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3.7 Recent trends of ICANN

(JPNIC Secretariat)

This report presents up-to-date information about ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). ICANN held international meetings in August and November, and adopted several resolutions. In this article, we will introduce the main resolutions adopted at the Santiago meeting in August and the Los Angeles meeting in November, and present a perspective of ICANN moves.

ICANN Santiago Meeting

From August 24 to 26, a series of ICANN meetings were held by each supporting organization, Advisory Committee, and Board of Trustees within ICANN. Because the Republic of Chile is a geographically remote site for participants from Asian countries, the Santiago meeting gave the impression that there was a smaller number of Asian participants, when compared with the previous Berlin Meeting.

Based on conclusions from the various meetings, the ICANN Board adopted some resolutions on August 26. These included approval of PSO (Protocol Supporting Organization), approval of MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) for ASO (Address Supporting Organization), formation of an Ad Hoc Group, approval of recommendations for creating a Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy for gTLD registrars, and resolutions related to At-Large members.

Approval of MoU for ASO

ICANN has three supporting organizations, each being responsible for a specific sector: domain names, IP addresses, and Internet protocols. Formation of DNSO (Domain Name Supporting Organization) had already been approved in the first half of this year, and the process of organization is currently underway. Meanwhile, the MoU for PSO was endorsed in July. Regarding ASO, at the Santiago Meeting, the proposal for formation of ASO was approved in accordance with the MoU with the regional Internet registry (ARIN, RIPE NCC, APNIC).

Formation of Ad Hoc Group

In conjunction with the acceptance of the proposal regarding formation of ASO based on the MoU, it was decided to establish an Ad Hoc Group assigned to identify issues with regard to IP address policies. It is intended to meet world-wide market needs, and is a study group with a view to diverse services in information technology and convergence of networks. The group includes telecom operators, representatives of ISPs and industry groups, the ASO Council, the ICANN board, and other related organizations. The Ad Hoc Group is slated to release an interim report prior to the second ICANN Open Meeting in 2000. Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy for gTLD registrars

On April 30, 1999, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) submitted a report including a recommendation regarding Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy for those disputes concerning the top level domains: .com, .net, or .org. At the ICANN Berlin meeting in May, the board inquired of DNSO about recommendations for dispute resolution, and requested creation of a Model Dispute Resolution Policy, which should be voluntarily adopted by the testbed registrars (experiment for above domain registration under fair competition).

On August 8, 1999, the DNSO Names Council submitted to the Board five recommendations regarding the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy. Additionally, the testbed registrars had discussions among themselves, with the post-testbed registrars, and with Network Solutions, Inc., who had exclusively controlled all gTLD registrations before the testbed was formed. They proposed the Model Dispute Resolution Policy for voluntary adoption.

At the Santiago Meeting, the Board approved DNSO recommendations that ICANN should adopt the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy for accredited registrars for the top level domains of .com, .net, and . org. Also, it was determined to prepare a document to implement said policy.

On October 25, the document for implementation of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy was completed and approved.

At-Large members

ICANN is to create an At-Large member system in order to reflect opinions and interests of the Internet users. The At-Large Council elected by At-Large members via direct election will select the ICANN Board members. At the board meeting this time, it was approved that the At-Large membership should represent Internet user communities from geographically wide areas and should consist of more than 5000 individuals.

The most prominent resolutions at the Santiago Meeting were approval of ASO based on the MoU and the foundation of the Ad Hoc Group. Prior to the Santiago Meeting, the other group led by carriers also submitted a proposal in addition to the above proposal for creating a MoU-based ASO led by regional Internet registries. With the adopted resolution, although ASO will be formed based on the proposal of regional Internet registries, forming an Ad Hoc Group as an related organization would incorporate opinions from common carriers and related industries. In this way, conflicts of interest of each group should be adequately balanced. In addition, since the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy for gTLD registrars was approved, creation of the resolution procedures concerning domain names and intellectual property advanced quickly.

Election of ICANN Trustees

Each of ICANN's supporting organizations (DNSO, ASO, PSO) had elected three Trustees by late October. Elected trustees are as follows.:

Address Supporting Organization (ASO):
  • Robert Blokzijl
  • Ken Fockler
  • Pindar Wong
Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO):
  • Amadeu Abril I Abril
  • Jonathan Cohen
  • Alejandro Pisanty
Protocol Supporting Organization (PSO):
  • Jean-Francois Abramatic
  • Vinton G. Cerf
  • Philip Davidson

ICANN Los Angeles Meeting

ICANN held a series of meetings in Los Angeles from November 2 to 4, including the first annual meeting at the board meeting held on November 4. A resolution concerning reorganization of the board was adopted. The Trustees elected in October to represent each organization were formally approved at this board meeting. Other resolutions adopted at the meeting include a decision regarding agreements between ICANN and the United States Department of Commerce and Network Solutions Inc., approval of recommendations by the task force at work on ICANN financing, approval of the Ad Hoc Group charter associated with ASO, and a resolution on the At-Large member system.

Agreements among ICANN and the United States Department of Commerceand Network Solutions, Inc.

The following five agendas were submitted concerning agreements between ICANN, the United States Department of Commerce, and Network Solutions.

  • Registry Agreement
  • Registrar Accreditation Agreement
  • NSI/Registrar License and Agreement
  • Amendment 19 to the NSI/U.S. Government Cooperative Agreement
  • Amendment 1 to the Memorandum of Understanding between ICANN and the United States Department of Commerce

It was approved that those agreements would be signed by the President of ICANN. These agreements were signed by the above three parties on November 10. All agreements were published on the following web site:

http://www.icann.org/nsi/nsi-agreements.htm

Task Force recommendations concerning ICANN funding.

On October 31, 1999, the ICANN Task Force on Funding, which is responsible for studying immediate measures to stabilize ICANN financing, presented the draft of their final report. The recommendation prescribed in this final report was adopted at the Los Angeles Board Meeting. The report sets forth budgets for the transitory period, budgetary procedures, worldwide allocation of budget contribution, and funding measures applied to gTLD registrars. Based on the above-mentioned Registry Agreement and Registrar Accreditation Agreement, the Board will work to implement the funding measures recommended in the report, which will be applied to gTLD registries and registrars.

The final report is published on the following web site:

http://www.icann.org/tff/final-report-draft-30oct99.htm

ASO-related Ad Hoc Group charter

While it was determined at the Santiago ICANN meeting that an Ad Hoc Group should be formed to engage in the study of IP addresses issues, the charter associated with the above study was approved at the Los Angeles meeting. In addition, it was decided that a dedicated ICANN public comment forum would be opened on ICANN's Web site. Additionally, an editional group, to be made up of a small number of members, will be formed to coordinate and contribute to this forum.

At-Large Members

At the Los Angeles meeting, the Board instructed the President/CEO to assemble a membership implementation task force that will create and enforce strategies for acquiring a wide range of members who represent Internet communities worldwide. In addition, the Board also indicated that the task force should develop a method for membership certification as well as an on-line election procedure, and to fulfill assignments as to enforcing the membership election system to be entrusted by the Board or the President.

ICANN Future Trends

As described, the Los Angeles meeting produced diverse outcomes, particularly significant of which was the agreement concluded between ICANN, Network Solutions, and the United States Department of Commerce. By defining the relationship of the involved parties, the legal status of ICANN has been clarified. Also, the relationship between registries and registrars, as well as with ICANN, regarding gTLD registration and access to the shared registry system, has become even more well-defined than ever before.

Future trends for ICANN that were brought to the public eye included agreements between each ccTLD registry and ICANN, and attracting At-Large members. The ccTLD Registry Constituency (see Note) of the DNSO is working on discussions about the specifics of the agreements. As JPNIC is also involved in this matter as the JP domain registry, we have been actively participating in discussions of the ccTLD Constituency and endeavoring to build a better contractual relationship with ICANN.

Solicitation of new At-Large members is likely to accelerate, looking toward the ICANN Africa Meeting which will be take place from March 7 to 9, 2000. However, no strategy has yet been devised to help achieve the target of more than 5000 At-Large worldwide members, a goal set at the Santiago Meeting. Intensive discussions are expected to be held by the Membership System Implementation Task Force.

JPNIC will continue to collect information concerning the above trends, and will provide information through newsletters, JPNIC Web pages and other media. We would also like to encourage participation in ICANN from Japan. ICANN is an important organization that maintains and coordinates the uniqueness of Internet resources, such as domain names, IP addresses, and protocols, on a global basis. It is not going too far to say that disunion of the Internet can be avoided and that ease of use for Internet users can be implemented as long as ICANN continues to function normally. We would appreciate any 'input' from users and ISPs in Japan, to help make ICANN function better.

Note: The ccTLD Registry Constituency is an aggregate of top level domain registries for each country code. Representatives are sent to the DNSO Names Council.

References

Resolutions Approved by the Board; Santiago Meeting, August 26, 1999
http://www.icann.org/santiago/santiago-resolutions.htm
Preliminary Report - Annual Meeting of the ICANN Board, November 4, 1999, Los Angeles
http://www.icann.org/minutes/prelim-report-4nov99.htm

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