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Chair’s Blog: ICANN65 Meeting & Board Workshop

16 July 2019
By Cherine Chalaby

Thank you to everyone who participated in ICANN65. This fourth Policy Forum was the second held in Africa and the third ICANN Public Meeting held in Marrakech, Morocco.

ICANN65 served as a platform for cross-community dialogue on important issues and topics, such as the impact of the Phase 1 recommendations of the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) on the Temporary Specification for generic Top-level Domain (gTLD) Registration Data; Universal Acceptance; policy aspects of DNS over HTTPS; DNS over Transport Layer Security (TLS); and the evolution of ICANN’s multistakeholder model.

Board Workshop

Just ahead of ICANN65, the Board held a three-day workshop in Marrakech. The workshop included a public Board meeting, a public update on the status of the Board’s FY19 priorities, and many sessions in preparation for the Policy Forum. The Board workshop followed the agenda outlined in my preview blog. During the public Board meeting, we passed several resolutions, including:

I’d like to congratulate the community for coming together to develop the FY21–25 Strategic Plan. Over the next few months, significant work will be done to operationalize the Strategic Plan. ICANN org will further develop the 5-Year Operating and Financial Plan, and the work to evolve ICANN’s multistakeholder model will continue. I encourage you to participate in these discussions, and to contribute to the Public Comment on Draft Financial Assumptions & Projections and Operating Initiatives for the development of Fiscal Years 2021-2025 Operating & Financial Plan, which closes on 5 August 2019.

Policy Forum

During ICANN65, the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees made great progress in their work, including:

Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO)

  • The Study Group on Emoji as Second-Level Domains provided a briefing to the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) and broader communities.
  • The ccNSO Policy Development Process Working Group delivered a briefing on the retirement of ccTLDs.
  • The ccNSO IDN (Internationalized Domain Name) Preliminary Review Team (PRT) provided an update, focusing on the need to review recommended policy relating to the selection of IDN ccTLD strings.

Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)

  • The EPDP Team on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data made significant progress on their work, including the development of a template to detail possible use cases for requestors of nonpublic gTLD registration data; meeting with ICANN org to discuss future engagement plans; and reviewing the Phase 2 project plan.
  • The new gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP Working Group considered Public Comment submissions on the draft initial report and discussed areas of broad agreement emerging from the feedback.
  • The Review of All Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) in All gTLDs PDP Working Group finalized the development of preliminary recommendations related to Sunrise and Trademark Claims RPMs.

At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC)

  • The At-Large Review Implementation Working Group Interim Report 1 was submitted to the ICANN Board Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) in early June and endorsed by the ALAC during ICANN65.
  • At-Large Consolidated Policy Working Group Co-Chair Jonathan Zuck moderated a workshop on the topic of Geographic Names.
  • Members of the African Regional At-Large Organization organized several activities, including hosting 35 university students from Rabat, Morocco.

Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)

  • The GAC issued the ICANN65 Marrakech Communiqué and provided follow-up advice to the ICANN Board regarding the .AMAZON applications, two-character country codes as second level domain names and WHOIS, and data protection. The communiqué also provided statements on issues of importance to GAC members, including international governmental organization (IGO) protections, WHOIS, and data protection.
  • The GAC also discussed new gTLD subsequent procedures, two-character country codes, IGO protections, Domain Name System (DNS) abuse mitigation, ICANN reviews, GAC working groups, and internal operational matters.

Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC)

  • The RSSAC had seven work sessions throughout the week to advance its efforts and discuss various internal matters, including its input to the Public Comment proceeding on “Evolving the Governance of the Root Server System.”
  • The two ongoing work parties in the RSSAC Caucus, Modern Resolver Behavior, and Root Server System (RSS) Metrics, made progress on their work as well.

Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC)

  • The SSAC held its regular Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) Workshop, which included presentations on DNSSEC signing adoption statistics, DANE for SMTP usage statistics, the DNS Transparency Project, SMTP Security Options, and a review of the recent KSK Roll.
  • The SSAC also gave a presentation at Tech Day. The topic was the recent SSAC report, “SAC105: The DNS and the Internet of Things: Opportunities, Risks, and Challenges.”

Address Supporting Organization (ASO)

  • The ASO Address Council (ASO AC) did not convene at ICANN65, but several ASO AC members were present in Marrakech. The ASO conducts most of its policy development work on mailing lists and at Regional Internet Registry (RIR) meetings.

Ethos Award

This year, the selection panel of SO and AC representatives awarded Kurt Pritz the Multistakeholder Ethos Award for his dedication to ICANN's multistakeholder model and his ability to achieve consensus among groups with disparate views and priorities. Pritz recently chaired the EPDP working group mandated to resolve one of the most significant issues in the ICANN community, a replacement framework for WHOIS. Congratulations to Kurt!

For more details on the workshop, including complete resolutions from the public Board meeting, please see the Board page. I appreciate your time, hard work, and ongoing commitment to ICANN. The next ICANN Board Workshop will take place in Los Angeles in mid-September, and I will share an update before and after that. We are already looking ahead to ICANN66, and I hope to see many of you in Montreal.


Cherine Chalaby

Former ICANN Board Chair