[ALAC] RESEND: Report on the ALAC-NGPC meeting on 22 Jan 2015

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Tue Jan 27 13:32:10 UTC 2015


This is a re-transmission of my earlier message without several 
messages incorrectly appended to the end. Please use this version instead.
=======================
As previously announced, there was a meeting with a number of Board 
members from the New gTLD Process Committee last Thursday. Attending 
on behalf of the ALAC were Alan Greenberg, Olivier Crepin-Leblond, 
Evan Leibovitch and Cheryl Langdon-Orr. Holly Raiche could not attend 
due to a scheduling conflict. For the Board, there was Cherine 
Chalaby, George Sadowsky and Rinalia Abdul-Rahim who chaired the 
meeting. Chris Disspain and Markus Kummer were both unable to attend 
due to travel. Also in attendance was Heidi Ullrich, staff members 
supporting the Board and from the ICANN General Council's Office, 
Compliance and the Global Domains Division.

It was a productive meeting and definitely not a "pat them on the 
head and pretend we care" event. All parties were extremely candid.

The meeting opened with a brief review of the ALAC concerns, the 
rationale for us requesting the freeze, and a summary of possible 
paths forward.

Based on the letter requesting the meeting, it was clear that the 
NGPC hoped that a GNSO PDP might be a possible way to resolve the 
impasse of critical TLDs not yet implementing all of the safeguards 
required by GAC advice through Public Interest Commitments (PICs). I 
believe that we made a convincing case that PICs were not likely even 
eligible for a PDP Consensus Policy (required to alter already signed 
contracts) and even if they were, the outcome would not likely be satisfactory.

We also raised the issue of whether ICANN was willing to publicly 
commit to having compliance actively follow up on all complaints 
submitted by governments, consumer agencies and regulators - a 
critical part of ensuring that once PICs are made, that they are adhered to.

Rinalia did not play an active part in the discussion, but was very 
effective in chairing the discussion. George was very supportive of 
our position and Cherine as NGPC chair took a balanced position but I 
think  understood that something needs to be done. Everyone was quite candid.

Overall, I think that there is good understanding that ICANN needs to 
at least try to fix the problem and can't just ignore it. That does 
not necessarily map to succeeding of course. It was clear that no one 
has a magic bullet - voluntary agreement from all concerned 
registries was unlikely, unilateral contract changes would be ugly, 
and it was unclear what could be done to entice most or all 
registries to fix the problem. And the Board is therefore in a 
difficult position with respect to the GAC, as well as the rest of 
us. Whether they will backtrack and at least imply that they are 
considering a freeze to force the issue was not discussed.

I suggested a meeting of all parties (NGPC, ALAC, GAC, BC and perhaps 
Registries) in Singapore and Cherine seemed to think it might be a 
good idea. It remains to be seen if it will happen.

The issues will be further discussed at the upcoming NGPC meeting, 
and the duration of that meeting was explicitly lengthened to ensure 
that there was adequate time for a thorough discussion.

Overall, I was very pleased with the meeting. Despite the heavy 
presence of support staff, the meeting was frank and I believe 
productive. It sets a good precedent for such future engagements.

Alan



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