EC-POP Meeting with ICANN Board Members
Christopher Wilkinson: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the open meeting in Europe between the members of the new ICANN initial board and the European private sector of . . . I am just going to kick this off in a very material and practical way, and then hand over to your chairman and the moderators and speakers which we have planned.
Of documents, there is an agenda. It was updated in the last 24 hours. So the one you've got off the Web site may be slightly out of date, but the . . . most participants have already got the up-to-date agenda.
There is a preliminary list of participants available at the desk, and additional copies will be available at lunch time. The board adopted revisions to the articles, bylaws and a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce dated the 23rd of November. Copies of those documents are being made, and you can, you'll be able to get them at lunch time if not before, depending on the print shop in this august establishment.
The main cafeteria in this building is on the fifth floor. We will break for lunch at half past 12 in order to beat the queue. There are also a large number of small restaurants in the immediate vicinity. And if you decide to move off in that direction at half past 12, please tell the maître d'hotel that you're expected back here at 2 o'clock.
The modules of the meeting have been structured, we hope in a way which allows everybody to receive and exchange the necessary information. There's a good deal of updating to do because of the speed of events in recent, in the last couple of weeks, and to leave enough space in the program for serious discussion between the board members and the participants.
Consequently, there are two ground rules. The speakers are urged to present their points in 5 minutes or 10 minutes maximum. Please don't go on much longer than that, otherwise you will, in fact, deprive the participants of the necessary time to react and respond. And secondly, when you do take the floor of . . . Please introduce yourselves so that all the participants know who you are and what your background or principal interest is.
With those words of general introduction of OES in Session 4 on industrial and user aspects of, I think, the moderator and speakers need to get together for a few minutes, but if that's not being done, I'm sure they'll do so during the course of the morning.
Yes, the board has requested that a recording of the proceedings be made so that transcripts can be made and in, due course, published. The openness and transparency of this process is at a maximum. I'm sure it can be improved further, but the immediate . . . particularly given the cost and difficulty of getting to meetings like this . . . And I must say I'm extremely pleased that so many of you have made the effort in the face of weather and other commitments, there will be a recording. You're on the record and in due course, depending on how long it takes to get the transcript typed, this will be posted on the Web.
Thank you very much. I will pass the floor directly to Madam Esther Dyson, the Interim Chairman of the new board, who will introduce the other members of the board present, and make a general introduction, and then we shall move to the second module of the proceedings and advance accordingly. Madam Dyson.
Esther Dyson: ___________________________ [SHORT INTRODUCTION IN FRENCH] And I will finally continue in English. I am very pleased to be here. I would like to introduce three board members, and without dishonoring them, also apologize that there are not more board members present, particularly the American board members who I think would have a lot to learn from this meeting.
Unfortunately, as you may know, tomorrow is a big holiday in the United States, and so they couldn't be here. But please rest assured that not only will we make a transcript, but we will also report back faithfully to our American and Asian and Australian colleagues what we learned today.
With that, I would just like to introduce very briefly, Hans Kraaijenbrink. I don't know, stand up, wave, whatever, who is from the Netherlands. Géraldine Capdeboscq from Bull in France. And Eugenio Triana from Spain. They are members of a 10-person initial board which, in due course, will expand to 19 members, and we hope have an even broader geographical representation.
What I would like to do in my 10 minutes right now is explain to you briefly and as completely as I can in 10 minutes, where ICANN is now. And then we are going to go into a fair amount of interactive discussion about the various issues at which I hope you'll have an opportunity both to ask questions of us, the board, and to make your own opinions known so that we can hear them and discuss them with you. I find meetings like this are most useful when they're not a series of comments, but more a continuing discussion back and forth where ideas are tried out and tested.
So where are we here now? As you all probably know, the United States government, which for historical reasons was mostly in charge of the physical technical administration of the Internet, came to the realization some time ago, quite a long time ago many of you would believe, that it was not entirely proper for a single government to be in charge of these functions, and decided that they wanted to hand over these administrative tasks to an international not-for-profit private sector corporation.
I've spent an awful lot of time in Eastern Europe, and I've seen the difficulties in privatizations: the moral issues, the power issues, these kinds of things. And I think the government made the right approach in deciding to create, in deciding to foster the creation of a temporary board that would have the charge over the period of 1 to 2 years to create a governing structure that would then be handed over to a permanent board. In other words, the 4 of us that you see sitting in front of you today, and the 6 other board members will not be around 2 years from now. Our task is to create an organization that is fully representative, elected by various membership pools, and accountable to the membership. And then when we have done that, to disappear and leave it to an elected board.
The United States then did not tell us what to do. They did not give us our bylaws, which as you've noticed, has created a somewhat long and tortuous process, by which we are trying to create bylaws that will represent a consensus of not the Internet community, but the many communities that are part of the Internet.
And so, over the last month since this board came into being, we have gone through 2 revisions of our bylaws. And what I'm going to tell you in a few moments is, in overall terms, what some of those revisions are and where we stand now. The situation is that we sent the latest and we believe final version until we make future changes in it in a less abrupt way over the future. We sent that final version to the U.S. Department of Commerce on Monday. And we are hoping that the U.S. government will recognize these bylaws as reflecting the consensus they were looking for, and agree to start negotiating a contract with us for the transition of these functions to us.
The U.S. White House is holding a meeting next Monday on electronic commerce. In some sense, it's a farewell for Ira Magaziner, who has, as you know, been leading the U.S. charge in these matters. And so, given that tomorrow is a holiday, we are reasonably hopeful that we might even be able to tell you today that such news has happened. But this is strictly tentative. We don't know, and so forth. But that's the full situation in all the detail and also all the uncertainty that we know it right now.
Now let me run through some of the changes to our bylaws. And I, whoops . . . And again, if anything is being left out, you will have ample opportunity to ask us during the day. Oh great, ah, I've got it on paper now. Even better. Oh. Let me take this. This is the bylaws. They're kind of hard to understand. What I have here is the transmittal letter, which you will be getting later today, and that explains the changes, and I think is probably the most useful and the most intelligible document that exists about this stuff.
The first real area where we made substantial changes, and which more changes are to come, is in this issue of membership. When we came to the board, there was some question, would ICANN be a membership organization? And in response to a lot of feedback, she says politely, we decided that it should indeed be a membership organization. We do not know how to do that. Should it be individual? Should it be organizations? What sorts of powers and rights should the members have? And so we're creating a committee to advise us on how to create such a membership.
It's clear that this membership will have the ability, in some form or other, to elect directors and to get rid of them. And we need to figure out how to do that. We are calling for volunteers for the committee. Anybody who has got an awful lot of time and is able to travel, is invited to volunteer themselves. Anybody else is invited to follow this process along, because a fair amount of it will go on an e-mail that will be public, and it will have probably 1 or 2 public meetings.
The second big issue is overall transparency, and there are a lot of different provisions about disclosure and publishing the minutes and things like that. But the real issue, again, I believe, is to do more of what we're trying to do here, which is not simply publish minutes which explain legally what we did and not simply to receive your comments, look at them once, and file them away, but to actually engage in discussion with the interested constituencies.
And so, partly it's a change of attitude, partly it's understanding that we're not the board of a charity that can simply dispose of things as it feels fit, but we are people who are guiding the use of public resources, and we need to be accountable to that public in all its different forms.
And so one change we have made is to pledge to hold open meetings such as this one before each of our regular board meetings, where we will consider the most important issues that we need to address at that point in an open forum, back and forth. Second, we will publish roll call votes of all these important decisions. In other words, every time a vote is taken, the records of who voted for and who voted against it will be published so that you, the public, can know how the various directors voted on these issues.
Reconsideration of decisions. There was some concern that we could do all this and then still go off and do crazy things and what kind of recourse would people have? And so, much as with membership, we are going to have some independent review process in cases where people believe that we have broken our own bylaws and rules. We're not sure yet how to do that, and so we're going to have another committee on independent review structured much like the membership committee.
Finally, the SO organizations. The supporting organizations, which are dealing severally with domain names, addresses, and protocols. Each of those will be, in essence, sending 3 directors to the board. And there has been a lot of . . . Frankly, I think we've probably made the right decisions here because if there are two sides on this issue, both sides are complaining and nervous. Do the SOs have too much power or too little power?
What we have done in a bylaw change is to put in a provision that if an SO comes to the board with a proposal, which is what the SOs are going to be doing, proposals on specific areas of their interest, the SO proposal must be accepted by a vote of the directors, not including the SO directors. In other words, the SO has to persuade the rest of the board as if they were not members of the board, to accept a given proposal. And we think that creates a slightly higher threshold for what the SOs have to do to foster any particular proposal.
We've also put in more provisions about fiscal accountability and various other things. But the fundamental changes that we have made over the last few months are the ones that I just outlined here. And let me take 2 more minutes to say where we are and then we can move into the other discussions.
Our first challenge has been to create some kind of minimal governance structure that meets the principals of accountability and responsibility and so forth. We now have an awful lot of work to do and we hope that the governance structure I've outlined will meet with your approval. And if not, we hope to hear that this morning quickly.
Then we hope to move forward and deal with some of the substantive issues we're going to face. And obviously, those have to do very particularly with the creation, with creating a process by which SOs can create themselves. And then we are going to be somewhat in the position of the U.S. government. We are not the board, ICANN, going to create these SOs. We are going to wait for them to be created by fostering a consensus in their particular field, and then come to us with the proposal for their creation and their governance. And if they meet the criteria, then they will become the supporting organizations of ICANN, and they will each of them send 3 members to the board.
We are hoping to publish the call for the creation. It has some better name, I'm sure, in mid-December. And our next full board meeting is going to be in early March. And so we would hope that we can act on those SOs at that time. Our challenge is to act quickly, but not hastily.
Second, although in almost every area, we, the initial board, are waiting to hear what the consensus of Internet opinion is, there is one area that is fairly clearly moving ahead, and that is the basic notion that there is, in fact, going to be competition in this world. And so we are probably going to be inheriting a relationship with network solutions which would call for there to be 5 competing people anointed sometime again around March. And that has not yet been decided or negotiated, but that's another thing we're going to have to be dealing with.
There are many other issues that are going to come up, and frankly, we'd be very eager to hear about them from all of you today. That is the basic introduction to what is happening. We're all of us going to do our best, both to answer and to listen. For better or worse, there are a lot of answers we don't have, and so many of our answers may be we're listening to your opinions with interest. We don't know yet. We're going to have to consider the input of other people. We're going to have to consider this as a board. So we can't tell you what we're going to do, because we don't know it yet. And so we're going to try and be as frank as possible, but at the same time, you may just be disappointed that we're not going to outline precisely what we're going to do. That really does depend on you, on other people around the world, and on us getting to a much better understanding of all of these issues.
So with that, I would like to thank you all very much for coming. And hand it back over to Dennis. I hesitate not to take any questions right now, but I do want to keep this on time. And we will all be answering questions during the day and circulating at lunch and so forth.
Dennis Jennings: Thank you very much. We'll take questions on membership later on in the discussion part of this session. My name is Dennis Jennings. I am from the University College Dublin. I am your moderator for the next hour. We are going to start off with 3 presentations focused on preparing for the support organizations: one on addresses, one on protocols, and one on domain names. And these presentations are going to talk about forming the supporting organizations. And then we're going to move into the discussion where we hope for your participation, both on the supporting organizations and on membership.
So our first presenter or speaker is not Daniel Karrenberg as in your program, but Mirjam Khüne, who is the manager of external services in RIPE-NCC, who is going to tell us a little bit about the RIPE-NCC work in preparing for the address supporting organization. Mirjam.
Mirjam Khüne: Yes, thank you for this introduction. I think you will do the pages, okay. I'll give you the current discussion on the address supporting organization for ICANN from our perspective here in this region.
As an outline, I will first sort of briefly describe how the address administration works here in this region, and then I'll outline your requirements that they are for the address supporting organization and how does, yeah, influences to the structure of the address supporting organization.
There are 2 bodies here in this region that I am dealing with address policies. That's RIPE and the RIPE-NCC. And RIPE, RIPE stands for Réseaux IP Européens, a European IP network. It's a completely open forum and has no formal membership. It's actually not a legal entity in itself. And there are no fees; everyone can come and participate. Existence, 10 years and since this time, there have been 3 meetings a year where everyone can come and participate. It's a very diverse participation, also, and both geographically and also from the background of the attendees.
And then on the other hand, there's the RIPE-NCC, the network coordination center for RIPE. That's a not-for-profit association that has been evolving over the last 7 years, has currently 1,200 members from near 82 countries at the moment. So whenever I say Europe, I don't mean [drop in tape] Thanks. As I just said, 82 countries at the moment.
And most of the members of the RIPE-NCC are service providers; but again, it's open to anyone. Anyone can become a member of the RIPE-NCC who wants to receive services from the RIPE-NCC.
Just to demonstrate the diversity of the membership also, over the years, you can see here the growth of the members of the RIPE-NCC and from various . . . from which countries they are coming so you can see a great diversity here of the participation in the membership of the RIPE-NCC. So we expect at the end of this year, a bit more than 1,200 members.
The RIPE-NCC also performs activities and provides services to the membership. And this is done as follows. The RIPE-NCC . . . The RIPE working groups are defining the requirements, basically giving input to the RIPE-NCC, suggesting activities. And, again, these working groups are completely open, so anyone can participate and can suggest activities and provide input.
This input is then taken by the RIPE-NCC, by the RIPE-NCC staff, which produces an activity plan and puts price tags on all these activities. That means it produces a budget. And this activity plan in the budget is then presented to the RIPE-NCC executive board which submits it to the membership, and then the membership finally approves the activity plan and the budget and agrees to fund these activities and sets the fee structure for the coming year.
And the address space policies, in particular, are also developed in RIPE, and specifically in the local IR working group of RIPE, and again this working group is open. Anyone can come and participate. This working group exists since the RIPE-NCC started to operate. So the policies are developed in RIPE in the local IR working group. They are then implemented by the RIPE-NCC and are controlled by the membership.
This was just a brief introduction or a brief summary of how the address administration works here in this region, and I'll go on to the requirements for the address supporting organization. There are a few requirements. And, for instance, the new structure should be built on the existing regional processes that are in place in the various regions. And it should also take differences into account. I mean they are regional registries because there are different requirements and different conditions in the regions, and the address supporting organizations should also leave room for these differences.
The people who participate in RIPE to develop the policies and set the activities, they should not be obliged to participate again on another level. They are participating on the regional level in the existing regional structures. And also, the RIPE-NCC membership should not be obliged to participate again on the global level to defend their interest. They are participating at the regional level already.
And that means that a hierarchical representative process should be built on top of the existing hierarchical structure that is in place, and that is working since many many years.
To give you an idea on the current discussion of the structure, then, that these requirements influences, the structure actually closely matches with the ICANN structure. Where, for instance, the ICANN has supporting organizations, the address supporting organization has regional member organizations at the moment that are APNIC, ARIN, and the RIPE-NCC for the 3 regions at the moment. There may be other regional registries in the future, and there's talk about ______ and _______. They might also be members then of the address supporting organization.
And then also there, where ICANN requires open processes of the supporting organization is actually a lot of language in the bylaws also to . . . for the members or for the supporting organization to demonstrate their open processes. Also, the address supporting organization requires open processes of its members.
And another example, I can leave some many local details to the supporting organization because they have different issues and different requirements. And also the address supporting organization would leave regional implementations to its members because there are regional differences. Are we on track here?
A few words about the funding and also the current discussion. The address supporting organization will be funded by its members. It's actually currently expected that the address supporting organization doesn't need . . . We have a very high budget because they have an address council on the board, but not many more activities. The ICANN operations are expected to be directly funded by the regional registries. And there is expected to be a contract between ICANN and the regional registries where ICANN delegates authority to the regional registries and, in return, the original registries would then fund the ICANN operations.
As a summary, I want to say that there are excellent Internet administration structures in place in this region and in others, and it's open. Anyone can participate. It has been evolved over the last years, and it's working well. So we should use these structures and build on them. That was all.
Dennis Jennings: Mirjam, thank you very much indeed. So that provides a background and a proposal for the address support organization, which I'm sure there will be comments on which we'll take after the other presentations. Could I ask, now, that Erik Huizer, speaking on behalf of the IETF, and a member of the IAB, would present to us on the protocol support organization. Eric.
Erik Huizer: Next slide please. Okay, next slide please. This is the definition of the Internet that the IETF uses, for those of you who haven't seen that. It's a typical operational technical view of the Internet, but it helps us to keep focused on the problems we need to solve. The IETF, next slide please, is the standards organization for the Internet, and develops the protocol standards that we are all using when we are using the Internet.
IETF stands for Internet Engineering Task Force. It develops standards and procedures for operations on the Internet. It has no defined membership. Anybody who has an e-mail address can participate in the IETF. We don't do voting. We decide in working groups, by rough consensus, and the whole IETF process is a lock step of specification, implementation, and standardization. I have no time, unfortunately, to go into detail on this, but it's very interesting.
The motto is we reject kings and voting; we believe in rough consensus and running code. The IETF, by the way, has a Class A liaison with the ITU. The IETF, contrary to the ITU, is a bottom-up structure rather than a top-down structure, so no delegates, no votings, no vetoes.
We are focused on technical and operational solutions to real problems, and not just perceived problems. Next slide, please. The IETF organization, oh, one slide back, Daniel. You can't do that?
Daniel Karrenberg: I can't do that.
Erik Huizer: You can't do that.
[??]: There's no protocol for it.
Erik Huizer: Well in my PowerPoint there is.
__: It's a French keyboard.
Erik Huizer: Oh right. That's true, the French don't need to go back in time. I won't tell you why. Just joking.
I wanted to talk about the Internet Engineering Steering Groups, about the governing bodies in the IETF. The most important one is the Internet Engineering Steering Group, the IESG. And that one is working on a day-to-day management of all the working groups. The working groups work on various areas and protocols, and the IESG keeps focus of the working groups, makes sure they're working, trying to keep their milestones, and deliver the quality that the Internet community asks for.
The IETF is made up of area directors. Each of the area directors manages an area with several . . . up to 10 to 16 working groups. And together, the IESG consists of 12 people, about 12 people, most of them are the area directors then there's one IETF chair, and there is an ex-officio member who doesn't vote. The IESG only votes on standards quality, whether they will pass or not.
They also are the second step in the process resolving dispute. If in a working group, there is a dispute, the working group chair is the first person to solve that. If the working group chair is perceived not to do that in a correct way, the next level of appeal is the IESG. Next slide.
The next level up is ______ the appeals chain, not organizational wise, is the IAB, Internet Architecture Board. It's also about 12 members, 12 voting members, plus the IETF chair plus an IANA liaison which we will now probably move into an ICANN liaison. And RFC editor liaison, and as you probably can guess, these two liaisons were up to now are performed by the same person, Jon Postel.
IESG liaison and an IRTF chair, I won't go into the IRTF, that's a research task force. Not interesting here. And an executive director volunteer. The IAB is responsible for the strategic guidance, resolves the next level in the appeals process. The process dispute. It maintains the liaisons with ITU and IANA and RFC editor, whatever. And it even oversees in this case, according to its charter, the performance of the RCF editor and the performing of the IANA. The latter one, we haven't been too clear and loud about the last 2 years, just to avoid our mailboxes filling up with a lot of mail. Next slide, please.
Because the IETF doesn't have a clear membership, we can't form it into a legal structure. To give our standards a legal status, we have asked the Internet society to become a home for the standards. So all standards are copyrighted to the Internet society, and they provide the legal umbrella that the IETF requires.
We have a secretariat, but that's not very interesting. RFC editor, IANA, I've talked about those already. Next slide. The products are standard. Next slide. Publishes RFC. The process is also not interesting in this case, so give me the . . . This is the one I wanted to talk to you about because this is what a lot of you will interest. How are officers in the IETF selected?
Officers in the IETF are all volunteers, except for the secretariat that is paid, but, of course, they have not votes. All the other officers are volunteers. It's a very heavy job. If you're in the IESG like Burt Reiner, he's in the IESG. It's about 2 to 3 days a week job.
How are these people selected? Each year half of the IESG and half of the IAB is selected. We'll have a specific process, a well-documented process, for that in the IETF. We appoint, every year, a new nomination committee that exists only for one year. And that has 10 voting members, 1 non voting chair, and a liaison from the previous year ______ to avoid duplication in discussions, and a liaison from each of the 2 bodies to clearly make . . . to make clear what kind of people are needed in that body.
What kind of functions are open? This nomination committee selects half of these IESG members, and these are confirmed by the IAB. And the nomination committee also selects half of the IAB members, and they are, in turn, confirmed by the board of trustees of the Internet society. Next slide, please.
The voting members of the nomination committee are selected from the total IETF communities, so anybody who participates in the IETF by drawing random lot numbers. We also have a recall procedure. If you find that one of the IAB or IESG members is not performing in the way he or she should, you can institute a recall procedure which is very similar to the nomination procedure.
What are the requirements that the IETF puts to ICANN and any supporting organization, in this case the protocol supporting organization? We like to see a very smooth transition from the current IANA. We like solid operations like the current IANA provides. We like policy decisions to be based on solid and sound technical and operational input, and that's not just on policy input. We see the need for a very close cooperation between the IETF and ICANN, and we see the need for a very close cooperation between ICANN and the RFC editor because every time we publish a standard which has protocol parameters in it, the moment the standard is published, the registration needs to be up and running for it.
Next, what do we expect from ICANN and the supporting organizations? We expect that Internet technical expertise from the IETF be represented in the board. We like to see IETF influence on policy decisions that affect the assignment and registration of IETF protocol parameters. Daniel?
We expect that no changes will be required through the IETF process that I very briefly described to you. So we don't expect that one of the mandates would be that all of a sudden we need to institute a membership or something like that. We expect to use the nomination process, which has worked so well up to now in the IETF, for to elect the members that we would designate to the board. Sorry, to the PSO, the protocol supporting organization. This might just be IAB members, but that still means that we use the selection mechanism. If there needs to be a protocol supporting organization which is not equal to the IETF, but is larger than the IETF, which a lot of people are seeming to suggest, then we have a lot of questions, like which other standards bodies are allowed to enter into this protocol supporting organization? It's our protocols which are out there, and it's our protocols that the parameters are registers for, so we don't really see what other protocol organizations would be in there and get to tell something about our parameters.
We also are very worried about fake standards organizations. Somebody just establishing a very cheap not-for-profit organization somewhere in the world and then claiming, I am a standards organization. I need to be a member of this protocol supporting organization. And I have just as much influence as the IETF has.
So if there needs to be a protocol supporting organization which is larger than the IETF, we want to see that have very strict bylaws and rules, and I am not a lawyer, so I don't know how to do that. That prevents other organizations running away with the IETF protocols because that would severely hamper the operational situation and development of the Internet. And, of course, we expect to have an ICANN liaison to the IAB.
That's about what I had on slides. I can tell you that we are currently working on a proposal for bylaws for the protocol supporting organization. We do that within the IETF. We have as yet no serious partner that has come up to say, we also want to be in the protocol supporting organization, so we want to work with you on that. We are still open. Like I said, anybody can support, can participate in the IETF. If you have an e-mail address, the working . . . The bylaws for the PSO are worked on in a working group which is called a Poisson working group which I am actually chairing. Anybody can participate in that who wants to, and we hope to discuss these bylaws at our meeting early December in Orlando. And we hope to then get into consensus in the next month and make a final decision on that slightly after your board meeting the second week of March when we have the next IETF meeting. I don't think it's realistic to think that we can have it finished before then. Thank you.
Dennis Jennings: Erik, thank you very much indeed. We now move on to the proposals, the current work on the domain name support organization, and Amadeu Abril i Abril from Nominalia is going to present the current work in that area. Amadeu.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Hi. Good morning. Does it work? Yeah. Okay, thanks. First of all, I won't use PowerPoint presentation. Thanks for the light being back. Domain names is about words, and these are what I will use, not all the kind of technologies. And Erik just convinced me that I am in the right tracks in what the problems they had with the keyboard and running on through slides.
My presentation will be quite different from those of Mirjam and Erik, because the domain name supporting organization is quite special for it in that sense. Let's say that in the numbers and in the address and in the protocols area, we have some incoming organizations that in one way or another have been handling these issues, and then somehow are proposing themselves for the natural job of doing the new supporting organization, the job of the new supporting organizations. With change-- who is probably, why the participation or not, is something to discuss. But somehow we have a core part of these support organizations that will be the following of the work of these existing organizations.
This is not at all the case in the domain names area. As a matter of fact, the domains name area was where everything is started as the Bible says. In the very beginning, there was the verb. And giving names to things, it's quite important. All these afford that brung all of us here in this room, started some years ago discussing how to manage the domain name space. All of you know the battle that followed that, and this battle somehow turned it into a grand plan for the administration of the whole Internet. But still, everything began with the domain names problem and everything will end probably with the domain name problem.
In this sense, let me say that what I represent here is just one of the participants, one of the active participants of a process, a joint process for trying to build a domain name supporting organization. But I've been presented as a representative of Nominalia. I am. This is a registrar, a domain name registrar. But you all are aware that it's not the Nominalia or CORE or the ccTLDs or anybody else is saying that we will be the domain name supporting organization.
Also, as a difference, we only try to devise some process, some knowns, some structures to present as a domain name supporting organization alternative for the ICANN board to accept.
First assumption: we all, participants of this process, are exactly participants to this process that we will present some structures. We are not discussing policies right now. We are only discussing structures, and we'll deal with policy, recommendations to the board, later on. And this means that we don't assume at all that we will be the domain name supporting organization. Indeed, most of us that are participating in this process will join the domain name supporting organization, but we are not all of it. Quite the contrary, anybody participating or not now in the debate, will be, indeed, able to join the domain name supporting organization.
But how are we structuring that? Well, first of all, we are running a series of meetings and online discussions that are open to anybody who wants to participate in ________, that it does exist. Both parts are necessary, unfortunately.
And we try to devise and repeat some rules about how it will work. Our first working assumption is that we are not building legally separate organization. But the domain name supporting organization will be part of ICANN, as it is now described in the bylaws. At least it was last week. I haven't got time to read the last iteration.
Esther Dyson: There's no change on that.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: No change on that. Thanks, Esther. What it means is that we heard that some of the other supporting organizations are thinking about establishing themselves as legally separate associations. We all suspect, or at least I suspect, that this has something to with liability risk related with especially the domain __ arena. As we are the source of the problem, Esther, Geraldine, Hans, _______, we will stick with you to make sure that we're all in the same boat if any problem arises. We are not leaving you alone. You have the problem and the solution all together.
So this is, I repeat, our first working assumption. It is not a religious dogma. In the long run, some of us think that perhaps a legally separate organization would make sense for the short term in order to keep coherence; probably having all in one group is the best solution.
Second, who are the members of the domain name supporting organization? This is part of the problem. Well, if we are not a separate organization, it's very difficult to have separate membership. But here we still are at a loss to understand exactly what the relation between our membership and ICANN membership will be. But we will discuss that later. We have some time as yet.
Our basic rule is, domain name supports the organization as any other. IETF is open, so if it becomes PSO or the largest part of the PSO, that's okay. We need an open membership with no qualification other than perhaps paying a very small nominal fee for $50 or something like that, a half an ecu if you prefer, a lira stet if you prefer, just to, you know, something like identity tracking or minimal internal fees for making that work. But even though that's just aside, it is open to discussion.
Then, what's more important is that the domain name supporting organization will be organized among constituencies, between constituencies. These constituencies will be, or at least this is our current understanding, first indeed the registries, those running and managing the TLDs, both ccTLDs and gTLDs. And this is, you know, if you want the establishment, and they are there. And they have their constituency.
A second one . . . This is clear, and we know who they are and we have a clearer senses. For the rest, we know some functions performed even if we don't have a map 1 to 1 between companies, organizations, and functions. So we have the following functions: registrars. Those entities dealing with registering domain names on behalf of end-users, if you want. Involve individuals and corporations.
Then we have the network and activity and other Internet service providers. This being, you know, in the part of the infrastructure, those providing services. And the part of, you know, buying services _______ on, we have the commercial and non commercial organizations that use the domain name sister for any purpose. And we have a special class that those organizations dealing especially with trademark-related interest and anti-counterfeiting interest, let's say, interactive property rights in general.
Finally, we have an at-large membership. This means there will be some qualifying criteria for each of them. Some are more clear, some are not. And any organization joining the NSO will be able to join either one or more of these constituencies if they, you know, comply with the definition of what a registrar for these purposes or a _______ provider or ISP or trainer association is.
And those not qualifying or not applying because they don't want, to any of the special constituencies of the qualifying constituencies, they will be in this sixth constituency, the at-large membership. The only preventing rule now is that we think that those participating in one of the constituencies should not be also in the at-large in the same way. So these at-large is just the rest of us, or the rest of you, or the rest of me, if you prefer.
So, the second question is. How are these constituencies work? Well, each of these constituencies appoints some members of the so-called names council who is the managing body, somehow. The coordinating function that will really manage and oversight this complete organization in order to make the recommendations to the board.
And here we have some kind of understanding. It's equal representation for each constituency, except for TLDs this is more equal than others. That means, the current understanding is 6 representative in this ______ for TLDs and 3 for each of the remaining.
What is the reason, and this is this third important assumption I want to make here. Well, the first one is because, first the names constitutes a panel of experts that will deal with policy recommendations. And you know, having a fair large amount of experts dealing with the day-to-day operation of the domain name system, it's important.
The second one, more sociological, is we have to ______. In Barcelona, the registrars were above one-fifth of the participants. The second one in Monterey, there were nearly a third of the participants. With this kind of attendance, you may imagine that you have this kind of outcome. And here comes . . . well, for the rest, let's say we also are trying to provide all the criteria that the bylaws require about open and transparent processes and about criteria for identifying conflicts of interest, etc., etc.
Now, what we have to do is two things. The first one is, writing an application form that is acceptable to everybody. And let's say there's a subcommittee elected at each meeting trying to do that. They republish in 10 days probably, a draft on the Internet that will be available for general comments, and we will seek input from everybody to see whether it works or not. And the second thing we have to do is not internal, but the external work.
The people now participating in this process of devising acceptable structure for the DNSO are representative of all of these constituencies. But some constituencies are not very well represented. Especially the commercial users. Somehow the trademark interests even if this is changing, and to some extent, also, the ISP constituency. Not the large _____, but the classical ISP constituencies.
Indeed, we all try to devise rules and procedures and structures that fit with everybody's needs. But you know, each one is ________ either try to serve its own interest. And we only can encourage every one of you here or outside this room to providing for what exactly their interest will need drafted and included in this application to fit your needs. And I repeat that you should understand that this is not an exclusionary process. We are just presenting some basic rules that everybody could join later and probably change.
Last thing is that, so sorry, that is a very short thing. What we're trying to do also is not, you know only . . . we're asking everybody to buy in an automatic minority. This is the only way it can work. Nobody will be able to completely control, but by the way, it's on a roll. It's making policy recommendations to the board who will take the final decisions.
We're also doing with that is trying to provide a farther, let's say constitutional guarantees to all these constituencies that have specific problems. Be that through _____ panels and special mechanisms for even those who are not members to make their point, address it. Devising some special majority rules for some cases and things like that. And I only want to conclude emphasizing once more that I encourage everyone to go to www.dnso.org, subscribe to the discuss or participation list, and provide all the input for all the things we have never thought. And it's really important to your interest. Thanks.
Dennis Jennings: Amadeu, thank you very much, indeed, and thank you to all our presenters. Okay, the floor is going to be open now to you for comments. Just a couple of things before we start. You all have a microphone, and as far as I understand the system, the person who pushes the button seizes the microphone. So hands off the microphone buttons, please, until you are recognized. And then take the microphone.
When you want to speak and you're recognized, could you give your name, your organization, and who you are speaking for, which might be different from your organization, and which area, which support organization you want to talk about or whether you want to talk about the membership of ICANN generally. The floor is open. Please.
Bridget Cosgrave: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Bridget Cosgrave. I am Deputy Director General of ETSI, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute. And on behalf of ETSI, I would like to congratulate the ICANN board on your establishment, and wish you every success with your endeavors as you go forward.
ETSI fully supports the process of ICANN, and anticipates actively participating in the 3 councils that have been named in the ICANN bylaws, and, if possible, all 4 of the advisory committees of the board.
We will be holding an ETSI board meeting in the first 2 weeks of December, at which your request for volunteers will be put forward to our membership. And we hope that we will be able to provide you with some help in those areas.
Just in terms of background, for those of you who are not familiar with ETSI, as an organization, we represent over 600 companies, government bodies, and interested parties in the telecommunications field. Our representation comes from 47 countries across 5 continents. We have an annual budget of $30 million U.S. dollars, which is only a fraction of the investment made by our members who volunteer in the standardization process that we conduct.
In particular, we are seeking to coordinate our standardization activities which bridge the IP and telecommunications world (i.e., the packet and circuit switched networks). And in those regards we have two projects which are our particular interest, and on which, in the case of one, we are already working closely with the IETF, that is, the ETSI typhoon project for voiceover IP. And also our UMTS, Universal Mobile Telephone Service, which will be providing mobile Internet access to Europeans and, we hope, users worldwide. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Dennis Jennings: Thank you. Esther, yes?
Esther Dyson: I just wonder if I can ask a couple of questions . . .
Esther Dyson: . . . if you will get in touch with us about your meeting. I am sure Hans already knows about it anyway, and keep us informed and so forth. I'd welcome some communication with you.
And the second is for Erik. Are you expecting to work closely with ETSI and with W3C among others? You mentioned that you didn't really see any other standards organizations, and I thought, perhaps, there were some.
Erik Huizer: We are working where necessary. We are working closely with all the standards organizations like ETSI, like Worldwide Web Consortium, like ANSI, like ITU, like Davidge and I can go on for quite a long list. I think we have a list of about something like 25 to 30 liaisons which we have for various working groups.
And we will continue to do so. However none of the protocols that come out of that for which the change control is not in the IETF's hands require any . . . so far, require any parameters to be registered by the IANA. All the protocols which have parameters registered by the IANA currently are all change control owned by the IETF, and that's what I was referring to.
Dennis Jennings: Anybody else want to come in and make a comment or contribution on the addressing area? Daniel.
Daniel Karrenberg: My name is Daniel Karrenberg. I am the General Manager of the RIPE-NCC. I have a question for the board members about the latest revision of the bylaws. And that's the change that has been made to the voting of the address of the supporting organization board members, in the sense that they cannot cast decisive votes on policies proposed by their particular supporting organizations. And the question is, aren't you worried that that will give rise to a culture of tit for tatting and [drop in tape] excuse me, basically obstruction, because the only vote a supporting organization member can cast is a decisive vote, is about other supporting organizations' policies. So the only votes where it really matters is where they obstruct other supporting organizations. I am very worried about the culture this implies. [Drop in tape]
Esther Dyson: If we create that kind of a culture, you all, that means not just the supporting organizations, but the membership should recall us. I hear your concern, and I certainly think we will all pay attention to this, but a kind of board that behaves in that fashion should not exist in the first place. And so if we behave like that, we're probably misguided from the start. I do not see that as a big danger unless we're the wrong board in the first place.
The ICANN board should not be about political fighting between SOs. It should be a board where we're trying to do the right thing. We rely on the SOs for specific technical advice, but then the SOs have to have a credible enough case and have to show enough consensus from within their broad membership to be able to convince the entire board without themselves. And so this is a check and a balance. If it becomes a political kind of thing, there's a problem in the first place. And we should certainly be aware of that danger. But I don't see this particular structure as creating that danger.
Dennis Jennings: Any further questions or comments on the either protocol or address supporting organizations from the membership here, from the participants here? Sure.
Esther Dyson: I'll make another point. This issue of roll call votes, in part, is to make the board members accountable for what they do. And if they start playing games, it will become apparent to the outside world. So that's one more protection against that. But I personally am with you. I think the culture is tremendously important. [Drop in tape]
[??]: To clarify why a supporting organization could obstruct the adoption of a proposal made by another supporting organization, I don't quite understand your point.
Daniel Karrenberg: Yeah, what I am worried about is actually . . .I fully agree with Esther that actually once this happens, we have big problems. But what I am worried about is that if the only votes that you can cast are negative votes, and that's basically what this says, at least when they are decisive, I am very worried about this becoming a political forum where it's tit for tat. It's like, you know, if you vote I will not only obstruct your proposal if you'll vote for mine.
Dennis Jennings: But I think, Daniel, that the point has been answered, and comprehensively answered by the chairman, and I think we should move on. Staying with the address and protocol support organizations, if no one has anything to say do we all conclude that you feel represented and happy with what has been presented? In part, perhaps from the ETSI comment? Sure.
Esther Dyson: In the spirit of trying to understand how to do governance, I'd again like to ask Erik a question which is, have you, in fact, ever recalled any directors? You mentioned you had a process for doing that, and I wondered how it actually worked?
Erik Huizer: Fortunately, we haven't been in that situation. We had, in the full history of this process working, which is about 5 years now, and we upgraded . . . We deal with it in the same way we deal with our technical standards, right? We implement this, we find flaws, we rewrite it, and we update it.
But in the version as it's now, we've had, by my knowledge, 3 appeals which reached the IESG level. And 2 of those ever reached the IAB level and were dealt with at that level to the satisfaction of all parties. And so we've never had a situation where an appeal went all the way up, and also we'd never had any recall procedure instigated.
We've had threats, of course, but those are common. So I can't say whether the recall procedure would really work because we haven't got any implementation on that. Since I am only on the IAB until April, I am up for renomination, and I have elected not to become available for next term. I might, in the next couple of months, make myself so unpopular that I could instigate a trial for the recall procedure.
Dennis Jennings: Thank you. Moving on to . . . sorry, yes there are a couple of . . . please here?
Barbara Amular: Barbara Amular. Dutch Telecom representative office here in Brussels. I have a more personal question, and that is, you speak in the bylaws of a procedure to . . . so that supporting organizations can ask for some sort of a recognition of their process. Are there outside of the address protocol and naming domain name supporting organizations, also others that already came imminent that want to be a supporting organization, or is it really those 3 that we're talking about at the moment?
Dennis Jennings: Esther, can you ____ that up under membership?
Esther Dyson: Here we go. At this point, we can think of only 3. This initial board, which is going to last for about 2 years. Our challenge is to get this structure in place, but to allow it to evolve. And so if for some reason in the fullness of time, it becomes apparent there should be a fourth supporting organization separate from the at-large membership, that could happen. That would happen only with the . . . probably the instigation and the support of the various memberships. But we're trying to build something that's firm enough that you can count on it, that's firm enough that you feel there's real accountability and structure and formality here, which is not the way it was in the past.
We're moving from something that was informal and entirely consentual to something, like it or not, that needs more guarantees, more warranties, more explicitness. But we're trying to build into it also an ability to evolve and adapt. And again, that's one reason that those of us who are creating it with your guidance are going to disappear in 2 years.
[??]: My understanding is that there is a membership support organization, conceptually, which will appoint the at-large board members. Is that a correct understanding?
Esther Dyson: No. Actually right now there's nothing except a firm statement in the bylaws that there will be a membership. How it will work is not clear. And that is the task of us plus the first advisory committee on membership. It may be . . . in principle, it could be direct elections by millions of people. One needs to make sure that those are really people and not some purchased IP address somewhere. It could be a group of 3 different organizations that are considered to reflect the at-large membership. It's really not clear. And we are going to have to work very hard on this one for 2 reasons. To come up with something that works and to come up with it in a way that people think it is fair and representative and transparent. Exactly how we do that we do not know, but it won't necessarily be a single membership supporting organization. It's really not clear, and we'd welcome your comments on how we should do that. We're sure we're going to get a lot of comments that don't all agree, which is why we plan to have a lot of discussions over this and try and really work this out. We're going to be using, among other things, the Berkman Center which is an affiliate of Harvard, to help manage the process and do some of the research and find out how other organizations actually do this. And certainly the IETF is one interesting model. There are lots of others. And we welcome your comments.
Dennis Jennings: Can I reflect back to the speaker from Dutch Telecom? Do you have views on how this membership organization, support organizations, or however it is, how they should be constructed?
Barbara Amular: I think that's maybe too complex a question to answer. I think that the way . . . one of the elements definitely that we have to take care of is that it is transparent and open. But, as always, you have to have some sort of guidelines by which you work in them. Especially in the DNSO supporting organization, I think that the discussions at this level are still rather vague; but we're going in the right direction. So, of course, no one has the perfect answer to that question. I think it's the process. And we'll have to learn and we'll probably have to come back to a few statements that we made before, if that helps in achieving the final goal.
Dennis Jennings: Thank you. We had a contribution here.
Michael Schneider: Thank you, Mr. Chair. My name is Michael Schneider. I am Vice President and President Designate of the European Internet Service Providers Association. I know that this is a process for interaction between the board and the European private sector. ___ will allow me a question to derive NCC here just for the records.
If I've got you right . . . Hi Daniel. If I've got you right, in your view, the address supporting organization is designed not to be open to any other constituency, but the RIRs. That right?
Dennis Jennings: Daniel do you want [drop in tape]? Okay.
Esther Dyson: _________________ Yeah, then you'll come back again RIPE-NCC.
Daniel Karrenberg: Since he asked me, I'll take it. If you look at it from the formal way, the way the discussion is going at the moment, is to have membership only from the regional registries. That doesn't mean it's not open. As Mirjam has tried to explain, and I think has explained successfully at least to me, there are . . . The regional processes are very open. The only thing that we don't see and that our membership doesn't see is that we need, on the global level, another open forum to discuss the same things over again. Because that would lead to the requirement on the membership to first go into the regional processes and then participate also in the global one. And that's what we don't want.
There is, obviously, as Amadeu has said, the supporting organization's role is to propose policies to the board of ICANN, and the board of ICANN has at-large members. And although it's not quite clear how they will be selected in the future, it's . . . what is clear is that they will represent the Internet community at large. So at that point, you again have a global open process. What we want to avoid is that we have to do the same things 3 or 4 times. And that's why it's structured like that.
As far as the transparencies as opposed to the openness is concerned, well, the requirements will obviously be transitively be put on the members of the address supporting organizations, them being the regional registries. And I would expect that the language requiring this will be very similar to that in the current ICANN bylaws. But we see no necessity to have at large members or other members at the address supporting organization level. I would be interested to hear arguments for that and why and who should be eligible.
Dennis Jennings: Do you want to follow up your question with a statement? And could you make it a statement of your organization, not an assertion about somebody else's organization?
[??]: Given the time constraints, I think we cannot solve the issue. However, I would have appreciated to be invited, my organization or someone else to be invited, to one of your meetings to discuss the issue there. However, you have held a closed meeting. I've heard not why, and we have not just had the opportunity to discuss this issue with you. [Drop in tape]
Esther Dyson: May I suggest that you tell us some of those issues rather than complain? This is an open meeting, and here's your opportunity.
[??]: Of course. I think the main issue here is that, as far as I am informed and as far as I have discussed the issue with your membership, is that they don't really feel represented by you in a worldwide process like the ICANN process. They have to be your members because you are assigning numbers to them.
However, on a lobbying level, they want to be represented through other bodies, and you don't involve them. And this is what I am complaining about.
Daniel Karrenberg: First of all, the RIPE-NCC has structures, and there's a membership. There's a board. So if our membership has problems, they can raise it at membership meetings. They can raise it to the board. There's two board members here. You know them. And as Mirjam has explained, RIPE, who discusses these things, holds totally open meetings. So I see really no problem there. If your membership wants to raise that with us, they also are our members, and they know what the process is. Also, we expect, and that's under discussion at the moment . . . this will certainly be discussed at the next RIPE meeting which will be at the end of January. Anybody can attend that. And we're currently discussing to hold a special general membership meeting in conjunction with that. That hasn't been confirmed yet. The board has to decide, and they haven't had the opportunity yet. But I expect very much that something like this will happen, so the discussion is open and will continue.
Dennis Jennings: Any other contributors on this particular point, from the floor first of all? Yes, please?
[??]: [did not hear name] I speak on behalf of Asimelec, which is a Spanish Business Association of I-space[??] We have 76% of the traffic at the moment. So, congratulations to the board for the job. I have a couple of questions of suggestions. Anyone on the board. I'm probably ____________ help us in that way.
We are in an emerging socio active business activity in this crazy think with the Internet, okay? Nothing since like 4 years ago and nothing will be the same 4 years ahead. So as we are thinking here on the starting board, in my opinion, unless the board go ahead and start, hopefully the Department of Commerce will recognize very soon the situation. And listen, Department of Commerce is not the Department of Culture, it's not the Department of Structures in the States. We are talking about business here.
So I think one of the recommendations to the board would be if they can be with open mind and open eyes in the future, because things are going to happen. So probably, some particular organizations will be created. We don't know. And the same thing with the actual support of organizations. So they probably have to have the open mind enough to welcome other partners[??] or other ideas to try to build this new world or this new system and be representative enough for the whole community. Actual Internet community and future communities that will come to the Internet, okay?
Internet will[??] affect every single movement in every single house, every single person in the close future. So in the same way with Amadeu, Amadeu? I would like if you may explain us actually why do you think there is not representation enough for ISP's trademarks and other forces in this supporting organization in your case? Thank you.
Dennis Jennings: Would you like to respond very briefly? And then, we're running out of time. We want to go on to the next section.
Amadeu Abril I
Abril: Okay. Why? Very good question. For some of them, the problem is that they want to have some ideas about the policies they will come from before discussing other things. And we are trying the other way around. We only want to discuss the structure for later discussing the policy issues.
Some others simply feel that this is not their battle. I mean, they talk to us, they will join and deal with any domain name supporting organization that the ICANN board approves. So do your work. And for some others, the problem is that they tend to believe that they should be in a special position within this domain and supporting organization, and different ways for different constituencies and different organizations. And they would like somehow, bilaterally, dealing with that before somehow joining the process.
But this question should be better addressed to those not attending and not to those attending, I mean participating in the process somehow. The only thing is that he says the former participants have lots of talks and discussions with many of the relevant organizations we can imagine. There are many of them that perhaps we have forgotten simply because we are not aware that they are willing to discuss these issues. And I simply invite all of them to make themselves available for that.
Dennis Jennings: Okay. Amadeu, thank you very much indeed. We have run out of time and I know that everybody is just beginning to get involved in this process. I see one persistent hand. A very quick comment, and then we'll . . .
Keith Gymer: Thank you Dennis. I really must come back on that one. It's relevant to what Amadeu said and what the previous . . . I beg your pardon, it's Keith Gymer. I'm presently a consultant to BT, but I'm also Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce Task Force on domain names. And we have been addressing the issue of the formation of the domain names supporting organization and the structural issues. And so I feel it's very appropriate to come back on the comments Amadeu just made, and he previously commented that there was a need to involve other stakeholder groups, that they've been predominantly registry registrars participating in Barcelona and Monterey, and other groups notably; broad-based business and trademarks were absent at that time.
I think I'd like to respond quite clearly, that the . . . speaking for the ICC, we've been making major efforts to liase with other business organizations to have a coherent view on how to take the process board. And this is a process related to structure as much as policies. Amadeu, certainly, we're also very focused on that. We have, I'm told, just recently put up on the Web the letter that we have circulated to around I think 200, was it, Christian, business organizations, inviting them to coordinate with us to develop additional inputs to the DNSO process, of which Amadeu's group has already made a substantial and very valid effort on behalf of some stakeholder groups. And we would very much like to draw these efforts together in a process which hopefully Esther will put a call out for in December, if I understood her earlier announcement.
Dennis Jennings: Thank you. Can I ask Esther, would you like to wrap up this session and then I will hand over to Michael Schneider who will moderate the next session.
Esther Dyson: Sure. This has been interesting, but very very preliminary, and I look forward to more of this. I find it, to be honest, most useful when those of you in this room disagree politely, so that we can understand what the issues are. And I just want to point out that we look forward to not just seeing the result, but trying to help in watching the process of you getting together to form supporting organizations that are indeed inclusive. It's not an issue where we will designate one beneficiary and then the other people have to line up and work with that organization. They have to line up and work together first, and then we will acknowledge the existence of the consensus and whatever structure they had created that fairly reflects that.
Given that, unless the other board members have comments, I think we should move on. We look forward to talking with you more.
Michael Schneider: Thank you, Dennis. Thank you Esther. First of all, I should like to mention that I am suffering from a flu, so maybe I'm less eloquent than I am usually.
Nevertheless, let's now move on to the DNS issues. And I should mention at the very beginning, that we've already tried to distinguish strictly between technical and structural issues on the one hand, and legal issues related to the DNS on the other hand during the course of the IFWP meetings. The IFWP has been the open international forum on the white paper.
And although I am a lawyer, it makes a lot of sense to me to avoid any confusion that win practical issues and legal implications here. Therefore, I should like just to address the technical and strategic issues here because all the others are subject to another session during the afternoon.
By the way of realizing that Hans
Kraaijenbrink is relaxing after I've said this, allow me a few remarks with regards to the board here. An earlier release of today's agenda I've seen that one of the slots in the trademark session was assigned to an unnamed board member. This make me very interested to see who of the board members will give himself away as an expert on trademarks and Internet names.
Reading the CVs of the board members only, I could not easily identify who that someone will be. And today, we know there is no. In subsequent discussions with Christopher Wilkins and board members, I had to learn that the major criteria for the selection of the board members was their lack of involvement in the administration of central resources in the Internet. If this is the case, the board has to undertake their utmost efforts to fill the gap as soon as possible, I think. Today is an outstanding opportunity for a know-how transfer, and I am really surprised to find that there is obviously a significant lack of interest on the side of our American colleagues on the board.
Although I understand that this is a holiday tomorrow in the U.S., I would have expected more than only one American board member to join our meeting here to find out what the European concerns are. Anyway, at least we can advise the European board members and Madam Chairman, I am very grateful that you are here. And we'll do that first with a presentation given by really an insider, Boudewijn Nederkoorn, who is the chairman of the CENTR, which is an umbrella organization of the I think European ccTLDs. However, you have some additional members elsewhere I think. No? You will have the opportunity to point that out later. And followed by a statement and questions to the general audience by Hans Kraaijenbrink on behalf of the ICANN board. And now I should like to pass the floor to Boudewijn Nederkoorn.
Boudewijn Nederkoorn: Thank you. Next slide, please. I would like to go briefly through the following items. Some emerging organizations in this __________ of the area, and I will then skip to give you some brief information on the differences in naming policies as they are now _______ in the ccTLD area. I will shortly say something about what happened in the last few years in the Netherlands. I am more familiar with that just as an example. And then I go to the position of center regarding ICANN. And finally, I will make a statement that I had in mind to make in the previous session, but time was running out, and I have the opportunity to make it now. Next slide, please.
To give you an impression about the numbers, the ccTLD registration, some on the second level, some on the third level, are added up here. And in total, it totals up to about $1.4 million. And if you know that the com domain has about a double of that, so you have an idea of the total numbers of names registered in the national and those in the gTLD area.
The European registries add up to an amount of 60 to 65% of all the ccTLD registrations. The next one, please. If you look at the organizations in the ccTLD area, a couple of years ago, there were no organizations. ccTLD activities normally took place in research institutions. At this moment, you see that especially in the European area, many ccTLD registers are now becoming a legal body in their own right. Mostly with the influence and the membership of ISPs. And, at this moment, I think that quite a few, 5 to 10, have already achieved that level in Europe.
These registries are organizing themselves all over the world in regional organizations. There are 3 now set up. CENTR, in the Asia Pacific area, and one in the Latin American Caribbean area. And there are plans, well-developed plans to set up the same type of organizations in the African and the North American area. The latest one, by the way, only consisting of the dot-us and the dot-ca domain.
The chairmen of all these regional organizations are meeting from time to time in a club of clubs called the Worldwide Alliance of TLDs, and they are thinking, of course, about the whole process regarding the DNSO. The next slide, please.
What is CENTR? CENTR is focused on European ccTLDs. And to give an answer to the chairman's question, is it open for any other else? In principle, it's open, but the focus is on Europe. The project, it's a project in 1998. There are 35 participants at this moment, ranging from Portugal to Russia and from Norway to Azerbaijan. We expect it to be a legal body in early 1999. Next Friday, we have a meeting in Vienna where we hope to come to a conclusion on the bylaws and on the location. We have already concluded on the name, as you may know. We have concluded on the budget. We have concluded on the collection of the budget, the contributions, etc. So we are far on our way. The next slide, please.
What are our goals? Primarily, stability and continuity. We are very concerned about things that are threatening these 2 items. We want to operate, to act as a communication channel with Internet governing, or may I say managing bodies? We want to do that by common policymaking and consensus building. We do that in a very straightforward way by the documentation of practices. You should know that a year ago, the first plans for CENTR were discussed.
And as a result of each ccTLD normally operating completely for its own, there was not much, at least, on the policy level. On the technical level, there was in the RIPE area a lot of work going on. But on the policy level, it was in March this year the first meeting that people were meeting and were trying to develop common policies. With success, by the way.
There is an experience, exchange of experience and views. And as a result, we may expect harmonization and improved services. And as a matter of fact, at this moment, you see already some results. And a support for emerging registries, according to our goals. The next one, please.
I skip now to a set of differences you can find in every ccTLD, not only in Europe but all over the world. There are very very huge variations in the naming policies. One of the most common used is the first-come, first-served. That's almost everywhere in some way, is that applicable. I know now from one, I think it's .DV is planning to have the names issued to the highest bidder, but almost all of the ccTLDs are operating on a first-come, first-served basis.
Some are operating . . . registrars, and most are open for every registrant to go to the registry for an application. Contracts and fees are differing very much, and many ccTLDs, at least in Europe, you see that only organizations can register and not yet individuals or no individuals at all. Some are fairly restricted on the number of names per holder; other are completely free. And as a result of this, you see that in many countries in Europe, it's not the aim to have as much names registered as possible. As a matter of fact, in a few countries like in France and in Sweden and in Norway, their aim is to have those names issued that are necessary to operate correctly, but no exhaustion of the name space if it's not necessary. So if I'm talking about numbers, what I did in the second slide, these numbers should not be seen as representative for the significance of such a registry.
There are sometimes restrictions on the country of incorporation. As a matter of fact, generally you see that there is a restriction. You all know that there are a number of ccTLDs specific in the Pacific area where the ccTLD actually is operating like a gTLD. You should know that a ccTLD and a gTLD in their function and in technical sense are completely equivalent. There is no difference at all; there is only a difference in the perception of the user.
In many countries, there are restrictions on the choice of name. Everybody is trying to, or many are trying to prevent disputes, and some are even operating in on the level of dispute resolution. I have seen that as a presentation of the RIPE LIPO Internet domain process, and I will not go into further items on that. I have seen Francis Gurry, and he will give the presentation later today, I think. The next one.
Just to give you a clue of what's going on in some countries, I said already, it's differing very much. But in the Netherlands, there is a straight . . . Three years ago, we started as a straight difference between the registry, the registrar, and the registrants is no relationship, direct relationship between the registry and the applications.
There is always ruled by contracts between the registry and the registrars. And the registry is stating the rules, and the registrars have to apply the rules. But as a shared registry system, that can be used by the registrars to sell their services to registrants on a commercial basis. The next slide, please.
There are some items that can be compared between the setup of ICANN. I did it with the setup of the Dutch registry. Three years ago, we decided to have a nonmember organization with the support of our organization below it. And we decided to do so because at that moment, there were very bad experiences with membership organizations in the ISP area. They were blowing up. They were monopolized by very vocal groups. At this moment, I think it's different. But in that period we decided to have a nonmembership organization, and the first meeting was much more loud than even the ICANN board meeting and on the 14th of November in Boston was.
We have a supporting organization. Every registrar . . . But as a matter of fact, every company or institution can be a member. The fee is $1,000 U.S. dollars. The foundation has to consult a supporting organization on the election of 4 of the 7 board members, on the tariffs, and on the naming policy. They do not have to follow the recommendations, but as a matter of fact, in the last 3 years, never they refused to follow the recommendations.
And then finally, I will go to the center position regarding ICANN. In the first place, I would like to stress that CENTR is very much in support of what is coming out of the U.S. white paper, and in support of the fifth version of the Jon Postel _________ proposal.
At the same time, we have to state that we regard the signal from NTIA in its letter to the new ICANN board. These are making explicit statements and asking for explicit attention for the most vocal groups. And therefore, asking for implicitly ignoring the groups that have given a lot of input like CENTR. In the past, that's a wrong signal. We hope that the ICANN board . . . We support ICANN quite strongly, that the ICANN board will go ahead and will stop by not listening, but giving explicit attention to all these groups that are asking for more specific bylaws, more changes in their direction, and just start working.
The further point is that, and I will come at the end, is related to the DNSO. We . . . Well, I can make this statement here, then it's there. We are very concerned about what is going on in the domain name supporting organization process. We are supporting that progress stongly. So, Amadeu can be quiet on that. We are actively participating in that process. At the same time, we see that many many stakeholders and constituencies are trying to get a position in that whole domain name supporting organization.
At the same time, we should be aware that it all started, these supporting organizations, to have the expertise both in technical and in an administrative level, to have that in the supporting organization. And in the registry area, you will see that this expertise is mostly concentrated. So what was starting as the house of the expertise, should not end. And that's my concern, being some back room where all this expertise should concentrate and all the rest of the house is just for policy and representation.
We . . . I come to the next point. We are in favor, from Sandifer, in favor of the autonomy of the ccTLDs, but what is autonomy? Let me state, first, that we are, in general, in Europe, very much cooperating with the local government. We . . . In some countries, the ccTLD is an agent of the government. In most, it's a matter of self-regulation. This self-regulation takes place in good cooperation with the local government. But talking about autonomy of ccTLDs is talking about RFC1591. Some see it as the Bible of the ccTLDs. In Europe we would like to give support to the ICANN decision to say, let's use the status quo to go ahead and to find the next steps with ______ RFC1591. As the last step, we will discuss on this next Friday, we have not a very specific statement other than that CENTR is open for further debate within the DNSO and with the ICANN board on 1591.
Okay. That for the time being, will conclude my presentation. And I have some other sheets, but that are maybe part of the discussion. Daniel, could you skip 4? No, one more. Okay, that's the one. Last one. Thank you.
Esther Dyson: And you will send us copies?
Boudewijn Nederkoorn: I will publish this on the RIPE center.
Michael Schneider: Thank you, Boudewijn. I hope I spell your name right for this very informative presentation. Please allow me one additional, I think, very provoking question. I understand that there is, this does not leave an easy way out for you, however, it's just to give the ICANN board the whole picture.
If we assume that Daniel Karrenberg was right in his view with regard to the representation in the address council and in the address supporting organization. And given that the structure you described for the ccTLDs on a worldwide basis is a little bit comparable to the structure of the RIR, you have a European group, you have 3 regional groups which come together in the worldwide club of TLDs. This sounds a little bit comparable to what I've heard about the RIRs.
This said, wouldn't it be consequent just to skip the interests of all the other constituencies, the trademark owners, the registrars, the ISPs, the commercial users, and so on, and only to make up the domain name supporting organization of ccTLDs?
Boudewijn Nederkoorn: There goes my name.
Boudewijn Nederkoorn: Thank you. I am certainly not in favor of that, and I think there is a huge difference between the addressing, and the naming area. In the addressing there are only 3 number registries, as a matter of fact, at this moment. In the naming area, there are more than 200 naming registries. Always they are straight, direct, as I expect relationship with ICANN.
I am quite convinced that, and therefore I am in favor of this domain name organization process going on, that all these stakeholders will find a place in that house what I am talking about. I only state that the representation is one issue, but technical expertise and administrative expertise and experience is another issue, and I am only looking for the balance between these two. And what I am concerned about is that at this moment, the outcome will result at this moment of the Monterey meeting, is not yet as balanced as I had hoped that it would be.
Michael Schneider: As one of the participants in the Monterey meeting, I tend to agree. However, I think for different reasons than you might have had in mind. However, I now should like to pass the floor to Hans Kraaijenbrink, who wants to make his statement and to raise some questions on behalf of the ICANN board.
Hans Kraaijenbrink: All right. Thank you Michael. For the initial board of ICANN and for myself, I believe that the two words I have heard this morning very often, which is stability and continuity, are very important. That's also why on the issue of the ccTLDs, we have probably in the legal speak translated the situation that a status quo of RSC1591 would be maintained. We do not want to rush into rash policymaking. We want to listen to the community, and truly we have to learn a lot. Because as I have explained on other occasions, I knew nothing of the Internet when I was asked to do this job. But I am learning fast and I knew when I entered this job, a lot about managing international organizations. And I believe that our task, our main and first task, is to set up and build the organization with your help.
As I listened again this morning, and I did in a more private meeting last week. I am not so much concerned about the technical specialist, the IETF. I believe that there is an open construction in place, and I also do believe that existing standardization organizations can find their place in there without the need to go in a drastic different direction of building new organizations.
I heard on the address supporting organization already some differences of opinion, which I believe that within the existing 4 could be, or maybe should be solved.
Domain names is, I think, the hottest issue. There is no proper organization to take care of the broad spectrum of the issues on the domain names. And I believe in seeing and listened to a lot of discussion on domain names, there is possibly there a potential time bomb as I said in Boston or Cambridge. Because the business interest in the development of the Internet may conflict with the issue of stability and continuity.
You should not look, at least, not for the first month, to the interim board of ICANN for the solution. We cannot, if you can't. So I believe that those who have an interest from the very different fields, should work on a practical solution, and that solution then will be treated by the board and maybe checked by the board on its consistency, so that the board may rely also in the future on the, let's say, the specialized advice or the consolidated input from the field in domain names as it should be in addresses and in protocols.
We have our first open meeting the first week of March in Singapore. I believe that may not be the moment that you could be ready to present a proposal to the board. The next one is going to be scheduled for the last week of May in Europe, and I do hope that at that meeting, we may consider a proposal for the domain names supporting organization. I would leave my intervention at that at this moment. Michael, thank you.
Michael Schneider: Thank you Hans for this very informative and open statement. And I would say the floor is going to be open now to you, if you want to make any questions, remarks. Please.
Erik Huizer: Michael, with regard to your opening statement, I would like to note that not only there is no trademark specialist on the current interim board: there is also no technical person who knows about the technology of the Internet on that. But we recognize the goal of this board and the way it's formed, and we have no problems with that.
Michael Schneider: I understand what you're talking about and I know why the board has been formed the way it has been formed. Nevertheless, I must not necessarily second the reasons behind it.
Mirjan Kühne: Mirjan Kühne from Denmark. I am speaking as a registrar at the moment. I would like to know whether the American government will be a registry that's open for any registrar like you intend to make the NSI? The American government holds the .gov and so on.
Esther Dyson: I will take a crack at this, though I can't . . . Fundamentally, the U.S. government is handing over, is delegating to ICANN the ones that NSI is now dealing with. It's not, as I understand it, doing the same with .gov or .mil. I don't really know. But we do not represent the U.S. government as ICANN. We are part of your communities, and so I cannot speak for the U.S. government. I am doing this only because I happen to be the American up here.
They have, I would say, what amounts to a ccTLD there, and I don't really know what's going to happen to the .gov and the .mill, if that's the question.
Michael Schneider: May I add a question here? Are you going to stress these kind of questions, vis-a-vis the U.S. government?
Esther Dyson: Are we going to stress them?
Michael Schneider: Are you going to stress these kinds of questions vis-a-vis the U.S. government in your talks and discussions with the U.S. government and their representatives?
Esther Dyson: So . . . If you . . .
Hans Kraaijenbrink: I most definitely would answer not at the moment. Because let me emphasize again, we are to guard the status quo, the stability, the continuity from IANA to ICANN. We are building a supporting organization structure which will develop policies, and it would be very unwise to take any shot to take a position on whether or not .gov should be opened up to other governments, whether or not there should be a right or not a right for _______ to sell out .tv. We are blank on this.
Our main task is to manage the transition to an open transparent organization where you and you and all the others may voice their opinion and involve also the U.S. government. There may be a discussion on whether or not it's right to have .gov solely for the U.S. government or not. We have no position.
Esther Dyson: But we would like to hear yours.
[??]: ________ comment only to say that in any case, we have the, as you know the amendment 11, the agreement between NSI and the U.S. government, that for us is a convenient frame to work on in some matters. And you know that this is a transitional agreement leading to full revitalization on the ______________________ fact[??].
Esther Dyson: Could I just ask you to go one step farther and explain what the issue is? This is not something that has come up. There are many things we are going to be facing and dealing with. Hans is totally right, we're not going to . . .
[??]: Well my point is that everything here seems to be so democratic, transparent, everything, except for those things that the Americans have taken away from the first time. At first, they deliberate take something away from the Internet community. That's my point.
Esther Dyson: Why don't we talk about this later so that I understand it better? But I don't believe .gov ever belonged to anybody else.
Michael Schneider: I think we should now move on to other issues with regards to DNS. Additional questions? Please.
Robert Shaw: Hi, my name is Robert Shaw. I work for the International Telecommunication Union, and we happen to be a member of the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency. Whenever I hear people say ccTLDs, I cringe, because the 3166 list is not strictly a list of countries. The actual name of the standard is "Codes for the representation of countries and their subdivisions". And so you should be aware that there are many codes that are allocated that really aren't countries. We can pick an unusual example, in which a code that was created at the request of a sovereign. For example, France (.fr) at one time also requested FX to represent just the hexagon, what we normally think of as France, and that code was eventually removed from the list. There are other codes that countries will request. For example, the U.S. has things like the US Minor Outlying Islands or something like that.
So one of the issues that needs to be dealt with is really who is sovereign over certain codes. And there has been no survey of that done. That needs to take place before you can deal with some of these policy issues.
Michael Schneider: But Bob, what does that mean to us? Does that mean there is no difference between gTLDs and ccTLDs in your view?
Robert Shaw: Well, in some cases it certainly is blurred. One case is Tuvalu. In fact, the ITU sent a consultant to Tuvalu because they were being asked by one million people if they could manage their top level domain, .tv. Or we'd like to buy it. And the first thing we did was say, well save it for the Tuvaluans, but Tuvalu has something like 6 telephone lines or something like that into the island and they just wanted to commercialize it.
But it's clear that there needs to be some sort of basic guideline policies for all TLDs, because it goes along with some of the transparency mechanisms that you need to enforce. For example, something like Tonga has no "whois" information. And it's clear, for example, with Tonga, some of the registrations were done by the registrar itself, and perhaps thinking that oh, we can make more money if I reserve go.to and sell it to the highest bidder. So you've got these public policy issues about fair competition and transparency, and so on, and you can't just say, oh, well, we're not going to apply those rules to ccTLDs too. I shouldn't use the term ccTLDs, but it's entered popular usage.
But yeah, it's clear that many are being marketed as gTLDs. .as in Sweden which is, of course, short for a form of company (like .inc) in Sweden. You also have the problem of codes which are not in the 3166 set which were allocated by IANA which has created lots of problems. For example, IANA allocated some code from the reserved code list, which is really meant for codes not to be used or reserved for special purposes or future use. For example, Guernsey, Jersey, Ascension Island, Isle of Man were all allocated in this fashion. And, of course, this has upset to British government a little bit.
When you allocate codes like that, then people who have codes in that reserved code list who also want them are very very mad because they say, why can't we have them too? Examples of that include Palestine (.ps) or maybe even the EU. .eu is also in the reserved code list. So you get into some really tricky policy issues. And there are still a lot of other problems with the country code allocations.
For example, Libya is being run out of the U.K. and there is a battle over who is going to run that. The Libyan government would like to have it back. And so what's the policy to get it back? It's very very unclear. RFC1591 says some things, but it doesn't say all the things that IANA really enforced.
We're probably going to run the code for Bhutan at the ITU because the Bhutan government doesn't want it being run by the current administrator. In a similar situation, we ran the top level domain for Cameroon for a while, so there's lots and lots of issues like this that need to be clarified. They need some sunlight shined on them.
Michael Schneider: I should like to ask here that I have been asked recently, in my country, as a consultant by one of the ccTLDs, whether or not it may make sense to become kind of a gTLD, and to sell their second-level domains through the European market. I have been very reluctant to answer the question the way they wanted me to answer it. However, we have to be aware of the fact it will go on to happen in the future.
Anyway, is someone . . . is a member of the board or CENTR willing to come in on this issue?