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POLICY vs. IMPLEMENTAION (was [council] FW: Letter from the GAC regarding IOC/RC Protections)

  • To: Jonathan Robinson <jonathan.robinson@xxxxxxxxxxx>, "council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: POLICY vs. IMPLEMENTAION (was [council] FW: Letter from the GAC regarding IOC/RC Protections)
  • From: "Neuman, Jeff" <Jeff.Neuman@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 09:55:52 -0500
  • Accept-language: en-US
  • Acceptlanguage: en-US
  • In-reply-to: <003d01cdce18$4855ec60$d901c520$@ipracon.com>
  • List-id: council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • References: <CCDBC434.2D4FC%gacsec@gac.icann.org> <003d01cdce18$4855ec60$d901c520$@ipracon.com>
  • Sender: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Thread-index: AQGhZtxupKB6N9SddJmu5NlJ7KhSPphZYqQAgABK8IA=
  • Thread-topic: POLICY vs. IMPLEMENTAION (was [council] FW: Letter from the GAC regarding IOC/RC Protections)


We have a very serious problem here that needs immediate attention.  I am not 
referring to the merits of whether any of these organizations deserve 
protection or not, or whether there should be additional safeguards for IP 
owners in the new gTLD process or whether certain Whois Review team 
recommendations could be put into place .  Forget all of that.  Forget the 
merits and substance of these important issues.

The real issue is that new reliance on the terms "policy" vs. "implementation." 
 This is the issue that should receive top priority.  To quote Alan Greenberg 
(or at least paraphrase), when one group wants something in place without using 
the policy process, they call it "implementation."  Those that oppose it, call 
it "policy."  While that statement was made several times by Alan partly in 
jest, that statement does have merit.

Lets look at the following 3 examples:

1.        IOC/RC - As the letter sent around by Jonathan shows, the GAC is 
thoroughly annoyed with the GNSO for starting a policy process on the 
protection of IOC and Red Cross marks.  They believe (although unstated), that 
they have exclusive jurisdiction over these types of public policy issues and 
do not want the GNSO to take "years" to work out whether these organizations 
(which they believe are protected by law) should receive protections in the new 
gTLD process.  Without commenting on the merits of this argument, look at what 
they have done.  They have called the protections as nothing more than 
"implementation" and therefore, the GNSO should explain itself as to why we 
believe we have a right to start a policy process on it.  After all, 
implementation can just be enacted by the Board.  There is no need for the GNSO 
to get involved, in their view...nor do they want it.

2.       Whois Review Team:  The ICANN Board sought guidance from the entire 
Internet community on whether the recommendations involved "implementation" or 
"policy".  Why? Because if it is implementation, there is no need to involve 
the GNSO community and it can just be enacted.  Those that supported the 
recommendations wholeheartedly called them "implementation."  Those that 
opposed the recommendations called it "policy."  I believe that many who called 
it policy actually truly believe there are policy issues involved, but some 
called it policy, to have it go through the long drawn out process we call a 
PDP (with the hopes that it dies a slow death).  Neither side of this debate is 

3.       The now infamous New gTLD "straw-man":  For the record, I was a part 
of the group that discussed the straw man in Brussels and LA over the past few 
weeks.  I found those discussions very useful and appreciate the efforts being 
made by the new ICANN CEO, who I have a tremendous amount of respect for.  I 
believe he truly will make a huge positive impact on ICANN for many years to 
come.  But, now the debate has turned into what is policy and what is 
implementation.  The IPC/BC and their representatives have called all of their 
proposals "implementation".   The NCSG, Registries, Registrars and Applicants 
have called much of it policy.  ICANN staff has now weighed in on their 
thoughts and have classified certain items as implementation (thereby negating 
the need for GNSO policy development), and other items as policy, thereby 
requiring extensive involvement from the GNSO community - note I did NOT say 
necessarily PDP).

I believe we all need to take a step back from the issues immediately and 
decide once and for all an agreed upon bottom-up multi-stakeholder definition 
of what is "policy" and what is "implementation."  Or at the very least a 
framework for making that assessment when issues arise.  I would advocate for a 
cross community group made up of members from ICANN staff, the GNSO, the GAC 
and others to come together to figure this issue out, so that we get out of 
this rut we are now in.  At the same time, we need to fix the image of the GNSO 
policy processes so that they are no longer feared, but embraced.  They need to 
not be used as vehicles for delay, but rather utilized for the common good.

If we are able to do this, I believe many of the issues we are now having will 
become easier to resolve (and we can focus on the merits).  If not, I see these 
issues getting much worse over the coming months/years.  I believe the future 
of the GNSO, and even the multi-stakeholder model in general hinge on the 
definition of these 2 words.

I would be very happy to volunteer to serve on such a group.


Jeffrey J. Neuman
Neustar, Inc. / Vice President, Business Affairs

From: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of Jonathan Robinson
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 5:00 AM
To: council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [council] FW: Letter from the GAC regarding IOC/RC Protections


FYI.  Please see the attached letter received from the GAC last night my time.


From: GAC Secretariat [mailto:gacsec@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: 28 November 2012 21:38
To: jonathan.robinson@xxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:jonathan.robinson@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Steve Crocker; Fadi Chehade; Heather Dryden; Maria Häll; 
alice@xxxxxxx<mailto:alice@xxxxxxx>; Choon Sai LIM (IDA)
Subject: Letter from the GAC regarding IOC/RC Protections

Sent on behalf of Heather Dryden, GAC Chair

Dear Jonathan,

Attached please find a letter from the GAC regarding IOC and Red Cross/Red 
Crescent protections.

Best regards,

Jeannie Ellers

Jeannie Ellers
Manager, GAC Coordination
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
1101 New York Avenue NW, Suite 930
Washington, DC 20005
Ph. +1 202 570 7135
M. +1 310 302 7552

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