At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and regional leaders wrap up (Part 2)

10 Jul 2017 02:00h

Event report

Members of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and Regional At-Large Organisations (RALO) leadership discussed policy and process issues related to the At-Large Community, which represents the interests of end-users.

The session was chaired by Mr Alan Greenberg (Chair, ALAC).

Dr Rinalia Abdul Rahim (ICANN Board Member) discussed the priorities of the ICANN Board, which include:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): ICANN management is now thinking about how to comply with the European GDPR, and how to ensure that requirements for top-level domain (TLD) registries and domain name registrars comply with privacy and data protection rules.
  • The five-year plan. ICANN is now half way through the plan, the Board and community need to review the plan, to check its status, and see what changes need to be made. Participants were informed that the 2017/2018 fiscal year budget had been approved.
  • There is an on-going ICANN History Project aimed at preserving ICANN’s institutional memory by capturing stories from key figures who helped shape the organisation from its origins to date.
  • The ICANN Board has met with groups such as the Government Advisory Committee (GAC). The Board had also attended sessions such as: Empowered Community, Operational side of ICANN budget, Who sets ICANN priorities, etc.

Abdul Rahim encouraged the community to engage in annual planning for their respective constituencies to help manage the workload. Regarding the Empowered Community model, which is the mechanism through which ICANN’s Supporting Organisations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs) can organise themselves under California law to legally enforce community powers, Abdul Rahim responded that the legal department at ICANN has made sure that Board members are aware of the new setup. She noted that ‘ICANN is in a much better position now than it was before, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is process oriented, and the Board and community are supportive.’

Mr Leon Felipe Sanchez (Vice Chair, ALAC and incoming ICANN Board member) shared his perspective as an incoming Board member. He is currently going through on-boarding, a process of getting adjusted to the new Board position. So far, he says that the Board environment looks completely different from the inside. Since Sanchez was part of the Cross Community Working Group (CCWG) Accountability Work Steam 1 (WS1), he pushed to get the Board involved from the very beginning of the Internet Assigned Names Authority (IANA) stewardship transition process. He has committed to keep in touch with the At-Large Community, which elected him to the Board position.

Regarding the next meeting, ICANN60, Greenberg informed participants that two new travel slots had been approved. The grants would be awarded to people active in ICANN work (policy development). RALOs will be asked to nominate volunteers for a working group to establish criteria for the selection of candidates.

Greenberg expounded his view that there was reason to worry in regards to the high penalties associated with the GDPR. His major concern was whether privacy of individuals outweighs the privacy of other information. He mentioned that the privacy and data protection rules are not absolute; for example, when having name server information private, it does not help the global Domain Name Systems (DNS).

On the issue of new generic TLD auction proceeds, ICANN has made USD$240 000 000 from the auctioning of strings such as .webs, .web, .shop, .hotels, .baby, .dot, .salon, .vip, .tech, .buy, etc. Community members were asked to work on defining a mechanism for how the proceeds funds could be allocated.

During the debriefing of the meeting, Mr Yrjö Länsipuro (ALAC liaison to the Government Advisory Committee (GAC)) called on the participation of the At-Large Community in the discussions concerning the issue of geographic names. The GAC has formed a working group to examine the protection of geographic names in any future expansion of gTLDs. Greenberg confirmed the participation of the At-Large Community in the working group.