ICANN - Paris/Public Forum
ICANN Public Forum
25 June 2008
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Ladies and gentlemen, we'll be beginning in a few minutes, as soon as we've solved the minor technical problem about putting a slide on that screen.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are ready to begin the public forum. Please take your seats.
Now, there's two very important announcements. One is a piece of information. I've been asked by Ollie to tell you that the New Zealand channel on here is Channel 14 and the Australian channel is Channel 15.
KIEREN McCARTHY First slide.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Which should put an end to all the difficulties you've had with the (inaudible) accents.
KIEREN McCARTHY The wrong slide.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Now, the second point is much more important, and is a matter of participatory democracy and it relates to a very important question, which is: Where would you like your board to be during this public forum? I'm going to -- so I'm going to have a show of hands. Some people want to see the board and they want to see the board's reaction and they want to talk to the board. Other people want the board to be just around so they can be taking part like ordinary people and we've done a number of things I thought for this session we'd ask you.
So a show of hands. All those people who want the board on stage, put your hands up.
[Show of hands]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Oh, my goodness. All those people who want the board in the audience.
[Show of hands]
[Show of hands]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH All those people who really don't want the board here at all.
[Show of hands]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Ladies and gentlemen of the board and liaison, would you please take your seats. Your presence is required. Thanks.
Well, democracy in action.
And we'll just give them a minute to take camp and replug themselves in. They want you.
Thank you, board members. And with you in place, I'll hand now to Item No. 1 on the agenda, which is Kieren, who is going to take us through how the forum is going to work. Kieren?
KIEREN McCARTHY Yes. Thank you, Peter.
So just to start out with a brief explanation of how we're going to run this forum, it's slightly different to normal.
What we did is we put out a survey which I announced on Monday, which is asking the -- can you hear me? We put out a survey asking you what you wanted to talk about at the beginning of the week, and we've used that as a basis to allocate -- can you still not hear, Paul? Can we turn up the sound slightly?
And we used that as a basis to allocate time to different sessions and to decide what different issues we were going to address.
Usually with a public forum, we just have a general open mic and a lot of subjects to discuss, but this one we thought we'd try and cover individual issues and put a time limit on those individual issues, so that we could get through them and so discuss -- build up a discussion on one particular topic.
So it's spread up according to there's 5 minute and 10 minute and 15 minute and 30 minute sessions for each topic.
The first thing I want to demonstrate, if possible, is the scribe feed.
Now, you know the scribes, and they've done tremendous work and they still continue to do tremendous work, and we always have the screen up here. You would have noticed we killed the Webcast at this meeting. It wasn't something that we did lightly. We discussed with a lot of people about that and we found out that people watching the Webcast mostly to see the presentations and mostly to catch a glimpse in the scribe feed, so we've been working on that and we've now got some technology in which we simply feed the text feed from the scribes over the Internet and we've put that inside a Paris.ICANN.org Web page, so that -- so if you're a remote participant, you can see what's going on in the meeting from the live scribe feed as it happens. So --
KIEREN McCARTHY There's at least one happy person out there.
KIEREN McCARTHY So I thought we'd try and demonstrate that, so if Jason can switch over to the Web browser.
The advantage of this, of course, is that you'll be able to see in real time what's going on at any particular meeting where it's being scribed. There's one major complaint from remote participants is they say they can't really find out what's going on in the meeting. They can only find out after it's over by calling had people up. With this, you'll see what's going on in real time wherever you are in the world. Now, we do need to test this is a beta test and we have been experimenting with it this week. We hope to have it solid by Cairo and we should also put a legal disclaimer on the fact that this is live transcription, and so it's not the full transcript. The full transcript is provided at the end of the session. It's uploaded on the relevant Web page. But as you can see, that's just an HTML Web page with the feed scrolling through.
Another thing we've tried this week, which is worth mentioning in the public forum, is we're doing editing videos. The boys from domain.in for who you've seen filming, they've been filming and we're putting them occupy on the ICANN site so you can see dedicated versions of what happened in the meetings. That's also because people are concerned with the Webcasts, so we've got dedicated videos and we've got a live scribe feed and we hope that's a huge increase in remote participation for you.
And with regard to that, we've also put those videos up on this service called dot sub, which is extremely useful which enables you to transcribe those videos and then translate those videos into any languages. So we're hoping to build up an archive of ICANN meetings and then that's the -- you can go and transcribe and translate those transcriptions yourself. The community can go and transcribe them. So theoretically, all that happens in ICANN meetings will be available in all the languages of the world, if the community so chooses. They can go in there.
And just as a quick demonstration, we've produced one video to show the value of this, which we're going to talk about more in the translation policy tomorrow, but I thought we'd just show the value of this video, so if you could roll the video, Jason. It's just a short video.
KIEREN McCARTHY Thank you. And so the advantage of that will be when we film public forums like this when the board give -- when the community gives their opinions, we'll post videos like that, they will be translated in multiple languages and anyone in the world will be able to understand what was said and why. Paul has his hand up.
PAUL TWOMEY Kieren, thanks for that. I just wanted to point out that they were all staff members.
KIEREN McCARTHY They were all staff members, yes.
PAUL TWOMEY And that's only about 40% or more of the languages amongst the staff members, and that was mostly staff members only in Marina del Rey and not outside Marina del Rey. They're mostly Marina del Rey staff.
KIEREN McCARTHY Thanks. We could have had other languages except Karla was busy in meetings and, et cetera, et cetera, so...
KIEREN McCARTHY So that's with -- that's the video approach. Sorry to take up your time but I thought it was worth pointing out what we're hoping to do. And very quickly as an explanation, people have been asking about the wireless channel, IPv6 wireless channel. So now is the ideal time to point it out.
We ran an IPv6 only wireless channel during this meeting, and that was to demonstrate the difficulties there is then in the support for IPv6.
Now, a lot of Windows XP boxes were automatically connecting to the IPv6 only connection, which meant they couldn't get on the Internet, which was in fact what we were trying to demonstrate in the sessions, that they still need a lot of support for IPv6 and so that's an explanation as to why some people were having network difficulties and it's something that ICANN is actually going to have to work on to try and get more support for IPv6. So in an odd way, it was a very good demonstration and I'm sure we'll hear more on that.
Anyway, so if we could switch back to the slides, Jason, we have various staff members. We've taken the subjects that you asked to talk about. Staff members have provided a few -- just a few slides covering those topics, which we'll bring up on the screen and they'll open up the floor to questions on those topics, to see what questions you have and to hopefully provide answers to them. Thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Kieren. Can I call on Patrick Sharry now to come and talk about question -- or be questioned about the strategic plan?
PATRICK SHARRY Can I have the next slide, please?
Thank you. It gives me a certain amount of pleasure and satisfaction that I think we'll be able to do this bit of the strategic plan in about three minutes, almost as a public service announcement. I think it indicates what great progress we've made as a community in developing our strategic plans.
Those of you who have been around for a while will know that ICANN has a strategic -- sorry, has a planning calendar that falls into two halves. We're just about to conclude the operating plan and budgeting half and we're just about to kick off the strategic planning part.
In early July, we'll be opening a public comment forum through the ICANN Web site where we'll be asking you two questions. As you can see up there: What has changed in ICANN's environment? And are our current priorities the right ones?
That will become material for the board, who are holding a retreat in August or September, and they'll be spending a fair bit of time thinking about the strategic direction of the organization and providing some shape for the strategic plan. We'll take that guidance and turn it into a draft strategic plan, which we'll release in mid-October, so there's plenty of time for consultation at the Cairo meeting, and our objective would be, as we have done in the past couple of years, to have that plan approved by the board at the December meeting, as long as they're obviously happy with it.
So that -- that's the schedule for this half of the year. I'm very happy to take any quick questions and I'd encourage you to look at the ICANN Web site in early July, if you'd like to take part in that initial part of the consultation, and we look forward to your contribution through the consultations that will run at the Cairo meeting. Thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Patrick. I'm particularly pleased to see that the from the board can be put into it as early as it's going to be in the new process. Any questions for Patrick about the process for developing the strategic plan?
If not, that seems straightforward. Thank you, Patrick.
PATRICK SHARRY Thanks.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH And can I call on Leo Vegoda to come and talk about IPv6. Thanks, Leo.
LEO VEGODA Hello. So at this meeting, IPv6 has been themed into a number of different sessions. On the slide, you can see there was IPv6 content in the ALAC on Monday morning, where there was a good overview and some discussion of the issues facing Internet expansion through the depletion of IPv4 and the need for IPv6 deployment.
This was iterated further in the business access session at lunch.
Earlier on this afternoon, there was an excellent ccNSO session looking at the issues of IPv6 for cc's and also with some statistical reports from (saying name) of (saying name) on IPv6 DNS traffic so far which, to be honest, is quite small difficult to measure.
Tomorrow, there is a registries and registrars session on IPv6 with a goal of explaining the needs that registrants have with IPv6 deployment and the support they need from registries and registrars. In particular, the registrars. And on the next slide is that graph again, which is basically the explanation of why this topic has been thematically throughout the week. It's the fairly near-term depletion of the IPv4 pull, which would severely limit Internet growth because once you're out of numbers, you're out of numbers.
And that's basically this week in IPv6.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Leo. Any questions of Leo about IPv6 as it's been operating here? Any comments? Contributions?
Okay. Thanks very much, Leo.
The next item is a report on our bylaws mandated independent reviews, as we go through and look at each of the different components of ICANN, and I'd like to call on Denise Michel, vice president in charge of policy development, to talk about one that's occupied us here quite a lot, which is the GNSO improvements. Denise.
DENISE MICHEL Thank you.
Do you have a slide, oh, slide person?
GNSO improvements. Part of ICANN's commitment to its ongoing improvement is the independent review of all of the ICANN structures. The GNSO had an independent review conducted, and then the Board Governance Committee created a GNSO review working group to consider the independent evaluator's report, extensive public comments, including a lot of input from the GNSO constituencies and it developed a set of recommendations.
These recommendations, called the GNSO improvements report, has been sent to the board, posted for public comment, and is now pending with the board for final consideration. The five broad categories addressed by the improvements report include creating a working -- a working group model for policy development, revamping the policy development process that's in the bylaws for the GNSO, restructuring the GNSO Council, enhancing the constituencies, and providing a broad range of new and additional support for communications, information and education for the GNSO and interested parties.
So the GNSO improvements report was discussed quite extensively here in Paris, both by the board and I think all of the GNSO constituencies as well as the at-large community.
The focus of most of the discussions have been the structuring of the GNSO Council and votes on the council.
There is disagreement over how the council should be structured, and votes allocated among the various GNSO constituencies.
I'll continue on with the -- a broad overview of all of the independent reviews. Do you have the next slide?
There we go.
So in addition to the review of the GNSO, the Nominating Committee was reviewed by an independent evaluator. Their report was submitted to the board and posted publicly in L.A., and again the Board Governance Committee created a NomCom review working group, to consider those -- consider the recommendations contained in that review, solicit public input and develop a set of recommendations. The status of that is that they are developing recommendations and will soon be providing them.
The At-Large Advisory Committee independent review is nearly concluded. They discussed a draft final report here in Paris. It was the subject of two workshops, and they expect to be submitting their final report shortly.
The board review is about to get underway. The board is expected to approve both a board review working group, as well as the independent evaluator, to conduct the review here in Paris.
Likewise, for the RSSAC review, the board is expected to issue the request for proposals, to solicit applications from individuals and firms interested in conducting this evaluation, as well as issuing the final terms of reference.
In addition, they are expected to approve the establishment of a working group to oversee the RSSAC review.
For SSAC, the terms of reference are under development and here in Paris the board's expected to approve the creation of a working group to oversee the SSAC review.
In the next fiscal year, the ccNSO and the ASO will be reviewed as per the bylaws.
And that's it, Mr. Chairman.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Denise. Now, the microphone -- I'm going to have just a session of open microphone after each event rather than making you wait till the end and come back, so Denise, could you just stay there for a moment?
Any questions either of Denise or anybody else, or any comments that anybody wants to make on any elements of GNSO reform or any of the other reviews that are being undertaken? And at your suggestion or at the suggestion of somebody in the audience the other day, we've brought the microphone to the front. Apparently it's an advantage to see how long the tail is and to watch who is coming to make speeches, so I see Philip Sheppard. Philip?
PHILIP SHEPPARD Peter, thank you very much. I just wanted to make a short statement on behalf of the business constituency, following the useful dialogue and discussions we've had in the last few days on GNSO reform.
The BC welcomes the constructive dialogue it has had with the board in the last few days. Our dialogue primarily supported GNSO process change, but it opposed the Board Governance Committee's proposal for GNSO structural change. That structural change would have seen the voting reduced in the BC representation from its current 3 down to just 1.
And I do love electronic devices which give up on you at the last second.
Would reduce the current voting from 3 down to the current 1 in a little bit.
The BC recognizes some key elements that have arisen in this dialogue.
The need to redefine ICANN's mission to better reflect ICANN's current responsibilities. The need for an adequate number of volunteers to share the workload at any one time. The need to question the concept that the starting point for policy development and contract change should be parity between those who pay for certain Internet services and those who deliver them. The need to recognize that the registry/registrar division may blur as new types of TLDs are introduced in the future.
The need to better understand the dynamics of voting power and the types of policy that have been blocked in the GNSO since its inception in 2003.
And finally, the need to be holistic in our thinking and see the results of the Nominating Committee review before deciding upon GNSO structural change.
The business constituency, therefore, calls for the board to proceed with the GNSO process change, but defer GNSO structural change until the implications, dynamics, and consequences to ICANN's public trust role are better understood.
In short, we could classify this as a the 3-D approach: Defer the vote until we fully analyze the data and continue the dialogue.
We urge you good discussions in your board decisions and a wisdom in all of them.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Philip. Chuck?
CHUCK GOMES Excuse my voice. Actually, it's getting better (laughing).
I'm Chuck Gomes, representing the registry constituency. I'd like to provide a little background that's very important on the issue of GNSO improvements.
In the original DNSO, the domain name supporting organization, the voting structure favored non-contracted parties 5-2. During the approximate four years of the DNSO -- and if I exclude the UDRP, which was basically completed before the DNSO was really functioning -- only one consensus policy was developed and approved by the board: The WHOIS data reminder policy.
With ICANN reform in 2003, when the DNSO was changed to the GNSO, that's when the balance in voting between contracted and non-contracted parties was established.
During a little more than five years under the GNSO, five consensus policies were developed and approved by the board: Inter-registrar transfer policy, WHOIS marketing restriction policy, restored names accuracy policy, expired names deletion policy, and registry services evaluation policy.
In addition, and by far the most extensive policy development effort in our history, the GNSO successfully completed recommendations for the introduction of new gTLDs. That effort was accomplished using a working group model that did not rely on voting at all, but relied on a rough consensus approach as recommended by the Board Governance Committee working group. And it resulted in a supermajority approval vote.
Is the organization perfect? Far from it. That's why improvement is still needed.
Has significant improvement been made? I think we've seen that in the last several years.
Does the current balanced voting between contracted and non-contracted parties or the one proposed by the BGC working group give either side veto power? No.
If contractors are given -- contracted parties have veto power, then so would the non-contracted parties because it's the same.
But neither have that power because even when constituencies are combined, each group has less than 45% of the votes. Either side would have to gain support of the independent NomCom reps just to achieve a simple majority and to achieve supermajority they would have to get support and address the issues of the non-contracted parties.
Skewing the voting so that contracted or non-contracted parties -- either one -- have a majority of votes would make it possible for the advantaged side to approve policies without addressing the needs of the other side or of the NomCom reps. It probably would be easier and faster -- I'll admit that -- but it would not be consensus policy development as required by the ICANN bylaws.
And if the non-contracted parties had a two-thirds majority of the votes, it would be possible to reach a supermajority vote on consensus policies without considering the impact of those companies that are required by contract to implement those policies.
I believe that would violate Section 3.1(b)(4) of certain registry agreements, where it requires that consensus policies and the procedures by which they are developed must be designed to produce, to the extent possible, a consensus of Internet stakeholders, including the operators of gTLDs.
And the proposal would allow a supermajority of user stakeholders to impose their will on the other stakeholders instead of achieving consensus. I believe that would be a regression to the old DNSO days when very little was accomplished.
The BGC working group recommendations were based on over 9 years of experience, two independent studies, one self-review and lots of very long hours in community consultation and analysis by working group members.
If the balance between contracted and non-contracted voting rights is changed, two of the most critical recommendations in my opinion in the working group recommendations would essentially be voided. The council would, indeed, be a legislative body and the rough consensus working group model wouldn't even be needed.
The joint proposal is not based on a motivation to achieve solutions that can be acceptable and more consistent with the best interests of the broader Internet community, but rather, on what can be most readily achieved by a majority of votes.
If the BGC working group recommendations are implemented, it is quite likely that stakeholders will be more interested in being part of working groups than being on the council. But that is good. Because that's where policy development is going to happen.
Under the current GNSO voting structure, ICANN has been accused of being a trade association, and I would contend that that's a false characterization. Trade associations are made up of like-minded organizations, and anybody that thinks that ICANN is made up of like-minded organizations and people, or the GNSO is -- and it's not true of registries and registrars either. In fact, citing just two recent examples in policy development -- and important ones -- the registries and registrars totally differed in their votes, and that's WHOIS and domain tasting.
Let's build on our successes and not regress to the past. Let's work together to find common ground to address the needs of all stakeholders. Non-contracted parties and contracted parties, commercial and noncommercial, government organizations and nongovernment organizations, individuals, and groups.
I believe that the work -- BGC working group has provided a way to do that. Will it be perfect? No. But it can be a step toward ongoing improvement if we cooperate together.
And one final comment.
I actually believe, in talking to both sides of this, that there's some room for us to, even in this process, demonstrate some consensus building and come up with a solution that a good percentage of us will feel that is fair. Thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Chuck, could you just hold for a minute. I think --
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Professor Crawford has a question for you.
SUSAN CRAWFORD Chuck, thanks very much. Philip Sheppard, on behalf of the business constituency, has suggested that we separate out the question of council structure from the rest of the working group report, and defer consideration of structure.
Do you support or oppose that suggestion, and if so, why? That's the first question.
Second question: You've just suggested that there are parameters that might be worked on that would help all of us to achieve consensus. Do you have a timetable for that kind of work to suggest to the board?
CHUCK GOMES Thank you, Susan.
Let me talk about the parameters, first of all. Actually, I think that those parameters, because of some discussions that have been going on behind the scenes, could be dealt with in fairly short order. And I think it would be unfortunate -- you know, I think an awful lot of analysis has already happened, so to drag out analysis over probably more than 30 days on this thing I think would be a problem. But I believe that there are short -- that some of the other parameters -- do you want me to talk about those?
SUSAN CRAWFORD Actually, I'm more interested in timing at this point, for what the question presented to the board will be. So you're suggesting a hard stop at 30 days?
CHUCK GOMES Yeah. I mean, I'm not -- not to be too rigid on that, but this thing has been going on for a long, long time, and a lot of analysis has happened, and everybody's not happy with a lot of details but I think some of the needs that are being expressed could be dealt with if we put our heads together and work in a collaborative manner.
SUSAN CRAWFORD Great. And my first question was about separating out the question from council structure from the rest of the report.
CHUCK GOMES Let me share the registry constituency position on that.
And our position from the very beginning was, if you start doing this thing piecemeal, it creates problems because there are interdependencies. Now let me speaking personally, okay? This isn't necessarily the view of every registry.
And that is, you know, I believe there are some pieces that can be worked separately, but I still believe those pieces need to be defined very quickly, so that we can really move on in the whole picture.
You want more specific than that? Please, feel free. Okay?
BRUCE TONKIN I think I'd like to hear you be more specific on both the parameters and what you think could be worked on. I think it's important to be clear here.
CHUCK GOMES Okay. One of the issues in talking with some contracted -- excuse me, non-contracted parties this week -- in fact, one of them came up in the GNSO --
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Sorry, Chuck. Do you have a final discussion?
CHUCK GOMES I'm done. I'm responding to his question.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH I'm just thinking that you might be about to start talking about something which isn't finalized.
CHUCK GOMES It is not finalized.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH And in that view, I think let's take it offline. I've got Marilyn behind you ready to go.
Sorry, Bruce, I want to hear the answers to those things, too, but I think now is not the time if it is not finalized.
MARILYN CADE Thanks. My name is Marilyn Cade. I am speaking as an individual member of a commercial community that has been for a long time very concerned about ICANN. I worked with others from business to bring more business people to the ICANN meeting. And the board and others in the group today -- in the room today have had a chance to interact with new business spaces and hear their concerns.
And I'm just going to state an interpretation that I have of a concern that those business users have brought to the fore. And that is, what is ICANN about? And how does this restructuring relate to what is ICANN about?
One of the things that business told the board in a cross-constituency breakfast is that they think generally -- and this is a paraphrasing -- that ICANN is not about creating markets, that ICANN is about operating in a form of the public trust as they fulfill -- as they fulfill their mission in coordinating the unique indicators and that we expect as business to see ICANN doing that with integrity and with fairness and respecting the interest and views of all the affected parties. To us that means the contracted parties and the non-contracted parties.
One other thing we heard was that, in fact, the noncommercial users do not consider themselves the same as the commercial users. So the previous idea of drawing a line that became a divide and putting users on one side and suppliers on the other is really disagreed with.
I don't think we have yet to echo some of the statements that were made before, figured out what the right approach is. But I, too, do agree that there are many topics that we had been thinking about that are non-contentious that includes a long awaited and long promised reform and improvements in the PDP; a long awaited and long promised continued evolution of support to the policy development process in terms of providing further support, data analysis, et cetera. Those things, I think, can be done now and must be done now.
And it is the structural realignment of the council itself that needs to be postponed until we find a better answer.
So I would say it's really important to observe how far away we are on agreement on the structural changes to the council.
It is important to me to be able to ensure that ICANN has the support of business, not only on gTLD policy but because I do fear capture, capture from forces outside of ICANN that want to help it do its job. And I think it is business that has to be at the table as well as others to make sure that ICANN remains stable as it moves past the JPA and is able to meet its obligations.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Marilyn. Tony?
TONY HOLMES Tony Holmes for the ISPCP. We are not going to go into where we are in the ISPs. I think we have made our position quite clear. I have spoken to a number of you personally, and I think you are well aware of the discussions you've had across this week where the support from the ISPCP actually lies.
But I would like to make a couple of remarks following on from what's happened previously.
The first is, of course, Chuck is quite right, if you add up where the policy development has occurred, it's been far better under the GNSO than the DNSO. Please bear in mind most of the DNSO activities we are talking about process they didn't even hit [audio cutting out]. You have to bear that in mind when you look at those statistics. The other thing is over the past hour or so there's been a number of attempts to pull out data in terms of what's happened with the constituencies offering support for various aspects of the work. And that's very useful. I do not believe that the board have had time to analyze that in any specific way. I haven't had time to analyze it, and I'm sure you've been even busier than I have.
Out of that, there is still a need to do that work. And I've heard many people around over the days saying, "I've looked at this data, it supports my case." That proves you need more analysis of that.
So I think there is a need to do that work. But I am encouraged by the remarks that Chuck has made in terms of looking at different parameters and being able to change some of those issues. To make the thing work better and having had a little involvement in those discussions, I think we can all work towards making it better.
But I do believe, no matter what the decision is of the board in terms of the options that are on the table that if you take a decision on structural reform, you're actually going to damage the ability for us to take those discussions further in the right way.
So I would suggest that the best way is to give us breathing time. I'm not asking for a lot. We need time to really look at the data that's been added it since we've arrived here. We need time to try to work around these parameters so leave the structural decision until a little later. Thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Tony. I am going to close the speaking order after Milton on this one. Milton, you just made it.
MILTON MUELLER Thank you, Peter. I would like to begin by urging you to make a decision. The GNSO reform process has been, basically, non-step since the DNSO was created. The situation has been unsatisfactory from day one and we need to resolve these issues. You've had the LSE study. You've got the board governance study. You've had quite a bit of discussion of the issues. We really think that you need to resolve the issue of GNSO reform. Even if you do what we don't want you to do, let's move forward. Almost any of the plans on the table are better than the ones -- than the status quo. I really believe that. We are kind of stuck. Let me reinforce that by saying I am the chair of the noncommercial user constituency at the moment. Not for long, I hope. We are not waiting. We are reforming ourselves. There is a talk about adding individuals in both the commercial and noncommercial constituencies. We've already taken a decision to create a provisional entry for individuals into the noncommercial users constituency.
We anticipate asking interested individuals to sign a commitment that they're not currently a member of any other GNSO constituency or Supporting Organization and that their interest in domain name policy relates to the individual use or their noncommercial interest in policy.
And we're going to do this on a provisional basis and make them on a non-voting status and find out whether we can -- this works properly as part of the transition to the new noncommercial stakeholders group.
One other point about the noncommercial stakeholders group in the reform process when you make a decision, and that is because the business constituency currently -- the business stakeholders group would involve the merging of three constituencies, you have structured this reform proposal as if the new stakeholder groups would be composed of multiple constituencies. That may work for the business users. It doesn't work for the noncommercial stakeholders group.
You simply need to broaden the membership and access rights to that constituency. The last thing we need is another multi-layered organizational structure which forces people to spend the next two years working out the relationships and the representation of these different groups.
Finally, let me say that we do support the tripartite division of the GNSO. Let me remind you that it was the London School of Economics report that proposed that, not us and not the business constituency.
I've already told you that if Philip and I can agree on something, it needs to be taken very seriously. Or it is very scary, as somebody says. Or I'm not sure why agreement would be scary, and I think you need to think about that.
You're asking us to develop consensus and you get a fairly important new form of agreement in front of you and suddenly you're scared. That's quite interesting.
But I was moved by one thing that Chuck said and I would like to respond to that. I don't think there ever should be a consensus policy that has passed that has no votes from the suppliers constituency. And if that means you have to bump up the consensus requirement to 70% instead of an exact 2/3, that's fine with me. There should not be, indeed, any policy that is passed without some support from the suppliers.
I think I'll leave it at that. I hope that you do make a decision and that you do have a more balanced representation of the different constituencies. Thank you very much.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Milton. Now I had actually closed the speaking order but out of the respect that Avri is the chair of the body that's being restructured, I think we might allow you. But, ladies --
What about ALAC? We haven't heard from them.
AVRI DORIA Thank you. I'm not going to make a statement whether the 4 by 4 or the 3 by 5. I want to make a comment on the separation of issues. We had a discussion today and one of the strong sentiments that was put out is that we couldn't even do the so-called -- although the term is dangerous -- the so-called non-contentious issues until such time as we knew what the structure was going to be, that even in the non-contentious there were implications, things that would be accepted or not accepted based upon what the structure eventually ended up.
So as a person that needs to help try implement this, I'm afraid that if you don't make the full decision, we'll still be in a holding pattern because we still won't be able to do it until we understand the whole package. So, please, thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Robin, can you be brief?
ROBIN GROSS I promise I will be one minute or less. Thank you for extending me this opportunity. NCUC supports the joint users proposal to create three equal constituencies whereby individuals can join either the noncommercial stakeholder group or the commercial stakeholder group within the GNSO. And as Milton said, NCUC is in the process of opening up its membership to include individuals with noncommercial interests in Internet policy.
It is worth mentioning that according to the LSE report, the independent review conducted as part of these GNSO improvements process, NCUC had the highest number of individual members and the highest number of changes and representatives of any constituency since 2001.
ICANN's legitimacy is closely connected to permitting the effective participation of noncommercial, public interest and individual users and the world is watching how these non-industry interests are treated by this organization.
What is needed is parity between the users and contracting parties whereby each is valued equally and the perspective of each is given equal weight within the GNSO. Thank you.
[ applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you. Cheryl?
CHERYL LANGDON-ORR I promise I will be even faster. My name is Cheryl Langdon-Orr, I am the current chair of the ALAC. We have had ample opportunity for many of us to be heard, and I'm not going to repeat any of those things now. I assume I have been listened to as well as heard, as has all the other constituency interests.
What I wanted to point out is what the ALAC is interested in is a voice for at-large to be involved in policy development in a voting way. Not the ALAC, at-large. And that is registrants and non-registrants. Many billions of them yet to come. Please consider that while you're considering this motion.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Cheryl. Well, that's the end of the discussion about reviews and, in particular, the GNSO restructuring. Can I call up on Kurt Pritz to take us through the discussions of the registrar accreditation agreement.
KURT PRITZ Improvements to the registrar accreditation agreement are really one element of a multi-step program intended to improve protection for registrants. And can we go down a couple slides?
Here we go. This effort was prompted by an increased interest in protecting registrants and updating the registrar accreditation contract which has remained static for many years. It was also done at the direction of ICANN's CEO. The amendments were based on the set of amendments that have been recently posted, were based on a broad community consultation process. In particular, there was significant contribution from at-large and also the intellectual property constituency.
Following a synthesis of that comment, ICANN undertook a dialogue with registrars to arrive at a set of amendments that could be posted for public comment. So that site's up there and this presentation is posted, so you can go look at the amendments and some analysis of those amendments and read them for yourselves. I'm just going to briefly describe them here.
One aspect of this is that the community might consider adoption of these amendments as a set in order to -- that we may timely implement what are significant improvements. Now, the amendments might not go as far as some would like but in that case, I would still recommend approving the set of amendments and then undertake an additional policy work for where improvements can be made. Can I have the next slide, please, Jason?
So there is really -- the amendments for easy categorization can be determined in these four ways. One is enforcement tools. The amendments contain a graduated sanctions program that have been urged by many of the commenters. It also contains a provision for audits.
So while ICANN has conducted registrar audits, it really doesn't have authority in the RAA to do that. With these set of amendments, it will.
It also provides for group liability among affiliated registrars so that an owner of several registrars might be liable across all the registrars for the bad behavior of, you know, say, two of those registrars.
Another category focuses on registrant protections with a focus on how we might escrow the privacy data that underlies the proxy registrations and also increases focus on reseller compliance.
There is another set of amendments that focus on stable -- a stable and competitive registrar marketplace.
These include ensuring that registrars have on staff individuals that have been certified through training and also address the issue of accreditation by purchase where an accredited -- a registrar can gain an accreditation without going through the ICANN-approved process.
There are also some aspects of agreement modernization to kind of bring it up to where the market and the registrar operations really are now.
And I just want to take a second before we take questions on this to talk about one or two other aspects of the program for registrant protections. One other part of the program is data escrow -- registrar data escrow that was launched within the last six months, I would say. And it requires registrars to back up all thick gTLD registrant data. ICANN is contractually obligated to supply this service and we finally -- we finally -- we finally do provide it.
Some of the mechanics of it are that registrars deposit data once a week. The large registrars deposit data every day. As of today, out of the 935 registrars, 753 are enrolled in this program. 82% of all the gTLD data in the gTLD registrars is now escrowed, so it has been a rapid and successful spin-up of that program. So it's been very successful.
There are two other registrant protection programs that ICANN has been working on. One is a terminated registrars transition procedure. So when a registrar fails, there's a procedure in place to locate a bona fide registrar to take that data and protect the registrant's data and those registrations. That procedure has been posted online. And it's being used on an interim basis now for two recently terminated registrars.
And the last I want to mention is the gTLD registry failover program that has two aspects to it. One is registry best practices and, two, is a procedure again for the transfer of data in the case that a registry fails. ICANN has developed these procedures and best practices in fairly intensive consultation with the gTLD registry, ccTLD registries and others in the community. And that plan is completed and ready for implementation and will continue to be hardened.
So I kind of cheated a little bit and told you about more than you wanted, but I want to thank you for your indulgence and your time.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH More is usually better. So thank you. Microphone?
JEFF NEUMAN Hi, Kurt. I'm Jeff Neuman. I have two questions. Actually, a comment and two questions. The comment is you said it is ready to be implemented. I think you meant it is ready to go out for public comment before implementation?
KURT PRITZ Yeah.
JEFF NEUMAN The two questions are -- the first question is how are these accreditation agreements going to be put into effect? Is it something the registrars are just going to have to voluntarily agree to an amendment or is it something that will go into place when their current accreditation agreements expire so some of them could be four, five years depending on when they were last renewed?
The second question is -- or maybe a comment is if you could wait a little while with this until the economic study comes out, because I think there may be some issues as far as registry/registrar ownership that may also want to be reflected in those amendments. There are some issues about cross-ownership of registries and registrars. That issue is actually addressed in registry agreements but there is no reciprocal provisions in the registrar agreements. So I would ask that, you know, you take comments on these issues but also remember that there is that economic study and maybe consider any outcomes in that.
KURT PRITZ Yeah, those are two good questions. Thanks very much, Jeff.
As far as the registrar's obligation, once the amendments are approved, what the RAA calls for is that the amendments are effective upon the termination and renewal of a registrar accreditation agreement, but that registrars can voluntarily adopt them. We are exploring different ways to incent registrars to voluntarily accept the amendments and not wait until registrar accreditation agreements expire, which could be years from now.
I understand your issue about waiting for the results of the registry/registrar separation study. The community conversation about it and decision, you know, I am sort of predisposed, as all of us are here. We have been waiting a long time for these amendments. And we have a set that are proposed. And I think result in improvements for the situation of registrants. So there is a balancing that has to go on there.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Kurt, there is a question from Paul.
PAUL TWOMEY Kurt, if you mind, perhaps a further comment. I would direct all members of the community to this posting and I would make the point that the posting is out for comment. It is the nature of the way in which we have to do this work that executive and staff have to often liaise and discuss with people. And I particularly want to thank Jon Nevett and the registrar constituency -- thank you, Jon -- for the work they've done on their side.
There is inevitably a period of time when you have to sit down and negotiate and try to talk about a text. But we are very, very conscious that this is something that we are to put out to the community to comment and observe. You will find the wording of the posting very careful on this.
And Kurt's done a magnificent job on this. But this is something up for comment by all parties that are affected. It is not yet finalized. It is not ICANN finalized text. It is a thing for comment. We are looking for feedback. It is up for how many days?
KURT PRITZ 45.
PAUL TWOMEY 45 days' comment. And obviously we are really looking for observations from affected parties, which is clearly ALAC -- it is, basically, everybody. Please have a look and give us that feedback.
KURT PRITZ Mr. Chairman, can I make one clarification on Paul's comment. Actually Tim Cole is the one who did a fantastic job on this and I also want to mention Mike Zupke ran the data escrow program and Patrick Jones ran the registry failover program for us.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Kurt. Okay, if there is no further questions about the registrar accreditation agreements, we will move to the next item which is IDNs. And Tina Dam is going to talk to us about progress with IDNs and in teak the IDN fast-track. Tina?
TINA DAM Thanks, Peter. So I have one slide on IDN status report this time. The first topic is the IDN fast-track, so it is IDN ccTLDs implemented in the DNS in a limited number. And there has been just so many meetings on that topic that I couldn't fit it on the slide. So specifically Sunday and Monday as well it seemed like the whole community was meeting on that specific topic. The status as of today is that the ccNSO Council have just finished their meeting this afternoon, and they have agreed to adopt and support the recommendations. The GAC, I believe, is still meeting -- or maybe they just got finished meeting. But the expectation is to get their decision in their communique this week.
And then the intention was for the IDNC working group to meet again tomorrow, but during the last couple of hours since I wrote this slide, they've actually been dealing with some of the last things on e-mail. So it looks like things have been finalized and provided to the board for the board's consideration tomorrow.
Then, of course, the board needs to take care of their discussions and if or when they approve the report and the recommendations, start will begin implementation of this fast-track process.
Topic Number 2 is IDNs and gTLDs. So this is just the standard process for implementation of new gTLDs. And the main activities that are going on from staff perspective is making sure that IDN elements for gTLD are included in that implementation process. Now, both of these two processes have a dependency and that is the revision of the IDNA protocol.
And we haven't heard so much about that yet. The workshop on that topic -- this week, well the workshop on that topic is tomorrow. The expectation is the protocol will be finished this year, and it is a preference to have the protocol provision done before any IDN ccTLDs are inserted into the root. But we are looking into interim measures as well, if that becomes necessary.
Then there is a couple of other items I wanted to mention. Relates to the IDN guidelines that has to be revised on top of the protocol revision, so that they go hand in hand and follow together. There is a lot of local initiatives going on. For example, the Arabic script working group are coordinating among the different language groups that are using that script.
And, finally, IANA is looking at any kind of updates that are necessary to their processes so they can manage IDN TLDs in addition to just the ASCII TLDs.
So it is very much focused on IDNs at the top level. That's pretty much what we are spending most of our time on. And that's it from me today.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Tina. Questions? Avri.
AVRI DORIA Hi, yeah, this is Avri Doria. One question I have in talking about what happened after the GAC and the ccNSO approve and then you went to the board approving, will there be an open comment period? And of how long is that planned to be?
TINA DAM So that's a good question. The recommendation from the ccNSO Council, as I saw just really briefly, was that there would be public comment period. And I believe that is the staff recommendation as well.
Of course, that's going to have to be a board consideration.
AVRI DORIA Okay, so the board decides on whether there will be one. I would like to recommend to the board that they plan for a good one.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Sorry, say that slowly.
AVRI DORIA I said I would like to recommend to the board that they plan for a good adequate length one.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Tina.
I just wanted to confirm that Ambassador Karklins who is chairman of the GAC has asked to leave to be absent for this meeting so we won't know exactly what the GAC position is for some time -- or not today.
Okay. Move to Paul Levins to take us through meetings review.
PAUL LEVINS (Speaking French).
? When do we have the chance to ask questions about IDN?
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Sorry. That was the time to ask questions about IDN. Would you like to ask a question?
? Yes, please.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Sorry, Paul, could you just wait a minute?
? I'm sorry for that. This is my first time attending an ICANN meeting.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH I apologize if I was too fast for you.
? I'm an owner of a small business, running in Europe and in the Arabic countries. So this is why that topic was very interesting for me.
I see two troubles for me, as the owner of a business. And I'm very thankful that you, as a board, are including our opinion more and more in your decisions.
First problem is that? The fast track, as far as I am informed, the gTLD TLDs are not included, which means that for me as a brand owner, it's very difficult to take care that the brand is still, in all Arabic countries, taken care of, without having to register the brand in every single Arabic script that would be -- or Arabic country ccTLD that would be available.
The second issue I'm seeing is that -- well, the -- give me a second.
The -- I need --
TINA DAM I can answer the first question if you want, first, and you can think about the second one.
So the CC -- well, let's call it the fast track. The fast track is for IDN ccTLDs. So it's for country codes only.
And then there was the IDNs in the gTLD process.
So those two run in parallel.
In terms of timing, I think your question is two things. In terms of timing, while it's too early to say because we don't have specific implementation plans for both of those processes completed yet, it looks like there are -- they are going to start or be available for application around the same time. It could be that one of them will be held up and if that is the case, we're not going to delay the other one.
So there are still some dependencies there. But it looks like they're going to follow the same timeline. And if that's the case, it means that you will have IDN ccTLDs at the same time as IDN gTLDs.
In terms of as a business owner of having to make registrations and so forth, you really don't have to make registrations in all new gTLDs or all new ccTLDs.
And some of them may have restrictions on registration purposes as well.
So it's really just a choice.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Tina. Could I just ask you to slow down? This is a subject about which you're very passionate, I know, and very well-informed. And it just makes it difficult for the translators.
Just -- thank you.
And for other people as well, myself included, just remember that we've got the translators trying to keep up.
TINA DAM Sorry about that.
So it will be your choice as to which one of the new TLDs you want to make your registration in.
And that's not just IDNs. That's, you know, any new TLD that comes out.
? Sure. And if I'm focusing on all Arabic countries, then I would have to go for all ccTLDs, and it would be easier if I can go for the for the general top-level domain to defend my brand there and to have the customers find me if they look for me.
TINA DAM Right. And so that's your preference, right. And others may have other preferences. Again, it's about user choice. So you can choose it in a generic TLD, and others might want to choose it in a country code TLD.
?The second question I'm having, actually, dear board, is how will you make sure that, let's say, dot com, for example, in Arabic translation, whatever the Arabic translation would be, how will you make sure that no one is going to take my brand dot com in Arabic and represent something else on there? That the dot com in English and the dot com in Arabic stay connected to the same business?
TINA DAM So --
PAUL TWOMEY You are asking a question about second-level registration.
PAUL TWOMEY So your brand dot -- you're not?
TINA DAM No. He's asking for top level.
? Let's say my brand dot com. And I will not say my brand in front of a room full of people. I don't want to make sure I have offers tomorrow to buy my brand back in a couple of domains. Let's say my brand is brand.com, how will you make sure that brand.com in Arabic letters will point to me as well and not to someone else?
PAUL TWOMEY Well, there's two opportunities.
Potentially sunrise opportunities.
But the other one, of course, is that we will require dispute resolution that presently exists for that very purpose, called uniform dispute resolution process, will be a requirement of all new gTLDs.
So the same legal resource is available to you now in the gTLDs will be available to you in the new gTLDs.
? Okay. May I say one last comment?
It would be nice for me as a small business other than. I went through one of those disputes before. It would be nice if I have a possibility to save myself from that dispute, to take care of things in advantages instead of going through the dispute afterwards. It would be very nice if that is included in the process of the whole registration.
TINA DAM Peter, can I make a clarifying point on his last question?
So what you're really asking about is, if you already have a domain name registered under, for example, dot com, and there is an equivalent of dot com in Arabic, will you then also automatically be the registrant of the same domain name under that TLD.
That is not a guarantee in the way that the process is developed for new gTLDs.
There is the options that Paul is talking about. But if that new TLD is inserted into the root and if it is the same operator, so VeriSign for dot com, then in order for your request to function automatically, there needs to be a technical solution for that.
We've often referred to it as aliasing. And right now we do not have a technical solution for that problem that would give you automatically that right.
So there is still some work that has to be done in that area. And we're working on it. It wasn't part of my status update. But it is something that's being looked into.
? Thank you very much.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you.
MICHAEL PALAGE Thank you. Mike Palage. I agree with you, Tina, when you said there is no guarantee.
And just to follow up on, Paul, the UDRP would potentially not be applicable. Under the UDRP, fair use is a defense. So picking a brand delta, if delta.com was the airline, and Delta Faucets was fortunate enough to get delta.arabic, the UDRP would not be applicable. It would not be able to serve the concern that the prior speaker was addressing.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Mike. Steve.
STEVE METALITZ Steve Metalitz with the intellectual property constituency.
I just wanted to say in response to the previous gentleman's last question, why isn't there a preventive mechanism instead of him having to go through dispute resolution. That's a very good question. And we in the IPC have been working to help provide a menu of answers to that to potential new gTLD applicants. And that would also apply I'm sure on the IDN ccTLD side with some modification.
We presented a booklet, kind of a menu of these choices, to a standing-room only crowd at a presentation yesterday. Copies of that booklet are available. Thanks to ICANN, they're available out on the ICANN front desk.
And it's also on the IPC Web site, I.P.constituency.org. So I hope that we will be able to communicate a message to new TLD applicants that might help the gentleman in his problem.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Steve.
? This is (saying name) from CNNIC, actually, I just want to clarify one thing, the second question that the gentleman from the Arabic word. Actually, it's not two words. I think it relates to all TLDs, no matter IDN or ASCII. Right now, we also have issues, like, okay, for CNNIC, as an example, cnnic.cn is us, but cnnic.com is not. So I think the UDRP process will definitely help to improve the process, to help to protect the rights of users and registrants. But I don't think that's a question for IDN.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you. If there are no further questions of Tina or about the IDNs, I'll say thank you to Tina and ask Paul Levins to come and talk about meetings.
PAUL LEVINS (Speaking French).
Thank you for indulging me. I've been wanting to do that all week, practice some school boy French. So thank you.
So we're talking about a proposal around meetings to reduce them from three annually to two as a meetings paper out on the public comments page at the moment.
And the two questions or the two proposals that the paper really expounds upon revolve around location and frequency. Why is that? Because, in my experience, they're drivers of behavior and participation.
We've had 1550 registrations at this meeting, which is our highest ever.
And you have to ask yourself, why is that. Well, a number of reasons I would propose. One is, first of all, it's Paris, and c'est magnifique. And secondly and seriously, it's a hub. It's a hub location.
Furthermore, there are a number of issues and decisions that people had an extreme interest in at this meeting. We also had a business stream for the first time, which, with enormous assistance of others here, we were able to put together.
But all of that, as a point I made at an earlier public forum this week, means that not everyone can afford an investment of 21 days per annum, which is what these meetings, at least, involve in terms of travel.
And I think that goes for whether you're an individual, a member of government, or a businessperson.
And so the attempt to shift from three to two is really about providing focus, focus for discussion, and focus of resources, both ICANN -- the community's, through ICANN, and individual resources.
We've had the same model largely for ten years. This is an attempt, as I said, to try and provoke some debate around our structures.
It will also -- and I think this paper -- this point is borne out in the paper, it frankly is about elements to do with economy. These meetings now cost the community a little over $2 million apiece. I'm not suggesting that that is necessarily a bad thing. It's -- you look around yourself and some of the changes that that investment has bought, and I think most will agree it's been a very good thing. Translation, interpretation, and so on.
So that's probably where I'll stop, Peter, in relation to that.
I would, however, like to just simply add that it would be very valuable, I think, if I was able to garner the views and experience of the chairs of the various organizations. I'd like to do that by way of a call at some stage over -- in the very near future just to get experiences not only about -- and views not only about these proposals, but also the operation of this meeting.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Paul. And now for open microphone.
MARILYN CADE Thank you. My name is Marilyn Cade. I'm going to make a statement, but I'm first of all going to make a comment, Paul, to you about that particular comment.
The chairs of supporting organizations are elected for different purposes than to act as the mouthpiece for a very broad and diverse group of constituents in their SO. That is my view as a member of an SO.
And I really understand that ICANN would like to centralize, taking input this that way, but I would ask you please not to do that.
And that relates to the rest of my comment.
ICANN is at a crucial point right now. We are ten years old. And we are experiencing a wave of growth and opportunity to reach out to others.
I don't think it's yet time to change to two meetings from three. I don't think that we will have a broad enough presence globally if we do that at this point.
I also don't think regional meetings are a replacement for global meetings. It's very easy in a regional meeting to get a perspective that is just regional, and that's valuable, but it is when we come together and share opinions and perspectives that allows us to have a deeper and broader understanding and to learn from each other.
And we were, for instance, to meet just in North America and just in Africa, and we didn't cross-pollinate the sharing of information, then many people in North America would continue to fail to understand the importance of enhancing much of the work that needs to be done in other regions of the world.
Secondly, and this is a very critical point to me, the only interaction the community has with the board is in these meetings.
You will have a lessened opportunity to interact with the community if you cut down the meetings from three to two.
I think it's a little early to do that.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Marilyn, and we welcome the return of Chuck to the microphone.
CHUCK GOMES This one will be much briefer.
As one who has attended a few of these meetings, I've seen huge progress. And as I was thinking about this, in fact, talking about it with one of your good staff members from the airport here, we got to talking, and there's a lot of productivity, in my opinion, that goes on for seven days in these meetings.
So I'm not suggesting we shouldn't be looking at this. I think we should. And I think it's good, and I compliment that.
My suggestion is, let's make sure we know how we're going to replace that productivity before we make the change. Let's just be clear. Because we could actually inadvertently end up with a more expensive process and a more complicated process than we have now.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you.
Mike SAX Thank you for including small businesses in such a meaningful way. This is a very exciting time to hear how much bigger this meeting is than previous years. I'm in a small business, and as you know, most of domain names are actually used by small businesses, and they're a very important part of what we do.
But at the same time, it's very hard to participate in this process, because it takes so many resources in terms of traveling and spending time. And we're all really busy running our businesses.
So I would like to ask the board, how would you foresee incorporating the feedback of small businesses and getting direct feedback from -- about how policies that you develop affect us in a more direct way so we don't have to make all this travel and spend these vast amount of resources.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you. Suzanne.
SUSAN CRAWFORD I just want to praise Kieren McCarthy and Paul Levins for lowering the barriers to participation online substantially.
Things are much better than they used to be. And it has long been my hope that as an Internet-coordinating body, we could be doing more over the Internet in terms of policy.
So I think we're trying to make it as easy as we can to follow issues, to understand what's going on. And if we're failing in that respect, just let us know, and we'll try even harder. But these two are really committing a lot of energy to that.
Mike SAX Thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Vittorio.
VITTORIO BERTOLA Yeah, for example, there was a question for the previous topic in the chat, and I don't think that anyone got it and put it on the table here.
But, anyway, it's -- now for once in a lifetime, I completely agree with Marilyn. So I think that especially you should not underestimate the huge valuable symbolic and practical of meeting in different parts of the world every time.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Vittorio.sir.
RON ANDRUFF Ron Andruff, R&A partners, member of the business constituency, but speaking as an individual.
I also want to add my voice to the board's decision on this in the sense that the three meetings per year provide for a tremendous amount of cross-pollnization of ideas and discussion and dialogue.
I think we all really experienced that from the beginning of the meeting to the end. We're all talked out because we've had so many conversations, been very fruitful and helpful in the dialogue on how the Internet will look in the future. This broad range of voices has to be brought forward multiple times during the year.
If we go down to just two meetings a year or regional meetings, what will happen is we'll get less of those voices heard, simply because people can't go to all of the regional meetings as much as they might want to.
I think this is important to recognize, because the only common denominator that would be happening within the regional meetings would be all of the staff of going to all of those meetings and the voices, the community itself, would not be able to go to those meetings.
So I would hope the board might consider keeping it three meetings for now. Anyone with limited resources could then make a choice if they can only attend two, they can select those two.
As far as whether it will be a hub city or not, I think the idea of a hub city makes a lot of sense. People have to travel from far corners of the world, and sometimes when they put a meeting or when a meeting is set in some secondary city in some place, it means that you actually end up having to take a bus for the last two hours of a 42-hour trip. It's pretty intense. Let's try to do that, get to a hub meeting, but yet move the meetings around. I think we've seen here an extraordinary turnout. We've never seen so many people come to an ICANN meeting, because it was a hub city, easy to get to from Munich, Frankfurt, London, Rome. I think that's a valuable thing to do.
[ Applause ]
WERNER STAUB My name is Werner Staub, I work for CORE. And I will also make a comment on the meetings.
First of all, the progress that was just heard in terms of nonphysical participation, remote participation by having the ability to see the real-time scribes online is something I really hoped for a long time, and I'm very pleased that we're going to have it. I hope it's not going to be just a screen, that people can also scroll back a little bit and see what has been said just a minute ago and which topic you were talking about. It's very important, especially for people who are non-English speakers. They have to check a little bit what the context is.
The second thing is very important for the meetings themselves. We have consistently been slower than we wanted to be, and in the case of the new gTLDs, the target for the process for new gTLDs was December 31st, 19- -- sorry, 2004. This was -- no, we are going to be five years late in finishing that. And even as we try to work hard for that, we had to do meetings in between the three meetings we had per year. So if you go to two meetings per year in ICANN, we essentially will slow down the process even more. I will say we probably would lose 50% of our speed, even the -- the minimal speed we manage to achieve will be further slowed down. So, really would say that we have to keep the meetings, be they in hub cities or not, it is important that people can participate and those who cannot go to all the meetings at least can go to some.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Okay. Thank you. Kristina.
Before you go, Werner, I've asked Kieren if he could respond on the question about whether it will be possible to scroll back to the scribing when it's online.
KIEREN McCARTHY With regard to the scribing, also, I should say, VeriLan and the tech people, they've put this together. And it was not easy. So it's a great job. It's taken us years to get there. But, yes, you can scroll back about one or two minutes. You can get a context of what is going on with the discussion, and then the transcript as usual, full transcript, will be posted very shortly after the meeting is closed. So you can arrive at a meeting, arrive at the thing, get a context of what the discussion is, and then see the live feed going through.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, KRISTINA.
KRISTINA ROSETTE Kristina Rosette, IPC councillor, speaking in my individual capacity.
From the perspective of encouraging additional private sector business participation, I think the hub city idea is a fantastic one. Although I would encourage you, if you weren't already planning to, to continue to rotate those among the various regions.
I personally have mixed feelings as to whether two meetings is in fact enough. I know that I personally am going to be exhausted by the time I leave. And I can't imagine trying to put another 50% more work into that same period of time.
I do, however, think that there are a couple of things that perhaps need a little bit more focus. And in my view, those are advanced planning. I think the cities need to be identify at least a year ahead of time so that if people need to be putting in requests for budget allocations, they have a general idea of where it's going to be and how much, generally, they can account for in terms of the cost.
Similarly, I also think that while you certainly don't have to do -- a year is not realistic, I also think that the agenda should be set, and all final papers should be made available not less than 30 days before the meeting begins. Because otherwise, particularly for those who are volunteers, you are in the position of not only in the two weeks before the meeting trying to get all of your paying work done so that you can be gone for a week, but you're also in the position of having to make sure that you've read everything that will be discussed. And it's quite a challenge.
Finally, I would also note that I agree with Susan that remote participation is improving significantly. But as I think I made clear at our council meeting in Delhi, there is quite a distance to go.
And I think it's incredibly important to really focus some more on that and see if we can truly make it almost as easy to participate remotely as physically.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH KRISTINA, can I respond by saying that I have required the staff from now on to be dealing -- we have to be selecting meeting sites 12 months in advance. And we're now getting a budget with the full cost of proposals, et cetera, about 12 months in advance as we catch up.
So that should be coming.
KRISTINA ROSETTE That's a great idea. Thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH One of the consequences of that will be, obviously, much greater ability to get materials out in advance.
But you have to remember how difficult that is in relation to the source of many of these papers, for example, the President's Strategy Committee managed to get its papers only in eight days or something before this meeting because of the nature of the work of that committee. So we're still dealing with real people doing real work.
But improvements are coming.
KRISTINA ROSETTE Okay. Thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH And, Paul, do you want to comment more on that.
PAUL LEVINS If I can add to that. Not only are the costings now very detailed, but you'll find them all available online in accordance with our transparency measures.
And we're now, I think, in accordance with the board's wishes, we're out at six months advance warning. And we're aiming for 12 from next year.
So we are driving to get there. We've got an expression of interest out for the Asia-Pacific meeting for next year as we speak at the moment. And all being well, the board will make a decision about the location of the meeting in February next year, at their meeting tomorrow.
KRISTINA ROSETTE Excellent. Thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH And Rita, were you wanting to say something? And I think Dennis and Bruce. Let's -- well, I think Bruce -- sorry, Dennis was first. Dennis.
DENNIS JENNINGS Yes, there's a question on the remote participation.
Now, the question is to the board. Could there be a moderator of this chat so that -- let me read it out. I'd like ICANN to make it a standard procedure for remote participants to be able to ask a question to the board in the public forum via moderator moderating this chat.
So I've asked the question.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Let me try that to our manager of such things. Kieren, is there any problem with having a moderator? I can just say from coming to the microphone in past years, we have had a process where blogs and other things are being read and are fed into the process.
KIEREN McCARTHY I was going to say, I promise that it wasn't me that wrote that.
Yes, and I think we should have moderated chat. It's difficult, because we have a lot of chat rooms and most of the time they're not used, and then occasionally one person writes one comment and then they, within second complain that no one is watching it. I actually have been trying to log in and I haven't looked at it for a while and then I pop back in.
That's the difficulty of it.
With regard to the remote participation, it's a bit of a chicken and egg scenario. The reason why there was a lot of fuss, the Delhi participation was a lot of people were participating remotely for the first time, and so they used the tools for the first time.
So then I get the feedback. And then I know what to do.
So you see that all the tools are there. I'd like to know what percentage of the people have used the PIR.icann.org Web site. But until they're used, we can't improve them. And until we improve them, people won't use them as much.
But until they are used, we can't improve them. And until we improve them, people won't use them as much. So it's a difficult situation.
If there want to be volunteers to moderate each chat room, I am happy to coordinate that but I have tried that in the past and it wasn't massively successful.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Chris.
I'm sorry, I had a speaking order of the board.
Rita was next.
RITA RODIN I just wanted to agree with Kristina. As someone who was remotely participating in Delhi it's now mildly amusing that we could talk to each other but nobody in was able to hear us. But that problem of remote participation existed not only in the public meetings but also when I was trying to dial in to board committees. So I was complaining, and someone sent me a picture of what I looked like and apparently there was a speakerphone on the table with about 17 plugs and wires and the like coming out of the wall.
So I firmly believe that -- am a big supporter of geographic meeting rotation, but I do think if we go to hub cities, that will facilitate remote participation because staff can go and scope out the location and hopefully deal with all the remote participation issues in advance so that we don't have these problems in the future.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Rita.
BRUCE TONKIN I would like to try a quick sample because we have a pretty big audience in here today, just a show of hands. Who supports going from three to two meetings? Just show of hands?
Who supports that change?
Okay. And just the reverse of that. Who would prefer to stay with three meetings a year?
STEPHEN CROCKER That's even; right?
Why, that's even.
BRUCE TONKIN And I have one other question. Who is here for the very first time at an ICANN meeting?
[ Applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Someone is here for I think his second meeting, third meeting. Chris.
CHRIS DISSPAIN Yeah, I have been to a couple. Thank you. Chris Disspain chair of the ccNSO.
I am going to speak with several hats, to meetings.
The ccNSO hasn't yet got any official position on the meetings, but I can tell you that the general feeling, without committing anybody, when we talked about this last time and this time, very briefly, was that whilst the idea of going to two meetings might seem like a good idea, we don't think that -- we're probably not ready yet to go to three meetings.
I would like personally now like to support the hub city. I think the hub city is an excellent idea.
And as the chair of the ccNSO, speaking as an individual, I would like to please go back to five days. I have never been this tired at an ICANN meeting.
I couldn't come to the public forum until ten minutes ago because I was running my council meeting. I actually think it's quite important that I attend the public forum. And under normal circumstances, the public forum wouldn't be today.
The agenda has been so squashed that I literally have not had time to process anything, really, that's happened.
Now, we are one day shorter this meeting than we have been previously. Yes, we are.
We are half a day.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH All we have done is taken the board meeting off Friday morning and put it Thursday night. Now, we have changed the timetable around but not as a result of moving the board meeting from Friday to Thursday.
CHRIS DISSPAIN I must be going mad, then, because it seems to me I have had one less day to do stuff.
Maybe I am going mad.
Why didn't you tell me that when I told you earlier on that I thought we should go back to five days.
PAUL LEVINS Come join me and we will go mad together.
CHRIS DISSPAIN What I would like to suggest is with respect to meetings and general structure that it might be a very sensible idea, rather than asking each individual Supporting Organization and advisory committee for input and feedback, that we actually set up a group that could fairly quickly, with a couple from each, get together on the telephone, work out what it is that we all want, and then let you know, as I think that's probably the quickest way of doing it.
And it would also help encourage us to work together. Something which I have spent the last 12 months doing.
So that would be a suggestion for taking this forward from a structural point of view.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Chris. Can I just announce that I want to close the speaking order on this particular topic of meetings. So if you are sitting in the audience, not at the front of the line, I am going to close it at the back of the line. So all you people standing are safe.
But if there's -- is there an indication that there are other people wanting to speak on this? Because I am going to close that shortly.
RAUL ECHEBERRIA Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am Raul Echeberria, CEO of LACNIC, but speaking on my own behalf here, as an at-large plant of this community.
I very much support to reduce the number of meetings per year and to move to two meetings.
I have thought for many years that three meetings per year is very much.
I agree that the people in the meetings is growing, but it's because of a very simple reason. The business is growing and so the number of players is growing, and this is the reason because we have more people in the meetings. It doesn't mean the meetings are more successful. And if we really want to open the doors to the participation of more people from different stakeholders group, so we have to facilitate the participation and the cost of the participation as a (inaudible) for doing that. I am very lucky because I work for an organization who pay for my travels for coming three times a year. And if you organize five times -- five meetings per year, probably I will continue participating in most of them.
But this is not the same for most of the people.
So I very much support the idea of reducing the number of meetings.
Regarding the hub cities, it is a very controversial concept, because I would like to see a list of hub cities. Because Santiago, Chile, Buenos Aires, San Pablo. All of them are important hubs in the region. Panama, many others.
But due to the things that I have heard here, I think that many people consider a very reduced list of -- sorry -- a very reduced list of cities in this category of main hubs. And we have to have in mind that when we travel 40 hours to attend a meeting, it's because other people have traveled only one, what is very good.
So I think we should continue organizing the meetings in the way that is being done now. The rotation has been a very successful thing. And I don't care to travel one hour in a car, in a bus, after arriving in a country. It's okay. I don't have any problem. What I suffer very much, as I said before, is to move to two meetings per year.
Thank you very much.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Raul --
RAUL ECHEBERRIA Sorry, one more comment. What Werner said before is a very valid concern. And the fact of reducing the number of meetings could not affect any way the efficiency of the organization.
So it's a challenge for you, for the staff. This is something that you have to deal with.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Raul, just I think Paul might have an answer for you on the question of making a list.
PAUL LEVINS Just to say it's not meant to be a Euro centric list or an Asia centric list. It would be a list where we would hubs identified in the different ICANN regions to which we would return. So that's to address your concern about the possibility that it would be a long trip for you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH As long as Wellington, New Zealand is on the top of that list.
WOLFGANG KLEINW?CHTER My name is Wolfgang Kleinw?chter. I am from the University of Aarhus.
I remember that we started with four meetings per year in '99, 2000 and 2001.
Just to give FAQ to Kieren. The New Delhi meeting was the first one I missed and was the first one I followed via remote participation. And, you know, I want to give the feedback, it was perfect. And I was able also to ask questions in the open forum, at the public forum. And I only can encourage all participants who say it's too far, too expensive or too time consuming, make more use of this. It really was perfect. It was also good for the time. I got up at 400 in the morning, and when my -- I had my breakfast, I had already my ICANN pill for the morning. It was a wonderful day.
The second comment is with regard to the regional meetings, you know. I would express a lot of concerns with regional meeting. It will take two or three years, and the regional meetings will become full ICANN meetings.
You cannot reduce it to the region, as such. A lot of other people will come in; in particular, business people. And it makes no sense, you know, to have this regional meeting and to exclude other regions. Either you go to a full meeting or you have smaller workshops by smaller constituencies on the regional level.
But if I have a regional ICANN meeting, I expect within three or five years, these will become full meetings.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Just wait. There is a response from Paul Twomey.
PAUL TWOMEY Perhaps I could have a clarification of this comment of regional meeting. I agree with everybody's comments about what you said about participation by all the constituencies.
I think the regional meeting concept to date, where it has been successful, it has been an informational meeting, often on an information specific thing which affects that region. Mostly it's been around IDNs.
So I think this term regional meetings, we should be very careful of.
I don't think there's any proposal here that these are mini ICANN meetings in the region, because for the reasons you are saying, it doesn't make much sense.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Okay. Nii, nice to see you.
NII QUAYNOR Yes, I am happy to be here. I am Nii Quaynor, convener of AfNOG.
But I'm speaking as myself, individual.
Although I'm yet to understand the meaning of "hub city," I get some concerns that, for some regions, it may not necessarily be the best approach to reach the community you desire.
It is conceivable that what you define as hub city may be repeated in a very short time.
So it's better you go for where you get good proposals and you have strong local hosts, strong communities that can carry on the work after you have left, many continue coming back, continue participation, as opposed to necessarily repeating in hubs within a particular environment.
So I thought I would caution that even though it seems like a good thing, for some cases it may not achieve the desired effect.
And so I argue that when you define the hub city, you do it cautiously.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Nii.
MICHAEL PALAGE If I can ask a question. This session was labeled "meetings and other." So is this the only time to address a comment not specified?
PAUL LEVINS No, I don't think that's the case, Mike. I think it's just a mislabeling. I apologize.
MICHAEL PALAGE Okay. It said meetings and other on the Web site.
PAUL LEVINS It's a mislabeling.
MICHAEL PALAGE So will there be a point in time in the public forum when people can ask questions not specifically enumerated?
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Yes, there will be an open open session at the end of the defined open sessions.
KHALED FATTAL Yes, thanks, Peter. As a matter of fact, mine may fall under the headline of meetings. And I would like to -- first of all, my name is Khaled Fattal, I am the chairman CEO of Live Multilingual Translator amongst many other hats. And one of the things I am speaking from the angle of is to do with languages and outreach.
And I think, Susan, you made a very valid point. And in the same spirit of, during the years that I have stood up here in front of you and I have wanted to, actually, point out issues that the board should be aware of, I would like to also say some positive things.
I think the recent direction that have been taken by the board under Peter's leadership are the right step forward.
I'm very -- I will give you my full support on the issue of the reforms that you are undertaking. And I hope that the reforms will actually be conclusive that will take us 20, 30, 40 years down the line.
And in terms of the reaching out to the community for participation, I'm sure, as many of you already know, having the scripts would absolutely -- in other languages, would be absolutely valuable. And as many of you know, we are doing the ICANN Web site in Arabic. And this could not have happened if it had not been with the full cooperation with this gentleman here who, I think since he joined ICANN, has gone from dark hair to gray hair.
So let's give him credit. And I think it is really reaching out to the community so that if ICANN chooses, one day, not to have, let's say, three meetings, but two meetings, we need to have a mechanism that still will reach out to those communities where they are able to participate. And the net -- the net result will be a gain, not a loss.
So on that one, my congratulations.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you. And Paul.
PAUL LEVINS Am I on? There here.
Just a couple of things, very briefly.
I just wanted to quickly thank Susan for her acknowledgment of our work, but to quite (inaudible) we have seen further, we have been standing on the shoulders of others, including existing staff -- Tanzanica King, Mark Salvatierra -- and, in fact, the board itself, and the legal team who has advocated changes about transparency and access. So thanks for that.
Please look on the public comment page, which is one of these devices around transparency and access. It's on the front page as a link on the ICANN Web site. That's the place to record, particularly if you are a remote participant or a small business person, as you or one of the people at the mic suggested, to place your comment.
And then finally, I can confirm that Kieren does have a hair coloring allowance, but he just chooses not to use it.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH And Rob.
ROB HALL One additional comment on meetings. I have been to every one except four, and we talk a lot about hub cities. My concern is not so much the hub city but more concentrating on the location of the hotel and perhaps location of the little town outside the city.
So meetings that haven't worked very well is where you have to fly in and drive for a few hours. So your Wellington example, I was very happy to fly to Wellington. If you put it in (saying name) where you had to drive for three or four hours after getting to the city, that would not have been as helpful.
Or even I remember the Rome meeting where the hotel was 20 minutes outside the city with not a lot around to do. And you're -- Slow down? Sorry.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Slow down, please.
ROB HALL I apologize. I tend to be off to the races.
The other thing I would suggest other than trying to find more proximity to downtown in cities and better hotel facilities, which ICANN has been doing more and more well these last few years, is we had 1500 people registered for this conference today, this week. And I bet there were 800 attendees and 600 spouses that registered to get that all important gala ticket. So perhaps we need to start taking into consideration that for events like in Paris, where it is a magnificent city, that we are going to bring a lot of our spouses and families, and we should start counting them somehow a little differently or taking care of them as well.
[ Applause ]
PAUL LEVINS Very briefly on that point.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Lots of spouses in the room.
PAUL LEVINS Very briefly on that point, I think that's a sage idea, a really good idea. For the numbers of these events, we have taken on a lot of activities that are traditionally the local host, which is part of the reason since about October of last year, that's part of the reason that meeting costs have, in fact, gone up because the burden has shifted, financial burden has shifted. But secondly, that is one of the things, that is one of the tasks that the local host still retains, which is the organization, the best place to do that, the number that these things are diabolically (inaudible) to predict.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Kieren.
KIEREN McCARTHY Yes, I promised I would read out a comment that's in the chat room online. Very quickly, it's with regard to hubs and said, would ICANN consider having the hub cities in where its offices are. So one year it would be the -- they say in Paris, but the place actually in Brussels, and the next year would be in Los Angeles or Marina del Rey. So that's the suggestion for a hub city.
I should say that person was participating from San Francisco and said the reason they didn't come to the meeting is because it would cost too much and didn't have the time.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Okay. I see people still joining the list.
I have actually closed this off, but because you have come forward, if I could ask you both to be very brief. And Mouhamet, welcome back to the microphone.
Stay, but please, be brief.
MOUHAMET DIOP Okay.
Thank you, chairman. Mouhamet Diop from Senegal.
I am from the registrar constituency, but I talk on my behalf here.
I just have been asked to be very brief, but I want to comment on two things. And to remind people that we have -- If you drop down the number of meetings from three to two per year, don't forget that we are going into a cycle. And one of the main (inaudible) of the bylaws of ICANN is trying to be geographically diverse and going around all continent. And I think if you drop it down, don't forget that every single ICANN meeting we have the chance of getting people from the local region to join and to learn a lot.
So what I'm trying to raise here is ICANN is a unique organization. Don't try to copy necessarily anything else from other organizations. Because what we have seen here is not necessarily something that can be replicated easily somewhere else.
And it's a meeting where decisions have been taken and it's a unique occasion for people to exchange, to meet, and to socialize. And I think that this is something that we are going to lose. And I think time has come for ICANN not really to weaken its position and how the community is reinforcing and strengthening the organization.
And these meetings are really part of the force, the strength of the organization. And reducing them will not help a lot, even if you have an occasion for some people to go and meet. But what we have during this ICANN meeting is something unique.
And I think if you really have to be afraid of something, is to be afraid of some change regarding the cycle of the life of the organization.
And this is another message, if you have an open mic, I just want to share something about that. If not, I'm going to stick it on there.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you. Sir.
FERNANDO GUERRERO Thank you. My name is Fernando Guerrero. I manage a small company, but international presence in about 22 countries.
And I'm quite surprised to see all these long discussions about whether to do three to two annual meetings and whether it should be a hub city or not a hub city. This is my first ICANN meeting. But I wonder if, instead of spending all this time on this subject, we should not encourage company owners and managers to encourage them to participate in these meetings remotely, right, so that the people who actually spend their money and their time building the Internet, providing content, and having their companies available out there can participate in making this easier for them to do business in Internet.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you.
Okay. That's the end of meetings. Thank you all very much for the feedback.
Paul, can I ask you to stay there, because you're up next.
We've got improving institutional confidence and the JPA.
PAUL LEVINS So the slides are rather self-evident. But I'll -- very briefly, there are three documents which are currently out again for public comment, transition action plan, improving institutional confidence document, and a frequently asked questions document, which you'll find on the very front page. It's the headline, if you like, of the front page of the Web site.
We are currently in public comment through until the 31st of July.
After that, we'll take those comments on board. And the President's Strategy Committee will be doing another iteration of those documents based on feedback.
I don't know, Peter, whether you want me to actually relate the four items that are resident in the transition action plan, but they are available for people online. And I might be just taking up time, considering that we had a rather long session on it on Monday.
So I'll leave it at that and go directly to questions, if people have them.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Any questions about the papers from the President's Strategy Committee and transition?
VITTORIO BERTOLA Sorry. I just wanted to point out something interesting that came out of the discussions on the ALAC review.
I think that there are several people that are raising the issue of how is ICANN accountable to the general public, to registrants sometimes, but to the general public, I'd say.
And we are sort of telling them that it's not part of the ALAC review, since the ALAC review is focused really on this institutional structure we have, but I do think that this is a broader question that needs to be addressed.
And I think that this is the only process I see where this can be addressed. So in -- possible for the JPA world, how do you ensure that ICANN is accountable to the general public and through which mechanisms? I would like to this come out through the discussion, if possible, through a broader, open discussion than just this small group this is instructing the matter.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks for that, Vittorio.
You're right. The issue is improving accountability. So that includes the kind of accountability that you raise. So if you've got a point or if ALAC has a point to make about accountability, please feed that into the process.
ELLIOT NOSS Yeah. I just -- it's more of a -- I was kind of hoping there would be a bit of a brief presentation on this point, 'cause I'd say that I struggled a bit with the -- you know, with the -- in the transition action plan with, I guess, the theme. You know, I think that this might be the most important next step for ICANN over the next three to five years. I would love to hear -- I also think it's the probably most challenging item in that there is no precedent for, I believe, what ICANN is going to try and do next as an institution in moving away from the U.S. government and towards I don't know what.
So, you know, if there was somebody who could talk to this briefly, I would really appreciate it. I have a lot of thoughts, I have a lot of comments, but, you know, I feel like I've kind of got nothing to poke up against.
PAUL LEVINS Peter, would you like me to kick off?
PETER DENGATE THRUSH I'm not quite sure how we can do this constructively, Elliot.
ELLIOT NOSS I could be very -- You know, and so I've --
PETER DENGATE THRUSH I'd like to hear from you, in other words.
ELLIOT NOSS Sure, sure.
So, you know, I've spoken -- I've kind of gone through the materials, and I've spoken to other people who have gone through the materials. You know, unfortunately, I don't see Paul here. I wish he was.
And, you know, it's very simple, I think everybody has a very strong sense -- I have a strong sense -- you know, that ICANN as an institution clearly wants to move away from, you know, where it's at right now in terms of its relationship with the U.S. government. But I found nobody with a clear sense of what it wants to move to.
And I'm struggling with that. And I think it's a really important thing. And, you know, I have views on it and thoughts, and I think this is a really important item, you know, because I think that the -- you know, this is, like many things, you know, in the ICANN process and in life, I think we all know what we don't like. But we all really, really struggle with, you know, what the alternative is.
And so, I mean, I'd love to hear your thoughts on that, Peter, if you have any, or anyone's, you know, on this committee.
PAUL LEVINS Peter, could I provide some reflections as someone who has provided some support to the President's Strategy Committee in -- and this might be -- provide some think music for people while they gather their thoughts and also be a discussion provoker.
I've heard this during the course of the debate -- excuse me -- during the course of the midterm review, I should say, and post the review, this proposition, and it's all very well and you want to move. Where do you want to move to?
I suspect the answer is, not very far. We're not talking about a creation of something -- some new animal.
If you agree that the organizational model is substantially right, we're not saying it's 100% right, if you agree that the concept of a multistakeholder model where things are coordinated, not controlled, is the basic proposition that people have been meeting for ten years in support of, then I think if you look around, you've largely got that model.
The exercise of the Joint Project Agreement was then trying to define and distill what the final changes to that model are in order to provide confidence in the institution for people to say, yes, transition can be complete; or, yes, the Joint Program Agreement can be concluded.
So that's why the transaction -- why do I keep calling it that? -- the transition action plan and the other documents clearly identify three or four items. And I'm glad -- I was wondering whether you needed a presentation on some of those items again. But they clearly say what are the mechanisms around which we should craft confidence in accountability for the organization
Capture, people's confidence that the organization cannot be captured.
Security and stability, that the organization will always be focused on that and will make gestures that -- in its bylaws around its certainty of security and stability as an organization.
And, finally, and importantly, globalization and support of the multistakeholder model, how do we do that better, how do we express that better.
So I think it's not a question of what new land do we invent, what new car do we invent, what new product is it. It's a question of what's the refinements to the existing model. Because people have been meeting for ten years in support of this model. And the fundamentals must be broadly right.
ELLIOT NOSS So if I could, I feel -- thank you for that, except I feel like I'm more confused now than before.
So let me try and communicate my confusion more effectively.
PAUL LEVINS Please.
ELLIOT NOSS You know, I got, I took away everything you described there.
I also took away, you know, a clear sense, you know, there's been -- which has been one of the biggest discussions in ICANN, you know, forever, you know, in ICANN's ever, is the concept of moving away from the U.S. government.
Now, forget about good, bad, or indifferent as it relates to that.
As a takeaway for me, and maybe it wasn't intended to be one, that what these materials were encouraging or suggesting was a step down that road away from the U.S. government's current role to something.
So that was a takeaway for me.
So now, am I hearing you -- well, not hearing you say, but in your kind of stern, shaking "no" of the head, have I misinterpreted that and there is nothing in these materials that is inferred or suggesting that the goal of the current process and JPA discussion is in any way to change the nature of the U.S. government in relation to ICANN?
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Well, perhaps we do need to recharacterize things for you.
We are talking primarily about the ending of something. So there will be, after September next year, there will be an absence of an MOU, slash, JPA with the U.S. government.
So it's not a question of moving anywhere. It's ICANN is here, as it always was, except that there is no longer an MOU, slash, JPA on the same terms with the U.S. government.
But remember what's happened with that MOU over ten years. And it goes back even earlier than that. We start with a white paper that says there needs to be a thing, there needs to be an international body that needs to be geodiverse and use bottom-up processes. And we all came along and signed on to that.
The next step is a memorandum of understanding which records the U.S. Department of Commerce's view that if this organization can do the following things, then the transition will occur of some control of the management of some of the root functions.
ELLIOT NOSS To --
PETER DENGATE THRUSH To this organization.
ELLIOT NOSS No, sorry. I'm confused again.
I don't know, maybe I'm -- maybe I'm just thick.
Transition from the current relationship of the U.S. government and ICANN, you know, when these conditions have been met, to some other relationship. That's what I'm hearing. Am I correct? Is that what you just said?
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Not the transition of relationships, no. The transition of management control of some of the root functions.
ELLIOT NOSS Transition of the nature of the relationship.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH We're not talking about -- we're not transiting relationships. We will always -- we're talking about -- the things that's going to transition is management control of some of the root functions.
ELLIOT NOSS Okay. So then -- great.
So as I understand this, this is a very narrow focus. Let me try and play it back like this. I'm telling you, Peter, what I'm relaying is a lot of confusion that I have in conversations that I have with people around this stuff.
So no change in the meta relationship, let me call it, between the U.S. government and ICANN, but as some of the specific conditions in the MOU and the JPA have been met, there will be a transition of some subsidiary set of functions.
Is that all we're talking about here?
PETER DENGATE THRUSH That's part of it, yes.
ELLIOT NOSS What is the other part of it?
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Well, the things that aren't going to change are the things in the JPA where the board has made a whole lot of commitments to maintaining stability and security and the other items.
So the items in the JPA in effect, many of them will continue. There's no suggestion of transition away from the obligations that the board adopted in the JPA.
ELLIOT NOSS Mm, sorry, I wasn't talking about transition away from obligations. I was talking about transition away from relationship. And it's a very different thing.
Obligations can remain constant. It's who are those obligations to.
So, now, again, just so that I'm, you know, clear, that's -- that is no change in the relationship who those obligations are owed to.
Is that correct?
PETER DENGATE THRUSH (Nod of the head.) Because the obligations in the JPA are primarily obligations to the Internet community, not to the United States government.
ELLIOT NOSS Except that the Internet community has no enforcement mechanism around those obligations other than from bottom-up. And I'm not complaining about this. I'm trying to be observational here and not judgmental.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Which is exactly why the exercise is about improving accountability mechanisms.
PAUL LEVINS Yeah, that's right.
ELLIOT NOSS That was circuitous.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH If the responsibility for performing these things is to the ICANN community, then we are saying, how do we account for that performance? And how does the community want us to account?
ELLIOT NOSS Correct me if I'm wrong, I think that's accounting -- when I say down to the community, that's in a hierarchical observation. That's accounting down to the community. That's the bottom-up consensus process. Those are all of the mechanisms that we all talk about on a daily basis.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Yes.
ELLIOT NOSS Then above that is an MOU and a JPA that is, at this point, administered by, let's call it, or entrusted to the U.S. government to deal with.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Yes.
ELLIOT NOSS And, you know, so I think, again, if I'm hearing this correctly, that there is no change and this process does not in any way envision change in that specific element.
Paul's now here. Does this mean we're starting again? The poor audience.
[ Laughter ]
PAUL TWOMEY No, I believe we can scroll backwards for a minute and a half.
ELLIOT NOSS Excellent.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Elliot, I'm not sure this is terribly helpful. I'm very happy to have more sessions on this. The exercise today was largely designed to explain how the consultation is going to go forward.
ELLIOT NOSS But -- so.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH But you and I are using words differently, and you are actually changing them as we talk as well. Or so it seems to me. So I'm not sure --
ELLIOT NOSS Let me be clear on my goals here.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Hold on a minute. I have a couple of other requests from the board. Let me start with Jean-Jacques, who's a member of the President's Strategy Committee. Jean-Jacques.
JEAN-JACQUES SUBRENAT Elliot, may I speak in French?
The greatest respect for the importance of the viewpoint expressed by a representative of the United States of America like yourself. Nevertheless, I still believe that what we're talking about today is slightly wider than this. Because a large number of us are considering today that the Internet is a wider resource. It's not a national resource. And not only a national resource. It's true as the chairman Peter said, there is an agreement. This agreement is now reaching maturity, is going to be reaching in 2009. And the subject we've got to discuss about today is not the historical relationship, which no one can deny, which is essential with the United States, but how can we give or provide ICANN with the instruments that would allow it to be faced to the responsibilities and obligations which are those of this type of organization in view of the requirements of international Internet.
-- direct contact with you, Elliot.
It's not as if we were here to discuss mainly one subject which is of prime interest to you. I do not neglect that at all.
I just happen to notice that in this vast discussion, which is of prime importance, as you pointed out, you have been speaking for about 15 minutes, which is perfectly all right. I would also like to hear other views which are not necessarily voiced in the same language nor from the same geographic origin.
Again, I insist on the fact that we are attentive, and we must remain extremely attentive to what is coming to us from the United States, whether it's business community, end users, or whatever.
But I would like to get a more complete sense of the issues, perhaps from others as well.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Jean-Jacques.
ELLIOT NOSS May I respond to a couple elements there, Peter?
I -- I -- there's a couple of things that are important to me in what Jean-Jacques said, and I really --
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Well, briefly.
ELLIOT NOSS Yes.
So, first, I haven't expressed any views at this point. What I have tried to do was to understand, because I couldn't, what it was we were talking about.
ELLIOT NOSS Yes. So, first, I haven't expressed any views at this point.
What I have tried to do was to understand, because I couldn't, what it was we were talking about.
I would love to -- and Jean-Jacques, you say I have been speaking for 15 minutes. I think that's accurate. If your comments would have been the first that I would have heard, then I would have been able to actually express some views. So I wish I had addressed my comments to you in the first place because that was most helpful for me.
And I think the second very important point is this is not, in my view, about the international community at all. It's about the global Internet community, which is a very, very different creature. And the distinction between those words is extremely important to me.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Okay. Thank you.
ROBERTO GAETANO Yes. Quite. As we're talking of the international Internet community, I would like to make the following observation. We have got a number of obligations. We have an obligation vis-a-vis the international Internet organization. We have been committed to supplying the services to our community.
And "our community," this means users, service providers, ISPs, registrars, and registries, all those which take part to our meetings.
Well, we do that within the framework of a contract with a specific government for the time being.
Transition, and the way to move from one situation where we have a guaranteed legitimacy through the contract that we have with one to a situation within which we keep the same obligations but the legitimacy is given by the consensus reached by all stakeholders.
So this is the situation where we're independent, and we don't need the umbrella which is represented by a contract with a government. We're not going into a situation where we have got the agreement of all governments, but we're moving towards a model which is a self-governance approach by all stakeholders of the Internet community.
Does this meet your concern or question?
ELLIOT NOSS I think it does allow me to make the one comment that I did want to make when I originally came up here, which is that I think that we are at a very important point.
I believe for the long term -- long term now -- health of this institution and for global governance in general, perhaps, the next step that ICANN takes in moving from its current contractual relationship to something else is very important.
And I think that there was a lot -- there is a lot of material here that talks about the nature of the subject matter, what it covers, the four pillars that Paul and Paul have been talking about.
But what it doesn't talk about is what it's moving from, to.
And I think we will all be faced with a unique challenge, and that will be a challenge to define something that is different than anything that exists today in a global governance framework.
I don't believe there is anything in existence that will support what we have talked about here.
And to me, the singlemost important element of these materials and in this discussion should be about that. Because I think much in the nature of every bit of policy that has been developed effectively inside these walls, it's something that we need to have a start point on and to iterate on.
And so I would really urge the people that are involved in this process to make that the most important part of this work.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Elliot.
ELLIOT NOSS Thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Dennis, did you have a hand up?
DENNIS JENNINGS Thank you, Peter. I did, indeed.
My understanding of the documents, which I have read quickly, and I'm not on the President's Strategy Committee, is that what's been talked about is a transition of ICANN from a state where ICANN has the JPA to a state where ICANN does not have the JPA.
And the proposition is that ICANN has delivered on the conditions that are in the JPA, so the JPA is no longer required.
And that's the only transition that's been discussed.
Questions may be raised as to whether, in this new state, ICANN should have additional conditions, actions, security, to make sure that it is a bottom-up stakeholder. But that's a separate question.
The question here is the transition -- the elimination of the JPA. That's all.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Dennis.
ROBIN GROSS Thank you. I am Robin Gross with the nonnoncommercial users constituency.
I just have one very brief suggestion about what can be done to improve the institutional confidence here at ICANN, and that is greater transparency with respect to the GAC discussions when it comes to substantive policy issues.
I think that it's -- the global Internet community, the world's Internet users, have a right to know what their governmental leaders are discussing when it comes to Internet policy.
We need to -- We have a right to know this and to understand this.
So I would encourage ICANN, and particularly the GAC, to make a greater effort to open up those discussions. At the very least, make transcripts available of those substantive public policy discussions, so we know what is actually being discussed in the GAC.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Robin. That's very constructive.
Paul, did you want to respond to that?
PAUL LEVINS It was not so much to respond to that but just to add a final point about a transition element. But maybe at the end, Peter, if that's all right with you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Khaled, and I am going to close the speaking order after you. Oh, Kieren has one -- oh, I see there are people sitting. We actually only have another couple of minutes so I am going to restrict you each to two minutes and no longer.
KHALED FATTAL Thank you, Peter. I will make mine in hopefully less than 30 seconds.
I think what may have appeared to be like splitting hairs when Elliot was up here, I could actually voice his opinion and perhaps would in a different manner, and I could do so in Arabic, if you like.
But I just discovered from Kieren, there's no translators, so for the purpose of communication, I will stick to English.
I think the global community, some of whom ICANN is yet to serve, would like to see and understand the direction we're going to.
And I think that's a very valid point.
Now, I have my own personal opinions, and my opinion is that what seems to have worked in the ASCII Internet as a model may have served the ASCII Internet. I may have some doubts whether, in its current structure, it can continue to serve on a global basis.
And that I think is something to truly ponder.
Do I have a complete solution to what you think -- what I think might work? I don't think anybody would. However, I think the debate and discussion should be focused on this.
And I point out on my closing remarks on the issue that ICANN is embarking on serving communities that are not yet part of the ICANN community. And when we talk about ICANN community, we need to clearly stipulate, are we talking about GNSO, ccNSO, SSO, whatever-O, or are we talking about the global community that will be using this Internet?
And my contention is that it is the latter.
So we need to start thinking in those terms as well.
Thank you, Peter.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Khaled.
BERTRAND DE LA CHAPELLE Thank you. Actually, it's very useful to have the time constraints, because as you know, it's a subject that I can pontificate pretty long upon.
Just a remark.
I think there is an opportunity for a more systemic approach here, because actually all of the main subjects that we have been addressing during this session in Paris, or this meeting in Paris are closely interconnected, because what we're talking about is fundamentally the evolution of the Domain Name System and its management.
Because the Domain Name System, as such, is undergoing -- domain name and addressing system is undergoing the three big transitions that the Minister was talking about on Monday, meaning transition to IPv6, the transition to a multiscript Domain Name System and the transition to a broader range of TLDs.
This is closely related to the discussion of what the transition is. And in this respect I would slightly disagree with what Dennis was saying, for once.
It is important that we consider, collectively, that the transition is not only the end of the JPA. This is a general discussion. It's adapting the organization to this transformation and the connection between the transition and the IDN introduction is one of the key elements.
The second element, in one sentence, is that the internal modalities of working are also a key element in the transition discussion. And this goes in the direction that Roberto was mentioning. The evolution from an external legitimacy to an internal legitimacy and accountability.
That's two minutes.
And the last element is the consultation -- the consultation process is critical, and it probably won't stop in December.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Bertrand.
Mike. And the same two minutes applies. Starting now.
MICHAEL PALAGE I get the last word.
This is about my 31st meeting, which is sad. I should be -- people say congratulations. I know I say, no, it should be condolences.
There have been a lot of positive things that have happened over the ten years that I have participated in the ICANN process. And I think that that's good. But when we talk about confidence in the institution, I think that's different.
I, myself, in talking to a number of the participants over the last, say, year or so, I would say that the confidence is not where it needs to be.
Now, could I stand up here and try to give anecdotes and we can get into a he said, she said situation. What I would like to do is make a recommendation.
The recommendation is as follows.
ICANN, should it, if you will -- should engage in an outreach to conduct a survey to its different stakeholders, Supporting Organizations, at large, and ask them are they happy with where the organization is going.
So that is my recommendation.
ICANN should engage in a survey with its different Supporting Organizations, at large, to say are we doing a good job and what can we do better. Then that will be a good metric upon which the ICANN organization could go and use in its claim that it has completed the work and it has the confidence of the stakeholders.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Mike. And thanks for keeping to the time.
Kieren, can we have a last quick one? Then we have to move on to new gTLDs.
KIEREN McCARTHY Sure, it was a question in the chat room. Also I should say with Khaled I think it would be a bit odd to have Arabic translation in Paris. It would wind up very expensive if we had five -- but we will have the PSC documents in Arabic and Russian and Chinese and French and Spanish. In fact, I think I may have them in my inbox, but I have been a little bit busy today so I don't have them up.
PAUL TWOMEY You are very fast, and that's coming from me.
KIEREN McCARTHY So I will just get on and ask the question.
Since I was talking, the conversation has moved on so I now have to go up.
So the question with regard to ICANN and jurisdiction and U.S. law.
The real question -- this is according to IDOA info, dot info, who I think represent domain registrants.
The real question regarding the JPA and ICANN's future is what body of law ICANN will fall under. We argue it's currently under U.S. law, since U.S. corporation. We further argue that ICANN needs to be more compliant with the U.S. law especially with regard to consumer protection law.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you for the question. Paul, thank you for that. We will get Kurt back to look at new gTLDs in the time that's available.
Could I just have some advice about departure for the gala so I know what the cutoff time actually is going to be? Meanwhile, Kurt, begin.
KURT PRITZ There has been considerable consultation at this meeting about the prospect of new gTLDs. This is a list of workshops and interactions and consultations that were held.
There it is.
There are actually two new gTLD workshops, one that focused on registrant protections and then one that focused on opportunities and risks associated with the introduction of new gTLDs.
We also discussed a potential model there. There were briefings for Supporting Organizations and advisory committees, constituency groups, a special session for the business access meeting. And we manned the ICANN booth with people well schooled in that.
Importantly, during that, all these discussions were caveated with -- especially the discussions around a model for implementation of new gTLDs, that it was, in fact, just a model.
So that's important to know. There's been considerable implementation work done at the direction of the board while the board considers the policy recommendations. But the final approval and, importantly, the actual implementation may vary from what was discussed.
But we wanted to demonstrate the work that was done for the purpose of soliciting feedback from the community.
So Mr. Chairman, there's been many sessions at this meeting regarding gTLDs and considerable interaction. So maybe we could see if there's any burning questions from the audience. And alternatively, we can establish a forum where ICANN staff can answer questions, you know, after this and preserve some time for the open mic instead. So it's up to you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Kurt. I appreciate that.
Are there questions of Kurt about the new gTLD process?
I know that everywhere we have been, Paul and I, and visiting the constituencies, we had lots of questions about the new gTLD process.
Michael Seton My name is Michael Seton, and I appreciated the Monday session called business access meeting. But I have an observation and a couple of questions.
First of all, it seemed to me that a lot of people attending the business access meeting were actually registrars and domain name companies. Whereas I thought it was going to be more actual business users and SMEs.
So I was wondering if you should call it differently or maybe just check the box, okay, we have asked -- we have done the business access thing, so it's a done deal.
Also, the question I have is this process was already moved pretty much, advanced, pretty much ahead. So I was wondering if we should have sessions for more pending issues rather than what has already been decided and is more or less a done deal.
So I thought this was more an informational session about what is going to happen fairly soon instead of getting our input as to what we think would be helpful and happening more on a midterm level.
KURT PRITZ If I could take the second one first. Those sessions were just for that purpose, that the proposed policy was taken in and a proposed implementation model constructed just for the purpose of getting feedback during those sessions.
The policy recommendations themselves are not approved yet. And so the implementation models are, while seemingly mature, if put up on a PowerPoint slide, were really meant to gather feedback and feed that back into the implementation development process.
So perhaps the discussions weren't introduced properly. But certainly all the comments in those sessions were captured and will be taken into account as the implementation moves forward.
And I think, from my standpoint, the business access sessions were remarkable. So where you saw a cast of participants that was maybe 60% business, 40% registry/registrar, I contrasted that against the typical cast that is usually 80% registry/registrar and 20 -- 10% something else and 10% business.
So I think as a first attempt, it was very successful in getting a new group involved in the ICANN process. And we hope to improve that and get that percentage up.
But it's a different perspective, I think.
MICHAEL SETON Thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you. If there are no further questions about gTLDs, I will open the microphone, then, to any other topic.
And I see people are interested in other topics.
We only have limited time, I'm sorry, because of the gala.
I'm happy to stay and be late for the gala, but I'm not sure that any of the other board members or the audience will.
So please, if you can keep your comments and questions brief, that gives everybody a chance.
DIRK KRISCHENOWSKI So this is Dirk Krischenowski, founder and CEO of the dot Berlin initiative. I first want to encourage other participants here which represent a new TLD initiative to show up in the queue and have a brief say for which initiative they might be.
A couple meetings ago I said we are here to stay and we are still here to stay. This is, meanwhile, three years or four times. Nine times meetings we are staying here. But in this time, we had a lot of time to develop a very good and solid community around dot Berlin.
This community, meanwhile, consists of over 90 partners that represent tens of thousands of small and medium enterprises, city marketings, others and individuals. They are from culture, sports, tourism, and pieces of anything that the city of Berlin consists of. We have also reached other Berlins worldwide, meanwhile.
We appreciate the progress ICANN has made in the new TLD process, which is now solid to handle barriers, new TLD applicants. We also appreciate that ICANN recently opened a community track for the new TLDs because this is something which really reflects the needs of the new TLDs, especially the gTLDs, have.
The gTLDs this week had a big coming out in the press on Monday when the International Herald Tribune featured dot Paris, dot Berlin, dot gal and other initiatives in a comprehensive an article. And I think this article showed how positive and encouraging global communication about new TLDs can be made. I also want to share a nice piece, and that's the last part of my speech, a nice piece of information, Google executives gave me recently to undermine the importance of the ongoing regionalization of the Internet and the trend to local identity.
That first piece is that meanwhile, 50% of all search inquiries contain a geographical identifier that means people search simply for hotel Paris, Starbucks Berlin or schools NYC.
A second piece I want to share is the executive said search results need good domain names that reflect the identity of the Web site or the Web contents. They also said can you imagine street addresses being just a number, or you having a number or being a number instead of having a first name and a last name.
So all of us need and want identity.
[ Applause ]
KIEREN McCARTHY Peter, could I interrupt with a public announcement for the gala. For those interested or who have tickets, at 7:00, there will be people by the registration desk and the foyer to guide you on the metro to the Hotel De Ville, where the gala is going on.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Philip, back to you.
PHIL CORWIN Phil Corwin, counsel to the Internet Commerce Association, representing domain name investors and developers and a recently admitted member of the commercial and business users' constituency.
What I'd like to briefly address is the new policy issue brief on domain name monetization, which, if board members are not aware, this paper, I would say, took many interested parties attending this meeting by surprise in that there's a perception, whether it's correct or not, that somehow domain name tasting -- and our association has generally supported actions by ICANN and the registries to terminate abuse of the add/grace period and abusive tasting, that that would be -- like many issues, would actually be dealt with by board action here, and be over and done with. Yet there's a perception that tasting has actually morphed into a much broader topic of monetization.
As the paper itself, I'm not going to take the time to say which words or semantics give us concern, other than to say that the paper, while generally accurate, we view it as incomplete. And for one example, there's no mention of the fact that, in regulation to domain name parking, that if individual registrants were not parking pages and providing pay-per-clicks of these. Pages weren't registered that Internet users making the exact same type-ins for a domain name would be given, essentially, a parking page served up by their Web browser and their ISP. That's certainly the trend in the United States.
Parties who make no contribution to support ICANN, because they do not pay any registration fee to provide the PPC, in that context. I also think it's inappropriate in this paper for staff to predict what the board is expected to do on various proposals before it at this meeting. That's really a matter for the board and not for the staff to be giving odds on board action.
But the real issue here is that there's no demarcation here, no mention of the fact that while certain aspects of domain name monetization, such as tasting, which involves the AJP and the registration of domain names, certainly is an appropriate subject for ICANN to address and a subject that ICANN has authority to address, there's no recognition that not every aspect of domain name monetization is either appropriate for ICANN action or even within the authority of ICANN within its limited role as the technical manager of the domain name system.
Our view is that once an individual registrant has paid their registration fee for as many years as they have, that as long as they're not using the domain name to infringe either in violation of the UDRP or a relevant national law, such as the U.S. Anti-Cybersquating Protection Act, and as long as they're not violating any other relevant laws, if they're not using it for criminal purposes, such as a phishing operation, or in violation of some consumer protection law, then, really, ICANN should not be getting into the business of judging what is or is not an appropriate business model on the Internet, that this is a -- a function of the marketplace. And had the staff circulated a draft of this paper with parties involved in monetization, be three registrars or individual registrants, we could have brought relevant facts to their attention such as the fact that there is, in fact, among domainers, a marked movement away from pay-per-click for market reasons, and toward development, where, in fact, pay-per-click revenue is being used to develop domain name pages because that is a -- viewed as the better model for the long term. That's what the marketplace is telling the registrants.
So also -- I'll just wrap up.
We would hope that ICANN would revise this paper and would recognize that while there are relevant aspects of monetization over which it is appropriate and within ICANN's authority to address it, that there are other matters involved with monetization that are beyond ICANN's authority which are not appropriate and are better addressed by market forces and by national laws.
Thank you very much.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you. I'm going to close this at ten to 7:00. So if one of you takes up all the available time, you will prevent the people behind you from saying anything. So I leave it up to you. Vittorio.
VITTORIO BERTOLA The main purpose for me taking the mike now was that I really want to state in public that since the last two or three weeks, I have become involved with a possible gTLD bid, and I wanted to put this. It's just a small geographic TLD of the kind you have seen from different parts of Europe. But I want to put it in public so that everyone knows.
At the same time, I think it might be useful to share the experience, which was really interesting, because, of course, when you start thinking of a possible gTLD bid, the first question you have to answer is how much money do I need to raise and when do I need to be ready, and you still have no information on either of these. You have piles of paper but nothing like that.
And for what regards timelines, until one week ago, the last document available would say that by June 15, you would have the draft RFP. And then by the 1st of August you would get the final one. And then maybe in October you would have to present your application.
And now here all of a sudden we get a presentation that moves everything four or five months.
Actually, in February, it looked like we were three months from the draft RFP and now it looks like we are four months from the draft RFP.
So my question is not that, of course -- I mean, everyone is a bit disappointed.
But how is that possible?
So who is accountable for finishing this project in time and not letting it (inaudible) forever and ever.
I think that -- I appreciate that it's very difficult. We were discussing this months ago when I was still on the board sometimes.
But I think that this process might benefit from throwing the (inaudible) beyond the fence and making a public commitment on at least a range of fees and a range of dates, but a firm commitment on which ICANN loses its face if they are not met.
Because according to my experience in companies, if you don't put firm deadlines, things tend to slip. And I am afraid that the only way to get this finished in a reasonable time is just to set deadlines and to commit to them publicly.
So I don't really know, I have no idea of (inaudible) reflections in the board or whatever. But I think that will also level of field between newcomers and existing players.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH You get the remaining minute.
SOPHIA BEKELE Thank you. My name is Sophia Bekele. I used to be on the GNSO Council until last year, November '07, which was a lot of fun. Now I'm a regular ICANN citizen, which is also fun.
I wanted to submit a statement of interest which was submitted when I left GNSO, which was, number one, to continue my work in the IDN debates and so forth. We all know in the -- you know, when I was at GNSO, the active IDN community has come to me and asked for help on everything, but we've done a lot of progress since. We have initiated the policy, the dialogue, the working group, and now I see the IDN policy guidelines, and the debates and the workshops are in the regular ICANN schedule. So it's a fruitful exercise. I'm happy to see that.
Thank you, Bruce Tonkin. At the time, he has been very instrumental in link to ours voices and carried that on.
The other initiative that I or we thought that needed also an effort was the dot Africa initiative, which I would like to introduce. We have, at the time when I joined in the ICANN community as a diaspora, African, of course, there has not been a lot of African-centric initiatives. Right now we have an African group, I think, put together by Anne-Rachel, which were very helpful, and we're talking about what works for Africa.
And so in -- dot Africa is not only a regional TLD. It's also, for me, personally, it was -- it's a uniting the voices of the African community in terms of putting our voices and coming to the board with what works for Africa as well. So, therefore, just to keep it short here, a little background on this is due. And, again -- again, just -- sorry. I'm trying to rush up for this.
But when I have come into the ICANN community, I have talked to Anne-Rachel and Mouhamet Diop, and in an effort not to duplicate any other initiatives, we have decided to continue putting this initiative together.
And just to say the status, right now, we have a lot of our pan-African organizations endorsing it. We have stated our public positions for ICANN. We have expressed our interest to the ICANN board in the past and to the JPA agreements and all the -- we have expressed our interest and also the various IDN and fast-tracking of IDNs and so forth. Bottom line is we're very active in it, we're pursuing it, and we hope the ICANN community, the ICANN board endorses it for us, the community would endorse it for us, as well as the general community.
So if you have any questions, answers, or any comments, please come to us, and we will be able to give answers to you.
So thank you very much for your time.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Now, I've just asked the board whether they are prepared and able to stay for the next few minutes to hear the last four candidates.
With that, please, would you be brief. And please, we don't actually need advertisements for new TLD applications. The new process does not require us to make decisions as to whether or not we think they're appropriate.
BOB CONNELLY Bob Connelly, domains only.
Let me boil this down to this: I'm concerned about aberrations which have resulted from unintended results of our use of our rules and our systems. Boil that down to add/delete abuse and the multiple registration of or creations of accreditations of hollow, empty, phantom registrars.
And I am disappointed it's taken four years for you to act on it.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you.
YOUNG EUM LEE I just want to read what I wrote, and I'd like to make a statement. Young Eum Lee, I'm from dot KR, from the ccNSO, speaking on my own behalf.
The grandfather of the current naming system, Jon Postel was called a benevolent dictator. This term may be the secret to the success of domain name systems today. That is, the elements of nonprofit, noncommercial motives, managed in consideration of the public good may have contributed to the enormous success of the Internet today.
These elements have also guided the dot KR domain system, which had been grandfathered by Professor (saying name) and continued successfully by (saying name). The domain name system today has provided the general Internet community with a relatively satisfactory and nonconfusing mechanism for establishing a presence on the Internet as well as for searching for and obtaining information.
It is also recognized that -- sorry -- there is a real and valid need for the creation of additional TLDs to accommodate those cultural and language groups that have not been satisfactorily represented thus far.
It is in this regard that I find the efforts at -- regarding the creation of new gTLDs promising. However, I am deeply concerned about the direction that the new gTLD process seems to be heading towards. There is talk of the creation of possibly an unlimited number of gTLDs based on the market mechanism of the domain business, talk of auctioning of TLDs that have more than one bidder, and registrants are more frequently being referred to as "consumers."
The Internet seems to be heading towards increased commercialization.
The enormous increase in the size of ICANN's budget seems to be a reflection of such a trend.
Commercialization may very well be a healthy driving force for the development of the Internet to meet the demands of many Internet users, but we all know from history that it will primarily cater to a particular segment of the population.
And since I think I'm taking up too much time, I would just like to end with my concluding comment, which is that I sincerely hope that in the new gTLD discussions, ICANN and the current Internet community is not just looking at the immediate financial rewards and benefits that the Internet can provide for them, but also taking a more wide-angled view and seriously think long and hard about the future of the Internet.
I remember that one question was repeatedly posed to the Korean Names Council when we were discussing Internet policies, and would like to end my comments with that question.
That was: Let's all think about the kind of Internet we would like to have, say, in ten, 20, 50 years from now.
[ Applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you. Sir.
THOMAS LOWENHAUPT Tom Lowenhaupt on behalf of dot NYC and good governance for city TLDs.
I've been an observer and occasional participant in the Internet governance process for a little over ten years now. During that time, I've seen concepts such as open and transparent, stakeholder, multistakeholder flower here.
The role and responsibilities of civic society are being shaped by the efforts to establish a viable governance structure for the Internet. Today Internet governance innovations are seeping into the U.N. via the IGF.
The organization for which I work, Connecting.NYC Incorporated, is a New York state not for profit corporation. As such, it is bound by our U.S. and New York state constitutions and by statutes enacted by a legislature. These guidelines did not imagine an Internet or a dot NYC TLD. Much of my time these days is spent in research and discussions seeking an effective governance structure for the dot NYC TLD. New York City is a baby in terms of global cities, having been formed a mere 400 years ago, our governance structure will be shaped by those years and the unique needs of merging the Internet into our complex society.
And our governance structure will be different from that of every other city TLD. The ICANN is a treasure of governance experiences. From the decisions that shaped the initial incorporation under the laws of the state of California that elected Esther Dyson as the first chair, to the process that elected Karl Auerbach and several others to the board of directors, to this week's many meetings which explored its future.
I'd like to request that a new section be created on ICANN's Web site that presents ICANN's governance experiences. This would be of immense help to cities such as New York, Berlin, Paris, as they seek their counterparts to ALAC and CUC, the constituencies and advisory boards that will guide those TLDs' development.
And our pioneering experiences should be catalogued for the many cities that will soon integrate that amazing tool, the Internet, into their cultures in new and exciting ways.
Cities are the grass roots, they're the bottom-up, and will be increas- -- and will increasingly play a role in Internet governance.
Please provide some resources to assist our efforts. Thank you all very much. And thank you for sitting, all of you, throughout this long meeting.
[ Applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thomas, thank you for thanking us.
In addition to what you said we've heard recently that another multinational organization has just started adopting ICANN type governance structures. Your suggestion that we put some of that experience available as a resource on the Web site is an excellent one, and I see that the manager of public participation has also heard that and that may be something we can do for communities such as yours. So thank you for that.
SUSAN REYNOLDS Hi, it's Susan Reynolds on behalf of dot gal. It's an initiative in favor of a domain for the Galatian language and culture.
We thank you, ICANN, for all the work you are doing on the implementation of new gTLDs because we know it is really hard work, indeed. But we would really appreciate if you maintained the time line you presented during this meeting regarding the opening of the process for new gTLDs as we, and other potential new gTLDs, such as dot Berlin, dot CYM, et cetera, are working really, really hard on the application. And we would really want to -- we would really want you to open the process as soon as possible.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you. We hear the call.
Time lines and dollar signs.
Any other comments from members of the board?
Kieren, you get the last word.
KIEREN McCARTHY Lucky me. Okay. So I want to speak in my capacity as general manager, public participation, in response to -- I can't remember who it was, someone was criticizing a staff policy issue paper with regard to domain name monetization, saying that it wasn't -- it misrepresented their position.
I didn't write that, but I want to make a very strong point. Under the manager of public participation, you can't get public participation if you turn out entirely accurate policy documents because you no one reads them and you can't get participation. The point I would like to make is these documents are to encourage participation. They are not policy documents. Because you produce a piece of paper does not suddenly endorse, it doesn't come with your endorsement simply because there is a piece of paper explaining simply the issues at hand.
So while that gentleman there may not be entirely happy with the wording, that's for him to go to the GNSO and agree the wording with the GNSO. What the policy communication staff are trying to do, and what I am 100 percent behind them with, is trying to involve people in the policy discussions. Then we have the policy discussions, then you have the wording.
But I don't think every piece of writing that comes out should be effectively a policy document, which is what he was asking for. And I feel very strongly about that.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Kieren.
RITA RODIN Kieren, I just have one comment on that, which we heard yesterday from somebody in the registrar constituency.
I think that is true, but I do think that the organization needs to be a little bit careful. I know that there are oftentimes statements made that the board wants or the board is thinking. And those are ones that are a little bit dangerous. And I think that is what the gentleman was commenting about.
So I think it's absolutely important to have different position papers out there to elicit comment. But I also think we have to be careful about indicating that the organization has a position when the board hasn't reached a decision.
KIEREN McCARTHY And that is in -- I have that conversation all the time. Staff are very aware of that, and it's a very difficult line to say something, to involve people, without it being taken to imply that the board have already approved. Even if you write the board still has to approve this, people will still read it as "Are you saying the board has approved it?"
No, every time people come to you having read those documents, you say this is the process by which it happens and the board is at the end of that process. These documents are to get people into the Supporting Organizations. You can't, someone, read this document and then the next day make a decision on the board. There is just not that connection.
But I take your point, and we do bear that in mind all the time.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Okay.
Well, thank you, audience, those of you who have stayed until the end. We appreciate your contributions. It's been an excellent forum. Fellow board members, thank you for your attention. I am going to close the forum, and see you all at the gala. Thank you very much.
One final housekeeping announcement. Please do remember to hand back your headsets.