May, 2018

now browsing by month

 

ICANN Adobe Connect Services Restored

Today, I am writing to let you know that we are restoring ICANN's Adobe Connect collaboration services, effective 1 June 2018. This decision was made following extensive independent and joint forensics investigations by ICANN org, CoSo Cloud LLC (our Adobe Connect cloud service provider) and Adobe Inc to determine the cause and subsequent resolution to the reported security issue. We also enlisted the help of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee member who reported the issue, as well as an independent, expert third-party information security team to help us test the software fixes which addressed the root cause of the issue.

Based on the results of these comprehensive investigations and tests, I feel confident that any known issues have been addressed.

You'll recall that when addressing this issue, we asked for community input. The community, as well as staff, indicated a strong preference for Adobe Connect to be reinstated.

I want to thank the community, and the individual who reported the issue, for your patience as we worked through this issue. For mid- to long-term use, we will continue to thoroughly evaluate other remote participation and collaboration (RPC) tools, such as Zoom, as possible options.

Accountability Indicators Goes from Beta to Version 1

Many of you provided constructive feedback since the beta release of our Accountability Indicators last August, which transformed the previous KPI Dashboard. This new platform better communicates our progress towards the strategic and operating plans, and demonstrates the organization's accountability and transparency.

As of last Friday, 25 May, we released Version 1, which improves upon the Beta version in areas such as:

  1. Improved charts that further leverage new technology features, such as this example:

    Improved Charts that Further Leverage New Technology Features

  2. Added new charts depicting additional functional progress, such as this example:

    New Charts Depicting Additional Functional Progress

  3. An automated update process. which increases data accuracy and efficiency.

Version 2 planning has already begun, with a focus on data-feed automation from ICANN's systems, alignment with the upcoming strategic plan, and continuous improvements.

Your feedback is very important to helping us improve, and we look forward to hearing from you.

ICANN Board Adopts the FY19 Operating Plan and Budget

LOS ANGELES – 31 May 2018 – On 30 May 2018, the Board of Directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) adopted ICANN's FY19 Operating Plan and Budget, and updates to the Five-Year Operating Plan. Under ICANN's post-IANA Stewardship Transition Bylaws, the Empowered Community has the faculty to review, consider, or reject these documents before they go into effect.

ICANN's FY19 Operating Plan and Budget and updates to the Five-Year Operating Plan are the result of 11 months of collaborative work between the ICANN organization, the community, the PTI Board, and the ICANN Board Finance Committee. These documents include:

  • Highlights of ICANN Operations, including a summary of changes from the Draft FY19 Operating Plan and Budget.
  • An Overview of ICANN's FY19 Budget.
  • A Detailed description of the FY19 Operating Plan.
  • Detailed descriptions of the portfolios of activities supporting the goals and objectives described in the ICANN Strategic Plan for the Fiscal Years of 2016 to 2020, and the updated Five-Year Operating Plan.
  • Detailed lists of projects for each portfolio and project-level budgeted costs.

The continuous participation of the community in the planning process is a cornerstone of ICANN's transparency and accountability to the global multistakeholder community. ICANN thanks all community members who contributed to the development of the budget. Access budget documents for FY19 and previous years are published here.

According to the ICANN Bylaws Annex D, Section 6.2, the Empowered Community now has the opportunity to consider if the following powers should be exercised:

  • Reject the ICANN FY19 Operating Plan and Budget.
  • Reject updates to the Five-Year Operating Plan.

These documents will go into effect after giving the Empowered Community the time to consider if they will raise a petition rejecting the budgets and/or operating plans. Decisional participants of the Empowered Community have 28 days to bring forth a petition rejecting any of these documents. In this sense, under Annex D, Section 2 of the Bylaws, there is a 21-day period for any decisional participant to raise a petition to reject documents, followed by a 7-day period to obtain support for the petition. For more information on the petition process, please refer to the ICANN Bylaws.

If the Empowered Community does not raise a petition, the budget will become effective 1 July 2018.

What Is the Empowered Community?

The Empowered Community is the mechanism through which ICANN's Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs) can organize under California law to legally enforce community powers. The community powers and rules that govern the Empowered Community are defined in the ICANN Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.

Who Can Participate in the Empowered Community?

All of ICANN's SOs, At-Large, and Governmental ACs, can be decisional participants in the Empowered Community, including:

  • Address Supporting Organization (ASO)
  • Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO)
  • Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)
  • At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC)
  • Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)

How Does the Empowered Community Use Its powers?

The Empowered Community has an escalation process to reject ICANN's FY19 Operating Plan and Budget, the FY19 IANA Budget, and updates to the Five-Year Operating Plan. This escalation process gives SOs and ACs opportunities to discuss solutions with the ICANN Board.

Find more information on the Empowered Community's ongoing petitions, and upcoming opportunities, 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 Community Travel Support Guidelines

Open Date: 30 May 2018 Close Date: 16 July 2018
Originating Organization: ICANN org
Categories/Tags: Engagement/Participation
Brief Overview: This public comment proceeding seeks input on the draft Community Travel Support Guidelines. The guidelines reflect the initial input received from the community consultation conducted between September 2017 and January 2018. They also reflect observations of ICANN Travel Support. Public comments will be reviewed and either incorporated into the final draft or forwarded as appropriate.
Link: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/travel-support-guidelines-2018-05-30-en

German Court Rules on ICANN Request to Preserve WHOIS Data

LOS ANGELES – 30 May 2018 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") today announced that a German regional court (LG Bonn) has issued a decision on the injunction proceedings ICANN initiated against EPAG, a Germany-based, ICANN-accredited registrar that is part of the Tucows Group. The Court has determined that it would not issue an injunction against EPAG.

Last Friday, ICANN filed the matter with the German regional court which ruled today, seeking assistance in interpreting the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in order to protect the data collected in WHOIS.

In particular, ICANN requested a clarification from the Court about whether EPAG should be obligated to continue to collect administrative and technical contact information for new domain name registrations, as it is required to do under its Registrar Accreditation Agreement with ICANN. EPAG originally had indicated that it would delete the contact information, but had withdrawn its intentions to do so after engaging in dialogue with ICANN.

ICANN asked the Court to intervene after learning that EPAG no longer intended to collect such data, citing the GDPR law implementation as its rationale. ICANN had long required full WHOIS data to be collected, and was requiring registrars such as EPAG to continue to collect the data after the GDPR went into full effect. ICANN modified its requirements surrounding how others could access this data, limiting access only to those who could demonstrate a legitimate purpose (such as in cases of criminal activity, intellectual property infringement or Internet Security problems). Assessing and identifying a legitimate purpose is a requirement identified in the GDPR.

In rejecting the injunctive relief, the Court ruled that it would not require EPAG to collect the adminsitrative and technical data for new registrations. However, the Court did not indicate in its ruling that collecting such data would be a violation of the GDPR. Rather, the Court said that the collection of the domain name registrant data should suffice in order to safeguard against misuse the security aspects in connection with the domain name (such as criminal activity, infringement or security problems).

The Court reasoned that because it is possible for a registrant to provide the same data elements for the registrant as for the administrative and technical contacts, ICANN did not demonstrate that it is necessary to collect additional data elements for those contacts. The Court also noted that a registrant could consent and provide administrative and technical contact data at its discretion.

"While ICANN appreciates the prompt attention the Court paid to this matter, the Court's ruling today did not provide the clarity that ICANN was seeking when it initiated the injunction proceedings," said John Jeffrey, ICANN's General Counsel and Secretary. "ICANN is continuing to pursue the ongoing discussions with the European Commission, and WP29, to gain further clarification of the GDPR as it relates to the integrity of WHOIS services."

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.

Report of Public Comments Published – ICANN Reserve Fund: Proposed Replenishment Strategy

LOS ANGELES – 30 May 2018 – Today, ICANN published the Report of Public Comments on ICANN's Reserve Fund: Proposed Replenishment strategy.

This was based on the public comment proceeding that ran from 06 March to 25 April.

The report can be found here https://www.icann.org/public-comments/reserve-fund-replenishment-2018-03-06-en

ICANN recognizes and thanks all stakeholders who contributed to the submission of comments during this public comment period. Your participation is an important step in strengthening ICANN's financial stability and sustainability.

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 Announces Webinar on Short and Long-Term Options for the Reviews Timeline

LOS ANGELES – 30 May 2018 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) invites the community to attend one of two webinars being held to discuss the Public Comment on short-term options and long-term options on the timeline of ICANN Reviews. The presentation will be identical for both one-hour webinars, scheduled as follows:

Webinar Agenda:

  • MSSI team to share high-level overview of Short-term and Long-term proposals
  • Community Q&A

To participate, please request a calendar invitation by sending an email to mssi-secretariat@icann.org and indicate which webinar you will join. If you do not indicate a preference you will receive invites for both webinars.

Background Information

The timing of Specific and Organizational Reviews mandated by the Bylaws has resulted in multiple reviews occurring at the same time. Currently, there are eleven Organizational and Specific Reviews underway. This is in addition to policy development work and other work across the ICANN community, resulting in strain on both volunteer and ICANN resources.

Based on discussions with and feedback from the ICANN community, the ICANN organization analyzed options for both short and long-term approaches to solve the challenges associated with multiple reviews occurring at the same time and volunteer strain. Subsequently, ICANN org published two public comments to invite feedback on short-term and long-term options to address the workload of the volunteer community and impact on ICANN resources.

ICANN Files Legal Action in Germany to Preserve WHOIS Data

LOS ANGELES – 25 May 2018 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today filed injunction proceedings against EPAG, a Germany-based, ICANN-accredited registrar that is part of the Tucows Group. ICANN has taken this step to ask the court for assistance in interpreting the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in order to protect the data collected in WHOIS. ICANN's "one-sided filing" in Bonn, Germany, seeks a court ruling to ensure the continued collection of all WHOIS data, so that such data remains available to parties demonstrating legitimate purpose to access it, consistent with the GDPR.

EPAG recently informed ICANN that when it sells new domain name registrations it would no longer collect administrative and technical contact information, as it believes collection of that data would violate the GDPR rules. ICANN requires that information to be collected, via its contract with EPAG which authorizes it to sell generic top-level domain name registrations. ICANN recently adopted a new Temporary Specification regarding how WHOIS data should be collected and which parts may be published, which ICANN believes is consistent with the GDPR.

"We are filing an action in Germany to protect the collection of WHOIS data and to seek further clarification that ICANN may continue to require its collection. It is ICANN's public interest role to coordinate a decentralized global WHOIS for the generic top-level domain system. ICANN contractually requires the collection of data by over 2,500 registrars and registries who help ICANN maintain that global information resource," said John Jeffrey, ICANN's General Counsel and Secretary. "We appreciate that EPAG shared their plans with us when they did, so that we could move quickly to ask the German court for clarity on this important issue. We also appreciate that EPAG has agreed that it will not permanently delete WHOIS data collected, except as consistent with ICANN policy."

If EPAG's actions stand, those with legitimate purposes, including security-related purposes, law enforcement, intellectual property rights holders, and other legitimate users of that information may no longer be able to access full WHOIS records.

ICANN does not seek to require its contracted parties to violate the law. EPAG's position has identified a disagreement with ICANN and others as to how the GDPR should be interpreted. This lawsuit seeks to clarify that difference in interpretation. In its 17 May 2018 adoption of the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data, the ICANN Board noted that the global public interest is served by the implementation of a unified policy governing aspects of gTLD registration data when the GDPR goes into effect.

"The ICANN org is committed to enforcing our contracts to the fullest extent the law allows and preserving the integrity of the WHOIS system," said ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby.

The Temporary Specification, effective today, still requires gTLD registry operators and registrars to collect all registration data. If you submit a WHOIS query for a registration subject to the GDPR, you will only receive "thin" data in return, which includes technical data sufficient to identify the sponsoring registrar, status of the registration, and creation and expiration dates for each registration, but not personal data. Additionally, you will have access to an anonymized email address or a web form to facilitate email communication with the relevant contact for that registration. If you are a third party with legitimate interests in gaining access to the non-public data held by the gTLD registry operator or registrar, there are still ways for you to access that data. You can look up the sponsoring registrar and contact them, and they are obligated to respond to you in a reasonable time.

If you do not get a response, ICANN's complaint mechanisms will be available for you to use. If you find individual parties who you believe are not complying with their obligations under this Temporary Specification or their agreements with ICANN, you may contact ICANN's Contractual Compliance Department to file a complaint.

ICANN appreciates the ongoing discussions with the European Commission, and WP29, together with all of the ICANN stakeholders. However, ICANN has seen steps taken by some of our contracted parties that violate their contractual agreements with ICANN. Thus, ICANN must file this action now to both prevent permanent harm to the public interest and seek clarification of the laws, as they relate to the integrity of the WHOIS services.

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.

The Information Transparency Initiative (ITI): Making Improvements by Building Strong Foundations

Today, the ICANN org launched improvements to the existing Acronyms and Terms feature on https://icann.org. These changes are a part of ITI's commitment to increase the findability of our public content. Some of the enhancements include:

  • Multilingual search via acronym, term, or Unicode character.
  • Over 200 additional acronyms, definitions, and terms.
  • Social and email sharing functionality.
  • Links to related terms and relevant web content.

This upgraded Acronyms and Terms feature provides a multilingual experience in all six U.N. languages. Our hope is that the improved content and search will help you, particularly newcomers, learn more about ICANN and facilitate your work within the ICANN community. We invite you to explore the feature and let us know what you think. To help guide your input, consider the following:

  • Do you notice improved searchability of ICANN acronyms or terms in your preferred language?
  • Is it easy to share the page?
  • Do you find additional information like Origin, Also Known As, Related Terms, and Web Links useful?

Email the ITI team with your comments to: acronymsandterms@icann.org.

It is important to note that while we have increased the number of acronyms and terms to over 250, we are adding over 100 more acronyms and terms in the coming weeks. If you don't see an acronym and term available, it may be coming soon. If you feel an acronym or term should be added, please email: acronymsandterms@icann.org.

Improving ICANN's Content and Technical Infrastructure

As I mentioned above, one of the primary goals of ITI is improving the findability of our content in all six U.N. languages. This means we are not concentrating on cosmetic changes, rather, much of the ITI team's effort is focused on building and implementing new foundations – a first-ever for ICANN document management system (DMS), a new content management system (CMS), and content governance.

One of the enhancements you won't directly see in the new Acronyms and Terms feature is this foundational work. All the acronyms, terms, definitions, and other content in this feature are now stored in the new DMS. This content is then displayed on https://icann.org via the new CMS. While the Acronyms and Terms feature is minor part of the ITI project, the foundational work to implement these changes served a larger purpose. It allowed the ITI team to test the integration between the DMS and CMS with a real use case and provided the first steps in building a content model to ensure content can be easily stored in the DMS and presented publicly on https://icann.org through the CMS. We're also able to show you, the community, a preview of how this foundational work serves the goal of improved content findability in all six U.N. languages.

Community Input

While much of ITI's work is foundational, there are key features that we will need your feedback on. We'll also need to perform usability testing with your help. Usability testing involves an ICANN stakeholder and https://icann.org user trying out a new feature. During usability testing, the user experiments with the feature while the ITI team gathers information on the user's challenges with the new feature, their satisfaction with the enhancements, and any other feedback the user wishes to provide. This testing will help the ITI team make improvements based upon real user data. For example, Public Comment is an important feature to gather feedback and perform usability testing on with ICANN stakeholders.

We will reach out to you to solicit parties interested in participating in upcoming usability testing. More on this in the coming months.

For more information about ITI, visit feedback.icann.org. On this site, you'll find links to previous ITI blogs, background documentation, and more. If you're interested in learning more about ITI or have a suggestion or feedback, email us at: informationtransparency@icann.org.

Deadline Extension: Request for Proposal for ccNSO Review

LOS ANGELES – 23 May 2018 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has extended its deadline for applicants to respond to its request for proposal for (RFP) for a provider to conduct an independent assessment of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO). The new deadline is Monday 4 June 2018, 16:00 UTC.

The objective of this RFP is to identify an independent examiner that can conduct a comprehensive assessment of the ccNSO. This includes, but is not limited to assessments of:

  • Whether the ccNSO has a continuing purpose within the ICANN structure;
  • How effectively the ccNSO fulfils its purpose and whether any change in its structure or operations is desirable to improve the ccNSO's effectiveness; and
  • The extent to which the ccNSO as a whole is accountable to its organizations, committees, constituencies, and stakeholder groups.

The review is scheduled to take place from August 2018 through July 2019. For a complete overview and timeline for the RFP, please see here [PDF, 107 KB].

Indications of interest must be emailed to: ccNSOReview-RFP@icann.org. Proposals should be electronically submitted by 4 June 2018, 16:00 UTC using ICANN's sourcing tool. Access to the sourcing tool may be requested via the same email address as above.

Background

According to the ICANN Bylaws, the ccNSO is responsible for:

  • Developing and recommending to the Board global policies relating to country-code top-level domains;
  • Nurturing consensus across the ccNSO's community, including the name-related activities of ccTLDs;
  • Coordinating with other ICANN Supporting Organizations, committees, and constituencies under ICANN;
  • Nominating individuals to fill Seats 11 and 12 on the Board; and
  • Other responsibilities of the ccNSO as set forth in the Bylaws.

For more information about the ccNSO, visit the website.

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.

Register Now: Pre-ICANN62 Policy Webinar – 12 June 2018

The Policy Development Support Team is pleased to announce two webinar sessions to assist with the community's preparations for the ICANN62 Policy Forum:

Pre-ICANN62 Policy Webinar
Tuesday, 12 June 2018
10:00 and 19:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)

The webinar will run in English with simultaneous Spanish interpretation. The presentation materials will be translated into Spanish, and posted following the Webinar with the recordings of the sessions here.

Please register via this form by 11 June 2018!

In this 90-minute webinar, the Policy Development Support Team will summarize the key policy activities taking place across the ICANN community. The Team will also answer your questions about ongoing community policy and advisory work and discuss what to expect at the ICANN62Policy Forum. To ensure that your questions about policy activities are addressed during the session, the Policy Team invites you to submit your questions through the registration form or by email to policyinfo@icann.org.

To assist with your preparation for this webinar and for ICANN62, the "Pre-ICANN62 Policy Report" and "Generic Names Supporting Organization Policy Briefing: ICANN62 Edition" will be published by Tuesday, 5 June 2018. Please be sure to download and review these materials beforehand for helpful background on policy activities and topics that the Policy Development Support Team will cover during the webinar, such as:

  • The cross-community discussions that will take place at ICANN62:
    • Geographic Names at the Top-Level (Work Track 5)
    • Update from the Registration Directory Service-WHOIS2 Review Team
    • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Compliance, Access to WHOIS and Accreditation
    • The expected Initial Report from the New generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Auction Proceeds Cross Community Working Group
    • Presentation of the Final CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 2 Recommendations
  • The various policy development processes underway in the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO), the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) and the Address Supporting Organization (ASO):
    • Retirement of Country Code Top-Level Domains
    • Review of All Rights Protection Mechanisms in All gTLDs
    • Next steps in relation to Registration Directory Services policy work
    • Curative Rights Protections for International Governmental Organizations and International Non-Governmental Organizations
    • New gTLD Subsequent Procedures
    • Regional Internet Registry policy development activities
  • Advisory Committee activities within the At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) and Security & Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC):
    • Organizational Review of the At-Large community: Next steps, implementation, and ALAC sessions during ICANN62
    • GDPR and Key Signing Key (KSK) Rollover discussions
    • At-Large discussion on new gTLDs and Work Tracks 1-5
    • Regional At-Large Organization (RALO) Policy Hot Topics
    • GAC discussions on .amazon, IGO protections and 2-character codes at the second level
    • Board-GAC GDPR consultations
    • RSSAC statement on the distinction between RSSAC and Root-Ops (RSSAC033)
    • SSAC work concerning name collisions
  • Other topics of note:
    • Organizational Review of the ASO
    • ccNSO sessions on disaster and recovery and business continuity, ccNSO members meeting sessions, and Tech Day.
    • GAC onboarding initiatives
    • Report from the RSSAC May 2018 Workshop (RSSAC034)

To complement this Pre-ICANN62 Policy Webinar, the GNSO Policy Development Support Team will host, with the Council leadership and Policy Development Process (PDP) working group chairs, a GNSO policy-focused webinar on Monday, 18 June 2018 at 21:00 UTC for 90 minutes. This webinar is intended to serve as a replacement for the previously-offered GNSO PDP updates provided during the GNSO weekend sessions and will assist the community in preparing for GNSO policy-related discussions at ICANN62. If you would like to participate in the GNSO Policy Webinar, please register here.

The Policy Development Support Team looks forward to helping the ICANN community prepare for ICANN62!

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.

Deadline Extended: SSAC2 Review Survey for Community Input

LOS ANGELES – 22 May 2018 – The deadline to take the SSAC2 Survey has been extended until Friday May 25th at 23:59 UTC.

Analysis Group, the independent examiner conducting the second review of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC2), has published a survey for community input. The aim of the survey is to collect input from those who have interacted with SSAC or have suggestions for ways to improve it.

Take the survey

The survey will close on Friday May 25th at 23:59 UTC. Following the close of the survey, Analysis Group will evaluate responses received along with input received via interviews and other forums as input to its assessment report. The assessment report is expected to be posted for community consultation in July 2018.

Background

A periodic review of the SSAC is mandated by ICANN Bylaws Section 4.4. The purpose of the review is to determine whether the SSAC has a continuing purpose in the ICANN structure and, if so, whether any change in structure or operations is desirable to improve its effectiveness. The review will also determine if the SSAC is accountable to its constituencies, stakeholder groups, organizations, and other stakeholders. Analysis Group was selected to conduct the SSAC2 Review in February 2018.

As do all Organizational Reviews, the SSAC2 Review is following a two-phased approach, in which the independent examiner first completes its assessment and then makes recommendations to address the findings noted during the assessment. This approach contributes to more useful and relevant recommendations by providing an opportunity for the community and the independent examiner to discuss what works and what needs improvement before the independent examiner develops recommendations to address the observed situations.

Learn more about the SSAC2 Review.

About SSAC

The SSAC advises the ICANN community and Board on matters relating to the security and integrity of the Internet's naming and address allocation systems. This includes operational, administrative, and registration matters. SSAC engages in ongoing threat assessment and risk analysis of the Internet naming and address allocation services to assess where the principal threats to stability and security lie, and advises the ICANN community accordingly.

Learn more about SSAC.

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 into your computer or other device – a name or a number. 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 and a community with participants from all over the world.

Proposed FY19 Operating Plan and Budget for ICANN Board Adoption Published

LOS ANGELES – 21 May 2018 – Today, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) published the proposed FY19 Operating Plan and Budget, and Five-Year Operating Plan update, after the review of public comments.

In addition, the ICANN organization and Board Finance Committee have approved the Staff Report of Public Comments, which was originally published on 24 April 2018. As indicated in the Staff Report, several changes were approved for incorporation into the proposed documents. The revised documents are posted here, and on the Planning page, with a summary of changes, to ensure visibility and transparency of the final documents sent to the ICANN Board for consideration in its meeting on 30 May 2018.

The ICANN org will host a webinar on 24 May at 14:00 UTC where community members can ask questions and learn more about the changes made to the budget.

A recording of the webinar will be posted to the community wiki.

This year, the Additional Budget Requests were streamlined into the Operating Plan and Budget process. Please see Document 2 [PDF, 621 KB], page 26 to find out what Additional Budget Requests have been approved.

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.

Final Proposed FY19 Operating Plan and Budget

Today, we published the final proposed FY19 Operating Plan and Budget and submitted it to the ICANN Board for consideration at the meeting on 30 May 2018. This is an important step in the process to ensure transparency so that you – and the rest of the ICANN community – can see what exactly is sent to the Board before it is adopted.

I want to thank you for your comments and productive discussions on the budget. I was very pleased that we received over 185 comments through the public comment process, in addition to the many productive discussions we had, especially during ICANN61.

As a result of your feedback and comments, we've made a few suggested changes to the budget.

The Fellowship Program received an increase from 30 to 45 seats per meeting, based on your feedback. In addition, the ICANN organization will be seeking community feedback on the entire Fellowship Program in the next few months.

We heard your concerns about the reduced Community Regional Outreach Program (CROP) funding, and as a result, its funding for outreach is reinstated at $50,000.

We will also be progressively decreasing funding for the ICANN Wiki from $66,000 in FY19 to a commitment of $33,000 for FY20, based on your comments.

In addition, budget was reallocated for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and data protection and privacy in FY19, as it is prudent planning to anticipate increased expenses next year.

This year was the first time we merged the Additional Budget Request process with the Operating Plan and Budget process. In Document 2 [PDF, 621 KB] on page 26 you can see what additional budget items were approved.

We are also holding a webinar on 24 May at 14:00 UTC, where you can learn more about these changes and ask questions. Here is the link to join: https://participate.icann.org/finance/.

I encourage you to read the Executive Summary in Document 1 [PDF, 305 KB].

Thank you again for contributing your comments and feedback. It is a testament to the multistakeholder model in action.

Chair’s Blog: Approving the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data and Next Steps

The ICANN Board's approval today of the proposed "Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data" is an important step towards bringing ICANN and its contracted parties into compliance with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Board took this action so that ICANN and its contracted parties may remain in compliance with both existing contractual requirements and community-developed policies as they relate to WHOIS.

The adoption of this Temporary Specification is a major and historic milestone as we work toward identifying a permanent solution. The ICANN org and community have been closely working together to develop this interim model ahead of the GDPR's 25 May 2018 enforcement deadline, and the Board believes that this is the right path to take.

WHOIS is an important system, and preserving it allows it to continue to act as a key tool in the ongoing fight against cybercrime, malicious actors, intellectual property infringement, and more. This Temporary Specification, which is based on the Proposed Interim Compliance Model [PDF, 922 KB], aims to prevent fragmentation of WHOIS and ensure that WHOIS continues to be available, to the greatest extent possible. ICANN's role in providing the technical coordination of the globally distributed WHOIS system is a unique matter, including the public interest nature of WHOIS.

In my previous post, I provided the background into how the Board reorganized its Vancouver Workshop to dedicate a significant amount of time, and effort to review and discuss the proposed Temporary Specification, This extra time was also an important opportunity for us to have ICANN org answer our questions and discuss the potential risks that could accompany either no action or adoption of a proposed Temporary Specification.

Above all, ICANN's mission, as laid out in the bylaws, is to preserve the Internet's system of unique identifiers. We believe that this Temporary Specification strikes the right balance between upholding that mission and bringing the org and its contracted parties into compliance with this law.

As with the requirements of a temporary policy, if still needed, the Board will reconvene in 90 days to reaffirm its adoption. Until that time, I encourage you to submit your thoughts to gdpr@icann.org. And I invite you to visit the dedicated Data Protection/Privacy page to follow the latest updates.

Finally, I want to thank the community, ICANN org and the Board for their hard work over the past year in getting us to this place. While I recognize there are important elements remaining to be finalized, the adoption of this Temporary Specification today is a first step, and it sets us on the right path to maintaining WHOIS in the public interest, while complying with GDPR.

ICANN Board Approves Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data

LOS ANGELES – 17 May 2018 – The Board of Directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today approved the proposed "Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data." The full text of the Board's resolution is available here. The Board took this action to establish temporary requirements for how ICANN and its contracted parties will continue to comply with existing ICANN contractual requirements and with community-developed policies as they relate to WHOIS, while also complying with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

"The ICANN Board's approval today of the proposed Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data is an important step towards bringing ICANN and its contracted parties into compliance with GDPR," said Cherine Chalaby, ICANN Board Chair. "While there are elements remaining to be finalized, the adoption of this Temporary Specification sets us on the right path to maintaining WHOIS in the public interest, while complying with GDPR before its 25 May enforcement deadline."

The Board spent significant time during its Vancouver Workshop reviewing and discussing the proposed Temporary Specification, clearing most of their planned schedule to allow for more time to consider the most appropriate path forward.

The ICANN organization has closely worked with stakeholders and the ICANN community to discuss and develop the Temporary Specification, and has maintained an ongoing dialogue with the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) to solicit its feedback and input.

"The Proposed Interim Compliance Model is the product of significant collaboration between the org and the community," said Göran Marby, ICANN President and CEO. "With the Temporary Specification now approved by the Board, we can continue working together to identify a permanent solution."

The Board's resolution also initiated a community-led policy development process to consider the development and adoption of a consensus policy based on the issues outlined within the Temporary Specification.

The Temporary Specification, which reflects ICANN's Proposed Interim Compliance Model [PDF, 922 KB], aims to ensure the continued availability of the WHOIS system to the greatest extent possible while maintaining the security and stability of the Internet's system of unique identifiers, as outlined in its mission and bylaws. Preserving the WHOIS system is critical to the stability and security of the Internet, which allows for the easy identification and mitigation of bad actors, cybercriminals, intellectual property infringement, and other malicious activity online.

The Temporary Specification provides a single, unified interim model that ensures a common framework for registration data directory services. It allows registrars and registries, also referred to as ICANN's contracted parties, to continue with the robust collection of registration data from both natural and legal persons, as well as technical information, in connection with a domain name registration. The Temporary Specification only replaces certain provisions in the Registry Agreements and Registrar Accreditation Agreements, as well as policies. All other current obligations remain in force.

ICANN's contracted parties would be required to apply the model outlined in the Temporary Specification when processing personal data linked to the European Economic Area (EEA). If impracticable for a contracted party to limit their application of the requirements strictly to the EEA, they may apply the requirements to registrations on a global basis.

To ensure compliance with the GDPR, access to personal data will be restricted to layered/tiered access, where only users with a legitimate purpose can request access to non-public data through registrars and registry operators. Until a unified access model is in place, registries and registrars will have to determine which requests are permissible under the law. Alternatively, users may contact either the registrant or listed administrative and technical contacts through an anonymized email or web form available via the registered name's registrar. Registrants may opt to have their full contact information made publicly available.

This Temporary Specification has been adopted under the procedure for Temporary Policies outlined in the Registry Agreement and Registrar Accreditation Agreement. Fifteen Board members voted to approve its adoption, representing a unanimous approval among Board members present and meeting the contractual requirement for the Board passing a temporary specification. The Board must reaffirm its temporary adoption every 90 days, and may continue to do so for no more than one year.

The ICANN Board, in its resolution adopting the Temporary Specification, has also deferred formal action on certain pieces of advice the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) provided in its San Juan Communiqué. This decision was made at the GAC's request, which was detailed in a letter [PDF, 525 KB] to the Board. The Board will consider if any further action is needed after additional discussion with the GAC.

For more information and to follow the latest updates, please visit the dedicated Data Protection/Privacy issues page.

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.

Please Comment on the Timing of Reviews

The topic of reviews has been an ongoing one over the years. As we went into ICANN61, and during ICANN61, we held many discussions on the budget and priorities for ICANN, as we are working to find ways to operate more efficiently and effectively, while considering the availability of the community and our resources. One theme that continued to arise during those discussions was community member concerns and observations regarding the number of concurrent reviews in the context of volunteer and resource strain – for example, currently, there are eleven reviews running at the same time.

Based on those discussions, we opened two Public Comment periods to provide transparency and get input on a range of available options, and to understand which options – or new suggestions - the community would support to alleviate the existing strain on volunteer and ICANN resources as it pertains to reviews, without diminishing ICANN's accountability.

To build on feedback from the community, we have developed initial short and long-term options to provide more reasonable scheduling of ICANN reviews that aim to help meet ICANN's accountability and transparency obligations in a more practical and sustainable manner. We are inviting public comment on the short-term and long-term options. After Public Comment closes, we will analyze the comments that were received and coordinate with the Organizational Effectiveness Committee of the Board (OEC) to identify whether there is agreement in the community and if so, recommendations to the Board on the paths forward.

The short-term options involve the third Accountability and Transparency Review (ATRT3) and the second Registration Directory Service Review (RDS-WHOIS2).

  • The options for ATRT3 range from maintaining status quo, to moving forward with some aspects of the review (such as a focus only on the evaluation of prior review recommendations), to deferring the start of ATRT3 for approximately one year.
  • The options for RDS-WHOIS2 similarly range from keeping the status quo by continuing the review work under way, to limiting the work to the evaluation of prior review recommendations only, to pausing the work. We recognize the extensive work and progress the RDS-WHOIS2 Review Team has accomplished so far and thank the Review Team for their efforts, and encourage the team to participate in this Public Comment.

ICANN organization will of course continue our full commitment and support with both RDS-WHOIS2 and ATRT3 as planned. Should the public comment process and input indicate community agreement for another approach, that will then be implemented together with the community.

To find the list of the short-term options along with advantages, disadvantages, please click here [PDF, 140 KB]. Please share your public comment on short-term options by 6 July 2018.

The long-term options aim to provide scheduling flexibility with appropriate checks and balances by the community and the Board. These options are based on several principles, including: aiming for no more than three to four reviews per year, recognizing limited community resources, ensuring adequate funding for reviews, and ensuring efficiency and effectiveness of the reviews. Long-term options include:

  • staggering of the reviews
  • adding new timing criteria
  • providing scheduling flexibility to the timing of reviews outlined in the Bylaws.

To find the list of the long-term options, along with advantages, disadvantages, and potential Bylaws implications, please click here [PDF, 116 KB]. Please share your public comment on the principles that would inform long-term options by 20 July 2018.

If you would like to invite us to present options and hold a Q&A with your constituency via a remote call, please contact us: reviews@icann.org.

Webinar Details & How to Attend

Two webinars will also be held to help the ICANN Community understand the proposals and provide additional opportunity for Q&A.

  • Webinar 1: 07 June 2018: 5:00-6:00 UTC [local time]
  • Webinar 2: 07 June 2018:17:00-18:00 UTC [local time]

To participate, please request a calendar invitation by sending your email request to mssi-secretariat@icann.org and indicate which webinar you will join.

I encourage you to please help ICANN improve the challenging timing of reviews by providing your input, including if you have other suggestions. Also by sharing this call to action with your fellow community members to encourage their input.

Thank you for your time, participation, and support.

NextGen@ICANN Application Round for ICANN63 Is Now Open

NextGen@ICANN Application Round for ICANN63 Is Now Open

LOS ANGELES – 15 May 2018 – Today, The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) launched the application round for those interested in participating at the ICANN63 meeting in Barcelona through the NextGen@ICANN Program. This Meeting will take place from 20–26 October 2018. The application round will remain open until 22 June 2018. Successful candidates will be announced on the ICANN website on 30 July 2018. For more information, click 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.

ICANN and PTI Publish U.S. Tax Returns for FY17

LOS ANGELES – 15 May 2018 – Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Public Technical Identifiers (PTI) published their U.S. tax returns (Form 990) for the fiscal year ending 30 June 2017. This is the first time that the recently created PTI has been required to file Form 990.

ICANN and PTI filed Form 990 for the fiscal year ending 30 June 2017 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on 14 May 2018, in compliance with the extended due date of 15 May 2018. Form 990 is the U.S. return for organizations exempt from income taxes under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The publication of ICANN’s and PTI’s financial information is part of an ongoing commitment to accountability and transparency. The community is invited to review ICANN's and PTI’s tax returns and to make comments or ask questions. Please contact us at: controller@icann.org.

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 Announces DENIC eG as New ICANN-Designated Agent to Support Registrar Data Escrow Services

LOS ANGELES – 15 May 2018 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced it has entered into an agreement with DENIC eG as an ICANN-designated agent to support Registrar Data Escrow (RDE) services on the ICANN organization's behalf. DENIC eG is a not-for-profit cooperative headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany and is the operator of the ccTLD .DE.

ICANN org selected DENIC through a competitive Request for Proposal initiated in August 2017, following requests from the registrar community to expand the RDE program, in part to meet regional challenges such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation.

Background

The Registrar Data Escrow program is intended to protect registrants in the event of registrar failure or termination of a Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA). Ensuring the successful transfer of a domain name sponsorship aligns with the ICANN org's objective to support a healthy, stable, and resilient unique identifier ecosystem and is consistent with its Mission and Bylaws (Section 1.1) that states, "ICANN coordinates the allocation and assignment of names in the root zone of the Domain Name System (DNS) and coordinates the development and implementation of policies concerning the registration of second-level domain names in generic top-level domains (gTLDs)."

The 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement requires registrars to deposit a copy of gTLD registration data with either the ICANN org or with an ICANN-approved RDE agent at its own expense. Since 2007, Iron Mountain has acted as the sole ICANN-designated RDE agent, which has accepted and processed the registrar escrow deposits on behalf of ICANN org. DENIC eG is the second ICANN-designated RDE agent available to registrars. Registrars may also utilize Third Party Providers approved by both ICANN and the registrar; for more information on the Registrar Data Escrow Program and other Third Party Providers see: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/registrar-data-escrow-2015-12-01-en.

^