Executive Staff Focus
By Kurt Pritz — Senior Vice President of Services
The "Executive Staff Focus" is a monthly report about what is on the minds of ICANN executives. Each month will be written by a different ICANN executive.
The meeting in Mexico City came to a successful end; there were a number of significant events and accomplishments. 1219 people attended from over 100 different countries. For the first time, the largest number of attendees – 275 – came from a country other than the United States, in this case Mexico.
Despite the concerns over security and safety, the meeting saw no problems. The security staffs at the venue and ICANN prepared well and instead of distress, there were several acts of unexpected kindness. I heard that a cab driver, cleaning out his cab at the end of the day, found several personal items and returned them to the hotel where they were reunited with the ICANN meeting attendee. I was told of several such instances. Pretty cool.
So then there was work. I am going to resist speaking about new gTLDs (for a couple paragraphs anyway). Over 300 people attended a very well received e-Crime and DNS Abuse Forum (and more participated online) to discuss numerous global activities and issues related to e-Crime and DNS abuse. Four sessions discussed: Law Enforcement and ccTLDs; Consumer Protection in Existing and New TLDs; The Role of ICANN; and e-Crime in Latin America (conducted in Spanish).
The GNSO joined the ALAC in recommending a set of amendments to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement. The 17 amendments represent real progress in improving registrant protections, providing additional contractual enforcement tools, and promoting a stable & competitive marketplace. Importantly, the GNSO agreed to immediately convene two groups with near term goals to: 1) draft a registrant rights charter; and 2) identify further amendments to the RAA on which further action may be desirable.
The ccNSO approved the .ms (Montserrat) membership application. The ccNSO now has 90 ccTLD members. (I had been with ICANN about six months when just 30 members announced the ccNSO formation in March 2004.)
IDNs and the latest version of the Implementation Plan were debated in every constituency and committee meeting. Topics discussed included: the proposed form of agreement between IDN ccTLDs and ICANN, whether that agreement should be mandatory, whether cost recovery fees to ICANN should be required, timing & conflicts vis-à-vis the gTLD implementation, accelerating fast-track test cases (so it is now faster, or at least fast, depending on your point of view).
The At-Large successfully managed the planning and staging of the first-ever global gathering of ICANN's public constituency. Representatives of 88 At-Large Structures attended and many more participated at home. This Summit debated and reported on several critical issues: new gTLDs, IPv6 and RAA amendments among them. The Summit was an important milestone in the maturation of At-Large.
There's more. The policy plate was full: the IDN ccTLD PDP, gTLD transfers, fast flux, GNSO improvements, registration abuse policies, post-expiration domain recovery, and geographic regions review. The Board approved charters for four recently constituted Board Committees to more effectively manage Board work: (i) the IANA Committee; (ii) the Public Participation Committee; (iii) the Risk Committee; and (iv) the Structural Improvements Committee. Importantly, the Board ratified the ASO developed policy for allocating the last available IPv4 address blocks.
(I am trying not to leave anything out – but I am sure I will. Apologies in advance.)
The GAC presented detailed comments on the IDN Fast-Track Process, the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook, and the PSC Report for Improving Institutional Confidence in ICANN. In regard to that last point, the President's Strategy Committee published its draft Implementation Plan with a set of proposed recommendations on how to improve institutional confidence in ICANN in anticipation of the conclusion of the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) in September 2009. Progress on seven independent reviews was reported for the: GNSO, Nominating Committee, ALAC, Board, RSSAC, SSAC and ccNSO.
Finally, new gTLDs: There were several public sessions and constituency / committee briefings to introduce the revised version of the Applicant Guidebook. Now is the time for you to comment on that new version of the Guidebook that describes the new gTLD application process.
As highlighted in the meeting, a set of four over-arching new gTLD issues were identified in earlier public comment. While ensuring that appropriate time and deliberation is taken to resolve these issues, the ICANN Board directed that they be closed quickly: directing that consultations be completed and reports issued on Trademark issues and Geographical Names by 24 May – following an earlier request for a joint SSAC/RSSAC report on stability issues by 15 May.
I can report first-hand that there are great restaurants, the hotel was in a great neighbourhood for walking around, the hotel staff and population were extremely friendly and helpful. I enjoyed excellent wine and cerveza, but with all the work that occurred, I (somewhat sadly) stayed away from tequila.
A 90-minute Q&A session was held on the Monday, in which ICANN staff outlined changes made in the second version of the Applicant Guidebook and the community was given the opportunity to ask questions and make comments as the new gTLD process progresses.
Briefings were also given to ICANN's Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees by ICANN staff, and an update on the whole process given on the Friday. A Branding and new gTLDs session was held on the Monday afternoon, and new gTLDs formed the bulk of discussions during the Public Forum on Thursday.
The Directors approved the establishment by staff of an Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT) comprised of an internationally diverse group of people to develop and propose solutions to the over-arching issue of trademark protection in connection with the introduction of new generic top level domain names (gTLDs).
"The Board has clearly heard and believes strongly that the concerns of trademark holders must be addressed before this process is opened for applications," said Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush. "The establishment of this team, is an attempt to get proposed solutions from the people with skill in trademark protection and other issues."
The IRT will be comprised of people who put forward solutions in the first public comment period on the new gTLD Applicant Guidebook.
Feedback from the meeting, as well as comments sent to the second public comment period (which closes on 13 April 2009) will be used to produce a third version of the guidebook.
Additional study and consultation is required on several overarching issues: trademark protection and possible abuses; DNS stability; and Economic analysis of the effect of new gTLDs on the marketplace. A number of other precise areas of change for the next version of the Guidebook were outlined in a staff update on the Friday.
The Implementation Recommendation Team (see above) has been asked to draft a report by 24 April for comment and to produce a final report no later than 24 May so it can be considered at ICANN's Sydney meeting in June.
The first applications for new generic top-level domains are expected to be received in December 2009 at the earliest or in the first quarter of 2010.
Full details on the Q&A session can be found here: http://mex.icann.org/node/2610
A staff update on the new gTLD process can be found here: http://mex.icann.org/files/meetings/ mexico2009/new-gtlds-staff-updates-06mar09.pdf
The second public comment period for the Applicant Guidebook can be found here: http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/#dagv2
More information is available on ICANN's new gTLDs page (http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtldprogram.htm). This web page includes the draft Applicant Guidebook, accompanying explanatory memoranda, an FAQ, along with many additional resources.
IDNs & IDN Fast Track
The latest version of the Implementation Plan was outlined, as well as three papers that identified open issues where further input from the community is needed to complete implementation.
Introductory sessions on the topic were given in English and Spanish on the Sunday, and a further session explaining the changes made to the Implementation Plan was run on the Monday. Briefings were also given to ICANN's Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees by ICANN staff.
IDNs were one of the main topics of discussion at the Public Forum on Thursday, and an update on the whole process given on the Friday.
The Fast Track was discussed extensively in the GAC and ccNSO and was the subject of formal resolutions by both organizations, as well as by the ICANN Board at its public meeting on Friday.
Feedback from the meeting, as well as comments sent to a public comment period on the Implementation Plan and papers (which closes on 6 April 2009) will be used to produce a revised version of the Implementation Plan. The Board requested that the Implementation Plan be finalized for its last meeting of 2009.
More information is available at http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/
Monday IDN session: http://mex.icann.org/node/2629
Board and GAC session: http://mex.icann.org/node/2638
Board public meeting: http://mex.icann.org/node/2689
GAC communiqué: http://gac.icann.org/web/communiques/gac33com.pdf
ccNSO website: http://ccnso.icann.org/
A staff update on the IDN and Fast Track process can be found here: http://mex.icann.org/files/meetings/ mexico2009/idns-staff-updates- 06mar09-en.pdf
The public comment period for the Fast Track can be found here: http://www.icann.org/en/publiccomment/#update-idn-cctlds
The GNSO Council approved a wide range of amendments to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) – the contract that ICANN has with the companies that register generic top-level domains. The Board then asked the amendments to be put out to a 30-day comment period.
The 17 amendments cover four broad categories:
New enforcement tools – new Registrar Audit and a group liability provision amongst other things.
Registrant protections – shining a light on the risks of proxy registration.
Consistent minimum standards of service for all registrars.
A modernizing of the agreement to get up-to-date with the domain name market.
The full amendments, and a history of the amendment process, are online at: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/raa/
The GNSO also decided to draft a registrants rights charter and identify further amendments to the RAA.
The amendments will shortly be put out to a 30-day public comment period by the Board, and the GNSO Council and ICANN staff will be advised of the registrants rights charter and possible further RAA amendments before 31 July 2009.
RAA staff update: http://mex.icann.org/files/meetings/ mexico2009/raa-amendments-staff-updates-06mar09-en.pdf
RAA amendments webpage: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/raa/
Improving Institutional Confidence (IIC)
The President's Strategy Committee published its draft Implementation Plan with a set of proposed recommendations on how to improve institutional confidence in ICANN ahead of the conclusion of the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) in September 2009. This revised document was the result of extensive community consultations during 2008, and it was produced for information, not decision. The ultimate decision will be taken by the Board.
The Mexico City meeting saw widespread discussion of these documents. A special session was held on Wednesday and the issue was also discussed at the At Large Summit and within a number of supporting organizations and advisory committees.
The Board will consider the Improving Institutional Confidence report at its next meeting on 23 April 2009. At that meeting, the Board will consider whether to ask staff to do more detailed implementation work. There will be a public comment period of 60 days, beginning shortly after the Mexico City meeting.
Information about the documents, the public comment periods, the regional meetings and the draft Implementation Plan can be found on dedicated IIC webpages at: http://www.icann.org/en/jpa/iic/
Wednesday IIC session: http://mex.icann.org/node/2809
Progress continued on structural and operational changes to ICANN's main policy-making body. Early meetings on Saturday and Sunday focused on operational and process work team efforts. Another team discussed resolution of transition issues to seat the newly structured GNSO Council.
Several new stakeholder group charters were submitted by the community throughout the week and a consolidated public comment forum was initiated for comments on those proposals. The community heard from proponents of the Cybersafety, City TLD and Consumer constituencies. A formal petition from the CyberSafety constituency was also posted for community comments. At its Friday meeting, the Board directed the ICANN staff to identify potential changes to existing GNSO constituency charters and to suggest specific changes to help them conform more closely to ICANN bylaw principles.
The work teams covering different aspects of the improvements will continue to move forward with calls and meetings in the coming weeks. The GNSO Improvements community will have opportunities to comment on the proposed charters for new GNSO stakeholder groups as well as the petition for the new CyberSafety constituency.
The independent review process requires each of ICANN's Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees to undergo review every few years to make sure that the organization as a whole continues to serves the needs of the global Internet community.
There are six reviews going on at the moment, and one will be started in the upcoming future. Starting with the most advanced to the least advanced: GNSO, NomCom, ALAC, Board, RSSAC, SSAC and ccNSO. The advancement of each of these reviews was presented during specific meetings in Mexico.
The GNSO advanced its implementation of changes; the Nominating Committee review will be soon updated for publication for public comments; ALAC review is accepting last public comments before finalization. The Board review is solliciting public comments into the working group discussion; and the RSSAC and SSAC reviews will soon enter the working group stage. The terms of reference for review of the ccNSO is nearly finished.
The reviews will continue to advance through working group work, public comments and community response and review.
Dedicated reviews webpage: http://www.icann.org/en/reviews/
Staff update on reviews: http://mex.icann.org/files/meetings/ mexico2009/organizational-reviews-staff-updates-06mar09-en.pdf
The full set of Board Resolutions at the public meeting on Friday can be found online at: http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-06mar09.htm.
A transcript of the meeting can be found at: http://mex.icann.org/files/meetings/mexico2009/transcript-board-meeting-06mar09-en.txt
A short summary of resolutions is given below.
GNSO Constituency Renewals
Acknowledged submissions from six existing constituencies and asked for staff analysis and follow-up submissions, as needed, by the Sydney meeting.
IPv4 Allocation Policy
Ratified the global policy for handing out the last available IPv4 address blocks.
IDN ccTLD Fast Track
Asked that the Implementation Plan be made available for consideration prior to the last Board meeting of 2009. Directed staff to outline costs to ICANN of country code top-level domains, including IDN ccTLDs.
Trademark Protection for new gTLDs
Created a new Implementation Recommendation Team to develop and propose solutions to the overarching issue of trademark protection in connection with the introduction of new gTLDs. A draft report to be ready by 24 April 2009.
Geographic term protection for new gTLDs
Applicant Guidebook to be revised to give greater specificity on the scope of protection at the top level for the names of countries and territories. Staff to exchange letters with the GAC to find a solution before end of May.
ALAC and GNSO thanked for their work and advice. The GNSO-approved amendments to be put out to public comment for 30 days.
The Charters of four new Board Committees (IANA, Public Participation, Risk and Structural Improvements) approved and the Board Governance Committee given the tasks of the dissolved Conflicts of Interest Committee and Reconsideration Committee.
Posted for public comment.
President's Strategy Committee Report
The Improving Institutional Confidence consultation report posted for comment for 60 days.
Timely posting of materials
The Public Participation Board Committee asked to develop a plan to have all major meeting material available two weeks before a meeting starts.
At Large Summit
Acknowledged receipt of the Summit's Declaration and congratulated At Large community. Thanks: Given to Milton Mueller, Demi Getschko, Dave Wodelet, the scribes, local hosts, event teams, sponsors and Mexican government.
Ombudsman Evaluation Survey
Greetings ICANN Community and Stakeholders:
As part of the 5 year summative evaluation of the Office of the Ombudsman, we are kindly asking your assistance in assessing the value and efficiency of the Office. To this end we have attached a short survey which will enable us to better understand the community's perception of the Office and its relationship to ICANN. Your cooperation is vital to the evaluation process overall.
Specifically, this survey will collect the sum total of your responses, which will then be analyzed by the Summative Evaluation Team. Truthful and complete answers will be greatly appreciated as they will add to the accuracy and credibility of the summative evaluation.
Please follow the link to SurveyMonkey that has been supplied here. Notice that in some of the questions more than one answer is possible and some questions leave room to allow you to give an explanation with your response.
We would like to thank you in advance for submitting your responses by April 1, 2009. Your opinion is most valuable to us and we appreciate your time.
The Summative Evaluation Team from Pepperdine University.
Ombudsman Evaluation Survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?
Representatives of over 90 At-Large Structures representing ICANN's global individual Internet user community came together at ICANN¹s Mexico City meeting in the At-Large Summit held between 28 February and 4 March 2009.
The Summit was a unique gathering of the representatives of individual Internet users participating in ICANN. Organized as an integral part of the 34th ICANN International Meeting in Mexico City, the Summit featured:
- Two General Sessions of all participants;
- Thematic sessions and workshops on issues that concern individual Internet users worldwide led by At-Large community members;
- Five policy-focused working groups produced statements on important subjects to the whole ICANN community; and many other events.
Full details of the Summit can be found at: http://www.atlarge.icann.org/summit
The Summit's final Declaration can be found at: http://www.atlarge.icann.org/files/atlarge/correspondence-05mar09-en.pdf
Mexico City Fellowship Update
A total of 17 fellowship participants attended the 34th International Public ICANN meeting in Mexico City, Mexico. Though 23 candidates from 105 applications received were originally chosen to participate in the Mexico City Fellowship Program, 5 were deferred to the Sydney, Australia meeting in June due to extraordinary challenges with obtaining visas, and 1 individual had to withdraw at the last minute due to obligations related to his government position. The following are those 17 fellows, with their country and region represented:
› Atef Loukil - Tunisia /Africa
› Arnold Chetty - Seychelles /Africa
› Tepua Ngamata - Cook Islands / Asia Pacific
› Mahawish Masud - Pakistan / Asia
› Scan Mitiepo - Niue Island / Asia Pacific
› Jose Dominguez - Dominican Republic / Caribbean
› Rayman Khan - Guyana / Caribbean
› Karlene Collette Francis - Jamaica / Caribbean
› Tatiana Chirev - Moldova / Europe
› Maria Monica Solino Platero - Uruguay / Latin America
› Diana Lezama - Honduras / Latin America
› Natali Rosario Perez - Belize / Central America
› Alicia Trinidad Paz Meza - Honduras / Latin America
› Diana Almahasneh - Jordan / Western Asia
› Dina Barakat - Egypt / Western Asia
› Denzil West - Montserrat/ Caribbean
› Monica Susana Abalo Laforgia - Argentina / Latin America
Highlights of the Mexico City week included a visit from Paul Twomey, a conversations with Tricia Drakes, chair of NomCom, topical presentations on ICANN functional areas including IANA (Kim Davies and Rick Lamb), Registry, Registrar and Compliance (Craig Schwartz, Tim Cole, Khalil Rasheed and William McKnight) and Corporate Affairs (Maria Farrell), as well as 3 fellowship alumni presenting what they have accomplished in relation to ICANN and the internet community since their entry into the fellowship program.
Those presenting were: Tatiana Chirev from .md, who "graduated" from the program and is currently seeking to become more involved in ICANN through the NomCom process; Denzil West, who has led the effort to run the .ms registry since 2001, and realized the conclusion of that goal in Mexico City, as Montserrat became the 90th country to be brought i n t o the ccNSO; and Fahd Batayneh, who in 8 short months since attending Paris as a fellow, has himself joined the ccNSO and is actively involved in 2 working groups. We are very proud of the growth and accomplishments of all of the program alumni.
The Sydney application round closed on 10 March 2009, with 97 applications received. Selected participants for the Sydney meeting in June will be announced on the ICANN website in late April.
- 1-6 March: 34th International Public Meeting in Mexico City
- 6 March: Board Meeting
- 22-27 March: IETF meeting in San Francisco
- 30-31 March: TWNIC 10 Year Anniversary Event
- 8 April: Board Governance Committee Meeting
- 14 April: Board Public Participation Committee Meeting
- 15 April: Board Structural Improvements Committee Meeting
- 22 April: Board Meeting
Policy update: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/policy/
Compliance newsletter: http://www.icann.org/en/compliance/newsletter/
Monthly magazine: http://www.icann.org/en/magazine/
Public Participation: Have Your Voice Heard — Visit the Public Participation Site and let us know what you think about the current issues. If you care about the Internet and how it evolves, your voice will only be heard if you get involved. We look forward to seeing you.
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