Outlook: eco at ICANN64

Data protection and increasing attacks on the DNS infrastructure are two of the topics on the agenda of the next ICANN Meeting. Thomas Rickert, eco Director Names & Numbers, and Lars Steffen, eco Director International, will be taking active part on behalf of eco members, on location in Kobe, Japan. In a brief interview, Thomas Rickert offers an outlook of what he anticipates.

Thomas, what are the focus topics this time at ICANN?

As a member of the EPDP team, which examines the handling of registration data in the world of generic domain names, clearly the most important topic for me is data protection. Our group alone has four meetings on the agenda. But there’s a good overview of the policy topics in the briefing available here, for those who’d like more details.

How do you assess the advances being made in GDPR-compatible WHOIS reform?

A few days ago, we published the final report regarding the first phase of our work. Many did not have confidence that our group, in which – to some extent – fundamentally opposing views are represented, would even make it this far – producing a comprehensive paper of more than 180 pages in length. The results of our work may not suffice in all parts, but most are satisfactory, and correspond to our positions.

The increasing attacks on the DNS infrastructure are of course also on the agenda. What are you expecting on this topic?

The “security, stability and resiliency” of the Domain Name System is one of the core statutory responsibilities of ICANN. As a result, there are workshops on the important topic of security on the agenda at all ICANN meetings.

What are you personally anticipating from the meeting?

Lars Steffen and I are active on a range of committees at ICANN on behalf of eco. We have regular meetings, and we spend a lot of time in virtual meeting rooms. The communication possibilities available today are great, but – especially for difficult topics – they remain less efficient than face-to-face meetings. As a result, I anticipate good progress in our work, and a lively interchange with member companies and those that want to become members.

Thomas Rickert