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Pre-ICANN61 Policy Report – GNSO

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What to Expect at ICANN61

The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) is the policymaking body responsible for generic top-level domains (gTLDs). Its members include representatives from gTLD registries, ICANN-accredited registrars, intellectual property interests, Internet service and connectivity providers, business, and noncommercial interests. The GNSO brings together these different stakeholders to develop gTLD policy recommendations using a bottom-up process, driven by working groups run by community volunteers.

The GNSO Council is expected to continue its strategic focus on policy development activities for 2018, as commenced during its Strategic Planning Session earlier this year. At ICANN61, the GNSO will advance Policy Development Processes (PDPs), coordinate with the wider ICANN community, and engage in a number of cross-community discussions. All ICANN community members are welcome to attend and participate in the face-to-face sessions of the different PDP Working Groups (WGs), as well as the GNSO Council and the GNSO community sessions.


At the end of January 2018, the GNSO Council held, for the first time, a three-day face-to-face strategic planning meeting. The principal aim was to think critically about "big picture" issues that are difficult to cover in the typical Council meeting. Through these discussions, the GNSO Council sought to better understand its role under ICANN's new bylaws as a decisional participant in the Empowered Community. It also explored possible changes that could help the Council to fulfill its responsibilities more efficiently, effectively, and collaboratively.

To continue the momentum from the January session, at ICANN61, the GNSO Council will deliver on its responsibilities as the manager of the GNS PDPs and a member of the Empowered Community. A number of sessions will be dedicated to GNSO working groups to progress work in specific areas of policy development.

The New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Subsequent Procedures PDP Working Group (WG) is making progress towards its Initial Report. The WG focused on the deliberations on a set of six overarching or foundational subjects, and sought the community's input on those subjects. Five separate work tracks (WTs) were established to address the remaining subjects identified in the WG's charter. WTs 1-4 have nearly concluded preliminary deliberations and have considered input and feedback received through public consultations. WT5, which is devoted solely to the issue of geographic names at the top -level, has completed its Terms of Reference and begun deliberations. At ICANN61, the WG will work to solidify the content for the Initial Report; WT5 will share an update about its progress and gather community input on key issues.

The Next-Generation Registration Directory Service (RDS) PDP WG is working toward reaching rough consensus agreements on key concepts concerning purposes for processing registration data elements. The key concepts include the collection and access to data elements beyond a Minimum Public Data Set. Specifically, the WG aims to achieve rough consensus on key concepts for which purposes and data elements must be supported by the RDS. It also aims to determine whether it is mandatory or optional to collect all identified data elements. The WG will then try to answer other charter questions for that universe of data elements, including users/purposes, access, and privacy. The WG will apply answers provided by both independent legal counsel and senior EU privacy experts concerning RDS compliance with data protection laws, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The WG will take into consideration efforts currently underway within the ICANN organization and the community to enable near-term WHOIS compliance with GDPR. As of the end of January 2018, 49 initial points of rough consensus had been reached during iterative and ongoing deliberation. The WG drafted an overall statement of purpose for registration data and directory services, which guided all initial agreements. The WG will hold two open meetings at ICANN61.

The Review of All Rights Protection mechanisms (RPMs) in All gTLDs PDP WG has begun work on reviewing the Uniform Rapid Suspension dispute resolution procedure (URS). It has reached preliminary agreement on a list of topics for evaluating the URS, derived from the original questions in the PDP charter and additional suggestions from the community. The WG is currently discussing whether and how to proceed with data extraction for evaluating URS cases. In the meantime, the WG is preparing to work with a professional survey designer to develop and conduct surveys seeking data and anecdotal input concerning the efficacy of the Sunrise and Trademark Claims services. In January 2018, ICANN launched a Request for Proposal (RFP) to seek one or more suppliers qualified to develop and conduct the required survey(s). Concurrently, a Working Group Sub Team continues to finalize guidance that will be provided to responding vendors during the interaction phrase of the RFP process. This Sub Team will also examine potential data needs in relation to preliminary agreed questions for examining Additional Marketplace RPMs offered on a voluntary basis by some registry operators. The WG will be holding four open meetings at ICANN61.

Meanwhile, the International Governmental Organization and International Non-Governmental Organization (IGO-INGO) Access to Curative Rights Protection Mechanisms PDP is entering the concluding phase of its work. The WG will meet at ICANN61 as it works towards the publication of its Final Report, with community comment to follow.

Read the GNSO Policy Briefing for more information.

Session Details

Please see the ICANN61 schedule for details about sessions related to GNSO activities, including:

PDP WG Meetings

Next-Generation RDS to Replace WHOIS
Saturday, 10 March | 08:30-12:00 | 104
Wednesday, 15 March | 15:15-18:30 | 103-B

New gTLD Subsequent Procedures
Saturday, 10 March | 12:15-15:00 | 104
Wednesday, 15 March | 08:30-10:15 | 104

Review of All RPMs in All gTLDs
Saturday, 10 March | 15:15-18:30 | 104
Sunday, 11 March | 17:00-18:30 | 208-BC
Thursday, 16 March | 08:30-10:15 | 103-A

IGO-INGO Access to Curative Rights Protection Mechanisms
Wednesday, 15 March | 17:00-18:30 | 103-A

GNSO Meetings

GNSO Working Session
Sunday, 11 March | 09:00-15:00 | 104

GNSO Council Public Meeting
Wednesday, 15 March | 13:00-15:00 | 104

GNSO Council Wrap-Up Session
Thursday, 16 March | 10:30-12:00 | 104

Cross Community Sessions Led/Co-Led by GNSO

A Walk in the Shoes of a New gTLD Registry Operator
Monday, 12 March | 13:30-15:00 | Ballroom A

Cross Community Working Group on New gTLD Auction Proceeds
Sunday, 11 March | 17:00-18:30 | 104
Thursday, 16 March | 08:30-10:15 | 104

Joint Meetings

GNSO Council and ICANN Board
Sunday, 11 March | 12:00-13:00 | 104

GNSO and Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)
Sunday, 11 March | 15:15-16:45 | Ballroom B

GNSO and Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) Councils
Monday, 12 March | 12:15-13:30 | 104