Wellington, New Zealand, March 31st 2006: Over 700 delegates from 82 countries gathered in Wellington, New Zealand for ICANN's 25th International Meeting. These meetings, open to anyone interested in participating, constitute an essential part of ICANN's global Internet community consensus-development and outreach efforts.
During the week long meeting, several key issues relating to the internet's growth, security and stability were discussed at length and the ICANN Board voted to approve the 2006-2009 strategic plan, providing the organization with a clear future direction. In addition, ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) issued a communiqué identifying public policy issues relating to the ICM Registry's application to operate the proposed .xxx sponsored Top Level Domain (sTLD), paving the way for further consideration of the application by the Board.
Having received feedback from the GAC on the ICM Registry sTLD application, the Board resolved that ICANN's President and General Counsel should analyze all publicly received inputs and continue negotiations with ICM Registry and to return to the Board with any recommendations regarding amendments to the proposed agreement. A key aim will be to ensure that the ICM Registry has in place adequate mechanisms to address any potential registrant violations of the sponsor's policies. Upon the completion of this process, the ICANN Board will vote to resolve the status of the application.
Commenting on the GAC communiqu? and subsequent Board resolution, Dr Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN said: "This is a great example of the success of the public policy advice process at work, which demonstrates that ICANN takes governmental input seriously. The ICANN Board is committed to continuing to enhance the integration of the GAC's public policy role to ICANN's decision processes".
The Wellington meeting also saw developments in relation to Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). Strong community feedback was received throughout the week that backed ICANN's progress towards the implementation of non Latin character sets into the Root, following a period of thorough testing to ensure that stability of the DNS is maintained. A collective desire was expressed by the community that ICANN should invest substantial resources to ensure that the IDN process is completed in the shortest possible timeframe. ICANN has already made clear its intention to commit substantial resources in this area.
Another key outcome of the meeting was the release of two reports by ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC). The first report examined amplified DNS Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, while the second report looked at alternate Roots and IDNs. The reports appeal to the Internet Community to take these issues seriously.
The DDoS report identifies short and long-term measures to reduce the opportunities for and minimize the effects of DDoS attacks, while the report into alternate Roots and IDNs examines and identifies the motives that cause "breakaway" activities, and explains the issues and conditions that can accelerate fragmentation of the root name service. It also examines the consequences that such activities may have on Internet users and service providers.
Commenting on the Wellington meeting, Dr Twomey applauded its outcomes stating that it had been productive and had addressed some of the key issues facing the Domain Name System.
"The week has shown how all stakeholders have to work together to achieve such important milestones as new gTLDs or improved security actions" he said.
ICANN is an internationally organized, public benefit non-profit responsible for coordinating Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.
Siobhan Robertson, Blackie McDonald
Ph: +64 21 206 5958
Andrew Robertson, Edelman (London)
Ph: +44 7921 588 770
Tanzanica King, ICANN (USA)
Ph: +1 310 301 5804