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[council] BRIEFING NOTE - Overall summary of the Paris meeting

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  • Subject: [council] BRIEFING NOTE - Overall summary of the Paris meeting
  • From: Glen de Saint Géry <Glen@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2008 11:18:07 -0700
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  • Thread-topic: BRIEFING NOTE - Overall summary of the Paris meeting

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BRIEFING NOTE - Overall summary of the Paris meeting

What was it?

ICANN’s 32nd international public meeting was one of three held annually to 
conduct policy development and outreach. It was hosted by ICANN (the Internet 
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and Agifem, a non-profit 
organization made up of several French Internet companies and organizations.

The meeting was opened by the Eric Besson, France’s Minister of State for 
forward planning, assessment of public policies, and development of the digital 

1,672 people participated from 166 different countries, making this ICANN’s 
biggest ever meeting. The participants engaged in a wide range of discussions 
about the Internet’s domain name system and related issues.

Further information about the meeting, including presentations and transcripts, 
is available at http://par.icann.org/.

ICANN’s next international public meeting will take place in Cairo, Egypt, 
beginning on 3rd November, 2008.

What happened and what are the next steps?

Many meetings, workshops, public forums and informal discussions were held over 
six days by the different stakeholders of the ICANN model:
• business interests
• civil society
• governments and government agencies
• Internet service providers
• registrants
• registrars
• registries
• the technical community

Several key issues and themes evolved over the course of the meeting. They are 
summarized below.
New gTLDs

ICANN’s Board of Directors took a significant step forward on the introduction 
of new generic top-level domains (new gTLDS - extensions to the domain name 
system in addition to, for example, .COM or .INFO). The Board approved the 
policy recommendations on new gTLDs developed by the GNSO, ICANN’s policy 
development arm for the generic name space. The Board directed ICANN staff to 
further develop and complete a detailed implementation plan.

New generic top-level domains were a featured topic of conversation during the 
meeting. The week began with a dedicated two-and-a-half-hour interactive 
session where experts from different industries and sectors around the world 
shared a diversity of views about the potential changes to the Internet as the 
New gTLD Program is launched. The workshop was presented with MARQUES, the 
Association of European trademark owners, which represents trademark owners’ 
interests before EU and other international bodies.

ICANN staff updated the community on how new gTLDs may be implemented, 
including a timeline and recent steps taken to address potential disputes. 
Similar updates were presented to the various stakeholders including the GNSO 

New gTLDs were also discussed at the Public Forum, later in the week. During 
the meeting, a number of suggestions for new gTLDs also emerged. The 
discussions on new gTLDs were the subject of worldwide and widespread press 
coverage including by BBC, CNN, NBC, Les Echos, Business Week, Le Monde, 
Liberation, The Times of London, the Financial Times, and other media outlets 
all over the world.

More information is available on ICANN’s new gTLDs page 
(http://www.icann.org/topics/new-gtld-program.htm). This web page includes a 
factsheet on the topic written in plain language and accessible to a general 

Next steps:
The Board approved the policy recommendations on new gTLDs, drawn up by the 
GNSO, and directed ICANN staff to further develop and complete a detailed 
implementation plan.

Before the new gTLD introduction process is launched, the Board will be given a 
final version of the implementation proposals of the proposed process after a 
community review.

More information:
More information can be found online at: 

IDNs and IDN Fast Track

Much of the discussion about Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) during the 
Paris meeting centered on the work of the IDNC Working Group (IDNC WG). The 
IDNC WG was chartered by the Board at its November 2007 meeting. Its 
participants were appointed by the following supporting organizations and 
advisory committees of ICANN: the Country Code Names Supporting Organization 
(ccNSO), GNSO, Government Advisory Committee (GAC), At-Large Advisory Committee 
(ALAC) and Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC).

The group has been working on the issue of an accelerated introduction of IDNs 
(the “fast track”) where specific, non-controversial country-code top-level 
domains in non-Latin scripts could be approved and added to the Internet’s root 
without having to wait for the full approval process to be finalized.

The IDNC WG released its draft final report on the feasibility of this approach 
for public comment two weeks prior to the Paris meeting. The report provided a 
number of high-level recommendations and received broad approval from the ccNSO 
and the GAC.

On the broader topic of IDNs, the Director of the IDN Program, Tina Dam, gave 
updates to the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, describing 
progress on technical and other IDN implementation issues. IDNs were discussed 
at the Public Forum, and a progress update was also given on the final day of 
the meeting.

Of particular interest was how finalization of the IDNA protocol revision would 
impact top-level IDN domains, in particular when and how they will be 

Next steps:
The Board asked the IDNC WG final report to be posted for public comment and 
asked staff to produce a detailed report on implementation issues, following 
consultation with the community, in time for the next meeting in Cairo in 
November 2008.

More information:
More information can be found online at: 
http://ccnso.icann.org/workinggroups/idnc-charter.htm and at 

Improving Institutional Confidence

The Paris meeting saw the release of three documents from the President’s 
Strategy Committee (PSC) outlining a new “Improving Institutional Confidence” 
public consultation.

This consultation’s aim is for the community to discuss possible changes to 
ICANN in the lead up to the completion of the JPA in September 2009. This work 
has been led by the PSC whose role is to provide advice to the Board.

The three documents – Improving Institutional Confidence in ICANN, Transition 
Action Plan and Frequently Asked Questions – were used as the basis for a 
two-hour discussion session. During a public meeting on the issue, the PSC 
explained how the consultation would work and how people could find out more 
information at each stage. The issue was also given a dedicated timeslot in the 
Public Forum.

The documents are currently out for public comment (closing on 31 July).

Next Steps:
The consultation process outlined in the Transition Action Plan will be 
followed. The entire community is encouraged to read the documents and send 
their comments in before 31 July.

The documents will then be revised and put out for additional comment in 
September 2008 in preparation for further discussions at the Cairo meeting in 
November. A final report by the PSC will be provided to the Board in December.

More information:
More information is available online at: http://icann.org/jpa/iic

Independent Reviews

The independent review process requires each of ICANN’s Supporting 
Organizations and Advisory Committees to undergo review every few years to make 
sure that the organization as a whole continues to serves the needs of the 
global Internet community.

There are several independent reviews currently underway or soon to be 
launched. The Board of Directors is also undergoing an independent review in 
2008. The Paris meeting saw a number of updates on the current reviews.

The GNSO’s review has been completed and it is now in the implementation stage. 
The Board approved all but one of the recommendations developed by a special 
Board working group to improve the effectiveness of the GNSO's policy 
activities, structure, operations and communications. Recommendations to be 
implemented include:
• use of a working group model for future policy development
• a revised policy development process
• enhancements to the different constituencies that make up the GNSO
• improved communications.

The Board deferred its final decision on one recommendation - restructuring the 
GNSO Council – and decided to give the GNSO one last chance to submit a 
consensus recommendation on how to structure the Council before it makes its 
final decision in the next few weeks. The Board requested that the GNSO convene 
a small working group to submit a consensus recommendation on Council 
restructuring no later than 25 July. The group is to include one member from 
each constituency, one of the current Nominating Committee appointees, and one 
member from each liaison-appointing advisory committee (if that advisory 
committee so desires).

In a related development, the GNSO Council postponed a vote on a top-level GNSO 
Improvements Implementation Plan and called for a 21-day public comment forum 
on the document. That open public comment forum closes on 18 July 2008.

Two public sessions and two informal sessions were held to discuss a report 
from the ALAC’s independent reviewers. The Board’s ALAC review working group 
held its first sessions. The draft report is currently out for public comment.

Board of Directors
The Boston Consulting Group was selected as the consultant to perform the 
independent review of the Board of Directors.

Nominating Committee
A working group created by the Board Governance Committee is working on 
recommendations following the independent evaluators’ report on the Nominating 

The Board established three working groups to review future independent review 
reports. They will cover: the Board, the DNS Root Server System Advisory 
Committee (RSSAC), and the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC).

Next steps:
The reviews will continue to progress through each step in the review process. 
Updates will be provided at the Cairo meeting in November.

More information:
More information including links to each of the reviews and public comments 
pages can be found online at: http://www.icann.org/reviews/

Registrar Accreditation Agreement

More progress was made on improvements to protections for registrants provided 
through the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA – the contract ICANN holds 
with companies that register domain names on behalf of registrants).

15 revised changes and amendments were published in a report currently out for 
public comment (the comment period closes 4 August 2008). The amendments were 
outlined in meetings with individual Supporting Organizations and Advisory 
Committees, as well as a dedicated one-and-a-half-hour public workshop. RAA 
amendments also had a specific timeslot for discussion during the Public Forum, 
and were further outlined at the final day’s report session.

There are four categories of amendment to the RAA:

• Enforcement tools, including graduated sanctions, liability and audit 
• Protections for registrants, including possible improvements to data escrow 
and the ability to make resellers comply with RAA obligations
• A more stable registrar marketplace, including training for registrar 
• Modernizing the agreement, bringing it up to date with changes in the use and 
reuse of domain names

Next steps:
The amendments will be revised following input during the public comment period 
and then shared with the Board, who will determine the next steps.

More information:
More information can be found online at: http://www.icann.org/topics/raa/

Meetings Review

A paper covering possible changes to ICANN meetings themselves was put to the 
community in a number of different sessions, including several Supporting 
Organization and Advisory Committee meetings, the opening day public forum, 
mid-week Public Forum, and the closing-day reports session.
There were two main recommendations in the paper:

• that ICANN move from three to two meetings a year; and
• that one of those meetings be held in a “hub” city.

There was a broad range of views and discussion on both points, as well as 
discussion of the change to the Paris schedule which saw the meeting end a day 
earlier on Thursday, rather than on Friday.

Next steps:
The meetings paper is out for public comment until 10 July and will be revised 
following feedback from the community.

More information:
More information can be found online at:


A number of information sessions on the new Internet Protocol were held in 
order to the make community more aware of support issues and to outline ways 

The ALAC, ccNSO, Registry and Registrar constituencies were also addressed by 
experts on this topic during their own meetings. Business leaders were given an 
overview as part of the Business Access Agenda. IPv6 was also discussed during 
the Public Forum.

The GAC heard from several individuals and organizations, including the OECD 
and the Names Resource Organization, about current trends and the challenges to 
IPv6 deployment worldwide.
More information:

A factsheet written in plain and clear language has been produced: “IPv6 – The 
Internet’s vital expansion - October 2007”. It explains the protocol upgrade to 
a non-technical audience and is available here: 

Business Access Agenda

For the first time, a specific agenda and series of targeted meetings and 
discussions were held for business leaders in an effort to engage business more 
effectively within ICANN’s processes.
The agenda included briefings on the most significant topics facing ICANN at 
the moment, including new gTLDs, IDNs and IPv6, and a meeting with the Board of 
Directors. It was organized in cooperation with the E-Business, IT and Telecoms 
Commission of the International Chamber of Commerce.

Other issues

• The Board approved a recommendation by the GNSO to tackle “domain tasting”.
• The FY09 ICANN operating plan and budget of $57.1m were adopted by the Board.
• Approval was given to a plan by PIR (the Public Interest Registry) to add the 
security protocol DNSSEC to the .org registry.
• An “At Large Summit” was approved to enable representatives of Internet user 
groups (At-Large Structures) to meet together within the next year, most likely 
at the Mexico City meeting in March 2009.
• The SSAC published a number of new reports and survey results relating to 
security and stability of the Internet. 
• A number of policy development processes were started or advanced at the GNSO 
including Fast Flux and inter-registrar transfers.
• The GAC reiterated its strong support for a number of studies into the use 
and abuse of Whois data, and asked for clarification from the Board on whether 
studies would depend on the outcome of the GNSO Council’s decision. The GNSO 
Council created a working group to review recommendations for Whois studies.

Glen de Saint Géry
GNSO Secretariat

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