[bc-gnso] Dublin GAC Communique

Steve DelBianco sdelbianco at netchoice.org
Thu Oct 22 01:18:10 UTC 2015

Just published, here<https://gacweb.icann.org/display/gacweb/Governmental+Advisory+Committee?preview=/27132037/40632498/GAC%20Dublin%2054%20Communique.pdf> and key exceprts shown below:

V. Transition of US Stewardship of IANA and Enhancing ICANN Accountability

1. IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG)

The GAC took note of the activities being carried out by the ICG, and thanked the GAC Representatives in the ICG for their efforts.

2. Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG- Accountability)

The GAC recognizes that much progress has been made by the CCWG-Accountability in its ongoing work, and welcomes the CCWG’s achievements to date and supports the efforts to finalise its proposal for enhancing ICANN accountability as required for the IANA stewardship transition.

In assessing the specific accountability recommendations put forth so far by the CCWG- Accountability, the GAC considers that whatever the final outcome of this process may be, the new accountability framework to be agreed upon must preserve the current role of governments in ICANN.

The discussions on Stress Test 18 have helped the GAC to have a better understanding of the different views on the issue. In assessing the different rationales presented so far related to Stress Test 18, the GAC considered:

  *   The need that each and every Advisory Committee ensures that the advice provided is clear and reflects the consensus view of the Committee;

  *   The need that each and every Advisory Committee should preserve its own autonomy in its definition of consensus;

  *   The value the Board attributes to receiving consensus advice;

  *   The recommendation of the BGRI WG, as reiterated by the ATRT2, to set the threshold for the ICANN Board to reject GAC advice to a 2/3 majority voting, consistent with the threshold established for rejection of ccNSO and GNSO PDP recommendations.

In view of the above, having considered concerns expressed by various parties, the GAC agreed to further work on the issue of Stress Test 18, and to submit any further input to the CCWG taking into account the timelines of the CCWG. GAC Members will continue to work within the CCWG to finalise the proposal for enhancing ICANN accountability.

VI. Other GAC Discussions

1. Dot Africa

The GAC has reviewed the letter of 28 September 2015 from the Board Chair to the GAC Chair concerning the DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA) v. ICANN Independent Review Process; and will be responding in writing in the near future.

2. Three-Character Country Codes as TLDs in Future Rounds

The GAC has received a request from the Cross Community Working Group on the Use of Country and Territory Names as Top Level Domains for GAC input on the issue of possible use of 3-character country codes as TLDs in future rounds. The GAC is considering its response to this request and will liaise with the Working Group inter-sessionally. Several GAC members have indicated possible areas of concern and these will be discussed further within GAC and with the Working Group.

VII. GAC Advice to the ICANN Board2

1. gTLD Safeguards : Current Round

Consistent with its Buenos Aires Communiqué, the GAC is seeking a clear record of the ICANN Board’s acceptance or rejection of GAC Safeguard Advice. This would optimally be provided in the form of a scorecard that includes a) what elements of GAC advice have been implemented; b) what remains a work in progress; and c) what has not been accepted for implementation, with a clear rationale for not being accepted.

The GAC reiterates its advice that the New gTLD Program Committee create a list of commended Public Interest Commitment (PIC) examples related to verification and validation of credentials for domains in highly regulated sectors to serve as a model of best practices for gTLD registry operators. Such a compendium would also permit an assessment of the success of the PIC specifications for strings representing highly regulated sectors, and will also facilitate the incorporation of such safeguards into contracts in future new gTLD rounds.

In light of the current and upcoming reviews of the New gTLD program,

a. The GAC advises and urges the Board to:

develop and adopt a harmonized methodology for reporting to the ICANN community the levels and persistence of abusive conduct (e.g., malware, botnets, phishing, pharming, piracy, trademark and/or copyright infringement, counterfeiting, fraudulent or deceptive practices and other illegal conduct) that have occurred in the rollout of the new gTLD program.

The GAC was informed that independent studies presented during the ICANN 54 meeting on the review of the New gTLD round show a relatively low level of trust in these gTLDs by consumers compared to existing TLDs.

2. Future gTLD Rounds
The GAC advises the Board that:

before defining the modalities for future rounds, a rigorous assessment of all public policy related aspects of the current round should be undertaken, taking into account the advice given by the GAC on this subject since the beginning of the New gTLD process, including advice relating to community-wide engagement on the issues of communication to and access by developing countries and regions; and advice regarding past policy decisions taken by the Board to reserve the Red Cross and Red Crescent designations and names.

In this regard, the GAC expects that those elements of the current framework for new gTLDs that are considered appropriate by the GAC will remain and that the elements that are not considered satisfactory will be improved for subsequent rounds.

3. Protection for IGOs
The GAC advises the Board to:  facilitate the timely conclusion of discussions of the “small group” and the NGPC in an effort to resolve the issue of IGO protections.

4. Community Priority Evaluation
a. The GAC advises the Board that:

the GAC reiterates previously expressed concerns that the Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) process has not met the expectations of applicants and notes that all the successful applications are currently the subject of dispute resolution procedures;

the GAC expects the current specific problems faced by individual applicants to be resolved without any unreasonable delay, and in a manner in which justified community interests are best served;

iii. the GAC notes possibly unforeseen consequences for community applicants of recourse by competing applicants to other accountability mechanisms; and the specific challenges faced by some community applicants in auctions when in competition with commercial applicants;

5. Use of 2-letter Country Codes and Country Names at the Second Level

The GAC notes that the process for considering comments for two-character letter/letter labels launched on the 6th October 2015 is not consistent with GAC advice which recommended that governments ́ comments be fully considered. That advice was accepted by Board resolution 2015.02.12.16.

GAC Members have now been asked to clarify which specific TLDs their comments pertain to, and to explain how the release of the two-letter label will cause confusion with their corresponding country code. The GAC reiterates its advice on this issue and

a. advises the Board that:

comments submitted by the relevant Governments be fully considered regardless of the grounds for objection.

b. The GAC further advises the Board to:

be mindful of governments ́ capacity limitations and asks the Board to facilitate simplification of the process for providing comments to address their concerns.

c. With respect to new requests for release, the GAC advises the Board to:

  1.  task ICANN to work with the GAC Secretariat to address the technical issues with comment forms and in the interim

  2.  offer alternative means for comments.

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