[ALAC] GAC Communiqué (Resend to public list)
alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Fri Oct 28 16:30:54 UTC 2011
GAC Communiqué - Dakar
The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
Numbers (ICANN) met in Dakar, Senegal during the
week of October 22-27, 2011. Forty-nine
Governments participated in the meeting: 46
present and 3 by remote participation and six
Observers. The GAC expresses warm thanks to the
local hosts, The Ministry of Communication,
Telecommunications and Information Technology
(MICOMTELTIC) and the Regulatory Authority for
Telecommunications and Post (ARTP) for their
hospitality in organizing the meeting and ICANN
for supporting the GAC during the meeting.
II. New gTLDs
The GAC further discussed and decided on the
formulation of GAC advice for inclusion in Module
3 of the Applicant Guidebook [Annex I].
During the discussion ICANN Staff underlined
their understanding that advice regarding the
definition of Geographic Names should be adopted by the GAC.
The GAC congratulates the JAS working group on
the final report and recommendations, which are
consistent with GAC advice. The GAC looks forward
to the Board providing clear timelines for
implementation of the recommendations to enable
needy applicants to join in full and meaningfully in the first round.
The GAC raised concern about the unpredictability
of the actual number of applications that
governments would have to digest to proceed after
the end of the application period. The GAC made
clear, that if the number of applications
published by ICANN significantly exceeds 500, GAC
members might not be able to process a very large
number of applications in the very short early
warning procedure and in the limited time for
issuing GAC advice on all these strings.
Further, the GAC asked ICANN for clarification
about its intention to process these applications
in batches of 500, in the case that there are
more than 500 applications. The GAC urges ICANN
to clarify the procedures and implications for
applicants being processed in different batches,
as this might have implications for competition
and applicants' business models.
Following presentations by the ICANN staff and
the Security and Stability Advisory Committee,
the GAC took note of the SSAC consideration of
the combined impact of new gTLDs and other
changes such as the introduction of IPv6, DNSSEC
and IDNs to the root. The GAC welcomes the
confirmation of the commitment by the ICANN Board
to provide a full report with a complete
analysis, including all underlying data, of the
root system scalability well before the opening
of the new gTLDs application round. The GAC
further welcomes the confirmation of the
commitment by the Board to evaluate the impact on
the system after the 1st round, with the
understanding that the launch of a second round
is contingent on the outcome of this evaluation,
in particular the absence of negative effects on
the root system. The GAC believes that in order
for this evaluation to be effective, an
appropriate and trustable monitoring system needs to be in place.
In its discussions with the Board regarding the
Communication Plan for new gTLDs, the GAC
emphasised the importance of promoting the gTLDs
application round in all countries, including
developing countries. The GAC suggested that
levels of awareness be continually assessed and
reviewed, and priorities and target areas under
the Plan be adjusted accordingly in the run up to the launch of the round.
The GAC welcomed the assurances received from the
Board and staff that the evaluation of
applications will ensure a level playing field
for applicants and that any conflicts of interest
will be identified and avoided accordingly.
III. Law Enforcement (LEA) Recommendations
In recent years, the Internet has grown to have
over two billion users and be a significant contributor to the global economy.
Cyber-crime is a growing threat to the security
and stability of the Internet, with broad and
direct public policy impacts. Recent estimates
suggest that the direct financial impact of cyber
crime is extremely significant.
Law enforcement agencies have identified a series
of specific problems which are limiting their
ability to address this growing problem.
As part of this, law enforcement agencies have
identified specific areas of concern in the ICANN
context, relating to contractual weaknesses and a
lack of necessary due diligence.
To address these urgent problems, in 2009 law
enforcement agencies made 12 concrete
recommendations to reduce the risk of criminal abuse of the domain name system.
These recommendations were informally socialized
with the registrar community, the GAC, and with
ICANN compliance staff over the course of several
months, before the GAC advised the Board in its
Brussels communiqué that it formally endorsed the recommendations.
Direct exchanges between law enforcement agencies
and registrars continued in September 2010 in
Washington D.C., in February 2011 in Brussels,
and during the March and June 2011 ICANN meetings.
As a complement to the June exchanges in
Singapore, the GAC urged the Board to support
actions necessary to implement those recommendations as a matter of urgency.
To date, none of the recommendations have been
implemented, and the risks remain. The GAC
therefore advises the ICANN Board to take the
necessary steps to ensure that ICANN's
multistakeholder process effectively addresses
these GAC-endorsed proposals as a matter of extreme urgency.
IV. Accountability and Transparency Review Team Recommendations (ATRT)
The GAC welcomes the update provided by ICANN
staff on the ATRT Recommendations progress and
the suggestions presented with regards to the
implementation of recommendations 9 through 14 on
the GAC role, effectiveness and interaction with the Board.
The GAC looks forward to an expedited
implementation of the Joint Working Group and
ATRT recommendations and is keen to continue
working with the Board on the Recommendations related to the GAC.
V. Conflict of interest
The GAC expresses extreme concern about the
inadequacy of the existing rules of ethics and
conflict of interest in the light of recent
events and therefore welcomes the approval of the
motion by the Board Governance Committee on 15
September 2011 concerning "ethics and conflicts
of interest". The GAC looks forward to the
publication of a timeline with clear and
effective actions as a conclusion of the Dakar
meeting or shortly thereafter. In order to
ensure the legitimacy and sustainability of the
multi-stakeholder model as enshrined in ICANN,
the GAC underlines the extreme urgency of putting
in place effective and enforceable rules on conflicts of interest.
The GAC will keep this important issue under
review and may come forward with further advice
before the Costa Rica GAC meetings.
VI. Meeting with the Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO)
The GAC and the GNSO exchanged views on a number
of issues, beginning with an overview by ICANN
staff of the GNSO policy development process.
Consistent with the recommendations of the
Accountability and Transparency Review Team and
the related GAC-Board Joint Working Group, the
GAC stressed its interest in ensuring that GAC
views are provided and taken into account at
early stages in the policy development process.
The meeting also discussed the implementation of
the Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) recommendations
to mitigate Domain Name System abuse, which were
endorsed by the GAC in June 2010. The GAC
expressed its disappointment that registrars were
only able to report on their consideration of
three of the twelve LEA Recommendations. Further,
the reported progress fell substantially short of
what GAC members believed had been achieved
during its meetings with registrars in Singapore
in June 2011. The GAC also expressed concern that
there was no clarity on how the other nine
recommendations were being progressed, despite
the registrars' agreement at the Singapore
meeting to provide regular status reports. The
GAC informed the GNSO Council of its intention to
request the ICANN Board to take prompt and
concrete action to implement the GAC/LEA recommendations.
The meeting also addressed the GAC's proposal to
the GNSO on the protection mechanism for the
International Olympic Committee and Red Cross/Red
Crescent names at the top and second levels. The
GAC requested feedback from the GNSO on the
proposal as a first step in collaborating on
advice for the ICANN Board in this regard,
consistent with the ICANN Board Resolution in Singapore.
The GAC looks forward to further engagement with
the GNSO to work more effectively within the
ICANN processes and reinforce the sustainability
of the multi-stakeholder model.
VII. Meeting with the At-Large Advisory Group (ALAC)
The GAC met with the ALAC to discuss Conflict of
Interest issues within the ICANN Board and staff.
The GAC agrees that this is a critical matter
that needs to be addressed as a high priority within the community.
The GAC and ALAC also discussed the Joint
Applicant Support (JAS) Working Group as well as
the ALAC and GAC Joint Statement. The GAC expects
a decision to be taken for implementation in time
for the opening of the first new gTLD round.
In light of the common interest of advancing
improvements in the ICANN model, the GAC and ALAC
also discussed the ongoing work of the
Accountability and Transparency Review Team
(ATRT). The GAC shared the areas identified as a
priority in the framework of the ATRT and the
Joint Working Group recommendations, looking
forward to an expedited implementation.
VIII. GAC Operating Principles
The GAC amended Principle 47 of its Operating
Principles clarifying its understanding of
consensus. The definition now introduced derives
from United Nations practice and understands
consensus as adopting decisions by general
agreement in the absence of formal objections.
The GAC noted that according to UN practice
individual members may make reservations,
declarations, statements of interpretation and/or
statements of position regarding a consensus
decision, provided such texts do not represent an
objection to the consensus [Annex II].
IX. Joint session with the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO)
The GAC met with the ccNSO to discuss the
progress and ongoing work of the Framework of
Interpretation cross-community Working Group
(FoI) on delegation and redelegation, and the
mechanisms for the GAC to provide feedback and
contribute to this work within a timeline that
the ccNSO has provided. In addition, the ccNSO
shared an update of its current work areas and its organisational structure.
The GAC is eager to further engage with the ccNSO
to provide timely inputs on the different stages of the FoI work.
X. Meeting with the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC)
The GAC thanks the SSAC for providing an update
on its work including blocking and reputation
systems, WHOIS matters and single label domain
names. Further, the GAC thanks the SSAC Chair for
discussions on Root Zone Scaling and Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI).
The GAC looks forward to receiving further
updates on DNS blocking matters and other
relevant security and stability related matters.
XI. Meeting with the Nominating Committee (NomCom)
The GAC met with the Nominating Committee and
discussed the skill-sets needed of an ICANN
Director, as outlined in the Accountability and
Transparency Review Team (ATRT) recommendations
to improve the selection process. The NomCom
invited individual GAC members to provide further inputs.
XII. Election of Vice-chairs
The GAC has reelected the current vice-chairs,
Choon-Sai Lim (Singapore), Maria Häll (Sweden)
and Alice Munyua (Kenya) to continue their mandate for another year.
The GAC warmly thanks all those among the ICANN
community who have contributed to the dialogue with the GAC in Dakar.
The GAC will meet during the period of the 43rd
ICANN meeting in San José, Costa Rica.
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