October 2008: Monthly Magazine
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In this issue:
Welcome to the October issue of ICANN's magazine. Each issue covers the latest news and events, plus outlines how you can interact with the organization.
ICANN makes decisions that directly affect all those that use the Internet, whether governments, businesses or individual Net users.
We help coordinate the names and numbers that are vital to producing one globally interoperable Internet. Our decision-making processes are open to all and we welcome all those equally passionate about how the Internet evolves.
Policy highlights this month include:
A new mailing-list translator is being rolled out to enable people all over the world to take place in ICANN policy announcement. So far, 14 languages are catered for.
The Board adopted most of the working group's report, including its recommendations on NomCom appointees, election of Council leadership, voting thresholds for various Council decisions, as well as timing for the implementation of these elements and other related matters.
However, two issues remain outstanding and will go to further community deliberation: the appropriate representation of individual commercial and non-commercial Internet users; and Board seat elections.
The GNSO Council has also approved the implementation plan and set up two standing committees to work on the next part of the restructuring.
An issues report has been requested on domain registration abuse policies. The report will review existing provisions for abuse in registry and registrar agreements and identify potential options for further consideration.
Please review the October Policy Update.
A number of people have been asking for updates on where ICANN has got to with regard to dealing with domain name tasting. So here is a quick update:
Back in June at the Paris meeting, the Board approved a recommendation made to it by ICANN's main policy-making body, the GNSO.
That recommendation sees restrictions placed on the Add Grace Period that seek to provide a financial disincentive to domain name tasting.
The Board asked staff to implement the policy following appropriate comment and notice periods on the implementation documents, and that is now happening, with a public comment period opened this week on the proposed implementation plan.
The whole plan, complete with explanatory notes, is now online for review.
The Board met most recently on 1 October. The next meeting is at the Cairo meeting on Friday 7 November.
Each Board meeting is preceded by at least a week by a meeting of the Board’s Executive Committee which decides the agenda.
A preliminary report of the 1 October meeting itself can be found on the Board minutes page. Highlights include:
The agenda for the 7 November will be decided in Cairo, depending on what happens during the meeting.
You can view all past, current and future Board meetings, along with minutes and agenda on one webpage on the ICANN website at http://www.icann.org/minutes/.
ICANN's 33rd international public meeting will start in Cairo in just over a week.
So far, over 800 people have registered to attend and, as ever, a busy schedule is in place.
As well as all the usual meetings on the Supporting Organization and Advisory Committees, the public forums, and the workshops, there will be a number of "Open Joint Sessions" on the Monday and Thursday where the chairs of the SOs and ACs will review the current big topics.
The Gala event will be held at the Pyramids. A help and FAQ section on the Cairo meeting site should also answer many of the questions attendees may have.
The highlights of the September newsletter are given below:
Beijing Innovative Linkage Technology, Ltd (Dns.com.cn) and Joker.com have been put on notice for failure to take “reasonable steps to investigate” Whois inaccuracy claims.
Both companies were issued a Notice of Concern on 29 May 2008 and when they failed to take reasonable steps to investigate the inaccuracy claims they were subsequently issued Notices of Breach of Contract on 30 September 2008.
This past 10-11 September, ICANN’s Contractual Compliance staff held a Registrar/Registry regional gathering in Seoul, Korea. Two main areas of focus were registrar compliance with the UDRP; and contractual compliance program progress. The opportunity was taken to inform registrars and registries on ICANN's contractual compliance activities and addressed questions and issues as well as to gather feedback.
Every piece of substantive work that ICANN produces goes through at least one period of public comment, where anyone is free to provide their reflections, which will then be summarized and used to revise whatever documents are under review.
All of those comment periods are available on a single webpage on the ICANN website and all new comment periods are formally announced on the front page of the site.
As of Tuesday 21 October, there are three comment periods open:
Closed since last magazine :
Summary/analysis of closed comment periods:
Coinciding with ICANN’s 10 year anniversary, Remembering Jon: Looking Beyond the Decade, is a tribute to Jon Postel written by Vint Cerf.
Jon’s death was just two short weeks after ICANN was officially created. He would have taken considerable satisfaction knowing that the institution he worked hard to create has survived and contributed materially to the stability of the Internet. Please take a few minutes and read this tribute to Jon Postel, who without which ICANN would not be what it is today.
Read the full tribute at http://blog.icann.org/?p=373
It has been rumored that the Internet is running out of names. Which is probably why IPv6 has been more prevalent in the news lately. Read more about which region is taking the lead in IPv6 deployment here http://blog.icann.org/?p=365
More details on participating with ICANN can be found at: http://icann.org/participate/
The following announcements were made in the past month:
2 Oct: ICANN Seeks Interest in IDN ccTLD Fast-Track Process
1 Oct: Breach Notices Sent to Joker.com and DNS.com.cn
30 Sep: ICANN: 10 Years Old Today
A full list of announcements is available online at: http://www.icann.org/announcements/
To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet.
ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit partnership of people from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers.
ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet.
I got a call from an executive recruiter who said, "I have a very unusual opportunity for you to consider". I had been in the technology world in Silicon Valley for more than 25 years, mostly in hardware and software product development roles, and had not interacted with ICANN at all (though was close to some adjacent areas, with engineers and teams that participated in IETF and NANOG, among other groups). But just to prove it is a small world, Judy Estrin, the Chairman of the company where I was most recently CEO knew Vint Cerf and Steve Crocker, because they were both students of her father, a computer science professor at UCLA. Judy also helped me see that ICANN was a good place for me to make a contribution. By the way, Judy just wrote a book that may be of interest to the ICANN community, Closing the Innovation Gap: Reigniting the Spark of Creativity in a Global Economy (J. Estrin).
This is easy to answer: everything. Critically, it is the importance and the impact of ICANN’s work; implementing a new TLD process in an effective way, meeting the need for Fask Track IDNs, becoming operationally ready for a DNSSEC-signed root, demonstrating ever-growing competence and capability in contractual compliance work, providing excellent policy development support to the community, and more. Also interesting is the challenge of internal organizational renewal (viz. the GNSO improvements process) and of a maturing ICANN meeting the expectations of the global Internet community.
At its best, the model requires and delivers total transparency, so decisions and the rationale behind any decisions can be well understood. While this doesn’t ensure perfect decision-making, it does allow for close inspection of both the answers and the thinking. I also very much appreciate the diverse views brought to bear on any situation, the multi-cultural perspective (and hopefully with a growing Asian and African involvement), leading to conclusions that work better around the globe.
So, the flip side of strength is weakness. The ICANN model is inclusive, but doesn’t lend itself to speedy decision-making. Also, with many different priorities from different constituents, it can be difficult to make trade-offs of time and resources.
There is no single issue area among the half-dozen critical issues that I could identify as "most important". Of course, the focus of my role at ICANN is execution, so things like DNSSEC, new TLDs and cc IDN Fast Track are my own personal top priorities. For the ICANN community, the ongoing topic of institutional confidence, and considerations beyond the end of the current Joint Project Agreement are probably most important for ICANN’s ongoing evolution into the future.
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