09.07.2019

Report on 65th ICANN Meeting

The 65th international meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) took place in Marrakech from 24th to 27th of June 2019. ICANN65 was the fourth ever Policy Forum and the second one to be held in the African region. The Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees had taken the lead in organizing the program for the four-day meeting.

 

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With fewer days and a focused agenda, the scheduled sessions enabled deeper discussions on some of the most pertinent policy issues at hand, including ongoing formal policy development initiatives, as well as a number of cross-community discussions on key policy issues of broad interest, including: Policy Aspects of DNS over HTTPS (DoH), DNS over TLS, and Related Issues; Evolving the Effectiveness of ICANN’s Multistakeholder Model; Impacts of EPDP Phase 1 Recommendations on Other ICANN Policies and Procedures; and Policies Around Universal Acceptance.

ICANN holds three international meetings per year, which rotate among five geographic regions and three meeting formats with different subject areas of focus.

Policy Aspects of DNS over HTTPS (DoH), DNS over TLS (DoT) and Related Issues

This session took place on Tuesday in the room of the Governmental Advisory Committee and explored two technologies that may have an inpact on the unique identifier ecosystem that ICANN helps to coordinate. The discussion focused the technical basics, the current status of implementation, and policy aspects of DNS over HTTPS (DoH) and DNS over TLS (DoT).

The discussion was chaired by Alejandra Reynoso (Registro de Dominios .GT). As panelists had been invited Danny McPherson (Verisign), Peter Koch (DENIC), Tim April (Akamai), Vittorio Bertola (Open-Exchange), and Michele Neylon (Blacknight). Goal of the session was to inform the ICANN Community and to leverage a discussion on the potential impact of DoH and DoT on the ICANN environment. Consolidation of DNS-Traffic, Consumer Choice, User Privacy, Operational Policies, Security, and the shift of Jurisdictions were covered, without coming up with final positions or recommendations. The session was well attended and received very positive feedback.

EPDP – GDPR, WHOIS, and Access to Domain Name Registration Data

The impact of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the WHOIS system of domain name registration data remained again in Marrakech one of the most critical issues that was discussed within the ICANN community.

With the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation on 25 May 2018, ICANN was faced with the challenge of adapting the scope of data collected during the registration of generic domain names, their storage and processing, and their publication in the public WHOIS to the new legal framework.

Therefore, on 17 May 2018, the ICANN Board of Directors adopted a Temporary Specification (the “Temp Spec”) to respond to the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation regarding the processing of personal data within the context of “registration data.”

Shortly after the adoption of the Temp Spec, the Expedited Policy Development Process Working Group (EPDP) was tasked with reviewing the Temp Spec to develop a permanent consensus policy on domain name registration data. Having completed its “Phase 1” work stream in March 2019, the EPDP has now turned much of its attention to developing a unified system for accessing non-public WHOIS data, based on the legitimate interests of eligible parties. The EPDP Team consists of appointed representatives and liaisons from the GNSO, the broader ICANN community, the ICANN Board, and the ICANN organization. As a member of the EPDP team representing the Internet Service Providers & Connectivity Provider Constituency (ISPCP), Thomas Rickert participated in most sessions regarding this topic.

With ICANN Board having adopted 27 of the 29 Recommendations of the EPDP Phase 1 Final Report, an Implementation Review Team (IRT), consisting of ICANN org and members of the ICANN community, started its work at ICANN65 to implement the approved Phase 1 policy recommendations. Phase 2 will now focus the work and discussions of the EPDP Working Group on a standardized access model to non-public registration data.

Five sessions in total were dedicated to this field of interest at ICANN65, which reflects the importance of the EPDP for wide parts of the ICANN Community.

 

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Internet Service Providers & Connectivity Provider Constituency (ISPCP)

The two working sessions of the Commercial Constituencies within the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) to which the Internet Service Providers & Connectivity Providers (ISPCP) contributes, took place on Monday and Thursday. The short closed meeting on Monday was used to discuss the agenda-setting for the longer open meeting on Thursday and to prepare the CSG open meeting on Wednesday.

The agenda of the ISPCP covered the following topics:

  • Thomas Rickert gave an update on the EPDP Discussion and Whois Data Access Requirement
  • The ISPCP Community discussed the potential options to organize an outreach event at the next ICANN Meeting in Montreal
  • Lars Steffen chaired the discussion on DNS over HTTPS (DoH) to recap the impressions from the Policy Aspects of DNS over HTTPS (DoH), DNS over TLS (DoT) and Related Issues High Interest Session
  • The ISPCP discussed the current status of the election process.

The members of the ISPCP are currently in the election process for the following positions within the Constituency: Chair, one Vice Chair, Excomm Member, GNSO Councilor, and the NomCom Appointee. Due to the fact that there was just one nominee for each position the ISPCP decided by unanimous agreement the following election result:

  • Wolf-Ulrich Knoben: Chair
  • Jennifer Taylor: Vice Chair
  • Osvaldo Novoa: GNSO Council
  • Christian Dawson: ExCom
  • Marie-Noémie Marques: NomCom

The elected members shall assume their position at the end of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Montréal (ICANN66).

New Generic Top-Level Domain Subsequent Procedures

In Marrakech, the new gTLD Subsequent Procedures Working Group (SubPro) continued to evaluate a number of key issues contained in its analysis of community input on policy recommendations, in its Initial Report and Supplemental Initial Reports.

The Working Group has already confirmed general support for the recommendation to use the Applicant Guidebook for future new gTLD application rounds. The Guidebook will receive a number of updates including improvements to ensure easier understanding for the general public for new gTLD applications and provide both more practical guidance in general, and more specific guidance with regards to different application types, e.g. with regards to dotBrand Top-Level Domains.

In this context ICANN Org fuelled the discussion on the next round of new gTLD applications in the near future with the publication of a draft for discussion with the title “ICANN Org’s Readiness to Support Future Rounds of New gTLDs”. This five-pager covers a number of relevant topics:

  • Timeline to Next Round
  • Expected volumes of applications and processing time
  • Policy Implementation, based on SubPro initial reports
  • Readiness Activities
  • Systems & Tools
  • Operational Processes
  • People
  • Costs

SubPro is expected to complete its Final Report by the end of Q1 2020. The next round of new gTLD launches is expected to take place as a series of application and evaluation rounds, rather than a continuous process of applications and launches.

 

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Dot Amazon

The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) again put the recent developments regarding the .AMAZON application on the agenda and discussed the respective ICANN Board decision.

On 15 May the ICANN Board came to the conclusion of finding “the Amazon corporation proposal of 17 April 2019 acceptable, and therefore directs the ICANN org President and CEO, or his designee(s), to continue processing of the .AMAZON applications according to the policies and procedures of the New gTLD Program. This includes the publication of the Public Interest Commitments (PICs), as proposed by the Amazon corporation, for a 30-day public comment period, as per the established procedures of the New gTLD program."

During the session, the representatives from Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Brazil read their respective statements critizising the decision of the ICANN Board, because they feared the ICANN decision did not sufficiently take into account the interests of the South American governments involved and undermined the rights of sovereign states. The GAC asked the Board again to explain its decision.

Universal Acceptance Steering Group

The Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) was present at three sessions in Marrakech. Universal Acceptance is the concept that all domain names should be treated equally. Domain names and email addresses should be accepted, stored, processed and displayed in a consistent and effective manner.

On Wednesday the UASG met with the At-Large to kick off a collaboration with this part of the ICANN community to reach out to Internet users in order to promote demand for Email Address Internationalization (EAI) and Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs).

On Thursday the UASG gave a presentation to the members of the GAC to provide information about the Universal Acceptance (UA) issue and to discuss how the UASG should proceed to reach out to the government sector in order to raise awareness of Universal Acceptance, and how it can be implemented in the public sector both on the technical and on the policy level, e.g. tenders and contracts.

Unfortunately, the Policies Around Universal Acceptance session on Thursday afternoon did not provide additional insights compared to the High Interest Cross-Community Session on Universal Acceptance at ICANN64 in Kobe. The panelists were:

  • Manal Ismail – NTRA / GAC
  • Maarten Botterman, ICANN Board
  • Akinori Maemura, ICANN Board
  • Raedene McGary, Centralnic
  • Mark Švančárek – Microsoft / UASG Vice-Chair

The panel was moderated by the UASG Chair.

DENIC & eco host the German Night

DENIC and eco invited their respective ICANN communities to meet with their friends and partners at the co-hosted German Night on Sunday. This time the networking event took place at the Dar Si Aissa in Marrakech.

Where was eco active for its members?

 

Thomas Rickert

 

Wolf-Ulrich Knoben

 

Lars Steffen

Further Documents

 

The ICANN66 Annual General Meeting will be held on 2-7 November 2019 in Montréal, Canada and is open for registration.

Report on 65th ICANN Meeting 3