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ICANN 52 Singapore Business Digest


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This Digest is designed to serve as a non-exhaustive review of highlights of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Public Meeting relevant to a variety of businesses stakeholders affected by ICANN’s work, presented in business friendly language.

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ICANN 52 Singapore Business Digest

  1. 1. ICANN 52 Singapore Business Digest
  2. 2. Why a Business Digest? This Digest is designed to serve as a non-exhaustive review of highlights of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (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 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. You can also listen to the pre-ICANN 52 webinar for business newcomers, designed to explain what happens at an ICANN meeting and the role of business sector constituencies, here. Feel free to join, participate, debate, engage, and provide feedback. Executive Summary The ICANN 52 public meeting took place in Singapore on 8-12 February 2015. The meeting featured 300 sessions delivered to more than 1,600 checked-in participants. ICANN 52 saw extensive community discussions on the Internet Assigned Names Authority (IANA) Stewardship Transition and Enhancing ICANN Accountability processes. The IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) held sessions reviewing proposals on how the IANA coordination role could serve its communities absent a contract with the U.S. government. Check out the latest proposals on the Stewardship page. Meanwhile, the Cross-Community Working Group on Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) examined how to strengthen accountability mechanisms so that when the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is no longer performing its current contractual role, ICANN remains accountable to the global community (this is also called Work Stream 1). The Board issued this statement at the end of ICANN 52. Other Key takeaways from the meeting:  The Global Domain Division (GDD) is proceeding with the New generic Top Level Domains (gTLD) Program reviews and is supporting new groups to address related technical issues such as Universal Acceptance.  The Board resolution regarding the release of two-character American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) labels at the second-level was of particular interest for private sector stakeholders.  As ICANN keeps growing, the issue of volunteer recruitment and retention becomes more and more central. This and more topics were discussed during a high-interest topic panel led by community leaders from different Supporting Organizations and Advisory committees. Are you new to ICANN? Start here:  ICANN 52 Newcomer Welcome Session  ICANN’s Newcomer Program  Take an introductory course on ICANN Learn
  3. 3. Acronyms ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange BRG – Brand Registry Group CBUC – Commercial and Business Users Constituency ccTLD – Country code Top-Level Domain CCWG – Cross-Community Working Group CSG – Commercial Stakeholder Group DNA – Domain Name Association DNS – Domain Name System DNSSEC – Domain Name System Security Extensions GAC – Governmental Advisory Committee GDD – Global Domains Division GNSO- Generic Names Supporting Organization gTLD – Generic Top-Level Domain IANA – Internet Assigned Numbers Authority IDN – Internationalized Domain Name IPC – Intellectual Property Constituency ISPCP – Internet Service Providers and Connectivity Providers Constituency RA – Registry Agreement SSAC – Security and Stability Advisory Committee UASG – Universal Acceptance Steering Group UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization For more help with Acronyms in this report, please see the ICANN Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Acronym Helper.
  4. 4. 1 Welcome Ceremony and President’s Opening Session Roundup Board Chair Steve Crocker opened the ICANN 52 Opening Ceremony by reaffirming ICANN’s commitment to international inclusivity, operational excellence, and corporate accountability. After highlighting new challenges posed by changing technologies and security threats, Crocker invited speakers to share perspectives on the upcoming transition of the IANA functions’ stewardship over the coming months. The Minister of Information and Communication of Singapore, Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim, was the first to speak. Dr. Ibrahim emphasized the importance of the Asia-Pacific region to the U.S. $42 trillion Internet economy and announced the creation of a new Cyber Security Agency. Dr. Ibrahim also pledged Singapore’s support to ICANN and the multistakeholder Internet community in the stewardship transition. Ira Magaziner, Chief Internet Policy Advisor to former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and Byron Holland, chair of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO), gave historical context to the evolution in stewardship. Magaziner explained that the U.S. government had long intended to give up its authority over ICANN, and recommended four tactics to ensure a successful transition: 1. ICANN must fulfill its specific purposes and not overreach its power. 2. The ICANN community needs more developing country presence. 3. ICANN must support the Internet’s roots as a bottom-up structure that encourages innovation, rebelliousness, and creativity. 4. ICANN must remain self-financing but not become a corporate giant. Instead, ICANN must make investments that serve Internet development. Other speakers included Jonathan Robinson, chairman of Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), Paul Wilson of the Number Resource Organization (NRO), Alan Barrett, Vice Chair of the Address Supporting Organization (ASO) Address Council, and Jari Arko of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). ICANN’s President and CEO, Fadi Chehadé, closed the ceremony by announcing his strategies for strengthening ICANN throughout the transition process:  Strengthening international confidence ICANN’s operations.  Diversifying ICANN’s multistakeholder community.  Maintaining ICANN’s roots in the global public interest.
  5. 5. 2 Global Domain Division Operations The work of GDD is important to companies who have applied for new gTLDs and also to those companies considering applying for one in a future round. Companies contemplating increasing their online presence by registering new names under gTLDs also follow their work closely. Akram Attalah, President of GDD, wrote a brief description of GDD sessions held in Singapore in his blog post, “Countdown to ICANN 52: Global Domains Division (GDD) Sessions.” Here are more details about some of the sessions and their topics:  Global Domains Division (GDD) Update This session is meant to provide high-level update on all GDD activities:  Security, Stability and Resiliency and Technical engagement  IANA Functions  Domain Name Industry Engagement  New gTLD Program  Operations and Costumer Support  Initiatives: IDNs, WHOIS, Universal Acceptance Before the next public meeting in Buenos Aires, ICANN will host the first contracted parties intersessional meeting in Los Angeles, continue the review of the New gTLD Program, and work to expand global customer service capabilities. Learn More: GDD  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.  Susanna Wong Bennett’s blog “Building Confidence in ICANN’s Operations” Read this blog post by ICANN COO to learn more about ICANN’s steps to improve its global services.  New gTLD Program: Status, Reviews and Next Round The New gTLD Program, one of the most important developments in the Internet space in recent years, continues to gain momentum: so far, almost 850 new Registry Agreements (RAs) for new gTLDs have been signed and over 530 strings have been delegated to the root of the Internet. Examples of strings delegated since ICANN 52 include .NISSAN, .EPSON, and .ORACLE.
  6. 6. 3 ICANN is currently focusing resources on a series of New gTLD Program reviews to evaluate the results of the Program in light of the original goals. We encourage you to take a look at the new Program Reviews page, where you will find relevant reports, drafts, and public comment fora, to participate in and support the activities that will help inform the development of the next round of the New gTLD Program. Full participation and input from the Internet community are key to making these reviews successful. Individual pages provide detail on each review area, including:  Program Implementation – A review of the efficiency and effectiveness of the implementation of the New gTLD Program  Security & Stability – A review of the New gTLD Program's impact on the DNS root system  Rights Protection – A review of the effectiveness of rights protection mechanisms such as the Trademark Clearinghouse, Uniform Rapid Suspension system, and Post- Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedures  Competition, Consumer Trust, and Consumer Choice (CCT) – A review under the ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments that will include consideration of the Program's impact in these areas, as well as the effectiveness of the Program's evaluation procedures and safeguard elements. Learn More:  Updated draft of the Work Plan for New gTLD Program Reviews and Assessments  New gTLD Program Statistics A snapshot of applications as they pass through program phases. Updated weekly.  Read Karen Lentz’s blog post: “Tracking the Future of the New gTLD Program”  New Program Reviews page  Public comment page for the Draft Report on Rights Protection Mechanisms Review The Draft Report seeks to provide an initial assessment of the effectiveness of the rights protection safeguards put in place to mitigate potential issues in the New gTLD Program. The public comment period on this review is open until 1 May 2015.
  7. 7. 4  Universal Acceptance: An Emerging and Important Issue The New gTLD Program has opened the door for more frequent additions of legitimate top- level domains in non-Latin alphabets, like Cyrillic, Arabic, or Mandarin. These new TLDs face acceptance problems because of software, tool or network configurations. The same acceptance problems may be encountered by longer strings with more letters. The cooperation of software vendors, open source tool developers, Internet service providers, website developers and others is required so that these new TLDs are available to all who wish to use them. There are three concerns to address:  Removing the "false positive" in filters preventing the use of new TLDs,  The ability to render (see and write) all names in the native script,  Achieve the intended level of safety and convenience in a rapidly changing DNS. A new Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) was formed by members of the ICANN Community with the support of ICANN and the Domain Names Associations (DNA). The purpose of the UASG is to guide the identification of topline issues and proposed solutions, as well as the creation and dissemination of best practices and general outreach information about Universal Acceptance. The UASG is envisioned to be an advocacy group rather than a policy oriented group. A small group of community members interested in Universal Acceptance convened at a workshop on Thursday 22 January 2015. The group discussed who should work on this issue, and how it should be dealt with. The workshop attendees engaged in conversations and ultimately formed sub-groups to discuss recommendations in advance of a public meeting at ICANN 52 in Singapore. A call for general membership to the Steering Group was announced at the ICANN Universal Acceptance meeting at ICANN 52 in Singapore, and there was affirmative community acceptance of these recommendations. The group is looking for broader multistakeholder participation to define its structure, formalize its charter, and to develop marketing and outreach plans. They group also seeks assistance in publicizing the Universal Acceptance issue among software vendors, open source tool developers, Internet services providers, and web site developers. Learn More: Universal Acceptance  ICANN's Universal Acceptance resources page This page provides overview and background of the Universal Acceptance Initiative as well as other useful links and FAQs.  Join the conversation at Discussion list to cover Universal Acceptance topics.  Read the UASG letter to the Board  The Universal Acceptance Repository for developers Open space on the DNA website to share Universal Acceptance resources, papers, contacts, and solutions.
  8. 8. 5 Security & Stability Matters SAC069 The SSAC held its public meeting on 12 February during which it provided an activities update on work completed in 2015, current and new work parties, and the recent publication relating to the IANA stewardship transition: SAC069: SSAC Advisory on Maintaining the Security and Stability of the IANA Functions Through the Stewardship Transition. Learn More: SSAC  List of SSAC Reports and Advisories Complete list of all documents published in different languages.  SSAC landing page on ICANN website Contains information on SSAC history and operations, membership and workings.  SSAC Public Meeting Get the ICANN 52 SSAC public meeting recording, transcript and presentation. DNSSEC Companies can help enhance security of the Internet by deploying Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC), because these extensions are more effective when universally implemented. Registries, registrars, registrants, hosting companies, software developers, hardware vendors, government, businesses and agencies with an Internet presence, and Internet technologists and coalitions all have responsibility for the success of this massive effort. ICANN 52 included a very popular, recurring session: DNSSEC for Everybody, plus a DNSSEC workshop. Learn More: DNSSEC  DNSSEC for Everybody -- A Beginner's Guide This session aims to demystify DNSSEC and show how you can easily and quickly deploy DNSSEC in your business.  DNSSEC Workshop This day-long session is designed for registries, registrars and ISPs who are already engaged in the deployment of DNSSEC to share best practices.  Verisign page on DNSSEC Adoption Benefits Useful Verisign microsite showing benefits of DNSSEC adoption for registries, registrars, and ISPs.  “2015 Will be a Good Year for DNSSEC” Web content and DNS hosting provider CloudFlare has announced that it is going to deploy DNSSEC across its platform. Read Rick Lamb’s blog about this topic and how this development will impact DNSSEC deployment.
  9. 9. 6 GAC Advice The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) Communiqué was issued on 11 February 2015. The GAC provided advice to the ICANN board on the New gTLD program review and assessment and the release of two-letter codes and country names at the second level.  The GAC views the Public Interest Commitments Dispute Resolution Procedure (PICDRP) as overly complex and potentially ineffective in addressing threats. To remedy this problem, the GAC recommends either refining the process or developing a “fast track” process for issues that involve serious risks of harm to the public.  The GAC advised the amendment of the current process for requests to release two- letter codes. Specifically, the GAC suggests the establishment of a notification system to alert relevant governments and the creation of a public database to inform whether individual GAC members intend to agree to all requests, review them case by case, or not agree to any. Other topics of discussion included:  The transition of U.S. stewardship of IANA and enhancing ICANN accountability.  Safeguards Advice Applicable to all new gTLDs and Category 1 (consumer protection, sensitive strings and regulated markets) and Category 2 (restricted registration policies) strings.  Independent Review Panel and dot Africa.  Internet security.  Internet governance. Lear More: GAC  To read the full GAC Singapore Communiqué, click here.  To view past GAC Communiques, click here.  To learn more about the GAC and its members, visit
  10. 10. 7 Internet Governance Landscape ICANN 52 served as an opportunity to review the activities taking place in the larger world of Internet governance beyond ICANN’s remit and ICANN’s interaction with those broader activities. The Internet Governance public session at this meeting was organized in collaboration with the community members form the Cross-Constituency Working Group (CCWG) on Internet Governance, and featured a more interactive format to allow participation from the session audience. The topics that the CCWG members decided to touch upon were:  The NETmundial initiative.  The WSIS+10 review process culminating in December 2015 at the United Nations.  The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and the renewal of its mandate.  The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) CONNECTing the Dots: Options of Future Action. Lear More: Internet Governance  Report on Internet Governance Activities since ICANN 51 This report, compiled by members of the ICANN Global Stakeholder Engagement team provides an overview of the Internet governance issues ICANN is actively engaged in.  UNESCO’s Internet Study: Keystone’s to foster inclusive Knowledge Societies UNESCO is currently collecting feedback on this draft study, which was the subject of the CONNECTing the Dots event mentioned above. The final version of the study will be presented during UNESCO’s General Conference in 2015 and will be submitted as input in the WSIS+10 review.  Internet Governance – Public Session Recording, transcript, and agenda from ICANN 52 public session.  CCWG on Internet Governance The CCWG on Internet Governance was created right after the ICANN 48 meeting in Buenos Aires (when the NETmundial meeting was announced) in order to have a cohesive ICANN community position among the various Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees as well as staff.
  11. 11. 8 Private Sector Participation Corner Advocacy Groups The Brand Registry Group (BRG) The BRG was born out of the desire of a number of major brands to have a unified voice to navigate the New gTLD Program. The BRG held a public session on Sunday to welcome potential new .brand applicants and those awaiting the second round of gTLDs to highlight the advantages of collective action. Members of the BRG, who must meet a set of criteria (including ownership of trademark rights and the intent at time of application to run the applied for string as a ‘.brand’ and not sell open registrations at the second level), include Alibaba, Amazon, BBC, Deloitte, Gucci, LEGO Juris, Microsoft, Philips, Richemont, Shell, Virgin Enterprises and Yahoo!. The BRG was particularly involved in the issues of the release of country names and two- character codes (e.g. Under Specification 5 of the base new gTLD RA, registry operators are required to reserve all two-character ASCII labels at the second- level. The RA also states that two-character label strings could be released to the extent that registry operators reach agreement with the related government and country‐ code manager of the string. Effective 1 December 2014, after a series of public comment periods, GAC recommendations and a Board resolution, ICANN published a general authorization for release of all non-Letter/Letter two-character ASCII labels for all new gTLD Registry Operators. After a series of new consultations with various stakeholders prior to ICANN 52, the Board passed a new resolution accepting advice included in the ICANN 52 GAC Communiqué that brought alterations to the Authorization Process. Learn More: BRG  Brand Registry Group (BRG) Potential Members Meeting ICANN 52 public session.  BRG Statement to ICANN 52 Singapore BRG’s position regarding the release of two-character ASCII labels.  Two-character labels webpage Background, details, and information about Authorization Process for Release of Two-Character ASCII Labels. The Domain Name Association The DNA is the first ever industry trade group to represent the interests of the entire domain name industry and will promote, advance and support the common interests of the industry with regards to the provisioning, expanded adoption and use of domain names. The DNA membership is diverse in terms of geography and in terms of business segments and expertise represented. The association is very involved in the topics of registry-registrar cooperation and Universal Acceptance. Learn More: DNA  Domain Name Association Registry-Registrar Operations WG  Domain Name Association Members Breakfast
  12. 12. 9 Commercial Stakeholder Group Constituencies of the GNSO 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. In Singapore the CSG met with the ICANN Board to discuss ICANN’s top enterprise risks, and all three constituencies had informal meeting with ICANN staff to discuss outreach. Commercial and Business Users Constituency (CBUC) The Commercial and Business Users Constituency (also known as the CBUC, the Business Constituency, or BC) public meeting included presentations from the ICANN Finance and Compliance teams. The group discussed at length about several policy issues, including the New gTLD Program review, WHOIS, and release of country/territory names for brand gTLDs, as well as the IANA Stewardship transition and Enhancing ICANN Accountability processes. Learn More: BC  BC Website Get more information about BC mission, membership, and meetings.  BC Newsletter February 2015 Overview of BC interest topics for the Singapore meeting. Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) It was a big meeting for the IPC, as the group finalized the election of new president Greg Shatan and recognized the work of outgoing president Kristina Rosette. The IPC session featured presentations on contractual compliance, ICANN’s operating plan, and the New gTLD Program review. The group also spent time discussing Public Interest Commitments (PICs), which are voluntary amendments that applicants can create, sign, and undertake along with the general RA in order to hold their registry operations to certain standards. Learn More: IPC  IPC Website For IPC information, position statements and news. Internet Service Provider & Connectivity Providers Constituency (ISPCP) The ISPCP meeting focused primarily on the IANA Stewardship Transition and ICANN Accountability processes. Part of the agenda was used to cover the topic of Universal Acceptance, as one of the ISPCP members, Christian Dawson is a member of the newly formed UASG. The ISPCP also explore outreach strategies to attract new members and spread the word on topics of importance to their community. Learn More: ISPCP  ISPCP Website For ISPCP mission, membership, policy resources and statements.
  13. 13. 10 Stay Connected and Engage ICANN Fellowship Program 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 50 Fellows for ICANN 53 in Buenos Aires were recently announced and the group includes 4 people from the business sector. The application period for the ICANN 54 public meeting to be held in Dublin meeting will be open from 3 April 2015 until 15 May 2015. We encourage participation of people from the private sector. Learn More: Fellowship Program  Fellowship Program Resources page Find all the information you need on the program, its alumni, fellowship rounds and FAQs.  ICANN Fellowship Application Learn how to apply to the ICANN Fellowship Program. ICANN Online Learning Platform ICANN Learn was launched during ICANN 48. This free and open online learning platform is meant to provide introductory information for new participants and 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. Introductory courses for business participants are in development and will be available in 2015. Go to, 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  SlideShare
  14. 14. 11 Helpful Infographics (click to enlarge) IANA Functions Trademark Protection Domain Name Industry