Mexico City briefing note

by Kieren McCarthy on March 9, 2009

At the end of each international public meeting, we produce a summary of the meeting which we call a Briefing Note. This note covers the main topics discussed at the meeting complete with a rundown of what happened and links to further resources.

The Briefing Note is published on the Mexico City meeting website and linked to on its front page. We republish it here:



What was it?
ICANN’s 34th international public meeting is the first of three held annually to conduct policy development and outreach. It was hosted by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the Mexican Internet Association (AMIPCI), the Network Information Center (NIC) Mexico, and the Internet Society (ISOC) Mexico.

The meeting was opened by Vice Minister of Communications of Mexico, Gariela Hernandez, who spoke about the positive impact that information technologies have on productivity, competitiveness, and the living conditions of ordinary people.

1219 people attended from over 100 different countries. For the first time, the largest number of attendees – 275 – came from the host country (excluding meetings held in the United States). The participants engaged in a wide range of discussions about the Internet’s domain name system and related issues.

Further information about the meeting, including presentations and transcripts, is available at http://mex.icann.org.

ICANN’s next international public meeting will take place in Sydney, Australia, beginning on 21 June 2009.

What happened and what are the next steps?
Many meetings, workshops, public forums and informal discussions were held over seven days by the different stakeholders of the ICANN model:

  • Business interests
  • Civil society
  • Governments and government agencies
  • Internet service providers
  • Registrants
  • Registrars
  • Registries
  • The technical community

Several key issues and themes evolved over the course of the meeting. They are summarized below.


New gTLDs

WHAT HAPPENED: A 90-minute Q&A session was held on the Monday, in which ICANN staff outlined changes made in the second version of the Applicant Guidebook and the community was given the opportunity to ask questions and make comments as the new gTLD process progresses.

Briefings were also given to ICANN’s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees by ICANN staff, and an update on the whole process given on the Friday. A Branding and new gTLDs session was held on the Monday afternoon, and new gTLDs formed the bulk of discussions during the Public Forum on Thursday.

The Directors approved the establishment by staff of an Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT) comprised of an internationally diverse group of people to develop and propose solutions to the over-arching issue of trademark protection in connection with the introduction of new generic top level domain names (gTLDs).

“The Board has clearly heard and believes strongly that the concerns of trademark holders must be addressed before this process is opened for applications,” said Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush. “The establishment of this team, is an attempt to get proposed solutions from the people with skill in trademark protection and other issues.”

The IRT will be comprised of people who put forward solutions in the first public comment period on the new gTLD Applicant Guidebook.

NEXT STEPS: Feedback from the meeting, as well as comments sent to the second public comment period (which closes on 13 April 2009) will be used to produce a third version of the guidebook.

Additional study and consultation is required on several overarching issues: trademark protection and possible abuses; DNS stability; and Economic analysis of the effect of new gTLDs on the marketplace. A number of other precise areas of change for the next version of the Guidebook were outlined in a staff update on the Friday.

The Implementation Recommendation Team (see above) has been asked to draft a report by 24 April for comment and to produce a final report no later than 24 May so it can be considered at ICANN’s Sydney meeting in June.

The first applications for new generic top-level domains are expected to be received in December 2009 at the earliest or in the first quarter of 2010.

MORE INFORMATION is available on ICANN’s new gTLDs page (http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtld-program.htm). This web page includes the draft Applicant Guidebook, accompanying explanatory memoranda, an FAQ, along with many additional resources.

Full details on the Q&A session can be found here: http://mex.icann.org/node/2610
A staff update on the new gTLD process can be found here: http://mex.icann.org/files/meetings/mexico2009/new-gtlds-staff-updates-06mar09.pdf

The second public comment period for the Applicant Guidebook can be found here: http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/#dagv2


IDNs and IDN Fast Track


WHAT HAPPENED: The latest version of the Implementation Plan was outlined, as well as three papers that identified open issues where further input from the community is needed to complete implementation.

Introductory sessions on the topic were given in English and Spanish on the Sunday, and a further session explaining the changes made to the Implementation Plan was run on the Monday. Briefings were also given to ICANN’s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees by ICANN staff. IDNs were one of the main topics of discussion at the Public Forum on Thursday, and an update on the whole process given on the Friday.

The Fast Track was discussed extensively in the GAC and ccNSO and was the subject of formal resolutions by both organizations, as well as by the ICANN Board at its public meeting on Friday.

NEXT STEPS: Feedback from the meeting, as well as comments sent to a public comment period on the Implementation Plan and papers (which closes on 6 April 2009) will be used to produce a revised version of the Implementation Plan. The Board requested that the Implementation Plan be finalized for its last meeting of 2009.

MORE INFORMATION is available at http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/

Monday IDN session: http://mex.icann.org/node/2629.
Board and GAC session: http://mex.icann.org/node/2638
Board public meeting: http://mex.icann.org/node/2689
GAC communiqué: http://gac.icann.org/web/communiques/gac33com.pdf
ccNSO website: http://ccnso.icann.org/

A staff update on the IDN and Fast Track process can be found here: http://mex.icann.org/files/meetings/mexico2009/idns-staff-updates-06mar09-en.pdf

The public comment period for the Fast Track can be found here: http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/#update-idn-cctlds


RAA Amendments


WHAT HAPPENED: The GNSO Council approved a wide range of amendments to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) – the contract that ICANN has with the companies that register generic top-level domains. The Board then asked the amendments to be put out to a 30-day comment period.
The 17 amendments cover four broad categories:

  • New enforcement tools – new Registrar Audit and a group liability provision amongst other things.
  • Registrant protections – shining a light on the risks of proxy registration.
  • Consistent minimum standards of service for all registrars.
  • A modernizing of the agreement to get up-to-date with the domain name market.

The full amendments, and a history of the amendment process, are online at: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/raa/

The GNSO also decided to draft a registrants rights charter and identify further amendments to the RAA.

NEXT STEPS: The amendments will shortly be put out to a 30-day public comment period by the Board, and the GNSO Council and ICANN staff will be advised of the registrants rights charter and possible further RAA amendments before 31 July 2009.

MORE INFORMATION:
RAA staff update: http://mex.icann.org/files/meetings/mexico2009/raa-amendments-staff-updates-06mar09-en.pdf
RAA amendments webpage: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/raa/


Improving Institutional Confidence (IIC)


WHAT HAPPENED: The President’s Strategy Committee published its draft Implementation Plan with a set of proposed recommendations on how to improve institutional confidence in ICANN ahead of the conclusion of the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) in September 2009. This revised document was the result of extensive community consultations during 2008, and it was produced for information, not decision. The ultimate decision will be taken by the Board.

The Mexico City meeting saw widespread discussion of these documents. A special session was held on Wednesday and the issue was also discussed at the At Large Summit and within a number of supporting organizations and advisory committees.

NEXT STEPS: The Board will consider the Improving Institutional Confidence report at its next meeting on 23 April 2009. At that meeting, the Board will consider whether to ask staff to do more detailed implementation work. There will be a public comment period of 60 days, beginning shortly after the Mexico City meeting.

MORE INFORMATION: Information about the documents, the public comment periods, the regional meetings and the draft Implementation Plan can be found on dedicated IIC webpages at: http://www.icann.org/en/jpa/iic/
Wednesday IIC session: http://mex.icann.org/node/2809


At-Large Summit

Representatives of over 90 At-Large Structures representing ICANN’s global individual Internet user community came together at ICANN’s Mexico City meeting in the At-Large Summit held between 28 February and 4 March 2009.

The Summit was a unique gathering of the representatives of individual Internet users participating in ICANN. Organized as an integral part of the 34th ICANN International Meeting in Mexico City, the Summit featured:

  • Two General Sessions of all participants;
  • Thematic sessions and workshops on issues that concern individual Internet users worldwide led by At-Large community members;
  • Five policy-focused working groups produced statements on important subjects to the whole ICANN community; and many other events.

Full details of the Summit, including the Summit’s final Declaration, can be found online at http://www.atlarge.icann.org/summit.


GNSO Improvements

WHAT HAPPENED: Progress continued on structural and operational changes to ICANN’s main policy-making body. Early meetings on Saturday and Sunday focused on operational and process work team efforts. Another team discussed resolution of transition issues to seat the newly structured GNSO Council.

Several new stakeholder group charters were submitted by the community throughout the week and a consolidated public comment forum was initiated for comments on those proposals. The community heard from proponents of the Cybersafety, City TLD and Consumer constituencies. A formal petition from the CyberSafety constituency was also posted for community comments. At its Friday meeting, the Board directed the ICANN staff to identify potential changes to existing GNSO constituency charters and to suggest specific changes to help them conform more closely to ICANN bylaw principles.

NEXT STEPS: The work teams covering different aspects of the improvements will continue to move forward with calls and meetings in the coming weeks. The community will have opportunities to comment on the proposed charters for new GNSO stakeholder groups as well as the petition for the new CyberSafety constituency.

MORE INFORMATION: http://www.icann.org/topics/gnso-improvements/


Independent Reviews


The independent review process requires each of ICANN’s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees to undergo review every few years to make sure that the organization as a whole continues to serves the needs of the global Internet community.

WHAT HAPPENED: There are six reviews going on at the moment, and one will be started in the upcoming future. Starting with the most advanced to the least advanced: GNSO, NomCom, ALAC, Board, RSSAC, SSAC and ccNSO. The advancement of each of these reviews was presented during specific meetings in Mexico.

The GNSO advanced its implementation of changes; the Nominating Committee review will be soon updated for publication for public comments; ALAC review is accepting last public comments before finalization. The Board review is solliciting public comments into the working group discussion; and the RSSAC and SSAC reviews will soon enter the working group stage. The terms of reference for review of the ccNSO is nearly finished.

NEXT STEPS: The reviews will continue to advance through working group work, public comments and community response and review.

MORE INFORMATION:
Dedicated reviews webpage: http://www.icann.org/en/reviews/
Staff update on reviews: http://mex.icann.org/files/meetings/mexico2009/organizational-reviews-staff-updates-06mar09-en.pdf


Board Resolutions


The full set of Board Resolutions at the public meeting on Friday can be found online at http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-06mar09.htm.

A transcript of the meeting can be found at: http://mex.icann.org/files/meetings/mexico2009/transcript-board-meeting-06mar09-en.txt
A short summary of resolutions is given below.

  • GNSO Constituency Renewals: Acknowledged submissions from six existing constituencies and asked for staff analysis and follow-up submissions, as needed, by the Sydney meeting.
  • IPv4 Allocation Policy: Ratified the global policy for handing out the last available IPv4 address blocks
  • IDN ccTLD Fast Track: Asked that the Implementation Plan be made available for consideration prior to the last Board meeting of 2009. Directed staff to outline costs to ICANN of country code top-level domains, including IDN ccTLDs.
  • Trademark Protection for new gTLDs: Created a new Implementation Recommendation Team to develop and propose solutions to the overarching issue of trademark protection in connection with the introduction of new gTLDs. A draft report to be ready by 24 April 2009.
  • Geographic term protection for new gTLDs: Applicant Guidebook to be revised to give greater specificity on the scope of protection at the top level for the names of countries and territories. Staff to exchange letters with the GAC to find a solution before end of May.
  • RAA Amendments: ALAC and GNSO thanked for their work and advice. The GNSO-approved amendments to be put out to public comment for 30 days.
  • Board Committees: The Charters of four new Board Committees (IANA, Public Participation, Risk and Structural Improvements) approved and the Board Governance Committee given the tasks of the dissolved Conflicts of Interest Committee and Reconsideration Committee.
  • Ombudsman Framework: Posted for public comment.
  • President’s Strategy Committee Report: The Improving Institutional Confidence consultation report posted for comment for 60 days.
  • Timely posting of materials: The Public Participation Board Committee asked to develop a plan to have all major meeting material available two weeks before a meeting starts.
  • At Large Summit: Acknowledged receipt of the Summit’s Declaration and congratulated At Large community.
  • Thanks: Given to Milton Mueller, Demi Getschko, Dave Wodelet, the scribes, local hosts, event teams, sponsors and Mexican government.


Other Matters
You can view edited videos of the conference’s main events at: http://mex.icann.org/video

Pictures of the conference can be found at: http://www.icann.org/photos/