in the RFP concerning backup and restoral of recovery services.
Essentially, recognizing two factors. One is the sponsored TLD, to the extent it's small, probably has less demanding requirements for having a full backup and restoral scheme. And secondly, that to the extent that the sponsor proposes to use a registry operator that is already well-recognized and operating under ICANN contract, that there is a higher degree of confidence that backup and restoral will not be necessary. However, if, on the other hand, it's an untested registry operator, a more elaborate description of the backup and restoral system should be required.
The other, I think, big refinement or the prior processes is really some learning not only from the 2000 process, but also from the org reallocation process. And it proposes that to use an outside, independent evaluating firm to do the actual evaluation based on transparent and presently provided evaluation criteria and scoring systems. In the 2000 process, there was some outside help on various fronts, but there were no real conclusions given. And the board was left to try to devise which seven applicants were most attractive for inclusion in the proof of concept.
In the org process, we did inaugurate the notion of using outside evaluators. And that worked pretty well, I think to most people's satisfaction. And the proposal is to continue that and to have an even more detailed initial set of evaluation criteria, which I'll go through and show you in a moment. The notion is that the evaluator would package up its report.
There may be a few elements to be added in terms of legal additions and so forth. But that that would be packaged up and presented to the board with a set of prevailing applicants with the notion that the board would either vote it up or send it back. This is in line with some directions that many in the community have indicated that they would like to regularize the process.
It's certainly not getting to the ultimate regularization of the process of having a steady, established process under well-known criteria to move forward with the expansion of the name space. That kind of reformation would clearly require development of a full bottom-up process. This process, for the reasons given, is proposed to be held open to the existing applicants that for sponsored TLDs in 2000 that were not selected. And there are 18 of them. And with the view, as envisioned by the board, that this would result in a limited number of sponsored top-level domains, based on updated applications provided by those applicants. And, in many cases, it's probably true that they could considerably improve on their applications.
There may be some that were never discontinued to be sponsored top-level domains. But that would be a matter for the outside evaluators.
Let me just spend a moment going through the elements of the RFP, which is up on the screen. Well, actually, the evaluation criteria are now up on the screen.
But going back to the RFP, there is a transmittal form that is very similar to the 2000 round-sponsored TLD transmittal form going through -- you know, I'm providing all these documents. I understand these are the rules. And so on and so forth.
In addition, there is a sponsoring organization application form or proposal which lays those out and describes what is the definition of the community, what are the characteristics of the sponsor that make it having an overriding obligation to serve the interests of that community, whether it has support in the community, and what it proposes to use in order to be responsive to the needs of the community that's involved.
Next, there's a registry operator's proposal that has, really, two options, option A and option B. If I'm recalling right, option A is an extremely short form, or perhaps short-form notation that is proposed already be involved in an agreement and operating a registry under agreement with ICANN. And the other one is for other situations, to open it up and not restrict it to those existing registries, but requires a bit more detail, since they would be unfamiliar to ICANN.
The next element is a selection criteria. And this document was presented partly or an earlier version of this document was presented in Rio. As you will see, it has a scoring system in which there are various categories. And those applicants that receive adequately large numbers in each category would be included as a positive recommendation in a package to be delivered to the board and up for its evaluation.
The time line, proposed time line for the process, as I say, these just went up yesterday. We have solicited comments. We have received a few already. And I may have to put my glasses on to say what the proposal is.
That there be questions regarding the RFP, that there be comments on it, that it be finalized, that proposals come in then, and that the evaluation process go forward more or less on the model and schedule that was used in the relatively successful .org RFP process.
With that, is there a question slot now, Vint?
Vinton Cerf: Yes. Let's see. Amadeu. Did I see Karl's hand up also?
Karl Auerbach: Not yet.
Vinton Cerf: I'm trying to be clairvoyant, Karl. Amadeu.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: Okay. Thanks.
I will try not to comment too long, because for the board supposedly is tomorrow to comment. But I would simply say that in my personal view, Louis, frankly, this reflects what I understood were the board understandings.
Even if I missed part of the June 2 teleconference where you were discussing that, my recollection from Shanghai, to answer them, to Rio, was that we were always talking about reopening that for sponsored TLDs, and we were never thinking about limiting that to the applications that were there in October 2000.
The second thing is that even though we do that, the line between what is sponsored and unsponsored is quite thin. We would agree on extremes, but, for instance, .pro could have been drafted as a sponsored TLD somehow.
And many others that were sponsored TLDs at that time, in reality, they looked like unsponsored TLDs. They were very close to others that were approved like unsponsored TLDs. So there is not quite clear a difference here. So for the distinction you make.
So I dispute both of them, the distinction for only those that were sponsored TLDs in 2000, and the second and most importantly, only for those who were readmitted. Three years later, the world has changed a lot. And I think we cannot seriously pretend that we should restrict to that.
A second thing is that, frankly, I can't say that quite (inaudible) because I wasn't (inaudible) that at that time. I won't be at the next selection because I am leaving the board tomorrow.
Quite frankly, many of those that weren't picked up in 2000 really deserved not to be picked up then and now. Even those that were picked up at that time. But that's different.
The next thing is the question of the registry operator that you mentioned here. And I think that here we all understand that we need a process for somehow accrediting registry operators. What worries me is doing that in parallel here and saying that registry operators that have already contracts or agreements, I think it says here, which means basically unsponsored registry operators, because perhaps I'm wrong, but let's take, for instance, Poptel for dot-com, or dot aero -- they are operating with registry operators, but they have no agreement.
It's the sponsor organization that has the agreement, not the registry operator. Let's think JPNIC or whoever. I don't think they are interested. But probably they would also have the capability. Or even other parties, I don't know who.
But probably we should uncouple that and not put what, in my view, looks like a pressure on the applicants to select one of the existing unsponsored TLD operators to be the safer way not to have problems in this concrete process.
And these were some of the comments. I have many more, but I think probably many other people will have them.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, Amadeu. Karl.
Karl Auerbach: (inaudible) Yeah, this is a lot to absorb in a short time. But my questions are somewhat focused.
The first one is about the backup and restore. Is that sort of an alternate word for the escrow system?
Louis Touton: For the what system?
Karl Auerbach: For the data backup and restoration?
Louis Touton: Yes. It's to capture the notion which is in the current agreements of not only periodic backup of the registry database, but also a plan for actually using that backup, which has been raised as a concern and an inadequacy, perhaps, that is being addressed in various discussions.
But, you know, just having a disk drive put on your desk there probably doesn't allow you to immediately start operating a registry or even in the near future.
Stuart Lynn, in his presentation in Shanghai, you may note, advocated very strongly the use of what he called a buddy system of having relationships among registries to try to spread the capabilities.
There were some comments that we received in reaction to the document that Stuart presented there that it was a bit too prescriptive, and particularly where there were, you know, existing arrangements that had inspired enough confidence by other means that there should be some flexibility to allow that.
So the RFP has been recast to provide or to invite proposals about how both the backup and the restoration of service, perhaps by a new operator, can be dealt with.
There's also some provisions in there that I should mention regarding failure of the sponsor, which is a unique issue for sponsored TLDs. The draft provides that in that instance, that the agreement between the sponsor and its selected registry operator must provide ICANN the option to essentially pick up as the emergency sponsoring organization and allow it to succeed, if it wishes, to the rights of of the defunct sponsor for a one-year period with the registry operator.
Karl Auerbach: Yeah. Given our lack of motion on escrow with the existing system, would the intention be to look at this as something we could back port to the existing agreements?
Louis Touton: I think that's right.
I mean, in fact, we do have escrows for the large gTLD registries right now that are taken on a weekly full backup, daily incremental backup basis. But I think there's a broad perception among many of the registries and certainly among ICANN staff that a weakness in that is we don't have a quick way to actually put that data into operations.
I mean, you wouldn't lose resolution service. You'd still use the same zone files. But as people want updates, you can't last too long with that before it gets to be a really big problem.
Karl Auerbach: About a week.
The other question I have is, with respect to some of the preferences for existing registries, I understand that is a matter of looking essentially; it's a known quantity. But I'm wondering how we deal without that becoming essentially a preference for incumbents.
Louis Touton: I think that's fair and one thing raised by Amadeu in his comments also. And it's a balance between do you really want to require a bunch of data from somebody where you already know the data, which seems like a futile exercise, or do you want to be across the board for everybody.
And I think you've identified the concerns.
If they're an unknown quantity, you need the data. If they're a known quantity, you have less need for the data.
Karl Auerbach: I don't want to unfairly rule out any new candidates. Because I think part of our goal is to expand the number of providers of these services rather than keeping it within a fairly close circle.
Louis Touton: I think that's right, though it's probably not too likely in the context of this particular proposed RFP for a limited number of sponsored TLDs, which would be small TLDs, that you're going to support much in terms of additional back-end infrastructure on the business that's involved here.
Vinton Cerf: Let me suggest that we not have that debate now. If we need to talk about it, it would be tomorrow. I saw Helmut's hand.
Anyone else? We also have people waiting on the floor here. So I'd ask the board to be a little circumspect about this. Helmut.
Helmut Schink: Thank you, Vint. I have a more or less procedural question.
In chapter 3, there is obviously a factual mistake, since it makes reference to a board's preliminary decision. In the minutes, there's no reference to this. And as far as I remember, the discussions in the board we had, there was no such conclusions as to limit the RFP to the applications, which have been on the table in 2000.
So my question is concerning how do we kind of correct this mistake, which can, of course, happen? Should we withdraw this document or should we issue a correction of the document after intensive board discussion?
Louis Touton: Helmut, I dispute your premise. I was the secretary for the meeting, and I have notes about it. So, you know, obviously, it's up to the board to give direction. There was no formal action by the board. There was guidance, though. And it seemed clear to me.
Vinton Cerf: We'll take this up offline, then. Did I see, Sang-Hyon, did you have your hand up?
Sang-Hyon Kyong: The posting clearly says that it's a draft for public comment.
And I would like to ask you what the process is from this point on are you contemplating before making this a formal final request for proposal?
Louis Touton: Okay. Dan, if you could put up the schedule.
Okay. So this is a schedule that's posted there from the final release of the RFP. And you're asking about the prior release.
In the case of our intent is to use the mechanism used for .org, which was, I believe, on may 1st of 2002 a draft RFP was put up. A comment request was put up, and e-mail comments were received. There was then informal discussion with the board on how to adjust things from those comments. There then was a final set of RFP documents, which was revised from the initial set and gave, at the very bottom, an explanation of all the changes and why they were made. And then that would start the "r" date, as I understand it, and move forward from there.
Vinton Cerf: Okay; thank you, Louis. I'd like to entertain questions or comments from the floor. Jason.
Jason Hendeles: Hi. My name is Jason Hendeles. I represent ICM registry.
In November 2000, ICM registry was one of 37 applicants that was not selected by ICANN as part of the original proof of concept. ICM registry proposed to operate an adult content top-level domain, and over the past three years the company has engaged in a significant outreach program within the adult content community to support a sponsored adult content top-level domain.
In my hand, I have the letters of support from some of the major content providers from across the globe from the adult content industry, including the United States, Canada, England, Spain, and Australia. However, ICM registry's outreach and consensus building has not been limited just to adult content web masters but has included the language providers for speech organizations and various child advocacy groups.
After three years of consensus building, ICM registry is confident that a sponsored adult content registry is the best way to proceed. Specifically, a sponsoring entities that would be responsible for best policy practices for the adult TLD.
When I began to discuss expanding this concept there were representations made that any new round of applications would be opened and there would be no preferential treatment given to previous nonselected applicants. Unfortunately in the latest draft for sponsored TLDs, it appears that ICANN has moved the goal post and is now proposing to allow only those nonselected sponsored applications from 2000 to submit a new bid.
ICM's original proposal in 2000 was not sponsored because the sponsoring framework was in the process of formation during the application time line. At the time, this fact was immaterial in terms of our technical and financial merit, the criteria by which ICANN was evaluating our proposal. However, what this now means is that under the proposed RFP, our company would be prohibited from submitting our enhanced proposal.
Providing a preferential right to nonselected sponsored applications from 2000 would not only set an unfair precedent but would be inconsistent with ICANN's bylaws.
ICM registry strongly believes all interested parties should be permitted to submit a sponsored application to ICANN's expanded sponsored TLD proof of concept.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, Jason.
Werner Staub: My name is Werner Staub. I'm for CORE Council of Registrars.
I have a number of comments, some of which relate to what was said before about the RFP that we only have learned about yesterday.
Overall I would say we're trying to go more quickly and we'll end up going more slowly because of trying to do things inappropriately in a sense of not doing the process that would normally be done.
Normally, we would say a TLD application is something for the long run, and we would not say it is something to do right now because an open evaluation process that we want to close.
If we stick to that, we go into adjustments of the RFP to say we want to restrict the number of applicants, we want to restrict the time that it takes to allow to prepare proposals, we want to restrict it to things we propose three years ago, and we want to restrict it to operators, or almost restrict it to operators that are currently incumbents.
Essentially, we are pushing to the lowest common denominator; we are pushing for the worst quality of applications if you're not letting people to take the time and the quality it takes to put forward good applications.
If we talk about sponsored TLDs, we talk about communities who have their own processes, who actually, within their own community, have an obligation to make sure they do the right thing.
I'm not sure how a community such as, in my case, the (inaudible) for health which is a huge community and certainly represented appropriately with the who, or post which certainly is represented appropriately with the universal postal union, they have processes that do not work within four weeks. It is not possible for them to come forward in that time.
We would serve the community better here, here I talk about the ICANN community, if we say, indeed, we have a current framework but it is an open framework, it takes the time that is necessary. There would be every six months an agenda item on the ICANN board for those applications. The RFP may evolve over time, but we should be able to offer those respective communities who want to submit specialized TLD proposals to guarantee that they're going to be listened to when they're ready. And this may take a year or more in some cases.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you. This suggests a kind of pipeline process as opposed to a one-shot arrangement. Ron.
Ron Andruff: Thank you, good afternoon. My name is Ron Andruff; I'm with Tralliance Corporation. We thank the board as well as the ICANN staff, considering the considerable amount of transition and final ERC work they have been undertaking in these last days, for bringing forward this long awaited sponsored top-level domain RFP.
While it's taken some time, we are pleased that it provides the ICANN community with substantial progress on the issue of new top-level domains. This is a milestone in the dialogue on logical expansion of the name space, and one, which the travel and tourism industry, for one, is extremely grateful to see.
We need to give the documentation more careful study; however, in keeping with our comments noted in Rio and the public comment section on the proposed criteria on the ICANN web site, we would lick to respond to the issue of the definition of sponsor.
We feel that any legal entity which has the ability to commit the necessary resources, managerial and financial, on behalf of the constituency it serves, coupled with the policy making body which is representative of that community, should be allowed to be a sponsor of an STLD.
The burden of requiring a global constituency or sponsored community to establish a new organization with the requisite staff and funding to assume responsibility for selecting the registry operator, establish roles played by the registrars, et cetera, is, we believe, more onerous in its implementation than may have been contemplated in the drafting of this RFP.
The implication of the current definition of sponsor forestalls organizations such as ours which are willing to take the financial risk and put forward the resources, as Tralliance has for these past two years.
We believe that this definition creates a layer of organizational structure that is unnecessary and cumbersome. Therefore, we would respectfully request that it be expanded to allow the sponsored community to rely on organizations such as Tralliance Corporation to fulfill these functions on its behalf. Lest we forget, an ICANN-sponsored top-level domain agreement signed by the sponsor is a renewable contract. So clearly, a sponsored community retains an ability to change its sponsor should that sponsor not appropriately be meeting the needs of that community.
Now that the RFP for the STLD's is on the table, we look forward to working with the board and the community to expeditiously complete this process, and we trust that the release of .travel will not be unduly delayed. It is our hope that the incoming board also recognizes and understands how important this sponsored top-level domain is to the travel and tourism industry.
In real terms this constituency represents more than 490 million jobs worldwide, more than $4.5 million of economic activity, and more than 10% of the total world's gross domestic product. As a driver of the global economy, the community has called on ICANN to grant the top-level domain to specifically assist it in its recovery.
The expeditious award will benefit ICANN, the ICANN community, Internet users the world over, and the travel and tourism constituency enormously.
Thank you for delivering the draft RFP here in Montreal, and for your consideration of our request. And on a personal note I'd like to thank all of the outgoing board members. You've done an exceptional job through very difficult circumstances. Thank you.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Ron.
Ray Fassett: Hello, my name Ray Fassett and I'm here as an individual and a sponsored TLD applicant that did not file as part of the first round.
So certainly the language that came out in the RFP yesterday seemed out of left field to me. I think it's inconsistent with the proof of concept in that it was stated then that there would be no preferential treatment for anybody that filed as part of the proof of concept. But in fact, this upcoming round is, indeed, going to be preferential treatment to those applicants at that time.
Secondly, I think it's inconsistent with Dr. Lynn's document that he made in October 2002. There was no language or as conservative as that document was, there was no language to the extent that it would be any new round would be limited to just the first-round STLD applicants.
Thirdly, it is inconsistent with the march document, the preliminary RFP, that's only about 90 days old regarding limiting this upcoming round to only first-round applicants and in summary it's a very exclusionary approach because I can tell you as much as I'm standing here you just knocked us out of the box. Anybody that looks on the ICANN web site right now and reads this RFP is reading to the extent that this RFP reflects the board's thinking in that regard. And I don't know where that came from. I'm not even sure if that's true or not. But I can tell you that third parties that are not here today, reading your web site right now, that's what they believe. And I'm looking to find out if that is, indeed, the case or not, of the board. Is this what the board thinks?
Thank you very much.
Vinton Cerf: Becky.
Becky Burr: My name is Becky Burr. Thank you for staff of ICANN for putting this on the table. And also I want to commend the improvements in the application process that eliminates some of the paperwork.
I have what may be a very mundane question, or maybe it's a mundane suggestion. But given the decision to go with the sponsored top-level domains submitted the last time, it certainly makes sense to make the requirement that you have that the proposal be substantively the same. What I'm not sure is the requirement to make the strings the same because in the intervening three years a community may have thought of a name that more appropriately captures what they're doing or there may be two parts of a community that have come together. So my only suggestion is make sense to have the concept be the same. I'm not sure it makes sense to keep the strings the same.
Louis Touton: Thank you for that suggestion. Let me just ask you, Becky, a question if I might.
I believe that the requirement, the dual requirements to have the application be substantially the same and have the strings be substantially the same, were, indeed, thought to be interrelated in requiring the second tended to make the first come true. Do you see any merit in that logic?
Becky Burr: I can understand the reasoning and I think it might do that. But I mean, I think you could reject proposals if they were not substantively the same, even if they were the same names. And some of the strings lend themselves to a lot of different meanings frankly.
So I guess I would encourage the board to feel comfortable making the assessment of whether the proposal is substantively similar.
Vinton Cerf: Don't go away, Becky. It turns out board members have questions of you.
Karl Auerbach: It has to do with the basic strings. The first round is that we don't have internationalized names and now we're in the era of internationalized names, I'm just wondering whether or not there is a feeling whether such strings would be appropriate at this time.
Louis Touton: Let me just say I don't think it's contemplated that internationalized TLDs would be included in this particular proposal.
The justification for moving forward on this basis is really to extend the existing proof of concept and not to do things that would require rethinking, recognizing that rethinking is required. I mean, I think there's a broad sentiment that I have heard in the community that the way this is done in the past can be improved.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Ivan.
Ivan Moura Campos: I believe it's a point of order. I am aware that this is a day that we should receive input from the community to the work that has been previously done by ICANN.
Regarding this specific RFP, I would daresay that the board may have a different opinion regarding whether or not we want the proponents to be limited to those who were not successful in 2000. And what I'm afraid is that the discussion, that is going on now, we are examining second and third-level effects of assumptions that might not be true.
And so I'm in doubt. Maybe the board should express itself in terms of the RFP itself so that I am in complete agreement with the gentleman saying well, somebody, in the other part, other side of the world reading this RFP might think that this is what the board wants. And I am not sure that this is what the board wants and that we are discussing something that the board now knows that it is not what is wants.
So I don't know. I ask you, Mr. Chairman, this is a point of order.
Vinton Cerf: It's not a point of order, but it is certainly an observation that what we have before us is a draft. It's being presented in the open session, and there needs now to be further discussion; if not today, then tomorrow in the board meeting.
Ivan Moura Campos: One part in specifically is so far, at least in my own personal opinion, with all respect that I always have and we all have for the work that our staff usually gives us, but there's a clear misunderstanding here, in my opinion.
Vinton Cerf: Then we have the opportunity to discuss this, and we will do so.
Lyman, bear in mind that I have two more people waiting and we have more agenda items.
Lyman Chapin: A very quick question for Becky. I just wanted to know, is the question that you asked purely a hypothetical question or do you know of a community that may have changed the string that it wants to register for some reason? I'm just curious if this is purely hypothetical, which I can imagine hypothetically, or if you know of a situation that might actually arise.
Becky Burr: I certainly don't know of any situations where a decision has been made, but I think it's especially where you have communities coming together that maybe had separate proposals, something like that. That's something that makes sense.
The other thing I just wanted to add is it does make sense to me to say you can't poach on somebody else's name that was in the round, although you have to be the best strategist to do it, but certainly there are some rules within it.
Lyman Chapin: Thanks.
Vinton Cerf: Okay.
Alan Davidson: Alan Davidson with the Center for Democracy and Technology. I thank you for the opportunity to comment and also the board's support of the Whois workshops going on because they were useful and we appreciate being part of them.
On the generic question, at the end of this meeting CDT will be releasing a paper on civil society metrics for measuring ICANN's performance over time. And they're designed to provide input to the department of commerce in its ongoing consideration of its relationship with ICANN. Excellent document. I commend it. I hope you all read it.
But the point is one of the major problems we mentioned in the document is something we talked about before is the importance in a lot of people's minds of ICANN continuing to hew to its stated goals and coordination and management mission and to try not to stray too far beyond that, although it's, as we know, difficult.
To many outside observers and policymakers, the primary case study of a place where ICANN may have gone too far was in the what some people call the beauty contest approach to the allocation of TLDs and gTLDs in 2000. And so I would just say we really appreciate the efforts of the staff, and those who have been crafting this RFP to try to avoid some of those pitfalls before.
I would encourage the board to be thinking about that because there is, of course, in the final analysis, there will be moments where the board will have opportunities for being less objective, and we hope that the board will continue to try and interpret these criteria as objectively as possible.
On that note, I would say that the issue of confining this somehow to the prior candidates I think is ripe for mischief when you start trying to get into the business of interpreting what is a substantially similar string or a substantially similar purpose or a substantially similar community that's coming forward with something. So I think that's a little tricky.
But most importantly, I would encourage the President and the board to move forward and to indicate this as we take action, to move forward with all best possible speed towards an analysis of how to move forward with making a more objective set of criteria, minimum baseline criteria for allocation of new TLDs. I know that's motherhood and apple pie here now but I just think doing it at the same time would give great confidence to the community and I encourage you to try to do that as quickly as you can. Thanks.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you. I think you speak for a lot of people. We'd like to make this a lot more objective process.
Christopher Ambler: Christopher Ambler from Image Online Design. One more person who speaks in that respect. And notwithstanding just not approved applicants for 2000, I should note that I look at that with some degree of pleasure in that it indicates to me that the board is at least recognizing that there are applicants from 2000 who are still waiting. And certainly in the unsponsored round, and I don't even try to fool myself that .web is a sponsored TLD, we are still waiting from the unsponsored round. And I see this as a necessary step towards moving towards the objective criteria and the addition of more unsponsored top-level domains and the introduction of truer competition.
So with that said, I'd be remiss in my duty if I didn't applaud you for at least moving forward. And I look forward to the time when I can get back into this and compete to get .web in the roots.
Vinton Cerf: I hope this might happen before you reach retirement age, I suspect. I hope it does, too.
Christopher Ambler: Thank you.
Ki-Chan Yune: I'm working for BBS Telecom from South Korea and my question is very simple. I'd like to suggest to you that ICANN consider new application of a new gTLD from now on if these applications do not concern the same topics of the submitted applications.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much.
Are there any other comments on this subject? I know there are many, but perhaps not for now.
Thank you very much, Louis. We will discuss this at the board meeting tomorrow.
Andrew, would you like to bring us up-to-date on the geographic regions allocations and assignments?
Andrew McLaughlin: Yes. Dan is going to pull up the topic paper of my graphic visuals.
The ICANN bylaws provide that a number of the ICANN bodies have geographic diversity defined through reference to five geographic regions they are Europe, Asia, Australia pacific, Africa and Latin America. The task of figuring out which countries and territories fall into which regions was obviously a somewhat difficult one that a lot of people have different opinions about.
In 2000, in connection with the at-large elections that we did that year, the ICANN board gave instructions to the staff to allocate countries and territories to the regions on the basis of two sets of documents produced by the United Nations statistics division.
We did that. We published it at the time, and the ICANN bylaws provide that that allocation must be reviewed at least every three years. So that was done in July 2000. We are now in June 2003, so it's time to do a review of the regions.
As I said, the basic methodology for that allocation was to use the united nation's statistics division's classifications of countries or areas, codes, and abbreviations, and a document called the composition of macro geographic continental regions and component geographical regions.
The July 2000 allocation was done on the basis of revised documents that were published in February of 2000. Those documents were updated in March of 2003.
So in the topic paper that we posted prior to this meeting a couple of weeks ago, we posted a detailed chart that shows what the allocations would be on the basis of the most recently updated U.N. Statistics Division documents. They are essentially the same as the allocations that were made in 2000. I don't believe there were any changes of territory from one region to another. And the only other thing I think I would point out is consistent with the board's directives and the minutes from the Yokohama 2000 meeting, this chart follows the practice of assigning territories to the region of the country of citizenship. So in other words, if you are living in a French territory that is not in Europe, you are nevertheless counted as a person in Europe for purposes of ICANN's geographic diversity requirement.
Dan, if you can scroll down to the chart. The chart has two columns, one that says physical region and one that says ICANN region. The idea is the territory follows citizenship rather than geographic region.
So that's basically what's here. The staff paper doesn't propose to do any changes. We think this allocation has worked pretty well.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Andrew.
Just one question for clarification. The recommendation to bind the geographical region to citizenship came from the GAC; is that correct?
Andrew McLaughlin: The GAC's statement doesn't address that at all.
The GAC's resolution is quite short and vague and says that ICANN should make the allocations with reference to established standards published by organizations of competence.
So that decision was made as a matter of sort of administrative convenience and the colloquy that gave rise to that is published in the minutes from the Yokohama meeting if you want to read that.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you for that reminder. Are there any other - yes, Ivan.
Ivan Moura Campos: Maybe I missed something. Just a clarification. Is this classification for all purposes? Let me explain why I have a question.
In terms of cultural diversity, it makes sense in my head. In terms of address allocation problems, I don't think it makes much sense to have the Mulvainas or Falklands as the British call it belongs to England in terms of allocation space.
Andrew McLaughlin: This doesn't have anything to do with the RIR regional breakdown.
Paul Twomey: I should put on notice; I have received a communication from the four RIRS pointing out that their regional allocation is different to this allocation. Defending that allocation, I've given back indications that their allocations for their purposes is not affected by this document. This is for our bylaw needs mostly on representation.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you. Raul?
Raul Echeberria: Is this on? The microphone is open? Okay. Thank you.
I just would like to share the statement of the RIRS that we have submitted to Paul Twomey one week ago.
Regarding this proposal that is being considered, ICANN geographic regions, we note that the geographic regions as used by ICANN are different from the RIRS' service regions.
We also note that while ICANN service regions are defined for purposes of representation, and may be changed, the RIR service regions have practical impact on producing service relationships, which are not easy to change, even within a time frame of several years.
RIRS service regions were established during the formation of the RIRS, in most cases, prior to ICANN.
We have successfully operated with existing definitions for a significant time and have seen no significant proposal or requirement from within our communities to change name.
Therefore, while there are maybe good reasons for ICANN to reconsider and redefine its geographic regions, the RIR will not move to reflect these definitions in our own service regions as this may be seen as a source of confusions in future, we strongly suggest that the ICANN definitions be accompanied by a clear statement of purpose and scope, recognizing that they may not be universally adopted within the broader Internet community.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you. That's a very, very good point. And I'm sure we can make sure that it's clear what the purposes are for each of these various geographic definitions.
Sotiris Sotiropoulos: Sotiris Sotiropoulos, individual at-large member.
I have a comment from Abel Wistman who's participating remotely.
He would like to call your attention to the proposals for the five RALOs as being the at-large organization in which individuals can voice their opinion on the ICANN process.
Within their proposals, ALAC and ICANN alike seem to completely ignore not only the geographic diversity, which is much larger than ICANN's five regions suggest, but they also ignore the inter-human relationships in general.
Not only would it be hard for Israelis and Palestinians to work together in one RALOs, Jews and Muslims, Catholics and Protestants will also have a hard time agreeing on topics that might touch their religion's integrity. Many clash of personal opinions and viewpoints, beliefs can be predicted. ICANN, however, refuses to allow any other input to her process than this method.
The RALOs are stillborn, and despite all sweet-talking from the doctor, never will be alive, ICANN-dependent, and thus never function as an input organ to the process.
If ICANN wants to persist in her mostly unwanted ALAC procedure, the least she should do is allow like-minded people across borders to congregate in forums free to them and within their rights given in the most democratic countries, and in that congregation, be a part of the process, without having to dilute that's voice and opinion within a set RALO.
ICANN does not allow individual input in this process. If anything, ICANN waters the democratic opinions of the world down to a mere trickle, presented by people elected by ICANN to represent those RALOs. ICANN, deciding upon when those RALOs, if ever, decide for themselves who should represent them.
ICANN might have succeeded in finding a small group willing to work towards realizing its plans. But the continuing neglect of the user of the services that ICANN supposedly is managing will in due course be the biggest weakness ICANN has ever had.
I put it before this forum that instead of continuing in this direction, ICANN should allow others into her midst and allow them to participate on the same footing as the ALAC. If ICANN is ever to establish any credit for supporting democracy in any way.
Abel Wistman urges upon the new and incumbent members of this board and to support democratic growth.
Excuse me. That's basically the comment that he sent in.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you. If I could ask a favor of you.
Sotiris Sotiropoulos: Certainly.
Vinton Cerf: I know that you're doing this on behalf of other people. And I think that's a good thing. We're running generally fairly tight on time. If you have any way of condensing some of these, it would be a big help. I would appreciate it.
Sotiris Sotiropoulos: I will do so.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. I think there are no other questions at this point for you. I'm sorry. Helmut.
Helmut Schink: Thank you, Vint.
Andrew, I have a short question. Is there any specific reason why .EU is not on the list? I think allocation of .EU would be very simple.
Andrew McLaughlin: It doesn't map to the IANA TLD list directly. It's actually designed to be a geographic region. So my guess is that all of the member states of what you would think of as EU are on this list as being in Europe. We're not trying to do any disrespect to the EU, but you will find all of its geographic territories encompassed on that list. It's not a list of ccTLDs.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Just one question. Is this on the same subject?
Peter Dengate Thrush: Peter Dengate Thrush from New Zealand.
I know the GAC has operating procedures. Can you give us a reference to the GAC comment referred to in your paper about this decision to use citizenship as the additional characteristics to geography? There is the line from the public comment that you gave.
Andrew McLaughlin: Look at the Yokohama minutes. You will see there's a colloquy in the presentation before the board. And the GAC resolution, the GAC communique is referenced there as well. I've seen the GAC one line that says we should use international references.
Andrew McLaughlin: That wasn't a GAC thing.
Peter Dengate Thrush: Where's the GAC reference that says we should use citizenship.
Andrew McLaughlin: There is none, again. How is it that based on GAC contact? It is being grouped together with the countries of citizenship. It's the link to citizenship that I am trying to find. I am trying to find the authority for that. Have I got that wrong? I'm looking at page two of your -
Vinton Cerf: Could I ask if we could resolve this offline? I don't mean to minimize the question. It's just that I'd like to.
Peter Dengate Thrush: There seems to be a real problem in relation to the distribution of the causes in relation to the new ccNSO.
Under the current arrangement, Asia pacific for a GAC example is going to have something like 75 members, and whatever do you to North America is going to raise it from something like five to eight. So there's going to be gross disparity in the distribution of countries.
So we're going to be needing to look at the basis for policy advice that's come from all sorts of places in determining whether that kind of split is appropriate as a way of distributing countries for the ccNSO.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Paul.
Paul Twomey: Thank you, Vint. Just two quick observations.
If I can have my memory in terms of being chair of the GAC at the time in Yokohama, the GAC did not want to deal with this hot potato. So it simply said go and look at alternative sources, which was the U.N. statistical.
The second main point, though, is the purpose for this in the bylaws is really around the bylaws requirements for certain descriptions of geography for Nomcom membership, for board mixture, for those sorts of things.
I do think we may have to consider whether there are any amendments required around those provisions, for instance, in the bylaws that come forward for the ccNSO.
So why this originally was in the bylaws was really around representational issues around things like the board, et cetera.
When it comes to supporting organizations and their classifications, it might be appropriate for us to get legal advice as to whether we should be considering amendments to reflect the realities of the way in which they work.
Vinton Cerf: So we end up with multiple geographical mappings, one for RIRS, one for other representation, and one for ccNSO, an interesting outcome.
Andrew McLaughlin: Yeah, I see the sentence you are talking about peter, where it says "based on GAC comment." That was not a GAC communique.
If you recall, prior to Yokohama, I can't remember when, the GAC had produced some language about when ICANN should use citizenship and when it should use residence. So what the staff said was, well, if you combine that with their very vague communique in Yokohama, we think you should do the following. That's what the colloquy in the minutes to the Yokohama meeting will show you. It wasn't any specific recommendation.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Oh, I'm sorry. Yes, Mouhamet.
Mouhamet Diop: I just want to say that to have different definition of geographic region doesn't help a lot. And I have missed something concerning the registry, the Internet registry. I don't know if we need to have an additive definition different from this one that I have been given here. I think we should come to one definition for ICANN. If not, I don't think it's relevant.
Vinton Cerf: If we do that, I can tell that you we are bound to use the RIR definitions. Because we can't go around messing up the routing system, you know, for any reason. So perhaps we should take this offline.
But I think there are good and sundry reasons for imagining there are different geographical regions for different purposes. I recognize, as a mathematician, this feels very funny.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: Two short things.
The first one, as I said in 2000, we discussed that and I didn't vote in favor. This is the best example of mission creep within ICANN, telling people where they are from. If this is nothing, we have not anything to do. Where the hell they think they are from?
The second thing, regarding the message that was read to all of us, I hope, frankly, that I will be able to discuss things like ICANN structure or domain name deletion with Jews, Catholics, Protestants, and even with other fat, bald, shortsighted Catalans.
Vinton Cerf: I think there aren't any others. You're unique.
Andrew, I think you can step down, now.
Andrew McLaughlin: Thanks.
Vinton Cerf: Oh, Raul.
I'm sorry. You can't.
Raul Echeberria: Now I'm speaking on my own behalf as a personal comment.
Only to note that since I have been in the Yokohama minutes, that the GAC suggestion is referred, it is not included in the resolution. And the resolution is very simple and clear. And it was showed by Andrew a few minutes ago. And there is nothing about dependent (inaudible) in the resolution.
Vinton Cerf: Okay.
Let's go on now to the at-large advisory committee formation. And Thomas Roessler, I hope, is here to do that. There he is.
Thomas Roessler: Good afternoon.
I will just have to get.... Okay. This doesn't work.
Thomas Roessler: Good afternoon. My name is Thomas Roessler. I am a member of the at-large advisory committee, and I have been volunteered by my colleagues to give you a presentation on some details of the ALAC report to the board on at-large formation proposals.
First of all, what do these new bylaws mean by "at-large"? They mean a framework of groups, local, regional, and global, to promote involvement of the individual Internet user community with ICANN. This participation is supposed to happen in a framework, and I'll walk through this slide from the bottom-up.
You have, on the interface side, to ICANN. You have the at-large advisory committee, which formally is an advisory committee to the board, in the steady state of ICANN and the ALAC, the committee will be composed of members selected by so-called RALOs, regional at-large organizations, and by the nominating committee and it will be business providing advice to ICANN as they relate to individual Internet users.
I mentioned the RALOs -- Regional at-large organizations. There will be five of them, one per ICANN geographic region. And these RALOs are intended to be an umbrella encompassing so-called at-large structures.
At-large structure at ICANN is the ICANN bylaw technical term for basically an organization of users, which wants to get involved with the ICANN process, which wants to get involved with the ICANN process. And, of course, the question is, what makes an organization an at-large structure?
What makes an organization an at-large structure, how do we tell one? How do we know what is one? The bylaws have the general ideas that allow structures go through an accreditation process with the at-large advisory committee.
The at-large advisory committee is expected to apply criteria and we have now transmitted to the board a set of proposed minimum criteria to be applied in this accreditation process. And I'll very briefly tell you about some of these criteria.
One, we will have to look at what I would call the relevance of the organization. Is it dealing with individual Internet users' interests as they relate to ICANN? Is it dealing with anything relevant to ICANN's mission?
We will look at what I would call a regional Nexis. A structure we would like to see a large structure for this region, actually, is dominated by participation from within that region. And the last one is a bunch of transparency features. There should be some visibility of what's going on in that organization. Additionally, at-large structures will be expected to self-funding, so ICANN won't pay to run the service, run the mailing lists, whatever.
These criteria will be applied in a certification process, which basically means that the at-large advisory committee will look at an application as it is submitted to the committee, will do some due diligence within the scope of its ability to do so, and will ultimately have a vote about the at-large structure. This vote will have to work with a two-thirds quorum and will end in the accreditation of an at-large structure. No process without a process to guard it.
So there is proposed review process. 60 days after the at-large advisory committee has published its decision on certification, the at-large structure concerned by this decision can submit a request for review, which will then be handled by a committee of three board members, according to the proposal. And the hope is that this committee will be able to respond within 30 days.
Of course, the real hope is that it is not necessary to go to this step.
In addition to just the at-large structure accreditation, there's, of course, also the question, what about regional at-large organization? Regional at-large organization will enter into a memorandum of understanding with ICANN. And we have worked on some guidelines for such a memorandum of understanding.
What's a key point is that a regional at-large organization must be open to all individual Internet users in a region, and in practice, this means for every Internet user in a geographic region, there must exist at least one at-large structure which can be joined by this individual Internet user.
In addition to this requirement, there is a minimum wait threshold in the proposal, so a regional at-large organization couldn't be started by just one at-large structure standing up, saying, okay, we are in a very remote corner of a region, but everybody can join.
And, please, we would like to be the only member of a regional organization. This won't work. The criterion was down to a minimum requirement of having three open and transparent at-large structures from at least two countries in the given region. That's the threshold in the proposal before a RALO could take up operations, so to speak.
What we have tried to achieve in setting up this proposal and in working out this was an attempt to balance the safety requirements, if I may put it like this, from the bylaws with the desire to keep the process as easy, as lightweight, and as no burdensome as we could.
Now I'd like to briefly talk to you about the process by which we developed this proposal. We have been soliciting public input on the ALAC's web site since 9 April. We have received public input on draft criteria. We have been discussing this input to the draft criteria on a telephone conference. We have been incorporating some. We have responded to all the input we received. And the final proposals are now posted on the ALAC's web site for public comment since June.
To conclude, I would like to say that board approval of the proposal we have submitted would be a critical step in going forward, since this will enable us to tell prospective at-large structures how they should proceed to get engaged. So we can give them something not really tangible, but something to work on in order to get this up.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Thomas.
Are there any questions for Thomas? Questions from the floor? There's one. Briefly?
Sotiris Sotiropoulos: Briefly. This is my own question. I actually have a question.
What about organizations such as ICANN at-large dot org, which is, granted, a mailing list at this point, which is self-organizing, into an input mechanism ostensibly for the purposes of input into the ICANN process, which isn't necessarily something that fits into the RALO structure as it stands.
Will we be ignored? What exactly will be the position of the ALAC on organizations which may conceivably in the future appear that are similar to the one that we're trying to form right now?
Thomas Roessler: Well, at this point of time, in order to be involved in the formal structure to be involved as an at-large structure as it is called in the bylaws, you would have to maybe form something like a very lightweight chapter structure.
Say, okay, your European members are going to this RALO and American members are going to this RALO. So the structure certainly doesn't fit very well for ICANN at-large dot org. We realize that. There is always the desire to work together. And, well, as you know, there is some overlap between the organization and the ALAC.
Sotiris Sotiropoulos: Certainly.
I have one follow-up question as well. With respect to the RALOs themselves, the proposal that was drafted is vague, actually, when it comes to specifics of how they will in fact operate. There is no defined process, which the RALOs will be following, in essence.
And I'm just a little concerned, because at the meeting yesterday, it seemed as if members of the ALAC were talking about the RALOs as some accomplished fact that they knew everything about, and yet there is nothing in actual written form which describes how a RALO will function.
When can we expect something drafted or at least some kind of indication as to what these RALOs will actually function like or be structured as?
Thomas Roessler: Well, it's, in fact, deliberate that we don't go from our side into the details of how a RALO should be run. We don't believe that we know how they should be run internally. So this will really be something for the at-large structures in a given region to work out and come up with a proposal about. At this time, it's really bottom-up.
Sotiris Sotiropoulos: Great. Thank you.
Vinton Cerf: Karl, you had a question?
Karl Auerbach: Yeah, just really quick.
Do we have a queue of people or organizations lining up to become at-large supporting organizations? And how many of them are substantive and how many of them are boat clubs?
Thomas Roessler: You're a little hard to understand, I'm sorry. So I'm looking here.
I don't think we have any boat clubs lining up. We have a number of organizations, which have been talking about wanting to get involved as at-large structures. We have been hearing from several, I would say. I can't give you any precise numbers. So there are some. And we hope to recruit more.
Karl Auerbach: Okay.
Vinton Cerf: Amadeu.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: I'm not sure where I never got that correctly.
I always said and I always maintained that the voice of the individuals was very important for ICANN. But the individual voice of the individual cannot be the only way, because while this is a time-consuming effort, nearly a full-time effort to fall on ICANN at first. So I support the at-large version.
What really surprised me is this obsession of telling people where they are from and dividing everything always in regional terms. That is, if I want to participate in ICANN, then somehow I am organized in a structure that is (inaudible) to my region. If I have something that is global, I don't fit in the structure.
There is no way,I mean, the RALOs are important for all those who don't have anything else, it's probably the most efficient. But they should not rule out the possibility of having individuals or even structures of preexisting association or consumer association or whatever going directly to the ALAC forum instead of going through the whole structure.
You understand what I mean?
Thomas Roessler: Well, this gives in a way to the point of the two purposes of the ALAC, or the two aspects. You have the representative aspect where you elect members of the ALAC who select members of the nominating committee, who select members of the board.
And you have the ALACs' policy-making function. It's a function to go to ICANN meetings, talk about policy topics, try to influence decisions in favor of the interests of individual Internet users.
In my view, the RALO structure is mostly an instrument for the representative function. And I think it makes sense there to have some way of splitting up things and some way of structuring up things. I don't see any reason why a global organization shouldn't easily directly get involved with the policy function, be it through participating in mailing lists, FORA, whatever else we will come up with in the future, be it by being a recruiting ground for people to be sent to task forces, policy processes, whatever. So I think there is no real contradiction to this.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: Okay. Thanks. This answered my question.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Because we're running about a half an hour late, I'm going to ask the board to be circumspect about questions for the remainder of the day.
Thomas, I think we're finished. Thank you very much for your report.
Thomas Roessler: Thank you.
Vinton Cerf: I'd like to call on Tina Dam now to bring us up-to-date on a proposal for some changes to the .name second-level domain product.
Tina Dam: Thank you, Vint. The next topic for discussion is a proposal submitted by GNR on allowing second level domain name registration onto the dot TLD. Before I get the word to GNR, I'll give you an overview of the proposal, the requirements it has for ICANN and the process for this proposal.
What you can see on the screen over here is a topic paper for the proposal. And in that you will also find a link that will give you the details of the proposal submitted by GNR.
On an historic note, GNR applied to become the registry operator for .name in 2000, and they were selected out of seven applicants. GNR applied with a proposal on a third-level structure to allow personal individuals to get their own name registered as a domain name. The agreement was completed in 2001, and GNR launched the .name product later that year.
GNR has now approached ICANN with a request on adding a second-level domain product to the current structure of the .name TLD. In this proposal there are several steps that has to be taken and will be taken to preserve the current character of the TLD, both in the sense that it is a TLD for which private individuals can register their own name and in the sense that steps are taken to preserve the three-level structure. And GNR will provide you with some more details of these strategies in a few minutes.
On the requirements to ICANN on a proposal like this, the request by GNR will require various amendments to the appendices to the ICANN contracts. These changes will reflect and ensure the current structure and the current character of the TLD is preserved. However, such contractual changes must also be approved by the board. Here it is the ICANN staff responsibility to advise of the nature of the changes, specifically if there is any policy changes involved, which is most often not the case. However, under the practices we follow, what has been very important is whether any third parties feel harmed. So an important step for the continuation of the process for this proposal is that third parties who feel harmed by this proposal will give specific reasons on why they feel harmed. And we ask them to step forward right after the GNR presentation to provide such comments, or if you have any comments at a later point, you can give e-mail comments.
On a practical level, the e-mail address to give such comments as well as an overview of the comments that have already been posted is something that can be found on the topic paper as provided online.
And with this, I'll give the word to Geir Rasmussen from GNR.
Vinton Cerf: While you're preparing to do this I'll make a suggestion that it would be efficient if most of the comments concerning this proposal could be made by e-mail. That would help us speed things up for the other topics today.
Geir Rasmussen: Thank you, Tina. Good afternoon, or good evening, actually. Global Net Registry would like to thank the opportunity to present to the public forum. My name is Geir Rasmussen, and I'm the chief architect for GNR.
Global Name Registry is a .name for everyone. It's a top-level domain intended for use by individuals, not businesses. It allows consumers to address themselves as individuals in a crowded space where the distinction between company names and individual names has become slightly blurred.
.name was selected as part of the ICANN new gTLD proof of concept test bed. It was licensed to develop and test an Internet name space for individuals, .name.
We launched services in January 2002 or in December 2001, and we feel that we have done now an initial proof of concept and the result is that the personal name space is not yet fully tested due to the complexities involved with the first roll-out of .name.
The approach. GNR has offered to allow ICANN accredited registrars domain names on the third level. You can have the domain one name dot another name dot name, and in addition you can have the e-mail on the second level, which would be one name at another name dot name. Registrations on the name space must refer to an individual using a combination of names by which that individual is commonly known
The results using the current third-level approach clearly suggest a need for further validation testing of the personal name space. The .name products have been highly regarded by consumers that have actually had the opportunity to get it and use it.
The complex approach has unduly burdened registrars. It's been very, very hard for them, and it has burdened their reseller networks and resellers making .name registrations very difficult for consumers to obtain. The results for the name space today do not reflect the potential for a personal name space, and we feel that additional testing is required.
Proving the concept. We propose to offer .name registrations at the second level. We feel that this will address the complexity issues faced by the registrars and the end users. It simplifies the delivery of the product, and it makes .name registrations readily available to consumers in a form that they are familiar with.
It is consistent with the prevailing practices currently in use by the registrars. An example is most registrars offer domain names using one box on the front page. They have a check the box method. .name does not fit in that method. .name in its current form does not fit in that method. It needs two strings, and everything the registrars do regarding .name has had to be a special case. We believe this approach will be an important additional test to validate the concept of the personal name space.
Second level .name registration examples. On the second level, we would look at registrations of names such as johnson .name, bobjohnson .name, robertjohnson ii .name, which is an interesting one, bjohnson .name, and johnson-family.name. And the impact will not affect current third left.
Registrars that do not want to offer a second level product do not have to they can continue to offer the current product mix from GNR in exactly the same way as they currently do. Registrars can offer both the third level products and second level product or they can choose to just offer the second level product and it will then be very, very similar. It will be nearly exactly the same to the current (inaudible). Functional overview, very quickly, second level .name registration process will be technically correspondent to the .biz and info process. It will make enfoe as current level do but second level means registrars can very easily add this.
For existing third level customers ace said there will be no changes and this also applies to defensive registration. Just an example of premier (inaudible) second level.
Preserving the character of .name. We will maintain the current eligibility requirements and continued availability of third level registrations. The current dispute resolution requirements will remain in place and will apply to second level registrations.
Current standard and premium defensive registrations will retain their functionality on the third level and provide a similar functionality on the second level. Again, if you have a premium defense registration on IBM, it will be blocked on the second level registration. So there is no change there.
We will reserve common names to minimize the impact on prospective third level registrations. This is lined out in the proposal on the web site. So you can read more about it there.
If you would like some more information, I can provide all the technical information that you might want. I also have Francis Coleman here, the GNR Chief Policy Officer if there's any policy-related questions.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much for making such a succinct presentation. It's much appreciated. Do we have questions from the floor?
Any questions from the board? Ivan.
Ivan Moura Campos: Just to see if I understood it correctly. The resolution process supposed in your example somebody registers Johnson .name, and then if I want bob.johnson.name I cannot; right? Because --
Geir Rasmussen: Let me quickly run through that. If there is currently a third level registration utilizing a second level name, that second level name will not be available on the second level. If there is a second level registration done, as a second level offering, a third level registration will then not be possible on that second level.
Ivan Moura Campos: Because of the resolution, it would make it impossible for zone delegation.
Geir Rasmussen: Yes. And currently, a lot of very common names have already been utilized for third level registration, meaning that these are not available for second-level registrations. If you add to that we plan to block a certain amount of common names you get a protected third level space and the benefits of an additional second level which actually makes the name space look even bigger, because you can have bob.johnson.name and you can also have bobjohnson.name. So the perceived size of the name space is larger, the theoretical size is smaller.
Ivan Moura Campos: One last clarification. What criteria do you intend to use to define what are the most common names?
Geir Rasmussen: Fran, do you want to comment on that? I think this is outlined in the paper on the web site.
Francis Coleman: Yes, our proposal outlines three approaches, three strategies to protect the name space going forward with the addition of this supplementary second-level product. There's a lot of detail to this. I'll stay high level in my first answer to your question.
The first strategy is to consult closely with government around the world to make sure that we have the best possible information on the distribution of names and the percentage of the population covered by those common names. The second strategy is to do our own careful analysis of which names need to be reserved so that they're not available at the second level. And the third strategy is to add a string to second level names so that if my name is Coleman, I'm sure it's gone already, but if somebody were to register .coleman at the second level, then we would promptly register .coleman-family -- dash, yes, not slash, at the third level, so that's protected so the Coleman family name is protected at the third level.
So these are three strategies that we intend to pursue very vigorously.
Ivan Moura Campos: Thank you.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Thank you very much. I think that's it. I don't see other questions.
I'm sorry, Amadeu. The problem, Amadeu, is that your hand is the same color as your head, and when you hold your hand up, I can't see it.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: I'll try to solve that.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: I don't know how, but I will try to solve it.
I'll start an RFC for that. Anyway, one question and a couple of comments. One question for you; one question for Tina.
The question for GNR is what happens with the names that were used for only this infamous effort by the registration. Is it also blocked for second level registration in case it were used for only the e-mail forwarding but not for third level registrations because this was possible?
Second, the question for Tina regarding procedure here, well, this contract arrangements only, my question is whether these will be a list (inaudible) more common to the GNSO council because different people have different views of what's policy and what's not, and at least we should ask politely.
The comment is one of the more obscure systems theory philosophers, Nicholas, said the only way to solve complexity is by adding more complexity to the model. You're following Nicholas's Luman's advice to the highest extent. This is really complex.
One thing, the Abril name is very common within the Abril family, for your information.
Geir Rasmussen: Maybe just clarify the first question. We're asking about names that were reserved but not utilized for third level registrations; is that correct? These names were only the names on the list in the ICANN contract. There's no other names that have been reserved.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: They use it for e-mail forwarding registration. For instance, Amadeu@Abril.name, it was an e-mail address but I could have that without having Amadeu.Abril, even if I had no more.
Vinton Cerf: This is a really good subject for a chat over a beer so I would like to stop this discussion now. And Karl, it's really quick. I actually have major interrupt.
It turns out that one of our board members who will not be continuing after tomorrow has to leave tonight. He'll join us by telephone. It's Helmut Schink who is in conversation in the back there.
I would like all of you and the board and others here to acknowledge his long service since he won't be able to be here with us tomorrow.
(Standing ovation from the board).
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much. Now, Karl, if you have something really quick.
Karl Auerbach: It's really quick. It's just a request of. name and everyone else who has a TLD that's four characters or more, just if you could issue some sort of port event something saying what kind of troubles you've had because your name is outside the standard TLD pattern. You don't need to give me an answer now. I would personally appreciate hearing the troubles you had with a not-three-letter TLD names. And that's my comment.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, Karl. All four-letter words are a problem.
My name is four-letter word and so is Karl's, by the way, just to make that observation.
I'd like to call upon our vice-chairman, Alejandro Pisanty, to make a presentation on the current state of ccNSO formation. For those of you who haven't been watching this process, we produced a substantial amount of sausage, to quote one of the folks who was bringing this up in one of the ccNSO working meetings.
So I hope that what we'll hear today is that we have very close to, if not final, agreement on this organization.
This is a special outcome, assuming that we're able to conclude this tomorrow at the board meeting. I had threatened at an earlier session this week that since I had turned 60 and the Japanese say it's the beginning of your second childhood, I was going to throw a personal temper tantrum in the middle of the stage if we couldn't get a ccNSO organization done.
So I hope that I don't have to make a display of myself.
Alejandro Pisanty: Okay. Hello, good afternoon. Is the sound all right there?
This presentation was prepared by myself and Hans Kraaijenbrink. As you may know, we are the two members of the board of directors, members also of the evolution and reform committee that have been active in the ccNSO assistance group, and I will mention this in a moment in more detail.
I'll first make a brief note about the process, which is well-known for most of you. The reform project that was started by Stuart Lynn's paper in February last year was very clear in the need for ICANN to establish a much improved relationship with the ccNSO with the ccTLD managers. There have already been a proposal, and it was taken up in principle in many of its ideas. That is country code top-level domains managers should form Aban organization within ICANN at the level of independent supporting organization, and when I say independent, it means not within the domain name supporting organization, the DNSO. That's why the DNSO was actually split into the GNSO and the ccNSO.
The GNSO, of course, builds upon much that was already working and has been reformed and restructured, and the ccNSO was completely new concept in this sense at the, again, as I say, at the supporting organization level. So it had to be built mostly from scratch.
There have been months of discussions and elaborations and re-elaborations of how the ccNSO was to be constituted. This has been done mostly on the basis of an assistance group. I should remind you also that much of the reform process was done with assistance groups that were dedicated to specialized tasks. The first of them did the policy development process for the GNSO, and it was on that model and also on the model of the policy development process, by the way, that the assistance group for establishing the ccNSO was built.
However, in the case of the ccNSO, we didn't only bring people from the field itself, which in this case is ccTLD managers, and subject matter experts, but we also brought in a number of other people. We brought in people who are ccTLD managers, as I mentioned, people from the Governmental Advisory Committee, a number of users and third parties, and board members, which I am not mentioning in this light. And the same as I said before, this has been Hans Kraaijenbrink and myself with great support from the rest of the evolution and reform committee and from the ICANN staff which I'll come back to at the end.
We have established cycles of input, feedback, and discussion. We have discussed this method of discussion within the community several times, but I think it has established a valuable precedent. Along the evolution program, and particularly with the ccNSO foundation program, we have established a lot of precedents on how to elaborate on this structure of discussion that ensures progress in its cycles and the very intense nature of its cycles.
Finally this process has produced several cycles of draft bylaws, modifications to the transition bylaws and the transition articles of them which will, if accepted by the board, establish the creation of the ccNSO organization and if properly accepted by the ccTLD managers and the rest of the community, will actually start the ccNSO.
So since this is widely published, the participants in this process know the details very well, and the community has had ample opportunity to follow them and have had several community progress reports in ICANN meetings, I will mostly concentrate on the work that has happened and the changes that have occurred since the most recent postings, barring a brief review of the whole organization.
The first point, in the present proceed for the bylaws the draft that is before the board for the approval, establishes the ccNSO as a supporting organization of ICANN. It should be remembered here that we have from the beginning agreed, and this is also a very widely shared opinion among the country code top-level domain managers that the interest that we share within ICANN is not to establish only a trade association, independent association of ccTLD managers that will of course represent them but will not necessarily have an organic relationship with the rest of ICANN. And we have an organic relationship here which means that this is a supporting organization of ICANN with the purpose of developing policy and a few others, and we'll go into details again, that cross-communicates with other communities in ICANN, particularly with the other supporting organizations like the Address Supporting Organization and generic names supporting organization, with the committees on security and stability and the root server operators, with the operators of IANA within the ICANN organization, the managerial structure of ICANN and so forth.
This adds value to the supporting organization. It makes it much more effective in representing the interest of the ccTLD managers in the sense that, for example, in the case of a confrontation with commercial providers or government or intergovernmental bodies or whatever else may become a confrontation for a ccTLD manager, the part that's affecting the ccTLD manager will not be faced only with a group of like minded ccTLD managers which can be dismissed relatively easy as with your friends who have the same interest and of course they think the same way you do, these counter parties will not necessarily be confrontive with ICANN but will be in front of a ccTLD manager that works under a rule set that is global in reach, under a policy development process that is global and structured and that goes together with generic names, IP addresses, the security and stability of the root server system and so forth, and is therefore a much more robust dialogue partner for whoever must have a dialogue with the manager.
The people who must have this relationship, the providers of the domain names, the governments themselves grouped in the GAC, which is more than conversation partner. It's a party that interacts very strongly with ccTLD managers, and in these cases, it's much clearer what support and what structure is provided for all these interactions and for the ccTLD managers themselves.
The ccNSO is responsible for policy development, for nurturing consensus among the ccTLD managers and for coordination between ccTLD managers and the rest of ICANN. And those parties are (inaudible).
And it is also established if it so chooses, and we know it chooses and if it adds value by doing so, to establish best practices, to build skills among ccTLD managers and for technical cooperation.
The proposed ccNSO has a council. It has a very broad and inclusive definition for membership. All ccTLD managers are entitled to form part of this organization. It is not a condition to be a member of the ccNSO for obtaining services in the IANA. The meetings are open; so even ccTLD managers that do not form part of the organization can attend the meetings, participate in the forums. And even in that way, contribute to shaping the policy that is needed in this field.
And one more important point which has maybe awkwardly but it's best fit is in the membership part, these members are adhering to the policies that they themselves create. But in order to ensure that one of the most important parts of the ccTLD life, which is its being subject to their own national laws, to the national laws of the country in which they operate, if ever a policy is devised that after all this consensus processes that you'll see in a moment, or you'll see mentioned in a moment, if after all this process, policy proposed in a global nature forces TLD managers would be not in agreement with the law of a country, then there are conditions, very clearly established conditions, easy to meet and easy to follow, that will exempt that ccTLD manager from the policy. And there are a few reasonably clear-cut grounds, like also complying with public policies in the country that are grounds for this exemption.
The scope of the ccNSO has been one of the major bones of contention. It has been one of the most complex to solve issues in the definition of the ccNSO.
The first thing that ccTLD managers as well as government representatives and many others have asked is just what is this organization in charge of? Is it in charge of who has policies within countries? No. It is only set up for such policies as need to be global.
And there have been detailed discussions, there was established originally a framework. This was transformed from a matrix into wording, in order to be able to know whether an issue that comes up and is proposed for developing policies for the ccNSO is actually within its scope.
I will go over this very cursorily.
This is a ccTLD contribution actually, which defines two functions, essentially, for ccTLD managers, which are the data entry function and the name server function. One of them is putting things into a server and the other is actually operating the servers and making the information available.
There are roles for establishing policy, for executing, and for being accountable for the execution against the policy or the development of the policy for the ccTLDs, and there are three levels of facts identified, which are the root name server, the ccTLD registry name server insofar as it affects interoperability, and user name server levels.
The ccNSO concentrates very specifically in the name server function at the level 2 policies. That means that the name server function, keeping the servers operational, at the level 2, which is ccTLD registry name server, and that the data entry function on the level 1, that is the policies that are developed by this organization affect what goes into the root servers.
There are provisions in the proposed bylaws for staff support and funding. This is an option that the ccTLD managers can exert. The funding will have to be appropriate for that. But the point here is that ICANN, through this process, is offering the ccTLD managers a manager that will support them in their operations, and some ccTLD managers want to establish this level of trust gradually, there is also the choice, of course, that they will choose to fund and operate with their own selected staff.
The policy development process is detailed in a great extent. It is very similar and it was modeled upon the GNSO policy development process that is already in operation and being tested. Changes that we have made from the last version include not only the board or the council of the ccNSO, but also the members of the ccNSO can call for the issue of a creation report, which is the initial document, that kick-starts the policy development process.
Second point is that the policy development process can be changed. But it has to be changed through the same policy development process. This seems a little bit absurd. But it is a safeguard against arbitrary changes in the policy development process that ccTLD managers will feel uncomfortable with.
The issue report has first of all to indicate whether it is possible that the proposal that's set before the ccNSO is likely to develop into a policy and that this policy is global and within the scope of the ccNSO.
There are, again, many, many restrictions against what has been called mission creep, which I remind you is, by definition, the possibility that ICANN or one of its organizations could go into things that are outside its mission.
There is a time line.
The wording and the definitions of the framework for defining scope have been streamlined in this version, and we have added an important feature here, which is some safeguards in the membership vote.
The policy development process, as you can read in the published drafts, goes through several steps. One of them is a council vote, which is mostly a supermajority vote. And there is also a members' vote on the issue.
And listening very carefully and understanding the concerns of the ccTLD community against possible capture, malicious capture of the organization by a small group of ccTLDs or some interest group. We have established a 50% participation requirement for votes to be valid. But also, in order to avoid a malicious blocking of the ccNSO policy development, we have established that there can be a second round. It's clearly and decently defined, where these 50% participation requirement would not be necessary.
If an issue is hot for the ccTLD community, they will come back in force for the second round and they will also defeat it there. We have tried as hard as is realistic to prevent all the possibilities of malfeasance that can be remedied through structure and rules. Many other possibilities of malfeasance have to be confronted much more directly.
This is basically the scheme. I would like to be first of all publicly very thankful for the extreme efforts that Hans Kraaijenbrink has made. He was available for much longer time and with much more available energy than one is really entitled to expect from people who one is collaborating with. It came particularly in times that were rough for me for having this time available.
And the ccTLD managers that participated in the ccNSO assistance group and that have kept driving this effort have been really heroic in many senses. They have been loyal to the principles of their community, very able in conveying the interests and the principles that move the ccTLD managers in all their diversity. They have been bridging the gaps that exist between groups within that community itself. And they have been admirable.
It's just that the list is a little bit too long for making it public. I prefer to reserve the time for the words of praise.
And on the staff side, we have had very valuable contributions by Louis Touton, by Theresa Swinehart, by Esme Smith, who have had contributions that are very valuable, from Joe Sims, and both Presidents who have been in contact with that process, Stuart Lynn and Paul Twomey have been extremely helpful.
Because of the occasion, I will take 30 seconds more to praise Louis Touton for his efforts here. Louis, we have done a lot of things together in this ICANN process for several years. But maybe none like the ccNSO has provided me the opportunity to see the breadth of your talent, the breadth of your views, the depth of your world view, the real pleasure that it is to share this job, which is both intellectually challenging and pragmatically necessary, and to see the way you combined the principles, the intelligence, and the need for an actual result has made me really proud for the occasion to look at it so close.
That will be it.
Alejandro Pisanty: So I guess we are now lined up for a lot of praise and warm feeling, warm and fuzzy feelings. I'm ready for it.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Are there any questions for Alejandro either from the board or from the floor?
Maureen Cubberly: I have been asked if I might use the podium to deliver the cc communiqu, given that this is a somewhat historic event.
Vinton Cerf: I would be pleased if you would do that. It's better than having to have people watch the back of your head while you're reading. So please.
Maureen Cubberly: Thank you.
Thank you very much, Alejandro, for that extremely thorough assessment of the work that has been done, and for your thanks.
Members of the board, ladies and gentlemen, it is my particular privilege to present the communique this afternoon from the worldwide alliance of ccTLD managers. The communique has ten brief but very substantial points, which I would like to address today.
Number one, managers representing approximately 55 country code top-level domains met here in Montreal, Canada, on June 22nd to June 25th, 2003. A list of the attendees, by the way, and the agenda and presentations can be found on two different web sites. There's the ccWhois.org site with the links through to Montreal, slash, documents, and also the wwtld.org web site. So I would invite you to look at them at your leisure.
The second point in the communique is an expression of thanks from the ccTLD managers to the board and staff of CERA for organizing and hosting the arrangements for which what they have described as an excellent meeting. As the chair of the board of directors of CERA, I wish to acknowledge the thanks and to tell you that it has been our pleasure, and you are most welcome.
The third point deals with the progress of the ccNSO. Considerable time and effort by all parties to the negotiations has resulted in the preparation of a draft bylaw providing for the creation, structure, scope of operations, and other features of a support organization with ICANN. A considerable number of managers present have indicated their support of the bylaws and a willingness to join the so or to recommend to their boards that they should join. Statements in general support of the so have been received and were presented to the meeting by the African top-level domain association. This statement can be seen again at the ccWhois.org web site, and at wwtld.org.
Managers will work on the implementation phase of this important development in the vital mission that ICANN has, that of coordination of the technical resources of the Internet.
A presentation on contested changes of country code manager -- and now I'm changing to the next topic in the communique on disputed change of manager. A presentation on contested changes of country code manager was received from Mr. Richard Frances of IGCL oxford, discussing resolution that might be discussed in this area. Managers are interested to further investigation the potential role they might play in such a process.
The next point deals with IDN status. Updates on the status of IDN were prepared and distributed by Dr. Yung On Lee (listing names).
The next point deals with relations with other ICANN constituents. We welcomed business and commercial users, intellectual property, Internet service and connectivity providers, and noncommercial users constituencies of the GNSO and the members of the ALAC. We do look forward to a continuation of this exchange of views and experiences. A session with the chair of the GAC working group on ccTLDs and the GAC principles provided us with an opportunity to continue dialogue on those issues.
And the final point is a point of thanks. The passing of the bylaws into force will mark the end of a long passage of development and effort by many people who have been involved in the creation of the ccTLD support organization. The managers wish to record their special thanks to Peter Dengate Thrush, who chaired the many ccTLD meetings, which developed the consensus ccTLD positions.
Thank you, Peter.
To Chris Disspain, Bart Bowsinkel, and Bernard Turcott for their work in successfully negotiating the terms with the ERC for the many untiring contributions of the ccTLD leaders, past and present, who have collaborated in the development of the ccTLD consensus positions, to the members of the ADCom and directors past and present, to Alejandro Pisanty, and Hans Kraaijenbrink, ICANN board members on the ERC.
To Vint Cerf, to Theresa Swinehart, and the ICANN staff who have worked to turn those negotiations into documented consensus.
To Marilyn Cade, to Tony Holmes, and Steve Metalitz, officers of the business, ISP, and IP constituencies, who gave early and consistent support to the concept of an so for the ccTLDs.
And to the many, many contributors to this complex and challenging development of the ICANN structure.
On behalf of the cc managers, thank you all.
And, finally, some special thanks and recognition are certainly due to Louis Touton.
This is starting to be a habit.
Where did he go? He's gone. Louis where are you? There you are.
Louis, thank you.
As ICANN's retiring General Counsel, we want to thank you for your dedication and commitment to the cause of ICANN throughout your tenure.
Louis has been one of the key resources to enable ICANN to do its work for the past few years, showing extraordinary skill and patience with the diverse and challenging issues confronting us all. Thank you very much.
That concludes the communique.
But now I understand that some of the managers would like to come forward at this point and show their support for the establishment of a ccNSO. Would you please come forward at this point?
Vinton Cerf: It's open microphone time. So you're free to proceed.
Margarita Valdes: I am the secretary of LAC TLD. And we need to express our brief communique.
Latin American and Caribbean country communique Montreal, 25th June, 2003.
The members of ALAC TLD present in Montreal ICANN meeting met for a last three days and agreed to express their full support to the draft bylaws for (inaudible) of ccNSO. We strongly believe that ccTLD global issues must have a forum to be discussed within the ICANN structure. We think that the proposed bylaws for the ccNSO provide sufficient ground to proceed forward, and in a short time, hopefully be joined by the most and hopefully all ccTLD managers.
Victor Ciza: Thank you.
I would wish to read the statement of the African top-level domain organizations communiqu.
To members of the African top-level domain organization, FTLD present at Montreal ICANN meeting met on June 23rd, 2003 and expressed their full support for the ccNSO process proposed by the ICANN evolution and reform committee.
In addition, support was obtained from members who are not present by way of the FTLD list. The proposals followed the significant effort of the ccNSO assistance group in which Africans, namely (listing names) participated.
The FTLD members present in Montreal expressed their support for the proposed ccNSO bylaws that have been (inaudible) for comment.
Certain issues in the process of being resolved, the FTLD members present appreciate the ERC's willingness to discuss the outstanding contentious issues in the bylaws and to work towards consensus.
They made further comments on the following two points: first, geographic diversity.
The FTLD members greatly appreciate the geographic diversity in the proposed structure of the ccNSO council. They emphasize the fact that this operated as an ICANN guideline so that the objective of internationalization described in the ICANN bylaws can become a reality (inaudible). In order to fully achieve this objective, they suggest that, one; the original seats on the ccNSO council should be fulfilled by people coming from different countries in each region. And the rotation should be implemented so that every country of each region has an opportunity to participate.
Second, there is a concern with the three seats to be fulfilled by the Nomcom. This can open the floor to geographic imbalance if the seats are not occupied by people coming from different regions. It's therefore recommended that the Nomcom should, likewise, consider geographic diversity.
Second point. ccTLDs are part of ICANN community. The FTLD members express their full support for maintaining the ccNSO community inside the ICANN community. They look forward to playing a full role in the development of policy within the ccNSO, and they look forward to working with other regional ccTLD organizations. They are confident that trusting relationships and fruitful cooperation can be established with ICANN for the well-being and stability of the Internet naming system.
The FTLD members congratulate all concerned for the progress that is to reaching of consensus in the ccTLD community.
Finally, FTLD announces that it will hold a general assembly prior to the ICANN meeting in Carthage, Tunisia, in October.
Thank you very much.
Jeff Neuman: Good afternoon.
The North American Top-level Domain Association, the ccTLDs that are present from that association met today and would like to enthusiastically support and endorse the draft bylaws and to state that we will be recommending to our boards and local Internet community to become members as soon as possible.
Vinton Cerf: We need a relay race here.
Paul Kane: Paul Kane speaking as chair of CNTR. Unfortunately, many of the European ccTLDs are not present. But I would like to convey to all that I am, and many that are present are pleased at the progress that has been made in the development of the bylaws.
We will today be writing to membership, advising they recommend to their boards they seriously consider accepting and adopting these bylaws.
Peter Dengate Thrush: Peter Dengate Thrush on behalf of .nz.
I shall be recommending to the board of Internet New Zealand that New Zealand should join the SO.
Vinton Cerf: Good.
Hilda Thunem: Hilda Thunem from the Norwegian registry.
I will try to be brief. There are probably more people who want to speak.
One of my major concerns during the ccNSO formation process was that the scope of the support organization needed to be well-defined and narrow. And I would therefore like to welcome both the clarification and the narrowing of the scope that has been done in the latest drafted bylaws.
Chris Disspain: Chris Disspain, .au, it's not going to come to a shock to most of the people in this room that Australia will be joining the ccNSO. And I would just like to personally thank Alex and Hans for the extraordinary effort that they put in on behalf of the ERC.
Bart Boswinkel: Bart Boswinkel, .nl.
In this case, I will wear another hat in a few seconds.
I think I will more or less advise our board to join the ccNSO as soon as possible. I think we have reached a point where all interest in the ccNSO have been balanced, to use that word which I used on another occasion as well. And I think the special effect we have reached is we made it as inclusive as possible. And I think this is a proof of it.
Now I'm going to wear another hat, and this is as an AG member. I especially want to thank Hans and Alejandro from the ERC, and somebody who most of you will forget, but Theresa Swinehart, who got up at 5:00 a.m., knowing she has a bad temper in the morning, during all her calls in the whole process, and I especially want to thank two persons, it's Bernie and Chris. I think we went through very, very deep waters. And some ice.
Pierre Ouedraogo: Pierre Ouedraogo from (inaudible) .pf.
I want to bring to the ICANN community here that (inaudible) international, which is an organization with 42 ccTLD as members, including 11 African ccTLD, bring its full support to the statement of AFTLD.
Lim Choon Sai: Lim Choon Sai from SGNIC.
We would just like to add our support to all of the work that is done by the ccTLD. And we fully share the support and the outcome of what we have achieved today. And we will recommend that we will join ccNSO.
Sebastien Bachollet: Sebastien Bachollet from CGREF, Paris, France.
I would like to add my voice to this tremendous work done, and as a result that we are here today, because I think it's important not just for the CCS themselves, but for the overall community here within ICANN.
And I would like that the other constituency who supports this work and who supports the question of the ccNSO take this as a very important step for the ICANN 2.0.
And, finally, I want to add my thanks to all the people within the AG and the members of the ERC who made this possible today to have this proposal on the table.
Thank you very much.
Debbie Monahan: Hi, I'm speaking for both (inaudible) and he would like the meeting to know that he will also be recommending to his board that they join.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. I'm waiting for the next person to show up. Okay.
We have literally still a half an hour on the schedule for people who want to -- well, according to this, the open microphone session went until 6:30.
Here they come.
So we actually have a half an hour for that.
So Izumi, before you start, I have received several comments over the e-mail.
So I'm going to try to interleave them. So if I could have John Crain help me put up the first one, message number one.
What I am going to suggest is that in the past, I have read these. Some of them are too long to read. Let's see. Sorry. There we are.
Status of transfer policy should be the first one. This is fairly short. So I will read this one. It comes from Pamela Stefanowitz in Woodland Hills, California.
She asks: "What is the status of the implementation of consensus transfer policy? Would it be proper for the board to ask the ICANN staff to publish on the ICANN web site regular updates regarding this policy's implementation?"
That strikes me as a perfectly reasonable thing to do. So, Paul, if you would kindly take note of that request, I think it's a reasonable request for staff to give an update on the web site of the consensus transfer policy implementation.
Izumi Aizu: Thank you, Vint.
My name is Izumi Aizu. As one member of the ERC and also a member of globe.com, I would like to call to your attention to the very important activities currently undertaken outside ICANN's usually playground, that is the United Nations level, with almost all the governments of the world discussing.
The (inaudible) information society is a United Nations official event. We are many head of states, government delegations, as well as civil society and private sectors all participating.
And under this process, there's a very interesting or important draft that's now on the table. That is on the declaration of principles and action plan. And this summit will be held this year in December in Geneva, and 2005, November, in Tunisia.
And they are specifically talking about the management of Internet names and addresses, which, if adopted without any changes, may ultimately lead to deny the ICANN fundamental framework, and make it a pure intergovernmental body. I've been attending all these preparatory meetings and I can attest to that.
The draft declaration of principles, for example, says, paragraph 44, management of Internet names and addresses, Internet governance must be multilateral democratic and transparent taking into account the needs of the public and private sectors as well as those of the civil society, and the respecting multilingualism, which is fine.
Then the coordination responsibility for root servers, domain names, and Internet protocol, IP address assignment should rest with a suitable international, intergovernmental organization. The policy authority for country code top-level domain names should be the sovereign right of countries.
So this is the language now on the drafting, and we'll have some intercessional meeting in Paris in two weeks from now, and prep 3 in Geneva in September. So I'd like to call the attention of all ICANN community members to these languages, and the ideas and intentions behind them.
I ask the board to take serious consideration on this matter, and make a clear statement against the adoption of these languages, and may come up with and suggest alternatives that will preserve and support current framework in place and communicate these to the relevant bodies, including the WSI secretariat. And governments will discuss this draft in these sessions. So I would also like to urge the members of GAC here to make additional efforts and focus on the forthcoming intercessional meetings and make sure these will not be adopted as-is.
My colleague Adam Peake just sent a note from Milan to the governance. Please be consistent in your treatment of issues. Many governments actively participate in ICANN, but some are making statements in the wishes that fundamentally against all that ICANN stands for. Others are making statements that are, if not contradictory, are seemingly not in support of it.
So thank you very much.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much for that warning, Izumi. I appreciate it. Thank you very much for alerting us to that problem.
Wolfgang Kleiuwachte: Yeah. Okay. My name is Wolfgang Kleiuwachte. You know, between this ICANN meeting and the next ICANN meeting, there's an important date. This is the end of September when the MOU between the department of commerce and ICANN expires. The renewal of the MOU became necessary because there was a long list of open issues. This list now gets shorter. The ccNSO is on the right way.
I want to ask ICANN, do we have any expectations or speculations when ICANN will get full sovereignty? 2004? 2006? Or 2008 when probably Hillary Rodham Clinton will become President and will finish the unfinished business of her husband?
Amadeu Abril I Abril: Unfortunately, it is 2000-never.
Vinton Cerf: I think we will get there eventually but I hope we don't have to wait for Hillary to be elected President. Go ahead.
Sotiris Sotiropoulos: Sotiris Sotiropoulos, I have a remote question. George K. would like to ask, and I'm not sure how to address this to so I'm going to address it to the entire board, why has there not been an independent panel review of the proposed WLS? Though there was a reconsideration committee, but there was also supposed to be an independent panel review as per dot (inaudible) review in 2002.
Would anyone like to take a stab at it?
Vinton Cerf: I would honestly have to go back and recover my memory, but Spock have a better recollection?
Louis Touton: Yes. There has been a stream of correspondence between ICANN and Dotster's lawyers about that that are posted on our web site and it explains the situation. Essentially, there is no dispute over the matter that Dotster thought to raise in that independent review request, so there's, number one, not yet in place an independent review, but also nothing to be independently reviewed, either.
Sotiris Sotiropoulos: Thank you.
Timothy Lowe: Hello. Timothy Lowe, private citizen, member at large, ICANN.
My comment has to do with the division of geographic regions, and it's a fundamental question about ICANN.
ICANN is an umbrella organization under which the mosaic that is the different constituencies of the Internet can come together and interact with each other. There's no need to force or try to force, "a," because you can't and "b" because you shouldn't, all these different constituencies into one pattern.
Some communities need to be divided up into certain geographic regions, such as the RIR community, and they have that already. The member at-large community, I don't see that there's a compulsion there or a need, a clear and present need for them to be divided up by geography as opposed to maybe interests or whatever.
So the general idea is that ICANN is not "the" Internet. It's a place where the Internet can come and interact with each other, and there's no need to force these different constituencies and communities into one template.
I just wanted to say that.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you. Mr. Fockler.
Ken Fockler: My name is Ken Fockler, I'm an alumnus of the ICANN board and I'm from Canada so I'm very excited about the historic events that have taken place here.
I told you, Louis, to come. But the point I really want to make is that alumni group of ex-board members in about 24 hours will be essentially doubled in size, and Paul, we may serve notice that it won't take much longer for us to reach critical mass and apply for supporting organization status.
I was going to say we can provide a counter balance to the GAC but I thought that might not be appropriate, so I won't say it.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, Ken. Before you start I'd like to introduce another electronic message, please. Just trying to be fair to the invisible participants.
This one is number 2. It comes from Danny Younger. Danny says, "GNSO constituencies are not segmented into regional units and yet they manage to work efficiently and to provide substantive input to the board. Why, then, must the at-large be forced to adopt a structure predicated on regional organizations?"
And I would hazard a small guess that the scale of the at-large community is so much larger than the others that perhaps that was the only obvious way of trying to make each of them manageable size, but I'm sure that could be debated.
Ivan Moura Campos: Vint, can I address this point, please?
Vinton Cerf: Yes, please.
Ivan Moura Campos: Currently, the amount of participation originating from North America is way out of proportion regarding the rest of the world, Europe coming in second.
So that is one current reason why to have regions, so you avoid having one or two regions, because of historical reasons, economic reasons, and all the others to overtake the ICANN space, so to speak.
So in the future, if we don't have a regional representation, a regional structure, it may be that the Chinese will decide everything for us.
Vinton Cerf: Okay.
Elliott Noss: And what's the matter with that? I'm being facetious.
Elliott Noss from Tucows. Seeing we don't have a very long line in the public forum today I thought I would be a little indulgent and take the opportunity to say that I have been working inside this process for a number of years now with a number of you, and this will probably be my only opportunity to say a thank you and tell you all how much I have enjoyed it to Louis and to all of the board members that are departing.
So I wanted to be very explicit about the fact that you do a generally thankless job but there are some of us out here to really do appreciate it.
So to those of you who I won't be seeing three or four times a year anymore, I wish you the best of luck and I want to thank you very much for your contributions.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you Elliott.
Chuck: I thought it was appropriate for a VeriSign communique.
Vinton Cerf: Chuck, do you want to go up to the mic?
Chuck Gomes: That's an event, thanks.
Amadeu Abril I Abril: Are you joining the GAC?
Chuck Gomes: You notice my shirt. It's a .ca shirt. The rumor is going around that VeriSign is acquiring Canada.
Chuck Gomes: More seriously, for the last many years, I've worked with all of you, and especially to those of you who are departing, I want to thank you for all of your thankless work, as Elliott said. It is a tough job, long hours, and I appreciate that.
And I also want to express thanks to Louis. I hope, Louis, that I've done everything I can to make sure job really enjoyable over the years.
Chuck Gomes: But I do wish him the best, and all of you the best as well. Thank you.
Werner Staub: Yeah, my name is Werner Staub. I just wish to make a small comment to avoid the confusion or misunderstanding about the comments that were made by CORE and by Tralliance about the new TLD RALO. It is not a contradiction between those two if Tralliance says we wish this to go ahead quickly and if we say there is the need of time. There is no problem about those applicants who are ready to go through quickly. There's no competition between them.
Actually, everybody is happy if the community can go ahead as quickly as possible with their TLD.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you for that clarification.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, it would appear -- oh, Alex, yes, sorry. Here we go.
Alejandro Pisanty: Sorry to spoil it for you, Vinton.
Just want to add a very brief remark; in the months since the ccNSO assistance group was established, we have seen the demonstration of a couple of principles that are important. One of them was the participation of people like Sebastien Bachollet, Philip Sheppard and a few others whose input was very valuable in establishing what are the needs and framework in this case, and more relevant, say more long-ranging comment is that the interaction with the GAC and, in particular through the working group, has been a particularly significant event in that we have seen, indeed, as you have mentioned before, changes in the Governmental Advisory Committee and the way it operates, and changes that go more to the way ICANN functions than the way it is structured. And personally having always insisted since our reform process started that it is not only the structure but also the physiology, the functioning that is important, that we see very positive signs here.
Vinton Cerf: There turns out, although the line is empty in space here, we have one last rather long question from the net. This is so long that I propose only to put it on the screen. I don't propose even to try to either read it or to even attempt to have you read it. It's quite lengthy. If you'll scroll down, you'll see what I mean.
This is from Mr. Hasbrooke who has a number of things to say about the .travel submission. We'll make sure that this lengthy comment becomes a part of the record. It will be available online for people to read at their leisure.
Do I have any other comments from either the floor or the board?
In that case, by an incredible circumstance -- oh, yes, Amadeu? Are you holding yourself? He's resisting. Thank you for stifling yourself.
I would like to express my thanks to all the members of the board and for all those who participated today. The early presentations on Whois and the lengthy presentations on all the subject matters that have come before us.
I sincerely appreciate the efforts. I look forward to tomorrow's board meeting, which will begin at 8:00 tomorrow morning. And I wish you all a pleasant evening, finishing about 15 minutes earlier than usual. So good night all until tomorrow morning.