1: Continue to provide expertise and advice on private
sector functions related to technical management of the DNS.
Status of progress
on task 1: While this is a continuing effort, the basic task
is largely completed, and is certainly functioning effectively today.
In 1999, ICANN entered into memoranda of understanding with both the
Regional Address Registries (RIRs) (to
form the Address Supporting Organization (ASO)) and various Internet
standards development organizations (to
form the Protocol Supporting Organization (PSO)). These memoranda
of understanding establish the ASO and the PSO as the bodies primarily
responsible for formulating address and protocol policy recommendations
within the ICANN process.
In addition, in 2000, ICANN
and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) (which is one of the
PSO constituency organizations) entered a Memorandum
of Understanding Concerning the Technical Work of the Internet Assigned
Numbers Authority, under which the IETF appointed ICANN to perform
the protocol-parameter assignment functions (the IANA functions) arising
from the technical Internet standards developed by the IETF.
Since their formation,
the ASO and PSO have each been responsible for providing, through
broadbased procedures set forth by each body, three members of ICANN's
Board of Directors.
Thus, ICANN has established
stable relationships with the both the Internet standards development
organizations and the regional address registries. These relationships
allow those organizations to continue their technical work in their
respective areas of activity, while bringing them together within
the ICANN process to formulate policies that span the areas of activity
of multiple organizations.
Currently, ICANN is working
closely with the ASO and its members, and with the organizers of proposed
new regional address registries in Latin America and Africa, to facilitate
the creation of these
new registries, which will increase the efficiency of address
allocation in those areas.
This task is essentially
2: Work collaboratively on a global and local level
to pursue formal legal agreements with the Regional Address Registries
(RIRs) to achieve stable relationships that allow them to continue
their technical work, while incorporating their policy-making activities
into the ICANN process.
Status of progress
on task 2: Work continues on this task. The existing ASO memorandum
of understanding was amended
in October 2000 to make adjustments to the selection process for
Address Council members based on experience. Other than this minor
adjustment, the ASO has been performing well.
There has been a continuing
dialogue between ICANN and the RIRs on supplementing the ASO memorandum
of understanding with relationship agreements between ICANN and the
individual RIRs. Dialogue continues and progress has been made. The
next meeting on this subject is scheduled for late July, in conjunction
with a Board meeting of ARIN, one of the three existing RIRs. The
number of complex issues to be resolved has been narrowed to just
a few. Delay in consummating the agreements implies that the RIRs
have not yet made their planned financial support to ICANN, but the
amounts contemplated are being held in reserve by the RIRs pending
final agreement. In any event, the financial contribution contemplated
from the RIRs as a group is a sufficiently small portion of ICANN's
overall costs that its absence to date has not had a material effect
on ICANN's ability to carry out its responsibilities under this MOU.
Any new RIRs will begin operation pursuant to agreements with ICANN.
This task should be completed
in the near future. If for some reason it is not, consideration should
be given to whether additional agreements with the RIRs are in fact
necessary to the effective functioning of ICANN, especially given
the existence and effectiveness of the ASO operating under the existing
memorandum of understanding between the RIRs and ICANN.
3: Continue to develop and test the ICANN Independent
Review process to address claims by members of the Internet community
that they have been adversely affected by decisions in conflict with
ICANN's by-laws or contractual obligations. Report on ICANN's experience
with the fully implemented reconsideration process and independent
Status of progress
on task 3: ICANN's bylaws provide for the establishment of
an independent review process by which contested actions of the ICANN
Board may be subjected to independent third-party review. At its meeting
in Cairo, Egypt on March 10, 2000, the ICANN Board adopted an Independent
Review Policy that will result in formation of a nine-member Independent
Review Panel. The members of the Independent Review Panel are to be
nominated by the Independent
Review Panel Nominating Committee (IRP Nominating Committee) and
are subject to confirmation by a vote of the ICANN Board.
Under the policy, the IRP
Nominating Committee consists of six members appointed by ICANN's
Supporting Organizations. The members are appointed to three-year
terms, except half the initial members are appointed to two-year terms.
The members of the IRP Nominating Committee serve as volunteers and
are not compensated. The IRP Nominating Committee is convened when
the ICANN Board notifies it that a vacancy exists on the Independent
In April 2001, the appointment
of the six initial members of the IRP Nominating Committee was completed
by the Supporting Organizations, and on May 7, 2001 the ICANN Board
directed the ICANN Secretary to notify the IRP Nominating Committee
that the initial nine vacancies on the Independent Review Panel should
be filled. That notification was made on May 22, 2001.
Under Section 5.9 of the
Independent Review Policy, the IRP Nominating Committee ordinarily
has 45 days after the notification of a vacancy to forward its nomination
to the Board. In its resolution [01.51], the ICANN
Board provided that, because the IRP Nominating Committee would
convene for the first time and would be searching for nine qualified
nominees, the committee should forward its nominations to the Board
within 90 days after the Secretary's notification. Accordingly, the
committee is scheduled to provide its nominations for the IRP to the
ICANN Board no later than August 20, 2001.
On June 26, 2001, the IRP
Nominating Committee published an open
call to the Internet community for potential nominees. The open
call period will close on July 26, 2001.
Thus, this task is well
underway, and should be fully implemented within a few months.
Of course, in addition
to the Independent Review Policy, ICANN already has in existence a
reconsideration policy, under which members of the ICANN community
affected by actions of the ICANN staff or Board can seek reconsideration
of those actions by the Board. Also, many of the contracts and other
agreements with domain name registries and registrars contain provisions
paralleling protections in ICANN's bylaws concerning open and transparent
policymaking, fostering of competition, and prohibitions against arbitrary
or unjustifiable action. They also typically include arbitration provisions,
which give the parties contracting with ICANN access to a neutral
decisionmaker to resolve questions under these provisions.
4: Collaborate with the Department to continue to complete
development of a proposed enhanced architecture for root server security,
and the development of the following documentation to be used in connection
with testing and implementation of the enhanced root-server system
a. A written description
of the enhanced architecture incorporating a dedicated primary root
b. A procedural plan for transition to the enhanced architecture;
c. An implementation schedule for transition to the enhanced architecture;
d. Documentation of IANA procedures for root zone editing, root
zone generation, and root zone WHOIS service; and
e. An agreement between ICANN and root-server operators that formalizes
stable, secure, and professional operation of the root-servers in
accordance with the enhanced architecture.
Status of progress
on task 4: ICANN's Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC)
was formed in 1999. Since that time, the committee -- which is composed
of the operators of all thirteen DNS root servers as well as DNS and
network topology technical experts -- has been working to complete
The current status of this
effort is reflected in the RSSAC report at ICANN's most recent meeting,
which can be found at http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/icann/stockholm/archive/murai-rssac.html.
Those portions of this task set out in a-c above are essentially completed
and the technical detail required by d above is well underway; final
documentation should be forthcoming within the next few months. There
is conceptual agreement on the form of an undertaking between ICANN
and the root server operators, and those may well be completed this
summer. Upon the completion of these tasks, the Committee will report
to the ICANN Board, and the Board will take the appropriate actions
to complete this specific task, including the implementation of various
steps designed to improve root server security and the establishment
of a dedicated master server to maintain the authoritative root zone
5: Following Department of Commerce review and approval
of the documentation listed in paragraph 4 above, ICANN shall test
and implement the enhanced root-server system architecture, including
ICANN's operation of the authoritative root, under appropriate terms
Status of progress
on task 5: The implementation of this task will follow the
completion of task 4.
6: ICANN will continue its efforts to achieve stable
agreements with the organizations operating country-code top level
domains that cover the delegation and redelegation issues; allocation
of global and local policy-formulation responsibility; and the relationships
among ccTLD operators and the relevant government or public authority.
Status of progress
on task 6: These discussions have continued with representatives
of the ccTLD community. The requirements for the forms of agreements
have been better identified, and this should lead to the formalization
of some agreements in the near future. In addition, ICANN has begun
discussions with individual ccTLDs that seem likely to lead to agreements
in the next few months. At the most recent ICANN public meeting, ICANN's
CEO committed to developing the capacity to complete at least five
such agreements per month. The recent hiring of a Counsel
for International Affairs and a ccTLD Liaison are significant
steps in this direction.
Thus, efforts to complete
this task are ongoing, with significant progress expected in the coming
7: ICANN will continue the process of implementing
new TLDs including proceeding with a proof of concept or testbed period
and continuing design, development, and testing to determine future
policy and action, continuing to consider:
a. The potential impact
of new TLDs on the Internet root server system and Internet stability.
b. The creation and implementation of minimum criteria for new and
existing TLD registries.
c. Potential consumer benefits/costs associated with establishing
a competitive environment for TLD registries.
d. Recommendations regarding trademark/domain name policies set
forth in the Statement of Policy; recommendations made by the World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and recommendations made
by other independent organizations concerning trademark/domain name
Status of progress
on task 7: Implementation of this task is well under way.
For nearly the entire time
since it was formed, ICANN has devoted a significant part of its activities
to the consideration of the establishment of new generic TLDs. At
the ICANN meeting in Berlin in May 1999, ICANN's Board referred the
issue of new TLDs to the (then newly formed) Domain Name Supporting
Organization (DNSO). In response to this referral, in June 1999 the
DNSO Names Council (which manages the process for development of policy
recommendations within the DNSO) created a group, known as Working
Group C, to study the issues raised by the introduction of new
TLDs. After nine months of extensive discussions and review of several
position papers, Working Group C submitted its report
to the DNSO Names Council on March 21, 2000, recommending introduction
of a limited number of TLDs, and posted the report for public comment.
Public comments were solicited
and received through ICANN's
web-based comment forum and via
e-mail to the dnso.org site.
The Names Council discussed
the report and comments at a telephone
conference held on April 18, 2000. At that meeting, the Names
Council adopted the following statement, by a vote of 16-0 (two members
The Names Council therefore
recommends to the ICANN Board that it establish a policy for the
introduction of new gTLDs in a measured and responsible manner,
giving due regard in the implementation of that policy to (a) promoting
orderly registration of names during the initial phases; (b) minimizing
the use of gTLDs to carry out infringements of intellectual property
rights; and (c) recognizing the need for ensuring user confidence
in the technical operation of the new TLD and the DNS as a whole.
The DNSO recommendation
We recommend to the Board
that a limited number of new top-level domains be introduced initially
and that the future introduction of additional top-level domains
be done only after careful evaluation of the initial introduction.
On July 16, 2000, after
considering well over 1000
public comments, the ICANN Board adopted
the DNSO recommendations and authorized
the ICANN President to formally call for proposals to operate
or sponsor new TLDs.
On 15 August 2000, ICANN
a public call for applications on its web site and broadly
announced the availability of the application materials. At the
same time, ICANN published detailed
criteria for the consideration any applications received. In response
to the call, forty-four
completed applications were received.
Once these applications
were submitted, they were posted on ICANN's web site for public comment.
Over 4000 comments were received; all
appeared on ICANN's web site. ICANN also assembled a team of technical,
financial, and legal experts to review and evaluate the applications,
which issued a 326-page
evaluation report on the applications. Additional public comments
were received on this report, both on a web-based
forum established by ICANN for this purpose (over 1000 comments
received) and at an all-day
public forum held in Marina del Rey, California, USA on 15 November
The introduction of new
TLDs was the principal issue addressed at ICANN's
annual meeting in November 2000. Leading up to that meeting, the
Internet community had spent several weeks reviewing the applications
and the detailed evaluation report, engaged in a robust dialogue on
ICANN's web-based public forums (with a total of over 5000 postings),
and intensely discussed the issues through ICANN's constituency and
supporting organization structures. After extensive study of the materials
in advance of the meeting and participation in the all-day public
forum, the ICANN Board discussed the applications in a several-hour
open session on 16 November 2000. As a result of this review,
seven proposals to operate or sponsor TLDs were
selected for an initial introduction of TLDs, as recommended by
In late 2000, ICANN and
the proponents of the selected proposals began negotiations for appropriate
agreements under which those TLDs could be introduced while preserving
the stability of the DNS. Draft agreements for the new .biz and .info
TLDs were posted
on ICANN's web site in advance of the March
2001 ICANN meeting in Melbourne, Australia, and a public comment
period was held at the ICANN
Public Forum held on March 12, 2001. After additional adjustments
based on the comments received, the agreements were posted for final
review in late April 2001. They were then formally
approved by the ICANN Board and they were signed on May 11, 2001.
The full texts of both the .biz Registry
Agreement and the .info Registry
Agreement, with all their appendices, are posted on the ICANN
The contracts have been
designed to ensure that these TLDs are introduced in a sound manner
that will maintain stable and reliable technical operation of the
DNS. In particular, the contracts recite functional and performance
specifications, data escrow requirements, and a detailed start-up
plan that are designed to ensure that stable operation of the DNS
is maintained, both during the startup phase and in the long term.
User awareness is also relevant to smooth operation of the DNS; experience
has shown that some level of confusion accompanies almost any change
in the DNS. The operators of .biz and .info, however, have committed
to information-dissemination measures that should keep any public
confusion to a minimum.
for .biz have commenced already and registration in .info will commence
later this month. For both TLDs, DNS resolution of the names that
are registered will begin in September 2001. To assist in a stable
introduction with the public awareness needed to minimize confusion,
ICANN has agreed with Afilias and with NeuLevel that the .info and
.biz top-level domains should be established in the DNS for testing
and evaluation purposes. Initially, the nameservice for the domains
will be operated by ICANN, which will conduct various testing procedures
and then, according to schedules and procedures developed jointly
with Afilias and NeuLevel, transfer the nameservice to servers operated
by those companies in time for the September 2001 onset of regular
resolution of .info and .biz names.
On June 25, 2001, ICANN
recommended to DOC that these two new TLDs be entered into the
root. On June 26, 2001, DOC concurred and instructed that the TLDs
be entered in the root, and this was accomplished on that day. As
of June 27, 2001, both .biz and .info became operational for the initial
testing and implementation stage. They will begin resolving names
being registered for customers by the early fall of this year.
These two new global TLDs
are the first of seven approved by the ICANN Board of Directors last
November. Agreements still remain to be signed for the remaining five
top-level domains: .name, .pro, .aero, .coop, and .museum. Contract
negotiations are continuing for the remaining new TLDs, and are expected
to be completed later this summer.
At its most recent public
meeting, the ICANN Board adopted
Resolution [01.74], which directed the President to form and chair
a New TLD Evaluation Process Planning Task Force, in order to create
a plan to monitor the introduction of these new TLDs and evaluate
their performance and their impact on the performance of the DNS.
This Task Force was directed to report its recommendations at the
next ICANN public meeting in September 2001.
Thus, considerable progress
under this task has been made, and is continuing.