By Doug Brent, Chief Operating Officer
The “Staff Focus” is a monthly report about what is on the minds of ICANN staff. Each month will be written by a different ICANN staff member.
Happy New Year ICANN Community!
In December, Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s CEO, posted an important piece
on the past year in review. It seems only fitting to begin the New
Year with a look at what might lie ahead in 2010 for ICANN. So here’s
We know that fully internationalized names will exist in the Internet
for the first time! The fast
track process has yielded the first set of strings going into
the IANA delegation process as of 21 January, and names should appear
in a few months.
We also know that the first Accountability review, called for
by the Affirmation
of Commitments, will take place. Likely, this will identify
both the many strong steps the entire ICANN community and organization
have taken to support meaningful accountability, and identify future
actions that can further improve our work.
While it is too early to predict how far the new
gTLD program will progress, work already underway points to
some likely outcomes. The work on intellectual property protections
by the IRT (special community group), then handed off to the GNSO for
recommendations, is likely to come to fruition. Appropriate trademark
protections are an essential part of the new gTLD process, and
adoption of this work will be an important step.
Other major aspects of the new gTLD program under discussion right
now include if and how to run an Expression of Interest process
and the right set
of conditions for registry/registrar separation and integration. Both
of these questions have been discussed on-line and on conference calls
and are scheduled for more discussion at ICANN’s Nairobi meeting. And,
we can expect more information on the root scaling study, TLD demand,
security considerations for registries, three character names and variant
handling, a new draft applicant guidebook, and more.
There is also a great deal of ongoing policy development work
in the GNSO, which has more
than 18 working groups now running concurrently, and in the ccNSO,
which also has a full agenda, including looking at long-term country
code IDN policies and aspects of delegation and re-delegation.
At-Large community work
also has reached an all time high as they offer the individual user
perspective on a range of issues. Along with this
policy development work, is work in the GNSO, At-Large and other parts
of ICANN to fully implement organizational improvements and streamline
processes. This is combined with organization reviews of the ccNSO, the RSSAC and
Having tried to make some assessments of likely 2010 outcomes,
I also have some questions on my mind heading into this year:
- With the Affirmation signed last year, how do the staff,
Board and community build explicit public interest concerns into
all of our processes? How can we assure that the public interest
is always being served?
- For years, the notion of improved participation has been
discussed (and I’m sure even this phrase means different things
to different people). How can people participate in a meaningful
way without becoming experts in all of the work ICANN does? How
can remote participation be made better and more integrated into
the meetings? How can work be prioritized and/or supported so a
volunteer community can continue to lead?
- As fiscal year 2011 (beginning 1 July) will have virtually
no budget growth, how will the community, Board and staff work
to make the trade-offs between essential new programs and expenditures,
and fund them by cutting others?
So, I’ve assessed likely outcomes and offered some questions,
but I guess no look forward would be complete without at least one
is that when Rod writes his 2011 in review piece for the community,
it will demonstrate even more significant outcomes – both substantive
and process related - than it did in 2009.
Happy New Year!
Chief Operating Officer
ICANN’s New VP of Government Affairs, the Americas — Jamie Hedlund
We are pleased to introduce Jamie Hedlund, Vice President of Government
Affairs for the Americas. We did a quick interview with Jamie to
learn a bit more about him and his ideas for ICANN.
ICANN: Tell us a little bit about yourself,
what is your background?
Jamie: I grew up in the city of Chicago. My
mother was the first woman elected to City Hall and my father was
a litigator. I was fortunate to be able to study in France
for one year during high school and to work in Paris during the
summer before college. After college, I worked in orphanages
in Chile while that country returned to democratic rule. My first
job after law school was in Mexico City. After a brief (and
somewhat depressing) stint representing infomercial producers, I
spent three years at the US Federal Communications Commission working
on wireless auctions and international regulatory issues. I
then joined Sprint where among other things I participated in the
ITU's WRC 2000 in Istanbul where I helped safeguard the company's
2.5 GHz spectrum from being reallocated for other services. My
family and I then moved to Colorado where I worked on the business
side for Level 3 Communications, a major Internet backbone provider. While
there, I spent a year as the chief of staff to the head of Level
3's EU business unit. During my four years in Denver, my wife
completed her doctoral thesis in education and we decided to return
to Washington where she founded a charter school. I became
a lobbyist for Yahoo! Inc. where I worked primarily on broadband
and copyright issues, including net neutrality and webcasting royalties
for streaming music. Most recently, I headed regulatory affairs
for the Consumer Electronics Association where I spearheaded our
efforts to secure more spectrum for wireless broadband devices and
services. On a more personal note, my wife and I are very
fortunate to have three happy and healthy children aged 11, 9 and
6 1/2. Like most parents of young kids, when we are not working,
we spend a lot of time shuttling them to school and sporting events.
ICANN: What attracted you to ICANN?
Jamie: There are many aspects of ICANN that I
found compelling. The critical role that ICANN plays in Internet
infrastructure is really exciting. I figured that ICANN's
mandate to ensure a single Internet must inspire everyone who works
here. I'm also the type of person who thrives
in organizations faced with complicated challenges. ICANN's diverse
stakeholders and bottom-up development process knows no parallel -
it is an experiment in governance in which the stakes, the maintenance
of a single root, are incredibly high. During the interview process,
it also became clear to me that there are a lot of very smart, dedicated
people here who are passionate about their work. Rod is clearly
an inspired and inspiring leader who promises to do great things as
ICANN continues in its evolution. In short, I was attracted to ICANN's
mission and the people who carry it out.
ICANN: What is your vision for Government
Affairs within ICANN/what do you want to accomplish?
Jamie: My focus is on the Americas. I hope
to build on the foundation laid by my predecessor and by Theresa
Swinehart's Global Partnership organization. In Washington,
I hope to keep policymakers informed of ICANN's progress in carrying
out our obligations under the Affirmation of Commitments. I
also hope to raise awareness of ICANN's role in the global Internet
beyond those in Congress and the Administration with whom we have
worked closely. ICANN has a great story to tell and
there are many in government, industry and the public interest community
who could become our supporters. In the Americas, I look forward
to working with Theresa and Pablo Hinojosa to ensure that governments
in this hemisphere understand and appreciate our independence from
the US Government and our open and transparent policy development process.
ICANN: What challenges do you see?
Jamie: ICANN's biggest challenge in the government
affairs realm will be to secure the support and "buy in" of
the governments and other stakeholders in the ICANN model. This
will require unrelenting outreach and education efforts, especially
when some in the ICANN community inevitably feel disappointed by
the results of a policy decision. On a personal level, there
is a lot I need to learn about ICANN. My window into ICANN
while at Yahoo! was a narrow one, focused primarily on IP issues. I
look forward to meeting and working with staff across the organization
whose help will be
critical if we are to properly inform and educate policymakers.
ICANN: What is your first priority in your
Jamie: It's hard to pick just one when there
is so much happening now. Rod will be in town for my first week
on the job. I guess my first priority will be that our meetings
on the Hill and with the Administration are successful. Fortunately,
Rod has significant experience in DC and doesn't really need much
preparation. More generally, my first priority will be to
develop narratives that convince policymakers that the ICANN model
is succeeding and worth keeping.
ICANN: How do you see ICANN’s staff supporting
you in achieving your goals?
Jamie: It would
be impossible for me to develop the narrative mentioned
above without significant support and input from staff across the
organization. The pieces are all there - all I need to do
is to put it into a format that will be appreciated by
Congress, the Administration, other governments and industry and
public interest constituencies. I know that everyone
is incredibly busy but I hope they will not mind me pestering
them for help and information. I also hope that they will
be patient with me as I make my way up the steep ICANN learning
IDN Fast Track—First IDN ccTLD Requests Successfully Pass String Evaluation
ICANN is pleased to announce the successful completion of the
IDN ccTLD Fast Track String Evaluation for four (4) proposed IDN
ccTLDs. The requests are associated with Egypt, the Russian Federation,
United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. Details of the successful
evaluations are provided here.
The IDN (Internationalized Domain Name) ccTLD Fast Track Process
was approved by the ICANN Board at its annual meeting in Seoul,
South Korea on 30 October 2009. First requests were received starting
16 November 2009. The process enables countries and territories
to submit requests to ICANN for IDN ccTLDs, representing their respective
country or territory names in scripts other than Latin. IDN ccTLD
requesters must fulfill a number of requirements:
- the script used to represent the IDN ccTLDs must be non-Latin;
- the languages used to express the IDN ccTLDs must be official
in the corresponding country or territory; and
- a specific set of technical requirements must be met (as
evaluated by an external DNS Stability Panel comprised of DNS and
The request and evaluation processes entail three steps:
- Preparation (by the requester in the country
Community consensus is built for which IDN ccTLD to apply for, how
it is run, and which organization will be running it, along with preparing
and gathering all the required supporting documentation.
- String Evaluation:
Incoming requests to ICANN in accordance with the criteria
described above: the technical and linguistic requirements for
the IDN ccTLD string(s).
Applications are received through an online system available
together with additional material supporting the process at http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/
- String Delegation:
Requests successfully meeting string evaluation criteria are eligible
to apply for delegation following the same ICANN IANA process as is used
for ASCII based ccTLDs. String delegation requests are submitted to IANA
root zone management.
At this time ICANN has received a total of 16 requests for and
IDN ccTLD through the String Evaluation process, representing eight
languages. Four of these have now successfully passed through the
String Evaluation and are hence ready for the requesting country
or territory to initiate the application for String Delegation.
ICANN is looking forward to the String Delegation function for
these four requests, as well as finalizing the remaining received
requests in String Evaluation, and receiving additional new requests
in the Fast Track Process. A staff support function is available
to help all countries and territories interested in participating
in the Fast Track Process.
any inquiries for participation.
Updates about received numbers of applications and the number
of completions will continue to be provided on the Fast Track Process
web page at:
ICANN Remains Committed to Nairobi and Africa
We have listened to the community. Many are looking forward to
Nairobi, some expressed concerns, particularly in light of the events
in downtown Nairobi on January 15. Accordingly, ICANN staff and
Board have reexamined the security situation
During our re-examination we first explored moving the event out
of the downtown Nairobi area to a suburb, but determined that no
suitable venue was available.
Second, we reached out to the Kenyan government as well as other
nations with operations in Kenya for their risk assessments of the
consistent feedback was that the overall risk assessment of Nairobi
had not changed. Accordingly, based on the ICANN CEO’s recommendation,
the ICANN Board has approved moving ahead with the ICANN Nairobi meeting.
At the same time, we recognize that many developing country cities
have higher ambient levels of street crime and much of the world
(the U.S. and Europe included) faces international terrorist threats
and attacks. Both are simply facts of life. Also, as with all ICANN
events, we will continue to monitor the security situation in case
there are any material future changes. For any ICANN community members
who do not travel to the event, remote participation will be available
for many of the meetings.
Given that ICANN is committed to “One world. One Internet. Everyone
connected.” we have engaged and will continue to engage with the
We greatly appreciate the assistance of Kenya, the host country,
and their commitment to address ICANN security concerns. In addition,
the ICANN board has approved further security investments by the
CEO as necessary for the event, and the CEO will become personally
involved in reviewing the security plans.
I love Kenya. I have been to Nairobi six times and greatly look
forward to participating in this important ICANN International meeting.
CEO and President
As a part of our efforts to provide more information for attendees
and potential attendees of the Nairobi ICANN meeting, the staff
are pleased to provide advance notice of an upcoming pair of teleconferences
to brief you about logistical and security arrangements, and allow
you to ask questions.
The teleconferences will be approximately one hour long, depending
upon the length of the Q&A, and held as follows:
- Thursday, 28th January, 0600 UTC
(1130 New Delhi, 0900
Nairobi, 1400 Beijing, 1700 Sydney (for the Eastern
- Friday, 29th January, 2000 UTC
(1200 Los Angeles,
1500 New York, 1700 Buenos Aires, 1800 Sao Paulo (for
the Western Hemisphere)
Toll-Free (North America Only):
+1 (800) 550-6865 / USA
Toll: +1 (213) 233-3193
International Dial-In Numbers: http://www.adigo.com/icann/
Access Code: 3856
Adobe Connect: http://icann.na3.acrobat.com/nairobi-logistics/
If a number your country is not listed, please send an email
to firstname.lastname@example.org, with
a subject line of 'dial out for ICANN Nairobi Call 1' for the first
call, or 'dial out for ICANN Nairobi Call 2' for the second call,
providing your name, full telephone number including country code,
and your location up to 1 hour before the call you want to attend
begins. If you drop from the call or have connection problems,
you can send an IM to either adigohelp (skype or AIM).
1) Virtual Walk Through of Logistics - Nick Tomasso and Joe Kiragu
Nick Tomasso, ICANN General Manager for Meetings and Conferences,
will take attendees through a narrative of the logistical arrangements
from the point that attendees disembark from the plane through to
arrival at the hotel. Following that our Kenyan hosts will take
the participants through the process of moving from their hotel
back and forth to the other hotels and the conference site. Requirements
on arrival will also be recapped. Joe Kiragu, Board Chairperson,
Kenya Network Information Centre (KENIC), will add any comments
he thinks appropriate.
2) Review of Security Situation and Arrangements
Geoff Bickers, ICANN’s Director of Security, will review security
arrangements for attendees. Geoff will also provide an overview
of existing security information that has been published with reminders
of online links for further information. Board Chairperson, Kenya
Network Information Centre (KENIC), will be invited to make any
comments he wishes to add.
3) Remote Participation Options
Nick Ashton-Hart will briefly review remote participation arrangements
Questions and Answers related to the above subjects will be taken
from the audience. Members will be asked to raise their hands in
the Adobe Connect room (or ask in Adobe Connect chat to be placed
into the queue) wherever possible. Nick Ashton-Hart will call on
questioners on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no hard
close for the call; the presenters are happy to remain online until
all questions have been answered; if for some reason a participant
drops or must drop and a question arrives for them, this will be
passed along so it can be answered.
The agenda and material presented will be identical at each session.
will be posted online for those unable to attend.
Malaysia and Colombia Join ccNSO
On 8 January, the country code Name Supporting Organization (ccNSO)
accepted the membership applications of Malaysia (.my) and Colombia
“Wildcarding” Study Group Seeks Volunteers
The ccNSO Council approved the task description of an ad-hoc group
that will study the use of “wildcards” or synthesized DNS responses.
Public Comments Published about Proposed IDN Policies
The ccNSO received several public comments on a paper that proposed
overall policies for the introduction of Internationalized Domain
Names (IDNs) into country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). A summary
of the public comments has been published.
ccNSO Adjusts Its Relationship with IANA
The ccNSO Council expanded its Tech Working Group’s mandate to
include a formal liaison role with the Internet Assigned Numbers
Authority (IANA) function.
Schweiger Is New Chair of Incident Response Planning
The ccNSO Council has appointed Dr. Joerg Schweiger, board member
of Denic, as the new Chair of the Incident Response Planning Working
Group (IRP WG).
ccNSO Drafts Agenda for Meeting in Nairobi
The ccNSO has publicly posted its first-draft agenda for its activities
at the upcoming meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.
ccNSO Prepares to Update Its Website
The ccNSO is considering ways to update and improve ccNSO.icann.org.
Inter-Registrar Transfer Policies WG Consults with Compliance
The Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP) aims to provide a straightforward
procedure for domain name holders to transfer their names from one
ICANN-accredited registrar to another. The GNSO is reviewing and
considering revisions to this policy.
Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery WG Presents Final
To what extent should registrants be able to reclaim their domain
names after they expire? At issue is whether the current policies
of registrars on the renewal, transfer and deletion of expired domain
names are adequate.
GNSO Improvements: New Council Seated; Now What?
Members of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) community
are working hard to implement a comprehensive series of organizational
changes designed to improve the effectiveness and accessibility
of the organization. The GNSO Improvements fall into five main areas;
- Restructuring the GNSO Council;
- Revising the GNSO Policy Develop ment Process (PDP);
- Adopting a New Working Group Model for Policy Development;
- Enhancing Constituencies; and
- Improving Communication and Coordination With ICANN
To understand the GNSO's new structure and organization, please
see the discussion and diagrams on the GNSO
Improvements webpage. For the reasons and history motivating
the improvements, see the Background
Can Differing Proposals for Recovered IPv4 Addresses Merge
into One Global Policy?
Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) are discussing a proposed
global policy for handling IPv4 address space returned from the
RIRs to IANA. According to
the proposal, IANA would act as a repository of returned address space
and, once the free pool of IANA IPv4 address space has been depleted,
allocate such space to the RIRs in smaller blocks than it currently does.
RIRs Close to Approving Transition to 32-Bit ASN
Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) are discussing a proposed
global policy for Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs). The proposal
would change the date for a full transition from 16-bit to 32-bit
ASNs from the beginning of 2010 to the beginning of 2011, in order
to allow more time for necessary upgrades of the systems involved.
Opportunity to Appoint a Board Member Enlivens At-Large
ICANN’s Board voted on 27 August 2009 that the At-Large community
should, in principle, be able to appoint a voting member of the
ICANN Board. Since then, At-Large has been discussing the process
to be used, including the selection criteria and candidate requirements.
Community Expands to 120 At-Large Structures
Two organizations representing individual Internet users have
been newly accredited to the At-Large community as At-Large Structures
("ALSes"), bringing the total number of ALSes to 120.
Issues Active with the SSAC
The Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) is considering
several security related issues, including the Report of the Root
Scaling Study Team, display and usage of internationalized registration
data (Whois data), orphaned domain names, and domain name history.
These and other topics may be the addressed in future SSAC Reports
or Advisories. See the SSAC
web site for more information about SSAC activities.
As the manager of the Fellowship program, I usually take the
opportunity after an ICANN meeting to utilize this space normally
provided to Fellowship program alumni, in order to update the community
on the latest round of Fellowship participants and their ICANN meeting
experience. But as I began receiving the follow-up reports that
each fellow is required to provide after completing the program,
I found that the words of the fellows were so much more compelling,
and chose one report in particular to share in this space. Stanley
exemplifies the spirit and intent of the program, and I hope that
it gives you the same sense of “being there” that it gave me.
— Janice Douma Lange
One World! One Internet! Everyone Connected was the echo the unveiling
of the Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) sent to the world at
the recent Seoul meeting. While IDNs reach a milestone in the history
of the Internet, they continue to be like a modern myth for many
developing countries with language and dialogue diversities.
My country, Papua New Guinea (PNG), is one of the unique countries
in the world with almost 800 different languages and dialogues
culture respectively. My attendance and participation at ICANN’s 36th
International Public Meeting in Seoul was a personal achievement and
more importantly it was a human resource development for my country
and region. PNG and its neighboring Pacific Island Countries (PICs)
need more exposure and international collaboration to develop and
enhance Internet connectivity and penetration in the region. Thank
you ICANN for giving me this opportunity through your Fellowship
My first experience as a Fellow began at the 31st ICANN meeting
in New Delhi. I was a fresh university graduate with only three
years in professional work; I was a new kid in town. Not only as
a first-timer at an ICANN meeting but coming in with limited knowledge
about the roles of ICANN, its subsidiaries, and stakeholders. The
whole experience started out as chaos but eventually the learning
curve began to level off. I gained valuable information regarding
the nature of ICANN, its constituency groups and their roles and
Now, almost 2 years later, the people I have met and the wealth
of information and knowledge I have acquired during the Seoul meeting
has shed light on once grey areas and I hope to bring to life new
ideas in my country while I contribute to Internet governance in
many other ways.
Papua New Guinea’s University of Technology (PNG Unitech) is the
sole custodian of ccTLD .pg. I do not directly work in .pg administration
but I see it as a national identity in the cyber world and acknowledge
it as an important asset of the people of PNG. I work as a director
for APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC); a community development
arm of the university aimed at bridging the digital divide in the
country by rendering free ICT and Internet training and awareness.
About 50% of PNG’s population of 6.3 million can read and understand
basic English (literate). And from the literate population, almost
30% are computer literate and only 5% have access to internet.
Internet penetration is extremely low in the country and the region.
One major cause of this trend is identified as lack of knowledge
by the majority of the educated people, policy makers, bureaucrats,
and many institutional managers about Internet technology and its
opportunities. Our objective at ADOC is to leverage the Internet
in all societies; thus, since its inception more than three years
ago, ADOC had trained over 3000 people in e-Commerce and other Internet
I relate my ICANN experiences to the needs of the end-users and
to the status of the Internet in my region. I do my part so that
recent developments in Internet technology and policy by ICANN and
its stakeholders work to close the digital divide. At the end of
the Seoul meeting, I came back and imagined the work ahead of me
and the possibility of truly realizing my visions.
Before my trip to Seoul, I considered the inefficiencies of my
ccTLD management, the type of government policy on ICT, and the
amount of demand from the industries and other professional organizations
in regards to the available Internet service. Since it was my second
attendance to an ICANN
meeting, I was familiar with what to expect so I already had in mind
how to apply what I learned to my situation in my country.
Generally, the Seoul meeting was awesome. From the fellowship
working breakfast meeting to the day’s various working sessions,
SO and AC meetings, public forum, and board meeting; I was on my
feet all day so as to attend most sessions on time. Not to mention
the social events. To attend everything would be impossible so I
decided to spend more time on issues and technical workshops that
were more relevant to my situation.
For example, IDNs were not a concern to me at this time with respect
to the degree of language diversity in my country – IDNs are not
feasible now. I needed to know more about IANA functions and attend
the IPv6 workshop because IPv4 depletion is a global concern in
the Internet community. Furthermore, PNG Unitech has its share of
IPv6 from APNIC but has yet to give a test, which was why I was
very interested to learn from others’ experiences at the IANA IPv6
Showcase. And of course, I learned a lot from the Japanese case
study as well as from the comments from RIR managers like Paul Wilson
from APNIC on IPv6 deployment and traffic in the region.
One other very important information I got was at the ccNSO Members
meeting. Although, I was not a member, my hope to return and work
for my ccTLD had inspired me to have keen interest in ccNSO membership,
even if I was not eligible at that time. I received very helpful
directions and tips from ccNSO members and council chairman on how
to formulate ccTLD operations and management policies. If all goes
well for me here in my organization, I will be the first to volunteer
to represent my organization in ccNSO at my next attendance.
Before I applied for ICANN Fellowship, I was already involved
in consultation work with the PNG national government’s Department
of Communication and Information on National ICT Policy by contributing
with real insight on the status and development of the Internet
in the country. Also I was in discussions with the ccTLD management
at PNG Unitech on how to enhance and market the top level domain
name. Addressing the technical incompetence of our DNS systems and
policies were some of the topics of discussion. We explored a number
of ideas and deploying local Internet Exchange Point (IXP) was one
of them, besides the move to exchange letters with ICANN and formalize
relationships to create an accountability framework.
The inspiration of the Seoul meeting further boosted my interest
and commitment to pursue the work that I am passionate about. It
has equipped me with the information and connected me to the people
that may guide me in revisiting initiatives that have failed in
the past; namely, when I attempted to create a regional Internet
users network to be registered under APRALO.
The important task for me is to educate and create awareness.
The more people we show the opportunities of the Internet to, the
more demand there will be for the Internet in the region, consequently
creating competition among the service providers and enabling essential
That is my hope and plan – a work towards representing ICANN in
my region for the next generation of internet users.
Stanley A Osao
2nd Time Fellow
APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC)
PNG University of Technology
Policy update: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/policy/
Monthly magazine: http://www.icann.org/en/magazine/
Public Participation: http://public.icann.org/