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Chair’s Blog: ICANN62 Meeting & Board Workshop

Thank you to everyone who participated in a successful ICANN62. Our gracious hosts in Panama made the meeting experience easy, and the active participation both from those joining remotely from their homes and those in the rooms made it very productive.

In addition to working hard, I am sure many of you had an opportunity to wander around the old town, enjoy the local food, visit the Panama Canal, or even buy Panama hats (which everyone says are made in Ecuador!). The football World Cup also added quite a bit of amusement for those who were keen to follow match results on their smart phones or on the big screen.

Board Workshop
In the days preceding ICANN62, the Board held a three-day workshop in Panama City. We held several public sessions, in-depth sessions about the key issues and priorities of each stakeholder group for ICANN62 in preparation for the meeting, and several sessions that we had rescheduled from our Vancouver workshop. Of course, we spent  time discussing the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with our CEO, and the status of the dialogues with the community, the European Commission, and the European Data Protection Board regarding possible guidance on the Unified Access Model. As for Auction Proceeds, we discussed in detail the Board’s fiduciary duties and how these could be aligned with the choice of disbursement mechanisms. We also held sessions on:

  • The status of (a) the supplemental rules for the ICANN’s Independent Review Process (IRP) and (b) the establishment of a standing panel;
  • The Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) implementation guidelines, which apply to IDNs at the second level;
  • A technical look at the security and stability of the ICANN-managed root server (IMRS, also known as L-root);
  • The status of the Policy Development Process on new gTLD subsequent procedures, and a discussion on preliminary ideas from ICANN org about how to implement the launch of a next round of new gTLDs;
  • The draft FY19 Board priorities;
  • An update on streamlining organizational and specific reviews;
  • An update from the Board working group on Internet Governance (IG), covering three topics: (a) key activities since ICANN60 in Abu Dhabi, (b) global trends in the IG ecosystem that might affect ICANN’s role, and (c) planned engagements in IG events till the end of 2018; and
  • A communications training for Board members.

Additionally, the Board continued its discussions on the development of ICANN’s next strategic plan for the period 2021-2025, building on the work from the Board’s prior discussions. Finally, whilst in Panama, members of the ICANN Board met with members of the Internet Society Board, and had dinner with members of the LACTLD Board as part of their 20th anniversary celebration.

Policy Forum

Unsurprisingly, a major focus of this meeting was data protection and privacy issues, namely GDPR. There were sessions all across the community focusing on the different pieces of the work we have to do, and it is heartening to see the community work together to address the challenges we face. On behalf of the Board, I would like, particularly, to congratulate the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council for the remarkable progress made over the course of our week in Panama on the development of the charter for the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP).  From a blank template, the charter is beginning to take shape, with much of it agreed on in principle, and the various interests are still working hard to resolve any outstanding differences. I understand that by the time the GNSO Council meets on 19 July, it is anticipated that the EPDP charter would have been approved; the EPDP chair selected; and the members, liaisons, and alternates nominated by the GNSO and other Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees (SO/ACs). 

As part of the Strategic Outlook Program, the ICANN org team held eight trend gathering sessions with community stakeholder groups, to make sure that the  opportunities and challenges raised are incorporated into ICANN's current and future strategy. The input was invaluable, and I look forward to collaborating with the community on phases of the strategy moving forward.

Several members of the Board attended a session with the new gTLD Auction Proceeds Cross-Community Working Group (CCWG-AP), offering ideas on independent evaluation of requests, on tranches of funds made available every year, and other aspects of disbursement. The Board appreciates the open and constructive engagement it has been having with the CCWG-AP and will continue to engage as the CCWG-AP further develops its preliminary recommendations.

The Cross-Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) held its final plenary meeting and public engagement session during ICANN62. I’d like to thank the CCWG-Accountability for all of its hard work and progress achieved, and the Board looks forward to receiving its final report.

The Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs) made great strides in their work, including:

  • The Government Advisory Committee held sessions on GDPR implementation matters, access to Curative Rights Protection Mechanisms by IGOs and INGOs, IGO names and acronyms, auction proceeds; held follow-up sessions on the Dot Amazon IRP and Dot PersianGulf; held a capacity building workshop; and completed its Communiqué.
  • The At-Large Advisory Committee held sessions with a focus on policy issues including New gTLDs, GDPR/WHOIS, and the Root Key Signing Key (KSK) Rollover; and elected a new Chair. The Regional At-Large Organizations held a LACRALO Open House meeting, and the AFRALO Board and its members held a meeting to discuss the Africa perspective on various ICANN policy issues.
  • The Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) held working sessions to update the Names Collision and Analysis project proposal, held an emerging security session in collaboration with Tech Day, and held meetings with several other groups on a variety of topics, including GDPR, KSK rollover, and root zone evolution. SSAC also held members meetings with a series of technical presentations and discussions on topics such as hyperlocal root pros and cons, the proactive and collaborative DDoS mitigation strategy for Dutch critical infrastructure, and ICANN org gave an update on collaboration tools.
  • The Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) held working sessions focused on internal administration, Caucus work management, and future work. The RSSAC also presented a proposed governance model for the DNS Root Server System.
  • The Address Supporting Organization (ASO) did not formally convene at ICANN62, but members who were present participated actively in cross-community and high interest sessions. CEOs of four of the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) met with representatives from the ICANN Board and ICANN org to discuss ideas for improving the effectiveness of the RIRs participation in ICANN’s meetings.
  • The Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) continued to make progress on the retirement of ccTLDs, held sessions on disaster recovery and business continuity, held a Tech Day with a focus on the operational and technical exchange of information and best practices, held a ccNSO Members Day focusing on business and administrative matters, and elected Council Chairs and Vice Chairs.
  • The GNSO spent a significant amount of time focusing on the different policy development activities such as: working on an Initial Report on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures; preparing for the initiation of an EPDP on the Temporary Specification for gTLD registration data; continued its review of all Rights Protection Mechanisms, focusing on Uniform Rapid Suspension data; and continuing the deliberations in preparation for the new gTLD Auction Proceeds Initial Report.

Ethos Award

This year, the community selection panel posthumously recognized a long-time member of the ICANN community, Stéphane Van Gelder, with the Multistakeholder Ethos Award.

The tribute to Stéphane Van Gelder was very fitting and we were all touched to share memories of him with his wife, Julie Talfournier Van Gelder, who joined us in Panama.

For more details on the workshop, including resolutions from the public Board meeting, please see the Board page. I appreciate your time and hard work, and ongoing commitment to ICANN. Finally, the SO and AC Leaders are already looking ahead to ICANN63. I hope to see many of you in Barcelona.

Comments

    Domain Name System
    Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."