February, 2017

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Pre-ICANN58 Policy Open House Registration

Pre-ICANN58 Policy Open House
Monday, 6 March 2017
10:00 UTC and 19:00 UTC

Please register via this form by 3 March 2017!

The Policy Development Support Team is pleased to announce two sessions for the Pre-ICANN58 Policy Open House on Monday, 6 March 2017 at 10:00 UTC and 19:00 UTC.

The Policy Open House builds on the previous Policy Update Webinar and incorporates more interaction. The focus of each open house session is an active question and answer session with the Policy Development Support Team.

The new format will feature:

This improved structure will allow the ICANN community to ask questions about policy and advice development work taking place at ICANN58. The Policy Team also welcomes questions through the registration form and via email at policyinfo@icann.org.

The Policy Team will provide brief overviews and answer questions regarding current work within each Supporting Organization and Advisory Committee:

  • Address Supporting Organization (ASO)
    • Address Supporting Organization Address Council Annual Meeting
    • Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Numbering Services Review Committee Meeting
  • Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO)
    • Implementation of the Processes and Mechanisms Related to The Empowered Community
    • Interim Report Cross-Community Working Group: Framework for Use of Country and Territory Names as Top Level Domains open for Public Comment
    • Policy Development Process regarding the retirement of country code Top Level Domains and the development of a review mechanism for the decisions on delegation, revocation and retirement of country code Top Level Domains
  • Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)
    • Generic Names Supporting Organization Policy Development Processes (including new generic Top Level Domain Subsequent Procedures, the Review of All Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) in All generic Top Level Domains, the Next-Generation Registration Directory Service (RDS) to Replace WHOIS, the International Governmental Organization (IGO)-International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO) Access to Curative Rights Protection Mechanisms)
    • Non-Policy Issues (such as Generic Names Supporting Organization Review Implementation, Bylaws updates and Generic Name Supporting Organization Standing Selection Committee)
    • Cross-Community Working Groups (including new generic Top Level Domain Auction Proceeds and Use of Country & Territory names as Top Level Domains)
  • At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and At-Large Community
    • The At-Large Review
    • The work of the At-Large Structures Criteria and Expectations Taskforce
    • At-Large and Work Stream 2 Issues
  • Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)
    • Protection of Red Cross/Red Crescent national names & Protection of International Governmental Organization acronyms
    • Accountability Work Stream 2 Issues
    • Input to Generic Names Supporting Organization Policy Development Process on Subsequent Procedures for new generic Top Level Domains and Registration Directory Services
  • Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC)
    • [RSSAC023]: History of the Root Server System
    • [RSSAC024]: Key Technical Elements of Potential Root Operators
    • [RSSAC025]: Root Server System Advisory Committee October 2016 Workshop Report
  • Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) Update
    • [SAC091]: Security and Stability Advisory Committee Comment on Identifier Technology Health Indicators (20 January 2017)
    • [SAC090]: Security and Stability Advisory Committee Advisory on the Stability of the Domain Namespace (22 December 2016)
    • [SAC089]: Security and Stability Advisory Committee Response to ccNSO Comments on SAC084 (12 December 2016)

The open house will run in English and will be conducted in Adobe Connect along with a dial-in conference bridge for audio. Recordings of the sessions will be made available here.

The Policy Team looks forward to assisting the ICANN community prepare for ICANN58!

Please register via this form by 3 March 2017!

León Felipe Sánchez Ambía Selected by At-Large Community as Next ICANN Board Director

On behalf of Tijani Ben Jemaa, Chair of the Board Member Selection Process Committee (BMSPC), we are announcing the final result of the ICANN Board Director seat (#15) election, which was selected by the At-Large Community.

The At-Large Community's ICANN Board Director selection process was a six-month effort, and officially ended on 27 February 2017. León Felipe Sánchez Ambía has been selected by At-Large as the successor of Rinalia Abdul Rahim, and will begin his three-year term as an ICANN Board Director at the end of ICANN60 (3 November 2017).

The selection process began in September 2016, and started with the formation of two committees tasked with managing the timeline, calling for and evaluating the candidates, and organizing the final election.

Out of the six individuals who submitted Expressions of Interest for the position, Alan Greenberg and León Felipe Sánchez Ambía were chosen as the finalists. Before the election took place, the At-Large Community was given several opportunities to ask questions to the finalists, both verbally and in writing, in order to make an informed choice. At-Large Structures also participated in the final election by directing the votes of Regional At-Large Organization Chairs.

Click here to review the result, as well as detailed information about the election process.

Below, you'll find a biography and photo of León Felipe Sánchez Ambía.

Heidi Ullrich, Ariel Liang, and Yesim Nazlar
At-Large Board Member Selection Program Admin Staff


León Felipe Sánchez Ambía

León Felipe Sánchez Ambía is an intellectual property attorney who graduated from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). He also completed his postgraduate studies on intellectual property at the UNAM and Internet law at Harvard Law School.

Since 2006, León has been a partner at Fulton & Fulton, a law firm specializing in intellectual property and IT law based in Mexico City, and is the head of their Intellectual Property division.

In 2008, he was admitted as professor on intellectual property at the UNAM law school.

León also serves as the co-lead for the Mexican chapter of Creative Commons, and as an advisor to different government bodies, including the Digital Strategy Coordination Office of the Mexican Presidency, the Special Commission on Digital Agenda and IT of the Mexican House of Representatives, and the Science and Technology Commission of the Mexican Senate.

He drafted the Internet Users Rights Protection Act for Mexico, and has been very active on issues such as the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA), Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and other local initiatives of the same kind, always advocating to defend users' and creators' rights in order to achieve a balance between regulation and freedom.

He currently serves as the ALAC Vice-Chair and the Co-Chair of the CCWG on Accountability, where he has been deeply involved with the IANA Transition as well as the post-Transition activities.

Interim Paper Cross-Community Working Group on Use of Names of Countries and Territories as Top Level Domains

Open Date: 24 February 2017 Close Date: 21 April 2017
Originating Organization: ccNSO/GNSO, Chartering Organizations
Categories/Tags: Policy Development, ccTLDs, Security/Stability, ISO 3166, Top-Level Domains, New gTLDs
Brief Overview:

The Cross-Community Working Group ccNSO WG on Use of Names of Countries and Territories as Top-Level Domains (CWG-UCTN) is seeking public comments on its Interim Paper (https://ccnso.icann.org/workinggroups/ccwg-ctn-interim-paper-09feb17-en.pdf [PDF, 1.31 MB]), specifically on its draft conclusions and recommendations:

  • The group is of the view that a harmonized framework on the use of country and territory names is not feasible due to various reasons
  • The CWG intends to recommend to continue work in this area, after some of the issues limiting this effort have been resolved
  • Members of the CWG have varying views on structure of the new effort

After the closure of the public comment forum, the CWG will review the comments received and revise its conclusions and recommendations, if deemed appropriate, to include in the Final Paper. This paper will be submitted to the ccNSO and GNSO Councils for discussion, adoption and next steps.

Link: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/cwg-uctn-interim-paper-2017-02-24-en

Revised Report of the Independent Review of the Trademark Clearinghouse Now Available

LOS ANGELES – 23 February 2017 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today published the Revised Report of the Independent Review of the Trademark Clearinghouse.

Read the report [PDF, 1.28 MB].

The review was conducted by Analysis Group, a third-party consulting firm. The firm examined whether domains that relate to, but do not exactly match trademarks should be considered for use in the Claims periods of a new generic top-level domain's lifecycle. The review also explores if extending the number of days of the Claims service would be of value and measures how frequently trademark holders use the Sunrise period.

A draft report was published for comment on 25 July 2016. The revised version available today incorporates suggestions received during the public comment period and provides clarifications regarding the data used (view the redlined report [PDF, 1.29 MB]). The report of public comments, which includes summary and analysis of the comments received regarding the study's findings, was published on 26 September 2016.

An independent review of the Trademark Clearinghouse was initially advised [PDF, 110 KB] by the Governmental Advisory Committee in May 2011 to be completed after the launch of the New gTLD Program. The review is informed by an analysis of Trademark Clearinghouse and third-party data sources, including data collected from stakeholders via interviews and surveys.

The revised report is expected to help inform discussions and policy development regarding Rights Protection Mechanisms in the New gTLD Program.

Learn more about the Trademark Clearinghouse Independent Review.

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world. ICANN and its community help keep the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It also promotes competition and develops policy for the top-level of the Internet's naming system and facilitates the use of other unique Internet identifiers. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.

Call for Volunteers for the Registration Directory Service (formerly WHOIS) Review Team

DEADLINE EXTENSION – Applications to be appointed to the Registration Directory Service (RDS) Review Team are due on 7 March 2017, 23:59 UTC.

ICANN is seeking volunteers to serve on the second review of Registration Directory Service (formerly known as the WHOIS Review). Interested individuals are invited to provide the following information, in the template [PDF, 2.7 MB] provided:

  • A biography, detailing relevant work and/or academic experience, as well as subject matter knowledge;
  • Your motivation for detailing your interest in serving on the Review Team and what you will bring to the team;
  • Specify the Supporting Organization (SO) or Advisory Committee (AC) that you would like to have consider you for nomination.

Candidates are asked to submit their application materials to reviews@icann.org by 7 March 2017, 23:59 UTC.

Note that all applications and supporting materials will be published as they are received on the RDS wiki page.

Scope of the Review

Recent discussions among the leadership of the ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees (SO/AC) and the Board Working Group on Registration Directory Service have highlighted concerns with the expected workload and community bandwidth in light of all the WHOIS related activities currently underway.

One of the first tasks that the team will face is to develop and deliver to the Board a Terms of Reference and Work Plan by 15 May 2017 that describes the scope of the work to be undertaken by the team. The time commitment for Review Team members will be determined by the team's agreed scope of work and Terms of Reference, and may range from 6 -18 months depending upon whether a full scope or a limited scope is adopted.

Selection of the Review Team

Under the new Bylaws, each SO/AC will have an opportunity to nominate up to seven applicants to serve on the Review Team. An applicant's name will only be presented to the SO/AC identified by the applicant for consideration. After SO/AC nomination process concludes, all nominations will be provided to the SO/AC Leaders to conduct the selection process for the Review Team according to the specified expertise and diversity (gender and geographic) requirements from the nominations received, the Review Team may contain up to 21 members, plus an ICANN Board member (designated by the ICANN Board).

Timeline

Original Call for volunteers published 28 October 2016
Revised Deadline to Apply for Review Team 7 March 2017

Time Commitment

Applicants should be prepared to devote their time to the review process. Review Team work is expected to include regular conference calls (some of which may not be held during business hours in all time zones), and possibly up to three face-to-face meetings, each lasting two to three days.

Under a full Review, the Review Team members will be asked to commit their time for 12 to 18 months. Under the Limited Scope Proposal, the RDS Review Team may be asked to complete its work within six months of its first meeting.

Compensation

RDS Review Team members will not receive compensation from ICANN for their service on the team. However, travel, meal and lodging costs for Review Team members who participate in Review Team meetings will be reimbursed upon request in accordance with ICANN's community travel support guidelines.

Responsibilities

  • Participate in creation of charter documents for the Review Team;
  • Select appropriate performance indicators and benchmarks;
  • Consider public, community and Board input and incorporate it as appropriate in Review Team recommendations;
  • Determine whether additional data or analysis is needed and participate in an ensuing provider selection, if necessary;
  • Provide timely updates to the community on the status of the Review Team's work;
  • Analyze findings;
  • Draw conclusions based on findings, develop useful and feasible recommendations;
  • Provide guidance on prioritization of recommendations and definition of desired outcomes;
  • Post the draft report of the Review Team for public review and comment;
  • Deliver a final Review Team report; and
  • Designate Review Team members to participate in the implementation planning work that follows the delivery of the final Review Team report.

Skills and Experience

To compose a well-balanced Review Team, ICANN seeks members who, in the aggregate, possess the following skills and experience:

  • Prior member of the 1st WHOIS Review Team or was an active contributor to its work
  • Prior member of the Expert Working Group on Registration Directory Service
  • Familiarity with operation of the Domain Name System (DNS)
  • Familiarity with WHOIS registrant data collection, compliance, directory service (RDDS) management
  • Familiarity with Translation and Transliteration of WHOIS Contact Information
  • Familiarity with ICANN Procedure for Handling WHOIS Conflicts with Privacy Law
  • Familiarity with malware and abuse vectors and mitigations, including cybercrime
  • Familiarity with WHOIS Data Retention Waiver Process

Composition of the Review Team, depending on expertise and skills required, will aim to achieve:

  • Diversity in general, with particular attention on:
    • Geographic diversity; and
    • Gender diversity.

Desired Attributes

Applicants should possess the following professional and personal attributes:

  • Multistakeholder community understanding
  • Team spirit, adaptability, consensus-seeking attitude
  • Willingness to learn
  • Readiness to contribute
  • Capacity to reason objectively, putting aside personal opinions or preconceptions
  • Analytical skills

Methodology, Budget & Support

ICANN will provide the Review Team with a clearly articulated review budget at the start. Throughout the review, there will be periodic reporting by the Review Team on its progress relative to planned schedule and budget. A clear and focused review scope is expected to assist the Review Team with prioritizing recommendations in order to optimize finite ICANN resources (time and budget).

ICANN organizational support will be made available to the Review Team. Support could include assistance with project management; organization of work, documents and activities; as well as sharing of tools and best practices for conducting an effective review.

English is the working language of the Review Team. Key communications and documents will be translated in accordance with the ICANN Language Services policies.

Background

Community-led reviews are an important mechanism for furthering ICANN's obligations outlined in the new Bylaws that went into force on 1 October 2016.

  • Ensuring accountability, transparency and the interests of global Internet users;
  • Preserving security, stability and resiliency of the DNS;
  • Promoting competition, consumer trust and consumer choice;
  • Registration Directory Service (WHOIS) policy.

These Specific Reviews replace the reviews that were formerly mandated under the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC). The specific objectives for the Registration Directory Service (RDS) Review are to review the effectiveness of WHOIS, and whether its implementation meets the legitimate needs of law enforcement, promoting consumer trust and safeguarding registrant data.

The first WHOIS review concluded in 2012 and was conducted under the AOC. The Final Report [PDF, 1.44 MB] from the First Review Team was submitted to the ICANN Board on 11 May 2012, with Board action to approve the report and recommendations, including the implementation plan [PDF, 119 KB] occurred on 8 November 2012. For more information on the status of the implementation activities arising out of the 1st WHOIS Review team, please visit the WHOIS Implementation Wiki.

Additional Materials

RDS Call for Volunteers presentation

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact Margie Milam or Karen Mulberry at reviews@icann.org.

Pre-ICANN58 Policy Open House

Monday, 6 March 2017
10:00 UTC and 19:00 UTC

The Policy Development Support Team is pleased to announce two sessions of the Pre-ICANN58 Policy Open House on Monday, 6 March 2017 at 10:00 UTC and 19:00 UTC.

The Policy Open House builds on the previous Policy Update Webinar and incorporates more interaction.

The new format will feature:

  • Decreased Duration | Two 60-minute sessions, rather than two 90-minute briefings
  • Interactive Format | A question and answer exchange with the Policy Team
  • Preparatory Materials | The Pre-ICANN58 Policy Report and Generic Names Supporting Organization Policy Development Process Briefings will be published one week prior to the open house

This improved structure will allow the ICANN community to ask questions about policy and advice development work taking place at ICANN58. The Policy Team also welcomes questions through the upcoming registration form and via email at policyinfo@icann.org. Registration begins on Monday, 27 February 2017.

The open house will run in English and will be conducted in Adobe Connect along with a dial-in conference bridge for audio. Recordings of the sessions will be made available here.

The Policy Team looks forward to assisting the ICANN community prepare for ICANN58!

Recommendations to Improve ICANN’s Transparency

Open Date: 21 February 2017 Close Date: 10 April 2017
Originating Organization: Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability)
Categories/Tags:
  • Bylaws
  • Transparency/Accountability
Brief Overview:

Purpose: This Public Comment seeks community input on the CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 2 draft recommendations to improve ICANN's transparency. These draft recommendations were developed by the CCWG-Accountability as required by Annex 12 of the final report of the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability, Work Stream 1).

Current Status: The CCWG-Accountability reviewed these draft recommendations at its 8 February 2017 plenary meeting and approved their publication to gather public comments.

Next Steps: Following the public comment period the inputs will be analyzed by the CCWG-Accountability WS2 who will consider amending its recommendations in light of the comments received and will publish a report on the results of the public consultation. If significant changes are required as a result of the public consultation the CCWG-Accountability WS2 may opt to have a second public consultation on the amended recommendations. If there are no significant changes required, the CCWG-Accountability WS2 will forward the final recommendations on improving ICANN's Transparency to its Chartering Organizations for approval and then to the ICANN Board for consideration and adoption.

Link: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/ccwg-acct-draft-recs-2017-02-21-en

What to Expect at ICANN58: A Guide for Business Stakeholders

RSVP via this form

This webinar is an introduction to ICANN and the Commercial Stakeholder Group. It is designed for people in the business world who are new to the ICANN community and interested in the upcoming ICANN58 Public Meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark from 11-16 March 2017.

When: Tuesday, 21 February 2017
14:00-15:00 UTC

Where: Adobe Connect

Topics:

  • ICANN58 Public Meeting in Copenhagen and sessions of interest
  • Opportunities to follow, participate and join the work of business stakeholders in their various constituency groups
  • Latest topics in the Internet domain name and addressing systems

Speakers:

  • Chris Mondini, Riccardo Ruffolo, Jean-Jacques Sahel – ICANN Global Stakeholder Engagement team
  • Chris Wilson - Business Constituency
  • Petter Rindforth - Intellectual Property Constituency
  • Wolf-Ulrich Knoben - Internet Service Providers & Connectivity Providers Constituency

To join the webinar, please complete this online form: http://survey.clicktools.com/app/survey/go.jsp?iv=21ea4jpnxm8th

Selection of the Second Security, Stability, and Resiliency of the DNS (SSR2) Review Team Members Announced

Today ICANN announced the selection of a 16-member team to conduct the second review on the security, stability and resiliency of the DNS (SSR2).

The selection of the SSR2 Review Team followed the new post-Transition process which assigned the responsibility for the selection of Review Team members to the chairs of ICANNs Supporting Organizations (SO's) and Advisory Committees (AC's). The SSR review was formerly required under the affirmation of commitments and is now one of the Specific Reviews under the ICANN Bylaws.

The members of the SSR2 Review Team include….

  Name Gender SO/AC Nomination Region
1 Jabhera Matogoro M ALAC AF
2 Alain Aina M ccNSO AF
3 Mohamad Amin Hasbini M GAC AP
4 Noorul Ameen M GAC AP
5 Geoff Huston M SSAC AP
6 Ramkrishna Pariyar M ALAC AP
7 James Gannon M GNSO EUR
8 Boban Krsic M ccNSO EUR
9 Emily Taylor F GNSO EUR
10 Žarko Kecić M ccNSO EUR
11 Kerry-Ann Barrett F GAC NA
12 Cathy Handley F RSSAC NA
13 Denise Michel F GNSO NA
14 Don M. Blumenthal M SSAC NA
15 Eric Osterweil M RSSAC NA

In addition, Kaveh Ranjbar will be the ICANN Board representative on the SSR2.

SSR2 Diversity Highlights

Under the ICANN Bylaws, the SO/AC chairs are responsible for selecting a group that is balanced for diversity and skill. The SSR Review Team announced today includes:

  • Review Team Gender Diversity
    • Four females and eleven males
  • Review Team Regional Diversity
    • North America and Europe have five members
    • Europe and Asia have four members
    • Africa is represented with two members
    • Latin America/Carribean is not represented

The SSR2 review team is expected to convene for its first meeting during ICANN 58 in Copenhagen in March 2017. There will be an SSR2 Public Consultation session during ICANN 58 prior to the SSR2 Review Team meeting in order to gather input from the community on items for the Review Team to consider as they develop the scope of their work.

Periodic updates on the progress of the review will be made available on icann.org, at ICANN public meetings and on the review team's wiki page here.

Find more information on the Review Team members here.

Find more information on the SSR2 review here.

About Specific Reviews

Specific Reviews are mandated by ICANN Bylaws and are crucial to the legitimacy and accountability of ICANN. Specific Reviews serve as ICANN's progress report to the world. They demonstrate how ICANN delivers on its commitments and identify areas where ICANN can improve. Specific Reviews are conducted by members of the stakeholder community who look at past processes, actions and outcomes in order to make recommendations to improve future performance. Click here to learn more about Reviews and how you can get involved.

ICANN Publishes “Identifier System Attack Mitigation Methodology” Document

Today, ICANN published "Identifier System Attack Mitigation Methodology" document, authoring of which commenced on 25 August 2016, as part of ICANN's effort to contribute to enhancing the Stability, Security, and Resiliency (SSR) of the Internet's system of unique identifier by working with the Community to identify and increase awareness of related attacks and to promote broader adoption of attack mitigation practices.

View Identifier System Attack Mitigation Methodology [PDF, 876 KB] document.

This effort also addresses Recommendation #12 of the Security, Stability & Resiliency (SSR) Review.

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world. ICANN and its community help keep the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It also promotes competition and develops policy for the top-level of the Internet's naming system and facilitates the use of other unique Internet identifiers. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.

Join the Webinar on the Draft Report of the Review of the At-Large Community

Join ICANN and independent examiner ITEMS International (ITEMS) for a webinar on the Draft Report [PDF, 2.31 MB] of the Review of the At-Large Community on 27 February 2017 at 13:00 UTC. The webinar will include an overview of findings and recommendations presented by ITEMS followed by an open Q&A session. It is one of several opportunities to ask questions about how ITEMS reached their draft conclusions, express support or raise concerns.

The Report is based on over 100 face-to-face interviews, the analysis of 242 online survey responses, and the review of relevant documents, conducted by ITEMS since May 2016. In addition, ITEMS has attended ICANN56 and ICANN57, interacting with the community and observing At-Large meetings, discussions, and procedures.

Please email: mssi-secretariat@icann.org to obtain a calendar invite with dial-in details.

ICANN Reviews are crucial tools that assess the health of ICANN, its Supporting Organizations (SO’s) and Advisory Committees (AC’S); How well they operate, how effective they are in achieving their purpose, and how they are held accountable to the stakeholder community. Reviews are mandated by ICANN Bylaws and conducted by community members and independent examiners. They are crucial to the legitimacy of ICANN and require significant community input and participation.

View the At-Large Draft Report here [PDF, 2.31 MB] and provide your public comment via the Public Comment Feedback Form [PDF, 1.5 MB]. The Public comment periods closes on 24 March 2017. For other opportunities to share your feedback and ask questions, please visit the At-Large wiki.

ICANN Free to Proceed with the Delegation of .AFRICA Following Court Decision

LOS ANGELES – 9 February 2017 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced that a California Superior Court has denied DotConnectAfrica's (DCA's) second Motion for Preliminary Injunction to stop the delegation of the .AFRICA generic top-level domain (gTLD) to ZA Central Registry (ZACR). DCA's first Motion for Preliminary Injunction was denied by the Superior Court in December 2016.

Among other things, the Judge found that it appears the "Covenant Not to Sue" found in the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook is enforceable, citing to the recent Federal District Court Order in the Ruby Glen, LLC v ICANN matter [PDF, 62 KB], wherein the Court held that the "covenant not to sue" in the Guidebook is enforceable. Accordingly, the Superior Court Judge ruled that "DCA's claims against ICANN for fraud and unfair business practices are likely to be barred. As a result, DCA cannot establish that it is likely to succeed on the merits."

View the Court Order here.

In accordance with the terms of its Registry Agreement with ZACR for .AFRICA, ICANN will now follow its normal processes towards delegation.

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world. ICANN and its community help keep the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It also promotes competition and develops policy for the top-level of the Internet's naming system and facilitates the use of other unique Internet identifiers. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.

ICANN Quarterly Stakeholder Report – Register for the FY17 Q2 Call on 15 February 1500 UTC

Registration is still open for ICANN's FY17 Q2 Stakeholder Call, which will take place on 15 February at 1500 UTC. The call will focus on how ICANN has implemented community policy for the Quarter ending 31 December 2016, as well as provide an Africa and Middle East update, which is part of a new format aimed at spotlighting regional activities.

Please click here to register for the call and to receive joining instructions. If you are unable to access the form, please email us to register with your full name and an email address.

Agenda

  • President & CEO Update – Göran Marby
  • Board Update – Cherine Chalaby
  • Policy Update – Marika Konings, Adiel Akplogan
  • Management Update – Sally Costerton
  • Africa & Middle East Update – David Olive
  • Financial Update – Xavier Calvez

The call is open for all to attend and live interpretation is offered in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. There will be a Questions & Answers (Q&A) session and all materials (recordings, transcripts and presentations) will be archived and available on the ICANN website.

These calls were set up to enhance ICANN's accountability and transparency efforts, and are a great way for you to stay informed on what the organization has done in line with ICANN's mission of keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable.

More information

Please visit the Reporting page on the ICANN website for more information including recordings of previous calls. The presentation will be posted 24-48 hours in advance.

CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 2 Issues Jurisdiction Questionnaire

The newly-adopted ICANN Bylaws created several Work Stream 2 accountability subgroups. One of these subgroups, the Jurisdiction Subgroup, is addressing questions related to ICANN's jurisdiction, including how choice of jurisdiction and applicable laws for dispute settlement impact ICANN's accountability and the actual operation of policies.

The Jurisdiction Subgroup has put out a questionnaire seeking responses to several jurisdiction-related questions. The Subgroup is asking you to consider and respond to these questions with concrete, factual submissions.

The questionnaire can be found at https://community.icann.org/x/UpXRAw and is available in each of the 6 languages supported by ICANN. You may respond to the questionnaire in any of these languages.

Responses must be transmitted via email to ccwg-acctws2.jurisdiction.questionnaire@icann.org. Responses must clearly identify the individual responding and, where applicable, the organization for which the response is being submitted. Responses may be submitted at any point during the response period.

The subgroup will accept responses until 23:59 UTC 17 April 2017.

Operating Standards for ICANN Reviews: Recent Developments and Next Steps

Join the webinars on Operating Standards for Reviews and help contribute to this important process. On Tuesday 21 February at 15:00 UTC [local times] and 23:00 UTC [local times], ICANN will host webinars on the Review Operating Standards, which, once in place, centralize existing operational best practices and also address issues such as the selection of Review Teams (for Specific Reviews) and the question of how to amend/modify the Operating Standards.

The webinars will address key topics including an overview of the different issues it covers and a proposed way forward to assure community consultation. This will include a public comment period before the Operating Standards are finalized. In addition to providing an update on the latest developments, ICANN is seeking input on the Operating Standards from the multistakeholder community, including members of all Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, Stakeholder Groups, and Constituencies, on this important project.

Please email: mssi-secretariat@icann.org to obtain a calendar invite with an agenda, Adobe Connect links, and dial-in details. Please note, the webinars accommodate different time zones, the content presented during both session will be identical, and both sessions will be recorded.

Background

The ICANN Bylaws call for the drafting of review Operating Standards that "shall be developed through community consultation" (see Section 4.6).

Operating Standards provide a system to conduct Specific and Organizational Reviews and tools to assist with the Review process. Specific Reviews (CCT Review, SSR Review, ATRT Review, and RDS/WHOIS Review) and Organizational Reviews (GNSO Review, At-Large Review, etc.) are mandated by the new Bylaws. These Reviews are very important to assess ICANN's performance with regard to its commitments. Review Operating Standards provide tools to bring consistent rules, clarity and transparency to the various Review processes.

What happened to-date?

In order to facilitate community consultation on Review Operating Standards, ICANN organized a community-wide session in Hyderabad, during which we presented [PDF, 555 KB] a draft that contained the main subject areas that Review Operating Standards ought to cover.

The feedback from that session was that ICANN should continue its work and present the community with an updated draft that pulls together the areas of the Operating Standards that rely on existing standards and best practices. Community members stipulated that those issues that create new rules and procedures, e.g. the selection process for Specific Reviews, should be postponed to a later stage in the drafting process.

Based on this feedback, ICANN has worked on an expanded Draft Operating Standards which aggregates existing best practices in all relevant subject areas but does not address substantive issues such as Review Team selection processes.

What happens after the webinar?

Based on the feedback during the webinar, we will update the draft and, depending on the feedback received, ICANN Org will contact Supporting Organizations / Advisory Committees and Stakeholder Groups / Constituencies with specific input questions regarding those parts of the Operating Standards that require new processes and guidelines, such as the selection process. There will be additional consultation during a public session at ICANN58 in Copenhagen.

These community consultations will inform the timing of next steps, including updates to the Draft Operating Standards and the subsequent Public Comment period.

How to Join?

To participate, please email: mssi-secretariat@icann.org to obtain a calendar invite with dial-in details. The webinars accommodate different time zones; the content presented will be identical and both sessions will be recorded.

Reminder: Nomination Period For ICANN Multistakeholder Ethos Award | Award Targeted for ICANN59 | Nominations Close 20 March 2017

Submit Nominations Via the Ethos Award Nomination Form

ICANN is pleased to remind community members that the nomination period for ICANN's Multistakeholder Ethos Award will be open until 20 March 2017. Launched in 2014 at ICANN50 in London, the Multistakeholder Ethos Award recognizes ICANN participants who have deeply invested in consensus-based solutions, acknowledging the importance of ICANN's multistakeholder model of Internet governance, and contributed in a substantive way to the higher interests of ICANN's organization and its community.

The ideal recipient(s) will have served in roles in multiple ICANN working groups or committees and collaborated with more than one Supporting Organization and/or Advisory Committee in a significant capacity.

Candidates for the award will demonstrate at least five years of participation in the ICANN Community.

Candidates will be evaluated by a panel of community members appointed by the Chairs of each Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees using a merit-based point system evaluated against three criteria:

  1. Demonstrated ability to work across community lines with both familiar and unfamiliar ICANN Stakeholders with the aim of consensus building and collaboration that substantiate ICANN's multistakeholder model;
  2. Facilitator of dialogue and open discussion in a fair and collegial manner, through the spirit of collaboration as shown through empathy and demonstrating a sincere desire to engage with people from other backgrounds, cultures, and interests; and
  3. Demonstrated additional devotional factors exhibited by time spent supporting ICANN's multistakeholder model and its overall effectiveness through volunteer service via working groups or committees.

Please submit your nominations via this Nomination Form including detailed information outlining why the nominee meets the award criteria. Any additional information in support of nominations and/or questions about the award process may be submitted via email at ethosaward2017@icann.org.

Award recipient(s) will be announced in June 2017 at ICANN59 Johannesburg. For more insights on the award program, please consult the ICANN Community Wiki.

Submit Nominations Via the Ethos Award Nomination Form

ICANN Releases Identifier Systems SSR Activities Report

As part of our continuing commitment to transparency and accountability, ICANN's Identifier Systems Security, Stability and Resiliency (OCTO SSR) department is pleased to publish its activities report for calendar year 2016. You can find the 2016 report here [PDF, 261 KB].

This reports describe the activities that are performed to maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet's global identifier systems. These activities include collaboration with, global security and operations groups and public safety communities where ICANN staff serves in several roles.

Depending on the engagement or request, our staff:

  • offers security or DNS subject matter expertise;
  • facilitates cooperative action among ICANN and other communities to maintain Identifier System Security, Stability, and Resiliency;
  • conducts research;
  • engages with public and private sector actors in capability building related to Identifier Systems SSR;
  • supports the daily efforts of security or operations communities to mitigate the misuse or harmful use of the Identifier Systems (in particular, DNS or domain name registration services).

The 2016 activities reports highlights our collaboration and stakeholder activities from July 1 through December 31, 2016. We summarize activities we perform as part of our identifier system SSR threat awareness and preparedness remit and provide progress reports on analytics or productivity improvement projects as well. At this time, we are also publishing a complementary report, OCTO SSR Training Metrics: Investigating Identifier Systems Abuse or Misuse. You can find this report here [PDF, 545 KB].

For more information about IS-SSR click https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/is-ssr-2014-11-24-en.

The 2H 2015 report is available here [PDF, 429 KB]

The 1H 2015 report is available here [PDF, 2.85 MB].

The 2H 2014 report is available here [PDF, 328 KB].

The 1H 2014 report is available here [PDF, 73 KB].

Please contact John Crain or Dave Piscitello with questions, comments or suggestions.

Apply Now for Public Technical Identifiers (PTI) Director Positions: Deadline Is 21 March 2017

The ICANN Nominating Committee (NomCom) invites interested individuals to submit applications and/or recommend candidates for key positions on PTI's Board of Directors. Selected individuals will have a unique opportunity to work with accomplished colleagues from around the globe to help shape the Internet's technical coordination and policy development.

We are inviting applications and recommendations for:

  • Two members of the PTI Board of Directors

The two persons selected by the NomCom will serve alongside three PTI Board members selected by ICANN.

Guided by the broad public interest, those selected will work to fulfill ICANN's mission to coordinate the global Internet's systems of unique identifiers, and in particular, to ensure its stable and secure operation. They will gain valuable insights and experience from working across boundaries of knowledge, responsibility, culture and geography. They will make a valuable public service contribution toward the functioning and evolution of this essential global resource.

Qualifications

Fluency in English is a requirement for all positions.

NomCom selectees are expected to be knowledgeable about the environment in which ICANN and PTI operate and the technical functions for which ICANN and PTI are responsible.

The persons selected by NomCom as PTI Directors must not be employed by ICANN or PTI.

For information on additional qualifications, skills and time commitments for these positions, visit the NomCom webpage.

Application Deadline and Process

For full consideration, ICANN must receive applications by 21 March 2017, 23:59 Universal Coordinated Time (UTC).

All applications are confidential. Selections will be announced in August or September 2017. Successful candidates will assume their positions after ICANN's Annual General Meeting, to be held from 28 October to 3 November 2017.

Compensation

Selected PTI Directors will serve without compensation, but can receive reimbursement for travel expenses, where authorized.

Background

The NomCom operates independently from the ICANN Board, the PTI Board, and ICANN's Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees. The functional and geographic diversity and independence of NomCom members enables and encourages it to select persons who are not beholden to any particular interests and are capable of representing the broader view of the Internet community.

NomCom members act only on behalf of the interests of the global Internet community and within the scope of the ICANN mission and the responsibilities assigned to NomCom by the ICANN Bylaws and PTI Bylaws.

The NomCom seeks widespread participation, through submission of suggestions for candidates and Statements of Interest, to find the talent and experience needed for these roles. This process informs the NomCom's decisions and builds the community's confidence and respect for those whom the NomCom selects.

For More Information

Learn more by visiting the 2017 NomCom website. If you have any questions or comments, email nomcom2017@icann.org.

New Contracting Statistics Released

Marketplaces for Small Businesses to Acquire First Domain

Recent research shows that just over 55% of businesses own a website where they display their services and products (source: WaspBarcode’s State of Small Businesses Report, 2017). This leaves out 45% of businesses that do not have a website of their own (domain owned with owned content management system) or even a web property hosted on a public domain (such as a page or blog with a public wordpress.org or blogspot.com extension). Tremendous loss in terms of customer experience potential and customer support, as Econsultancy survey shows that by 2020, customer experience will become the key brand differentiator, followed by price and product.

 

Increasingly more customers turn to online support, therefore not offering them a proper environment to collect feedback and answer pain points can prevent small businesses from growing. “We are best known for our friendly support. Many of our clients who request dynamic designs and social media services are local legal firms who understand this is the proper way to reach their audience., says Dan Steiner from Elite Legal Marketing, a US-based startup that offers tailored marketing services to attorneys.

Where Can Small Businesses Acquire Their First Domain

GoDaddy has been around for quite some time. Besides domain sales, users can participate in auctions for expired domains, buy different types of domain extensions, hosting and more. Sedo takes pride in being startup-friendly. Their main audience consists of brands looking to secure their web presence, specialists targeting marketing domains and launches of new domain extensions and top level domains (gTLD), among others.

 

Known as the number #1 marketplace for buying and selling websites, domains and apps, Flippa has probably been marked as a favorite for many Internet entrepreneurs, bloggers and online marketers looking to expand their services.

 

Another star on the list, Dynadot is a good place for domain auctions, new domain purchases and domain backorders (ideal for those looking to catch a domain once it’s re-released). Word on the street is they are present at #NamesCon 2017. With a more European focus, EuroDNS offers not just domain services, but also hosting, SSL certificates and DNS services. Their affiliate and resellers programs can be a good reason to choose them.

 

Independent of choices, according to Small Business Administration’s website, in the US alone there are over 28 million small businesses and approximately 22 million self-employed entrepreneurs, however less than 55% of them own an active domain. We hope 2017 will bring businesses closer to their customers, both offline and online, and close the gap between online consumers and brands.

 

Image source: Pixabay

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