ICANN Public Forum in Shanghai Real-Time Captioning - Afternoon Session
30 October 2002
Note: The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the ICANN Public Forum held 30 October 2002 in Shanghai, China. 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.
ICANN Public Forum
Wednesday , 30 October 2002
Public Forum Afternoon Session
Vinton Cerf: For people who are wondering what's going on, we're missing the ERC, some of the ERC committee members. So we're going to try to track them down before we begin this process of commentary.
Here comes one of them.
Okay, Hans, you're going to be the nominal ERC receptacle for commentary about to follow.
Hans Kraaijenbrink: Sorry that we are late. But we were discussing with an important constituency a number of issues.
And they are still talking. So I'm here to listen.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. So, but the rest of us are here to listen.
So let me reconvene the meeting now and invite public comment on the ERC proposal for evolution and reform.
I don't have any formal order for commentary coming. This is a strictly open opportunity for those of you who have comments to say on the proposals, both the bylaws and the other chartering documents. Please, however, if you're going to come and make comments, keep a couple of things in mind. One of them is that if you are going to repeat positions and arguments that have been made and documented in the past, that it probably will not be very productive, because old arguments have been reviewed many times now by the ERC.
Second observation I would make is that between now and tomorrow, it's unlikely that there would be major changes that could be incorporated into the proposed revised Bylaws. And I want to emphasize "major changes."
So I don't want your expectations to be set such that arguments made today would cause a massive modification of what's been put on the table. There have been many weeks now of opportunity to convey comments about those Bylaws to the ERC.
Our purpose, I think, today and tomorrow is to try to make some progress on restructuring of ICANN and getting some experience with its operation under new ground rules.
Plainly, we have a lot of work to do with regard to transition to whatever the target structure and bylaws present. So the sooner we get to that, the sooner we can be operating under the new structure.
So with that preface, let me invite comments from the floor or comments from the Board, although right now I'd like to focus on the floor. For those of you who have things to convey to the ERC committee and the Board about proposals for reform.
I recognize Mr. Gomes. If you' be kind enough in spite of my recognition to introduce yourself and your affiliation, thank you.
Chuck Gomes: My name is Chuck Gomes with the VeriSign .com registry.
And I'd like to provide some rationale in support of the ERC's recommendation that voting for contracted parties be balanced with voting for noncontracted parties on the generic names supporting organization.
I believe very strongly that how voting is used and the policy development process is critical. Because of the ease of voting and the efficiency of voting, it seems inevitable that voting is going to be a part of the process. But overuse of voting to determine consensus in the policy development process often rewards political efforts instead of cooperative work.
Therefore, effort should be made, I think, to limit the overuse of voting while at the same time building protections into the system to minimize the undesirable effects of voting.
An important way to do this is to ensure there's a balance of voting power between major stakeholder groups.
Within the proposed organizational constructs of the GNSO, I think it's safe to assume that constituencies who do not have a contractual relationship with ICANN will always outnumber constituencies who have a contractual relationship.
At the same time, contracted parties will invariably be critical stakeholders, because they are the ones who are required to implement the changes.
Parties under contract are directly impacted, but in ways that affect the viability of their businesses with regard to policy implementation. And I don't think anyone benefits if their businesses become unviable.
It's critical that policy recommendations have the support of every major stakeholder group. So protections need to be established that maximize the chances of this happening. The recommendation of the easier to give contracted and noncontracted constituencies equal votes on the GNSO council is a legitimate means of providing such protections.
Moreover, by recommending that the addition of three independent GNSO council members, the ERC recommendation wisely prevents either contracted parties or noncontracted parties from being able to block the policy development process.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Chuck.
Esther Dyson: Hi. Esther Dyson speaking for the ALAC-AG, which is the ALAC assistance group.
First, I want to thank you, and especially the ERC, for having taken what looked to be a big step towards getting effective user participation in ICANN. And I think it's a really important step. What I want to do now is just make three short points and then offer, to be honest, we're pretty happy with where things are. So I don't want to stand here and ask for a lot of changes or complain or tell you how it's got to get better later.
But if anybody on the Board has any questions, we'd be happy to answer them. That's me, Denise, Thomas Roessler here.
The first is, although it's probably not going to turn up in the Bylaws, we hope that somewhere in the implementation plan there will be considered the notion of at large structures in addition to ones that are geographical. We don't believe the world necessarily always operates in five regions. And so at some point, the idea of something that extends across regions would be a good thing to consider.
Second, we will be suggesting the notion of liaisons or representatives from the ALAC to task forces. We don't believe ICANN policy is or should be made at the Board. We do believe it's important to have user input considered early. We don't think this is a question of voting. We think it is a question of this may be slightly idealistic. But we think if in the policy making groups the user's voice is heard, it will be given proper attention, because, in the end, most companies, most organizations here, are dealing with users, and they have to please users. Sometimes they might just forget how. But I don't think, in principle, they forget it's important to do so. Because if the dogs don't eat the dog food, there's no point in making dog food in the first place.
And, finally, I'd like to just make a point again that none of these wonderful things is going to amount to much if there's not funding for them to happen. That doesn't mean the ALAC is coming out with its hands extended and expecting ICANN to do everything. We believe that with a fully constituted and respected and credible ALAC, it will be easier for us to get funding from NGOs. But we do think we also need some assistance from ICANN to get started.
With that, again, I'd like to thank you and offer to answer any questions.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, Esther.
One observation I would make is that with regard to funding.
It would help to have some idea of the magnitude that you think is needed. I don't mean to preempt in any way, shape, or form the funding committee's responsibilities. And I don't even mean to imply that there's any assurance that funding would be available. But it would be nice to know what sort of magnitude you are thinking about.
Esther Dyson: To send a hundred members to Rio, we think just kidding.
Esther Dyson: We don't have numbers ready. It should not be a huge amount. But it's more a question of principle. And as the time comes, we'll help develop numbers.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Perhaps we'll be able to also come up with strategies and techniques for finding those funds outside of the normal ICANN orbit. Jonathan?
Jonathan Cohen: It may be of some comfort, Esther, to know that the Finance Committee actually kind of discussed this in round terms about the possibility of assisting people in the new structure.
Esther Dyson: That's great to hear. And we won't take it for granted, but we're happy to hear it.
Vinton Cerf: Sang Hyon.
Sang Hyon Kyong: I'm sorry. I missed the part of your second point, if you could repeat.
Esther Dyson: About the liaison?
Sang-Hyon Kyong: Yeah.
Esther Dyson: Simply that we're going to ask for some little additional wording that brings in the notion of the ALAC not being simply an advisory committee to the Board, but being a participant in policy making, not all the time everywhere, but where it is relevant. Because we think it is more useful to hear us early than to have the users charge in at the last moment and say, "oh, you forgot about us." .
Sang-Hyon Kyong: Thank you.
Esther Dyson: You're welcome. Great.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Thank you, Esther. I don't see other questions.
Philip Sheppard: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Philip Sheppard. I'd like to make a brief statement on behalf of the Business Users Constituency of the DNSO. And this statement reflects the discussions we have had in Shanghai this week.
As we all know, ICANN has responsibility to coordinate four functions: That of domain names, protocols, root servers, and protocols.
The primary role is the relationship between these four functions. Certainly they should be subject to the principles of the White Paper.
Improving these relationships is a function, then, of the communities involved, the ccTLDs, the gTLDs, and the RIRs.
As business users, we are dependent upon the success of these key relationships. We urge those communities to forge effective relationships within the ICANN structure. The enabling condition for this to happen is a bottom up consensus process.
A comment on policy development by the supporting organizations. The reform process has, we're pleased to see, underlined the policy development is a responsibility of the supporting organizations. The Board's role, therefore, is ratification; and the staff's that of implementation. If the Board cannot ratify, we hope the issue will be remanded to the relevant SO for further work.
The role of the advisory committees. It follows from what I just said that the role of the advisory committees, in support of their policy development role, would mean that they are primarily available to advise the SOs, not merely the Board. Thirdly, they should be providing subsequent clarification and advice to the Board.
We would like to see them as part and parcel of the policy development process. And this may involve a little rethinking just in terms of the way that is they relate to us.
Probably not necessarily bylaw changes, but thinking through what it means in terms of the advice we want first, so we factor that all in before we come up with a coherent policy recommendation for the Board.
A comment on the particular advisory role of governments.
From the inception of the privatization process, governments have lent their encouragement for the private sector management of the Internet. We support this continued advisory role. And we hope that the proposed amendments to the bylaws we heard earlier from the GAC effectively describe a process for that continued involvement in their advisory role and nothing further. If it is the case, we welcome it.
Governments, additionally, are indeed the watch dogs of the public interest. And when they see a failure in these areas, we are happy that they, indeed, should alert ICANN so the Board can take appropriate action.
We welcome the Governmental Advisory Committee's continued commitment to undertake outreach to other governments not yet involved in the GAC, and to focus in this next year on broadening the awareness of governments to ICANN issues. From our part, as the business constituency, we'll continue to and we welcome opportunities to work with GAC members locally.
A comment on representation in the policy development process.
The ERC process is built on the previously recognized need for change within the DNSO Names Council. There has been much to commend in the Board's evolution process, but, regrettably, there are several areas of concern to business users.
Representation of the constituencies to the Policy Council is a concern.
The recommendation of the constituencies to maintain three representatives per constituency to the Council to fulfill our obligations of geographic diversity and workload we see has led to a small modification, and we're pleased to see that. The ERC had proposed to cut the representation to two members. After several interactions, a compromise was reached, and the ERC recommendation now calls for three recommendations for three representatives from the constituencies, with a reassessment at the end of the year.
This, to us, represents the proper approach. Having received bottom up, wide disagreement, the ERC modified its approach.
This approach to consultative dialogue to serve as a model going forward as we make new decisions.
The quality of votes in the new Council.
We know that the input of the business constituency and others has not achieved the outcome which we sought.
However, we have received in our consultation with the ERC and ICANN's President assurances that when policy in the future is approved under the new processes, the policy structure formulated in the Bylaws, the Board in the future will be bound by such policy.
If our understanding is wrong, please tell us now and please tell us quickly.
We have also reached out to members of the contracted parties to understand their concerns and will continue to make this dialogue. It is our goal to be constructive, to make this new approach successful.
The case for the new weighted approach to voting and a comment on public interest.
The ERC has, in effect, recommended a move from constituency based representative model to a weighted voting approach of the policy council. The explanation for the shift has been shared with us. We do, however, remain unconvinced the Board has received any true evidence of harm to those who have contracts as a result of the existing policy process.
However, we have agreed to accept the approach put forward by the ERC.
We ask the Board publicly to be ever vigilant to the possibilities of harm to the public interest enabled by the new voting system so that a future blocking of policy recommendations do not support abuses of dominant market power.
In conclusion, let us add all policy choices must ensure first and foremost the stability of our common goal, that stability, it is, of the global Internet.
To this end, we remain committed to an ICANN based on private sector consensus built processes, the participation of its key stakeholder communities.
Thank you. I'm happy to take any questions.
Vinton Cerf: Karl.
Karl Auerbach: I think I heard you say that you are depending upon assurances but not passed resolutions. I would submit that ICANN acts through passed resolutions and that would be really the only thing you can depend on.
Philip Sheppard: Is there such a passed resolution.
Karl Auerbach: You made the statement a minute ago you were depending on I didn't hear you say you were depending upon resolutions that the Board has passed.
Philip Sheppard: I note your advice.
Vinton Cerf: On the other hand, Karl, I would point out that this period of implementation is one of experience gathering, and at the end of the year, we will have some sense for how well or how poorly these new processes work. And I think we're all committed to examining the results of this change to see whether or not it's effective. And if it isn't, then I'm sure the constituencies will tell us that.
Jonathan Cohen: I would just like to say, Phil that I agree with you that I think the advisory councils ought to be working with the Sos, if for no other reason to make sure that it's to build policy from the SOs up.
Vinton Cerf: I neglected to tell you, Philip, that that was a very cogent and terse commentary. And I thank you for that.
Are there any other questions from the Board? Evidently not.
Thank you, Philip.
Philip Sheppard: Thank you.
Vinton Cerf: Don't forget to say who you are and your affiliation.
Ken Stubbs: Good afternoon. My name is Ken Stubbs. I'm a member of the Names Council, representing the Registrar Constituency.
And I am commenting here as one who has been a member of the Names Council and many of the task forces since the inception of the DNSO.
I would like to personally express my strong support for the process which was used in the development of the policy development proposals offered in this ERC paper, as well as my deepest appreciation for the hard work of all of the members of the Committee.
I would like to also acknowledge that these proposals represent a basic blueprint for taking the consensus building process to the next level and making it more effective for all of us.
I would also recognize and reemphasize that the policy development process proposed by the ERC, as I see it, is designed to place a strong focus for you on the documentation of development of consensus of the parties.
I feel that in the minds of the participants in this process, which I see include communities consisting of parties with contracted responsibilities for providing services as well as those who use the service, there must be an initial presumption in both of these communities that some sort of practical balance exists between them in crafting and developing these consensus policies.
The process and guidelines outlined in the ERC will help to provide you with the background materials to help you in assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of this methodology as well as documentation of the history of the development of the specific policy itself under consideration.
I have implicit trust in your capacity to evaluate the long range effectiveness of the processes proposed here under the ERC, and, if necessary in the future, I have am quite comfortable with your capacity as well to institute any fine tuning to make this process more effective for all the communities involved.
Thanks again for the opportunity of offering my comments.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Ken.
Rita Rodin: Good afternoon, everyone, I'm Rita Rodin from Skadden Arps. I have been asked to read these statements of the Registry Constituency.
This statement was approved by all of the registry operators on the gTLD's October 28th meeting, include dot com, net, org, info, biz, dot name, co op, and aero.
The gTLD registry is very pleased to comment on the final report of the ERC and the recommendations to the ICANN Board for modifications to the ICANN Bylaws. We'd like to express our gratitude to the members of the ERC and the many people who have served on the advisory committees for their important volunteer efforts to improve ICANN.
This statement I am going to read is going to address three specific areas of the proposed new Bylaws: Structure, accountability, and the mission statement.
The constituency also intends to submit separately more detailed comments to the Bylaws and the policy development processes as soon as possible.
So first with respect to structure. The constituency supports the ERC's recommendations with regard to the equalization of votes between contracted and noncontracted parties within the GNSO. We firmly believe that neither of those parties should be able to control the policy development process, which is really important to be focused on documenting the consensus of affected parties, not merely counting votes.
We believe that the ERC's recommendation, coupled with the addition of the Nominating Committee members on the new GNSO council, will accomplish this objective.
In addition, the equalization of votes encourages contracted and noncontracted parties to work cooperatively towards a solution that the entire community can support.
The gTLD constituency wants to clearly state that the equalization of voting is really necessary to ensure that our constituency will continue to participate in the ICANN process. Any process that duplicates what's going on in the current DNSO is not acceptable to our constituency.
The second area I wanted to mention is accountability.
As has been discussed by many in the ICANN community, accountability is a paramount feature of the new and credible ICANN. One of the key measures of accountability is the availability of an independent review process to ensure that decisions of the ICANN Board of Directors are consistent with the scope of its mission. Unfortunately, we believe that the proposed bylaws fall a bit short in this regard. For example, the entities charged with providing a neutral, independent review are constituted or controlled by the very body making the decisions that are being reviewed.
More specifically, under the proposed bylaws for the independent review panel, ICANN is going to appoint the arbitration provider, approve the procedures of the provider, decide whether a standing panel should hear a case, and approve the panel's conflict of interest policy.
Despite going through the independent review process, the decision of the panel will not be binding on the ICANN Board. And finally, the independent review panel is not charged with ascertaining were consensus has adequately been documented, a role that's currently in the contracts between ICANN and the registry operators.
The gTLD constituency believes it's imperative that there be adequate independent mechanism for meaningful objections to ICANN Board decisions. One suggestion may be to initiate reasonable qualifications for panelists under the current irp system, which we believe provides a somewhat more neutral and independent review process. But the constituency is also happy to discuss other alternatives.
And, finally, the Mission Statement. Article I of the proposed Bylaws states that it will be part of ICANN's Mission to "coordinate policy development reasonably and appropriately related to its technical functions." Consistent with the recent extension of the MOU between the U.S. Department of Commerce and extensive feedback from the Internet community, the gTLD community supports ICANN's efforts to limit its mission statement. However, the registries believe in the effort to do so, the current wording could actually have the opposite and unintended effect of broadening the scope of ICANN's mission, resulting in a drain on ICANN's focus and on its resources.
We believe that perhaps a more narrow mission will improve ICANN's efficiency and promote stability and certainty within the domain name industry.
And the gTLD constituency recommends replacing the phrase "reasonably and appropriately related" with "reasonably necessary."
This, we believe, will enable ICANN to exercise the appropriate flexibility to perform its technical mission consistent with its core values while still providing an objective benchmark against which to measure ICANN's activities.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to present our comments, and we look forward to continued participation in the ICANN reform process.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Rita.
Are there any questions? No?
Wolfgang Kleinwachte: Thank you. My name is Wolfgang Kleinwachte, I am from the University of Aarhus and I am involved in some of the at large activities, there's an ICANN at large.org, we had the traditional dialogue with ALM directors discussing between civil society groups, governments, and private industry and also some discussion on the proposed At Large Advisory Committee.
I would support, first of all, what Esther Dyson here has said. I think this is indeed one step forward in the right direction. But I want to add also one additional point, the At Large Advisory Committee is a totally new committee, and the recommendation to the Board is to be very careful when, say, start to populate this At Large Advisory Committee. This should be done as openly and as transparently as possible to avoid any further mistrust and conflicts. And, finally, let me add personally commend Esther supported or introduced the idea of a closer inter agency cooperation between the At Large Advisory Committee and other task forces and committees. I think it would be a good idea to think about structuring cooperation between the Governmental Advisory Committee and At Large Advisory Committee, because both are represent Internet users, probably the governments more passive Internet users and the At Large Advisory Committee more active Internet users. And it would be very interesting if these two bodies could develop a structured dialogue. Thank you very much.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you. Marilyn? Oh, I'm sorry. Amadeu has his hand up. Go ahead, Amadeu.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Welcome. A couple of very quick questions, perhaps. Quick items.
The first one probably is, would you agree with Esther and that's also my opinion that we need more issue based structures and not only regional based structures for at large? And the second one is, you warned the Board about how to populate these and the risk of this committee. Could you be very specific about the things that should be done and shouldn't?
Wolfgang Kleinwachte: First point, yes. The second point, the issue is, you know, you have to start it with an interim advisory committee, and the procedure, you know, for this interim At Large Advisory Committee should be as open and transparent as possible.
Vinton Cerf: Okay.
Amadeu, could you turn your microphone off?
Marilyn Cade: Marilyn Cade, speaking as an individual.
I note that there were several submissions during the GAC presentation and other comments made by other speakers since that time about suggested bylaw changes.
And I would like to suggest the importance, regardless of the merits I'm making no comments on the merits of any of the suggested bylaw amendments which had been proposed -- but I'd like to suggest and request that all bylaw amendments submitted for consideration should be posted for public comment.
ICANN is a public sector excuse me, a private sector entity getting confused here, a private sector entity and for that reason it is important that any suggested bylaw changes should be put forward to the broad community for comment.
Vinton Cerf: Okay.
Thank you, Marilyn.
Rob Courtney: Rob Courtney here for the Center for Democracy and Technology in Washington.
In my short time up here, I would like to comment specifically and in particular thank Alejandro for some of the things he said in his introduction of the ERC report.
I think I speak for many people when I say that it is refreshing to hear Alejandro comment on the importance of developing a clear and concise statement of ICANN's mission and authorities, and to make that a very high priority not only for the Evolution and Reform Committee but for ICANN as an organization.
I think that comment is useful and on target.
Further, I agree with Alejandro's evaluation that mission creep is not something that anyone on this Board is seeking to perpetuate.
I also agree that it is something that is a risk at an institutional level, and therefore, institutional policies need to be put in place to address it.
There are, indeed, friends of mission creep out there, but we are no friends of mission creep.
Furthermore, I agree that a lot of progress has been made.
The ERC report constitutes significant progress on this question.
But I would say that there is a lot still to do.
If we can continue to develop our thinking, develop our statements about ICANN's mission and authorities, it will yield significant benefits to increase trust and faith in ICANN from the community.
CDT looks forward to participating in a dialogue with the Board, with other members of the community, to bring that about.
We have actually prepared a paper on this which we hope will serve as a starting point for that discussion.
Unfortunately, the copy machine is broken so I will not be able to distribute the paper but it will be distributed electronically in the spirit of what we're doing here.
Finally, I would like to particularly mention one insightful thing that Alejandro said, which was for ICANN in the future, do not go as far as you can; only go as far as you need.
I think that's extremely valuable advice, and I think that if we can continue to work to find a way to incorporate that advice into the work that is done here, into the bylaws that define how ICANN works, we'll all be glad that we have done so.
In closing, I would just say this is not the end of this discussion.
These reform documents are useful.
It is not the end.
To paraphrase someone greater than myself, it is not the beginning of the end; it is perhaps the end of the beginning.
I'm a believer in ICANN, CDT is a believer in ICANN.
We believe in the private sector model of managing these important resources and we look forward to working with you in the future on these questions.
Vinton Cerf: I thank you very much for that spirit of cooperation.
We can always use more of that.
Before the next speaker approaches the microphone, I have an e mailed question which I would like to introduce.
This comes from David Johnson at Wilmer Pickering:
"The proposed bylaws grant the right to make binding policies in the absence of documented consensus.
ICANN's current contracts require documented consensus as a prerequisite to the obligation of registries and registrars to abide by new ICANN policies.
And indeed, require the establishment of an independent review board to hear complaints that consensus is not present; not just complaints about failures to abide by the new bylaws.
Does the Board believe that this fundamental change in its Bylaws has any impact on its ability to enforce its policies by contract or on the obligations of contracting parties to follow ICANN rules?
If not, is that, 1) because the Board has received binding commitments from contracting parties to amend the contracts, parentheses, to agree to abide by whatever policies the Board may establish in the future, end parentheses, or, 2) because the Board intends to withhold renewals and otherwise condition its recommendations to the Department of Commerce regarding the contents of the authoritative route on the agreement of any newly designated or renewed registry or registrar to a new contract embodying such an obligation?"
Therein is the communication from Mr. Johnson.
Are any of the Board members or ERC members able to respond?
Alejandro Pisanty: We have studied this question, which fortunately has been set forth in a very clear manner in a paper bySusan Crawfordwho is present here, and David Johnson.
There is much discussion still about the details.
It does not mean that this is a question about details.
It's a very substantive question, and it's been a train of thought that this group has pursued for some time and made very public and there has been very little discussion about it and there has not been much back and forth in the community.
The idea basically which we are living with is that the enforcing power that ICANN has is the one that it gets through its contracts for those contracted parties.
That the review of positions has to have practical limits, it has to have the largest extent possible that is practical.
The view from your papers which I personally take to heart is the title of the last one which is, paraphrasing, give as much importance as you can to voices before you start giving importance to votes.
It says voices, not votes, in the title.
However, in the formal procedures, we do have to be reduced to votes in some significant cases for procedural clarity, and therefore, we think we have stricken the best balance possible between this very high minded general principles of the nitty gritty practicality which you also point to and the way things can operate in practice.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you.
Karl Auerbach: I guess I'm just a bit confused.
It seems like from David Johnson's questions, he's saying we have contractual obligations to have an independent review panel.
I was looking at Louis out there and asking the question for later answer, and if so, how do we accommodate that contractual obligation with this potential change of the bylaws?
I don't feel I have a clear answer to that yet, or have heard a clear answer to that yet.
Vinton Cerf: In fact, I don't think I do, either.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: In answering Karl on this one, I remember what the contract with each registry says regarding that, but David Johnson knows perfectly that we're talking about contractual obligations with ICANN registries and registrars.
All these come from a very concrete situation in '99 when the original VeriSign (at that time) agreements were signed because of the special circumstances of the prior situation.
There were many things that were introduced there by David Johnson himself, so we know quite well the story.
My recollection is that the situation has changed a lot with even, you know, new agreements with now VeriSign and Network Solutions and that the fact situation has changed enough to be able to consider possible amendments to agreements as, you know, something that's required.
And from my point of view, contracts contractual obligations are highly contractual language -- may be changed in any negotiation you have.
Vinton Cerf: Okay.
Let's go on to the next speaker.
Susan Crawford: Susan Crawford.
Just a note of clarification.
The Board is poised to approve a new dot org contract which indeed includes all of these obligations for the new dot org operator to comply only with policies that are supported by documented consensus and makes it impossible for ICANN to enforce such policies against the org registry operator unless and until an independent review panel is in place.
Vinton Cerf: Louis.
Louis Touton: Yes, I'd like to comment on David's question to be sure that he feels he got an answer from a legal perspective.
ICANN obviously has agreements with various providers and will continue to. Since it's not a governmental agency, it operates, in order to implement its policies, in part through agreements.
I guess I'd make a couple of points.
First, on my review, the proposed bylaws are consistent with the agreements.
They don't seek to change the agreements.
And to the extent they are not, obviously, or to the extent the providers feel they are not, it would be a subject of discussion to see what else could be done if they feel there is some element that's missing.
And I would point out on a related point -- and I didn't really understand all of David's point -- but there are portions there are many decisions that do not get implemented by providers.
And in fact, David and Susan Crawford have written a paper about where consensus doesn't matter.
Vinton Cerf: Karl.
Karl Auerbach: I'm still confused, however.
Is your suggestion that we would create an independent review panel on an as needed basis?
If we have a contractual obligation, we have a contractual obligation and we can't unilaterally abrogate that.
Louis Touton: There are certain types of obligations of providers that are conditioned obligations to implement certain policies that are conditioned on them having a right of independent review with respect to certain to Board determinations in acting on policies.
If that route is followed, that remedy needs to be provided.
I don't think there's anything in the Bylaws that precludes an independent review mechanism being provided.
And in fact, the Bylaws speak of an independent review.
Did that clarify your question, Karl?
Karl Auerbach: I get I'm still getting the impression that you're thinking we would need an independent review panel only if and when such circumstances arise, but would not need one on a continuing basis.
Is that sort of what you're saying?
Louis Touton: There's a whole article in the Bylaws or a whole section in the articles of the Bylaws about independent review.
Karl Auerbach: Right.
Vinton Cerf: So the answer is it's not ad hoc.
Stuart Lynn: Yes, I think my understanding in listening to what Louis is saying, and Karl's question, is the following: It is that those provisions are in our existing agreements.
If we wanted to see modification of those agreements without the consent of the other party, then two things would have to be in place: One is that it would have to be a consensus policy, and the second is that there would need to be an independent review panel.
However, we're not talking and Louis's first comment said we generally do not talk -- about unilaterally imposing changes.
We seek the consensus of the affected parties in the communities.
Indeed, any two parties can agree to a change in agreement, regardless of whether there's an independent review panel or not.
So the notion, again, is that if we want to impose unilateral, as it were, changes to that agreement, two things would have to be in place: a consensus policy, and an independent review panel.
But that's not the normal way in which we operate.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you for that clarification, Stuart.
All right, microphone is now open.
Thomas Roessler: Good afternoon, my name is Thomas Roessler, I am chairman of the General Assembly of the Domain Name association.
The General Assembly has, of course, been an organization with ample potential for improvement, but at the same time, the General Assembly has had a couple of important features, and I believe has been able to make a number of important contributions.
I very much appreciate that some of these things for instance, the possibility for open conversation and a full discussion across constituencies, sometimes including Board members, sometimes including even members of different supporting organizations, that this opportunity a going to be transferred to the ALAC.
I appreciate that very much.
I think there is one other element of the GA which should be preserved in the new ICANN structure but which currently isn't, and that is the possibility to participate in the policy development process as early as possible.
It has been the regular practice of the Domain Name Supporting Organization to include representatives from the General Assembly in task forces, and I would really like at this point to express my support for education.
We have heard earlier from both Esther Dyson and Philip Sheppard.
And that is, give the at large give all the advisory committees, most likely all of them, the possibility to participate in the policy development process as early as possible.
Give them the possibility to participate in the task force.
Make it possible for them to be constructive, to sit at the negotiation table when a consensus is worked out, because if advisory committees only talk to the Board after the fact of a consensus, they will get the Board into the situation to either have to overturn a consensus of a supporting organization or to have to overturn the advisory committee.
I believe it would be, even from both point of view, maybe most importantly from the Board's point of view, be much more practical to have the streamlined, simple and fast way for the input from the advisory committees to be channeled into the policy development as soon as possible.
Please make this happen.
Thanks for this opportunity to comment.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Thomas.
Yes, next speaker, please.
Jeff Neuman: Good afternoon, I'm Jeff Neuman with NeuLevel. And oftentimes when the Board talks, you mentioned VeriSign.
I just wanted to say there are other registries out there, and we may be a smaller registry but we are still here.
NeuLevel, Inc, the registry operator for dot biz has been at the reform table since its inception.
In fact, there was a letter sent to the Department of Commerce.
One of the reasons we supported ICANN from the beginning was because of the perceived inefficiencies of the current Domain Name Supporting Organization.
The result of such inefficiencies has led those parties that have contracts with ICANN namely, the gTLD registries and registrars, to become disenfranchised within the current process.
Not all stakeholders are equally affected.
The registrars and registries are contractually bound to comply with any ICANN consensus policies.
New or changed policies can have a significant financial impact on our operations.
We believe that the protection of registrar and registry rights as contracting parties within the proposed GNSO is an important and essential safeguard.
We are willing to work with the noncontracting parties within the same supporting organization, the GNSO, to make the ICANN process work, but only if the safeguards proposed by the ERC in the proposed bylaws are adopted.
This includes most significantly the provision giving contracted parties equal voting representation as those that are not under contract with ICANN.
The ERC recognized this need for balance in their proposed Bylaws, and I submit that we hope that the ERC stays true to its course about bringing meaningful change within the ICANN policy process.
Vinton Cerf: Karl.
Karl Auerbach: Yeah, just a quick question.
You entered into these contracts, or NeuLevel did, voluntarily; right?
Jeff Neuman: I think that's a tricky question to answer, but yes, we entered into these contracts voluntarily with the understanding that we would play a significant role in the development of policies.
Yes, we did.
Karl Auerbach: What I hear you saying is you agreed to these provisions, yet you don't want to continue you want to change the provisions that you have agreed to.
Jeff Neuman: I don't see how to answer your question, I don't see how what I'm suggesting changes anything in the contracts.
I'm talking about our participation in the policy development process, which is not required by the contract.
I'm not understanding the question, I guess.
Karl Auerbach: Okay.
We'll pick it up later.
Jeff Neuman: Thanks.
Vinton Cerf: Okay.
I will take this opportunity to read another e mailed contribution.
This one comes from Vittorio Bertola.
He says that he is Vittorio Bertola, member of the ALAC advisory group, and of various at large efforts but he's speaking personally.
"First, let me please thank the ERC members that the proposed changes made by me and other members of the at large community were actually read, discussed and, when shared and adopted.
While much roads still needs to be done" I think he means has to be crossed "to ensure a proper consideration for users' input in ICANN, I think that since the Bucharest meeting, we have been moving quickly and productively in this direction.
Secondly, I'd like to point out a minor addition which I think might be necessary to fill a small gap.
In the draft Bylaws, there is no mention of the procedures that the Nominating Committee will use to make its appointments.
I think there should be some mention of them, and I think in particular, that Bylaws should require a qualified majority, two thirds or even four fifths, for the NonCom to approve the appointments.
This should force NonCom members from all constituencies to actually reach general consensus on widely shared names rather than allow them to form cartels or to make bargains each with the other to build a majority block against the other constituencies.
He follows with possible wording, which he recommends: The Nominating Committee will work according to procedures approved by the committee itself or the Board; however, any appointment made by the committee will require a final approval by at least two thirds or four fifths of the voting members of the committee with a separate vote on each person to be appointed.
So that's Vittorio's recommendation for a supermajority to make NomCom appointments.
Next speaker, please.
Chris Disspain: Good afternoon.
My name is Chris Disspain from dot au and I'm joined by Bart Boswinkel from dot al.
We are part of the ccNSO assistance group and I'd like to update you in the position with respect to the assistance group.
We issued a communique yesterday, and I'd like to read that to you First, he ccNSO-AG has identified five areas on which it will make recommendations: scope, policy, development process, membership, council, and structure.
The assistance group considered scope to be the primary issue and met with the ccTLD constituency on Monday to receive input on its thinking.
The assistance group received general support for its proposed methodology for defining scope, and based on this, it will solidify its recommendation.
The ccNSO assistance group intends to proceed with preparing recommendations on the balance of the scope and the remaining four issues in the following manner: One, posting preliminary recommendations on each issue; two, requesting feedback in a timely manner; three, considering feedback in relation to the preliminary recommendation and its affect on other recommendations, and four, compiling all recommendations and forwarding them to the ERC.
The ccNSO is extremely conscious that it provides its recommendations in a prudent, timely and efficient manner.
At the ccTLD meeting yesterday, a resolution put by Canada and seconded by Germany was unanimously passed.
That resolution accepted the work of the ccNSO so far and approved of the working methodology set out in the communique, and undertook to provide input to us when we put out recommendations out for feedback.
We hope to move as quickly as we can to come up with a series of recommendations.
We know that time is pressing.
And there's a ccTLD communique being delivered later on.
I'm not absolutely certain that the passing of that resolution is reflected in that communique, but that's what's happened so far.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Chris.
Chun Eung Hwi: Good afternoon, my name is Chun Eung Hwi, I'm Names Council member representing our [the NCDNHC] constituency.
We could not have enough discussion because of the limited number of attendees in this Shanghai constituents meeting, so this is very short and brief comments made here in face to face meeting.
First, geographical diversity.
One of our African members addressed the problem of geographical diversity in ICANN 2, particularly in GNSO council structure.
He pointed out that there is no African among incumbent Names Council members at all.
And moreover, in ICANN 2, the ccTLD community, including many developing countries, will be separated out from DNSO/GNSO structure.
So Africans are very much suspecting how geographical diversity will be realized in ICANN 2. Specifically in the GNSO structure.
In the last Bucharest meeting, this concern for geographical diversity has already been repeatedly underlined and reflected in the final implementation report, but we wanted to get more materialized and trustworthy way to realize geographical diversity.
Second, balance of representation.
The final implementation report introduced the notion of the rebalanced voting rights in GNSO between the contractual constituencies and others, including the NonComConstituency.
This is blatently unfair to the NonCom Constituency which is already outvoted on so many issues.
Third, the Nominating Committee.
The Nominating Committee needs to be fair and needs to include a much more balanced and fair representation of the noncom constituency and community.
Fourth, independent review panel.
Despite the narrow definition of mission statement, any organization has an opportunity to broaden its scope of work. This ultimately will lead to mission creep.
So an independent review panel is very important.
In the final set of Bylaws, the independent review panel, strong and independent, and its decisions must be binding on ICANN.
Fifth, at large representatives.
As the only noncom group in the present DNSO structure, again we want to emphasize the necessity of at large directors directly elected by at large members.
The proposed At Large Advisory Committee clearly has nothing to do with the representative of at large members at all.
Without the participation and decision making process from the at large and without representatives at the vote, it could not represent at large members in any way.
Rule and conquer by the Directors means very clearly retreat, not reform.
Finally, we have not yet reviewed the proposed Bylaws sent out only on last 23rd October.
As the chairman of GAC stated this morning, the period of response should be at least one month.
Therefore, the period of comments on the documents presented on October 23rd and on the amendments proposed by the GAC should be at least one month from today.
We will review it and make our comments in this process.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to send out our comments.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much.
Karl Auerbach: Let me see if I understood his clarification.
Are you suggesting we put off the decision on the ERC for yet another month, sometime in November?
Because there's just too much to review?
Chun Eung Hwi: We constituency, we have very diverse members, specifically including developing countries.
So we have many problems like language problems.
All documents has come up, but we should understand, we should read, we should digest, but it takes much time.
But we don't understand the full contents; we should make some comments on that.
I think that this is very unfair.
It should be reserved in any way.
I'm not sure just now how I can say what the actual schedule should be appropriately arranged, but anyhow, these problems should be deeply considered in decision making process.
Vinton Cerf: I'm not sure whether that answered Karl's question, but I would have to say that this Board would be terribly remiss if we didn't make some progress at this meeting, even if we were to put off any further consideration of bylaws modifications until another time.
Hans Kraaijenbrink: Yes, Vint.
To avoid any misunderstanding and for the record, the draft bylaws were published on the 2nd of October in accordance with the time plan of the ERC.
So from the 2nd of October, the Internet community was in the position to review the Bylaws, and only on the 23rd we made some minor adjustments in response to community comments.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you for that clarification, Hans.
Elliot Noss: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Elliot Noss from Tucows.
I would like to take the opportunity for thanking our Chinese hosts for putting on a wonderful ICANN conference.
It's great to have the opportunity to come back to China, so thank you all for that.
With respect to ERC, as I have had the opportunity to be a part of this process for a long time, and speak to many, if not most of these groups representing the various interested parties, I'm always struck by the absolute commonality in almost everybody's desire to have this process succeed with a few small notable exceptions, and I think we're all well aware of where those exceptions lie.
I'm also quite struck by how much this process is reinforced for me that ICANN need mirror the Internet itself.
In other words, the subject matter that ICANN relates to.
And by that I mean that the Internet itself was successful primarily because it was so decentralized in its construct.
I would also point out that that decentralization was not planned nor was it a contrivance.
In fact, I think it happened without many of the people who might have been interested at the time noticing that it was going on.
By the time that decentralization had taken hold, it was too late for some interests that may have chosen to stop it from doing so.
The important point for me there is that the decentralization was almost accidental; not in its design, but in its impact.
I want to perhaps take a different approach, going to Alejandro's very eloquent comments on mission creep.
You know, I think that the phrase "mission creep" itself is somewhat loaded. I'm going to take a position I think a bit different than any of the positions I've heard to date. The word "creep," by its very nature is a bad sounding word.
Let's not forget again the relation of ICANN to its subject matter, the Internet.
There is no doubt that the early attempts to manage and I distinctly avoid the word "govern" here, and I actually looked in dictionary.com through the Thesaurus for some alternative. The best I can come up with is "manage."
ICANN exists in relation to managing some elements of the Internet.
If we were to look at some historical parallels, and for me, railroads, telephone systems come to mind, there is no doubt that over time, the subject matter that that management need entail grew and expanded. I would suggest that that is quite natural as the role of those pieces of infrastructure changed, evolved, and grew over time.
The Internet will continue to become more and more important and more and more ingrained in our everyday personal lives, in our business life.
I am not a fan of regulation. I am a fan of competition and as unfettered competition as possible.
But I think we need be careful to remember that it is natural that, over time, necessarily, some of the subject matter may expand in scope. And that should not be seen in an absolute sense as a bad thing.
I think that there are careful words that have been discussed around the mission. And as with any with any situation, it's going to be the implementation, but that, again, we need not forget that the subject matter itself is going to evolve and grow and change over time.
I also think it's important on that point to make a distinction between decentralization and a narrow focus.
I think we all understand very well the need for decentralization, bottoms up consensus in the ICANN process. And I think that should be looked at as a point separate and distinct from focus.
And I also urge all of us to be very careful with some arguments that have been put forward lately, although not in Shanghai specifically, suggesting that ICANN was intending or was starting to tread on competition.
For me, those arguments are much akin to arguments being made in the United States, and whenever I mention the United States, I always point out I'm Canadian, just to get my objectivity on the table in the United States today the FCC is criticized by some of the legacy telcos claiming that they need shackles taken off of them in order to more successfully compete with some of the newer entrants.
I want to be very specific here. We've heard a couple times, and I think Karl put quite well the position that contracts that are entered into voluntarily need be looked at as a whole.
ICANN's contractual relationships that deals with registry price is an appropriate relationship an appropriate contractual term that is not restraining competition in any way, but is in fact fostering it.
But in case there is any concern or hesitation in that regard, if any of the registry contracted parties are unhappy with price, the central term in any such contract, and are willing to rebid or reopen some of the registry contracts, specifically Tucows will put an offer on the table at a $2 a name registry price.
So I would like that to be very clear.
Lastly, and this is directed primarily to staff, ERC, it will eventually be the Board, as well as the ccs and the RIRs, we're also at the end of a very complex, very difficult reform process. Those strike me as the last two big obstacles to all of us moving forward and having ICANN be what it can be.
Again, with very few exceptions, I think that that is what everybody who takes the time and effort to participate in this process wants to see happen.
Getting there is a very delicate exercise. The human condition by its very nature makes it much easier to break things than to build things. Because of that, those of us that are trying to make it work have a much harder task than those of us that are trying to tear it down. So I urge all of you who are dealing with these last couple issues to please get us all over the finish line.
When I think of subject matter that requires decentralization, it is always extremely hard to effect. There are very few examples, in fact, I couldn't come up with any, where decentralization is as a conscious choice was made by a body that has some level of essential power.
So I urge you all to be very brave, leave us, and Stuart specifically, please leave us with a legacy of peace around this stuff.
Thank you very much for the opportunity.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you.
Before I call on Karl, I want to first of all thank you. That was a lovely, lovely statement.
You made me think of something which I hadn't thought about much of late. And it's the whole problem of achieving consensus on anything. You can't really achieve consensus unless you all have a common goal. Because it's very hard to have a consensus around goals that are conflicting. And so if we keep reminding ourselves that our goal is to keep this Internet running well and growing, perhaps it will help us achieve the consensus that we're looking for and get us, as Elliott says, past the finish line. Thank you very much, Elliot.
Karl, you had your hand up.
Karl Auerbach: Yeah. Rob Courtney's document arrived while you were speaking. And it takes pretty much the opposite position you do of fairly strictly constrained powers.
But assuming we followed your course, that there is creep which is permissible, do you have any suggestions what are pragmatic metrics we can use to determine when creeping is okay and when it's not?
Elliot Noss: No. Unfortunately, that's the very nature of what I'm trying to point out. Again, I'd love to find another word for "creep." That I didn't kind of run through the Thesaurus. But there will be outcomes for all of us. The Internet will find new and marvelous ways to weave itself into our very existence. And to try and describe or proscribe those today would be, I would put forward, a huge mistake.
What we have to do as an Internet community and what you all will have to do, or your successors on the Board will have to do, is to try and exercise good judgment as to when that's appropriate and when it's not. And I can only wish you all luck in that regard.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you.
Karl Auerbach: I was just wondering, what is so hard about asking permission for new power before we do something, before we creep?
Elliot Noss: I think in the construct that we have here, that makes it too easy for those who might, from a very narrow interest perspective, oppose that to stop expanding in scope.
And, again, I'll be the first to say that that should be as limited as possible under the circumstances. All I am saying is that we all need acknowledge that those circumstances might change, will change.
Karl, I know you've been around this stuff for a long time. And I don't think if we were having a conversation in 1996 you could have, with any certainty or clarity, described what the Internet in 2002 was going to be like. Nor do I think you'd expect to find yourself on that dais today.
Karl Auerbach: I'd be wrong if I did.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. So before I'm sorry. Was there someone else?
I see that I have four people queued up here. So I will ask them whether they will allow Esther a brief interjection.
Esther Dyson: Yeah. I will be very brief.
I think a lot of these calls for mission creep are really calls for creep only in my direction. And I think the basic notion of a contractual ICANN where you go for permission not to the ICANN Board or to an independent review panel or to the GAC, but to the membership, broadly defined, will help keep mission creep exactly as restrained as it needs to be.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, Esther.
Our next speaker is?
Roland La Plante: My name is Roland La Plante with Afilias. I'm here to express our support for both the process and the outcome of the ERC's work. We recognize that as the Internet evolves, the proposed mechanisms needed to maintain balance and consensus building as well as to ensure stability, must likewise evolve. And we applaud the process employed here over the last few months to achieve that.
While we expect further changes may ultimately be needed, we have confidence the Board will have a strong basis for development of further refinements before additional changes are enacted. We want to be on record in support of the current recommendation and would like to see it have a chance to work. Thank you.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much.
Paul Westley: My name is Paul Westley. I'm from Interneters, a registry based in the U.K.
The establishment of ICANN and its competitive marketplace for domain name services have enabled us to set about our business and to be here today.
This is our second ICANN meeting. I went to Bucharest. And we have observed the machinations of ICANN processes and the consequent difficulties in getting decisions taken. We therefore congratulate the ERC on its very thorough report and in particular welcome the new proposed structure and the environment which encourage the adoption of balanced and fair consensus reflecting the interests and needs of all stakeholders, contracted parties, and users.
Thank you very much.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you for that expression of support.
Katherine Kleiman: I'm Katherine Kleiman with the Association for Computing Machinery's Internet Governance Project.
I may be new to many of you on the Board. I am not new to those of us who have been here since the Berlin meeting.
The Association for Computing Machinery's Internet Governance Project was one of the original participants in the ICANN process, one of the founders of the NonCommercial constituency. And I served two terms on the Names Council as well as cochair of working group b.
I'm here to remind you of how many people and organizations you're leaving behind in the evolution and reform process that you are assumeably about to adopt tomorrow.
Confidence in ICANN has eroded in large parts of the technical community, the scientific and research communities, and the public interest and noncommercial communities their concerns, complaints have been on the record in many different forms. You have heard them also before. What you don't hear from them is now, here, there's a huge silence, and I'm in some ways here to represent that silence. People are so frustrated and so upset that they're not participating.
And you lose, and we all lose by their lack of participation.
I'll pick that up.
One person I do represent here is Barbara Simons, the former president of the Association for Computing Machinery, an organization of 75,000 professionals, who ran for the ICANN Board.
She was runner up in North America, and she feels betrayed by the relinquishing and the dropping of the at large process.
There was a promise, and I'm here to remind you what that promise was, dating back to those of us who participated in these early processes.
The at large process and the nine Board seats that the at large members were supposed to directly elect were part of the fundamental promises of accountability and legitimacy for ICANN.
Those nine seats became five. Those five seats have become zero. When you think about this tomorrow, think about how much has been lost.
These five seats here represent people who in no other way could have been represented on this ICANN Board and will not come through the Nominating Committee. They are some of the most interesting, diverse, important voices here, not to discredit anyone else's voice, but they bring a diversity of the end users, those of us who are using the Internet for free speech, for human rights, for political purposes, for personal purposes.
You're not going to get that through the other processes. You're not going to get that through a Nominating Committee of internal people. And the reason we know that is the proof is in the pudding. The Nominating Committee for the ICANN Nominating Committee for North America nominated Professor Lawrence Lessig who came in third, Karl Auerbach came in first,
Lawrence Lessig, the compromise candidate came in third.
It's not going to need to the kind of voices and representation we need on the ICANN Board.
The mission statement does need to be revisited. You have a document from the Center for Democracy in Technology. Within the mission statement is the ability to define what ICANN is and what ICANN is not. Again, it's critical for accountability and transparency.
If you're going to help restore and bring back ICANN from a crisis of trust and confidence, go back to the mission statement and make it much clearer and much more narrow.
And something that hasn't been raised here, and I raise it now, is Annex A to the proposed new Bylaws, something which was somewhat buried in links and was not even printed out as of yesterday in the Boards or in materials is the GNSO policy development process. For those few people in the Noncommercial constituency still participating, this is the road map for their being left behind. This is guidance these are time frames that no Noncommercial constituency member, no Names Council member, no task force member will be able to accomplish.
It requires a documentation that Alejandro said that the Evolution and Reform Committee couldn't even accomplish. The type of documentation of listing everyone who participated, listing the views that they submitted. Alejandro in his presentation said that the Evolution and Reform Committee was not able to keep that kind of detail. How are people who are volunteers from the NonCommercial constituency possibly going to do that, possibly going to be respond in a time frame that's set up for those people who are professionals in this process and paid to do it?
If you want to do what this Annex A, which should be dropped you should not under any circumstances pass it tomorrow. It needs much more consideration. The GNSO assistance committee had no representative from the NonCommercial constituency on it when it worked on this.
But if you have what it's going to result in is exactly the messiness that Alejandro is trying to avoid at the Board level, because we're not going to be able to get our input in at the policy making level. We're going to wind up coming down at the end and telling you that this hurts free speech, that this hurts human rights that, this hurts privacy. Much better to give us enough time to translate these documents, to do the outreach to all the countries of NonCommercial constituency, and to get a much better participation.
Triple the time frames on this, add much more reasonable periods, and maybe you've got something workable.
Vinton Cerf: Karl.
Karl Auerbach: I just wanted to mention
Katherine Kleiman: Wait, wait.
Before you vote on these Bylaws, again, think carefully about what this means to people in your own countries who are using the Internet and the domain name system for their personal communication, their political communication. Mr. Chun was right, you need a lot more time. And we need a lot more time to consider the bylaws and all the changes that have been proposed and all the side agreements that have been made that are being discussed. We don't know the wording, we don't know the language, and you need to hear and think, as do we.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Thank you. Karl.
Karl Auerbach: Yeah. I just wanted to emphasize, we shouldn't underestimate some of the hostility in technical groups that is being raised against ICANN. For example, this morning or today on the NANOG list, North American operators list, there's been a threat about ICANN distributed denial of service. And some of the statements about our competence are extremely negative. But apart from that, no one came to defend us. And I think that's even a stronger part of that. What was that?
I still couldn't hear you.
Alejandro Pisanty: You are on the list.
Karl Auerbach: I'm on the list of NANOG. But I never post on NANOG. I'm not a network operator.
Vinton Cerf: Let's see. I have Amadeu and then Stuart Lynn.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Okay. Vint, I don't know, I have to ask your opinion.
In good established public forum, there are questions, not answers.
I just want to comment on direct questions. So I am asking your permission on whether I should move forward or just leave it on the floor and express my opinions tomorrow in the meeting.
Vinton Cerf: I'd be interested in hearing your comment if it's brief, please.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Amadeu and brief doesn't fit together very well. But that's up to you to control me.
Kathy, yes, we are all I mean, many of us are really worried about the fact that we are not hearing that many voices from the communities that should be echoing this their concerns in the ICANN process.
But you and I have a completely different perception of that. My perception, my recollection from those that are telling me, probably because we are talking to different people, is that they don't, you know, spend their time coming here, or if they come, they will never go to the mike because they cannot trust an organization that spends 90% of its time talking about process, talking about mission creep, and using exactly that as a mission creep. Our real mission creep is dealing with things, about, you know, the political state of the world that has nothing to do with our concrete mission of managing some technical aspects of the Internet for the best of the stability of the users.
We are most of the time talking about process, talking about, sorry, accommodating the egos of some self appointed saviors of the world. This is the real mission creep.
Stuart Lynn: Could I ask a question, how long have you been a member of ACM?
Katherine Kleiman: How long have I?
I was a student president at the University of Chicago in, like, 1983.
Stuart Lynn: Okay. I've been a member since 1959, which is 42 years. I'm a former member of the council, chairman of the publications board, editor in chief of the publications, the ACM. I just want to point out much as I'm very sympathetic to many of your remarks and what you have to say and they have to be taken very seriously and listened to, I'm always a little disturbed when someone says they represent 70,000 people, and you may 69,999, but you don't represent me.
Katherine Kleiman: I said the Association for that Barbara is president, Barbara Simons had represented 75,000 people.
But those who those who have sent me here with a very strong message include Peter Noyman and Dave Farber. There's tremendous concern and a crisis of confidence in ICANN.
Stuart Lynn: I also have one or two friends left in ACM, too. And I'm not sure they would necessarily agree with those points of view.
Vinton Cerf: You have one of them here. I've only been a member since 1967, I'm a former member of the ACM council as well. And I was about to publicly destroy my ACM membership card if this is representative of what ACM thinks.
Karl Auerbach: Yeah. Well, i've been a member of ACM since about 1972. But that's irrelevant.
Karl Auerbach: Does one person speaking represent an a body of people? Well, isn't this the premise on which ICANN has been constructed, that we have an IP constituency who claims to represent all intellectual property owners, that we have all kinds of
Karl Auerbach: We've built this whole premise thing on stakeholders. If you look outside and say let's build a new government for Shanghai, wouldn't it be Canon and Epson and we wouldn't see any of the people in the street. Our premise of representation, I think Stuart is right, it is false. This is why we need individuals and people with real roles, real ability to participate in a real at large where they have a real ability to express their opinions that will be heard and considered and that their votes will really count.
The individual does matter.
Vinton Cerf: So there.
Stuart Lynn: I note all these youngsters joining ACM at various times since I joined 43 years ago.
You're gaining on me, but you're not going to catch up with me.
Stuart Lynn: However, I will note that I agree with Karl. On the other hand, I think what's important in my view is the kind of involvement that the At Large Advisory Committee is constructing and wants to represent, which is the people who want to get involved in the substance of ICANN's business and not just in the process.
Thank you very much.
Vinton Cerf: Who's our next speaker now? Mr. Dengate Thrush.
Peter Dengate Thrush: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Peter Dengate Thrush. I have the honor to present the last or a portion of the last communique from the ccTLD constituency.
With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I will just read the paragraphs of the communique that will go to the Reform Committee. We were going to table this in the public comment, bought I've been prevailed to do it now because of the relevance.
Vinton Cerf: Keep in mind that someone is transcribing, so please pace your remarks.
Peter Dengate Thrush: And perhaps before I do that, can I endorse the comments made by my colleagues from the assistance group earlier, and just comment that there may have been a hint in what Alejandro said about a tough job for the assistance group that has nothing to do with the content of the assistance group's work. The only toughness associated with the assistance group was in relation to the manner of their appointment.
144 representatives of 65 country codes met in Shanghai, China, on October 27th, 28th, and 29th, 2002. And there's a list of those attached to the communiqué. The country code managers accord their appreciation for the local host organizing committee.
One, on completion of withdrawal from DNSO. In Stockholm, in June 2001, the ccTLD community began the process of withdrawing from the DNSO and forming a support organization to represent country code interests in ICANN.
That process is complete, with the withdrawal taking effect at the close of the Names Council meeting today which, of course, was yesterday, the day of this communique.
2, Further aspect of ICANN reform.
Managers reconfirmed the detailed response to the ERC blueprint, which had been produced and delivered in Bucharest in June 2002 and there's a URL. It was expected this would provide support for ccTLD members of the cc assistance group in presenting and developing the position of the ccTLD community.
We noted with dismay that the ERC has not yet taken into account what was said in Bucharest.
Managers agreed and this is the part that Chris mentioned managers agreed that the first output from the assistance group, a graphical analysis of the functions, responsibilities, and accountabilities of parties involved in Internet registry maintenance, provided a useful tool for further work by the assistance group in defining the scope of the ccSO and accepted the assistant group's working methodology.
In view of the continuing failures by ICANN in conducting its stewardship of the IANA function, particularly in relation to ccTLD database updates, managers agreed to set up a working group to develop a plan to set up a system of independent management of the DNS root entries and database entries.
It is expected this plan will be in parallel with attempts to create an acceptable ccSO, and to be available in the event that that is unsuccessful.
Managers agreed that while a role for ccTLD managers in ICANN was being reviewed, managers would continue to operate as the worldwide alliance of ccTLDs, using the existing administrative committee secretariat and systems, although henceforth outside the ICANN bylaws.
It was agreed that no ccTLD meeting would be organized in conjunction with ICANN's proposed meeting in Amsterdam in December.
And managers wholeheartedly support the blueprint for reform of Internet address management, which was proposed by the regional address registries.
So that's the end of the communique, Mr. Chairman, in relation to reform.
Just to stress we're proceeding down two parallel tracks. Many of us, and I put myself in that category, trust we will find ICANN to be the trusted partner that the White Paper principles propose, and that an SO in which ccTLD policy will be made.
However, in view of the history of this, we've deemed it prudent to set up an alternative should that not succeed.
Vinton Cerf: I trust it won't be necessary, Peter.
Any questions? No. Thank you very much. And we'll hear from you later, I assume, on the remainder of the commentary.
Our next speaker.
Steve Metalitz: Good afternoon. I'm Steve Metalitz with the Intellectual Property Constituency. And I just want to bring up three specific issues that came up in the discussion of the revised bylaws that we've had at the two ipc meetings over the last two weeks.
First, in article XI, section 4 of the Bylaws, you'll find a I think the Evolution and Reform Committee has proposed a very good framework for at large participation, but I think we have to recognize that this framework, at this point, exists only in one place, which is Article XI, section 4 of the Bylaws, and not in reality yet.
And under those circumstances, it may be more prudent to retain the original proposal in the blueprint for reform under which it would be the Board that would select five members of the Nominating Committee and that the proposal to have the At Large Advisory Committee support more than one quarter of the Nominating Committee should wait until there is, in fact, an active and globally supported At Large Advisory Committee to make that selection.
That's the first point.
The second provision I'd like to call your attention to is article X, Section 5.3, which says that no person or entity that is an active member of any one constituency this is a constituency of the GNSO shall be a member of any other constituency.
Some of you may be familiar with the book I remember with great fondness called Flatland by Edwin Abbott which described life in a two dimensional world and how difficult it was for two dimensional creatures to understand three dimensional objects when they appeared in the two dimensional world.
I think of this as the "flatland" provision because it requires all participants in the GNSO who may have multiple dimensions of their participation to choose one and only one dimension in which they are allowed to participate in the DNSO process.
This would be counter it would require a change in the Bylaws of the IPC and perhaps other constituencies.
And I think the discussion in our Constituency was regardless of that, it's unwise to tell people you must abjure any attempt to express your interest, for example, a NonCommercial entity if you also have an intellectual property interest or a business interest.
So I would hope that the Board could relook at this provision.
We don't think it's necessary, and we would urge that that sentence be dropped.
Finally, you've already heard, if not at the microphone at least in the resolutions from the Names Council, about concerns about the changes in voting powers on the GNSO Council.
I think we at the IPC have come away from this meeting with a better understanding of the political realities which make this an expedient decision, but we are still not persuaded that it is the right decision.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much.
Let me get Jonathan, then Karl, then Amadeu.
Jonathan Cohen: Steve, would you find it acceptable if people could join as many constituencies as they want but could only vote in one?
Steve Metalitz: Well, I think that would certainly be an improvement over the current provision, because at least it would allow them to participate in the discussion.
I'm not sure that any such restriction is really necessary, but it would certainly be an improvement over what's now proposed.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you.
Karl Auerbach: Yeah, with regard to your suggestion that we return to the status quo for the at large nominating, I would suggest we had a vibrant operating at large two years ago, we had independent discussions and groups, and that is the status quality we should return to.
But ICANN has done its best to make sure that did not survive.
Vinton Cerf: Amadeu.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Okay.
Steve, one question.
You mentioned the problem here with flatland and try to identify your interest of perhaps excessively divided participation for the GNSO.
One of my obsessions, in the GNSO we have made the mistake of having party lines to create interest groups that create really the function of the DNSO by the factor that you only talk with your similar constituencies and yourstruggle for power with many different groups.
We try to solve that with the Evolution and Reform Committee, but still, we are talking about interest and not functions.
The functions, which is what interests ICANN, is providers of names services and the GNSO and users of names services.
Would it be your personal opinion, not IPC, if we thought it would be more logical and have to ask registries and registrars on one side and commercial and noncommercial users on the other side?
These are the real functions.
Let me say, Intellectual Property Constituency came here because at the very beginning you have two very specific problems.
ICANN was here among other things to create new TLDs.
ICANN was here among other things trying to find a solution to the cybersquatting problem at the time.
These things are related very closely to intellectual property interests.
This is one of the reasons for having a separate constituency.
Don't you think that perhaps today we have the time to reorganize, rationalize this small constituency interest based and not function based perspective?
Steve Metalitz: I'll give my personal opinion and as you suggested in your question, it's not something the IPC has taken a position on.
I do think many of the participants of the Intellectual Property Constituency as the questions have evolved are coming to take perhaps a broader viewpoint as users of the system or as representatives of a certain type of domain name registrant.
And one of the discussions we have often had within the Constituency is whether a particular issue that has been presented is one that primarily concerns us as intellectual property interests or is it one that primarily concerns us as representatives of a category of domain name registrants.
So that issue has certainly come up.
I guess one of the premises that I think is behind your question that I would question is that this is a providers versus users issue, and perhaps that should be it should be reflected in the structure or voting arrangements of the GNSO in that way.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Not versus.
Providers and users, but not versus.
Steve Metalitz: Okay.
Then may be I'm reading too much into your question.
But I think the experience in the DNSO has been that, in fact, these interests or these functions do not representatives of these functions do not line up monolithically in many cases on both sides of the issues, and I think that is a premise which has motivated some of the decisions that the ERC has made about this question and which is why we don't feel it's been justified.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Steve.
I would like to take a kind of poll.
I need to find out how many people are waiting to make further comment on the ERC.
Raise your hand, please.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12.
Then we have a choice.
We didn't actually schedule a break this afternoon, and given the number of people who are waiting, maybe we shouldn't.
If there's not a great deal of disagreement, I'm going to continue without taking an official break, and those of you whose kidneys tell you otherwise should feel free to depart briefly and then come back.
Is that acceptable?
Vinton Cerf: All right.
So I don't see a great rush for the doors.
So let's proceed and we'll try to stay on schedule.
Thomas Roessler: I would like to make a brief follow up.
I apologize for rushing in front of some other people.
I would like to make a brief follow up statement to what we just heard from Steve Metalitz.
He suggested we should return to the status quo and the stated bylaws to the status quo.
I believe this would be a mistake because it would enforce those who are trying to set up an At Large Advisory Committee, it would force these people and these organizations to concentrate on process and on structure once again.
Please provide bylaws which describe a workable steady state future of ICANN so these organizations can be gotten on Board for their work on issues, not on process.
Vinton Cerf: And I would certainly have to agree.
Anything that gets us focused on issues would be very helpful.
David Young: David Young with Verizon and I would like to thank Alejandro and the ERC for all the work that's been done.
We don't agree on all of the details and precisely all the specifics in there, I think that overall we should all be happy with the progress that's been made, and as you've heard, there are some concerns especially about the change to the weighted voting.
But I think that the policy development process, if it's used properly, should alleviate a lot of those concerns.
The problem is I don't think fundamentally with how the process has been articulated but with how it's used.
And I think that we continue to see a problem with a lack of participation early in the process.
A lot of work is done by the task forces.
Drafts and documents are put out there and adequate input and comment from all of the relevant parties are not received.
When comments are received, they are frequently just critical, "I don't like this, I don't like this, I don't like this," and not constructive.
So I would like to see more engagement of the entire community in actually developing good policies and addressing the issues such as transfers, deletes, Whois.
These are all active issues right now that are being worked on by various task forces.
And then finally, I would like to say that the engagement and really productive participation of the at large community is very important, and I'd like to thank Esther and Denise and the rest of the advisory group for the work that they've done.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much.
Oh, Peter's kidney is leaving.
Robert Hall: He was speaking when I got here so I figured
Vinton Cerf: Go ahead.
Robert Hall: My name is Robert Hall.
I represent Names Code of Canada.
I would like to give you perspective on how long this has been going on, I met my wife at ICANN and I'm happy to pronounce the first ICANN baby will be due in February.
So I think ICANN is great, for personal reasons.
But on the business side, you brought competition to us, so you took an industry that was a monopoly and brought competition.
You've created registrar jobs.
You've created jobs for lawyers to come here and speak to you.
So you've created many types of jobs.
But more than anything, you've done something.
So you took the task on and said we're going to do something, we're going to make some decisions.
And as a Canadian, unfortunately I'm sad to say our government is very popular for doing nothing, but nothing gets done unfortunately.
So the key that you've done is you've made some decisions.
The ERC document I think the key to it, and I won't speak to how many Board seats there are and that type of thing but the key is get a Board that's good and intelligent and can make a rational and logical decision based on evidence.
Then the debate becomes how do we get them that evidence.
And as long as there's a procedure in place so that all views are heard, then a decision can be made by reasonable and sound people.
I think that's what we've seen done so far.
I may not agree with all the decisions you made but I'm thankful you made them.
I'd encourage you to keep going, follow your gut, and do what you know is right.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much.
YJ Park: I am YJ Park and an elected panel member of At Large.org which is one of the self organizing at large community groups.
Before I address my concern, I'd like to share my strong support for the comments made by Katherine Kleiman, the former Names Council of the NonCommercial constituency so I'd like you to pay attention to my comments, too.
And my question is about this whole at large movement from the beginning.
And I also appreciate the Board for incorporating At Large Advisory Committee after Bucharest, but on the other hand, I also want to ask the Board to remember the initial promise made by Department of Commerce in the White Paper: 9 board directors from the at large constituency.
Alejandro Pisanty, Chairman of ERC, during his presentation placed high emphasis on the criticality on building trust within ICANN. However, until individual users can get more specific answers from the Board as to the at large representation, individual users sure have difficulties with commercial interest with ICANN and the Department of Commerce.
Over four years, the challenge of developing mechanisms to reflect individual users' voices into ICANN's decision making process, since ICANN was created in 1998, progressed in the following manner.
In 1999, we did have a membership advisory committee.
2000 and 2001, we did have an at large study committee, the NAIS group, the interim coordinating committee who tried to bring allied voices in this decision making process.
And this year, we did have ICANN atlarge.com which became atlarge.org, and an At Large Advisory Committee this year, and lastly an advisory committee assistance group was formed to develop at large advisory committee.
So we reached the conclusion that no at large board directors; therefore, ICANN is becoming a business association rather than consensus building coordination body.
In the name of the Internet community, ICANN has been trying to include and listen to ccTLD managers, business groups, intellectual property groups, RIRs, even the government.
But individual users were sidelined without an appropriate representation guarantee.
In 1998, nine Board seats were guaranteed for individual users.
Now, as of 2002, what individual users are offered is five at large representatives on the Nominating Committee together with other 13 constituencies.
No single Board seat is not guaranteed for the individual users.
If I may, on behalf of those who have worked hard on at large representation since its beginning, I think we have to make that such enormous energies and efforts put forward with people in this ICANN process are . . . .
However, there are still ongoing efforts, such as ICANN atlarge.org to build a constituency with limited resources. It was founded in August in the hope we can be heard in ICANN's decision making process.
Here I would like to propose to the Board first, the Board should make substantial efforts continuously to strengthen users' voices in the representation, make sure the At Large Advisory Committee should establish a bottom up decision making process as it is expected, in consultation with the existing group.
Second, the Board considers forming a committee to reintroduce nine Board members from at large constituency in near future.
Thank you for your attention and consideration to this proposal.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, YJ.
Are there any questions?
Karl and then Lyman.
Karl Auerbach: YJ, could you refresh my memory, what was the conclusion of the original membership advisory committee in the ICANN's ALSC and the NAIS report?
Wasn't it that there would be public elections of Board members?
And have conditions changed that invalidated those conclusions.
YJ Park: You mean if the the condition changed so should we accept the conclusion changed, too?
Karl Auerbach: Yeah, is there any reason why those previous three studies are invalid?
Why we should change?
Why we should reflect their conclusions?
Has anything changed?
YJ Park: Well, I don't I don't I'm not so sure whether I got your point, but what I believe is, for example, the elections conducted in 2000, which was not really total failure compared to the recent DNSO Board election.
Because the whole criticism against the 2000 election is there was some kind of top down nationalistic campaign in several regions which we cannot really guarantee as individual users' voices.
And that kind of mistake can happen, for example, like the recent DNSO Board election.
Outcome was 15 versus 2, and maybe the candidate can be very well respected and very well, I mean, competent, but some people call that like a smoke screen deals and behind the counter deals.
And so always, election has some kind of unexpected or some kind of horse trade.
So I think if I remember like how this whole at large movement was developed this way, it was strong criticism against 2000 at large election which was not actually valid.
Is it the right answer to your question?
Karl Auerbach: There's no right answer.
Vinton Cerf: If I can help a little bit, my recollection is that the Committee that we did form that looked into all kinds of at large issues concluded that elections weren't feasible at that time, and that's why we ended up with the at large advisory committee.
Karl Auerbach: I go back to a public election on Tuesday, as do most of us in the United States.
There are systems in which elections do work.
My sample ballot.
Vinton Cerf: Yes.
Karl Auerbach: California.
Vinton Cerf: Let's see.
Lyman had his hand up, then Hans, then Alex.
Lyman Chapin: A question, I'm sorry, before you head back.
This is a question I've actually been asking a number of people.
And I say that because it's a genuine question; it's not an attempt to try to put you on the spot.
But how would you describe the at large constituency?
And the way I've been framing this question, what I've been asking people is if I presented you with an individual what test could I use to determine whether that person was a member of the at large constituency or not a member?
And you can imagine what I'm getting at is if you wanted to establish what the population was that you were dealing with for the purposes, for example, of holding elections, you would need to know how to apply that test so that you could tell whether somebody was or wasn't.
I'm just curious what your impression is of what the at large constituency consists of.
YJ Park: Well, I think in some sense we have collectively faced this kind of challenge, because whenever we try to the definition of Internet community, for example.
I mean, it's very difficult who is on the Internet community and who is not.
I mean, we do continuously face very similar questions, but sometimes we sort of pretend to know the answer.
For example, like with Internet community, there is no challenge against the Internet community.
But why should we just specifically challenge regarding at large individual members, which I think very unfair.
And there have been different efforts to organize at large communities, like locally and maybe nationally and globally, and which also face that kind of same challenges.
But based on my experience to build such a kind of community at the local level and the global level, I do think it would be very valuable to start from at some point, a list, for example, like icannatlarge.orgcurrently has more than 1,000 members which should not be ignored, and that could be measured as critical mass.
And if there is some kind of local Internet community, well, at large constituency which is listed as one member of at large organizing committee, for example, ISOC Italy and ISOC Peru and so on, their membership can be very limited, like less than 100.
But they can be identified as a national at large community.
So we do have the same challenge everywhere, including ourselves, like so called ICANN and Internet community.
So we should not just ignore or pretend to know the answer from the beginning.
We should explore the whole concept together with Internet community.
Vinton Cerf: Lyman.
Lyman Chapin: Thank you, I appreciate that.
I think you'll appreciate that the ERC certainly believes that the way in which we've constructed a first step ALAC, At Large Advisory Committee, in the reform proposal, is trying to take the first step towards doing exactly what you described; to find those organizations that have self organized and that represent genuinely identifiable populations of individual people, and to begin to incorporate them into the ICANN process.
And what I'd like to sort of get at is: is it your sense that that has not gone far enough or is it your sense that it's going in completely the wrong direction?
YJ Park: Well, this is my personal opinion, and I think I cannot say it's the wrong direction because I understand this is very hard to change at this moment in some sense.
But what I wanted to urge to the Board, I mean, at this moment is probably you can consider like the future goal to reintroduce nine at large Board members which was promised at the beginning.
And setting some kind of main goal for this organization.
Because at this moment, probably you should I mean, there is not much options to consider nine at large Board of directors because of reality.
But even though that's the sort of given condition, everybody, including the Board members, should collectively make efforts to bring those Internet users' voices back.
Actually, it was not in the beginning, though, but we have to make a try to reflect those voices who are silent, according to Kathy, and with which I also agree.
And for example, like we are having meeting in Shanghai.
We had meeting in very sort of foreign places, but we do meet each other.
Some people commented it's like agreeing as a whole, Washington, DC., in several exotic places.
So we didn't really reach the sort of level, we wanted to achieve like more global participation and more efficient mechanisms to reflect the users' views all over the world who will be the main stakeholders in your future.
Vinton Cerf: Did I leave out some people that had their hands up?
It was Hans and Alex?
Hans Kraaijenbrink: Yes, Vint.
Just for the record, in the White Paper of June 1998, there is no reference at all to nine directly elected at large Board members.
There is not even a reference to at large Board members, and there is no specification of the numbers.
So there is no promise from that White Paper that there should be a typical construct for individual user participation. And in the history of ICANN, the efforts have been manifold to reach this goal.
And I believe speaking from the ERC that we have brought forward a very responsible proposal.
Karl Auerbach: Speaking for the record, I would say that since the formation of ICANN, there have been commitments made by ICANN that there will be publicly elected directors, such as made by Esther Dyson to Congress, and that ICANN has had only one election and has taken steps to make sure that it will, apparently, never occur again. And I would place a bet of let's just say $100 U.S. that we will have a hundred new top level domains from ICANN before we have any at large election that is meaningful in which people actually elect directors.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. We have that on the record.
Alejandro Pisanty: I think I will just reinforce the statements made by Hans and what's behind the statement by Lyman that the ERC has gone really out of its way between the many varied forces that push for direct elections and the at large and those that are absolutely repelled from an ICANN that continues to discuss this issue, and revisiting, even though the Accra meeting provided an extensive discussion of the evaluations of the elections up to that moment and the perspectives for the future, which, to the best of my recollection, for many Board members, do not rule them out forever. They just rule them out for the foreseeable period and foreseeable means while the present premise is that they are impractical
Vinton Cerf: Thank you.
Who is next up?
Mao Wei: This is Mao Wei from CNNIC.
Everybody knows the Internet has become the global mission (inaudible) structure, and domain names
Vinton Cerf: Could I suggest yes. I think that will help the transcriber.
Mao Wei: is fundamental to the infrastructure.
So I think ICANN is very important for the stability of the infrastructure. Currently, ICANN is private and nonprofit corporation under this MoU between ICANN and the U.S. Government.
So we are suggesting maybe it create an independent and highly international model that is more useful for the ICANN to reach its global missions.
Independent and highly effective nongovernmental international organizations will be more attractive to the world's stakeholders. But we have some research projects for that, and we have put the document on the table outside this hall. And it's still very much a draft, but I think we can maybe do something for the next meeting, and I think the suggestion is interesting.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you.
Finally, any consideration of an entirely different body would take some time to develop details. So we assume you'll come back when you have some of those.
The next speaker.
Tony Holmes: Tony Holmes, ISPCP.
The ISPCP have responded at each stage of the process. And our major concerns are well documented.
We continue to support the main principles that we've articulated previously in those papers. In saying that, we do fully understand the difficulties faced by the ERC and Alejandro in pulling together anything that covers such a broad spectrum and such diverse views.
There are a couple of issues which are still of major concern. And I'll just briefly say what they are.
The first one is still the decision to change the representation on the GNSO, even after a year, to change from three representatives down to two remains a major concern. We haven't seen any compelling evidence why that should change whatsoever. And the fact that it's a 21 person council doesn't seem to deflect from the aims of that body from its fleetness of foot or from the demands that are placed on it of geographic diversity.
The other one will come as no surprise: It's the issue of voting power. And I've heard it referred to as equalization. I believe it's anything but that. It's more a case of those who feel they have a privileged position due to the nature of their business skewing the voting process rather than anything else.
But that isn't the main point I want to make here.
The major issue of concern I do want to raise is one that Steve Metalitz picked up earlier. It's the issue of a change to the Bylaws that prevents an entity being a member of more than one constituency.
We believe in ISPCP that this is totally unworkable and it also makes a mockery of ICANN's constant call for involvement and support for its activities.
The level of concern over the issue seems disproportionate to what's actually at risk. And we fully understand that maybe an individual shouldn't be allowed to participate in more than one constituency. That's understandable. But certainly not an entity.
And we would urge the Board to have far more dialogue, particularly with the parties involved in this, before any decision is taken.
I'd also like to pick up on the point made earlier by Jonathan. He said, is it an issue that could be resolved by perhaps allowing participation but not voting?
I don't think that that is a viable way for it. Taking part in the ICANN process demands resources, it demands effort. And I don't believe anyone is going to be prepared to put that effort in if, at the end of the day, you're told you haven't got a voice anyway when it comes to voting. So I don't think that is a way forward.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, Tony.
I imagine a number of people would share those views. Jonathan.
Jonathan Cohen: Actually, the reason I suggested it, Tony, is because at least one constituency allows anybody to participate, and many do, who aren't entitled to vote. And they've had very good participation and hard work by people who actually can't vote, but through their hard work and efforts, do influence what happens.
Tony Holmes: Just in response to that, I can think of certain entities here who qualify for at least four constituencies. And they'd be very interested in participating. It's pretty core to a lot of their business interests.
So I think that's when the rubber hits the road.
Vinton Cerf: Alejandro.
Alejandro Pisanty: Tony, the I'd like to reply to this point with a little bit more detail than I was able to describe in the presentation at the beginning of this session.
I will never presume that I or the whole Committee can have it fully correct. But one view of what we're doing with the voting rights here is to correct and develop the design of the constituency system, which has been described in terms that I understand politically are very common in English which is "jerrymandering" or in French is called the scorpion, which is dividing up the world in a certain way that is mostly arbitrary, mostly based on present needs and a vision to the future which may not hold forever. And we find compelling reasons to still keep the constituencies more or less similar to what they have been, and they show this in the design of the new GNSO.
We do see let me put it very shortly that the representation rights may not have been correctly balanced from the start in representing some realities there. And what we are doing is very much like is a very rough parallel, I am not using this as a foundation for the argument dividing the country or a region into districts and then finding that some of the voting rights and districts and states and some of the voting rights go to direct representation for each district and others go for senators for a particular state using similarities of political systems of the U.S. and of Mexico, at least, which I know.
So this type of balancing there may not be perfect, again, and we see that as a principal reason to understand it rationally, if not to accept it.
And the practical, historical, political reason for this is, we have faced, actually, a request a very different request, and you may remember it in Bucharest, it was very, very, very loudly and explicitly, both in the public meetings and in the corridors, which was to establish two separate supporting organizations to substitute for the proposed GNSO, which will be one of the Registries and Registrars, and if there ever were any other contracted parties whose services in the form of operating the services depend on contracts with ICANN; and another one with present BC, IPC, NCDNHC, and so forth.
And we believe that that would have been a very bad idea. We believe that at the moment and we still believe that if the options we had in front of us were reduced to that option, to separate the GNSO into two different supporting organizations, we might as well do away with the Names Council and with the councils and each of them and have all the constituencies just come direct to the Board with an endless row of bickering and push and pull over all sizes and kinds of issues.
We decided to take the very significant work of devising a policy process, an independent review process, a lot of other things that will incentivize consensus building with these entities without having the ICANN Board be the resolver for each and every one of those conflicts.
And that has to be reflected in this rebalancing of the votes. That's the practical development that we have come to.
Regarding the voting rights or membership rights in different constituencies, the way it has worked up until now is that we only have voting rights in one constituency, even if you belong to many.
Here again, we have a lot of push and pull: small businesses, small organizations, noncommercial organizations, individuals who may eventually find a way to organize themselves, despite repeated efforts that never go beyond a few dozen people before they dissent greatly and crumble. All these different organizations are extremely touchy, resentful, sensitive to the rights of large organizations that, quote unquote, can pay full time lobbyists to do all of this work and feel at a very serious disadvantage. And we hope we have stricken a right balance here. I personally would look at the possibility of membership in more than one while keeping voting rights in a single one so that the system not a system that is not rigged. We are not building a system that is not rigged. We are building a system that is rigged in a way that's reasonably fair to all parties.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. I have two other people I have two other people with their hands up. Amadeu was one, and Karl was another. Amadeu.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Thanks.
Tony, on the same line that I was asking to Steve, this is not my logical, I think, is not providers against in the other place of.
My problem is when we discuss about multiple memberships, things like that, and constituencies, how many constituencies. The real failure of the DNSO is that nobody feels being the DNSO. You are ISP, you are commercial, you are registrar.
You are trying to combine all of the interests at that level before they go to the DNSO. But the reality is that none of these considerations is monolithic.
Well, perhaps the all the gTLDs said it was there. But even then perhaps they had different ideas within the same company.
So what's more important is that all of the relevant parties' interests, entities and individuals find a place in the DNSO.
Now, for some minimum structural work, we need to describe why they are there, why their voice is important. They are registries, registrars, they are users.
So the first question is, once again, the ISPCP is there for some historical reasons. We still need we think to keep this structure. Shouldn't we simply say we are the DNSO. The problem is not the voting rights. The problem is the working habits and the influence comes more often through work and ideas than through both.
We want more work, we want less votes.
Don't you think that perhaps could you even rearrange the DNSO more in a, you know, less constituency based, less district, less jerrymandering and more in a functional base of why you are interested there as an entity, not as, you know, a part of one of the districts?
Tony Holmes: I do believe as I said at the start of this there needs to be more dialogue.
Before I respond on that particularly, I'd like to think that through to some degree.
What I do know is that I represent an entity that could fit in various places. But I only feel qualified to operate in one, not in all of those. And I believe to put in place any structure that limits the place of any people far more professional, far more experienced to participate in the ICANN process, and participate fully, not to some degree, representing other interests, is something that needs to be considered. And perhaps what you are suggesting is one way that it could happen.
I can't say that I am in a position to respond to that fully.
But this is a real issue that needs to be addressed. And I think it needs some serious thought before any decisions are taken on this.
Vinton Cerf: Alternatively, bear in mind if we find the conclusion is wrong later from experience, we can always change it.
Karl Auerbach: I don't see Harold Alverstrand out there, but he did point out once when he was chair of the General Assembly that the division a priori of constituencies and the like was the root of disaster that the DNSO became.
And I would suggest that the term balancing the vote is really just a euphemism or politically correct way of saying that we were jerrymandering or engineering the outcome. And I would suggest the last thing we want to do is to try to balance the outcome. We should let the competing interests work it out, fight it out amongst themselves.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. I don't see any other hands on the Board here. So thank you very much, Tony.
Our next speaker is Philip.
Sorry about that, Philip. I let you jump improperly ahead. I'm sorry. Please go ahead.
Bruce Tonkin: Hi. My name is Bruce Tonkin from Melbourne IT, which is a registrar.
Just at a high level, Melbourne it is still supportive of ICANN and supports the present structure that the ERC committee has proposed. And we also support the balance between the contracting parties and the users on the GNSO. One area that I am very keen on is that we move forward and get the high level structure behind us and get back to looking at the underlying issues, one area that's been very frustrating to a number of parties has been how slow the organization is in reacting to what are often operational problems. In the case of Melbourne it, it's transfers. And in the case of many of the ccTLDs, it's over getting changes made to name servers.
What I would urge is that the individuals and that's mostly individuals that participate within the structure begin to work more effectively with the ICANN staff, make more of an effort to work with the major parties when there is an operational issue so that we can resolve at least those operational issues quickly rather than in a process that takes a couple of years.
However, there are other areas that take much longer. And certainly I can understand that the individuals would like to have time to consider much larger structural changes such as in the area of Whois.
The other comment I would make from the point of view of individuals and in many cases, my participation is as an individual rather than as a company representative. We're not working in areas that are directly related to my business objectives.
But as individuals, instead of trying to get a position on the Board so that you can say yes or no to something, I'd like individuals to actively participate right at the bottom, which is putting in well thought out responses to the task forces and to the issues. And if you do that, you will very soon find yourself invited to participate at a higher level, and eventually at the Board, which and I think many of the members of the Board here today started as individuals participating very constructively within different organizations in the beginning of the Internet, and have eventually gained respect and have been appointed.
So I'd just like to encourage those individuals to participate directly by providing meaningful input at the issues stage. Because that's where we need the help. And I know from my involvement at the policy level, we need more individual input at the level, not more people at the top being able to say yes or no. It's more than being able to say yes or no. It's being able to say how would you like to improve it, not just saying yes or no.
And just on that Association of Computing Machinery has been touched on. I was also a member of the Association of Computing Machinery. And I'll have to apologize that my membership has recently lapsed. But if you look at Whois, there are issues to do with searchability and privacy that are actually very difficult technical problems. And I would love to see the Association for Computing Machinery actually suggest some real solutions to those problems at that level.
So I thank you.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Bruce.
Karl let me just say, preface this that we're now up against our originally planned deadline for discussion of the ERC. I am not going to stop it. But I am going to ask the Board to be brief.
Karl Auerbach: You'll be free of me next month.
Anyway, I challenge the assertion that individuals have not been contributing. I point to the original Boston Working Group and its alternative plans which the Department of Commerce considered, and, indeed, endorsed in a way.
I would point out David Post and his independent review documents, which eventually became part of the bylaws.
We've contributed a lot. And I can tell you that having a vote on the Board is a hell of a lot better than being able to comment.
Vinton Cerf: Unless, of course, you take into account that having persuaded more than one vote, that you're right, you have a leveraging effect.
The next speaker is Marilyn; is that right?
Marilyn Cade: I would like to address my name is Marilyn Cade and I'm speaking as a business user.
I would like to address
closer to the microphone.
Marilyn Cade: My name is Marilyn Cade and I would like to speak as a business user.
I'd like to make a point about two points. The first, very quickly, I'd like to make a point about restructuring.
In corporations we undertake the kind of restructuring that ICANN has adopted. Having a lot more resources at their disposal, sometimes, than ICANN has had, and recognizing the unusual stresses caused by restructuring, trying to run a business, dealing with dramatic changes all at one time, they're able to invest in additional resources, consultants, et cetera, to help to deal with the communication challenges that may be enhanced by the additional stresses.
If we have not acknowledged and I would say that we all recognize, on the one hand, these additional stresses. If we haven't recognized this and if we haven't noted that we know it's even more stressful to you, as the staff and the Board, then let me do that. Because it certainly is an incredibly stressful time.
It's important that we all recognize that and remember that sometimes our responses during this time of additional stress may be stronger than they would be in a time of less stress.
At some point, restructuring will come to an end and we will go on together to continue to work in an evolved and enhanced ICANN. And I know and trust there will be the same kind of goodwill that brought us together in the beginning and that will take us forward. That's comment number one.
The second comment I want to make is to focus on an area of concern to business users regarding the stability of the global Internet.
This is a particularly interesting comment in that I follow Tony Holmes, because to some extent, a lot of people think that if you're in the business constituency, your concern is about a particular thing. If you're in the ISP constituency, your concern is about a particular thing.
What ties all of us together is a concern about the stability of the Internet. Everyone seems to want a narrow, focused mission for ICANN.
We, however, might not totally agree on what that narrow, focused mission is in absolute language.
I think that there is a risk, and from the business user perspective, we see a risk, that if we are so limiting in the definition of the mission statement and ICANN's functions too merely technical, or only necessary to technical functioning, that we miss a critical issue related to stability.
So I will give an example.
For many people, they do not consider Whois or the UDRP as necessary. They're not necessary for the technical functioning of the Internet. I remember the compromises that led to the UDRP. We were at a stonewall. Many people wanted to introduce domain names and many other people saw too many risks for too many reasons to not move ahead without certain safeguards. We have not introduced domain names for a very long period of time.
Through various compromises, we have reached agreements on what needed to be in place in order to move forward. The UDRP represents a really interesting example, to me, of how we avoided some very real potential collisions.
When collisions between domain names and trademarks happen, trademark owners have no option but to protect their mark.
If we introduce domain names without the UDRP, we would have found many of those names and their registrants tied up in long lawsuits. We would have found the registries and the registrars caught up in the fray. We would not have been able to move ahead as we have.
By no means am I saying that the UDRP will be viewed by all as necessary to the stability of the Internet. But I think it is a useful example of how decisions and policies that can be affected by technical decisions can sometimes also have to be within ICANN's purview.
Vinton Cerf: Yes, go ahead.
Norbert Klein: My name is Norbert Klein. I work for the ccTLD in Cambodia. I created the first connection to the Internet from Cambodia in 1994, and in 1996, the country code domain name was delegated.
But I am saying my observation is speaking from this background.
When a while ago it was said there is a vast silence from a certain section, from the noncommercial and from the developing countries background, there was a comment that, well, maybe there are some people who want to save the world and I have some agenda for that.
I would like to share publicly, I feel offended by this statement.
When I see this paper, how GNSO policy development is going to go, these time lines, five days, ten days, ten days, 35 days, 20 days, ten days, and then I am told we shouldn't be concerned with saving the world, but go back to work, with this time line, we are not going to be part of this work.
It's just not possible in a context where we don't have full time lawyers with secretariats and so on. We do not have, also in the NonCommercial constituency, a kind of coherence. We have a wide variety. We have universities on the one hand, we have civil society organizations, and we have a sports boat club which was one of the most vocal voices also on the mailing list, steam rollering over many of the voices which come from the third world, people struggling with expressing themselves in English. In this context, to be told we want to save the world, we should go to work, it is just not appropriate.
Thank you very much.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, who is the next speaker.
I'm Mark Luker from EDUCAUSE. Our members are colleges and universities. We operate most of the networks for research and education in the United States.
We have participated throughout this reform process, through meetings and letters and discussions with our members. We support ICANN and the reform process.
Vinton Cerf: Well, thank you for that succinct statement, Mark.
Peter Dengate Thrush: Peter Dengate Thrush making a personal statement.
Can I just begin by commenting on a thing that's been made before that's about the association of multiple entities and voting rights.
It affects my organization, the Internet Society of New Zealand.
A number of New Zealanders are taking part in, for example, the intellectual property constituency, in the ccTLD, in the business constituency, and are making, I think, and the Society thinks, useful contributions.
We will do, at our simple level, what large organizations will do much more easily if you try and impose a voting restriction.
One of us will register as a ccTLD manager, the other will register as the company that manages the database, another will register as the policy oversight committee that you know. Now, to assert that an organization of Ms. Cade's size doesn't have multiple companies to register, this is going to be such an easy barrier to get around that I suggest you not even try to put it up. Laws that don't work because they're so easily broken just create disrespect for the organization.
I agree it's a difficult issue. But that's not the way to solve it.
And, similarly, just Alejandro, in relation to any policy making body that just had registries and registrars, for example, and it would be just laughed out of court in any serious competition law court or what the U.S. thinks of as antitrust, so I'm glad you didn't go that way.
Can I come back to my usual topics here, which are the ccTLD issues, and I just wanted to say, make a personal statement about the state that we're in now and to give a warning about that; to finish with an invitation, and then I think there are going to be other ccTLD who will leave you with a sense of optimism for the future.
We've completed the first step begun 16 months ago in Stockholm and withdrawn from the DNSO.
Our attempts to build an SO have been overtaken somewhat from the crisis of the reform incited by Stuart's paper.
But remember it's all about the failure to build for us and for the U.S. in the memorandum, building a relationship with the ccTLDs.
Remember what reform is about and why, and unless the reform results in a stable relationship with the ccTLDs, then it will have failed.
In looking at that, the Board's resolution directing the ERC to proceed with the blueprint directed them to proceed having regard to policies development, including bottom up transparent processes.
Now, perhaps because the Board resolution to implement the blueprint itself simply ignored the bottom up consensus development by the ccTLDs, at the very first opportunity that presented itself for a discussion with the ccTLDs, the ERC ignored that clear instruction and hand picked an assistance group in classical what is coming to be known ICANN ic top down fashion.
Now, that's a breach of the White Paper principles and of the Board's resolution and it's potentially dangerous because it renders the advice suspect, allowing the Board to reject the ERC or the assistance group advisors not being bottom up and it allows the ccTLDs to reject it as being unrepresentative.
So it is politically dangerous.
The ccTLDs, however, are issues and content based.
At each of the meetings at which I have been present I have made sure that there is no reference, and there wasn't any in the communique, to this issue of appointment.
We have focused only on the content.
We've tried to move past that and to work on output.
We've expressed approval for the graphical format that forms the substance of the output.
But the ccTLDs now stand outside the DNSO.
Today we stand alongside ICANN and we'll continue working on the development of the ccSO, but so far the total rejection of ccTLD consistency bottom up suggestions, including, by the way, the trivial but telling example of even the name of the organization that we want, encourages us to begin to plan the next step some of us to plan the next step.
First step, out of the DNSO.
Next step, out of ICANN.
To sum the ITU presents a better alternative.
ccTLDs may begin attending the meetings its planning instead of ICANN meetings.
And the next step, if there is one, will take much less time than the time we have taken over the DNSO.
Well, that's the warning.
The invitation is that there is still time and we are still working in good faith, and I think a majority of us in that position, on developing an so.
If the recommendation of a ccTLD relationship is important to ICANN, it might have accepted some of my earlier recommendations to the Board, for example, to establish a Board committee responsible for the ccTLD relationship.
We would be happy to receive any appropriate suggestions from the Board as to setting up liaison in this next crucial period.
You might, for example, consider setting up a web page separate from the DNSO where reference to the incorporated bodies that represent the ccTLDs and the regions, for example, might appear.
Letting us know in advance if there are items you wish to discuss on your agenda might also help, and on which our input is required.
ccTLDs have never enjoyed being delegated to the other business portion of your agenda.
Perhaps a slot on the agenda where ccTLD issues are discussed might be appropriate.
These are all matters for the Board.
When you decide what kind of liaison you want with the ccTLDs, you'll find our door is open.
I'll leave you with an expression of my personal hope.
And the promise of an so that looks after ccTLD interests.
There can't be a more powerful engine for the recognition of the ICANN than a properly functioning ccTLD DNSO.
And I look forward to working with you in the next few months to see if we can't create one.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you for that commitment, Peter.
The next speaker is?
The next speakers are.
Maureen Cubberley: Yes, thank you.
My name is Maureen Cubberley, Canada.
At the risk of representing us as anything but the congenial group you've come to discover, I would like to express a concern and another interpretation on the three days that we spent as a group talking about these issues.
I think the first thing I would like to mention is that I'm here speaking initially on behalf of my colleagues who stand with me at the microphone from Belgium and Sweden, and many of the other non-English speakers in our group.
There's no doubt that language is powerful and often it's in the subtleties that the power really lies.
I wish to bring to your attention the fact that there are a number of people who believe that the language of the communique we have sent to you, particularly the sections which deal with reform, do not reflect the level of support for the reform process specifically in the role of the assistance group.
There is the motion which Peter has very capably described to you as being accepted and supported by the group; however, our written communique to you does not get across the point that there was unanimous acceptance and support, not only of the group but of the work it's doing and that we hope that it will continue to do.
The second point is that what has been outlined as the next step just recently by Peter has not been determined to be "the next step" by the entire group.
It was something that was presented to us as Plan B just in case, and a group was mandated to go out and develop it.
So I would just, again, like to make you aware that there is not quite the consensus that there might appear to be in the written communique to you.
And at this point, I'd like to invite my colleagues from Sweden and Belgium to address this issue as well.
Thank you very much.
Anders Janson: Anders Janson from Sweden, and I want to underline what Maureen just said by saying this Board was totally unfamiliar to me until today and when you heard about what Maureen said about English, I would say this is probably not the word I would have used if I had the opportunity to speak in my native language.
And I would like to put a little request to you for the future work.
Now that the assistance group has to conduct their future work, don't put too short time frame on them, because you have to bear in mind that we now have seem to have found a way of getting input from the cc's to the assistance group, and that will, of course, take time, bearing in mind that we do not only have difficulties in language; we also are working in different legal concept, because many of us are not familiar with the american law system.
We come from other backgrounds.
So by letting us have many time for due process, I hope this process can be successful.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much.
Peter Vergote: My name is Peter Vergote, and I'm working for DNS BE Belgium Registry.
Coming from a country that has three official languages, English not being one of them, I really want to stress the importance of the statements made by my colleagues, Maureen and Anders, and I fully support their statement.
Although we practically all accept that we have to work with English documents, they have working with them have sometimes some very perverse side effects, being that the wording and the image coming from those documents is not always fully compliant with the content of them.
And as far as I'm concerned, the ccTLD communique is a quite neutral message.
It's not a negative attack on ICANN and the ICANN process.
It's simply the lining up of two alternatives, one having to deal with if ICANN fails.
But it's not to be considered as an option that has to be prevail over the option of working together with ICANN and coming to results.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much.
And our next speaker is?
Tim Denton: Hi, my name is Tim Denton.
I work for Tucows, so these remarks are not on behalf of them but on behalf of telecom regulation for a long time and the type of comparison I would draw here.
First of all I recognize that registrars and registries are not the only interests, but it will become clearer over time to ICANN that the business of registrations is one of it's ought to be one of its principal focuses, and that the long term ability of the registration and registry industries to attract capital and to function properly depend on the clarity of rule making and the clarity of rules.
And the purpose of ICANN's report must in part, in great part, be to end what I call the endless washing machine cycle the ICANN policy formation.
You've passed or are about to pass some ambitious rules of procedure for policy formation, and I think there may be criticisms of how ambitious they may be, but I think you're going in the right direction; and that is to say that we need an ICANN.
We need an ICANN Board which is able to resolve disputes.
We need processes within ICANN that address the needs of how the industry shall work.
For instance, transfers, which is really the issue of gain and loss of market share.
And over time, I believe you will come to understand that the business that you are regulating and I dare use that word regulating needs a firm structure of authority, a commitment to competition and a commitment to rules of competition in an industry that you are inventing the rules on the fly.
We understand that.
But that if ICANN's reform leads to greater clarity of how this market shall work, it is a success.
And if it doesn't, it's a waste of time.
And so from my point of view, I would favor all those outcomes that lead to the Board being able to resolve disputes, the Board having authority to act when there is not necessarily consensus, though consensus is always desirable.
And clear rules of procedure whereby these issues may be brought to a head and decided.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you.
I wonder if I could make one small I like the principal thrust but I would like to make one small suggestion.
Perhaps it isn't always ICANN, the organization, or even ICANN its Board, that has to resolve all the disputes.
Our job may be to make sure there is a way to resolve the disputes, whether it's in this venue or not.
This is only in aid of trying to place responsibility for resolution of issues where it can be done most effectively.
And some of the problems that may arise may not be dealt with most effectively within ICANN itself.
It may have to be dealt with in some other fashion, but our job is to make sure that there is a place for that to happen.
: Timothy Denton: That's true, but because you are a board of governors of a corporation, my understanding of a corporation is that the buck stops with you, and if it does stop with you, then you've got decisions to make.
And you may have to make them in the absence of their being because there's a multiplicity of interests, they're often sharply opposed commercially.
It may not be possible to derive a consensus on certain questions and they ought to be able to rise to you in an orderly fashion on the basis of evidence and sensible people are going to have to make some sensible decisions.
And I hope the process of reform leads to that.
Vinton Cerf: As do, I think, everyone in this room wants this whole process to result in crispness, clarity and decisive motion.
Alejandro, you had your hand up.
Alejandro Pisanty: Your comments illustrate the importance of something that frequently has been in the thinking of the ERC, which is the need for some decision making that has to be made by the Board, that has been presented up to now and where the illusion of having or let's say the idea of having clear policy making procedures and rules will not make them mechanical or automatic, as is often desired in the community.
And I think that the just as the previous speakers have illustrated precisely that there has to be the possibility to discern what's happening beyond and behind official statements or officially endorsed statements in the cc community we definitely perceive the need to work constructively with various participants with various perspectives and to listen carefully both to the criticism and to the endorsements that have been made of the assistance group effort.
And that's something that could have a lot of parallels in the more enclosed ambience of the registry, registrar, registration market and so forth.
Peter Dengate Thrush: I'll just clarify that again.
There have been no criticisms of the assistance group's effort.
We have wholeheartedly endorsed the output of the assistance group.
I'm not aware of any criticism of any output from the assistance group.
Alejandro Pisanty: I meant criticism of the Committee.
We are ready to grow and work together with all constructive parties.
Vinton Cerf: Okay.
May I just take a poll to find out how many people remain to make comments on the ERC?
We still have two other things to do.
Philip Sheppard: Thank you, Philip Sheppard from the business constituency.
Just a comment on the exclusive membership question that we've heard about earlier.
The wording in the proposed bylaws is notable for two things: One, its brevity and two its lack of interpretation as to what on earth this will mean.
What this means in effect is that if you pass this resolution this bylaw, you'll be asking staff to sit down and think through precisely what it will mean in practice.
There are options in terms of what it will mean in practice, ranging from the most extreme, whereby the likes of VeriSign and other affiliates will have to choose one and one constituency only to participate in, which could be interesting; to the position that Peter Dengate Thrush outlined earlier whereby the interpretation would be so loose that it will be easy to circumvent.
Under these circumstances, I would have thought it may be wise at this juncture to suspend this particular provision for the moment, ask staff to come up with a practical interpretation, and if then this looks like a workable solution, to pass it at a future Board meeting.
Just my thoughts.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, Philip.
Vinton Cerf: Okay.
So we now have two things that we need to do.
One of them has to do with the question of new TLDs, and I would call now on Stuart Lynn to bring us up to date.
Stuart in view of the fact that we're a half an hour late, perhaps you can be as concise as possible.
Stuart Lynn: Now you see my messy desktop.
Let me try and be as quick as I can.
This is about an action plan for new TLDs in response to a request from the Board.
At its August 23rd meeting it accepted the final report of the NTEPPTF, the Task Force on new TLD evaluations and asked me to propose an action plan in Shanghai.
That is what I'm doing, but I want to make it clear there's no action being sought from the Board tomorrow.
This report, the full report, will be posted early next week to allow for a public comment period, and depending on the comments received, the Board will be asked to act in Amsterdam.
There's a three part proposed action plan, and I will go through each part separately.
In fact, let me not dwell on this slide but go directly to the one itself which is what I call apportioning the name space.
One of the questions that comes up frequently that, in my view, the community needs to consider and think about before we consider any future, or at least substantial future expansion, is how the gTLD name space should look in any expansion.
And let me illustrate that by saying that there are roughly let me divide the world into two approaches, and there may well be more.
There are those who strongly favor what I'm call a taxonomic approach, namely that one should structure the name space in some predetermined way of names, rationalize it, if you like.
The argument is that it causes less user confusion.
On the other hand, there are counter arguments; some suggest it would stifle innovation and create nodes that no one really wants to put any money into.
On the other extreme you have people who favor a market driven approach.
People may come forward with proposals on which they have a solid basis to move forward.
It puts the responsibility where it belongs.
The counter argument to that is it could cause a confusing name space.
I'm not taking any position on either of these or any third possible alternative, but I am recommending this is an appropriate question to ask the DNSO or perhaps the GNSO, depending on the timing, for their beliefs, thoughts, recommendations.
And also as part of that process, where they come up with a recommendation, since it may well have some public policy implications to consult with the GAC.
And indeed, other interesting parties as necessary.
So Part One of the action plan is recommending asking for a recommendation or advice from the GNSO as to which of these or other alternatives that they may consider, or some combination of them, should ICANN consider as a prerequisite to moving forward in any strong way.
The second part of the action plan is to proceed with the key recommendations of the NTEPPTF report.
The NTEPPTF report is very extensive and has a lot of possible ways to go, but the report itself says look, within finite time and finite resources we just can't do every possible aspect of the recommendations, however plausible and interesting this might be, but recommends focusing on 12 answering what are called 12 Criticality 1 questions.
And they also recommended immediately launching a monitoring program of the existing new gTLDs and suggested ways in which this should be done.
It also suggested the option of possibly doing some new TLDs in parallel to this, and I'll talk more about that as Recommendation Three
I don't want to spend a lot of time on this because time is short, but the approach is basically to do a high level evaluationunder the guidance of an advisory committee, and we should be moving forward on soliciting evaluation teams consistent with the amount of resources left available to us, consistent with the fact that perhaps a good part of this can be done with volunteer support, but also that we put $50,000 right away into supporting moving forward on the monitoring program.
Option 3 that I the third part that I put forward is for the Board to consider perhaps in Amsterdam with moving forward in a very limited way in what I would suggest the least controversial way and the way we can do something quickly, and that's to proceed with up to three new sponsored gTLDs.
Many of the activities and problems that arise or have arisen or the objections that have arisen to moving forward come much more in the space of unsponsored TLDs than they do with sponsored.
I recognize people have many legitimate concerns with sponsored TLDs as well, but I suggest these are far less than they are with, as I detect across the community, than they are with moving forward on the sponsored ones.
To do this, really rather than to try to create some whole new elaborate structure -- some new way of thinking about it -- in order to be able to move quickly, look at it as an extension of the proof of concept.
The proof of concept, seven new gTLDs were selected.
I wasn't around ICANN at the time, but looking back at the history, it's hard for me to say should it be seven rather than ten, and this is the way in which one can move forward fairly quickly with a quick RFP, streamlining the old processes wherever possible, perhaps putting less focus on financial viability and more on fail safe suggestions on how to move if it were to fail, making sure there's escrow or whatever so one can pick up the pieces and move on.
But I do believe that as I listen to people who have concerns that it would be reasonable to ask two key questions first.
One is does the IETF have any concerns. Frankly at the level of three it's hard for me to think anyone can say that three more gTLDs is going to screw up the root or whatever, but there may be those who have different viewpoints, but just to validate that we should ask for a quick opinion from the IETF.
But more substantially, there are those who raise the question not that they have necessarily any basis for their concern that the sponsored gTLDs that we already initiated, dot museum, dot aero and dot co op, to make sure that they are conforming to their charter, particularly in terms of who should be an allowed registrant.
And my suggestion is we do a very quick study, and it should be fairly quick because the number of domain names is not in the millions here; just to ascertain, reassure ourselves and the community that there hasn't been I know what we should call it --
there hasn't been charter creep, in the sponsored TLDs.
We should be able to do that very quickly, get that question answered and provide the Board, should it so wish and if the community comments that we receive on this are favorable, for a bit of a safety valve in moving forward in December.
Now, I know that this may be counter to an eventual recommendation that we taxonmize the name space.
We did it with seven, we can do it with ten.
It's not going to cause that much more user confusion than where we are right now.
So the next steps on this action plan will be posted next week for community comment, a 30 day public comment period.
And should the Board wish, depending on the comments received, action on this or modified version of it, depending on comments, would be presented at the Amsterdam meeting.
That's all I have to say.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Stuart.
Stuart Lynn: Comments and questions?
Vinton Cerf: Comments or questions?
So we can move now to the final portion of this open forum, and that is to have an open microphone.
Our planned objective is to complete this process by 6:00 tonight, if we can.
If it looks like there is a large number of other comments still queued up, I'll continue for a while.
But let's try to keep our comments brief and to the point, and move ahead swiftly.
So let's have our first speaker.
Cary Karp: Cary Karp, dot museum.
It takes a finite time to get to the microphone.
Ensuring creep of our program is one of the least of our headaches so the evaluation of what you propose can be reasonably dispatched.
Your concept presumably as a homogeneous extension to what we were initially created to serve, and this was with the old bylaws and a frame of reference that generated contracts and domains that differs with a frame of context that will be generating three more.
I'm curious if there will be any folding back of the new experience with the old based on what you expect next on the experiences gathered thus far.
Stuart Lynn: I hope so.
It should be, in my view, to the fairness of the previous round of proposers, as reasonably consistent as possible, but I would hope from what we have learned that we can streamline the process and move forward as fast as we can.
I'm not suggesting that the agreement framework be any different because that would just delay things.
The biggest delay as you know in moving forward on the old one is in negotiating the agreements.
Just as with dot org, it's better if we stick with the existing framework for now.
In the future, as part of the evaluation, we can change that.
Cary Karp: I suppose what I'm suggesting we've learned lessons that are probably more profoundly significant to what happens next than simply have we been able to maintain the purity of our name spaces.
And speaking for myself, I look forward to contributing that wisdom to the process and hope that there's going to be some retroactive flow back from the new stuff to us.
Stuart Lynn: It would be helpful to receive the wisdom.
Whether what that really means I guess it's hard to answer, Cary, without getting into specifics.
Your wisdom is always welcome.
Elliot Noss: Hi, Elliot Noss, Tucows again.
Again on the gTLD process well, you can use that microphone just as easily.
One of the things that I've been, I guess, disappointed about with the roll out of the seven new TLDs I guess actually six at this point of the seven are out there, is the slow uptake in user adoption.
And interestingly, I think that there may be a bit of a counter intuitive conundrum going on around the slow roll out.
Today, especially if you look at some of the sponsored TLDs, aero, museum, co op, speaking now as a frequent Internet user and somebody who, for better or worse, spends much time with other frequent Internet users, I don't know that I have met anybody or have myself gone to a website that uses one of those new TLDs.
And, you know, which, unfortunately, and I mean it because I'd like to see those new TLDs, those new sponsored TLDs work well, unfortunately, that puts them into the alternate root space. I remember standing on this mike and saying, hey, I've been on the Internet for ten years and I don't use any of those websites and I don't know anyone that uses any of those web sites.
What has sort of crept into my mind in the last little while is that perhaps, if instead the approach was to focus on a set of standards for a relatively unlimited set of new TLDs, what we might, in fact, do is make the concept of alternative TLDs more hard wired into Internet users' day to day use of the Internet. You know, today, if you're looking for a museum, unfortunately, what you do is go to Google as opposed to dot museum naturally as a first step.
If, instead, there was a plethora of new sponsored TLDs and perhaps unsponsored TLDs, users might be it might become second nature to users to go to the intuitive TLD first. And while Google works great and I do, you know, obviously use it as sort of a hand in hand resource with the DNS, you know, I suggest that if we want the sponsored to work, the way to get there might be to go with more, not less, sooner rather than later.
Stuart Lynn: I have good news for you, Elliot. Let me introduce you to a regular user of dot museum.
Elliot Noss: You can share a site with me afterwards.
Stuart Lynn: Now you know someone who does.
That's a perfectly good question. But I'd suggest that's behind the first part of the action plan is to really ask the Names Council, whatever the successor is, for its advice on how we should structure the name space so one of the options is to move forward in a faster way. But, again, that very question you've raised, as you well know, is going to run into a whole diversity of opinions within this room as to how it should move forward.
And that's why I recommend that before moving forward too far down there, the evaluation be completed first. And the expansion of sponsored TLDs is not to solve all the problems in this whole area. But I happen to know there are people who have proposals in that area who will be very interested in moving forward on that.
Elliot Noss: Stuart
Stuart Lynn: So we have a choice. The choice, I think, will be before the Board, and certainly before the community, is whether to do nothing for a while or move forward in this limited way.
Elliot Noss: And
Stuart Lynn: Not solving all the problems.
Elliot Noss: I understand. Two things, if I could push them back to you.
One is that, you know, I know that we're going to be sitting here shortly after the three new sponsored TLDs are introduced with the ten other, you know, equally worthy sponsored TLDs who now feel slighted by the process, you know, threatening reconsideration, threatening to sue, much like it was in the original new gTLD selection process.
And, you know, I don't want to see Board and staff sort of burdened with that again.
The second comment is, perhaps a way to kind of satisfy both worlds is to these start down the road in this process. We have a formal thread opened up. Start down the road towards what a set of standards might look like.
Stuart Lynn: That's exactly what the first recommendation does.
Elliot Noss: Good. Okay. I didn't take that away.
Stuart Lynn: That's exactly what it does.
Elliot Noss: Great.
Stuart Lynn: And, of course, whether to do the parallel process or not is an option for the community and the Board to consider. I'm not advocating one way or another. I think there are good reasons to do it. But whether one wants to open that little gate up while going down the road I think what you recommend is an option. It's not a requirement. That's where I think we're going to need the feedback and commentary.
Elliot Noss: Thank you.
Vinton Cerf: Karl.
Karl Auerbach: Yeah, Elliot. Two part question. Wasn't Tucows one of the 40 of the new accepted first round? And if so, what do you consider your current status to be under this newly suggested
Elliot Noss: Well, at the time, we were actually we were involved in a number of bids, but only as a back end registry provider, not sort of out in front of any bid. We did, as a registry test bed, launch dot moo. And we believe, I believe, are still the ninth or tenth largest TLD in the world with something like 200,000 registrations. And despite constant requests, we will not provide the moo to the alternate root folks. So that probably won't be put forward, although in a completely open process, we may consider it.
So we really I mean, I'm more interested in this from an Internet user perspective. I'd really like to see kind of the breakdown of the existing entrenched position of calm, I think it's good for the users, I think it's good for the Internet. And I think the only way to get there is kind of with a very aggressive approach, so . . .
Vinton Cerf: Just one observation to make about that.
As a business, registration probably has a certain finite market.
Elliot Noss: Agreed.
Vinton Cerf: So having large numbers of TLDs, if they were bound each of them to a separate and distinct corporation or company, might divide the market up in such a way that nobody would survive.
So it strikes me that as time goes on, if we try to increase the total space of TLDs, there will probably have to be some aggregation where one operator is operating a number of TLDs in order to make it a reasonable business. I haven't thought about it in any more detail than that. But it strikes me as realistic.
Elliot Noss: I think there's an important point that you touch on there, Vint, which is that I think we all need to remember that domain names are really about facilitating services, you know. I've talked about domain names as keys a lot. Keys are worthless. Cars are worthful. Houses are worthful. Things that keys facilitate.
And anything that makes it easier for end users to use the Internet, I believe, will, you know, encourage the more vigorous use of Internet services and thereby kind of high tide raising all boats. That's less about registry operators getting rich and more about people being able to use the Internet in a more convenient and easy way.
Vinton Cerf: I wasn't thinking about staying rich as I was about surviving. Because that's part of the stability issue. I think Philip is next.
Philip Sheppard: Thank you, Philip Sheppard, business constituency, also on new names.
Stuart, we very much welcome the proposal to put this to the Council to discuss and debate.
We should point out perhaps as the BC, we launched a debate some weeks ago precisely on this question, which will help us formulate our views to advocate those on council.
On language, I will perhaps suggest a change of language in your options describing one as taxonomic and one as market driven. We were looking at this that all solutions should be market driven and indeed the key to success is going to be an extension to the name structure that is always adding value.
Our view is that probably taxonomic structure probably will be seen to be adding value. That itself will also be market driven ultimately. So perhaps a better use of language may be taxonomic versus random.
And certainly as I say, we look forward to participating in that debate.
And I think also that perhaps the option you're suggesting of three new sponsored names now may also perhaps dovetail quite quickly with one view in terms of a taxonomic structure.
So we would perhaps encourage some caution there, because we maybe ought to move quite quickly to a proposal of the nature you're looking for.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, Philip.
Esther Dyson: I'm not sure whether we want to discuss the substance or the process, so I will be brief.
Two points. One, I don't see this as being an alternative to Google. And I think we should be pretty clear on that, the purpose of adding them is not to make users' searches easier.
Second point, you might want to call it rather than "random," "redundant." There's no problem with redundancy in a market system. The market in competition drive out excessive redundancy. But I think we should be clear about what the distinction is. Taxonomic divides it up neatly into not necessarily, but possibly, overlapping name spaces and redundant divides it up into redundant name spaces, and then quality of service and things like that matter a lot.
Stuart Lynn: Just to make a brief comment. All of these very helpful suggestions on what to call it are useful.
The main thing, though, is I think we know what we're talking about.
And whatever we call it.
And the idea is simply to refer to the GNSO how we should approach expansion of the gTLD name space. And I don't want to prejudge what comes back in terms of the naming conventions.
Werner Staub: My name is Werner Staub I'm with COR, Council of Registrars.
We did make a proposal for the last round of TLDs, but it has nothing to do with my comment. This is more personal.
There are a number of organizations or industry groups who would be interested or should be interested in launching TLDs. However, in the context of a limited time, now it's open, now it's closed situation, there's no way a complicated industry group would get its act together in time to do something reasonable.
I think it's very good that we at least now have the good news of at least the consideration of three new sponsored TLDs.
But in the long term, we should get into a situation where ICANN would have something of a standing committee, maybe not the Board itself, that would, on a continuous basis, review applications, maybe in stages, maybe not the final one, it would go in stages from one step to the next, so that industry groups who have a good reason to development a proposal could go through those steps one at a time when they're ready and not have to say, oh, no, now we have to hurry because there's a new thing open, now it's closed again. We've missed the deadline.
(multiple people speaking simultaneously.)
Stuart Lynn: I want to say personally I'm sorry.
Personally, I agree with you, that's a point we need to' evolve towards.
And I think what I'm suggesting is some steps towards we may not end up there, but at least some steps toward that could be considered.
Vinton Cerf: Just one suggestion about top level domains. People become dependent upon them, which means the operator becomes part of a critical resource.
If for business or other reasons, the operator is not sustainable or the operation is not sustainable, then the registrants are harmed.
In the course of trying to make it easy to create new top level domains, we also need to make sure we innocent mechanisms to make it easy to recover from the failure of a TLD operator.
This is not an argument against creating more top level domains. It's more a question of reminding ourselves that we need to make sure that stability and sustainability is at the top of our minds as we try to invent larger numbers of these elements in the net.
Karl and then Amadeu.
Karl Auerbach: I would like to suggest that we are not a consumer protection agency, however, and that what you're suggesting is a major leap of not creep, but a leap of scope for us.
Vinton Cerf: Because we've already concluded we need to make sure there are backups in order to assure failure if something has an ability to recover. We've already committed to doing that when we were formed. We said we wanted to recover from the failure of an operator.
Karl Auerbach: But not that we guarantee that a business stays in business.
Vinton Cerf: I didn't say that. What I said was that we had to adopt procedures that account for the failure of an operator. Didn't say guarantee the operator stayed in business. It just guarantees that the people who register have a place to get their names resolved if the original operator didn't survive. That's all. Amadeu.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Regarding this, I think that things will be much clearer if we at last separate TLD creation with registry operation.
What we need to guarantee is that a TLD makes some sense in the system we have and that the TLD will be stable, that business scents will not affect the use of the TLD by the legitimate users.
A different thing in who is the company that's trying to commercially sustain that TLD, and in a sponsored environment, I think that we can, even should further separate between TLD and a sponsoring organization and those making the policy decisions and the representation of the interested sponsored community. And then the entity that will operate from a technical and probably operational point of view, that registrations are the (inaudible)
The second part may fail if we don't tie that too closely.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Please.
Susan Crawford: Susan Crawford speaking on my own behalf.
I think many applaud the consideration of new TLDs. Having such a narrow spectrum has led to very serious questions about ICANN's legitimacy as an institution.
Having been through a negotiation of the sponsored TLD contracts over the last year or so, I want to take issue with Stuart's recommendation that we stick with the same framework for these contracts.
In my personal view, these contracts substantially overload the sponsored TLD with obligations that don't make sense and constrain their ability to work with their communities.
I think a better idea for the Board and the Names Council to consider is a plurality of approaches.
It cannot be too difficult to establish minimum technical and financial qualifications, including backup plans, for new sponsored TLDs. Allowing the sTLDs the freedom to make local rules, subject only to policies supported by documented consensus. Stuart may say this will take too much time to create. I think, in fact, the opposite is true, that forcing a new sTLD through the same process my clients went through a year ago would take far more time than is appropriate.
Vinton Cerf: That sounds like the voice of experience.
Ron Andruff: Ron Andruff, speaking on behalf of and IANA. And we applaud the movement forward.
Vinton Cerf: Peter.
Peter Dengate Thrush: Mr. Chairman, I stray into gTLD matters at my peril. But I'm concerned and confused about the process.
I thought that it was the DNSO's job to recommend naming policy.
How is it that the Board is recommending this? If it is the Board's suggestion that the DNSO look at something, why isn't it an open ended request? Why is it three?
The whole thing seems bizarre to me that you are doing test of proof of concept, if that's what the slide really meant to say. You don't proof of concept.
What aspect of it are you testing? That doesn't seem to me to be clear.
And why would the IETF's view of stability be changed from when you asked them this question in the first place. Surely that's not a question that needs to be asked again. Every technical report that I have seen says the DNS can cope with any additional number of TLDs.
But that must have been done when the first seven went out.
So why are we doing it this way?
Surely the process should be that the DNSO should recommend that there be a limited number of TLDs. Can someone explain how it comes this way down from the top?
Stuart Lynn: Peter, let me try.
There's a history.
By the way, I agree with you about the IETF. The IETF, actually, the PSO came up with a recommendation that said that a limited number is no problem, and quite probably three more certainly fits within the limited number. So that may be a redundant step.
The NTEPPTF came in with a report on the evaluation. As part of that response, the Board asked me to propose an option for parallel processing.
What the Board may do with that as well is to request the opinion of the DNSO. This is not a policy matter in itself.
If you recall, in the new bylaws, in the policy development procedure, it goes to great pains to differentiate between policy matters and other matters. People may legitimately disagree whether it's a policy matter. But if it's an extension of a proof of concept that was there before, the DNSO has already made a recommendation to the Board in that regard. This fits within the recommendation of the DNSO.
The part that I would feel personally uncomfortable with is going forward in a big way without, as I say, getting the opinion of the DNSO, GNSO, whatever it is, on what's the right way to expand the name space. And there are legitimate difference of views in this area. And I think we need to hear that input for sure.
And without having at least the most critical part of the evaluation of what we've done already. I hope that helps address your concerns.
Vinton Cerf: Karl.
Karl Auerbach: I might point out that those opinions are coming from people who have a preferential position as incumbents and therefore have a built in position to oppose this kind of expansion.
Vinton Cerf: I'm confused by that, Karl.
Karl Auerbach: There's a conflict of interest. We have created bodies in which existing awardees of TLDs have roles in the bodies which we are going to ask for their opinion on how that expansion is going to occur. And, of course, their financial incentive is to prevent further expansion.
Vinton Cerf: I think it depends a good deal on what the business models turn out to be. But I thought that
Karl Auerbach: That's (inaudible) competitors.
Vinton Cerf: I thought the answer Stuart gave had to do with the response from the IETF on technical grounds. So I'm confused, because IETF doesn't have any
(multiple people speaking simultaneously.)
Stuart Lynn: I
Karl Auerbach: Our own bodies.
Stuart Lynn: I think Karl is saying is that my recommendation that we ask the Names Council on what to do on the name space creates an inherent conflict of interest, because Karl's view that the Names Council and the constituent bodies are composed of people who have a vested interest one way or the other.
I don't entirely share that view, Karl. It does in part. But like most of ICANN, we have constituencies and people from constituencies who come from all different many, many different perspectives. So excuse me a second.
So I do think that whether the Board acts on that advice or not, it's advice we should listen to.
Karl Auerbach: It's a zero sum game by allowing one competitor to come in, it reduces its business.
Vinton Cerf: That's if you think it's a zero sum game. But in any case, next comment.
Cary Karp I'm sure there is a multiplicity of perspectives for on everything being said here. I'm representing an sTLD, probably most appropriately described by Esther's dog food metaphor. We welcome company because it is the not going too deep into the value of taxonomic name space, it will be allied sTLDs that will ensure our long term survival, it will be neighbors who are capable of babysitting our registrants that ensure everybody's survival. We're actually talking about two the extremes in this are just so distant from each other.
The business driven and the community service driven are subject to such radically different frames of reference. And without going into that at all, I simply would like to express the hope that the public commentary period will serve as an appropriate forum for the kinds of things that we, who have been through the mill or are currently in the mill, might contribute that I suspect many of you even on this stage wouldn't be able to dream up in your worst well, wouldn't be able to dream up, you know.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you.
Thomas Roessler: I'd like to ask you a possibly foolish question which may be based on a complete misunderstanding on my side.
But if I remember correctly, at least in the time I have been using the net, the Soviet Union has disappeared and been replaced by a lot of smaller country code TLDs, Yugoslavia has fallen apart and has led to the introduction of another considerable number of country code TLDs.
So we have, over the last ten years, seen a number of occasions at which new TLDs have been introduced into the root. One of the most recent examples, I think, was .ps for Palestine. And we are going to see .eu if I am not mistaken.
I fail to understand how the review for the process of adding new gTLDs involves considerations of the stability of the Internet when these considerations are not applied with ccTLDs, and from all we can say from the experience that the registrants are working right now, have not really not been needed in that case. I just don't understand it. Maybe I misunderstand you. I would really like to hear an explanation. Thanks.
Stuart Lynn: No, I think your point is a very good one, that we discuss among ourselves, too.
I think the conventional wisdom I hear, and we all hear different conventional wisdom, first of all, there's no determined magic number that says ten or 100 or 1,000 or a million will destabilize the root.
But what I hear from technical colleagues is no one's worried in the tens or hundreds or maybe even thousands of TLDs from the point of view of adding new TLDs. People do start to get worried along roughly three dimensions. I'm not going to argue the validity of this, just what I hear.
One dimension starts going to really substantial numbers. Tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of numbers I hear people worried about.
The second thing that I hear is problems with the shape of what's being added in terms of keeping the root hierarchy fairly simple.
And the third is some technical questions of concerns as to whether things may be added in ways that inhabit caching.
I don't want to debate those right now, but I certainly feel very comfortable that you won't find many people argue that adding three is really going to cause a problem.
When it goes beyond that, some of the things that the evaluation does is get into just those questions in terms of trying to find out whether there really has been any impact on the root. So I doubt there has.
Thomas Roessler: Let me follow up with one brief remark.
You are talking, really, about going to another scale with a number of gTLDs.
Stuart Lynn: Sorry?
Thomas Roessler: You are talking about really changing the order of magnitude when you are talking about tens of
Stuart Lynn: Exactly, exactly.
Thomas Roessler: in the root. One way to keep that under control is to limit the rate of change.
Stuart Lynn: Well, let me give a corollary to what you're suggesting, which is just the NTEPPTF report, which is to monitor as you add and see determine to what extent you can you are beginning to get in any problem space.
The concern that some people have about that is you won't know it until it's too late.
But that gets to be a technical issue. I think we need the advice from our technical colleagues on that.
But I have yeah, I haven't found anyone who says that adding TLDs in the tens or hundreds is really going to cause a significant problem.
Thomas Roessler: Thank you.
Vinton Cerf: Marilyn.
Marilyn Cade: I just wanted to say something positive about the framework that I think that Stuart has laid out for us all to consider.
For a long time, there was significant resistance within many communities to the introduction of new gTLDs. The proof of concept round was built upon many, many compromises. The report that Stuart has referenced has suggested a monitoring process, taking learning out of the initial introductions, and putting that into the next steps.
One of the things that I see very positive about the proposal that Stuart has outlined is that by developing a process to guide the introduction of new gTLDs, that there could be a bit more certainty around when, how, et cetera.
There are entities in the community who are extremely enthusiastic about numbers of new gTLDs because they believe it brings them market, business opportunities. There are other entities who are extremely cautious because they think that brings them cost implications.
Having a process that is agreed to, I hope, will add the ability, whatever the number is, whatever the rate is, beyond the three that Stuart mentioned, that there is some certainty that can provide a way forward.
And so I would say, from a business user perspective, some people thinking that we resist new gTLDs, we're cautious about opening space that will not be populated. We're cautious about opening space that cannot survive. We have concerns that a space gets opened and a few people register in it, and the business and economic model is not sustained, somewhat like I heard our Chairman note, and we would note that we do not want to see those businesses and nonprofit organizations orphaned if the gTLD they've built their communications vehicle on fails.
So we would hope to also see a way to take that orphaned gTLD and make it a stepchild someplace else so that those folks don't lose the investment that they have made in the communication vehicle.
Those are all the kinds of things that need to be thought about in the kind of process that I think that Stuart was recommending.
I think that the DNSO, in fact a primary part of its job should be to comment on domain name policy and to own the development of domain name policy.
Vinton Cerf: I hope, Marilyn, that we wouldn't make anyone's TLD a stepchild. The best that we should be adopting and making it a full fledged member of the family.
Izumi Aizu: Can I comment not on the gTLD but on the other points. Is this open for that? Okay, thank you.
Vinton Cerf: This is a completely open session now. So
Izumi Aizu: Two points. The first one is on the long range or the internationalization of not the domain name, but ICANN.
As some pointed out already, I should like to point out that when Stuart became the CEO, you made a promise, I think, to work on the internationalization of ICANN, introduction of more translation, and simultaneous translation in the conference, all documents be translated into other languages.
I hope in the wake of the reform that it was not really forgotten. But I haven't seen much evidence, programmatically executed.
So I hope that, you know, after this reform is sort of more implemented that kind of work be more executed on a programmatic level if you have any comment or Stuart.
Stuart Lynn: I would, indeed.
I'm very careful about making promises I don't have the power to keep.
I made no such promise whatsoever. I said I was interested in it. And if you would recall, I appointed a task force to look into simultaneous language translation.
That task force, in spite of its best efforts, was unable to come forward with a recommendation on how to proceed forward. It's still open.
But I made no such promises. It's very, very difficult, indeed.
I'd also point out, and I am continuously interested in feedback in this, is one of the reasons we introduced what you see up here, scribing, was not because it provides translation, but I was told by a large number of non native English speakers that it went a great way to facilitating the problem we face.
So I remain an enthusiastic and interested person if someone can solve the budgetary and other problems. But Izumi san, I did not make any promises.
Izumi Aizu: That really sort of illustrates the difficulty of language itself. I don't know the real definition of "promise."
Expectation or hope.
At least I felt that you collectively promised to do something, which, yes, I was aware that to create a Board working group.
I am not critical I don't want to criticize too much and to go backwards. But still the issue itself hasn't been solved, to me, at least, it looks like.
So let's work on it together, it's my sort of proposal.
Vinton Cerf: Well, what would be most helpful, Izumi san would be to not only remind us of the problem, which is helpful, but also to help us find reasonable solutions that we can afford. And we all understand that translation is an expensive process.
Izumi Aizu: Yeah. But what I was and am concerned is look at how many Chinese native people who are here who are participating meaningful, even though we do it in Shanghai. It's sort of a spiral. If you continue to do it with other native languages and only the English fluent will come, thereby limiting the participation, thereby limiting the awareness, thereby reducing the participation. That's what I'm afraid. So it should be kept sort of reminded from time to time. Perhaps unless we reach such a stage that we feel all comfortable.
Stuart Lynn: If I can just make a comment.
I'm very sympathetic to what you're saying.
It's a tremendous challenge. I wish there were easy solutions. We went through one experience in there is a page on the ICANN web page called "Participate in ICANN". And we followed a suggestion that someone made of using volunteer support to translate.
Some people devoted some hours to helping make that work as best they could.
I can tell you, though, it brought home to me how difficult the problem is. And if you have any ways to help us find, as Vint said, solutions we can afford, that would be more than welcome.
Izumi Aizu: And the second comment I want to make is a bit similar in a manner about participation, meeting participation under the domain of at large.
I am a member of the assistance group for the at large advisory committee. I was a member of the membership advisory committee in the first place in the December '98, when it started, right after ICANN started.
I was a member, happened to be the chair of the working group of the membership before ICANN, called (inaudible).
And as we all know, we made a proposal to make an advisory committee of at large. But that's not a real perfect solution. But it's a compromise. It's a way we thought to create more meaningful and balanced participation from all users concerned.
But, unfortunately, the process to date on this at large issue has created frustration or distrust, and thereby alienated many people who are not only here or not at the (inaudible) participation either. Very few remain.
So it's a bit similar to the spiral, at least to me.
And the other one is, I also criticize the and I share the same criticism of (inaudible). But at the same time, very open list debate sometimes is very counterproductive and it's very difficult to maintain a sort of reasonable thinking and proposal within that environment.
But, anyway, we tried to strike a balance to be accepted by the ERC or the Board.
As a very pragmatical, practical starting point, not end point, but hopefully will lead to a more meaningful representation in addition to the participation. It could be the election of some form or more meaningful sort of commitment by the Internet users.
But first I we thought that we should prove that this kind of participation works productively.
So we didn't really stick with the elected Board per se. But that doesn't mean that it is sort of totally rejected.
As I remember, in Accra, Katoh san said that although no elections at that moment, you couldn't accept that doesn't mean it's indefinitely out.
So I hope that you still remember that. And with some of the elected Directors departing soon, so I hope all the remaining members of the Board remember that this is to be a very serious issue.
And I think the it requires a lot still a lot of work, say, for example, to create the vision of at large organization, and some people feel without direct election, it's meaningless to participate.
So we have to conquer that. And that, I think, require not only us. We will try to work hard from our end. But also we need your attention or attentive to the voices of the Internet users.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, Izumi san.
Who is next?
(inaudible) speaking for myself.
Actually, Katoh san introduced the multilingual issue and where Stuart replied that we have now this screen and that strikes me that what we have lost, actually, within the last two meetings, and that's actually that these scribing notices and the URLs and the presentations are long gone, not available. I think that's very helpful to me and I think that's a very small change and not very inexpensive to do, because for me sometimes it would be very helpful if I can go out and then go on the web site and go look what the people have said. And at the moment, we have only the web cast, which is audio and listening to, but we don't have these online, scribe notices online. And I think that would be a great improvement if we can get that back.
Stuart Lynn: I maybe missing something.
I thought we posted this online.
What you post online is actually the listening. But that's not very helpful, because you don't see the people, you don't have the wording. You see this at the screen here, but if you left the room, you don't have it. And if it goes up there, and if you want to recover something, you don't get it.
Stuart Lynn: We'll take a look at it.
Stuart Lynn: There may be some technical reason why not. But we'll look into it.
Patrick Mevzek: I'm Patrick Mevzek, CTO of Gandi, an accredited registrar, but speaking basically for my own, related to the translation issue we just have heard.
It's true that critics are not enough to do. But I would like to have an example, that people are trying to help. As an example, and it's not in it's in no way an advertisement.
We offered to ICANN to translate some web pages not only on the web page on the page about formulating a page about a complaint about the registrar. We offered to translate that in French because we are a French company.
It was like one I think at least two months ago.
Since then, I did not I still I am unable to do that. So it's true that you do not need only critics, but it's also true that some people are trying to help and they are frustrated because they are not able to help.
Stuart Lynn: Well, I don't recall your e mailing to me. Did you?
Patrick Mevzek: No, not to you, but to your you are the chief liaison officer, and everything is
Stuart Lynn: Will you please send me some e mail on the subject.
The only thing that I ask is part of that, you show me how that's going to be maintained as that page changes.
Patrick Mevzek: It's true that it's a problem. But
Stuart Lynn: Well, but I am interested in your offer. So if you please send me some e mail, I would appreciate it very much.
Patrick Mevzek: Okay. And just on that, you have to understand that it's very important for people to be able to understand things. So we are following our customer to the Internic web page to file complaints about registrars.
And everyone is not speaking English. So that web page should be translated. It's an A1 priority. Otherwise it's useless.
Stuart Lynn: Let's get input. We did "Participate in ICANN" a group of dedicated volunteers around the world did that translation. And maybe you can set an example in the French that some other languages can come together on that page.
But I do want to tell you that the concept sounds right. When one comes to the implementation details, it turns out not to be straightforward. And I'd be happy to share the experiences with you offline on that.
Patrick Mevzek: I totally agree with you. My point was just that I tried, we tried to help and we did not hear back. So . . .
Stuart Lynn: You'll hear back now.
Patrick Mevzek: Thank you.
Vinton Cerf: Without trying to explore why your offer didn't get taken it up, I don't have any knowledge at all, but I would like to make some observations that might support something Stuart was saying.
My experience with translation is that it's really important that the quality be high, because if the party who is reading the translated document is depending on that because they don't have a comfortable knowledge of some other language, then the quality of the translations are vital. And when it comes to policy, it's even more important that the translations be quite good.
So one of the problems that we encounter is that volunteers often are not able to produce documents of sufficient quality that they can be relied upon in the way that the readers wish to rely on them, which is one of the reasons that really good quality translation is expensive, because you need very, very good people.
So I don't use that as an excuse for not doing translations, but, like Stuart says, trying to do it in a way that actually is very helpful is a bigger challenge than it would appear on the surface.
Peter Dengate Thrush: Yes, Mr. Chairman. I will hope that once we get past the considerable resources of the ccTLDs in relation to translation will also be able to help. It's an issue that we have to deal with. And there are people who do make those translations. And, hopefully, we can work to making that available.
Mr. Chairman, with your permission and with the help of the staff, I'll return to the ccTLD communique, if that's all right.
Vinton Cerf: Yes.
Could you help me get some sense for the length of this document, which I assume you're about to read?
Peter Dengate Thrush: Yes. About four minutes, I would have thought.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. As opposed to 400. Okay.
Can we get this document up on the screen?
Peter Dengate Thrush: That's a much prettier screen, I have to say.
Vinton Cerf: There we are. Okay. Peter.
Peter Dengate Thrush: You had the first three paragraphs of that, or two paragraphs. Go to paragraph three.
This is a the paragraph internationalized or multi lingual domain names. Presentations were received from the ICANN IDN committee and the names are referenced and the IETF on recent developments, and we have formed an IDN committee to coordinate ccTLD activity in this area.
Zone file transfers. Detailed presentations were received from CENTR, LACTLD, and APTLD, which each rejected on technical and other grounds any proper basis for the recent requests by the ICANN staff operating the IANA for transfers of zone files as a precondition to them updating the IANA database.
Then it has endorsed the statements made by the regional associations and called on the Board to immediately instruct the ICANN staff managing the IANA function to make timely updates in response to proper requests, without imposing any conditions.
Then it has appointed four delegates, Porteneuve from France, Davies from CENTR, Dolderer from to the proposed working group involving the ICANN staff and the Stability and Security Advisory Committee. Those delegates will prepare mission mandate for online approval by the managers and their participation will be subject to any output being approved by the ccTLD managers, as the delegates have no authority to create policy for the ccTLDs.
We go on to describe a productive workshop with the GAC in closed session.
We also report a very successful two days of training of ccTLD name servers, 32 trainees trained from 17 ccTLDs. And we thank Bill Manning and Yang Woo Ko and Joe Abley for that. The secretariat. We plan another one for Brazil in March and we plan to conduct that training session in Spanish.
We also received excellent presentations on various technical registry matters from the registries listed.
We received a presentation by one of the panel presentation on ITU Resolution 102, the petition from the AT&tTcompany and from British Telecom.
ccTLDs have been asked for information on their admin contacts and are considering their position.
And we closed with grateful thanks to Elizabeth Porteneuve and Oscar Robles for service on the Names Council and Dr. Kim for his service.
I'm happy to answer any questions arising from that.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Peter.
I'm not seeing questions.
So we will accept that report. And we appreciate its brevity.
Our next speaker is
I beg your pardon. Amadeu had his hand up and I didn't see it. I apologize.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Thanks. One observation. It's surprising, once again, for me as an ICANN Director that things happen, then everything is urgent, everything is important. We resolve it and when we come here we don't spend time talking about relevant issues. And talking now about the question of changes of name servers because of external exogenous technical reason that is, you know, a company is failing, how this relates to redelegations, how this relates to the need or not publish the zone data, and what's first, enforcing our policies or maintaining the stability. And I repeat, I simply am surprised we have not gotten more
Peter Dengate Thrush: There was a presentation from the GA from all of those people as well. So it has been discussed in this meeting.
I am quite happy to run through any more of the detail. But this clearly is a communique of what's being discussed. All I can do, I suppose, is refer you to the web pages at the respective sites where all of those are posted.
The authors are here, I think, several of them still, if you want to question any of them.
Vinton Cerf: Or, alternatively, take that offline for discussion over a lubricating beer.
I actually have two e mail questions which I'd like to put on the table before we get one more speaker at the microphone. This one comes from Danny Younger and it has to do with the proposed bylaws, so the ERC would please listen to this. It's a brief question. Danny says:
"the proposed Bylaws have eliminated article VI section 3.b of the current Bylaws, which allows for the Board to amend the Bylaws to create additional supporting organizations if it determines by a two thirds vote of all members of the Board that it would serve the purposes of the corporation. Why did the ERC deem it advisable to remove this provision?"
So, in sum, did we somehow take away from the new Bylaws the ability to create new supporting organizations?
The answer is yes. Okay. So, Hans, perhaps you could respond.
Hans Kraaijenbrink: Vint, if you go back to the blueprint, will you find the distinction between supporting organizations and advisory committees was mapped to the different areas where ICANN has its responsibilities. Therefore the Generic Names Supporting Organization and the Country Code Supporting Organization are under Supporting Organizations. Everything else went into advisory committees and liaison groups.
So there is no need to have an . . . a new supporting organization, should it be identified, can always be added to by a change of the Bylaws.
But a a normal a capacity for the Board to create another supporting organization would not fit in the structure as presented.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you. That's helpful.
The second question that comes over the net is from Paul Kane. Paul is a member of the ccTLD and registrar constituency.
"Please accept my apologies for being unable to attend the Shanghai meetings. I sincerely hope ICANN and the ccTLD community will work cooperatively together to facilitate significant improvements in the timely and efficient operations of the IANA function. In my humble opinion, if ICANN fails to manage the IANA role effectively, it impacts upon the stability of the net. How does the Board intend to oversee the operational management process of the IANA function? Ie, will there be a specific IANA management committee? I welcome ICANN's consideration of the process for adopting new TLDs and also I urge that sufficient safeguards to sustain customer confidence in the domain name system are in place for the operation of the new TLD registries. Best regards, Paul Kane."
I'd like to suggest one response to his first question, which is that the Board should not be dealing with day to day issues. However, the Board, if it hears of operational and performance problems, should investigate and instruct the staff to resolve them.
The other comment I would endorse as well, that any new TLDs should be as stable as possible so that the people who register in them can rely on them.
Are there any other comments?
No. All right. Who's next?
And just for the record, how many other people are waiting to speak?
You, sir, have the distinction of being the last speaker.
Rick Wesson: The final word. Thank you, Vint.
I think one of the big my name is Rick Wesson. I'm the Chief Technical Officer of the Registrars Constituency.
I have had opportunities to do some volunteer work for ICANN. And I have to say that this is the hardest organization to do volunteer work for.
If the individuals that make up ICANN and many people believe it is the Board that is ICANN, or that it is staff that is ICANN. And I like to believe that it is the participants and everyone that is ICANN.
And to become vested, we all need to be able to do work for it.
And if you can let people do the work, the volunteers, lets there be more volunteers. Let them have more responsibility. Let them have more at stake. That this organization, then, might have stronger legs to stand on.
Vinton Cerf: Well, ladies and gentlemen, we've come to the end of a long day.
And not too far off schedule. And I think I can thank those of you here in the room and the Board for keeping your remarks brief.
Let's see, for the record, what time are we convening tomorrow morning? Is it again at 8:30? It is 8:30. Okay. So we will reconvene the Board meeting here in this room at 8:30 tomorrow morning.
And with that, I will close this session. Thank you.