ICANN in Russia, April 2007

by Veni Markovski on April 14, 2007

On April 5-6 several of us were in Moscow, at the international conference on security and trust.
The conference was organized by RANS – The Russian Association for Networks and Services.

ICANN was represented by Theresa Swinehart – VP Global Partnership, board members Steve Crocker and Steve Goldstein, and myself as the regional representative for Russia. We had a number of meetings – among them with academicians Velikhov and Belyaev at the Kurchatov Institute. We also met with the people running the .ru ccTLD, among them Alexei Platonov, Alexei Soldatov, Andrey Romanov, Dmitriy Burkov, Mikhail Yakushev, and others.
Like last year in September, ICANN was sharing the moment with the ITU – this time represented by the same Houlin Zhao, who was in the meantime elected as deputy Secretary-General of the ITU.

I went also to the Russian Internet Forum – an amazing gathering of about 2200 (sic!) of Russia’s Internet geeks at “Lesnie Dali”, near Moscow’s famous villages Borviha, and Gorki-2. Please, take a look at the web site – it has enormous amount of information. My talk about ICANN is listed here.

Steve Crocker and Steve Goldstein had presentations in the main conference event, while Theresa Swinehart had a keynote address at the opening and the closing of the conference. She was also among the guests at the opening of the ITU training center at the Moscow Technical University.

Moscow is a beautiful city, growing at amazing speed, and the Russians we met were quite friendly, and willing (and more important – able!) to contribute to the work we do at ICANN. They indeed know what they are talking about – both the RANS conference, with its key representatives from different governmental and educational institutions, and the RIF with its 2200 participants, workshops, conferences, seminars, and exhibition make me believe, yet again, that the East has its own, quite important place in the global Internet culture.

I am looking forward to my new meetings in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Uzbekistan… to name just a few of the countries I’ve been in touch with since I took the position of a regional liaison.

The work of the regional liaisons is not always easy to see or describe. Here’s one practical example: ICANN signed with .ru ccTLD an accountability framework just before we went to Moscow. The work behind this simple fact is enormous, and it took quite a lot of time (check this page for more accountability frameworks and agreements). Communication with the Internet community in any country is also not always easy – they need to know what ICANN is, how they can contribute, what ICANN can do for them, and what they can do for ICANN. There are cross-cultural issues, language issues, sometimes lot of history, which we need to navigate through, in order to achieve our goals. Plus, we work in environment, which is constanly changing, and we have to adapt to it, and find the right way to move on. And that’s only the beginning.

***

See pictures from Moscow:
Veni Markovski at the RIF - Moscow 2007 Theresa Swinehart and Houlin Zhao
Steve C and Andrew R - thumbnail 2-acad-velkihov-stevegthumbnail.jpg

(the picture on top left corner is from the RIF site) Here’s another place where you can see more pictures from the conferences (more are available also at the RIF site)

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My first visit in Moscow was in 1979 (I’ve written some short memories about it, in Bulgarian), and I’ve been there in the 90s several times – that was indeed a strange time – everything was falling apart, the airplane tickets from Sofia to Moscow were $ 10, and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to watch Asia live.
I have a number of friends and colleagues there. In 1994 my Bulgarian ISP was using as an uucp gateway over X.25 a company called GlasNet – the first Russian private Internet provider.
I’ve interviewed a number of Russian writers, among them Yuri Astafiev, Ivan Stadnyuk, Inna Markovna Saburova (she was also wife of the late army general Alexandar Saburov, one of the famous Russian partisan commanders-in-chief from the time of the Second World War, who later became Member of the Parliament, and served as a deputy minister of interior), who was an interpreter from/to Bulgarian, and a good family friend.

{ 7 comments }

Target 04.14.07 at 11:39 pm

Kyrillic URI http://www.rans.ru/arrangements/conf_secure2007/ has been opened with MyBrowser; hopefully secured by Kaspersky and MicroHard eXtended Protection I did close the window because this Language and Notation. is not familiar to me. Sorry for any scepticism about “http://” and “mime-enriched” URL’s.

yellowrose 04.15.07 at 12:36 am

Some of the people running .ru also run .su (FID is in charge of .su, cf. http://www.fid.ru/english/about/) . In December 2006 ICANN/IANA had an unacceptable attempt to address a policy matter outside of its remit, namely retirying ccTLD codes from the root, cf. http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-2-05dec06.htm
Did you discuss .su matters in Moscow, and if yes, could you brief on that?

Veni Markovski 04.16.07 at 4:06 am

Target,
yes, the url is in cyrillic, but there’s nothing to worry there (or, to be more precise – there wasn’t when I was checking it:).

Yellowrose,
as for the .su, yes – we talked with the relevant people on the .su situation, and we hope there will be progress there, as well.

david Conrad 04.19.07 at 1:57 pm

“In December 2006 ICANN/IANA had an unacceptable attempt to address a policy matter outside of its remit, namely retirying ccTLD codes from the root”

ICANN/IANA did not attempt to address a policy matter outside its remit. We asked for input on how to deal with the fact that existing policy was not being followed. Specifically, ISO-3166/MA moved some code elements to transitionally reserved (that is, to quote from the ISO-3166-1 decoding table: “Code element deleted from ISO 3166-1; stop using ASAP.”) yet the top-level domains assoicated with those deleted codes are still in use which is at odds with RFC 1591. If you read the call for comments you reference, you’ll see it was merely trying to determine what the community thought we should do. I personally believe asking questions about the policies IANA operates under is within ICANN/IANA’s remit.

Regards,
-drc

tercume ceviri 06.03.07 at 5:43 pm

when is your visit to istanbul/ankara or turkey? are there any improvements about the use of turkish characters in domain names?

Veni Markovski 06.04.07 at 6:13 am

You can read the latest news on that here: http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-02jun07.htm

Horses 01.27.08 at 5:12 pm

So what came of the discussions on .su?

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