ICANN POLICY UPDATE | Volume 13, Issue 2 – February 2013
PDF Version [336 KB]
- Special Note: Policy Update Special Double Issue for March/April
- Is It Policy or Implementation?
- Issues Currently Open for Public Comment
- Volunteer Today for Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy Part D Working Group
- Comments Sought on Multilingual Whois Contact Information
- ALAC Starts 2013 with Four Advisory Statements
- New At-Large Structures in Armenia, Bulgaria Bring Total to 153
Read in Your Preferred Language
ICANN Policy Update is available in all six official languages of the United Nations. Policy Update is posted on ICANN's web site and available via online subscription. To receive the Update in your Inbox each month, visit the ICANN subscriptions page, enter your e-mail address, and select "Policy Update" to subscribe. This service is free.
Send questions, comments and suggestions to: email@example.com.
Policy 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|
Due to the scheduling of the next ICANN Public Meeting in Beijing, the next issue of the monthly Policy Update will be published in late March or early April 2013 - shortly before the meeting in Beijing.
At a Glance
ICANN staff posted for public comment a new "green paper", Policy vs. Implementation -- Draft Framework for Discussion [PDF, 195 KB]. This draft framework identifies a number of potential steps and criteria as a starting point for future discussions of policy vs. implementation.
Implementation of the New gTLD Program brought to light many differences in understanding about which topics call for community policy development and which call for more detailed implementation work, including which processes should be used, at what time and how diverging opinions should be acted upon. For example, when should an issue be vetted through a Policy Development Process (PDP)? When is it appropriate to use public comment, even if the ICANN Board and/or staff may act based on the feedback received? Such questions arose during the evolution of the Applicant Guidebook for the New gTLD Program, and also during the negotiation of key contracts such as the .com and .net registry agreements regarding the impact of potential incorporation of a "thick" Whois registry model.
Similarly, it is not always clear when resolution of a new issue should be supported by community consensus, or, when lacking clear consensus, if the Board of Directors or staff can act after taking a range of advice.
The Public Comment period on the paper is open until 21 February 2013. Public input received will be used to help plan a community session at the ICANN Public Meeting in Beijing.
There are multiple kinds of "policy" within the ICANN world. There are formal policies developed through the PDP as set forth in the Bylaws. There are operational policies generally not subject to a PDP or considered implementation, such as the Conflicts of Interest Policy, but for which public comment is sought and considered. Finally, there are general practices that are sometimes referred to as "little p" policies or more accurately "procedures," such as the 30-day public comment requirement for Bylaw changes.
One area that is ripe for further discussion within the ICANN community is identifying the proper process to follow when there are changes to policy recommendations that have already been adopted by the ICANN Board, or to the proposals related to the implementation of approved policy recommendations.
- Public Comment Announcement
- Policy vs. Implementation -- Draft Framework for Discussion [PDF, 195 KB]
Marika Konings, Senior Policy Director
Numerous public comment periods are currently open on issues of interest to the ICANN community. Act now to share your views on such topics as:
- Amendments to Article XI, Section 2.3 of the ICANN Bylaws – DNS Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC). Should changes be made to RSSAC structure, such as having the ICANN Board appoint the members? Reply period ends 17 February 2013.
- Policy vs. Implementation. A draft framework for community discussion of what topics call for policy or implementation work. Comment period ends 21 February 2013; reply period ends 14 March 2013.
- Revised New gTLD Registry Agreement Including Additional Public Interest Commitments Specification. Proposed changes include the new Public Interest Commitments Specification. Comment period closes 26 February 2013; reply period closes 20 March 2013.
- Interim Report IDN ccNSO Policy Development Process. Recommendations for how IDN ccTLD managers might be incorporated into ccNSO. Comment period closes 26 February 2013; reply period closes 21 March 2013.
- Consultation on Internet Number Resources Performance Standards. What kind of performance standards should ICANN put into place related to delivery of IANA functions? Reply period extended to 28 February 2013.
- Consultation on gTLD Delegation and Redelegation Performance Standards. How should gTLDs be delegated and/or redelegated? Comment period closes 28 February 2013; reply period closes 21 March 2013.
- Consultation on ccTLD Delegation and Redelegation Performance Standards. How should ccTLDs be delegated or redelegated? Comment period closes 28 February 2013; reply period closes 21 March 2013.
- Preliminary Issue Report on Translation and Transliteration of Contact Information. Should Whois data be translated to a single common language? Reply period ends 1 March 2013.
- IDN Variant TLD Program -- Draft Final Report Examining the User Experience Implications of Active Variant TLDs. A study of issues that might be faced by software developers, end users and application developers with IDN variants. Reply period ends 1 March 2013.
- "Closed Generic" gTLD Applications. What should the policy be for top-level domains that are generic terms that are operated exclusively by one operator for its own use? Comment period closes 7 March 2013.
- Consultation on the IANA Customer Service Complaint Resolution Process. How should ICANN establish and implement a Customer Service Complaint Resolution Process for the 2012 IANA functions contract? Reply period extended to 28 February 2013.
- Consultation on IANA Secure Notification Process. Help ICANN implement a secure notification system for events like outages and planned maintenance that best serves relevant stakeholders. Comment period ends 28 February 2013; reply period ends 21 March 2013.
For the full list of issues open for public comment, plus recently closed and archived public comment forums, visit the Public Comment web page.
At a Glance
ccNSO welcomes .fo (Faroe Islands) as its newest member.
FO Council of the Faroe Islands is the latest ccTLD to join the ccNSO. Located in Northern Europe, the island group is between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about halfway between Iceland and Norway. It is part of the Kingdom of Denmark.
The ccNSO continues to welcome all non-member ccTLDs to join!
Faroe Islands are the 135th member of the ccNSO.
Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat
At a Glance
The draft agenda for the ccNSO meetings during ICANN 46 is posted online.
The ccNSO agenda for 9-10 April 2013 includes updates on IANA, the ICANN budget, local ccTLD news – and much more.
Check the ccNSO Beijing agenda page regularly for the latest updates and details.
The ccNSO Program Working Group aims to release a first draft agenda for each ICANN Public Meeting as early as possible, so that the ccTLD community knows what to expect and can plan for the upcoming meeting.
Gabriella Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat
At a Glance
Volunteers are invited to join the IRTP Part D Working Group to consider new provisions, options and reporting requirements for domain name transfer disputes.
On 17 January 2013, the GNSO Council followed the recommendation of the IRTP Part D Final Issue Report [PDF, 530 KB] (published on 8 December 2012) and initiated a PDP on the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP) Part D. In addition the Council also approved the Working Group's Charter.
This new GNSO Working Group will consider the following questions from the Final Issue Report [PDF, 530 KB] and make recommendations to the GNSO Council.
Questions about IRTP Dispute Policy Enhancements
- Should reporting requirements for registries and dispute providers be developed, in order to make precedent and trend information available to the community and allow reference to past cases in dispute submissions?
- Should additional provisions be included in the Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy on how to handle disputes when multiple transfers have occurred?
- Should dispute options for registrants be developed and implemented as part of the policy (registrants currently depend on registrars to initiate a dispute on their behalf)?
- Should requirements or best practices be put into place for registrars to make information on transfer dispute resolution options available to registrants?
Penalties for IRTP Violations
- Are existing penalties for policy violations sufficient or should additional provisions/penalties for specific violations be added into the policy?
Need for FOAs
- Has the universal adoption and implementation of EPP AuthInfo codes eliminated the need of Forms of Authorization?
The IRTP is a consensus policy adopted in 2004 to provide a straightforward procedure for domain name holders to transfer domain names between registrars. An overall review of this policy identified areas that require clarification or improvement. Because the initial review identified a wide range of issues related to transferring domain names, the issues have been categorized into subsets. This new Working Group will tackle the issues referred to as "Part D."
- Final Issue Report IRTP Part D [PDF, 530 KB]
Lars Hoffman, Policy Analyst
At a Glance
ICANN staff is seeking input on whether or not Whois contact information should be required in one consistent language.
The Preliminary Issue Report on Translation and Transliteration of Contact Information is posted for public comment. It addresses the following issues:
- Is it desirable to translate contact information to a single common language or transliterate contact information to a single common script?
- Who decides who should bear the burden of translating contact information to a single common language or transliterating contact information to a single common script?
- Should a PDP be initiated to address these questions?
The Public Comment forum closes on 1 March 2013. The Preliminary Issue Report will be updated to reflect community feedback submitted through the forum. A Final Issue Report will then be presented to the GNSO Council for its consideration.
The report addresses three issues associated with the translation and transliteration of contact information at the request of the GNSO Council. These issues are focused on Domain Name Registration Data and Directory Services, such as Whois, in gTLDs.
In the context of these issues, "contact information" is a subset of Domain Name Registration Data. It is the information that enables someone using a Domain Name Registration Data Directory Service (such as Whois) to contact the domain name registration holder. It includes the name, organization, and postal address of the registered name holder, technical contact, as well as administrative contact. Domain Name Registration Data is accessible to the public via a Directory Service (also known as the Whois service).
The Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA 3.3.1) specifies the data elements that must be provided by registrars (via Port 43 and via web-based services) in response to a query, but it does not require that data elements, such as contact information, be translated or transliterated into a common language.
- Public Forum Announcement
- Preliminary Issue Report on Translation and Transliteration of Contact Information [PDF, 649 KB]
- GNSO Council Motion 17 October 2012
- Final Report of the Internationalized Registration Data Working Group [PDF, 642 KB]
Julie Hedlund, Policy Director
At a Glance
ALAC produced four policy advice statements in January 2013. These statements incorporated comments from the At-Large community, consisting of 153 At-Large Structures.
The ALAC statements and correspondence published in January are:
- ALAC Statement on the IDN Variant TLD Program – Procedure to Develop and Maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in Respect of IDNA Labels
- ALAC Statement on the Thick Whois PDP WG
- ALAC Statement on the Protection of IGO and INGO Identifiers in all gTLDs (IGO-INGO)
- ALAC Statement on the Trademark Clearinghouse "Strawman Solution"
- All ALAC statements may be viewed on the At-Large Correspondence page.
Heidi Ullrich, Director for At-Large
At a Glance
The At-Large Community recently welcomed two additional At-Large Structures (ALSes). With the accreditation of these new end-user organizations as certified ALSes, the At-Large Community now numbers 153. The ALAC recently certified the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (UniBIT) and the Armenian Association for the Disabled 'Pyunic.' These two new ALSes expand the regional diversity of the At-Large community, which represents thousands of individual Internet end-users.
The ALAC has certified the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (UniBIT) and the Armenian Association for the Disabled 'Pyunic.' The certification process included due diligence carried out by ICANN staff and regional advice provided by the European Regional At-Large Organization (EURALO) and the Asian, Australasian and Pacific Islands Regional At-Large Organization (APRALO).
- UniBIT is located in Sofia, Bulgaria and will be an ALS within EURALO. Its mission is to prepare highly qualified and motivated information society experts that have the ability to contribute to the integration of Europe. With more than 3,000 academics, students and administrative staff as members, UniBIT is interested in issues relating to Internet governance and access to global research networks.
- Armenian Association for the Disabled 'Pyunic' is located in Yerevan, Armenia and will be an ALS within APRALO. Established in the wake of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia, the organization has worked with thousands of disabled children to integrate into society, including providing computer literacy courses to help them connect to the Internet's global network. The organization seeks to make the Internet an open and secure space for the disabled and to allow the Internet to be a part of income-generating businesses for them.
One of the strengths of the At-Large community is that it incorporates the views of a set of globally diverse, Internet end-user organizations, or ALSes, organized within five Regional At-Large Organizations. The views of these grassroots organizations are collected through an internal, community-based, consensus-driven policy development process and find representation in the official documents of the ALAC.
- A complete list of certified and pending ALSes
- Statistical information on global ALS representation
- Global map of certified ALSes
- Information on how to join At-Large
- ICANN At-Large web site
Silvia Vivanco, Manager, At-Large Regional Affairs
At a Glance
The Security and Stability Advisory Committee advises the ICANN community and Board on matters relating to the security and integrity of the Internet's naming and address allocation systems. This includes operational matters (e.g., matters pertaining to the correct and reliable operation of the root name system), administrative matters (e.g., matters pertaining to address allocation and Internet number assignment), and registration matters (e.g., matters pertaining to registry and registrar services such as Whois). SSAC engages in ongoing threat assessment and risk analysis of the Internet naming and address allocation services to assess where the principal threats to stability and security lie, and advises the ICANN community accordingly.
The SSAC produces Reports, Advisories, and Comments on a range of topics. Reports are longer, substantive documents, which usually take a few or several months to develop. Advisories are shorter documents produced more quickly to provide timely advice to the community. Comments are responses to reports or other documents prepared by others, i.e. ICANN staff, SOs, other ACs, or, perhaps, by other groups outside of ICANN. The SSAC considers matters pertaining to the correct and reliable operation of the root name system, to address allocation and Internet number assignment, and to registry and registrar services such as Whois. The SSAC also tracks and assesses threats and risks to the Internet naming and address allocation services.
Julie Hedlund, Policy Director
At a Glance
ICANN receives input from governments through the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). The GAC's key role is to provide advice to ICANN 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. The GAC usually meets three times a year in conjunction with ICANN meetings, where it discusses issues with the ICANN Board and other ICANN Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees and other groups. The GAC may also discuss issues between times with the Board either through face-to-face meetings or by teleconference.
The GAC met in Toronto, Canada during the week of 13 October 2012. Fifty GAC Members and three Observers attended the meetings.
A successful High Level Meeting of Governments was held on 15 October 2012, in Toronto centered on the theme of "Preserving and Improving the Multistakeholder Model."
GAC communiqués are posted online.
Jeannie Ellers, ICANN Staff
update-feb13-en.pdf [335 KB]