ICANN News

your unofficial source for daily ICANN news and commentary

Thursday, February 09, 2006

 

NANOG Winter 2006 Meeting
 

The winter 2006 NANOG meeting will be held February 12-15 in Dallas, Texas. The agenda, posted here, includes talks on topics such as DNS Infrastructure Distribution, How Prevalent is Prefix Hijacking on the Internet?, Searching for DNS Cache Poisoners and Troubleshooting BGP among others. For registration, please visit this link.

 

New CIRA Internet Radio Show
 

Bernard Turcotte on the ccNSO Council list writes:

Under the heading of shameless self promotion:

CIRA is participating in the creation of an internet based radio show on the internet for the average user - some history, notable figures, Internet scam of the week, safe domain name hints and tips, resources etc. (I am not hosting the show but may appear in a few segments).

This show is being produced by the largest broadcast house in Canada and we will be creating an initial set of 5 one hour shows which begin tomorrow, Thursday February 9th.

Should you be interested in finding out more or listening in please see the CIRA web site at www.cira.ca or go directly to www.thewebtalkshow.ca

Past episodes will be archived on the site the day following "broadcast".

We are hoping that this will be a good tool to reach our LIC and make them aware of some issues while providing a forum for them to ask question and air opinions.

We should have some initial impact results by the time we will be in Wellington.

End of commercial

 

ISOC Strategic Operating Plan 2006
 

The Internet Society has published their Strategic Plan, Programs & Budget for 2006. According to their documents, they expect to be taking a leadership position in the upcoming Internet Governance debates while acting to expand their regional and global public policy initiatives. The Society's budget has increased to $9.4 million -- the bulk of it, $5.5 million, coming by way of the Public Interest Registry (sponsor of the .org top level domain).

 

Registrant Privacy Rights: PETERSON v. NTIA
 

Briefs will be filed tomorrow in a landmark Internet privacy rights case. The National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) has ruled to end, on Jan. 26, 2006, all proxy registrations for .us domain websites (such registrations are roughly analogous to unlisted telephone numbers). Although the agency administers only .us domains, the reasons it gives for such ruling could apply to .com, .net, or to any other domain. ICANN registrar GoDaddy.com is circulating a petition against the agency’s ruling. All the gory details can be found here; the petitoner's brief is here.

Updates will follow as soon as they become available.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

 

Fictitious Registrars, Racketeering & ICANN
 

"If it is determined that concealment and deception involving the true ownership of
Internet domain names is the ordinary course of business of ICANN-accredited registrars who
have colluded to misappropriate and counterfeit the names, trademarks and service marks of
other parties in their registration and use of Internet domain names, then it is Transamerica’s
position that such conduct represents the predicate act for a pattern of illegal business activity
within the meaning of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations ("RICO") provisions
of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-1968 (1982)."


So states Bruce A. McDonald in Transamerica Corporation's Response to Request for Comments Regarding the GNSO's WhoIs Task Force's "Preliminary Task Force Report on the Purpose of WhoIs and of the WhoIs Contacts."

Transamerica lays out a stunning indictment of ICANN's domain registrar sector with a j'accuse example demonstrating fraudulent registrations, multiple fictitious registrars and a web of deceit. This is absolute must reading.

 

GNSO Council Faces Difficult Choice
 

The ICANN GNSO Council is on the horns of a dilemma: will they choose a Task Force or a Committee of the Whole to handle their new Policy Development Process on the policy considerations raised by the .com agreement? This is no small question, as deciding to convene a Task Force will mean drawing participants from the respective constituencies -- and several of the constituencies have absolutely no active members other than the Council reps themselves.

What to do? The Business Constituency's Marilyn Cade proposes:

"I want to better understand the pros and cons of a Council of the whole versus a TF. I am not convinced that a TF will improve the conflicts of time for Council, since there are overlapping issues between the two PDPs. I would instead propose that Council examine the appointment of up to three experts for both PDP processes."

One has to wonder where these three DNS Policy "experts" will be found...

 

OK to discuss, as long as no action is taken
 

Contributions to the Internet Governance Forum are starting to arrive. The latest is from the government of Canada that states: "Canada would like to re-emphasise that the IGF is to provide a platform for policy discussion, not for the development of policy."

Great. Just what we need. More talk with no action. The Coordinating Committee of Business Interlocutors (CCBI) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) produced a similar statement:

"The IGF as a venue for discussion as well as the bureau should not engage in producing any decisions or substantive work products other than those related to the operational aspects of the IGF. It should rather focus on how best to facilitate the exchange of vast amounts of information on key issues that are being produced around the world by many stakeholders."

I'm somewhat surprised that ICANN hasn't yet submitted a contribution. I guess they're just too busy "listening".

 

Shoving an ICANN RALO down Europe's throat
 

Annette Muehlberg of ICANN's At-Large Advisory Committee has posted an article to her blog entitled: Alarm: New European At-Large structure without participation? Annette decries the current effort to shove a RALO (Regional At-Large Organization) down the throats of the European community. Although serious objections have been raised by European At-Large representatives such as Jeanette Hoffman and Wolfgang Kleinwachter, the ALAC's chair Vittorio Bertola seems determined to foist this ICANN monstrosity upon an unreceptive community that refuses to participate in its development.

Annette states: [translation] "Participation could be exhausted here in selecting representatives, who select again representatives, who participate again in a committee, which may become only an advisory body. Bureaucracy lives!"

Additional commentary at metablocker.

 

Domain name registrar de-authorised
 

From the website of the New Zealand Domain Name Commissioner:

"A .nz registrar has been notified that it will lose its status as an authorised registrar.

Domain Name Commissioner Debbie Monahan said the move, against Domain Name Management Services Ltd (DNMSL), was to help ensure a fair and competitive market for those seeking .nz domain names.

The Domain Name Commissioner has been working with DNMSL for an extended period about whether DNMSL met the standards expected of a registrar.

Over the past 12 months there have been various breaches of required standards by DNMSL. These include registering customers’ domain names to a company closely related to DNMSL and allowing that company to speculate in domain names, despite also being a DNMSL reseller. DNMSL received a sanction for both of those breaches. The company has also twice been suspended by the registry for technical breaches.

DNMSL will be the only registrar to have been de-authorised."


Comment: I think that ICANN could learn from this example. There actually is a value in having compliance officers. Too bad that ICANN still hasn't hired any.

 

Melbourne IT accused of facilitating 419 Fraud
 

Derek Smythe has written to ICANN complaining that Melbourne IT, an ICANN accredited registrar, has not responded to requests calling for the cancellation of numerous domains based on invalid whois information supplied during the domain registration process. Apparently Derek's war on 419 fraud is being severely hampered while Melbourne IT busies itself protecting the butts of its unresponsive domain name resellers instead of actually dealing with the situation.

It will be interesting to see how this finally plays out. The issue revolves around this section of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement:

3.7.7.2 A Registered Name Holder's willful provision of inaccurate or unreliable information, its willful failure promptly to update information provided to Registrar, or its failure to respond for over fifteen calendar days to inquiries by Registrar concerning the accuracy of contact details associated with the Registered Name Holder's registration shall constitute a material breach of the Registered Name Holder-registrar contract and be a basis for cancellation of the Registered Name registration.

A "basis for cancellation" still leaves the registrar with the option "not to cancel". As registrars aren't too keen on cancelling the registrations that put money in their pockets, you can probably expect nothing to happen soon unless the Public lashes out at Melbourne IT for indirectly contributing to the continuation of fraudulent 419 activities.

 

Privacy of Internet Domain Names
 

An article written by Dugie Stadeford entitled "Privacy of Internet domain names unresolved" has been published on the Public Interest Registry website. The article is a great overview of the WHOIS dispute that has plagued ICANN since its inception. By the way, don't expect a resolution anytime soon (as consensus on this issue will never emerge within ICANN as long as the Intellectual Property Constituency remains a pig-headed foe opposed to any change). The archives of the never-ever-ending WHOIS Task Force may be read here.

 

IAB Liaison Report on New TLDs
 

Thomas Narten serves as the Internet Architecture Board's liaison to the ICANN Board. This is his Report:

"PDP started on introduction of new TLDs:

The GNSO has kicked of a Policy Develoment Process (PDP) to come up with a revised process for the introduction of new TLDs. There is a widespread feeling that the efforts to date at creating new TLDs have been problematical, and no one seems to be happy. While the ICANN PDP process calls for a very short time frame for getting things done (completely unrealistic, IMO, if the goal is a reasonable document), it seems to be understood that the timeline is a problem and that the process will take longer. But how much longer is unclear. Also, there is some fairly serious concern (among some) that some quality/deep thinking needs to be done on the introduction of new TLDs, yet the existing process is far from guaranteed to achieve that."

We agree with Thomas that the existing process is not yielding quality or deep thinking on new TLD policy. Several constituencies have simply regurgitated prior position papers (some over three years old) and most constituencies have devoted no more than a few days to discussions on the topic (with only a very few constituency members participating). The ICANN GNSO Council has yet to discuss or debate a single new TLD issue and we are already ten weeks into the PDP process. Pathetic.

 

Domain Pulse Symposium
 

Together and alternately the registries of Germany (DENIC), Switzerland (SWITCH) and Austria (nic.at ) present the Domain Pulse symposium every year. The next Domain Pulse, organized by DENIC, will take place in Berlin on February, 9th and 10th 2006. Topics this year include:
  • Domain Administration in Germany
  • Domain Administration in Iran: The ccTLD .ir
  • IDNs - Experiences, Challenges, and Perspectives
  • DNSSEC
  • New TLDs - What are they good for
  • Weblogs and Social Software – a Second Spring
  • Globale Internet Governance - Perspectives after the Tunis WSIS Summit
  • IANA and its meaning for TLDs
  • DNS: What the past tells us about the future
  • VoIP and ENUM - The Future of Telephony?
  • Do we have to be afraid of the Internet?
  • Internet and Security
  • The Latest from Domain Law: Liability, Garnishments, Criminal Law
  • Internet and Law - a Journey towards the End of the Night

 

Commentary: It's Only a Few Dollars...
 

There are those that argue: "So what if VeriSign wants to charge a few more bucks for its .com registry service? Why should this get anybody bent of out shape?"

Fair question, if you're an average American wage-earner... but what if you're a domain name registrant from Cambodia or somewhere else in the world? After all, .com is a global TLD.

Norbert Klein, an ICANN GNSO Council member (from Cambodia) reports that "the monthly salary of a high school teacher in Cambodia is between US$25 and US$35." And the costs of Internet access? $13.80 monthly for dial-up, and $77 monthly for broadband." In the Developing World costs matter; domain name registration price increases matter. When you're on the other side of the Digital Divide, it matters.

 

Objections to Renewal of .AERO
 

Edward Hasbrouck writes:

[Excerpt] SITA has not complied with material terms of the sponsorship agreement specifically those related to openness, transparency, and decision-making procedures in Section 4 .2 of the agreement and Section 2 of Attachment 23 to the agreement, as well as those pertaining to representativeness by the sponsor of the sponsored TLD community.

SITA's claim in its renewal application to have complied with the terms of the .aero sponsorship
agreement is clearly false, and appears on its face to have, necessarily, been knowing and deliberate.

These are not minor, innocent, or inadvertent breaches of contract by SITA. These are breaches of the most fundamental rules for the exercise of decision-making authority delegated by ICANN, continuing years after they were brought directly to the attention both of SITA and ICANN, including ICANN's Board of Directors.

Accordingly, I request that ICANN's agreement with SITA for sponsorship of the .aero TLD not be renewed, and that ICANN implement improved procedures for oversight and enforcement of TLD sponsorship agreements.

 

EURid Press Release
 

From the eurid press release:
Europe’s new Internet domain “.eu” today got 71 235 new applications in one hour

Today at 11:00, EURid – The European Registry of Internet Domain Names - opened its systems to receive applications for .eu domain names from anyone within the EU claiming prior rights to a certain domain name. Since early December it has, in principle, only been possible for trademark holders and public bodies to apply. Some 900 registrars are now sending in the applications they received from numerous candidate domain name holders all across the EU.
During the first 15 minutes after 11:00 today EURid received 27,949 applications. After an hour, at 12:00, the number was 71,235.


At the .eu status page you can follow the development, updated every 15 minutes.

Please keep in mind that EURid is, at this time, only accepting applications from holders of prior rights and public bodies. From April 7, it will be possible for anyone within the European Union to apply for any available domain name. During this initial phase, often referred to as the Sunrise period, EURid only allows holders of prior rights to apply.

 

A Common Sense Approach to WHOIS Data
 

Posted on the "Purpose of WHOIS" forum:

For some of us, the question isn't a trademark worry, but a life and death question of avoiding stalkers. For some, it's a question of harrassment lawsuits designed to destroy free speech.

It's one thing for a business to have contact information on the Internet publicly available. The executives and their beloved families don't live at the corporate address. If they did, they'd be howling about their privacy. If ICANN made a rule that all executives of all corporations must provide contact information for their home addresses and provide their home phone numbers to apply for a domain name, you'd have the equivalent of what bloggers are being asked to submit themselves to.

Bloggers live where they work, at home. Providing that kind of contact information publicly is a way of setting them up for identify theft, stalking, stupid lawsuits, and the fear of never knowing when some net kook is going to show up on one's doorstep. Most bloggers have families, children they wish to protect from kidnapping or other horrible things. In other words, anonymity doesn't reflect a desire to be mysterious. It really is a question of safety.

 

New PDP: Draft Terms of Reference
 

From the GNSO Council list:

The GNSO initiated a policy development process in December 2005 [PDP-Dec05] to develop policy around whether to introduce new gTLDs, and if so, determine the selection criteria, allocation methods, and contractual conditions.

During 2005, ICANN commenced a process of revising the .net and .com agreements. There has been substantial discussion amongst members of the GNSO community around both the recently signed .net agreement (dated
29 June 2005), and the proposed .com agreements (dated 24 October 2005 and 29 January 2006). As a result, the GNSO Council recognised that issues such as renewal could be considered as part of the broader issue of contractual conditions for existing gTLDs, and that it may be more appropriate to have policies that apply to gTLDs generally on some of the matters raised by GNSO members, rather than be treated as matters to negotiate on a contract by contract basis.

Subsequently on the 17 January 2006, GNSO Council requested that the ICANN staff produce an issues report "related to the dot COM proposed agreement in relation to the various views that have been expressed by the constituencies." This issues report is available at:
http://www.gnso.icann.org/mailing-lists/archives/council/msg01951.html


Section D of this issues report provides a discussion of many of the issues that had been raised by the GNSO community in response to the proposed revisions to the .com agreement. In the issues report the ICANN General Counsel advised that it would not be appropriate to consider a policy development process that specifically targets the .com registry agreement.

At its meeting on 6 February 2006, members of the GNSO Council clarified that the intention of the request for the issues report was to seek an issues report on the topic of the broader policy issues that relate to the contractual conditions of gTLD agreements, which have been identified from the various views expressed by the GNSO constituencies on the proposed .com agreement.

At its meeting on 6 February 2006 the GNSO Council recognised that while the PDP initiated in December 2005 [PDP-Dec05] included within its terms of reference the topic of contractual conditions, a possible outcome of
that PDP would be that there should be no additional gTLDs, and thus the Council could not depend on this PDP to address the issues raised by the GNSO community.

Thus at its meeting on 6 February 2006, the GNSO Council decided to initiate a separate PDP [PDP-Feb06] to look at specific areas of contractual conditions of existing gTLDs.

The work of PDP-Feb06 will naturally be conducted within the context of the work on PDP-Dec05, and if it is decided that new gTLDS should be introduced, the policy work of PDP-Feb06 will be incorporated into a single gTLD policy.

Goal

The overall goal of this PDP therefore is to determine what contractual conditions are appropriate for the long term future of gTLDs within the context of ICANN's mission that relate to the issues identified in the specific terms of reference below.

Terms of Reference


1. Registry agreement renewal

1a. Examine whether presumptive rights of renewal in registry agreements serve to promote ICANN's core mission and values, including promotion of competition, DNS stability and security and

1b. Examine whether presumptive rights of renewal encourage a long-term view of registry operations in terms of investment and infrastructure production.

1c. Examine under what conditions a presumptive right of renewal should be deemed unjustified.

1d. While recognizing that several current registry agreements include a presumptive right of renewal, use the findings from a) - c) above to determine if presumptive renewal should be included in all registry agreements.


2. Relationship between registry agreements and consensus policies

2a. Examine whether certain registry agreement contract provisions should be immune from application of consensus policy and how this should be determined.

2b. Examine whether sponsored TLDs should retain the policy-making authority now delegated in their registry agreements.

2c. Recognizing that current registry agreements include varying limitations on scope and applicability of consensus policy, examine the extent to which registry agreements could state that consensus policies may not affect certain terms of the agreement and determine whether future registry agreements should be restricted to a uniform scope and applicability of consensus policies.


3. Price controls for registry services

3a. Examine in what ways price controls contribute to ICANN's core mission and values, especially the promotion of competition and the net effects on end users.

3b. Examine what conditions might justify price controls for particular registries.

3c. Examine objective measures (cost calculation method, cost elements, reasonable profit margin) for approving an application for a price increase when price control is applied.

3d. In view of the findings, determine if registry agreements should prescribe or limit the prices for registry services.


4. ICANN fees

4a. Examine whether ICANN fees defined in registry agreements should be subject to policy determination.

4b. Examine whether ICANN fees should be tailored to registry business models.

4c. Determine how ICANN's public budgeting process should relate to the negotiation of ICANN fees.



5. Uses of traffic data

5a. Examine the differences in traffic data available to "thin" and "thick" registries and which privacy rights exist in such traffic data.

5b. Examine how the use of traffic data can enhance services to registry clients.

5c. Determine whether any allowances should be made for non-discriminatory access to traffic data.

5d. Determine whether the uses of traffic data, available to registries as a consequence of registry operation, should be restricted.


6. Investments in development and infrastructure

6a. Examine how requirements for specific investment levels in registry agreements promote ICANN's core mission and values, especially as to promoting competition and ensuring DNS stability and security.

6b. Determine whether registry agreements should require specific investment levels in the areas of development and infrastructure.

6c. Determine whether security and stability goals should be reflected in registry agreements as specific commitments, either as customer service levels or as investment targets.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

 

Internet Caucus State of the Net Conference
 

As reported at cdt.org:

Internet Caucus
State of the Net Conference
Hyatt Regency, Washington, DC
2nd Annual State of the Net Conference 2006
February 8, 2006
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Hyatt Regency, Washington, DC
Full Agenda
Register Now

This event will be immediately followed by the 9th annual Internet Caucus Kickoff Reception and Technology Fair.

Contact
Danielle Yates at dyates@netcaucus.org or 202-638-4370 for more information.

This event is hosted in conjunction with the Internet Caucus and its co-chairs--Senators Conrad Burns (R-MT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Rick Boucher (D-VA).

Panelists (which include ICANN's Vint Cerf) are listed here.


 

Bloggers react to Baucus .xxx Proposal
 

The first feedback from the blogging community on the Baucus .xxx proposal arrives in the form of the following post entitled "URGENT: threat to domain name owners":

The domain industry might crumble if the Unites States Congress gets more involved in domain name policy.

I’ve seen a lot of scary things that could knock the domain name industry off its upward trajectory. But this takes the cake. According to an article from the Associated Press:

“Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is crafting [a] legislative package that would require the Department of Commerce to create the new [.xxx] domain name. Pornographic Web sites would be required to abandon their “.com” addresses, ideally consolidating them all in one Internet neighborhood.”

This is not a decision in which the US government should have a hand. That’s why ICANN was set up–to handle policy. The notion of taking away a .com domain name from its rightful owner is shameful and anti-American — contrary to the values of the United States. It’s called property rights. Furthermore, the US Congress has no control over what happens outside the US, so it would just mean companies moving their servers offshore. I think the Commerce Department would have to change the charter of ICANN to make this a worldwide policy. I wonder if Sen. Baucus realizes that his policy would cause offshoring of internet servers.

This is a slippery slope. Can you imagine where this could lead? Look, I don’t operate adult sites. But this issue is about so much more than that. Please contact Sen. Max Baucus and tell him how asinine this idea is.

You can submit a comment to Baucus via his web site here. Or call, write, or fax to his office in Washington D.C.:

Sen. Max Baucus
511 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-2651
(202) 224-0515 (Fax)

 

Special Berkman event February 21
 

From isenblog:

If you are in the Boston area and you're mystified by Internet governance, put Tuesday, February 21 on your calendar. At about 6 until about 7:30PM, I'll be hosting a Berkman Center for Internet & Society event called, "Internet Governance 101," a discussion with visiting, globetrotting Internet Governance Guru Desiree Miloshevic and Harvard's own Internet Gov Guru Scott Bradner. Desiree and Scott will begin the beguine, explaining how Internet governance began, how and why organizations like ICANN, IANA, IETF, ISOC, and others began, what they do, how they're doing, what's behind some recent attempts to change Internet governance structures and what the prognosis is.

If you don't know your ISOC from your ISHOE, if you wonder why ICANN CANNT (or WONNT), if you WSIS it would all go away, if you can't remember why they took IANA toothpaste off the shelves, if you wonder what the FCC is going on, this evening is for you.

Pizza and soda served, but we'd like an RSVP if only to know how much pizza to order.
The Berkman Center is located at 1587 Mass Ave, Cambridge MA 02138 USA. More how to find it
here.

 

New North American At-Large Structure Applications
 

Two organizations have recently applied for North American At-Large Structure status: ISOC Quebec (whose organizational contact Luc Faubert participates on the cpsr governance list), and CAUCE Canada (whose U.S. liaison is listed as John Levine, ALAC member).

Question: Why are these organizations being duped into joining the ALAC when their proper home is ICANN's Non-Commercial Constituency?

 

.aero renewal: two different registrar perspectives
 

Two slightly different perspectives on the .aero renewal request are to be found in the comments of two registrars:

Tucows:
This renewal proposal requests modification of the registry agreement to allow the registry to develop alternative distribution channels outside of the regular registrar accreditation policy and to allow SITA to deal directly with the registrants.

This is a puzzling request in that the registry operator is free to undertake the development of any distribution channels it wishes to within the bounds of the current registrar accreditation policy. Specialized distribution is necessary to deliver different services to different market segments - but this does not mean that registrar accreditation policies should be waived. The original registrar accreditation policy was implemented to ensure not only a competitive environment as the registry operator points out, but also to ensure a stable, predictable and secure environment that met the requirements set out by the Internet community, the White Paper and ICANN's policy development process. SITA has incorrectly assessed accredited registrars as a homogeneous distribution channel leading to an assumption that the current service failures are related to the distribution channel being used. Given that any organization that qualifies may become accredited to act as a registrar, it also stands to reason that organizations with the skills SITA views as necessary for distribution of .aero registrations could become accredited.

SITA should be encouraged to develop a specialized distribution channel - one that will presumably see new specialized registrars become accredited in order that they meet the technical, financial and operational requirements set forth by ICANN. but ICANN's implementation of the Registrar Accreditation policy in this sponsored TLD agreement should not be changed.

Regarding SITA's request to deal with the public directly, this request should be granted, provided that SITA create and implement plans to ensure that the obvious internal conflicts of interest are avoided and that the registry can provide equal access to all registrars, including its own, without favoring any specific one (especially its own).

The Go Daddy Group:
The renewal proposals of SITA and Musedoma include requests to waive the requirement to use ICANN accredited registrars. We believe it would be inappropriate to grant these requests.

The use of non-accredited organizations could endanger the stability and security of the domain name system that the ICANN was formed to protect. The ICANN must maintain the ability to formulate and enforce policy and standards regarding the registration system.

The registrar accreditation process is not daunting or complicated. The fact that the accredited registrar community has grown by over 300% in just over a year is evidence of that fact. If either Registry Operator feels the need for additional distribution channels, it can well be
accomplished within the established accreditation standards.

SITA also requests the ability to offer registrations directly. This is something that we would agree should be considered on a case by case basis for Sponsored Registry Operators and only if it can be accomplished within the established registrar accreditation framework and established principles of non-discriminatory conduct by Registry Operators.


 

Comments on the Purpose of the ICANN WHOIS
 

Comments are starting to arrive on the "Purpose of WHOIS"; the following is from the ALA:

The American Library Association strongly supports the first formulation of
the purpose for Whois.

A basic tenent of privacy law is that data collectors must collect only the
minimum personal information necessary to achieve the specific purposes of that
organization. By no means should personal information be collected simply
because third parties might find it useful for their own purposes. The purpose of
the Whois database is to assist with the technical administration of the
Internet, and nothing else. Even if those ancillary uses were deemed worthwhile
from some perspectives (and that, itself, is open to debate), collection and
retention of such personally identifiable information creates a serious potential
for misuse, fraud, and intimidation of speech..

The American Library Association has long stood for the privacy rights of
information seekers and providers, including the right of anonymous speech,
regardless of media. Thus, as key providers of Internet services to the public, we
are specifically committed to privacy rights with regard to speech on the
Internet. We believe that, while managing the technology of the Internet , ICANN
has an obligation to minimize the impacts of its technical decisions on broader
social policy issues.

The Office for Information Technology Policy of the American Library
Association is a member of the NCUC.

Signed,

Fred W. Weingarten
Director
Office for Information Technology Policy
American Library Association

 

Flying the .coop?
 

John Berryhill writes:

"DotCoop has used a combination of manual and random checks to ensure that
the .coop domain truly represents the members of its community."

Domain Name: chicken.coop
Domain Status: inactive
Created: 25 Jul 2002 21:14:02 UTC
Name: Karla Harvill
Organisation: Gold Kist Inc.
Email: karla.harvill@xxxxxxxxxxxx

http://www.goldkist.com/company/history.asp

"In October 2004 with the approval of its membership, Gold Kist converted
from a farm cooperative to a for-profit company. Its stock is traded on the
NASDAQ stock exchange under the "GKIS" symbol."

 

APRALO Minutes
 

ICANN has a habit of being as non-transparent as possible. You would think that the minutes of a meeting discussing the possible formation of an Asia-Pacific Regional At-Large Organization could readily be found on the ALAC portion of the ICANN website... but you would be wrong. Here are the minutes that you would otherwise not have seen (even though the ALAC's Executive Secretary, Denise Michel, has stated that minutes would be circulated):

APRALO Formation Meeting
2 December 2005
09:00
Vancouver
(recorded by Jacob Malthouse)
*DRAFT NOTES* *NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION*

EDMUND: Concerns seems to be formation of a council that would be regionally representative. Idea: council may be formed later. RALO can help to do outreach first.

KUO-WEI: Two comments: If RALO doesn’t work? What is the legitimacy of doing interim for ever

HOWARD: Is it necessary to form a formal ALAC structure? ICANN is an open structure.

DENISE: RALO structure is intended to facilitate user group decisions about who will participate on the ALAC. One useful area is as a secretariat to assist with nomination and translation. Don’t think of RALO as requirement. Loosely defined structure. It will do what we will find useful for the region.

HONG: Suggestion: five minutes for IZUMI to explain his RALO idea. Issue: are we working hard to establish a concept that will be a failure? Principles of RALO: openness, transparency and inclusive.

SHESHAN: Suggest all discussion about RALO be delegated to some other meeting. Lets work on agenda as it is.

STAFFORD: First meeting about this at Luxemburg. RALO was established. I support RALO. Enough people here to make a positive input.

SEBASTIAN: RALO will be as successful as you make it.

EDMUND: This is not a bad discussion. But agree we should focus on the current framework. Can we have a less formal structure. Facilitating role.

JOINS: DAVID FARRER – chair of internet new Zealand.

EDMUND: Look at GAC model?

KUO-WEI: Organise people working on outreach/finance. Council is not hierarchical or bureaucratic. Wants to ensure coordination. A lot of this has already been discussed.

HONG: How can we make people outside of the meeting aware of this process?

DENISE: Minutes will be circulated.

HONG: If there is going to be an APRALO. It will be the first one. There is no model to follow. We will be pioneers. ICANN approved draft of RALO. This is going to be a challenge. We have five regions in the World. Standard or differing models. Key constituencies in ICANN are going to reform as result of WSIS. We need to keep an open mind.
CHAIR (Chair for this meeting was Izumi Aizu) Current observation. Myself, Esther and Denise (DENISE and others…Vittorio) DISCUSSION. Developed RALO. How to effectively channel the global voice of users in the advisory? We need a channel. ICANN is global. Because meetings expensive, have local groups to collate input from regions. ALS could be issue or region based. We decided to have a structure to help manage and ensure the quality of interaction from users. Second point. Measure of legitimacy? Countries/companies/people etc? yes have some doubt about RALO. But let’s see how things develop in practice.

SEBASTIAN: Some NA ALAC members have their own agendas. Board and voting discussion is Byzantine, not sure we will solve it now or tomorrow. Good thing is that new organisations are becoming interested. The AP RALO will serve as an example for other regions to encourage them to grow and start their own RALOs.

HOWARD**: Have better understanding thanks. Why do we need a bylaw? Prefer something informal.

KUO-WEI: What is the legitimacy of ALAC? Interim for ever? Don’t want uniform structures. Every region has its own process.

HONG: Believe that ICANN would like to maintain a bottom line of uniformity. One region could use GAC model, another could use ALAC, every region should have a RALO, that is bottom line. But understand that this is an experiment and we need to be courageous.

SEBASTIAN: Most interim members are not planning to be here the rest of our lives.

CHAIR: Summing up. LEGITIMACY is key. Is RALO the right structure? Especially if it has a heavyweight structure? No one insisting on heavyweight structure. Some uncertainty about the future of global RALO. Majority of people agree we need to be courageous.

STAFFORD: Personal feeling is we need some “rules” to say this is how we are going to conduct our business. If we have some informal rules it might help us to focus our business. Refer to TAIWAN meeting document as a basis for discussion.

FRANCK MARTIN: You need a chairman to help coordinate and liaise. ICANN may provide support once RALO is up and running.

GARTH: I would like to talk about the bylaws: 3.1.2 Change expression at beginning “to promote and represent” to “understand and advocate for” Council and council meetings: specify that council meetings are OPEN.

HONG: Suggest that each presentation/intervention should be maximum five minutes.

FRANCK: These things should be up to the chair to conduct meetings as they want.

CHAIR: Agree to create RALO?

HOWARD: Do we need to discuss bylaw today? Do we have enough people in the region? AL is representative of the end users. I formally represent ISOC China and would like to see more representatives of the same qualifications.

DAVID: People don’t join organisations like this to debate bylaws. Need a workable-flexible structure, then move on to talking about the issues. Lets move quickly.

HOWARD: can you define numbers? One person from two-thirds of country or regional economy.

KUO-WEI: So now is not right time because not enough people?

HOWARD: That is what I am suggesting.

HONG: Nature of our discussion? See concern from Howard and Guo Weh. We need consensus in this room are we ready to take these decisions about they bylaws?

CHAIR: Anyone want to decide bylaws immediately? [Silence] Anyone not want to discuss bylaws? [Silence]
Suggest we discuss for 30 min. circulate. Decide how to decide next step.

EDMUND: Should we call it bylaw? Something else?

SEBASTIAN: Voting mechanism and council at this point? Maybe have a light structure and first and develop this over time?

CHAIR: Think everyone agrees

ROBERTO: Timing and interest of people: next ICANN meeting will take place in Wellington. Put yourself in the best position for that meeting. Wellington will be a stage for you to be operational.

SHASHANI: ICANN bylaws define what a RALO is. Clause: ALAC / RALO relationship has to be defined. READS FROM ICANN BYLAWS. Lets focus on the concept of membership?

FRANCK: Suggest we review bylaw and submit them to a vote.

EDMUND: That is a quick and dirty way to go about it. Some of the concerns raised today warns us to go a little bit further in our discussions. We should thank Stafford but could also revise this as he suggested.

HONG: No objection to current text. Rather than going through provisions one by one. We should establish some principles or guidelines for the bylaws. Strongly suggest that there should be video or sound recording in future.
I just got this version of the bylaws last night. Makes it difficult to comment.

CHAIR: Minutes of Taipei were circulated following Taipei. Bylaws were finished a week following Taipei and circulated

HONG: I cannot receive all and every message.

CHAIR: Did you raise that before?

HONG: Suggest we reform our communication system.

DENISE: Given challenges in working internationally. It would be appropriate for us to use the AP RALO website / email list / and other infrastructure. Have asked ICANN webmaster to create and maintain that list and ensure website operational. ICANN will ensure audio and video webcast of all future meetings.

CHAIR: In the interim good solution. We should also have our own structure.

FRANCK: This is just some rules of proceeding together. Only one thing is missing. How do we change these bylaws? Could we put a rule about how to change the bylaws and that will make it easier for us to move forward.
Council should meet annually? Perhaps better to meet every time ICANN is in the region?

HOWARD: Hesitate to call it bylaw.

CHAIR: Suggestion?

HOWARD: Principles of action.

CHAIR: Have to finish meeting in 30 mins

EDMUND: Suggest operating principles. Suggest one further redraft. ALAC allows voice of user to be heard on the board.

ROBERTO: Keep Wellington in mind for furthering the discussion. ALAC gives an additional opportunity to interact directly with the board. RALO allows for coordination and channelling of ideas into formalised opinions.

SEBASTIAN: Thanks for saying ICANN open!

VITTORIO: This work should be region driven. Understand you have a difficult job. Your region is large and diverse. If you succeed this will really be a true success. Want to thank everyone for their hard work.

SHASHANI: Channel created to allow Could we continue to discuss this online so that before the next meeting we have something.

HOWARD: I am one with reservation about bylaws. I would like to see more outreach before we have formal discussion.

EDMUND: Would like to meet again to plan outreach etc.

FRANCK: As long as we leave it open for change to occur we should be ok. Lets agree this structure and then we can amend over time.

CHAIR: Appropriate diversity may be hard to gauge in this discussion. Suggest we discuss this further informally.

SHASHANI: Suggest you create an AP RALO to discuss this

CHAIR: We have a list already.

SHASHANI: Suggesting a specific list for the BYLAWs.

DAVID: Two major upcoming meetings APRICOT - Perth February. Next ICANN meeting is in Wellington.

CHAIR: Another meeting at 1800 today.

 

GAC Requests Meeting with GNSO Council
 

Suzanne Sene, the GAC Liaison to the GNSO Council, has asked if the Council would be available to meet with the GAC Working group on gTLDs for a two hour timeslot on Sunday morning, 26 March 2006 in New Zealand. Note from the GAC communiqué http://gac.icann.org/web/communiques/gac23com.pdf in Vancouver: "In view of the range and significance of the public policy issues associated with the introduction of new generic top level domains (gTLDs), the GAC agreed to initiate work on public policy applicable to new gTLDs. This initiative is intended to identify the public policy issues and contribute to the policy development process currently underway in ICANN."

Monday, February 06, 2006

 

GNSO Council Snubs ICANN General Counsel
 

Bruce Tonkin, Chair of ICANN's GNSO Council writes:

At the GNSO Council meeting today, the Council decided to initiate the Policy Development Process (PDP) to examine the policy issues that have been raised by the GNSO constituencies as a result of their review of the proposed .com agreement. During the Council discussion on this motion, it was clear that Council members were considering the broader policy issues that apply to all gTLDs, and were not considering issues that only applied to .com. A terms of reference will now be developed, and submitted for vote during a Council meeting on 16 February 2006.

The following motion was passed by a supermajority vote:

"Council resolves to initiate a Policy Development Process in line with it's 17 January 2006 request for an issues report the intent of which was to address the broader policy issues raised."

Vote: 19 votes in favour, Marilyn Cade, Philip Sheppard, Grant Forsyth, (CBUC) Ute Decker, Kiyoshi Tsuru, (IPC) Tony Holmes, Tony Harris, Greg Ruth, (ISPCPC) Robin Gross (NCUC), Bruce Tonkin (2), Ross Rader (2), Tom Keller (2) (Registrars constituency), Maureen Cubberley, Sophia Bekele, Avri Doria (Nominating committee appointees), (18 votes)

Kiyoshi Tsuru voted a proxy in favour for Lucy Nichols (IPC) who was absent. 6 votes against, Cary Karp (2), Ken Stubbs (2), June Seo (2) (gTLD registries constituency) 1 abstention Mawaki Chango (NCUC) 1 person was not on the call and did not provide a proxy, Norbert Klein (NCUC)


 

Hasbrouck Requests ALAC Action
 

Edward Hasbrouck, a victim of the ICANN process, has now written to the ALAC in an attempt to secure justice:

"It appears, from ICANN's replies to my most recent attempts to obtain independent review of an ICANN decision, that ICANN is willing to alow some sort of arbitration (not satisfying the requirements of ICANN's Bylaws), but *only* if I agree to allow ICANN staff to make up the rules for the arbitration as they go along, in secret, and to impose both rules of their choice and an arbitration provider of their choice, unilaterally and retroactively, rather than following the procedures required by ICANN's Bylaws for the process of developing independent review policies.

Clearly, the choice of an independent review provider -- the highest level of oversight within ICANN's structure -- and the development of procedures for independent review are policy questions of the highest significance, and are subject to ICANN's decision-making rules including those in Article III, Section 6 of ICANN's Bylaws.

My most recent message to ICANN, in which I enumerate the requirements of ICANN's Bylaws for policy decisions:
http://hasbrouck.org/blog/archives/001007.html

ICANN's replies:
http://hasbrouck.org/blog/archives/001008.html

In light of these messages from ICANN's Chairman and Secretary, I request the assistance of the ALAC in getting ICANN to comply with the requirements of ICANN's Bylaws that ICANN "have in place procedures" for independent review, and designate an independent review provider, in accordance with the rules in ICANN's Bylaws for policy decisions.

Specifically, I ask that ALAC make a public, formal, request to ICANN's Board of Directors that the Board:

(1) Consider and act on my pending request for a stay of the questioned decision of the Board pending independent review;

(2) Begin the process of developing procedures for independent review, and designating an independent review provider, in accordance with the rules for policy development and decison-making in ICANN's Bylaws, including the requirement for the maximum extent feasible of openness and transparency in this process; and

(3) Schedule and give notice of consideration of items (1) and (2) above at a maximally transparent public meeting of the Board of Directors open to public attendance (if it is held in person), telephone auditing, and/or Webcasting.


Sincerely,


Edward Hasbrouck

 

Marilyn Cade requests meeting with ICANN Board
 

The Business Constituency's Marilyn Cade has proposed a special Council Meeting with the ICANN Board; her request:

Dear Vint (with copy to Paul, Kurt, John, and all Board members)

The gNSO Council reminds the ICANN CEO and Board of the resolution sent to the Board during the Vancouver ICANN meeting, and requests a conference call between the Board and the Council to discuss continuing concerns. We ask that the call take place before the conclusion of the public comment period on the proposed .com Registry Agreements and in sufficient time for the Board to take into consideration the discussion with the Council.

The Vancouver Council resolution reads:

"That the ICANN Board should postpone adoption of the proposed settlement while the Council fully investigates the policy issues raised by the proposed changes"

The gNSO Council is advancing that investigation. At its January 17, 2006 meeting, the Council further discussed the areas of policy concern, and voted to request an Issues Report related to the policy concerns raised in the constituency statements.

Subsequently, on January 29, 2006, a revised set of documents were posted by ICANN, including a newly revised Proposed .COM Registry Agreement. At present, the Council is discussing with Policy Staff, and the General Counsel, various ways to address the policy areas that have been raised by the constituencies and the community that are of concern to gTLD registry agreements, including those in present discussion within ICANN or posted for public comment. The discussions with Policy staff and General Counsel are ongoing at this time.

In parallel, and not subject to the outcome of that discussion, the GNSO Council requests a conference call or meeting with the Board and CEO/President to discuss the gNSO Council's continuing concerns and views.

Sincerely

Transmitted on behalf of the GNSO Council

 

VeriSign Settlement Agreement Update
 

On the ICANN registrar's list Jonathon L. Nevett writes:

Mark your calendars. John Jeffrey and Kurt Pritz have graciously agreed to participate in a conference call with registrars to discuss the recently-announced proposed VeriSign settlement agreement (http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-29jan06.htm). The call will be held on Monday, 13 February 2006 at 4:00 PM Eastern Time/1:00 PM Pacific Time/21:00 GMT. I will circulate a call-in number later in the week.

 

GNSO Council Squatters
 

If one takes a look at the representatives on the ICANN GNSO Council, one can't help but notice the same set of names over and over and over again. Let's consider the case of Antonio Harris from the ISPCP Constituency. Tony has served in consecutive terms since May 1999. Unfortunately, the articles of the constituency prohibit such matters, but hey, what's a few broken rules among friends (especially when the constituency is down to less than a handful of members):

"NC Representatives may not be elected for more than two successive periods. Following two such periods, re-election is only possible after an intermediary period of one year even if a different organization appoints her/him as Delegate."

As it pertains to these "Articles", the observant might also note that the ISPCP has never submitted a new Charter or Statement of Operating Procedures as required by the Transition Article of the ICANN bylaws:

"Notwithstanding the adoption or effectiveness of the New Bylaws, each GNSO constituency described in paragraph 2 of this Section 5 shall continue operating as before and no constituency official, task force, or other activity shall be changed until further action of the constituency, provided that each GNSO constituency shall submit to the ICANN Secretary a new charter and statement of operating procedures, adopted according to the constituency's processes and consistent with the New Bylaws, no later than 15 July 2003."

 

When the Business Constituency gets mad...
 

Today's GNSO Council teleconference appears to be shaping up as a slugfest as further rancor over the ICANN General Counsel's opinion on the .com contract begins to fester. Note this letter from the Business Constituency's Philip Sheppard:

Council,

There has been concern expressed on the .com issues report with respect to the misinterpretation of Council's intent. As the BC understands It, Council interest in the proposed .com agreement is "the broader policy implications". In this respect, the ICANN by-laws foresee that Council proceed with a PDP having heard a negative staff recommendation.

"c. Vote of the Council. A vote of more than 33% of the Council members present in favor of initiating the PDP will suffice to initiate the PDP; unless the Staff Recommendation stated that the issue is not properly within the scope of the ICANN policy process or the GNSO, in which case a Supermajority Vote of the Council members present in favor of initiating the PDP will be required to initiate the PDP". This supermajority vote (I believe its 18 votes) is an option open to us at our meeting later today.

 

Another Silly Idea for .xxx
 

Mary Clare Jalonick writing for the Associated Press states in this article in the helenair.com Independent Record:

[Excerpt] "Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is crafting the legislative package that would require the Department of Commerce to create the new [.xxx] domain name. Pornographic Web sites would be required to abandon their ‘‘.com’’ addresses, ideally consolidating them all in one Internet neighborhood."

As a fair number of pornographic domains are hosted in country-code TLD namespace, I can't see how this proposal will accomplish anything other than making a few congresscritters look good to their constituents. The Senator would be advised to gather the views of the ICANN Board (and of the Internet community generally) prior to launching this iniative.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

 

IDN: Who formulates the policy?
 

Recent ICANN GNSO Council discussions have focused on IDNs, with Sophia Bekele stating: "Giving IDNs priority should be the reason to understand them. There is a saying, "An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.""

This current focus on IDNs by the Council is commendable, but it seems to be occuring in a vacuum as the Council has failed to secure any guidance whatsoever from ICANN's President's Committee on IDNs. This President's Committee is tasked with identifying and proposing solutions to the following main areas:

IDN TLD Challenges:
The committee is tasked with analyzing the challenges relating to the implementation of internationalized top level domains and suggestions towards their resolution.

IDN Technical Development Challenges:

The committee is tasked with providing the ICANN President (and staff) with a list of technical barriers and opportunities to the continued development of IDNs and which the community is expecting ICANN to handle or take part in handling.

IDN Policy Challenges:
The Committee is tasked with developing and providing the ICANN President (and staff) with recommendations on how IDN policy issues should be handled, the use of existing policy development processes, and the definition of specific IDN policy processes.

If a group of experts has been charged with developing appropriate IDN policy, one would think that the Council would first gather the benefit of the policy guidance being developed before rushing in to an area wherein only a few of the Councillors have expertise. Ultimately it prompts the question: which group, the ICANN GNSO Council or the ICANN President's Committee on IDN, will be responsible for policy development in this area?

 

The Public Starts Thinking About New TLDs
 

I spotted this commentary at ConnorNet thinking about a .pod TLD for podcasts, company-specific TLDs (such as .yahoo) and industry-wide TLDs such as .news. It seems like policy discussions are underway everywhere except the one place where you would expect such matters to be under thorough discussion and debate -- ICANN's GNSO Council. So far all we've seen is a few submitted statements that mostly did nothing more than re-hash earlier position papers... no actual policy discussions have yet started. Methinks the Committee of the Whole needs a swift kick in the butt.

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