The Three Pillars of ICANN’s Technical Engagement Strategy
ICANN's technical engagement team was established two years ago. Since then, we have made a great deal of progress in better engaging with our peers throughout the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) stewardship transition proposal process and currently during the implementation phase. Over the past few months, the Office of the CTO has been reinforced with a dedicated research team composed of experienced Internet technologists. These experts are working hard to raise the level of ICANN engagement on Internet identifiers technology usage measurement, its evolution, and are collecting and sharing data that can further support the community in its policy development processes. They are also focusing on helping to build bridges with other relevant technical partners.
Our overall strategy for technical engagement is based on three pillars:
- Continue building trust with our technical partners and peers within the ecosystem.
- Expand our participation in relevant forums and events where we can further raise awareness about ICANN's mission, while encouraging more diversity in participation in our community policy development processes.
- Continue contributing ICANN's positions on technical topics discussed outside our regular forums, but ones affecting our mission, keeping the focus on our shared responsibilities and effective coordination.
We can highlight in this blog some ongoing activities toward each goal:
Expanding Participation in Technical Forums
To continue building a sustainable relationship with our peers, we have increased, in number and in quality, our participation and contribution to various technical forums led by our partner organizations, including:
- Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
- Regional Internet Registries (RIRs): African Network Information Center (AFRINIC), Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), Latin American and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC) and Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC)
- Regional country code top-level domain organizations: African TLD Organization (AFTLD), Council of European National TLD Registries (CENTR), Asia Pacific TLD Organization (APTLD), Latin American and Carribean TLD Organization (LACTLD)
- And many others …
Encouraging Diversity of Participants
As a community, we face the challenge of strengthening the bottom-up, multistakeholder policy development process, while at the same time ensuring that participation becomes more diverse. Looking beyond regional and gender diversity, we must also achieve technical diversity. For example, when we work on domain name policies that affect online services, how do we ensure that we have Internet service operators, application developers and software designers around the table to give their operational perspectives? And as mobile technology becomes an increasingly prevalent way of consuming Internet services, and mobile operators are important players in that sector, how do we ensure that they engage with and contribute to our policy development processes?
We have also seen a growing interest from the Internet services abuse mitigation community in understanding and engaging more actively in our community-led policy development processes. As a result, the output of these processes is taking their needs into consideration. Our Security, Stability and Resiliency (SSR) and Global Stakeholder Engagement (GSE) teams have worked together to provide capability-building programs dedicated to this community. We are exploring ways to cover more ground (particularly in emerging regions). Our recent participation in the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) Public Safety Working Group's workshop in Nairobi has confirmed this need. A follow-up mechanism is under discussion to make sure our engagement efforts meet these needs.
Engaging in Technical Topics that Affect Our Ecosystem
Finally, within our technical scope, we have launched an Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) initiative to refine ICANN's position on IPv6. The initiative defines actions that will ensure that, as organization, we do our part to provide online services that our community can transparently access over both IPv6 and Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). Read more about our IPv6 initiative.