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ICANN Policy Update | Volume 15, Issue 7 | August 2015

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers


Volume 15, Issue 7 – August 2015

Public Comments Contribute to Policy Development Processes and Proposals

A fundamental principle of ICANN's commitment to accountability and transparency is providing opportunities for input and feedback from the community. ICANN achieves this through the public comment process. In this month's issue we note a number of important public comment developments.

Currently, a public comment proceeding on Proposed ICANN Bylaws Amendments recommended by the GNSO Policy & Implementation Working Group's Final Report seeks community opinions about three new GNSO process recommendations.  A Final Report produced by the Working Group recommends improvements to the GNSO Council's ability to respond to policy and implementation matters by using new standardized mechanisms instead of existing ad hoc processes. The ICANN Board has asked for community input on the recommendations before it takes any action. (Read more in this issue.)

Last month, I wrote a blog post explaining the policy development process as it relates to the GNSO Privacy/Proxy Services Accreditation Issues Working Group Initial Report. That public comment proceeding recently received a remarkable 11,000+ public comments, highlighting the importance of the issue to our community and general interest on the topic from Internet users. The Policy Development Support staff is now working diligently on summarizing the large number of public comments in order to publish a summary report for community review as soon as possible.

Of course, the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group recently posted for input the consolidated proposal for the future of the IANA functions, and the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability also published for feedback its second draft report. This issue examines those comment opportunities as well.

Whether core policy development work or strategic proposals, we encourage you participate in ICANN's public comment process. Public comment strengthens the multistakeholder model and distinguishes our bottom-up, consensus-driven policy development work.

Best regards,

David Olive's Signature

David Olive

Vice President, Policy Development Support
General Manager, ICANN Istanbul Hub Office


Across ICANN

Address Supporting Organization (ASO)

Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)

At-Large/At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC)

Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)

Publication Information

Policy Update is posted on ICANN's website and is available via online subscription. To receive Policy Update in your inbox each month, please visit the subscriptions page.

Please send questions, comments, and suggestions to:

Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees

Address Supporting Organization ASO
Country Code Names Supporting Organization ccNSO
Generic Names Supporting Organization GNSO
At-Large Advisory Committee ALAC
Governmental Advisory Committee GAC
Root Server System Advisory Committee RSSAC
Security and Stability Advisory Committee SSAC

Across ICANN

Issues Currently Open for Public Comment

Several public comment proceedings are currently open on issues of interest to the ICANN community.

Proposal for Armenian Script Root Zone Label Generation Rules (LGR)

The Armenian script community has formed the Armenian Generation Panel (GP), which in turn has developed a Proposal for an Armenian Script Root Zone Label Generation Rules. This proposal is being posted for public comment to allow those who have not participated in the Armenian GP to make their views known to the Armenian Generation Panel so it can finalize the proposal for integration into the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone.

Public Comment Period Closes: 31 August 2015, 23:59 UTC

Next-Generation gTLD Registration Directory Services to Replace Whois Preliminary Issue Report

This public comment proceeding seeks to obtain community input on the new Preliminary Issue Report concerning Next-Generation gTLD Registration Directory Services (RDS) to Replace WHOIS.

Public Comment Period Closes: 6 September 2015, 23:59 UTC

Initial Report on Data & Metrics for Policy Making

This public comment proceeding seeks to obtain community input on the Initial Report from the GNSO's Working Group (WG) on possible recommendations for the use of Data and Metrics for Policy Making.

Public Comment Period Closes: 7 September 2015, 23:59 UTC

IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal

The process for development of the transition proposal has been led and coordinated by the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG). The transition proposal contains the component proposals received from each of the three operational communities as submitted to and assessed by the ICG in response to its request for proposals.

Public Comment Period Closes: 8 September 2015, 23:59 UTC

Removal of Searchable Whois Service from .SHARP Registry Agreement

This public comment proceeding aims at gathering community input on the proposed amendment to the .SHARP Registry Agreement to remove Searchable Whois service from the Exhibit A (Approved Services) of the .SHARP Registry Agreement.

Public Comment Period Closes: 11 September 2015, 23:59 UTC

Proposed ICANN Bylaws Amendments—GNSO Policy & Implementation Recommendations

Per its resolution on 28 July 2015, the ICANN Board of Directors has directed that proposed changes to the ICANN Bylaws as proposed by the GNSO Policy & Implementation recommendations be posted for public comment prior to ICANN Board of Directors consideration.

Public Comment Period Closes: 12 September 2015, 23:59 UTC

Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability 2nd Draft Report (Work Stream 1)

The CCWG-Accountability requests community feedback on its 2nd Draft Proposal of proposed enhancements to ICANN's accountability framework it has identified as essential to happen or be committed to before the IANA Stewardship Transition takes place (Work Stream 1).

Public Comment Period Closes: 12 September 2015, 23:59 UTC

Design Team Review of Plan for DNS Root Zone KSK Change

This public comment proceeding seeks to review the Design Team's findings to date related to issues and plans for changing the cryptographic key used to originate the DNSSEC chain of trust.

Public Comment Period Closes: 15 September 2015, 23:59 UTC

At any time, the full list of issues open for public comment, plus recently closed and archived public comment proceedings, can be found on the Public Comment web page.

ICANN staff also populates a web page to help preview potential "upcoming" public comment proceedings. The Upcoming Public Comment page provides information about potential future public comment opportunities. The page is updated after every ICANN public meeting to help individuals and the community set priorities and plan future workloads.

Address Supporting Organization (ASO)

Three Policy Proposals for APNIC40

In early September, the Asia Pacific addressing community will meet in Jakarta, Indonesia for APNIC40. The conference will be the venue for APNIC's Open Policy Meeting, a decision-making forum dedicated to the development of IP address policy in the region. Three proposals currently under discussion on the APNIC Policy SIG (Special Interest Group) mailing list will be presented and possibly decided during on Thursday, 10 September 2015.

Two proposals relate to policies that control the distribution of IPv4 addresses and Autonomous System Numbers with a suggestion that eligibility criterion for each should be extended to accommodate network operators who may wish to take advantage of advanced Internet access services in the future. It is expected that the change will predominantly help corporate network owners but could also be beneficial to smaller service providers.

Another proposal, if adopted, may require the registration of more specific assignment data in the APNIC Whois Database to support network operators wanting to filter out harmful traffic. The proposal is the result of operator experience with current engineering technologies such as Carrier Grade Network Address Translation.

The Policy SIG meeting will also be used to seek input from the community as a prelude to a possible proposal regarding the use of addresses for the Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine (IoT/M2M) networking. The discussion could lead to a proposal that IP addresses used for the IoT could be managed differently that those used for more traditional networking.

More Information

Staff Contact

Carlos Reyes, Policy Specialist

Regional Internet Registries Number Resource Policy Discussions

At a Glance

Each of the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) has a web page that lists all the Internet number resource policy proposals that are under discussion. Policy discussions take place on open policy mailing lists and at Public Policy Meetings (list and meeting information is provided below).

These are some examples of Internet number resource policy and other discussions that took place recently on the RIR policy mailing lists and/or at meetings.

AFRINIC | Proposal page

A proposal to reserve IPv4 space for Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) is advancing through the policy development process. The proposal would reserve two /16s and a block of Autonomous Systems Numbers (ASNs) for use by exchange points. For more information, see the proposal.

On 4 August, AFRINIC requested comments on the Terms of Reference for a new AFRINIC Governance Committee, which will provide advice to the Board of Directors, the Members, and the community.  The deadline for comments on the proposal [PDF, 133 KB] is 21 August 2015.

APNIC | Proposal page

The APNIC Secretariat is now seeking volunteers to serve as Co-Chair of the APNIC Policy Special Interest Group (SIG). The responsibilities are outlined in Section 2.5 of the APNIC SIG Guidelines. Nominations will be accepted only through this form. The nomination deadline is 23:59 (UTC +10) on 4 September 2015.

Nominees will be asked to provide a short biography and description of their interest in the role. The election will be the first agenda item at the APNIC Open Policy Meeting at APNIC40 on 10 September 2015. All SIG Chairs undertake this work on a voluntary basis, and the APNIC Secretariat—on behalf of the community—is very appreciative of the work done by Chairs and Co-Chairs.

ARIN | Proposal page

The ARIN community is actively discussing Draft Policy ARIN-2015-5 "Out of Region Use" on the public policy mailing list. The problem statement of the proposal states, "Current policy neither clearly forbids nor clearly permits out or region use of ARIN registered resources. This has created confusion and controversy within the ARIN community for some time. Earlier work on this issue has explored several options to restrict or otherwise limit out of region use. None of these options has gained consensus within the community."

The proposal continues by suggesting "the next logical option is a proposal that clearly permits out of region use while addressing the key concerns expressed about unlimited openness to out of region use and enables ARIN staff to implement the policy efficiently." Read the proposal to learn more.

LACNIC | Proposal page

The LACNIC Policy Development Process was revised on 16 July 2015. The revisions were done in accordance with LACNIC proposal LAC-2014-03. Changes include a clarification of the responsibilities and obligations of the Policy Forum Chairs. The LACNIC Policy Development Process was last updated in 2008.

RIPE NCC | Proposal page

The RIPE NCC community has been discussing policy proposal 2015-03, "Assessment Criteria for IPv6 Initial Allocation Size." The proposal aims to better align the policy with the addressing requirements of organizations by expanding the criteria the RIPE NCC uses to make its assessment.

The proposal states, "The current RIPE IPv6 Address Allocation and Assignment Policy (ripe-641, section 5.1.2) recognizes only 'the number of existing users and the extent of the organization's infrastructure' when assessing the requirement for an initial allocation size greater than /29. This is proving problematic for organizations whose IPv6 addressing requirements are not fully represented by such criteria." For more details, please refer to the proposal.

Next Steps

  • APNIC40 will be held 3-10 September 2015 in Mega Kuningan, Indonesia.
  • LACNIC24 will be held 28 September-2 October in Bogota, Colombia.
  • ARIN36 will be held 8-9 October 2015 in Montreal, Canada.
  • RIPE71 will be held 16-20 November 2015 in Bucharest, Romania.
  • AFRINIC23 will be held 21-27 November 2015 in Brazzaville, Congo.

Subscribe to RIR Policy Development Mailing Lists

ICANN Staff Contact

Carlos Reyes, Policy Specialist

Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)

GNSO Council Adopts Review of GAC Buenos Aires Communiqué

At a Glance

At its meeting in July 2015, the GNSO Council resolved to adopt a review document constituting its input to the ICANN Board of Directors regarding the Council's review of the most recent GAC Communiqué on issues involving gTLD matters. This review document has been forwarded to the ICANN Board of Directors, and the GNSO Chair has notified the GAC Chair as well (see the letter here [PDF, 473 KB]).

Recent Developments

Following discussions over the appropriateness of and need for a standardized mechanism for the GNSO Council to provide feedback to the ICANN Board of Directors on matters concerning gTLD topics raised by any particular GAC Communiqué, several GNSO Council members developed a template to facilitate this input process. This template was then used to document the GNSO Council's feedback on the most recent GAC Communiqué.

Next Steps

The GNSO Council plans to use the template developed to continue providing feedback relating to gTLD matters that may arise from future GAC Communiqués.


The role of the GAC is to advise the ICANN Board of Directors on issues of public policy, and especially where there may be an interaction between ICANN's activities or policies and national laws or international agreements. It usually does so as part of a "communiqué", which is published toward the end of every ICANN public meeting. The GNSO is responsible for developing and recommending to the ICANN Board of Directors substantive policies relating to gTLDs.

More Information

Staff Contact

Marika Konings, Senior Policy Director

GNSO Council Grants Extension for Delivery of Preliminary Issue Report on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures

At a Glance

On the recommendation of the GNSO New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Discussion Group, the GNSO Council issued a request for a Preliminary Issue Report on new gTLD subsequent procedures at its meeting in June 2014. The publication of a Preliminary Issue Report is the mandated first step in a potential policy development process. At its meeting in July 2015, the GNSO Council considered and granted a staff request to extend the timeline for delivery of the Preliminary Issue Report due to the extensive scope of the subject matter to be covered.

Recent Developments

The GNSO New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Discussion Group (DG) has concluded its work, which was focused on reflecting upon the experiences gained from the New gTLD Program 2012 round and identifying a recommended set of subjects that should be further analyzed in an Issue Report. The DG's scoping exercise resulted in the delivery of a collection of final deliverables, [PDF, 244 KB] intended to serve as the main basis for preparing the Preliminary Issue Report.

ICANN staff has begun to perform research and draft detailed analysis of, at a minimum, each of the subjects identified in the DG's final deliverables. The number of subjects is extensive and as a result, more time (beyond the 45 days allocated in the GNSO Policy Development Process Manual) would be needed to fully and properly consider each subject. As a result, ICANN staff submitted to the GNSO Council a request for an extension of time to prepare the Preliminary Issue Report. The GNSO Council granted this request at its July 2015 meeting.

Next Steps

ICANN staff will continue to research and draft the Preliminary Issue Report on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures, with the intention to complete and publish it for public comment by the end of August.


With the application submission period for the New gTLD 2012 round closing in June of that year, the GNSO Council noted that it has a continuing interest and role to play in evaluating the experiences of that round and proposing policy recommendations, if necessary, for changes that may need to be made to the existing Introduction of New Generic Top-Level Domainspolicy recommendations from 8 August 2007. As the original policy recommendations adopted by the GNSO Council and ICANN Board of Directors were "designed to produce systemized and ongoing mechanisms for applicants to propose new top-level domains," those policy recommendations will remain in place for subsequent rounds of the New gTLD Program unless the GNSO Council decides to modify those policy recommendations via a policy development process.

The GNSO Council chartered a Discussion Group to begin that evaluation process and identify possible areas for future GNSO policy development. The DG reviewed the 2012 round of the new gTLD program and discussed and reflected upon experiences gained. The DG then reported its findings to the GNSO Council where it recommended a set of subjects for further review in a single issue report, a required first step in a policy development process which can result in modification of existing policies or the creation of new policies.

More Information

Staff Contact

Steve Chan, Senior Policy Manager

Data & Metrics for Policy Making Working Group Publishes Initial Report for Public Comment

At a Glance

The GNSO Data and Metrics for Policy Making WG (DMPM-WG) opened a public comment proceeding on 29 July 2015 for feedback on its Initial Report. The WG's intent is to develop solutions that will improve the way in which consensus policies are developed and help ensure that the most critical registrant, registry, and registrar issues are addressed through better informed, fact-based policy development and decision-making.

Recent Developments

The WG has developed preliminary recommendations for a number of questions outlined in its charter, which are described in its Initial Report [PDF, 394 KB]. Those recommendations that contain suggested edits to the GNSO Operating Procedures are also included in a redline version [PDF, 768 KB] should the GNSO Council adopt the WG's recommendations.

The WG's deliberations revealed opportunities for the following improvements:

  • Deliberations and decisions based on tangible evidence as opposed to "gut feeling" or anecdotal evidence
  • Reinforcing a cultural notion of continuous improvement to the policy process and effectiveness consensus policy implementations

The WG's preliminary recommendations include:

  • Initiation of a pilot effort whereby the GNSO community at the early stages of the policy development process (Issue Identification or Working Groups) can submit tactical sized requests for data and metrics to assist in validation of issues or to better inform policy deliberations
  • Creation of working group work product templates (Charter, Final Report) including updates to the GNSO Operating Procedures and Working Group Guidelines (WGG)
  • Updates to the current working group charter template to assist drafting teams in determining key metrics to be used to meet the goals of resolving issues
  • Updates to the current Final Report template with a standard but modifiable recommendation systematizing a review of the policies implemented at a future date to determine if it met the stated intent
  • Creation of a Metrics Request Decision Tree and Request Form to formalize the request process, including inclusion into the WGG.

Next Steps

Following analysis of all public comments received, the WG will finalize its recommendations and prepare a Final Report for delivery to the GNSO Council for review and action.


The 2010 Registration Abuse Policies Working Group (RAPWG) identified the "meta" issue: uniformity of reporting, which it described as the "need for more uniformity in the mechanisms to initiate, track, and analyze policy-violation reports." The RAPWG recommended in its Final Report that "the GNSO and the larger ICANN community in general, create and support uniform problem-reporting and report-tracking processes."

The GNSO Council recommended the creation of an Issue Report to further research metrics and reporting needs to improve the policy development process. The ICANN staff report outlined accomplishments regarding reporting and metrics by the Contractual Compliance function, and it also reviewed other reporting sources that were of relevance. The GNSO Council subsequently adopted the recommendation to form this non-policy development process working group and tasked it with exploring opportunities for developing reporting and metrics processes and/or appropriate standardized methodologies that could better inform fact-based policy development and decision-making.

More Information

Staff Contact

Steve Chan, Senior Policy Manager

Policy & Implementation Working Group's Proposed Bylaw Changes Open for Public Comment

At a Glance

At the direction of the ICANN Board of Directors, ICANN staff opened a public comment proceeding to seek community input on whether or not it should adopt certain recommendations from the GNSO Policy & Implementation Working Group, which would require amending the ICANN Bylaws. These recommendations concern certain new processes for facilitating gTLD policy development and guidance that the GNSO Council had unanimously recommended for adoption by the Board of Directors. The public comment period closes on 12 September 2015.

Recent Developments

At its meeting in June 2014, the GNSO Council unanimously adopted all the consensus recommendations from the Policy & Implementation Working Group (WG). Besides developing fundamental principles to underpin future gTLD policy development and implementation work, the WG had also recommended three new processes to facilitate gTLD policymaking. These are:

  1. An Expedited Policy Development Process (PDP) modeled on, but streamlined from, the existing full Policy Development Process described in the Bylaws;
  2. A new GNSO Guidance Process (GGP) that will enable the GNSO to provide guidance to the ICANN Board of Directors on policy matters that do not result in new contractual obligations for ICANN's Contracted Parties; and
  3. A new GNSO Input Process that will allow the GNSO to provide feedback on non-gTLD policy matters.

Because the proposed new Expedited PDP and GGP involve Board of Directors action and voting, their adoption would require changes and additions to the existing Bylaws. The public comment proceeding to solicit community input will guide the Board of Directors' consideration and decision regarding the proposed changes to the Bylaws.

Next Steps

Following the close of the public comment period, ICANN staff will prepare a summary report, and the Board of Directors will take into account the public comments received in considering the recommendations for adoption.


The GNSO chartered the Policy & Implementation Non-Policy Development Process Working Group in June 2013 to provide the GNSO Council with a set of recommendations on a number of questions that specifically relate to policy development and implementation matters in a GNSO context. The project arose mainly due to discussions stemming from implementation related issues in the New gTLD Program, which saw an increased focus on the question as to which topics call for policy and which topics call for implementation work. These questions included which processes should be used, at what time, and how issues that are the subject of diverging opinions during the implementation process should be handled.

The WG developed a set of principles to underpin future gTLD policy and implementation work that it recommended the GNSO Council adopt and follow. It also reviewed the current Consensus Policy Implementation Framework developed by ICANN's Global Domains Division, and developed a set of principles that it recommended be used as part of the creation and operation of future Implementation Review Teams (IRTs). In relation to IRTs, the WG recommended that such teams should be required rather than discretionary, but that the GNSO Council should retain the discretion to not recommend the use of such teams in exceptional circumstances.

Finally, the WG recommended the creation of the three new processes previously outlined—the Expedited PDP, the GNSO Guidance Process and the GNSO Input Process—which would, if adopted, supplement the existing PDP and GNSO Operating Procedures. The aim is to allow the GNSO to respond to policy and implementation questions using standardized mechanisms instead of ad hoc processes, and thus allow for timely, smooth, and efficient functioning of the GNSO's policy work.

The GNSO Council unanimously adopted all the WG's consensus recommendations in June 2014 and forwarded them to the Board of Directors for consideration. The Board of Directors will review and take action on adopting the various recommendations following the close of the public comment period.

More Information

Staff Contact

Marika Konings, Senior Policy Director

At-Large / At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC)

ALAC Creates New Taskforce to Review At-Large Structure Criteria and Engagement

At a Glance

The ALAC chartered the At-Large Structure (ALS) Criteria and Engagement Taskforce to recommend to the ALAC a revised set of criteria for all ALSes, including expectations of how RALOs, the ALAC and ICANN At-Large Staff will engage ALSes, and expectations of ALS participation in At-Large and ICANN.

Next Steps

The Taskforce will meet weekly to work on the following issues:

  • ALS Criteria
  • ALS Application Questions
  • ALS Operational Expectations
  • Application Process
  • Individual Members


During discussions at ICANN52, the ALAC recommended the chartering of a taskforce to make recommendations to the ALAC regarding the criteria and expectations for ALSes and how those expectations relate to the work of the RALOs.

The taskforce includes at least one ALAC member per region (to be selected by the ALAC members from each region) plus two people selected by the regional leadership (according to the RALO practices). The ALAC Chair—not formally representing his region—will lead the taskforce. At-Large staff members will be full members of this taskforce as their input and opinions will be considered.

More Information

Additional information on this new taskforce, including members and participants, meetings and reference documents are available on the At-Large ALS Criteria and Expectations Taskforce Workspace.

Staff Contact

Heidi Ullrich, Senior Director for At-Large

ALAC Ratifies Statement on GNSO Review Draft Report

At a Glance

In response to a public comment proceeding, the ALAC ratified and submitted a statement on the GNSO Review Draft Report.

Recent Developments

ALAC Statement on the Draft Report: Review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization

  • The ALAC supports 32 out of 36 recommendations made in the Westlake Report and chooses "it depends" when indicating the level of support of recommendations #18, #23, #24, and #34.
  • Nevertheless, the ALAC is concerned that the vast majority of the recommendations focus on GNSO Working Groups and suggests making small adjustments rather than taking a serious look at the GNSO bicameral structure.
  • The ALAC finds the Westlake review with regard to "restructure Council membership and councillor term limits" hasty and poorly researched. The ALAC is also surprised with the following analysis in the review: "The current structure has been implemented relatively recently. It is not broken, and we do not recommend any change at this time."
  • The ALAC believes that numerous areas need to be reviewed. Below are few examples:
    • The current structure of the GNSO Council provides the ability for a more united vote in the Contracted Parties House while fragmenting the Non-Contracted Parties house to the point of imbalance.
    • In contract, the unprecedented growth of Contracted Parties caused by the new gTLD Program has not been addressed. What might have been a homogeneous Stakeholder Group might now be more heterogeneous and the potential consequences of this change have not been studied. For example, city TLDs are an entirely new breed of registry; so are brand TLDs. How does this affect the current status quo? How would city administrators, businesses, and people using city TLDs have their voice heard in GNSO processes?
    • What would be the consequence of adding more stakeholders/constituencies in either Contracted Party House or Non-Contracted Party House? The ALAC notes that there are strong indications that none of the stakeholders within the Non-Contracted Party House seem to want a new group.
    • Other commenters in the At-Large community have noted that the proposals for more geographically balanced representation appeared to be focused on finding new participants from outside the GNSO's usual territory. A question to ask is how many gTLD registries and gTLDs are domiciled both legally and operationally in each of the ICANN regions both before and after the recent expansion of gTLD space under the GNSO's auspices. The Westlake Review misses the opportunity to potentially reveal a hidden pattern that the GNSO is self-reinforcing the domain name business geopolitically. Westlake's observation that the GNSO's constituencies concentrate in North America and Europe may underpin such hidden pattern.
    • GNSO Working Groups are open for all participants including non-GNSO Constituency members, but the GNSO Council, thanks to its very structure, has the ability to affect a Working Group's results. Voting is one of the ways to support or halt recommendations from a bottom-up policy development process.
  • The ALAC believes that the complex issues of GNSO structure and processes need to be studied now. The ALAC reminds the Reviewers of the At-Large Future Challenges Working Group R3 White Paper drafted in 2012 and containing proposals that should be explored.
  • Several ALAC members recall that during the first GNSO Review, it was understood that Constituencies and the creation of "Stakeholder Groups" were going to be reviewed at the next iteration. Tragically, this is missing from the current report.
  • To be clear, the ALAC is disappointed that the review has not evaluated to what extent the current GNSO structure meets the needs of the GNSO and ICANN. The structure, with contracted parties representing half of the GNSO Council voting power, was invented as a result of the last GNSO Review, prior to the New gTLD Program and before registries could own registrars. The ALAC is very concerned that the current structure may not be able to adequately address issues where the public interest is in conflict with the interests of contracted parties. This is essential in light of:
    • ICANN's increased focus on the public interest;
    • The increased desire and need to be demonstrably accountable; and
    • The recommendations of the Policy and Implementation Working Group, which will require all policy issues to go back to the GNSO for resolution instead of being addressed at the Board of Directors level where directors have a duty to balance stakeholder desires and the public interest.

More Information

At-Large Policy Development page

Staff Contact

Xinyue (Ariel) Liang, Policy Analyst

RALO Round-Up

Cross-RALO Activities

All RALOs have been requested to draft outreach and engagement strategies that will serve to guide the allocation of funds from the Community Regional Outreach Pilot Program (CROPP) for outreach and engagement.  Each RALO's strategic plan should explain FY16 outreach and engagement goals and planned expectations so that any selected CROPP activities can be coordinated with the appropriate ICANN regional teams.

The ALAC Subcommittee on Outreach and Engagement and the At-Large CROPP Review Team are working with the RALOs on reviewing their strategic plans, since the RALOs are in the best position to identify where outreach and engagement activities should be focused.  The workspace page, RALO Outreach Strategies for FY16, has more details.

All RALOs have started to work jointly under the auspices of the At-Large Structure Criteria and Expectations Taskforce to review the existing regulations and requirements for ALS effectiveness. A Cross-RALO Taskforce has been created to consolidate RALOs' existing regulations on this issue. The ALAC Chair drafted a discussion paper on this matter as well. All RALOs have been asked to comment on this paper.


AFRALO members continue to track developments in the IANA Stewardship Transition and Enhancing ICANN Accountability efforts.


At-Large staff and Global Stakeholder Engagement staff at ICANN's hub office in Singapore recently hosted the third capacity building webinar, Basic DNS and DNS Ecosystem featuring Steve Sheng, Director, SSAC & RSSAC Advisory Development Support. Mr. Sheng provided overviews of IP addressing, the DNS, domain name registration process, domain name resolution process, and DNS security and privacy. The webinar was well attended, and staff distributed an evaluation survey seeking feedback to improve and customize upcoming webinars. The transcripts, presentation, and recording are posted on this page.


EURALO members are preparing for the EURALO General Assembly (GA) to be held 21 October during ICANN54. The GA will consist of two 90-minute sessions. The morning session will focus on the topic of the public interest. The afternoon session will discuss process issues including the finalization of regional elections, a review of the annual report, and a discussion on possible amendments to the EURALO Rules of Procedure. A EURALO networking event will be held that evening as well. For updates, please see the EURALO General Assembly 2015 workspace.

EURALO will issue a formal call for nominations for the regional leadership selections by mid-August with elections, if required, taking place during the EURALO General Assembly at ICANN54. The EURALO Regional Election has more details.


LACRALO is holding a vote— begun on 17 August and ending on 24 August—on a motion to focus the first 30 minutes of each monthly call on a debate of current public comment proceedings. The process to elect a LACRALO ALAC member also continues with a new vote being planned soon.


The first monthly edition of the NARALO Newsletter, "NARALO News, Keeping the Region Informed" was recently published. The purpose of this newsletter is to keep the North American region informed of individual ALS updates and to provide another channel of communications that goes beyond usual activities.

More Information

Regional At-Large Organizations

Staff Contact

Silvia Vivanco, Manager, At- Large Regional Affairs

Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)

Notification List for Country Names as Domains

At a Glance

The GAC has collected its members' notification requirements in response to recent requests filed by new gTLD registries for the use of country and territory names as second-level domains.

Recent Developments

A number of new gTLD registries have filed registry service evaluation process (RSEP) requests with ICANN for the use of country and territory names as second-level domains. Such use formally requires that the relevant governments be notified and enabled to object. The country and territory name versions covered are specified in three UN and ISO lists enumerated in Specification 5 of the Registry Agreement.

In order to facilitate notification by ICANN of these requests to the relevant governments, the GAC has collected information about its members' notification requirements. The collected data was recently posted as a notification list on the GAC website, stating individual government requirements for notification and clarifying whether a government requires notification of all requests, or abstains from notification for all requests or for requests from some gTLD categories. Brand gTLDs is a category identified by multiple governments as not requiring notification.

Next Steps

The GAC's notification list, including specific contact details, has been provided to ICANN's Global Domains Division for the foreseen notification process. The list is not exhaustive at this point and further information for additional countries will be included as and when provided. In the meantime, notification of all requests is required for countries not yet included in the list.

More Information

Staff Contact

Olof Nordling, Senior Director, GAC Relations
Karine Perset, GAC Relations Advisor
Julia Charvolen, Senior Coordinator, GAC Services

policy-update-aug15-en.pdf  [484 KB]

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