January 2010: Monthly Magazine
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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 my take.
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 more.
Having tried to make some assessments of likely 2010 outcomes, I also have some questions on my mind heading into this year:
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
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 new position?
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 curve.
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 request and evaluation processes entail three steps:
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.
email@example.com for 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:
The following is a blog post from Rod Beckstrom, ICANN President & CEO, posted 22 January concerning the upcoming ICANN meeting in Nairobi.
To view the post along with comments from the community, please go here: http://blog.icann.org/2010/01/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 whole world.
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:
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 for Nairobi.
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.
Recordings will be posted online for those unable to attend.
For an in-depth look at the following Policy topics,
go to the January Policy Update at:
Malaysia and Colombia Join ccNSO
On 8 January, the country code Name Supporting Organization (ccNSO) accepted the membership applications of Malaysia (.my) and Colombia (.co).
“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 Team
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 Survey Findings
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;
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 page.
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 Discussions
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 for each 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 program.
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 objectives.
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 applications.
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 services.
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/
Interest from Governments in the GAC has continued to grow in 2009, with a marked increase in new members in the last months of the year. Over that period, the GAC has had the pleasure to welcome 9 new full members and one new observer.
Full members include Burkina Faso, China, Cook Island, Cyprus, Kyrgyz Republic, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mali, Russia, Seychelles and Ukraine. Moreover, the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) of the Organization of American States also joined as an Observer.
All governments active in the GAC have underlined the significance of this development, which points to the growing awareness on the part of public policy makers of the relevance of the debate around the Internet’s unique identifiers system. They have reaffirmed their commitment to work to continue to widen the geographical footprint of the GAC and the level of engagement of Member States.
For more information on the GAC, go to: http://gac.icann.org/
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