[cc-humanrights] Considerations on next steps

Amr Elsadr aelsadr at egyptig.org
Tue Mar 17 19:42:04 UTC 2015


When the idea of a working party being established to deal with this issue was first suggested in Singapore, I was apprehensive. The lack of formality, and the light-weight nature of a working party didn’t seem appealing.

Since then, I’ve pretty much changed my mind. I think a light-weight working party with a mission very much consistent with what Jean-Jacques is suggesting is a good idea. Normally, in a GNSO PDP, GNSO Policy Staff scope the issues that will become a policy development process. Part of a final issues report that results from scoping the issues may be a suggested charter for a PDP working group. This is something I believe this working party can do. It can also solicit feedback on any work done using a public comments forum, at different stages in its work.

The text provided by Niels and Marilia seems like as good a place to start as any to me. The objective, IMHO, shouldn’t necessarily be to make recommendations to the ICANN board on how to integrate human rights principles in ICANN’s bylaws or the GNSO's operating procedures, but rather scope those issues out thoroughly in order to develop a draft charter that a more formal CCWG could hopefully adopt with ease. Considering that there are members of different ACs/SOs currently subscribed to this list, it should be relatively easy to determine the likelihood of ACs/SOs adopting any work coming out of this “Working Party”.

However, I would like to note something at this time. Contrary to what Jean-Jaques said, a CCWG does not necessarily need to be chartered by the GNSO as a whole. Although that would be desirable, a single Stakeholder Group (or more than one) within the GNSO could adopt a charter if any other SO or AC is willing to participate as a chartering organization. The CCWG-IG is an example of a CCWG that came into existence before the GNSO adopted a charter. It started off by being an initiative by the NCSG and ALAC. This was partly because the charter of the CCWG was adopted many months after the CCWG-IG actually began its work.

There is also currently a joint GNSO/CCNSO effort to develop a framework that could be readily used to charter a CCWG. Check out:




In terms of process, it might be worthwhile trying to sync the output of this group with whatever the other produces, so worth keeping an eye on.

I would be very happy if (hopefully not years from now) this group’s work eventually results in GNSO PDPs and policy recommendations that give human rights principles such as privacy, data protection and freedom of expression in ICANN’s contracts with registries and registrars the same level of importance and protection that trademark and IP interests are now granted.

But one step at a time.



On Mar 17, 2015, at 6:28 PM, Jean-Jacques Sahel <jean-jacques.sahel at icann.org> wrote:

> Dear all,
> Following on from discussions in Singapore, here are a few observations which we hope will help you in assessing next steps in your work around human rights.
> Overall, as a start we would encourage you to use this list as a tool to let the discussion mature, in particular regarding objectives, modalities and feasibility - as an informal “working party” if you will. To provide you with some further food for thought:
> ·      There is no particular definition of a “working party” as a formal structure within ICANN. To have a process established as a formal structure within ICANN it could either take the form of a Working Group (under the behest of any interested SO/AC), or a Cross-Community Working Group (with multiple SO/ACs as Chartering organizations) or as a Working Group instituted by the Board (like the Geographic Regions Working Group) or committees launched by the CEO (e.g. various discussion groups in the past).
> -       Before deciding on a particular structure, you need to be clear what the objective / scope is and from that, which mechanism is best suited to achieve them. It probably would be helpful that those interested in this effort would first define and agree on the objective and scope of such an effort, so as to help determine whether a CCWG or Working Group, or else such as a fact-finding ad hoc group, is the most appropriate mechanism for achieving the agreed objective. (The reason to set up a CCWG, for example, can be to assess the effectiveness of an existing procedure; or produce a fact-finding document; or a set of recommendations; first for SO/AC approval, then for submission to the ICANN Board).
> ·     You will also need to establish a specific methodology; first, you may want to consider here to do some fact-finding and agree on the focus of the work, so as to be able to start familiarising others in the community with the ideas and objectives at stake. This could eventually take the form of a charter or statement of work that interested parties could sign up to.
> -        As an example, should the objective / scope be to provide recommendations to the Board that are developed jointly by a number of SO/ACs, then you may want to consider pursuing a CCWG. This would require at a minimum two SO/ACs that would serve as the chartering organisations for such an effort. The formation of a CCWG is typically at the initiative of an SO/AC – the chair or representative of an SO/AC will approach the other SO/ACs to determine whether there is interest to form a CCWG on a particular topic. If so, a small number of representatives are requested to participate in the drafting team that is responsible for developing a charter. Once the drafting team has completed its work, the charter is submitted to all the interested SO/ACs for approval according to their own processes. (Based on recent experiences running CWG/CCWG, we have good illustrations available that can help as a starting point for any drafting effort). In order to charter a Cross-Community Working Group, two or more SO/ACs would need to adopt the charter. So for NCSG and ALAC for example, they would need to get the GNSO as a whole to support the process. As raised during the Human Rights workshop at ICANN52, SO/ACs deciding on the creation of new workstreams normally involves consideration of the current workload and priorities. You may also want to think of who could be the ‘champions’ of the issue across different SO/ACs, who can start organising the discussion in a more structured manner.
> -        Note that as mentioned above, there are also other (ad-hoc) mechanisms that could be pursued depending on the objective, such as a WG or discussion group.
> -        You will also want to take into account that in its Singapore Communique, the GAC resolved to create a dedicated working group to look at this issue. It will be important to make sure there is linkage / coordination with other initiatives that are ongoing or have commenced elsewhere on the subject. (from the GAC Communique: “9. International Law, Human Rights and ICANN - The GAC decided to establish a Working Group on Human Rights Issues and the Application of International Law as these matters relate to ICANN activities. The GAC will also monitor community developments and consider how any GAC initiatives can complement any such developments.”)
> All the best,
> Jean-Jacques
> Vice-President, Global Stakeholder Engagement (Europe & Civil Society)
> Tel: +44 77 400 73176
> Skype: jean-jacques.sahel.icann
> Email: jean-jacques.sahel at icann.org
> @pointjjs
> One World, One Internet
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