March, 2018

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CCWG-Accountability WS2 Final Report

Open Date: 30 March 2018 Close Date: 11 May 2018
Originating Organization: Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability)
Categories/Tags: Accountability
Brief Overview:

Purpose: This Public Comment seeks community input on whether there are any inconsistencies1 between the various sets of recommendations within the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability's (CCWG-Accountability) final report from its Work Stream 2 (WS2). The CCWG-Accountability WS2 final report is a compilation of eight reports generated through individual sub-groups of the CCWG-Accountability, each of which has already been the subject of public comment. These eight reports are on the topics identified at Section 27.1. of the ICANN Bylaws2, which defined WS2.

Current Status: At its 9 March 2018 face-to-face meeting at ICANN61 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the CCWG-Accountability completed its approval of each of the sub-group reports for inclusion within the WS2 final report.

Next Steps: The inputs from the public comment period will be analyzed by the CCWG-Accountability, which will consider amending the report in light of the relevant comments received about inconsistencies. The CCWG-Accountability will publish a report on the results of the public consultation. If there are no significant changes required, the CCWG-Accountability will forward its WS2 final report to its Chartering Organizations for endorsement and then to the ICANN Board for consideration and adoption.
Link: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/ccwg-acct-ws2-final-2018-03-30-en

1 Because each of these sub-reports has already been the subject of public comment, and in order to complete its work in a timely manner, the CCWG-Accountability is limiting this public comment opportunity only to the identification of inconsistencies between the recommendations across the report. The CCWG-Accountability will not be in a position to re-address substantive issues and open new public comment periods on portions of the report and complete WS2 within its proposed and budgeted completion date of June 2018.

2 Section 27.1 of the Bylaws defines nine topics for inclusion within WS2. However, the Cooperative Engagement Process (CEP) was identified as better suited for coordination with the work on updating ICANN's Independent Review Process, as opposed to handling with WS2. By agreement with the CCWG-Accountability and the community group supporting the updates to the Independent Review Process, the CEP was removed from WS2.

Annual IANA Functions Audits Validate ICANN Systems Controls

LOS ANGELES – 29 March 2018 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has completed audits of the Public Technical Identifiers (PTI) Registry Assignment and Maintenance Systems (RAMS) and the Root Zone Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) services provided as part of the IANA functions. International accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) conducted the audits for the period of 1 October 2016 through 30 November 2017.

For the fifth consecutive year, a Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 audit of PTI's RAMS shows that the ICANN organization has the appropriate controls in place to ensure the security, availability, and integrity of IANA request processing.

For the eighth consecutive year, SOC 3 certification has been achieved for the management of the DNSSEC root key signing key, which is the trust anchor of the domain name system. The SOC 3 certification demonstrates that effective security controls are maintained to manage the root key signing key. The certificate is publicly available at: http://iana.org/audits.

SOC audits evaluate an organization's controls in relation to "trust services principles and criteria" and are managed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). In August of 2017, the ICANN org solicited proposals for an independent auditor to conduct future SOC audits. After careful consideration, RSM US LLP was selected to conduct these audits beginning 1 October 2017. "PwC has done a great job as our audit firm since 2010, and guided us as we established an audit culture within our organization. Industry best practices suggest periodically rotating auditors to gain a fresh external perspective, and we determined it was the right time to make the switch to ensure ongoing community confidence in our service delivery. We are grateful for the many years of service that PwC has provided and welcome the team from RSM," said Kim Davies, ICANN's Vice President of IANA. Kim Davies also serves as President of the Public Technical Identifiers (PTI), the affiliate of ICANN that provides the IANA functions.

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must 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 with a community of participants from all over the world.

Maximal Starting Repertoire Version 3 (MSR-3) for the Development of Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone

LOS ANGELES – 29 March 2018 - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (lCANN) today announced the release of the third version of the Maximal Starting Repertoire (MSR-3). This version is upwardly compatible with MSR-2 and adds three code points each to the repertoires of Han and Latin scripts. Under the Procedure to Develop and Maintain Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone with Respect to IDN Labels [PDF, 72 KB] , the MSR is the starting point for the work by community based Generation Panels which are developing the proposals for relevant scripts for the Root Zone Label Generation Rules (RZ-LGR). The contents of MSR-3 and the detailed rationale behind its development are described in MSR-3-Overview and Rationale [PDF, 242 KB]. The RZ-LGR is a mechanism for determining valid IDN top-level domain labels and their variant labels.

MSR-3 covers the following 28 scripts: Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Cyrillic, Devanagari, Ethiopic, Georgian, Greek, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Han, Hangul, Hebrew, Hiragana, Kannada, Katakana, Khmer, Lao, Latin, Malayalam, Myanmar, Oriya, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu, Thaana, Tibetan, and Thai. For these scripts, MSR-3 contains 33,496 code points short-listed from 97,973 PVALID/CONTEXT code points of Unicode version 6.3.

In addition to selecting their repertoire from within the MSR for developing the RZ-LGR proposals, Generation Panels will also evaluate whether any such code points are variant code points and if any rules are needed to further constrain the labels generated using these code points. The resulting RZ-LGR proposals by the Generation Panels will be released for public comment before they are reviewed by the Integration Panel for integration into the RZ-LGR.

MSR-3 defers code points that are already encoded in later releases of Unicode. In addition, the Integration Panel monitors any scripts not included in the MSR for indications change in the MSR is warranted. Until such a change of the MSR, MSR-3 will be the foundation for any RZ-LGR versions developed. All future versions of the MSR and all versions of the RZ-LGR must retain full backwards compatibility.

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must 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 with a community of participants from all over the world.

ICANN Requests DPA Guidance on Proposed Interim Model for GDPR Compliance

LOS ANGELES – 28 March 2018 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") has requested European data protection authorities (DPAs) provide specific guidance on the organization's Proposed Interim Compliance Model [PDF, 922 KB] as it relates to the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In letters to each of the 28 European member states' DPAs and the European Data Protection Supervisor, ICANN asks the authorities to "help ICANN and the domain name registries and registrars to maintain the global WHOIS in its current form, through either clarification of the GDPR, a moratorium on enforcement or other relevant actions, until a revised WHOIS policy that balances these critical public interest perspectives may be developed and implemented."

Absent this specific guidance, the integrity of the global WHOIS system and the organization's ability to enforce WHOIS requirements after the GDPR becomes effective will be threatened.

ICANN is concerned that continued ambiguity on the application of the GDPR to the global WHOIS may result in many domain name registries and registrars choosing not to publish or collect WHOIS out of fear that they will be subject to significant fines following actions brought against them by the European DPAs. ICANN has set out that its 2,500 domain name registries and registrars need clear guidance and a moratorium so that they will not have enforcement actions brought against them while they implement changes to comply with the GDPR.

At the same time, governments world-wide, law enforcement authorities, and those fighting abuse on the Internet are deeply concerned that blocked access to the global WHOIS may significantly harm the public interest, by blocking access to critical information which allow them to enforce other laws and protect consumers, critical infrastructure and intellectual property rights.

More information on ICANN's data protection/privacy activities is available here.

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must 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 with a community of participants from all over the world.

Draft Final Report of the NomCom2 Review

Open Date: 27 March 2018 Close Date: 7 May 2018
Originating Organization: Multistakeholder Strategy and Strategic Initiatives (MSSI)
Categories/Tags:

Reviews/Improvements, Accountability/Transparency

Brief Overview: Public comment on the independent examiner’s Draft Final Report is invited as part of the second Nominating Committee Organizational Review (NomCom2). A webinar on the Draft Final Report will be hosted by the independent examiner, Analysis Group.
Link: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/nomcom2-review-2018-03-27-en

Proposed Revisions to Bylaws Section 11 – Additional Voting Thresholds

Open Date: 26 March 2018 Close Date: 5 May 2018
Originating Organization: ICANN Board of Directors
Categories/Tags: Operating Procedures, Bylaws
Brief Overview: During its meeting on 30 January 2018, the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council resolved unanimously (https://community.icann.org/display/gnsocouncilmeetings/Motions+30+January+2018) to recommend that the ICANN Board of Directors adopt the proposed changes to section 11.3.i of the ICANN Bylaws to reflect additional GNSO voting thresholds which are different from the current threshold of a simple majority vote of each House (see https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/proposed-revisions-bylaws-article-11-gnso-redline-19jun17-en.pdf [PDF, 39 KB]). These additional voting thresholds are intended to address all the new or additional rights and responsibilities in relation to participation of the GNSO as a Decisional Participant in the Empowered Community and to fully implement these new or additional rights and responsibilities as they appear in the revised GNSO Operating Procedures published on 30 January 2018 (see https://gnso.icann.org/en/council/op-procedures-30jan18-en.pdf [PDF, 1.68 MB]). In its resolution on 15 March 2018, the Board directs the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to post for public comment for a period of at least 40 days the Standard Bylaw Amendment reflecting proposed additions to section 11.3.i of the ICANN Bylaws to establish additional GNSO voting thresholds. (See: https://www.icann.org/resources/board-material/resolutions-2018-03-15-en)
Link: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/bylaws-section11-voting-2018-03-26-en

ICANN63 Fellowship Application Round Now Open

LOS ANGELES – 20 March 2018 - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (lCANN) is launching the application round for individuals interested in participating in the ICANN63 Public Meeting through the Fellowship Program. The meeting will take place from 20-26 October 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. The deadline to apply is 27 April 2018, 23:59 UTC. Successful candidates will be announced on 27 July 2018 on icann.org.

ICANN Fellowship Program

The Fellowship Program seeks out individuals who are interested in, or already engaged in, the various aspects of ICANN's work in policy building, the operation of the Domain Name System, and the security and stability of the global Internet. The goal of the program is to create a more diverse and a broader base of knowledgeable constituents who can engage in the ICANN multistakeholder process and become the new voices of experience in their regions and on the global stage.

Since its creation in 2007, the Fellowship Program has built a strong group of individuals who are actively participating in ICANN communities and in other Internet governance entities in the Internet ecosystem. Participation covers a range of activities:

  • Writing articles and blogs
  • Giving online or in-person public comments about bottom-up policy building
  • Participating in Internet conferences and panel discussions
  • Joining working groups
  • Mentoring newcomers
  • Assisting our regional leaders
  • Becoming leaders themselves

More information

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must 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 with a community of participants from all over the world.

Nomination Period for ICANN Multistakeholder Ethos Award Extended

Nominations Close 28 March 2018

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 has been extended until 28 March 2018.

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 ethosaward2018@icann.org.

Award recipient(s) will be announced in June 2018 at ICANN62 Panama City.

For more insights on the award program, please consult the ICANN Community Wiki.

Submit Nominations Via the Ethos Award Nomination Form

ICANN Community Onboarding Pilot Program Call for Nominations by SOs/ACs

LOS ANGELES – 19 March 2018 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has issued a call for nominations from the Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs) for the Community Onboarding Pilot (COP) Program at ICANN62. The COP seeks to improve ICANN community newcomer engagement and retention rates through mentorship, knowledge, and experience sharing. Nominations are due no later than Monday, 16 April 2018, 23:59 UTC. Additional details can be found here.

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must 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 with a community of participants from all over the world.

An Interview with Pablo Rodriguez of NIC.PR, ICANN61’s Local Host

Pablo Rodriguez is Executive VP of NIC.PR, ICANN61's local host. For many years, he has been influential in many organizations in the domain name industry in North America and Latin America and the Caribbean. In ICANN, Rodriguez was involved in the work that led to the creation of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO), and represents North America on the ccNSO Council. He is also a ccNSO representative on the 2018 ICANN Nominating Committee, and will be involved in outreach to fill this year's open leadership positions.

In 2011 during the natural disasters in Japan, and again in 2017 during Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Rodriguez was personally involved in the development of protections of domain name holders.

We recently asked Rodriguez about ICANN61, Puerto Rican recovery efforts since Hurricane Maria, and his work in the ccNSO.

What does it mean to you to be hosting ICANN61 in San Juan just six months after Hurricane Maria?

Hosting ICANN61 six months after Hurricane Maria is a testament to our commitment to the development of our Internet community, both local and regional, and to the resiliency of our people in the face of adversity. We are proud to be hosting this ICANN Public Meeting, where the local and regional community can participate and have their voices heard.

Describe the state of the Puerto Rico's Internet infrastructure after Maria, how far you've come in terms of restoring Internet service, and what remains to be done?

Telecommunication services bounced back from utter destruction six months ago to current levels of nearly 99% restoration of service. The San Juan metropolitan area is the economic engine of the island – and Internet service is very near pre-Maria levels. Electricity services are still slowly being restored outside the metropolitan area.

What was NIC.PR's involvement in the rebuilding efforts?

NIC.PR provided our government with domain names, namely status.pr, and webhosting services to support information distribution and transparency regarding the restoration of services. We also used our offices as storage facilities for water, baby food, diapers, and other non-perishable goods.

Getting back to your work in the ccNSO Council, what are its major areas of focus?

Currently, the ccNSO is involved in numerous initiatives. One that will require a lot of attention is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its impact on domain name operators in other regions of the world.

What do you see as the future challenges for the ccNSO?

The Latin American and Caribbean regions are prone to natural disasters, but so are other regions. For example, Japan experienced a terrible earthquake and tsunami in 2011, and Mexico experienced an earthquake fewer than 24 hours before Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017. One issue I'm confident that the ccNSO will discuss at ICANN61 is how to protect domain name holders against the loss of their domain names during a natural disaster.

Enhancing Transparency in Contractual Compliance Reporting

In an earlier blog, Enhancing Transparency in Contractual Compliance, I briefed the community on the Contractual Compliance department's initiative to enhance transparency around our reporting. I'd like to briefly update you on this initiative's latest developments.

Our enhanced monthly reports now provide more detailed information on complaints related to the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) Category 1 Safeguards and Public Interest Commitments. This report builds on the contractual compliance-related recommendations from the Competition, Consumer Choice, and Consumer Trust Review Team draft report and the Governmental Advisory Committee's Copenhagen Communique [PDF, 190 KB].

Consistent with the advice we received from the GAC, specific safeguards apply to registry operators of a broad category of top-level domains (TLDs) related to consumer protection, sensitive strings, and regulated or professional sectors (GAC Category 1 TLDs). The complaints identified in this category are related to TLDs or second level domains in TLDs on the GAC Category 1 list. Information about the GAC Category 1 Safeguards advice, categories, and implementation framework can be found here. The new enhanced reporting will be published in March 2018 and take effect from January 2018. Information about the subject matter of complaints is available on the monthly Dashboard Explanation page.

In addition, we have added two new quarterly reports based on input from ICANN community members. The goal is to provide more detailed reporting about complaint resolution and closure code. The two new reports are "Registrar Closed Complaints by Closure Code" and "Registry Closed Complaints by Closure Code." The closure codes are categorized into three groups: Resolved, Out of Scope, and ICANN Issue. This report completes the complaint lifecycle, from ticket receipt to closure.

Over the past year or so, the compliance team has enhanced the transparency regarding the subject matter of complaints in ICANN's publicly available compliance reports for Whois Inaccuracy by the three categories of Syntax, Operability, and Identity; DNS Abuse; Transfer Policy;  and reported data by legacy gTLDs and new gTLDs. The team has also created several quarterly and annual reports that include all complaint types based on the type of gTLD at issue in the complaint (legacy or new gTLDs), a breakdown of reporter categories, enforcement, and resolution of complaints.

We hope that with these enhancements, Contractual Compliance has addressed not only the CCTRT's "…recommendations for practical reform within ICANN Contractual Compliance," and the findings that the "data available from ICANN Contractual Compliance are insufficient," but also the other recommendations from the Public Safety Working Group and the broader ICANN community.

Contractual Compliance Performance Reports are made available on https://www.icann.org. We always welcome any feedback you may have. Please contact ICANN Contractual Compliance at compliance@icann.org if you have any questions, or would like to submit feedback.

Welcome to Puerto Rico! ¡Bienvenidos a San Juan!

Chris Mondini, ICANN's VP, Stakeholder Engagement for North America and Global Business Engagement, welcomes you to the beautiful city of San Juan. The ICANN61 Community Forum is welcoming nearly 2,000 participants from 150 countries. Over 300 sessions will tackle a range of topics relating to the Internet's addressing and identifier systems – from policy challenges to technical and security issues. He hopes that you'll find the meeting productive and invigorating, and that ICANN61 will help strengthen the ICANN multistakeholder model.

Data Protection/Privacy Issues Update: More Details Published on ICANN-proposed Interim Model

As we prepare for discussions about the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) at ICANN61 next week in San Juan, today we are publishing [PDF, 923 KB] additional details on ICANN's Proposed Interim Model for compliance with the law and ICANN's contracts. We encourage you to review the document and are asking for your feedback.

This is a living document and builds on the summary we published [PDF, 727 KB] on 28 February 2018. It will be updated as our conversations with the community and data protection authorities (DPAs) progress, in particular with respect to competing community views on some elements. This proposal also delves further into each of the key elements of the Proposed Interim Model, community comments received on those elements, and the legal justifications underpinning the model. We hope this will help advance our conversation as we come to consensus on a single, unified interim model.

As I've previously mentioned, our goal is to identify the appropriate balance for a common path forward to ensure compliance with the GDPR while maintaining the existing WHOIS system to the greatest extent possible. With that in mind, the Proposed Interim Model maintains current requirements for the collection of registration data (including registrant, administrative, and technical contact information), but restricts most personal data to tiered/layered access via an accreditation program to be developed in consultation with the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), DPAs and contracted parties with full transparency to the ICANN community. Tiered/layered access is a key feature of the model and is a significant change to the current WHOIS. ICANN org has engaged with its community members, including contracted parties, governments, including DPAs, law enforcement, intellectual property representatives, and civil society to address the GDPR's impact on ICANN's contracts, particularly as it relates to the collection, retention, and display of registration data in the WHOIS services.

In addition to the community discussions at ICANN61, I indicated in a blog on 7 March 2018 that we will share this detailed description of the Proposed Interim Model with the Article 29 Working Party. We plan to discuss it in greater detail with them later this month and into April when the Working Party holds its next plenary meeting, after which we hope to publish their feedback.

We welcome your feedback, as well as encourage you to continue dialogue with each other to arrive at consensus on a single, unified interim model. Please share your thoughts by emailing gdpr@icann.org or at the ICANN61 meeting in San Juan next week, where there are several sessions devoted to GDPR. We hope you can participate in the discussions either remotely or in person. And please check back on our Data Protection/Privacy Issues page for the latest updates on this important topic.

Data Protection/Privacy Issues Update: Discussion with Article 29

As we prepare to depart to San Juan for the ICANN61 meeting, I wanted to provide you with the latest update on our efforts related to compliance with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). There have been a number of webinars and calls organized by various constituencies in the last few days, in which ICANN org colleagues and I have participated, giving us a chance to further exchange views as we refine the proposed model.

On 2 March, we had a useful discussion with the Article 29 Working Party regarding our recent publication of a Proposed Interim Model for GDPR Compliance. During that conversation, we summarized the elements of our Proposed Interim Model and shared the valuable feedback we have received from community members, including where viewpoints on the proposed interim models have diverged. In addition, we emphasized the importance of a common approach for the organization together with the registries and registrars. The Article 29 representatives noted the progress we have made in developing a plan of action to comply with the regulation, and expressed their willingness to review the Proposed Interim Model in more detail, particularly regarding the purposes for the collection and publication of data, the data retention period, data processing agreements, and the justifications surrounding access to full registration data for accredited users. We are also looking forward to a deeper exchange with the Article 29 Working Party later in March on the rationale for the interim model. The data protection authorities will continue their internal coordination through March, taking into account further details coming from ICANN on the final model, and we plan to touch base with them then, and into April when the Art 29 WP holds its next plenary meeting. We hope that they will be able to publish feedback.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to continuing this discussion with you at the San Juan meeting, either in person or via remote participation.

Towards a Multilingual Internet – Recent Discussions in Guangzhou

Chinese domain names have always been popular in China. Owing to supportive policies, as well as the rapid mobile Internet penetration in China, corporations and individuals are increasingly familiar with and using more Chinese domain names.

To my knowledge, international search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo already support Chinese domain name search. Google's and Microsoft's email systems have also started to support non-English email addresses otherwise known as Email Address Internationalization (EAI).

Unfortunately, search engines in China are still underperforming in the search and display of Chinese domain names. With the exception of the experimental email environment set up by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) and Chinese email service provider Coremail, most Chinese email service providers have yet to introduce services to allow Chinese email addresses to be used.

Although we are able to type Chinese characters using 'pinyin' input method* on our keyboards, it is still important for us to promote the acceptance of domain names and email addresses in Chinese characters.

On the back of this, I attended an EAI seminar in Guangzhou that was organized by the Universal Acceptance Steering Group** (UASG) and hosted by Coremail on 11-12 January 2018. Global email providers, technical experts from the Chinese government, as well as Chinese registries and registrars, gathered to share their experiences and challenges in the deployment and promotion of EAI.

What is particularly noteworthy was our visit to Tencent (one of China's top technology giant) together with the Information and Communications Administration from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). We had an open, friendly exchange on the importance of EAI for the Chinese community and how QQ (Tencent's instant messaging software) mailboxes can better support EAI. In addition, Microsoft shared its work plan on making all of its email systems, such as Office365, Hotmail, and Outlook, support EAI.

In summary, our Chinese community members who attended the seminar felt it was a meaningful opportunity for communication and exchange. They welcome more cooperation with the UASG in 2018 to push forward the development of domain names and email addresses in Chinese.

Indeed, there are forthcoming events in China which could provide useful venues for such sharing. I will provide more updates in the near future.

 

*Pinyin input method is based on the pronunciation of Mandarin and is the standard Romanization system for Chinese, using Latin alphabets to denote the Chinese character.

**The UASG was set up in 2015 by members of the Internet community, with support from ICANN. Its primary mission is to help software developers and website owners understand how to update their systems to keep pace with an evolving Domain Name System (DNS). Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) and EAI are part of its focus, but similar issues exist for new ASCII top-level domains too. IDNs refer to domain names that contain Chinese, Cyrillic, Arabic, and other non-English characters; EAI refers email addresses that contain non-English characters in either the domain name or the mailbox name. The deployment and promotion of IDN and EAI technologies will help pave the way towards a multilingual Internet.

Furthering Government Participation in ICANN

In my previous blogs (parts 1 and 2), I discussed the need for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region to participate in ICANN's multistakeholder model. I want to share a recent engagement to facilitate government participation and opportunities for our region to collaborate further.

In conjunction with the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Conference on Operational Technologies (APRICOT) 2018, we organized the first Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) capacity-development workshop for Asian GAC members in Kathmandu, Nepal from 24-25 February 2018.

An initiative of the ICANN GAC Under-served Regions Working Group, this is the fifth workshop around the world, focusing on developing the capacity of GAC members to facilitate more effective participation in ICANN. The Asian GAC-focused workshop helped the 20 participants from 13 Asian economies better understand ICANN, our ecosystem, and participation model.

Since we were at APRICOT, community leaders who were in Nepal also participated. For example, we took the opportunity for Akinori Maemura, member of ICANN Board of Directors, who hails from the region - Japan - to share with participants and it turned out to be very interactive and engaging. Workshop participants also had opportunities to network with APAC Internet organizations like the Internet Society Asia Pacific Bureau, the Asia Pacific Top Level Domain (APTLD) and Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC).

Overall, participants shared that the content was very good and particularly appreciated the interactivity of the sessions. They exchanged views, shared best practices and learned from one another. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank our GAC Vice Chair Guo Feng for his leadership in facilitating some of the discussions.

Some notable discussion points that open potential opportunities for collaboration include:

Further awareness building: Participants shared that awareness of ICANN and the Internet ecosystem was still relatively low in developing and least developed countries. As such, governments tend to prioritize other public policy issues. This is an area where the ICANN org regional team can partner with GAC members. We have partnered with governments to engage with their local communities in the past, and seen success in places such as Cambodia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

Coordination and collaboration with regional community: Participants agreed that it would be useful to engage more frequently as a region during ICANN meetings, and commit to explore leveraging regional fora such as the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF). They were also impressed by the ICANN Readout sessions - organized by community members to provide ICANN meeting updates to fellow community members unable to attend the ICANN meeting in person - conducted in local communities as a model to explore with their own communities. Such platforms would allow GAC members to engage with other stakeholder groups and communities in the region.

The above are opportunities for us to work together as a region to foster participation in ICANN's multistakeholder model. I hope that we can collaborate as one region and learn from one another. For starters, join us at the next APAC Space in San Juan during ICANN61. APAC Space is a platform for our community to share views on ICANN policy issues and discuss how to better participate in ICANN.

Lastly, I'd like to thank my colleagues from the various ICANN org teams for contributing to the success of the workshop. This includes the teams from Government Engagement, Policy Development Support, and Office of the CTO.

If you'd like to see other photos of the GAC workshop in action, please visit my twitter handle.

Fun Fact: Since establishing the APAC regional office in 2013, we have facilitated 4 new GAC members - Cambodia, Palau, Timor Leste, and Nepal. The Oceania region has 100% GAC participation.

The Information Transparency Initiative (ITI) and the Open Data Initiative (ODI): Similarities, Differences, and What These Projects Mean for You.

You've heard and read about the Information Transparency Initiative (ITI) and the Open Data Initiative (ODI), but you may be unsure of the difference between the two projects.

ITI and ODI share a similar goal – to make it easier for the ICANN community to access information. This goal is in service of the ICANN organization's commitment to accountability and transparency. While ITI and ODI share a similar goal, the two initiatives are distinct projects that tackle different types of ICANN information and use different methods of making that information more transparent.

What is ODI?

ODI's objective is to provide the ICANN community with access to raw data through an open data platform. The ICANN org will:

  • Build processes and support for this platform to enable the sharing of ICANN data.
  • Consider procedures and methods of working in a data‑rich environment.
  • Ensure this resource is used effectively, creatively, and responsibly.

As we discussed earlier, the ICANN org has commitments to accountability and transparency, and ODI must reflect and demonstrate those commitments. The default position must be that all ICANN data is open unless there are significant reasons to treat it otherwise. If data is important enough for the ICANN org to collect and store, then it is important enough to share with the ICANN community. It is not the ICANN org's role to determine which data is useful to publish or decide how stakeholders will use this data. The more we make data available, the more useful and valuable it becomes – as people analyze it, combine it, and enhance it in ways we cannot predict and most importantly, in ways we must not constrain.

It will take time to implement ODI, but the resulting open data platform will be comprehensive and authoritative. ODI will provide the ICANN org with a more formalized approach to data management and will give the ICANN community greater access to data.

The ICANN community has called for such an initiative and has listed a wide range of uses and benefits they will get from open data, including a shift towards evidence-based policy.

What Is ITI?

ITI is focused on improving access to and findability of ICANN's published information through the implementation of a first-ever document management system (DMS) and the enforcement of content governance. ITI will begin with content on https://www.icann.org, which includes over 104,000 webpages, reports, correspondence, infographics, and audio and video files. The ICANN Board approved funding for ITI in September 2017 at its Montevideo Meeting (click the link to read the Board resolution and learn more about ITI's goals). The project officially kicked off in January 2018 and is expected to deliver that increased transparency of information and improved search in December 2019.

To increase transparency of ICANN's public information and make it easier for you to access this information, we need to:

  • Improve the multilingual navigation of https://www.icann.org.
  • Implement multifaceted search in all six U.N. languages.
  • Give users the ability to receive new public content directly to their inboxes if that is their preference.

During this 24-month initiative, we will rebuild the foundations of the technical infrastructure of ICANN's information management and content presentation with a new DMS and a new content management system (CMS). We will use the DMS to implement and enforce content governance through a consistent, multilingual taxonomy and improved information architecture. This work will also serve as foundational elements for 22 ICANN web properties, including the Supporting Organization and Advisory Committee (SO/AC) sites. ITI will begin with https://www.icann.org and 14 other ICANN web properties.

The ICANN community's feedback is vital to the successful implementation of ITI. We will be conducting regular sessions at ICANN Public Meetings, arranging webinars, and sharing information and updates in blogs like this one. We are also launching a platform, http://feedback.icann.org to give you the opportunity to share feedback directly on the content and features we are working on. The feedback site will be available on 10 March 2018.

Read more about ITI in two previous blogs:

ITI vs. ODI

Below is a chart that helps explain the difference between the two initiatives:

  ITI ODI
Goal Increased transparency, and improved accessibility and availability of information. Increased transparency, and improved accessibility and availability of information.
Information Type All content on https://www.icann.org and 14 other web properties. Raw data that meets the data classification policy for public release.
Method Rebuild of technical infrastructure of ICANN's information management, and implementation and enforcement of content governance through a new DMS and CMS. Evaluate, collect, and publish data that ICANN creates or collects that is relevant to ICANN's mission or the unique identifiers that it helps to coordinate.
Platform New DMS and improved https://www.icann.org. An ICANN open data platform.
Expected Delivery December 2019 RFP is under development.

The ICANN org has made commitments to improve its accountability and transparency, and these two initiatives are important steps in helping the ICANN org meet those goals.

ICANN61 Cross Community Session

Members of the ITI and ODI teams will be presenting and available to answer questions at: the Cross Community Session: Open Data & Information Transparency at ICANN: Developing Avenues Forward.

The session is scheduled for Wednesday 14 March at 1030 in Ballroom A.

Please do attend the session and we look forward to seeing you all at ICANN61.

If you have any questions about these initiatives, email us at:

ITI: informationtransparency@icann.org

ODI: odi-pilot@icann.org

Public Comment Period Opens for Board Member Integrity Screening Process

On 1 November 2017, ICANN Board Chair Cherine Chalaby reported on several steps that the Board agreed to take around Board Member Integrity Screening, an issue we had been discussing for a while. These steps included, among others, the passage of Resolution 2017.11.02.33, which directed the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to develop and post for public comment calling on the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees that do not currently employ a due diligence integrity screening process to seriously consider utilizing a due diligence integrity screening process similar (or identical to) the processed used by the Nominating Committee.

Today, the ICANN organization published the proposal paper and opened a public comment period that will run until 17 April 2018 at 23:59 UTC. On behalf of the Board Governance Committee, which I chair, I encourage you to participate to ensure that your concerns are heard and addressed.

Post a comment or view comments on the proposed Board Member Integrity Screening Process.

The Board will include this on the agenda for our sessions during ICANN61 with relevant Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees. Following the public comment period, all relevant comments will be taken into consideration for finalization of the process, which will be submitted for approval to the ICANN Board. We look forward to continuing the discussion of this issue during ICANN61 and following the public comment.

Talking DNS Business in the Caribbean: The Launch of VDECC

In terms of Internet, one may say that Port of Spain is the equivalent of Montevideo in the Caribbean region. Why? Because the capital of Trinidad & Tobago is the proud host of key organizations that serve the entire region in the digital development agenda. This is the home of many institutions dedicated to the Caribbean region including the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), CANTO (a non-profit association made up of operators, organizations, companies and individuals in the Information and Communications Technology sector) and the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG). Together, they are our partners in a new initiative called VDECC: Virtual DNS Entrepreneurship Center for the Caribbean, along with the Latin American and Caribbean Association of ccTLDs (LACTLD).

VDECC was launched last 19 February 2018 in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. The initiative aims at building capacity for Caribbean entrepreneurs, and serving as a knowledge and networking resource on digital business opportunities tailored to the region. As a virtual organization, VDECC will make use of online tools to develop its programs, without the need of a physical location.

During the first event, we explored two main topics: "What is a good website and domain name?" and "How to provide sustainable services with Internet tools." We are thankful to the speakers from NIC.bz, Punto2012, ICT pro TT, TTNIC, eMagine, Forward Multimedia and Carigamers for their brilliant presentations and discussions that will soon be posted at www.vdecc.online

VDECC is one of the key projects of the LAC Strategy Plan and we will keep working with our partners and community working groups on the 2018 agenda for the virtual center. Join us in this journey!

For additional information, take a look at some of the coverage of the VDECC launching:

ICANN Spearheading Launch of Virtual DNS Entrepreneurship Center of the Caribbean – Circle ID

ICANN Spearheads Initiative to Build Internet Economy in the Caribbean – Caribbean 360

New Scheme to Teach Caribbean Business People How to Maximize Web Presence – The Kitts Nevis Observer

Strengthening LAC Community Involvement in ICANN’s Policy Development Work

The ICANN62 Policy Forum meeting in Panama City in June 2018, presents an opportunity to strengthen the involvement of Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) community members in ICANN's policy and outreach activities.

We will build on the success of the first Regional Newcomers Fellowship Pilot at ICANN59 in Johannesburg and select 15 individuals from the LAC region to participate at ICANN62 as part of the pilot.

Many of you may be aware that the Fellowship Program is only open to alumni for the Policy Forum; newcomers are not eligible due to the nature and focus of the meeting on policy development.

To complement this, the Regional Newcomers Fellowship Pilot furthers regional engagement by bringing newcomers from the region in which the meeting is taking place.

Those selected to participate will be integrated with the rest of ICANN Fellows for the duration of the meeting and bring a wealth of experience and diversity. The 15 slots will count against the total number of annual ICANN Fellowship Program slots.

Application and selection processes are carried out by ICANN's regional Global Stakeholder Engagement team.

In selecting participants for the Panama meeting, we focused our efforts on maintaining stakeholder group balance. Candidates are from the naming and number communities, contracted parties, private sector and civil society. We worked closely with and sought advice from regional organizations such LACNIC, LACTLD, LACRALO, NPOC and NCUC to achive our objective.

Selection criteria included:

  1. Be a newcomer (never attended an ICANN meeting in the past)
  2. Be a national from a country in the LAC region
  3. Be currently involved or have demonstrated potential to contribute to ICANN´s policy work

Although the names of successful applicants will be published soon, we are happy to share information related to gender and geographic diversity, as follows:

Gender:

  • 8 female
  • 7 male

Countries: 11 total

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

We look forward to working closely with the selectees and colleagues from the region to ensure program participants maximize on this opportunity to participate at the Policy Forum in Panama.

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