ICANN 49 Business Digest


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This Digest is designed to serve as a non-exhaustive review of highlights of the ICANN Public Meeting relevant to a variety of businesses stakeholders affected by ICANN’s work, presented in business friendly language. Please provide feedback and comments to the ICANN Business Engagement Team at businessengagement@icann.org.

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ICANN 49 Business Digest

  1. 1. ICANN 49 Singapore Business Digest
  2. 2. Why a Business Digest? This Digest is designed to serve as a non-exhaustive review of highlights of the ICANN Public Meeting relevant to a variety of businesses stakeholders affected by ICANN’s work, presented in business friendly language. Please provide feedback and comments to the ICANN Business Engagement Team at businessengagement@icann.org. In order to keep interested businesses informed about ICANN’s work, Internet governance and the business world’s participation, this business digest is complemented by two online spaces meant to inform and exchange ideas on an ongoing basis with interested business leaders: the Twitter feed @ICANN4biz and the LinkedIn group ICANN for Business. Feel free to join, participate, debate, engage, and provide feedback. Executive Summary The ICANN 49 public meeting took place in Singapore, 23-27 March 2014. With over 2,000 online registrations and 1,940 checked-in participants the event was a great success for the ICANN team running the Singapore operational hub. This was not the first ICANN public meeting that was held in Singapore. As a matter of fact, the very first ICANN meeting, as well as ICANN 41 in 2011, were hosted in the same location. This was, however, the first meeting after the establishment of the ICANN Singapore hub in August 2013. The Singapore hub demonstrates ICANN’s commitment to the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, with 8 staff in the city and a total of 14 staff around the region, a number that’s sure to grow in the coming years. ICANN 49 was a historic public meeting. It launched a process to gather the community's views and proposals to address the United States’ government announcement of plans to transition stewardship of the IANA functions - the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority that ICANN coordinates - to the global multistakeholder community. The draft proposal document based on initial community feedback was posted on the ICANN website only days after the Singapore meeting, on 8 April 2014. To ensure that the eventual proposal is community-driven and enjoys broad support, ICANN is committed to collecting and incorporating input and feedback from the global stakeholder community. Input and feedback can be sent at any time by posting on the ianatransition@icann.org mailing list. Here are some key takeaways:  Building on the success of business programming for ICANN 48, the business engagement team worked closely with the APAC regional engagement team to organize several events targeted at the vibrant local business community, to help explain ICANN’s work and how it supports business success.  With the New generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) Program in its implementation phase, Name Collision issues and last resort auctions are at the center of the discussion. ICANN 49 was the place for applicants and new registries to discuss the evolution of the New gTLD Program with staff and hear about best practices for running registries.  ICANN 49 was a crucial meeting for brands who applied for new gTLDs, thanks to the adoption of Specification 13 to the new gTLD Registry Agreement (RA), available to Registry Operators that operate a TLD that ICANN recognizes as a ".Brand TLD."  Internet Security and Stability issues came to the fore, especially in the context of the transition of stewardship of the IANA functions. Issues such search list processing and Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS) are particularly relevant to businesses as they may impact the functionality of their networks.
  3. 3. Acronyms APAC – Asia Pacific BGC – The Boston Consulting Group BCUC – Business and Commercial Users Constituency ccTLD – Country code Top Level Domain name CSG – Commercial Stakeholder Group DDoS – Distributed Denial of Service DNS – Domain Name System DNSSEC – Domain Name System Security Extensions GAC – Governmental Advisory Committee GDD – Global Domain Division GNSO- Generic Names Supporting Organizations gTLD – Generic Top-Level Domain name IANA – Internet Assigned Numbers Authority IDN – Internationalized Domain Name ISIF – Information Society Innovation Fund IPC – Intellectual Property Constituency ISPCP – Internet Service Providers and Connectivity Providers Constituency RA – Registry Agreement SSAC – Security and Stability Advisory Committee For more help with Acronyms in this report, please see the ICANN GNSO Acronym Helper.
  4. 4. 1 Local Beginnings: Spotlight on Singapore and the Region The opening ceremony of the Singapore meeting saw the participation of two representatives of the Singaporean government: Mr. Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive and Director General of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and Chairman of the Singapore Network Information Center (SGNIC), and Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim, Singapore's Minister of Communications and Information. Here are some interesting Singapore Internet figures they shared:  Projected IT spending in 2014 is forecasted to exceed U.S. $20 billion, an increase of almost 4.4% over 2013.  About 84% of Singapore's households have access to broadband. Mobile penetration rate stands at 156%, and a majority of these mobile subscribers have at least a 3G connection and 24% are already on a 4G connection.  80% of enterprises in Singapore have broadband connectivity, with about 46% having a Web presence.  Singapore’s next generation nationwide broadband network offers ultra high‐speed high fiber broadband connectivity of up to one gigabyte per second to over 95% of homes and businesses.  Competition amongst retail service providers has brought the price of one gigabyte per second to less than U.S. $40 per month for the consumer.  For businesses, the high‐speed fiber broadband will lower connectivity costs for data centers and boost throughputs. As a result of its connectivity to the world, Singapore is host to some 7,000 multinational companies who use Singapore as a hub to support their work in Asia.  With and e-friction score of 31, Singapore ranks as the 15th country in the world in terms of frictionless Internet development. This indicator was defined in a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BGC) and commissioned by ICANN. The BCG report, titled “Greasing the Wheels of the Internet Economy”, finds four types of friction that prevent countries from realizing the Internet's full potential: 1. Infrastructure‐related, 2. Industry‐related, 3. Individual friction, 4. Information- related. The ICANN APAC team organized a series of events catered specifically to stakeholders in the region: Pre-ICANN49 DNSSEC Training, SME Business Conference, “The Internet & Your Business”, DNS Forum Session, Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF) Asia Presentation on IT Projects for development in the Asia Pacific region, ICANN’s engagement in Asia Pacific – a report on the engagement strategy and activities of the APAC Hub. The business engagement team worked closely with the regional engagement team and regional stakeholders to conduct strategic outreach and preparation for the meeting. You can listen to the pre-ICANN 49 webinar for business newcomers, designed to explain what happens at an ICANN meeting and which business sector constituencies are active in policy development, here.
  5. 5. 2 Welcome Ceremony and President’s Opening Session Roundup The ICANN 49 opening session began with ICANN Board Chairman Dr. Steve Crocker presenting a short video tribute to the formal approval of the New gTLD Program by the ICANN Board of Directors during the last ICANN meeting in Singapore, ICANN 41, in July 2011. Dr. Crocker briefly talked about the news of the transition of the US Government stewardship of the IANA functions. Dr. Crocker welcomed Mr. Leong Keng Thai and Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim from the Singaporean Government, who discussed Singapore’s very advanced position in the field of ICTs as well as their plans to protect and develop further the Internet infrastructure of the country. Yu-Chuang Kuek, ICANN Vice President of Stakeholder Engagement for Asia, took the stage to present the ISIF awards. ISIF recognizes important contributions to ICT innovation across four categories: 1. Innovation on access provision; 2. Innovation on learning and localization; 3. Code for the common good; 4. Rights. ICANN CEO and President Fadi Chehadé also took the stage and, reflecting on the 2 years of his tenure, showed the audience what topics are at hand, what is ahead, and where ICANN must focus in order to be successful in the phase ahead. This starts with the core operations of ICANN:  Global Domains Division (GDD)  Global Stakeholder Engagement (GSE)  ICANN and IANA Globalization  Global Internet Governance Fadi elaborated on a few crucial points, which are going to shape the future of the Internet ecosystem overall. Regarding ICANN and IANA globalization, he specified the difference between the transition of the IANA stewardship to the global multistakeholder community and the future of ICANN’s global accountability once the current ICANN Contract for the IANA Functions comes to and end in 2015. While on the topic of global Internet governance, he described the work and aims of the High-Level Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms and the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance (NETmundial).
  6. 6. 3 Global Domain Division Operations The work of the Global Domain Division of ICANN is important to companies who have applied for new generic Top Level Domains, and also to those companies contemplating applying for one in a future round. Companies contemplating evolving their online presence by registering new names under gTLDs available to them also follow their work closely. With over 175 new gTLDs having been delegated, ICANN 49 in Singapore provided a venue for applicants and new registries to discuss the evolution of the New gTLD Program with ICANN staff, and to hear about best practices for running registries. Sessions were presented on topics like Auction Implementation, Name Collision, Registry Onboarding and Ongoing Operations, and more. Here is the list with links to all Global Domain Division (GDD) sessions at ICANN 49:  New gTLD Program Update  Name Collision  Registration Directory Services: Now and the Future  New GTLD Program Auctions  TLD Universal Acceptance  Exploring Replacements for WHOIS – The Next Generation Directory Services  TLD Launch Process Experiences and Registry Onboarding  IDN Variant TLDs Program  TLD Registry – Ongoing Operation  2013 RAA FAQs  Supporting the DNS Industry in Underserved Regions  IDN Root Zone LGR Public Workshop – Integration & Generation Panels For a brief description of each session, read the blog post, “ICANN 49: Singapore – Global Domains Division (GDD) Sessions,” by Akram Atallah, President of ICANN's Global Domains Division. Learn More: GDD and the New gTLD Program  GDD Webinars ICANN hosts a variety of webinars on New gTLD Program topics. View the recordings, listen to the audio and/or download the presentations and Q/A documents. You can also find out when upcoming webinars will take place.  Announcements Get the most current information on the New gTLD Program, including Contracting statistics.  New gTLD Program Statistics A snapshot of applications as they pass through Program phases. Updated weekly. Topics of particular interest to ICANN49 attendees include: Specification 13, Auctions, Name Collision and Trademarks Protection. Each of these topics is described below.
  7. 7. 1 Specification 13 After months of work in collaborative work with the Community, ICANN published the process to qualify for Specification 13 on 14 April 2014. Download the application form. The Brand Registry Group played a crucial role in defining and drafting the Specification. To learn more about the group, visit their website and listen to, or read the transcript of their session at ICANN 49. Specification 13 provides limited accommodations to registry operators of TLDs that qualify as “.Brand TLDs.” For example, a .Brand TLD would not face the same requirements as other registries related to their relationship with registrars. As many as one-third of all new gTLD applications might qualify as .Brand TLDs. ICANN posted a draft of the proposed Specification 13 to the 2013 Registry Agreement for public comment on 6 December 2013. The final draft was submitted for consideration to the New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) of the ICANN Board, and approved during ICANN 49 in Singapore. Learn More: Specification 13  Summary and Analysis of Specification 13 Public Comments Read the blog post by Cyrus Namazi, VP, Domain Name System (DNS) Industry Engagement for ICANN.  Specification 13 FAQ Auctions for New gTLD Contention Sets Since only one registry can operate each new gTLD, there are a number of mechanisms to resolve the situation where more than one party has applied for the same TLD or string. ICANN encourages registries competing for the same string to resolve contentions amongst themselves. New gTLD Program Auctions are the method of last resort to resolve string contention. The community was involved in the discussions that defined Auctions, and other Program elements in the Applicant Guidebook. Preliminary Auction Rules were published on 1 November 2013, and were later revised to incorporate community feedback. An updated version of the Auction Rules was published and made available for public comment on the ICANN website in December 2013. 23 comments were submitted prior to the end date in February 2014, and the Report of Public Comments was published on 5 March 2014. These comments, along with concerns raised by the New TLD Applicants Group (NTAG) during ICANN 49 Singapore, were used to finalize the Auctions Rules and Bidder Agreement. New gTLD applicants must execute the Bidder Agreement prior to participating in a New gTLD Program Auction, and must abide by the Auction Rules. Learn More: Auctions  New gTLD Auctions Webpage The most up to date information about Auctions. Learn the basics or visit the Auctions Resources section for New gTLD applicants to download documents such as the Auction Rules, Bidder Agreement, Bidder Forms, and Auction Schedule.
  8. 8. 2 Name Collision Companies and their network operators should be aware that their internal networks may be affected by the delegation of new gTLDS, if networks have been configured in a way that makes them susceptible to “Name Collision.” A name collision occurs when an attempt to connect to a name extension used in a private name space (e.g., on an internal network, use of a non-delegated Top-Level Domain or a short, unqualified name) results in a query to the public DNS. When the administrative boundaries of private and public namespaces overlap, searches for Internet addresses may generate unintended or harmful results. In May 2013, ICANN commissioned a study to explore the scope and risk of name collision in relation to new gTLDs. A series of proposals and public comment periods followed, resulting in the New gTLD Collision Occurrence Management Plan, the selection of a lead for creating a "Name Collision Occurrence Management Framework," in cooperation with the community, and the publication of Alternate Path to Delegation Reports for all but 25 new gTLD strings. The alternate path to delegation gives applicants the possibility to proceed without waiting for their Name Collision Occurrence Assessment by adopting conservative collision mitigation measures and initially blocking a selection of domains while the assessment is conducted. On 26 February 2014, ICANN published an independent report by JAS Advisors titled “Mitigating the Risk of DNS Namespace Collisions.” The report offered a set of concrete recommendations on how to mitigate potential risks of domain name collisions ICANN has been actively conducting outreach on the issue of name collision since summer of 2013. These efforts have resulted in media coverage in 14 countries and 6 languages, as well as connecting with over 100 IT industry associations around the world to notify them, and their constituents, of the potential issue. These efforts were amplified through social media outreach via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Learn More: Name Collision  Name Collision information and resources hub on the ICANN website.  Contact GDD-Communications@icann.org to receive the Name Collision Information kit.  Join a public mailing list: o Name Collision Mitigation Measures o Name Collisions Analysis Coordination Trademarks Protection Every business with a trademark, or concerns about the use of its names and marks on the Internet, needs to be aware of how to safeguard these assets. There are several tools at their disposal. New gTLD Program Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPM) include both proactive and reactive measures for defending Trademarks. This helpful infographic addresses uses of the Trademark Clearinghouse, Uniform Rapid Suspension System, and Trademark Post- Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure. These are among the most innovative and important mechanisms developed as part of the New gTLD Program that will help advance rights protections in the DNS. Entities with trademarks should consider recording those marks with the Trademark Clearinghouse as a first line of defense against rights infringement online.
  9. 9. 3 Security & Stability Matters Security and stability of the DNS were a constant theme of ICANN 49, especially as they relate to the globalization of the IANA functions. The Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) held their public session on March 27. Patrik Fältström, SSAC Chairman, discussed their two latest reports: SAC064 on Search List Processing, and SAC065 on DDoS Attacks Leveraging DNS. Search List Processing Advisory SAC064 was published on 13 February 2014. The advisory examines how current operating systems and applications process search lists. The advisory outlines the issues related to the current search list behavior, and proposes both a strawman to improve search list processing in the long term and mitigation options for ICANN and the Internet community to consider in the short term. Processing search lists was weakly standardized in early Requests For Comments (RFCs) and implemented in most operating systems. However, as the Internet has grown, search list behavior has diversified. Applications (e.g. web browsers and mail clients) and DNS resolvers process search lists differently. In addition, some of these behaviors present security and privacy issues to end systems that can lead to performance problems for the Internet, and might cause collision with names provisioned under the newly delegated top-level domains. DDoS Attacks and the DNS Advisory SAC065 was published on 18 February 2014. It explores several unresolved critical design and deployment issues that have enabled increasingly large and severe DDoS attacks using the DNS. The SSAC notes in its advisory that while DDoS attacks can exploit multiple characteristics of network infrastructure and operations, the prevalence and criticality of the DNS means that securing it is both challenging and urgent. These unresolved DNS issues and related DDoS attacks pose a real and present danger to the security and stability of the Internet. The SSAC strongly recommends that all types of DNS operators and network operators take immediate steps to address design and deployment issues that make large scale DDoS attacks possible. These attacks have been growing in size over time, and are disrupting individual businesses, entire networks, critical applications and services, and entire countries. The scale of attacks will continue to grow if the Internet community takes no further action. DNSSEC Companies can help enhance security of the Internet by deploying DNSSEC. The SSAC conducted its usual sessions on the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC):  DNSSEC for Everybody -- A Beginner's Guide.  DNSSEC Workshop. For a complete list of SSAC Reports and Advisories click here.
  10. 10. 4 GAC Advice The ICANN 49 Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) Communiqué was issued on 27 March 2014. The GAC discussed the Brand Registry Group proposal for a streamlined process under an addendum to the RA for the approval of country names and 2‐letter and character codes at the second level (country.brand e.g. de.bmw). The GAC suggested that brand owners seek approval for such names directly with the countries concerned. Additionally, to ease the process for .Brand applicants, the GAC proposed the creation of a register of countries that do not require individual requests. Regarding new gTLDs, the Communiqué welcomed the report that an agreement has been reached between the city of Spa, Belgium and one of the applicants for .SPA, and expressed concern about the timing for a decision on the .AMAZON string. The GAC supported the government of India's request not to proceed with the .INDIANS string as well as the .RAM string for matters of religious sensitivity. Finally, the GAC reiterated its advice about the potential consumer harm and confusion caused by admitting singular and plurals of the same word and its earlier advice to protect International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) as well as terms associated with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. You can read the entire document here: Singapore GAC Communiqué. To view the content of all other GAC meetings click here.
  11. 11. 5 Internet Governance Landscape With the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of the Internet Governance approaching, the Singapore meeting offered some public sessions to discuss Internet governance issues and provide coordination space for the community to plan their participation at the São Paulo meeting:  ICANN and Global Internet Governance: The Road to São Paulo, and Beyond – This one-day event, organized by the Non Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC), was meant to provide an opportunity for intensive cross-community dialogue on the main substantive topics likely to be addressed at NETmundial. The program for the day included discussions on the Meeting’s agenda, Internet governance principles, and roadmap for ecosystem evolution.  Cross-Community Working Group on Internet Governance (CCWG) at NETmundial - On 9 March 2014, the CCWG produced and submitted a contribution to the NETmundial meeting. This session was an occasion to gather community comments and feedback on the submission. The document is posted for public comment until 21 May 2014. You can read more about the CCWG on Internet governance here.  Update on Internet Governance Issues – This session provided information about upcoming events and ongoing initiative going on in the Internet governance space. Specifically: the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Istanbul, the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation (WGEC), and the regional coordination work for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10) Review process. You can read the Brazil Meeting outcome document, the NETmundial Multistakeholder Statement, and get more information at www.netmundial.br.
  12. 12. 6 Constituencies’ Corner As always, the GNSO Commercial Stakeholder Group (CSG) and its constituencies held active discussions on an array of ICANN topics. The CSG represents the views of business users and connectivity providers; its mission is to ensure ICANN policy and ICANN contracts are consistent with the development of an Internet that is a safe place for business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions and communications to take place based on high levels of business, user and consumer confidence. Commercial and Business Users Constituency (BC) The BC meeting featured discussion on the ICANN Strategy Panels reports as well as new gTLDs issues faced by business such as issues with premium lists, pre-registrations, and announcements of Sunrise, among others. Internet governance issues were also part of the agenda as the constituency members discussed the role and participation of the private sector at the NETmundial meeting. Finally, the session included a meeting with ICANN staff on how to improve outreach. To learn more about these issues relevant to all businesses with a presence on the Internet, visit www.bizconst.org contact info-bc@icann.org. Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) The IPC session included various briefings with ICANN staff members on topics ranging from TLD start up issues, new gTLD reviews, WHOIS accuracy, and contractual compliance. You can learn more about the IPC and its work by visiting www.ipconstituency.org. Internet Service Provider & Connectivity Providers Constituency (ISPCP) The ISPCP addressed a number of ICANN developments, including the implications of the announcement of the transition of the stewardship of IANA functions, Internet governance fora, and the ICANN Strategy Panels. The ISPCP has ongoing concerns about domain name collisions and the implications of IDN Variant TLDs. Outreach activities were also part of the ISPCP meeting agenda, specifically plans to hold events with ISP CEOs and targeted outreach for the ICANN 50 public meeting in London. Read more about ISPCP activities, visit www.ispcp.info or contact secretariat@ispcp.info.
  13. 13. 7 Additional Resources and Useful Information ICANN 51 Los Angeles Fellowship Application Round Open The ICANN Fellowship Program seeks participants from developing regions and countries of the world, in order to help create a broader base of knowledgeable constituents who will become the voice of experience in their regions. The program is now accepting applications for the ICANN 51 meeting in Los Angeles, USA and we encourage participation of people from the private sector: apply here. This application period remains open until 30 May 2014. ICANN Online Learning Platform ICANN Learn was launched during ICANN 48. This free and open online learning platform is meant to provide a space to provide introductory information for new participants and to share institutional knowledge, in order to increase the base of informed ICANN stakeholders. ICANN Learn needs input and feedback to ensure the platform is as useful as possible. Go to learn.icann.org, create an account, enroll in a few courses, and start learning. Learn More:  Monthly update on ICANN Policy Developments.  ICANN Newsletters and alerts.  Follow us on social media:  Twitter: @ICANN4biz.  LinkedIn group: ICANN for Business.