[NA-Discuss] IMPORTANT: US Senate hearings on new gTLDs

Avri Doria avri at ella.com
Fri Dec 9 16:38:36 UTC 2011


I disagree that Kurt was conveying a meaning of Complete Consensus when he referred to ICANN Consensus.   He was quite specific about the rough and tumble of ICANN consensus and even made reference to the NCUC, whose members were the only ones that did not support the policy recommendation at the time it was approved.  I note that although they did not prevail in the consensus and were part of the losing voice, they have since supported the ICANN consensus decision made against their vote.

I agree that the ALAC deserves a real response to its advice, and when ALAC says something is unacceptable, there should be a process, I beleive one that is similar to that accorded GAC advice, to discuss and close the issue.  And I find it problematic that the Board has never discussed these issues with the ALAC (I am assuming they haven't since I don't really know - did they?  Was it ever part of the BOARD-ALAC regular face to face discussions? Did we formally request further dialogue on the At-Large issues? GAC did not get it negotiations automatically as far as I know).

As for the new gTLDs themselves.  I personally support them going forward now, warts and all, and would not support a letter from this RALO or from ALAC stating that At-Large opposes new gTLDs.  I think the task now is to make sure they happen fairly and live up to all the promises.  And to fix what we can along the way and for the next round.

I would support a letter that laid out the complexities and the differences of opinion. Unless there is an At-Large decision against new gTLDs according to its processes for such a major decision or advice, I would find it hard to accept that as the voice of the users; as hard as I found accepting Dyson's claims to being the USERS' representative.  I could also personally support a letter that included any changes ALAC advises would make the new gTLD process better, kind of like they did with JAS.

One take way I had from the meeting was that those who were objecting to the new gTLD program were missing the fact that many of the protections that exist in the new gTLD process that do not exist in the incumbent gTLDs (would that they did!).  I think Senators and those who testify should be better educated about their subject manner.  For example I found it amazing that those seeking defense from new gTLD in their name, did not admit to the existence of the Independent Objector, who could take their issue forward if someone was applying for their name fraudulently.  All of the Charitable and Service NGOs could use this avenue as well as the good services of their GAC representative who could bring GAC consensus into supporting their cause, when just.  E.g. I am certain that if a group of pedophiles where to apply for YMCA, the US GAC representative would make sure that it did not go forward, it might even fail the first test on the applicant-check.  So they have lots of avenues for redress without having to resort to a too-high* Formal Objection fee.  

I hope ICANN releases and sends to the Committee a point by point refutation of the negative points made in testimony - showing the mechanisms that have been created to address the particular concerns (e.g. application question 18c in response to defensive second level registration issues).  Kurt needs to have a much more complete set of talking points; the process is complex and it is difficult to remember the remedy that was created for each of the hundreds of criticisms that have ben made.  And if this were on line, it would be great for them to have a placard showing the url and a QR.  Could even be updated real time by the ICANN boiler room in the background.


* And yes, all of the fees are absurdly high.  But what can you do in a world controlled by bean counters.

PS: It was like IDNs did not exist and where not an important motivation for new gTLDs - then again it was an US Senate Committee.

On 8 Dec 2011, at 19:21, Garth Bruen at Knujon.com wrote:

> Beau - Kurt did cite the multi-stakeholder model, unfortunately the way he 
> cited it made is sound as if all the constituent groups were 100% on board 
> with the way things are going, glossing over various concerns, questions, 
> and protests. -Garth
> --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Beau Brendler" <beaubrendler at earthlink.net>
> Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2011 5:24 PM
> To: "Michele Neylon :: Blacknight" <michele at blacknight.ie>; "Evan 
> Leibovitch" <evan at telly.org>
> Cc: "NARALO Discussion List" <na-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
> Subject: Re: [NA-Discuss] IMPORTANT: US Senate hearings on new gTLDs
>> I've done it before -- you have to be invited. If you are not a US citizen 
>> you can refuse if called. However the issue is getting the message heard. 
>> Hearings are tightly scripted and you don't just get the chance to get up 
>> and make a statement, it's not like an ICANN free for all.
>> I agree that we should make a statement, and would be happy to author one 
>> for NARALO, providing we can actually come to a rough consensus as to what 
>> to say. Not everyone agrees with the current sentiment against new gTLDs.
>> That said, if we can create a statement with consensus, since we are a 
>> part of ICANN, we could, I should think, compel ICANN's lobbyist (whoever 
>> their VP of government affairs is now) to present the statement on our 
>> behalf, even if it goes against ICANN's party line.
>> The other question to ask is, did Kurt do his due multi-stakeholder 
>> diligence and actually ask what policy position(s) should be presented? 
>> Did Olivier know anything about this in advance and was he consulted? One 
>> would think that the U.S. Congress would be interested in what the 
>> end-user community might think...
>> All that said, we could probably also submit a statement that would be 
>> taken seriously via John D. Rockefeller's office. I have, shall we say, 
>> discussed consumer issues with them before.
>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: "Michele Neylon :: Blacknight" <michele at blacknight.ie>
>>> Sent: Dec 8, 2011 3:37 PM
>>> To: Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org>
>>> Cc: NARALO Discussion List <na-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
>>> Subject: Re: [NA-Discuss] IMPORTANT: US Senate hearings on new gTLDs
>>> Evan
>>> They've had non-US witnesses at past hearings if my memory serves me
>>> Regards
>>> Michele
>>> Mr. Michele Neylon
>>> Blacknight
>>> http://Blacknight.tel
>>> Via iPhone so excuse typos and brevity
>>> On 8 Dec 2011, at 14:59, "Evan Leibovitch" <evan at telly.org> wrote:
>>>> Hello all,
>>>> This morning, the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and
>>>> Transportation held a hearing on the ICANN new gTLD program.
>>>> The web page describing the hearing, which includes a video of the 
>>>> entire
>>>> 90-minute session, is at http://1.usa.gov/vzddPH
>>>> I am told that it will soon be uploaded to the Committee's YouTube 
>>>> channel
>>>> at http://www.youtube.com/user/SenateCommercePress
>>>> Among the speakers are
>>>>  - Kurt Pritz, ICANN VP
>>>>  - Dan Jaffe of the Association of National Advertisers who is trying 
>>>> to
>>>>  block the new gTLD program
>>>>  - Fiona Alexander with the US NTIA
>>>>  - Angela Williams of the US YMCA (speaking after deliberation with
>>>>  ICANN's Non-Profit Organization Constituency)
>>>>  - Esther Dyson, former ICANN Board member (and ALAC member from the
>>>>  pre-RALO days when ALAC was all-appointed)
>>>> It's VERY interesting listening. Kurt's message -- that adequate
>>>> protections are in place in the program to deter large amounts of money
>>>> spent on defensive registrations -- was not well received. In contrast, 
>>>> the
>>>> committee heard about several instances -- in some cases by the Senators
>>>> themselves -- who were the victims of cybersquatting and domain
>>>> speculators. All other speakers were critical of the program and some 
>>>> were
>>>> even asking if the US government has the authority to block the roll-out
>>>> from happening in January as ICANN intends.
>>>> Interesting note amongst the comments... many orgs have found themselves
>>>> needing to but defencive registrations in .XXX and are livid at the 
>>>> thought
>>>> of having to do a bunch more for future TLDs. (For instance, Indiana
>>>> University has purchased "hoosiers.xxx").
>>>> Of note to us.... much was made by Kurt of the consensus between
>>>> stakeholders. Dan shot that down in relation to business users and 
>>>> Angela
>>>> said the NPOC wasn't allowed to become a real stakeholder in time to 
>>>> have
>>>> an impact on decisions already made. Esther made mention at the end that
>>>> the real constituency not yet heard from (at least by the Senators) was 
>>>> the
>>>> billions of Internet end users. Mention was made that the committee now
>>>> needs to hear from them.
>>>> Sounds like an opportunity to me.
>>>> Now... I don't know if one has to be a US citizen to testify; if not the
>>>> ICANN Chair or vice chairs (of which I am one) would all be good 
>>>> candidates
>>>> and in fact the international character of ALAC sends a useful message 
>>>> IMO.
>>>> But if the requirement is to be a US resident, I have complete and utter
>>>> faith that NARALO's own leadership includes people (Beau, Ganesh, 
>>>> Eduardo)
>>>> who could easily step into the role and do the community proud.
>>>> Further to this, I would like to raise the issue as an agenda item on
>>>> Monday's NARALO call and I would like us to consider letting the 
>>>> Committee
>>>> know that there is indeed a group within ICANN that exists to provide 
>>>> the
>>>> voice of Internet end-users,
>>>> Thank you.
>>>> - Evan
>>>> ------
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