Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Utah to force ISPs to block porn websites

On C/Net: "Utah's governor signed a bill on Monday that would require Internet providers to block Web sites deemed pornographic and could also target e-mail providers and search engines."

While a very long thread on this topic appears on the NANOG list and on Slashdot, there is still no discussion of this issue in ICANN's ISP constituency. Perhaps someone in ICANN management can wake up the last three members of this constituency and have them join the discussions...

New Instance of K-root Server Deployed

The RIPE NCC (Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre) in partnership with Etisalat (Emirates Telecommunications Corporation) deployed a new mirror instance of the K-root Internet root name server at Emirates Internet Exchange (EMIX) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The K-root server is one of the thirteen Internet root name servers that resolve lookups for domain names all over the world. It forms a critical part of the global Internet infrastructure.
Deployment of anycast instances of the K-root server further improves the distribution of this crucial service in various Internet regions and its resilience against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

Ful details here.

What's not on the ICANN Mar del Plata Agenda

As one reviews the agendas posted by different groups such as the ISPCP Constituency, the NonCommercial Constituency, the Cross-Constituency (ISP-IP-Business), and the Registrars Constituency, it suddenly becomes very clear that no one gives a damn about the registrant agenda.

The above-listed groups plan to hold discussions on the following:

ISPs: ICANN strategic Plan, WHOIS, WSIS, Input for council discussion with GAC, New gTLD strategy, GNSO Policy development, Election for GNSO Board seat

NCUC: Election of 3rd Council member, replacement of Executive Committee member, website, chair election, consumer protections issues (deferred to Luxembourg session)

Cross-Constituency: WHOIS, Strategic Plan, New gTLDs Strategy, Status of existing process on sponsored gTLDs, WSIS

Registrars: EPP concerns, Technical and Business issues, Transfers policy issues

What is missing from the agenda of concern to registrants is the following: the tarnishment of the .pro domain, the failure of ICANN to enforce its own escrow policy (which puts millions of registrants at risk), privacy protection in WHOIS, the risk of domain hijackings owing to laxity in registrar dealings with domain name resellers, expired domain name aftermarket issues, IDNs as a spoofing and phishing tool, the lack of a user's bill of rights, the lack of representation for users in the GNSO and on the ICANN Board, excessive redemption grace period fees, the inability to select another registrar during the redemption grace period, the lack of new gTLDs, etc.

ICANN clearly needs a registrants constituency. These issues won't go away just because all the other constituencies choose to ignore them.

RegistryPro wakes up

From the RegistryPro forum:

RegistryPro Discussion
It has come to the attention of RegistryPro that some .pro name holders are licensing their domain names to parties who may not themselves qualify for a .pro domain name. This practice may have caused some temporary confusion in the marketplace.

RegistryPro, in accordance with its agreements with ICANN, registrars, and others, fully maintains that every .pro domain name sold is activated only after appropriate professional credential checks have been successfully completed. Furthermore, all .pro domain names are sold to credentialed professionals, namely attorneys, physicians, engineers, and accountants in the US, Canada, UK, and Germany.

Once a .pro domain is appropriately purchased, RegistryPro does not assume control over the use of that name. This includes the secondary market and licensing programs referenced above.

In efforts to foster discussion on this topic, RegistryPro has launched a public forum at to allow the public to openly voice their opinions.

It is our hope that all viewpoints are fairly and constructively discussed.

NCUC and Consumer Protection Issues

Writing on the NonCommercial Constituency discussion list, Milton Mueller raises an agenda item for the ICANN Mar del Plata session:

7. consumer protection issues -- Lots of utter bullshit going on in registrar contracts and registrar-registrant relations that need to be addressed from a consumer protection standpoint. We might consider making this a campaign longterm. Since this is my idea, and many of you may have no idea what I am talking about, this can wait until the European meeting, which I will attend.

ICT R&D Grants Programme for Asia Pacific

The ICT R&D Grants Programme is pleased to announce the March 2005 Competition round for ICT R&D grant applicants from the Asia Pacific region.

This open theme competition welcomes proposals in the following areas:

Research and development into innovative ICT applications, with a clear focus on practical and replicable approaches and techniques.
Research on Internet infrastructure design, performance, management policy and related topics.
Development of practical solutions based on the application of proven and readily available Internet technologies with minimum basic research.
Research on the outcomes and social impacts of specific ICT policies and interventions and application of Internet technologies.
Research on policy matters affecting Internet networking in the Asia Pacific region, especially where linked to areas such as policy impacts, gender equity, social equity, sustainable communities, and technology diffusion/transfer and benefits to rural areas.
Technology related issues such as broadband connectivity, “last mile innovation, mobile and wireless technologies for the developing world, and increasing the capacity or efficiency of existing network infrastructures.

We will NOT entertain proposals which fall outside the scope of the grants programme.

Interested organizations or institutions from the Asia Pacific region may apply for either of the following types of grants:

Grants up to a maximum budget of US$9,000 over a term not exceeding 12 months.
Grants up to a maximum budget of US$30,000 over a term not exceeding 24 months.

To learn more, please read about the Scope, Criteria, Grants awarded before completing an Application form with the full details of your proposal. Please note that proposals must satisfy all of the programme requirements in order to be considered for funding.

Kindly note that the deadline for applications for this round is 30 March 2005.

The grants committee will screen all proposals, and the results will be made known by mid May 2005.

Contact person for the ICT R&D Grants Programme at APDIP:

Phet Sayo
Programme Specialist Capacity Building
Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme
Tel: +603 2091-5172
Fax: +603 2093-9740

ICANN And Its Approval Of The .EU TLD

From Karl Auerbach's CaveBear Blog:

You would think that such a major event - the approval of a new TLD (.eu) and the recognition of a new political entity - would have been done in the light of day. But no, as is typical the news sort of oozed out - and oozed not out of ICANN which so far has no notice of the decision on its web site, but rather out of the .eu folks.

ICANN, "staff" probably suddenly slopped the question onto a plate, put it in front of the board as a last-minute surprise agenda item, and the board probably dutifully came to attention, saluted, and swallowed.

Was .eu deserved? Perhaps. Was the board debate, if it even occurred, visible to the public? No.

Now that many European countries, members of .eu, now have two ccTLDs to work under will other federations of states be given the same ability to have ccTLDs for both the member states and the umbrella entity?

For example, will the states of the United States or the provinces of Canada, states which do retain a great deal of self-sovereignty, be able to obtain their own ccTLDs?

Certainly it makes sense for California to obtain its own ccTLD - California being larger in space and economic power than many of the member states of the .eu. And California, being a blue state, is most clearly quite separate and apart from the rest of the federal entity called the United States.

Or alternatively will the nations that are members of .eu now relinquish their ccTLDs or sell them on e-Bay?

In any case, I welcome .eu to the community of 'e' TLDs - .edu, .ewe,. .ec, .ee, .eg. .eh, .er, .es, .et, and now .eu

Eurid Press Release

At a meeting on 21 March 2005, the board of ICANN approved the delegation of the new .eu top level domain and authorised their CEO, to enter into an agreement with EURid, the organisation selected by the European Commission to operate the .eu registry. The decision was taken following contractual negotiations between ICANN and EURid over the past few months and approval of the agreement by the European Commission. The board decision sets in motion the next stage whereby IANA (The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), after seeking approval from the US Department of Commerce puts .eu in the internet root. This is not expected to take more than 10 days.

“Having .eu in the root sets the green light for the launch of .eu” said EURid General Manager, Marc Van Wesemael “Over the next few months we will be working very hard on the final preparations with the aim of launching the .eu Sunrise period later this year”.

Next steps to the launch of .eu: EURid is currently working on the full .eu Registration Policy including the full rules and procedures for the so called ‘sunrise period’ which will allow public bodies and holders of prior rights such as trademarks to register in advance of others. The Registration Policy must be approved by the European Commission and be published for two months before starting registrations. Over the coming months the draft will be published on the EURid web site for the comment of interested parties.

Another top priority will be the accreditation of a network of .eu Registrars who will register .eu names on behalf of end-users. The Registrar agreement should be available during May 2005 and a list of those who have signed up will be published on the EURid web site. Anyone wanting a .eu name will need to choose one of those registrars in order to request or ‘pre-register’ their names.

Provided the .eu registration policy receives EC approval in time, the .eu sunrise period should be launched before the end of this year. The sunrise period will last for four months after which general registration will begin on a first-come-first-served basis. More information about EURid and .eu can be found on the EURid web site at:

[... and still ICANN has posted nothing on its website...]

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

ICANN gives green light for eu Domain

A translation of a heise on-line scoop (spotted on WebHostingTech):


The eu Domain jumped a further hurdle on the way to becoming the European Top Level Domain. Tonight the directors of ICANN gave the green light to signing the contract with the Eurid consortium (assigned by the European Commission to manage the Registry enterprise). There will soon be a meeting for this purpose with ICANN president Paul Twomey, said Eurid's general manager Marc van Wesemael to heise on-line.

IANA Policy for Allocation of IPv4Blocks to RIRs

ICANN has requested comment on the global policy document submitted by the Address Supporting Organization's Address Council. Thus far, all preliminary public comments tendered have been negative.

It appears to me that what is missing in this process is the record of the policy development process within the ASO. We really should have the opportunity to review the public comments previously submitted by those in the address community. Where is the record of support and dissent? Where are the comments of each individual address registry?

I can well imagine that there are several members on the ICANN Board with a limited grasp of numbering policy... how are they to arrive at a decision on this particular global policy without the benefit of proper policy development documentation? ... or is a rubber-stamp approach the only option on the table?

WSIS Special Briefing in New York

As part of the regular weekly briefings by the UN Department of Public Information for NGOs, there will be a special briefing on the WSIS at the United Nations in New York on 31 March from 10:00 to 12:00.
Rik Panganiban from the Conference Of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (CONGO) will be one of the speakers, along with speakers from the UNDP and from the Tunisian delegation (that will host the next phase of the World Summit on the Information Society).

For more information (and for the NGO Briefing and Event Schedule for 2005), visit

Web Pages by Language

I found on Andy Carvin's blog a list of web pages by language. Having noticed the Catalan language in the list (an application was submitted to ICANN last year to create the .cat sTLD), I started to realize once again that because many languages cut across national and territorial boundaries, we may need to think in terms of language-based TLDs in the future (as a realistic alternative to the current territorial-based ccTLD options). I hope that ICANN decides to approve the .cat application if only as a proof-of-concept TLD.

Web Pages.... Language

214,250,996.. English
.18,335,739.. Japanese
.18,069,744.. German
.12,113,803.. Chinese
..9,262,663.. French
..7,573,064.. Spanish
..5,900,956.. Russian
..4,291,237.. Portuguese
..4,883,497.. Italian
..4,046,530.. Korean
..3,161,844.. Dutch
..2,929,241.. Sweden
..1,374,886.. Danish
..1,259,189.. Norwegian
..1,198,956.. Finnish
....991,075.. Czech
....848,672.. Polish
....498,625.. Hungarian
....443,301.. Catalan
....430,996.. Turkish
....287,980.. Greek
....198,030.. Hebrew
....173,265.. Estonian
....141,587.. Romanian
....136,788.. Icelandic
....134,454.. Slovenian
....127,565.. Arabic
.....82,829.. Lithuanian
.....60,959.. Latvian
.....51,336.. Bulgarian
.....36,321.. Basque

Saturday, March 19, 2005

FTC Commissioner wants to meet with ICANN

FTC Commissioner Jonathan D. Leibowitz has written to ICANN requesting a meeting. He states:

"Simply put, domain name registrars have failed to ensure that the data they collect from registrants is accurate and ICANN has not exercised sufficient supervision over the registrars. At your earliest convenience, I would very much like to meet with you to discuss ways of improving the Whois system."

Special Meeting of the ICANN Board

As noted on the ICANN website:

21 March 2005
Special Meeting of the Board

Update on sTLD Applications and .NET successor registry process
Review of .TEL (Telnic) sTLD application
Delegation of .EU and EURid-ICANN Agreement
Directors' Expense Reimbursements
Designation of Academic Representative to the 2005 Nominating Committee
Other Business

as usual, don't plan on any ICANN Board minutes from this session being posted. After all, why should the ICANN Board have to comply with its own bylaws? ICANN knows that it remains accountable to no one. debates

An interesting discussion at Andrew Moulden in an article entitled "$" wrote:

"And today, with the announcement by EnCirca of $49 unrestricted second level .pro registrations (via we picked up - and almost immediately regretted it. The fine print revealed that some unusual procedures are required here to allow EnCirca to offer these registrations without breaching the underlying requirements of the .pro registry. Domains will have to be managed through EnCirca nameservers. To make use of the domains, registrants will have to use A and CNAME records rather than nameserver changes. EnCirca’s information will appear in the whois record in all contact fields except the admin contact.
So, in short, the same level of ownership isn’t on the agenda here."

Andrew actually received a very nice comment/reply from EnCirca president Tom Barrett who offered to cancel the registration and to provide a full refund... which prompted Andrew to ask the following questions:

1. What guarantees have registrants that the system of registering .pro domains effectively using EnCirca as a proxy registrant will not be forbidden (as for .us) at some point in the future?

2. If the system was designed to circumvent the need for registration of two 3LDs in different SLDs before registering an SLD, and then you actually permit the changing of whois and nameserver information, how does this remain within the terms of the TLD agreement with ICANN?

Mr. Barrett has chosen not to respond thus far.

.Mobi to be approved on Monday?

Found (of all places) on the Basketball blog:

"Online Retail Report has learned through a source familiar with the situation that the creation of the .mobi extension - which was introduced last March by a group led by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Nokia Corp. (NOK) and Vodafone Group PLC (VOD) - is likely to be ratified by the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann, either Monday or at a meeting in April."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Privacy & ICANN (like oil & water)

Vittorio Bertola writes:

So, may I please ask who is going to deal with modifying the Whois requirements of the RAA so to make them compliant with international privacy standards, and when? I really need a convincing reply to this question.

The widespread feeling among user constituencies (but also among those privacy authorities that I know directly) is that ICANN is actively working to prevent privacy standards from being implemented in Whois. Rather than doing so (may I remember that we even got a written request by the Council of European Privacy Authorities two years ago?), we are releasing policy proposals like #2, that at a first glance seems written to provide ICANN with a way to escape the right of sovereign countries to regulate the domain name business as they like.

I must confess that seen from the outside - be it an NGO which has never been involved in ICANN before, or a senior governmental officer that is only interested in the political part of our mandate - this process looks like the proof that ICANN is unable to meet its mandate properly, and to produce sound policy that keeps into account the needs of all stakeholders and the global public interest. Putting forward recommendations that only address accuracy but not privacy would just provide more evidence of this.

Milton Mueller on Registrars & WHOIS

From the WHOIS Task Force list:

I note that the concern with keeping the playing field "level" for suppliers comes only from American registrars and it comes AT THE EXPENSE of the consumer. (You know, the folks who are not represented anywhere in GNSO.) You are, in effect, admitting that consumers would
prefer a registrar in which their privacy rights are respected, and you are trying to prevent the system from making that choice available because you fear the effect of the choices. Shame.

Second, this argument can be turned around on you. From the perspective of a European or Asian, ICANN's requirement that registrars violate local privacy law may make it impossible for business in those countries to be accredited as registrars and thus limit competition in this
market. In other words, it's perfectly possible to argue that YOU guys are the ones tilting the playing field, not our little attempt to carve out some room for compliance. Take a look at how the gTLD registrar market is divided up among the world regions right now. What story does
the market share tell? If market share did shift a bit in response to such a change, would it be "unfair" or "more fair?"

Third, there are many ways, aside from Whois data, in which a business's jurisdiction may handicap or benefit a competitor. Tax rates, for example, or other forms of national regulation regarding labor practices, technology, etc. Shall we have ICANN level all those conditions? OK, let's have the RAA dictate the tax rate a locality can charge registrars, and if it doesn't comply, let's refuse to accredit any registrars in that jurisdiction. Don't like that idea? Why not? What
makes whois data any different?

Finally, I would note (for those of you who haven't noticed) that ICANN's globalized model of contractual governance is under subtantial international pressure right now, from WSIS, etc. A short-sighted, "I'm going to oppose anything that might possibly affect my bottom line
adversely in the slightest way" approach to the problem may not be the appropriate response for registrars to take right now. In other words, if you make it all or nothing, you may end up with nothing.

Have a nice day....

Dr. Milton Mueller
Syracuse University School of Information Studies

Re: EnCirca’s "ProForwarding Service"

Dear Tom,

ICANN is concerned about EnCirca’s "ProForwarding Service" since it seems to violate the spirit of having "restricted" Top-Level-Domains such as .PRO. .PRO domains are intended to be restricted to "persons and entities that are credentialed by appropriate entities (such as through governmental bodies and professional organizations) to provide professional services" (.PRO Registry Agreement, Appendix L, ).

EnCirca’s ProForwarding Service seems designed to circumvent these restrictions by allowing anybody to obtain "the full benefits of domain registration" in .PRO without having any professional credentials.

In order to conduct a comprehensive review of this service, we would like to exercise our rights under section 3.4.3 of EnCirca’s Registrar Accreditation Agreement to review EnCirca’s registration records. Please prepare to make the following data available to ICANN for all .PRO domains registered by EnCirca:

1. The submission date and time, and the content, of all registration data (including updates) submitted in electronic form to the .PRO registry operator;

2. Copies of all written communications constituting registration applications, confirmations, modifications, or terminations and related correspondence with .PRO registrants, including registration contracts; and

3. Records of the accounts of all .PRO registrants, including dates and amounts of all payments and refunds.

Pursuant to RAA section 3.4.3, ICANN will treat these records as confidential and will not disclose the content of the records to any third parties.

Please provide these records in whatever form is most convenient for you, at your earliest opportunity. It would be most convenient for ICANN if EnCirca could provide copies of the records electronically, and prior to 11 April 2005. If that would not be feasible, we will arrange to visit EnCirca’s offices to inspect the records in person at any time convenient to you during the week of 11 April 2005.

Thank you for your attention. We look forward to your prompt cooperation with this request.


Tim Cole

Chief Registrar Liaison

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

WGIG Input Papers: Round Two

William Drake writes:

I was going to briefly reply to Adam but decided it would be better to provide a more developed response to the broader community.

As you know, WGIG is now working on a second round of input papers. Unlike the first round, which addressed the vertical or nominally separable substantive issues (i.e. names and numbers, interconnection, security, etc), this round is focused on the horizontal or cross-cutting
institutional/procedural issues. That is, we are looking at the extent to which the current public and private sector governance mechanisms relevant to the vertical issues meet the WSIS DoP criteria:

"The international management of the Internet should be multilateral, transparent and democratic, with the full involvement of governments, the private sector, civil society and international organizations. It should ensure an equitable distribution of resources, facilitate access for all and ensure a stable and secure functioning of the Internet, taking into
account multilingualism."

I. To facilitate this evaluation, the vertical issues have been grouped into five clusters (well, four, the first of which has two parts). Drafting groups have been formed to assemble papers on each.

1. Issues relating to infrastructural issues and the management of critical Internet resources
(a) Physical and Secured Infrastructure Issues
· Telecommunications infrastructure, broadband access
· VoIP
· Peering and interconnection
· Spectrum policy
· Technical standards
Institutions: IEEE, IETF, ITU, W3C, Other private consortiums

(b) Logical Infrastructure Issues
· Administration of Internet names
· Administration of IP addresses
· Administration of root server system
· Administration of root zone files
· Multilingualization of Internet naming systems
Institutions: ICANN, IETF, ISO, ITU, RIRs, Root Server Operators, WIPO

2. Issues relating to the use of the Internet, including spam, network security, and cybercrime. While these issues are directly related to Internet Governance, the nature of global cooperation required is not well defined.
· Spam
· Cybersecurity, cybercrime
· Security of network and information systems
· Critical infrastructure protection
· Applicable jurisdiction, cross border coordination
· Exemption for ISPs of third party liabilities
· National policies & regulations
Institutions: APEC, Council of Europe, ITU, OECD

3. Issues which are relevant to the Internet, but with impact much wider than the Internet, where there are existing organisations responsible for these issues.
· Competition policy, liberalization, privatization, regulations
· Consumer, user protection, privacy
· Electronic authentication
· Unlawful content and practices
· Access protection
· Intellectual property rights
· Dispute resolution
· E-commerce and taxation of e-commerce
· E-Government and privacy
· Freedom of information and media
Institutions: APEC, CAHSI, Council of Europe, IETF, ITU, OECD, UN/CEFACT,
UNCITRAL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WIPO, WTO, Private consortiums

4. Issues relating to developmental aspects of Internet governance, in particular capacity building in developing countries, gender issues and other access concerns.
· Affordable & universal access
· Education, human capacity building
· Internet leased line costs
· National infrastructure development
· Cultural and linguistic diversity
· Social dimensions and inclusion
· Open-source and free software
· Content accessibility
Institutions: ITU, UN ICTTF, UNESCO, World Bank

II. The drafting groups' papers will assess the extent to which the abovementioned institutions/governance arrangements meet three kinds of DoP-based criteria:

1. Process Criteria (To what extent to the institution’s Internet-related governance mechanisms meet the following criteria, given what could be reasonably expected in light of the governance mechanism used?)
· Multilateral
· Transparent
· Democratic
· Full participation

2. Role and responsibility criteria (To what extent do the institution’s Internet-related governance mechanisms enable the different stakeholder groups to fulfill their roles and responsibilities as defined by WSIS? To what extent to the different stakeholder groups have the capacity to fulfill their roles and responsibilities?)
· Governments
· Private Sector
· Civil society
· Intergovernmental organizations
· Other international organizations

3. Outcome Criteria (How effectively to the institution’s Internet-related governance mechanisms contribute to achievement of the following goals?)
· Equitable distribution of resources
· Access for all
· Stable and secure functioning
· Multilingualism

The papers are also to consider the meta-question of coordination, i.e. how effectively is governance of a given issue coordinated with governance of other Internet-related issues; and to end with an overall assessment on the points that most need improvement in order to meet the WSIS criteria.

The two steps described above are drawn from WGIG documents. I just spoke with Markus and he has agreed to post these to the web soon.

III. Timeline.

The papers on governance mechanisms per issue-cluster are supposed to be finished and circulated for comment within WGIG during the next week. They are to be posted to the website for open assessment/comment at the end of the month. At the third WGIG meeting, April 18-20, the internal and external inputs will be considered, and the group will begin to organize itself around the drafting of the actual report.

IV. CS Participation.

There are two main ways CS could contribute to this stage of the work.

1. Between now and the third WGIG meeting, individuals, organizations, and caucuses/WGs could just go ahead and do their own evaluations of governance mechanisms of particular concern to them, preferably using the framework laid out above. Markus says the secretariat can create a space on the website where these inputs could be loaded.

2. Between April 1 and the third WGIG, individuals, organizations, and caucuses/WGs will be able to submit responses to the horizontal input papers on the WGIG website, per previous.

Obviously, this is a key stage in the process. The horizontal issues are likely to figure prominently in the final report, and there is a need for a coherent, progressive CS voice on such matters as transparency, participation, etc. Good interventions on these matters would strengthen the hand of the CS contingent within WSIS when the time comes to negotiate
how they will be treated in the report. One would also think that the horizontal/institutional issues lend themselves toward a greater degree of agreement within CS than has been evident with respect to many of the vertical/substantive issues. That is part of why the IG caucus
interventions to date generally have focused more on the former than the latter.

Thematic Conference: Ubiquitous Network Society

The Japanese government will hold a WSIS thematic meeting on Ubiquitous Networks, 16-17 May, 2005, Tokyo, Japan.

Conference registration is now open. A limited number of fellowships for travel and accommodation are available. Please see

Conference organizers describe the conference theme as:

Tokyo Ubiquitous Network Conference WSIS thematic meeting "Toward the realization of the Ubiquitous Network Society" - anytime, anywhere, by anything and anyone -

The "ubiquitous network society", which will make it possible to connect anytime, anywhere, by anything and anyone, is now rapidly becoming more than just a concept. In a ubiquitous network society, everyone and everything can be connected, and new innovations that will completely change the current dimension of ICT are anticipated. In the ideal ubiquitous network society, smooth interaction, reflection of users' needs and points of view as well as the tapping of individual energy are set to be realized.

(for more on the ubiquitous network concept, see

GLOCOM is helping to arrange civil society participation in the conference. The conference will be in Japanese and English.

There will be 4 main sessions during the conference, one organized by a local Japan civil society committee. Draft outline of the themes for the civil society session are:

Outline of the Civil Society Session
Tokyo Ubiquitous Network Conference

1) Overall Theme: Designing a People-Centered, Inclusive, and Development-Oriented Ubiquitous Network Society

2) Topics for discussion:

a) Access for All
- How to ensure equitable ubiquitous access to all persons
- Consideration for senior citizens, persons with disabilities and socially marginalized groups
- Design for All: from responding to specific needs to designing a common overall system
- Ensuring access in disaster situations such as Tsunami, earthquake or other natural or social disaster and make use of ubiquitous network for disaster reduction
- Ensuring access for less developed parts of the world
- Establishing the safe and reliable geographic and online community

b) Human rights including privacy protection

- Ubiquitous Network Society to help enhance human rights
- How to protect human rights in the highly networked society
- How to ensure privacy of citizens against misuse of information in the ubiquitous network environment

c) Principles of Technology dependent society: Ethics, social responsibility and accountability of ICT experts

d) The roadmap for ideal ubiquitous society for the citizens

- Civil Society perspective on how to build the ideal ubiquitous society
- Education, Technology, Information Infrastructure and other elements of social design should be considered in such a roadmap

3) Speakers:

A total of five speakers will be selected. Each speaker will make 10-15 minute presentation and the discussion will be open to floor. The Civil Society preparation committee will work on finding and selecting the speakers both from overseas and Japan. Speakers for the civil society session will be announced shortly.

Call for Papers

The 3rd International Workshop for Technology, Economy, Social and Legal Aspects of Virtual Goods organized by the GI Working Group ECOM and in parallel with IFIP Working Group 6.11 Communication Systems in Electronic Commerce

June 2 - 4, 2005, Ilmenau, Germany

Full version:

Topics of interest include, but are not restricted to, the following aspects:

* Digital rights management
* Peer-to-Peer systems
* Payment systems
* New business models
* Solution architectures
* Legal aspects
* Inter-cultural aspects
* Security and privacy
* Content protection
* Watermarking
* Cryptographic mechanisms

Important Dates:

March 1, 2005 Full papers submitted
April 5, 2005 Notification of acceptance
May 1, 2004 Web-ready papers due

Technical Committee:
General chair: Ruediger Grimm:
Program Chair: Juergen Nuetzel:
Local chair: Thomas Boehme:

Please freely distribute this call for papers.

Third Meeting of WGIG

The Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) will hold its third meeting in Geneva from 18 to 20 April 2005. Consultations open to all stakeholders will be held on 18 April. More details will be announced soon on The Meeting will discuss papers based on a list grouping the key issues in four clusters as they were identified in the preliminary Report presented to WSIS PrepCom-2. Papers on these issues will be posted by the end of this month. All stakeholders are invited to send their comments and contributions, which will be published on the WGIG website.

sometimes, icann sucks

From Vittorio's blog:

a few days ago, the italian ccTLD registry finally stopped publishing e-mails and telephone numbers in the whois queries. for the moment, the complete information is available on the web, by going through a graphic password verification. in the meantime, a complete policy is being discussed, so to allow individual registrants to keep at least some of their data out of any kind of public database, be it accessible through whois or through a web interface.

in our discussion in the italian policy board, we had no doubt that individuals have to fully identify themselves to the registry to get a domain name, so that they can be held responsible by public authorities for what they do with their domain. we also had no doubt that privacy laws must be applied, and that individuals have to provide a consent, and optionally deny some data from publication.

the only part on which we haven't made up our mind yet is whether individuals should have the option to completely hide their information, including their name, or whether they should be required at least to disclose the name and one form of contact (postal or e-mail address). personally, i would accept the idea of making the entire set of information reserved, just as you do with telephone numbers.

in the end, it took eight years and a lot of personal efforts to get privacy laws implemented in italy (i think we're the last ones in europe), but that's nothing if compared to how hard it is to get privacy respected in icann.

i must confess that i am totally disappointed by the discussion in the new (fourth or fifth rearrangement, i think) joint whois task force, where many participants - especially u.s. registrars and business/intellectual property users - are now pushing the discussion on how to find a way for icann to either ignore national privacy laws or refuse to accredit registrars from countries where the current whois requirements are illegal (more or less, any country except the united states).

one of our most famous statesmen used to say that "by thinking bad you commit a sin, but usually you get it right". so, to think bad, one could look at the facts and discover that, notwithstanding all the fuss about the advisory committees, policy is determined in a context (the gnso) where businesses (developed countries businesses, to be precise) have 5/6 of the power, civil society 1/6, and governments zero.

this is perhaps why icann since its inception keeps "working" on the whois issue, just to have an argument to keep all those noisy privacy authorities and foreign parliaments at bay, but never gets to anything.

the last argument i've heard on the list is that, since the u.s. have no privacy law, registrars from outside of the u.s. should not be allowed to "unfairly compete" with the american ones by offering privacy to their customers; and to ensure this, as said above, international registrars should either commit to break their country's laws, or be refused accreditation.

okay, icann is never going to actually approve anything like that - in fact, the staff has actually tried to bring the discussion back to reason, though in a rather unfortunate way, that has enraged most of the participants.

however, the more i look at whois, the more i get worried. it is clear that icann really needs significant structural reforms, to ensure that it really operates in the global public interest. i don't like the idea of letting the internet "fall into the hands" of bureaucracies, but what if you discover that it has already fallen into the hands of a tiny corporate group?

AfriNIC Application for RIR Recognition

In August 2004, the African Internet Numbers Registry (AfriNIC) submitted an Application for Recognition as the official Regional Internet number Registry (RIR) for the Africa region. In September 2004, the ICANN Board awarded provisional recognition to AfriNIC, with the expectation that they would fulfil their planned transition from the RIRs previously serving that region during early 2005.

AfriNIC and the Numbers Resource Organisation (NRO) recently announced that the three RIRs previously serving the AfriNIC region (APNIC, ARIN, and the RIPE NCC) transferred all RIR services to AfriNIC on 21 February 2005. With this step, AfriNIC has been operating as a fully functional RIR.

AfriNIC has now submitted to the ICANN Board an updated Application for Recognition, which includes summaries of their prior submissions, and details of their fulfilment of the ICP-2 Criteria for recognition. We are opening a 21 day public comment period on AfriNIC's Application for Recognition as the RIR for the Africa region.

ICANN Staff will prepare a report on this comment forum for the ICANN Board to use in their considerations of AfriNIC's Application at the upcoming Mar del Plata, Argentina meeting.

A Public Comment Forum has been opened regarding the updated AfriNIC Application for Recognition as a Regional Internet Registry. Comments should be sent to

Domain Roundtable Conference

The Domain Roundtable Conference will be held in Seattle Washington on May 25th - 27th. Topics on the agenda include an ICANN update, Understanding Domain Hijacking, Search Engine Perspective on the Industry, Sunrise Policies in TLD Launches, Registration and Renewal Market Trends, the Domain Aftermarket, and more. Early Registration is open now --the cost is $620 per participant, but The Domain Roundtable event will be donating the net proceeds to Tsunami Relief through

Monday, March 14, 2005 Hijacking Update

Posted in the ICANN Correspondence pages:

Dear Bruce:

We have completed our review of the unauthorized transfer of ICANN considers this to have been one of the more serious breaches of its policies by an accredited registrar. We are also very concerned by Melbourne IT's explanation that the incident happened because Melbourne IT had purportedly “delegated” to a reseller the critical responsibility for obtaining the consent of the registrant prior to submitting a transfer request to the registry. While we appreciate Melbourne IT's report that it has withdrawn the offending reseller’s ability to independently initiate transfers, Melbourne IT has indicated that it intends to continue to operate under agreements with other resellers that provide that Melbourne IT will not directly and independently verify the intent of registrants prior to initiating transfer requests. While we review the appropriateness of these arrangements under current policies and agreements, we will ask the SSAC to review this reseller/delegation issue in the context of the investigation it has launched into the security and stability concerns raised by the hijacking.

Also, while there is no indication that recent changes to the Transfer Policy had any bearing on this incident (the same abuse could have occurred under either the old or new policy), this issue will be referred to the upcoming GNSO review of the transfer policy for the consideration of changes that could be implemented to reduce the risks made apparent by this incident.

Based on documentation provided by Melbourne IT, Ltd. and Dotster, Inc., the incident occurred as a result of a failure of Melbourne IT to obtain express authorization from the registrant in accordance with ICANN's Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy. The Transfer Policy is an ICANN Consensus Policy that went into effect on 12 November 2004. Both of the registrars were forthcoming with information about what took place concerning this transfer and the timeline below further details the events that took place. Correspondence detailing ICANN’s questions and the registrars’ responses can be found in the Correspondence section of the ICANN website including:

Email from Tim Cole to Bruce Tonkin 18 January 2005

Email from Tim Cole to Clint Page 18 January 2005

Email from Bruce Tonkin to Tim Cole 27 January 2005

Email from Ravi Puri to Tim Cole 27 January 2005


08 January 2005 (05:01 UTC) -Melbourne IT submitted a request to the registry to transfer the domain name. (Melbourne IT admits that this request was submitted without proper authorization. Since was not on “lock” status, the registry accepted the transfer request and initiated the transfer process within the registry system. Had the domain name been on registry or registrar lock status, the attempt by Melbourne IT to initiate a transfer would have been automatically rejected by the registry software.)

09 January 2005 (01:40 UTC) - Dotster received notification from the registry of the transfer request. (The registry notifies losing registrars of pending transfer requests in two ways: via email and registrar-specific reports available for download. Following the transmission of the transfer request to the losing registrar, there is a standard five day Transfer Pending Period. During the Transfer Pending Period losing registrars may take steps to verify the registrant's intent to transfer, including attempting to contact the registrant. The Policy also permits the losing registrar to request a copy of the authorization for the transfer from the gaining registrar. In this case, Dotster has indicated that it did not take any action in response to the notification of the transfer request and allowed the transfer to be approved automatically at the end of the five day Transfer Pending Period.)

14 January 2005 (14:03 UTC) - Transfer completed to Melbourne IT.

15 January 2005 (05:56 UTC) - Domain re-delegated by Melbourne IT's customer to new nameservers. (At this point it became evident to the legitimate registrant that the domain name had been hijacked. This was around 01:00 Saturday morning in the location of the registrant. The registrant spent several hours attempting to reach someone at each of the registrars and the registry who could take action to reverse the transfer.)

16 January 2005 (18:55 UTC) - ICANN sent emails to both registrars requesting an explanation and an immediate fix as appropriate. (ICANN’s inquiry to the registrars was prompted by a message to the public Registrars Constituency mailing list about the apparent hijacking.)

16 January 2005 (22:30 UTC) - Nameservers changed back by Melbourne IT Customer Service.

17 January 2005 (03:30 UTC) - Melbourne IT asked Dotster to initiate a transfer request in order to “undo” the transfer. (Registrars are encouraged to cooperate in this way to resolve disputes over transfers. The new Transfer Policy includes a formal dispute resolution process and a transfer undo mechanism, but it was not necessary to invoke either of those in this case.)

17 January 2005 (07:00 UTC) - Melbourne IT manually approved transfer requested by Dotster.

If you believe that further information would be helpful or corrections to the details above are warranted, please forward them to us and to SSAC for consideration in the review of this matter.


Tim Cole
Chief Registrar Liaison
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

cc: Kurt Pritz
John Jeffrey

Domain Name Issues in Review

It's been about ten days since my last post, so I thought that I would see what's been happening in the ICANN world pertaining to domain name issues.
  • The At-Large Advisory Committee hasn't been discussing anything at all pertaining to domain names issues for the last month (pretty much par for the course).
  • The GNSO Council has been discussing "lunch" (pretty sad).
  • The Non-Commercial Constituency doesn't remember what domain name issues are; their only interest seems to be in advancing the cause of Civil Society
  • The ISP Constituency doesn't appear to be discussing any domain name issue, although they would like to meet sometime with ICANN staff to discuss the three-year Strategic Plan.
  • The Business Constituency's website has absolutely no new news regarding any domain name issues.
  • The Registry Constituency still hasn't relaunched their website, so we have no idea what they're privately discussing -- if we're lucky they're discussing how to comply with transparency requirements :)

Meanwhile, on the General Assembly discussion list there have been discussions on escrow, registry fee structures, the future of the At-Large, ICANN transparency (or lack thereof), the risk to registrants posed by registrar/reseller insolvency, shell accreditations, expiring domain issues, registrant rights, and revisions to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement.

Too bad that the General Assembly was structurally eliminated during the ICANN "Reform". It appears to be the only group (other than some registrars) that actually gives a damn about registrants and is willing to talk in earnest about domain name issues. Even ICANN Chairman of the Board Vint Cerf participates on the GA list.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Internet Governance Training & Fellowships

Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme - Call for Applications

Diplo, in cooperation with the Secretariat of the UN Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG), the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), is currently accepting applications for the Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme. This programme aims at improving Internet Governance related knowledge and skills for participants from developing countries.

The programme, which will last from March 14 to June 30, 2005, consists of an online course, individual and collaborative online research, and capacity building fellowships. Fellowships, which will be awarded to the most successful participants in the programme, will include one month placements at the Secretariat of the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) in
Geneva and participation at WGIG and other Internet Governance related meeting. The programme will facilitate community building among participants from different national, cultural and professional backgrounds.

The application deadline for this programme is March 10, 2005. For further information and to apply online, please visit the Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme website

ISOC Creates Digital Divide

ISOC has announced a $75 annual membership fee which will mean that the bulk of the developing world will no longer be able to have rights as voting chapter members.

As one chapter representative from Equador stated: "Impossible to pay USD 75... this is only another way to say digital exclusion and Internet only for those who can pay and live in countries that can afford such expenses."

Stay tuned for continuing developments. For now you may vent your fury by contacting:

David McAuley
Membership Director
Internet Society
703-326-9880, ext 104
703-963-5887 (mobile)

Thursday, March 03, 2005

ICANN Closes Public Comment Forum

It is no longer possible to go to the ICANN website and to click on the link to the ICANN Public Comment Forum in order to post a comment. The entire collection of forums is read-only. You might as well put up a sign that says "Public Keep Out!"

ICANN's MOU with the U.S. Dept. of Commerce requires ICANN to "Continue to develop, to test, and to implement appropriate mechanisms that foster informed participation in ICANN by the global Internet community".

Great job of fostering informed participation! Kudos to ICANN for one of the stupidest decisions they have ever made. It must be hard to reach this heightened degree of lunacy, but ICANN staff is clearly working very hard to be recognized as the consumate i-village idiot.

WHOIS Task Force Teleconference Transcript

The teleconference transcript for the 1 March 2005 meeting of the "combined" WHOIS taskforce has been posted. Excellent presentations were made by Denic, Cira, dot-ca, the Global Name Registry, and by three registrars who provide privacy services, Networksolutions, E-nom and GoDaddy.

Note: It has been reported that next week the Task Force hopes to see the first outline of a staff report (actually, the first half of a staff report). The Task Force chair will try to inquire with ICANN staff as to where that outline is and will let everyone know on the TF list.

A Concise Guide to the Major Internet Bodies

ACM has published a document by Alex Simonelis that offers a succinct guide to the Internet entities: ISOC, IETF, IESG, IRTF, IRSG, IAB, RFC Editor, ICANN, IANA, and W3C. We won't criticize Alex for forgetting about the ITU. We're told that the next publication will be called "Living Without Acronyms" :)

ICANN Breaks New Record!

In a press conference today, ICANN officials announced that they have successfully managed to go twenty one (21) consecutive months without ever once posting the ICANN Board Minutes. The last minutes to be posted were for the Special Meeting of the Board on 2 June 2003.

ICANN Bylaws:

1. All minutes of meetings of the Board and Supporting Organizations (and any councils thereof) shall be approved promptly by the originating body and provided to the ICANN Secretary for posting on the Website.

Upon being asked when the ICANN Board intends to finally honor its own bylaws, an ICANN Board member was heard to grumble, "...we're working on it." Well, keep up the good work folks... you're obviously an institution whose word we can trust.

IPC: Re-defining Transparent

From the Intellectual Property Constituency Charter: Elections of the IPC shall be fair, open and transparent.

From the GNSO Council list:

This message shall serve to officially notify that the IPC has recently held elections for 2 of its GNSO representatives. After receiving the required number of votes pursuant to the IPC bylaws, the IPC hereby certifies that the following persons have been elected: Lucy Nichols as IPC Representative to the GNSO; Kiyoshi Tsuru as IPC Representative to the GNSO.

Thank you for your patience in this matter. Kind regards. THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CONSTITUENCY

The last transparent message on the IPC discussion list is dated 28 April 2004. As we have not seen in this election who was nominated by whom, or how many votes each candidate received, or whether due process was followed, it is certainly hard to argue that the election was transparent -- unless, of course, the IPC has re-defined a transparent election process to mean an invisible election process.

ALAI on Internet Governance

ALAI, América Latina en Movimiento, has released an overview of the WSIS Prepcom2 (including commentary on Internet governance):

Governments have very differing positions on the issue of Internet governance, and it is not at all clear what level of consensus, if any, could emerge from the Summit. However, there is almost unanimous disagreement (the US excepted) with the status quo, in which most countries have no say in how the Internet is managed, and where a company registered under US law (ICANN), manages the administration of Internet (IP) names and numbers. Under the present system, organizations from certain countries can effectively be denied web domain names, as a result of US foreign policy or under the dictates of its antiterrorist legislation. In fact unilateral control of the system in theory gives the US the power to cut off a whole country from Internet access. However unlikely this may be in practice, many consider unacceptable a system that makes it possible.

New ICANN Staff Appointments

Olof Nordling – Manager of Policy Development Coordination
Maria Farrell – GNSO Policy Officer
Donna Austin – ccNSO Policy Officer
Barbara Roseman – IANA Operations Manager

details are here.

By the way, Maria is a renowned blogger -- see her contributions at Crooked Timber. This is a nice example of her thinking.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Communiqué of the 25th CENTR General Assembly

Over 60 participants representing registries for 30 TLDs participated in CENTR's 25th General Assembly and 2005 Annual General Meeting in Brussels, Belgium on the 22nd and 23rd of February, 2005.

The meeting unanimously reappointed Paul Kane (.ac) in his position of CENTR chairman and also welcomed Emily Taylor (.uk) and Hilde Thunem (.no) to join the CENTR Board of Directors, (the Executive Committee). The two departing board members Bart Boswinkel (.nl) and Alf Hansen (.no) were warmly thanked for their long service.

A statement was issued by the group as a reaction to a number of moves to block IDNs in software. It encourages software developers to carefully consider the issues, and work not to set back efforts to internationalise the Internet. The statement is available at:

The meeting conducted an exploration of the theme "New Registry Services and the future of the DNS", which a number of expert speakers covering a range of areas such as ENUM and RFID. Paul Mockapetris, inventor of the DNS, participated at the meeting and gave his view on the future of the DNS and what role it can play in new technologies. He encouraged development and experimentation in the DNS, and believed that the DNS presents a powerful way to deploy a variety of new applications. Speakers from VeriSign, NeuStar and EPC Global updated the meeting on new matters on developments for the DNS and the European Commission gave an overview of privacy concerns on RFID.

The meeting discussed PGP, with expert opinion given by Nominet which has successfully run a PGP secured registry for 9 years. Its implication on IANA would not only improve responsibility and accountability, but reduce IANA's liability for performing requests. It was agreed a small working group would be created within CENTR to develop policies and liaise with IANA.

The remainder of the communique can be read here.

A Secret E-Mail Address

My thanks to Marc Schneiders for this outstanding recommendation posted to the Combined WHOIS Task Force discussion list; he writes:

I was pretty sympathetic to the proposal (if I understood it right) of Tim, vid. that only the registrar would have the authoritative email address of the registrant, which would NOT be displayed in whois.

As we all know all email addresses displayed in whois are spammed to death.

As a result email to this address will in due course be impossible to read or monitor. Consequently the poor registrant will not see the reminder to renew. Nor the message that her domain will be transferred to a hijacker through another registrar.

IN SHORT: I strongly urge us all to create a method, where the authoritative email for transfers and the like is NOT in whois. Not for .com nor for the thick registries. This is essential in this age of spam.

I have some domains and I am forced to accept some 300 spam messages a day and to go through them each day. One of these may be a reminder to renew...This can so easily be changed: A 'secret' email address for communication between registrar and registrant. As an option this should be introduced soon.

ICANN Staff Issues Report is Now 1 Month Overdue

On 13 January the GNSO Council started a Policy Development Process (PDP) by formally requesting a Staff Issues Report. The ICANN bylaws require completion of such a report by ICANN staff within 15 days. It is now one month past the due date, and still no report. Staff performance is pathetic -- it's time for Twomey to kick some Staff butt.

The formal Council request: "Whereas the high demand amongst registrars to register specific domain names that become available for re-registration at the registry has lead to unforeseen impact and strains on the registration infrastructure of gTLD registries and registrars. Whereas this affects the service level that registrars can provide to their customers and the meaning of ICANN accredited as it applies to registrars, Council resolves, to request the ICANN staff manager to write an issues report (as specified in annex A to the ICANN by-laws) on the "Problems caused by contention for domain names made available by a gTLD registry ", so that Council can subsequently decide if a policy development process would be appropriate."

The Bylaws: Creation of the Issue Report --

"Within fifteen (15) calendar days after receiving either (i) an instruction from the Board; (ii) a properly supported motion from a Council member; or (iii) a properly supported motion from an Advisory Committee, the Staff Manager will create a report (an "Issue Report")."

ICANN TaskForce vs. the ICANN Staff

What happens when an ICANN Task Force requests legal guidance from ICANN staff? If you guessed "The Staff ignores the request just like they ignore the At-Large" then you would be 100% correct. The WHOIS 1/2 Task Force has been waiting for months for an "appointment" with the ICANN legal beagles to discuss conflicts between applicable law and the Registrar Accreditation Agreement. They finally decided that they weren't going to put up with the bullshit any longer and forwarded an appeal to the ICANN Ombudsman.

Task Force Co-Chair Jordyn Buchanan writes: "I actually just had a conversation with the Ombudsman earlier this evening--I hadn't originally realized that there was a special form to fill out, but I've done that now and have already received some follow up questions. It seems that the Ombudsman will be quite responsive to the complaint that we have filed."

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

New LACNIC IPv4 Initial Allocation Policy for ISPs

The LACNIC Board at the February 2005 meeting has ratified the implementation of a new policy for the initial allocation of IPv4 address blocks to ISPs in the LACNIC region.

As part of the LACNIC Policy Development Process, The Open Policy Forum held during LACNIC VII in San Jose Costa Rica approved a new policy which reduces the size of the initial minimum allocation of IPv4 address blocks for ISPs from a /20 to /21 (8 /24). The reduction of the size of initial minimum allocation comes together with a reduction in the requirements for accessing those blocks.

The /21 initial allocation is an alternative policy to the current /20 policy. This is that ISP may choose, according to their needs, apply for a /20 block or for a /21. In order to receive a /21 allocation the aplicant must:

Demonstrate the use or the immediate need of a /23
Send a detailed plan of the use of a /22 in one year
Renumber the previous allocated space and give back this space to their upstream provider in less than 12 months from the moment of LACNIC initial allocation

It is important to point that this new policy is exclusively for ISPs without any consideration of their multihomed or singlehomed status.

This policy will be applied in the LACNIC region starting March 1st 2005.

Any question regarding the implementation of this new policy may be sent to

AfriNIC Transition Moves to Phase 2

Announcement: With NRO support, and in anticipation of ICANN´s final recognition of the African Network Information Center (AfriNIC) as a Regional Internet Registry (RIR) in April 2005, AfriNIC has begun operating as a fully functional RIR. The three RIRs previously serving the AfriNIC region (APNIC, ARIN, and the RIPE NCC) transferred all RIR services to AfriNIC on 21 February 2005.

Currently all IP and AS number requests from the AfriNIC region are being submitted directly to AfriNIC. They will continue to be jointly reviewed by the RIRs, using a “second opinion” process. This coordination between the AfriNIC and RIR registration staff ensures consistency in the review process.

With the transition, database registrations with postal addresses inside the emerging AfriNIC region are now being documented in the AfriNIC WHOIS database.

The list of countries that make up the emerging AfriNIC region can be found at:

AfriNIC request forms can be found at:

All policy documents are available on AfriNICs website at:

Information about the NRO and its support of AfriNIC is available at:

ALAC Embraces "Opening our Meetings"

ICANN's Interim (just how long is interim?) At-Large Advisory Committee appears poised to embrace the concept of transparency. Committee members "in a flurry of activity" (to quote the phrase used by Sotiris in his new blog) have begun in earnest discussing how one conducts an open meeting (after all, this is new territory for them). The discussion thread begins here.

Involving the Broader Community

This statement was provided by the gTLDs constituency in their comments on the ICANN Strategic Plan:

"We support the notion of providing additional resources to the GNSO so that it can adequately do its work, but we believe that support should be directed to the GNSO community as a whole rather than just the Council. The Council’s role is not to make policy but to facilitate policy development, and true bottom-up work has to start from the bottom. The Council should think of itself not as a legislature that makes policy but rather as a manager of policy development by the broader community. We believe ICANN resources would be well spent when directed to promote the inclusion and participation of all stakeholders in the process. "

ICANN Strategic Plan Comments

A last minute flood of comments on ICANN's Strategic Plan as the comment deadline elapses...

Comments from: APTLD, JPRS, CENTR, IPC, Sebastian Bellagamba, gTLD Registry Constituency, NRO, International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys FICPI, ccNSO, Marilyn Cade, and Vittorio Bertola.

Note: For those who are interested, I also submitted a 21-page document as part of the GNSO Amsterdam session. The Strategic Plan is important because it should be painting a picture of what the At-Large can expect in a post MOU ICANN (although version 1 doeesn't really do that).

A point that I raised in my own critique regarding ICANN's mission and the operator of the "L" root server is echoed below in comments submitted by the NRO:

"There are a number of references (p.22) to ICANN operating the "L" root name server. It is difficult to see how the operation of a root name server contributes to the ICANN mission. In fact, an argument could be made that operating a root name server puts ICANN into a conflict of interest situation as being responsible for the security and stability of the root server system and at the same time being a root server operator. It also prompts the question: would ICANN's concerns as a root server operator trump its overall management of the root server system?A good example of the potential points of conflict that would arise from ICANN's role as the operator of the "L" root server can be seen in the subsection entitled "Standardised relationships with Root server operators" (p. 27). Finally, the legitimacy of ICANN operating the "L" root server needs to be questioned. Without providing any further detail, the plan simply states that:"The community has entrusted ICANN with the responsibility of operating the "L" root name server." (p.23)"

Reading through these documents one notes many complaints by many parties; the most consistent objection, however, has been to the claim that ICANN "consulted" with the various communities. Each group is basically saying: You lied to the U.S. Department of Commerce when you submitted this report because the Strategic Plan claims that multi-stakeholder consultations were held, but you sure as hell didn't consult with us!

Here's an interesting tidbit from the gTLD Registries submission:

"The majority of gTLD registries are concerned that different registries (such as ccTLDs or .edu) are subject to very different contractual relationships with ICANN. In order to ensure Internet security and stability globally, ICANN should bring these groups into parity and move forward with the minimum necessary degree of contractual control exercised by ICANN over all registries."

I guess the gTLDs didn't have the resolve to also point to .gov and .mil as examples of registries still not under contract with ICANN.

There are so many excellent well-considered commentaries that I advise you to take the time to read them all. Get to know what others in the community are thinking. After all, ICANN is supposed to be a deliberative body within which informed participants can contribute to consensus-based policy-making.

Kleinwachter on revising ICANN bylaws

An exchange between Wolfgang Kleinwachter and ICANN's At-Large Advisory Committee Chair Vittorio Bertola begins with this thread:

Bertola: And please... do not forget those of us who participate in the WSIS as individuals. We already had to ask a favour to friends from accredited NGOs just to be physically allowed in... I'm not sure about how many others act as individuals, but, in the Internet world, people tend to aggregate informally and to form flexible online groups, rather than to incorporate NGOs.

Kleinwachter: it would be great if you could take this message back to the ALAC and to go forward with a proposal for a revision of the ALAC related articles of the ICANN bylaws. You are the ALAC chair.

Bertola: I'm not sure why we are having this discussion right on the WSIS Plenary, Bureau and Content & Themes :-) (Though perhaps the IG Caucus could give a thought in participating in the joint ALAC-NCUC thinking exercises that we are trying to set up about the future of civil society structures at ICANN.) Anyway, you could for example have a look at the (draft, preliminary etc) comment to the Strategic Plan that we just sent to ICANN:

Kleinwachter: Thanks Vittorio for this new statement. I share the spirit of the statement and you should distribute this widely, not only to the (under-visited) ALAC discussion forum. With regard to ALAC/NCUC cooperation this is fine and can help to create some synergies but does not repair the generic defect. While I support the spirit of Part 3 of the ALAC statement to the Strategic Plan, I encourage you as the ALAC Chair to go beyond some vague and defensive observations and questions and put forward some clear language for revised ICANN bylaws.

Presentations on the IRIS Protocol

Grumpy (the GrumpOps blog) writes:

While we yanks were kicking back on Monday, drinking beer on our day off all-the-while attempting to recite the names of all 40 or so POTUSes, the Europeans were hard at work making the Internet a better place and advancing the state-of-the-art. I'm referring to CENTR's 13th Technical Workshop where Nominet and DENIC gave presentations on IRIS (sometimes referred to by the working group that created it, CRISP). Their presentations are here and here.