In this webinar, hear from our Global Industry Relations Manager, Prudence Malinki, and Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Chris Niemi, as they discuss the ICANN80 Policy Forum Meeting-At-A-Glance along with updates on:

  • Registration Data Policy 
  • Subpro IRT and Next Round Developments 
  • RDRS 
  • GAC Communique 
  • Transfer Policy Review PDP 
  • DNS Abuse 
  • IDN PDP Update 

ICANN80 Policy Forum Recap Webinar Transcript

Today’s Presenters, 0:00

Speaking: Prudence Malinki

Let’s get things started. Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. Welcome to the Markmonitor ICANN80 Recap webinar. Thank you so much for joining us.

As you can see from the slide in front of you, my name is Prudence Malinki. I am the head of the Global Industry Relations department and team at Markmonitor. I am joined today by the one, the only, Chris Niemi, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, who’s all things UDRP Next Round and thought leadership.

Today, we‘ll be talking about all things ICANN80 which was held and hosted in wonderful Kigali, Rwanda.

Agenda, 1:28

As you can see, we have quite an action-packed agenda today.

We’re going to go over the meeting at-a-glance and give you an overview as to what the format was for ICANN80 in Kigali. Then we will be starting our sessions today with policy because it’s a policy meeting. It makes sense to put our usual hits to one side to start with the policy and then we’ll start with SubPro IRT leading into the transfer PDP and then give you the IDN EPDP updates.

We’ll introduce you to the PPSAI IRT work (and you will get extra points if you know what that initialism stands for). Then, we’ll go back to our usual hits. So don’t worry, we will talk about DNS abuse.
We’re going to update with regards to RDRS and then we’ll update on ccNSO. We’ll remind you about where we are with the Registration Data Policy. And then we’re going to wrap things up and bring things home with the GAC Communique because the GAC is important to us, very important.

ICANN80 Meeting-At-A-Glance, 2:35

All right, So let’s go to the next slide and let’s talk a little bit about what ICANN80 was about.

For those of you who are more engaged with the ICANN kind of roster, there are various categories of meetings. There’s the community meeting, which is for the community as it’s named the AGM, which is the annual general meeting. Then we have the policy meeting and you know what happens at policy meetings. That’s right, PDPSAI IRT work, working groups, all of the policy happens in the policy meetings. In order to make sure we concentrate all of that policy work down, we condense it into four days of intense policy goodness. Now that being said, it literally was chock a block with multiple sessions.

They really kept us on our toes. And if you were anything like me, during that week you spent your time running from one end of the convention centre to the other end of the convention centre. And boy, what a convention centre. ICANN80 was hosted in the beautiful and magnificent Kigali in Rwanda. And not only was that convention centre absolutely stunning, I just want to take some time to thank all of our hosts for doing such a fantastic job of not only making us feel welcome, but taking such good care of us, keeping us safe, keeping us healthy. And I mean, it wouldn’t be an ICANN without a health risk notification halfway through the meeting, right? I’m just going to throw it out there, but there happened to be people who may have been on malaria tablets who may have suffered from symptoms of illness, which may coincide with things that could have been seen as, I don’t know, issues to do with their malaria tablets.

I shall segue back, but yes, ICANN80 was absolutely phenomenal and we have a lot of topics to cover today, absolutely loads. And so without any further ado, let’s get started.

Let’s have that deep dive — but before we do that, there was one thing that happened. That’s right. We have a brand new CEO starting in December 2024. Congratulations and a warm welcome to Kurt Erik Lindqvist. Who is he? I don’t know. However, I’ve been informed that he has extensive technical experience, having worked both with ISPs extensively and also worked very closely with RIPE and he has sat on the Internet Engineering Task Force or IETF. He has a lot of technical experience and technical know how. Welcome on board! I’m so excited to see what you can do and how you’re going to work with us, Kurt, and I would also like to just take a few moments to thank Sally Costerton so much for her very hard working endeavors with regards to being interim CEO.

So with that, I’m going to hand over to Chris next slide.

SubPro IRT, 6:02

Speaking: Chris Niemi

I agree with Prudence that Kigali, Rwanda was a beautiful backdrop for our meeting. Wonderful town, modern, clean, you know, high tech city, beautiful mountains and forests everywhere.

So, as it’s been of late, the New gTLD Program Next Round has been a friend of mine and that was never more apparent than in the subsequent procedures implementation review team sessions that happened throughout the week.

As you may recall, the IRT is meant to change the policy recommendations into implementation for the program, which then becomes what’s called the Applicant Guidebook. So, the applicant by advocate is the rules and regulations regarding the application and evaluation of the TLDS as they move through the the program.

As you can see on the graph on the left, the IRT is working through three tranches of public comment as they’re releasing information to the community for review, which will again become the basis for the AGB, and one already happened earlier this year. There’ll be two remaining in this year and then there will be one final review of the whole book in May of 2025. Once that is is completed, the goal is to then have the AGB published in late 2025.

And if that happens, we will then stay with the timeline that is projected on the right side of the slide there in the purple in the upper corner, where there will be a gTLD application window that opens in April of 2026 and then closes 12 to 15 weeks later.

All the signs are leading to yes, the green status for the project management is is continuing. So we’re on track, I think that’s a great sign.

SubPro IRT Sessions, 7:58

Throughout the week there different topics were suggested that tied primarily to the the New gTLD program.

For instance, for all you armchair economists out there, you would have been really excited by the application fees and sessions, you know, economic theory, cost accounting, inflation, all the bells and whistles. It was real exciting stuff. I’m sure your economic economics professor would be proud if you could sit in on that one.

And the current model, it’s still being determined.

You know, in the 2012 round, the application fee was $185,000 USD. We’re now, based on inflation and some of the other factors that were discussed, we’re looking at different ranges anywhere from $208,000 to $293,000 USD. That’s still being finalized and it’s sort of being pegged to the number of applications received. They’re using examples of 500, 1000, 1500, or 2000 applications and depending on how many end are received, they may end up doing some sort of credit or refunds or things like that. So the price is still sort of in flux and we’ll let you know as that gets closer to finalization.

Another important matter was the Applicant Support Program, which again is tied to applicants who maybe wouldn’t normally be able to apply on their own, who might get assistance via services or discounted fees and matters in that regard.

One particular area that’s important is in regard to auctions. So if an ASP applicant gets a contention sent in for a TLD with another applicant, there’s an idea that the ASP applicant should get some sort of assistance with their auctions. And this is either this bid credit or bid multiplier notion, or some amount of increase that would be added to their auction, or some percentage of increase that could be amounted to their auction. And so that would be implemented across the whole ASP program.

That’s still being determined, and the GAC has some opinions on that as well as other people in the community. So we’ll continue to watch that.

SubPro IRT Sessions Continued, 10:11

Other matters of note — discussions around application queuing in the 2012 Round applications — a lottery was held and there was randomized ordering of how the applications are processed for various reasons. ICANN wants to stay away from that as there’s certain, you know, legal issues around lotteries.

They’re currently moving to an idea suggested that was really just arbitrarily picking like an alphabetical letter. Starting with say, all the G applications and having them processed. We’ll continue to monitor that and see what the endpoint on that is.

In the 2012 Round, things took so long that over time actual changes to the Round and its processes occurred as the Round was active. So, there’s continued edits to this notion of this predictability framework where various parties like the GNSL council, ICANN org, and others interact. They’re continuing to work on how some of those relationships and time frames should occur.

And then lastly, there’s the idea that application should be assessed in rounds. ICANN is still moving forward with that notion that there was a 2012 round, and there will ideally be this 2026 round and then if there’s another future round, we’ll just continue this offset round idea. There’s no notion of a like a steady, active state or that just anybody can apply at any time.

One related matter that was quite important referred to the public interest commitments and registry voluntary commitments idea on June 8th, which is right before the the conference started. ICANN’s board passed resolutions and one of which was the Next Round Registry agreements should not include any RVCs or other commitments that restrict content in gTLDs.

ICANN has confirmed in the past that it was not interested in being content police and it sort of verified that by by passing this resolution. So, we’ll talk a little more about that in relation to the GAC later.

Next round. I’m sorry, next slide, next round on the brain.

Transfer PDP, 12:31

Speaking: Prudence Malinki

Thank you so much for that, Chris. I’m really looking forward to hearing more about what the GAC had to say a bit later, especially with regards to PICs and RVCs, which was a really hot topic.

And bringing it back to policy. The Transfer PDP group met and I’m a bit biased because I do sit on that group. Basically, we went through a recommendations discussion where we are reviewing and were reviewing the Recs. And we still are because guess what? There’s going to be a public comment. And what does that mean? You get to read and make comments relating to the transfer PDP.

So the session was primarily going over existing recs to make sure that everyone’s aligned with what they mean and what the changes actually mean with regards to outcomes. Then we also focused on specific recommendations and then we made some kind of amendments and updates to those recommendations.

However, that being said, one of the really good outcomes from the session was specifically in relation to the change of registrant policy. It was agreed to universally among all of the relevant stakeholders that we’re not going to have another PDP.

Did you hear that? No more, No more PDPs with the cost of change of registrants, we’re trying to keep this work as tight as possible. However, that being said, there were those there who made some recommendations with regards to reordering some of the recommendations from Group 1A, but the bit that was really interesting for me personally. And if we go to the next slide, we talked a little bit about the high impact recommendations.

Transfer PDP Continued, 14:07

So there’s going to be some changes that we’re doing to some of the recs, which will have subsequent impacts with regards to existing policy, but also future policy. We’ve kind of highlighted them on this slide now during the session.

The things that I personally want to highlight are as follows:

We have made sure that we’ve given an opt out facility with regards to notifications being sent for change of registrants. What does that mean? It means that, for example, with some of our clients, where there’s one company that’s transferring a whole bunch of their portfolio to another another company as part of a sale or acquisition, you now have the ability to opt out of receiving notifications for those transfers. If, for example, you know that you have a contract of sale that details the domain(s) so you don’t need the notifications, you now have option with regard to whether you receive that notification or not. And there’s a very clear process flow as to how that should look and what the steps required are. But you have a choice. You’re welcome.

As well, one of the other things I wanted to look at was bulk transfers and the reason why we’re going to be making changes with regards to bulk migrations and how that looks. Historically, it was always based on a magical number which was 50,000. Now we’re actually looking at something a little bit more practical with regards to thresholds to do with volume, 50,000 domain names, and then also a financial value as well. So we clearly like the number 50,000, but you know, at least we’re moving. It’s progress.

And another thing that’s noteworthy is that of the ever secretive and ever elusive BTAPPA process. For some of you, you’ve never had to use it and you probably didn’t even know that it existed, which just shows how in the shadows it was. We are taking BTAPPA out of the shadows and into the light.

Why? So that we can standardize its application across registries. And so as registrars, we know what to expect when we request a BTAPPA. And what else does it do? It opens it up so now resellers will be included on the list of who can do a BTAPPA, and additional service providers as well.

Historically, BTAPPAs were processes that were really enshrouded in mystery. Now they’re being a little bit more standardized and a little bit more transparent, which is more useful and helpful for all people engaged and involved. So that’s something that you are wanting to flag and bring to your attention.

Another thing that I just wanted to kind of bring it home to is this, I know this specific to PDP — I know there’s a lot of people that have feelings or thoughts as to how productive it’s been or how, you know, why is everyone taking so long and what are they actually achieving? I wanted to shed some light on some of the granular work that goes in behind the scenes with the PDP and just show how process driven and detail orientated this group is.

And I wanted to show you quite possibly a work of art on the next slide.

Transfer PDP Work Streams and Flow, 17:37

What you’re going to be looking at here is the work streams with regards to the transfer process flow.

Look at that, look at that. I really want to take some time to thank ICANN staff and the other geniuses for creating something that is a very clear process guide as to what the transfers look like. I wanted to bring it home and show you that this is the stuff, this is the level of granular detail, that goes on behind the scenes when we are doing this work.

Let’s move on to the next topic, I want to make sure that we’re talking about all things IDN EPDP. Chris, it’s all yours.

IDN EPDP, 18:38

Speaking: Chris Niemi

So, this is the Internationalized Domain Name Expedited Policy Development Process.

One of the main aims of the New gTLD program is to give access to, you know the next billion users of the Internet across the world. One of the main ways of doing that is giving access to domains that are in languages outside of English or ASCII related scripts.

It’s a small technical area, but it’s very important. And that’s tied to issues around variants of domain names, you know, using different languages and different scripts and things like that.

In this particular area, they’re currently working through the phase two initial report and public comments as that period just recently closed. They’re working through issues that have been provided by the community. The group is currently going to analyze those comments.

Part of the meeting in Kigali was to categorize comments into substantive and non-substantive comments. They’re going to work through that process over the next few months with the goal of providing, of course, submitting the phase two final report to the GNSO Council in October. Again, this is an important thing because it is that actual required dependency in the Next Round Policy Implementation Plan. So you know, this is an important hurdle that needs to be passed in order for us to continue to move to the Next Round.

PPSAI IRT, 20:17

Speaking: Prudence Malinki

Okay, back to me and all things PPSAI IRT. I’ll explain a little bit more.

This is one of those wonderful circumstances where we have a boomerang implementation review come back and start, so this is not new.

The one thing you need to take away from the slide is that this is not going to be creating new policy. This was a set of recommendations that were halted before being implemented in order to allow the magical gifts such as GDPR and also the registration data policy to be implemented to then create a new landscape and then figure out how to implement. So we are now at the implementation phase for the PPSAI and we had the first meeting or first collaborative session for everybody to get together. And this group is quite a lively bunch. We’ve got over 50 members already so far.

Now I know you’re going to be asking me, what does PPSAI stand for? What does it mean? Privacy Proxy services, accreditation, implementation, IRT, right? Well, maybe even implementation review team. Essentially, this is to do with privacy proxy services and their accreditations for the processes. And now we’ve had to re implement it and restart this in light of changes to do with GDPR and in light of changes to do with registration data processes.

During that opening session, we went through the implementation steps and as the previous slide said, you know, this is being led by the wonderful Dennis Chang and we’ve got literally all parts and constituencies represented in the group.

Now, if anything I’ve said so far about privacy proxy services, you know, implementation GDPR, if this doesn’t float your boat, I’m not judging you. Here’s what I will say: You can actually just become an observer of this group and just watch and observe. As you can see here from the steps, there’s going to be a public comment at some point. You can engage in that way as well.

As you can see, we’ve got 6 steps here. We aim to have it done as smoothly as these six steps outlined. But with a group as diverse and as exciting, we’re going to have lots of lively discussions. This group has a lot of the original members from the two 2016 IRTs. So we’ve got a lot of knowledge in the room. We’ve got a lot of newbies, myself included, in the room and a lot of people who are really dedicated to seeing what happens next with how we implement this.

The types of things that will be explored with this group are things such as definition, you know, like “What is a privacy service?” and “What is a proxy service?” or “What is an LEA?” (Law Enforcement Agency). And also looking at processes to do with things like the DE accreditation of a private privacy proxy service provider, what does that look like? What does that mean afterwards? What are the consequences of being DE accredited? Pondering and the pontification of such questions is just part of the job of the review team. But as I’ve mentioned to you before, they’re not creating new policy. I just wanted to really make sure that we drive that home.

So, on this side you can see a really great optimistic timeline as to how many meetings that we’re expecting to go through different sections as an IRT. Also, we have specific threshold questions that we’re going to be asking things such as, “Do we have to send certain items or questions to GNSO council for guidance?” Also, “Can we have an implementation model without a stand alone accreditation program?” (And if we can, will it be consistent with the policy recommendations?) Do we have to revisit with regards to specific elements of policy?

We’ve worked on RDRS, we’ve worked on registration data policy. Do we have to look at the existing procedures to make sure that we we remain consistent with regards to those policy recommendations? So it’s taking a really holistic and pragmatic approach in considering all of the different things that have taken place so far with regards to registering data or things that could impact it.

If I’ve said anything to do PPSAI, and you’re kind of intrigued and you want to find out a bit more or you just want to look, let me know and we can find out ways to get you subscribed as an observer or we can give you more salient updates if you want something a bit more granular.

But yes, PPSAI Boomerang, it’s come back and we’re very excited for it. However, that being said, I think it’s time to bring it back to our old hits. I’m going to hand over to Chris. He’s going to talk all things DNS abuse.

GNSO Abuse Updates, 26:40

Now let’s get back to the countdown anyway, DNS abuse, yes, is the term of the day. It continues to be a hot topic for the last 6 to 9 to 12 months or more, and this meeting was no different.

The new information is that since the the prior meeting in San Juan on April 5th, the actual DNS amendments became live in the registry agreement and the registrar coordination agreement. So the amendments that just defined DNS abuse as malware, botnets, phishing, farming and spam in the service of delivering any of those four DNS abuse items went into play. Since then there have been 40 different ICANN compliance investigations, 38 with registrars and two with registries.

In that short span of time, there’s been a little over 2500 malicious domain names that have been suspended and then a little over 300 phishing websites were disabled. The industry is putting its money where it’s mouth is. ICANN is activelyengaging on the new amendments and registers are getting involved, registries are getting involved, and we’re starting to see the benefits and the downhill effects of of those amendments.

In this particular meeting there was a workshop with the contractor party’s house, a DNS abuse cross community workshop in that there was some discussion of the anatomy of the DNS abuse report, you know, how it should look, what should be included.

I think information sharing is sort of the, the coin of the realm at the moment, of folks who are trying to convey what will best work to get people to best utilize and implement these reports.

And then there was an actual sort of an interesting take that I hadn’t really considered, which was the the human rights impact assessment of the amendments, you know, could there be sort of unforeseen effects of the mitigation on registrants, things like that. That was at least kind of an interesting thought experiment to work through.

The registrar stakeholder group had a closed compliance tabletop session as well. It continues to be an important and active discussion around these topics.

RDRS Standing Committee Update, 29:11

Speaking: Prudence Malinki

Next slide, it’s back to me in all things RDRS.

So this pilot has been somewhat controversial and we have come to what I’d like to see as a little bit more of a harmonious phrase with regards to all of the participants in RDRS, and where we go and what happens next. We are at that pivotal 6th month check in. And during the ICANN Kigali meeting, there was some really salient and relevant and important discussions between various users of the RDRS system, creators of the RDRS system, maintainers of the RDRS system. There was some much needed dialogue as to what works, what doesn’t work.

And I want to give a a big shout out to Sarah Wild and the registrar team who created a really incredibly useful round table session to allow and go through practical examples. Because sometimes there’s that practical element can be the real difference between understanding what works, what doesn’t work, and also more importantly, why. Why were things rejected? Why did I not get the data that I wanted? Why was I shown privacy proxy and not just given the information underneath the privacy proxy? So there was some incredible conversations that were facilitated.

And I am hopeful, because I’m ever the optimist, that this is the beginning of a continued dialogue between all of the relevant stakeholders to see what we can do next and see how we can improve things.

Now, the RDRS Standing Committee came together to give their report and reviews on what’s been happening over the last six months so you know what’s happening — this is what we’re doing, this is where we’re at. We have 88 registrars that are currently signed up to do the pilot. That number nearly went down after certain issues that happened during the previous ICANN meeting. Fortunately, it didn’t, but we were close. One of the things that was highlighted during the session was the need for more outreach and the agreement that there will be more collaboration and more outreach to do with RDRS.

There’s also discussions relating relation to, you guessed it, NIS2, because it’s the gift that keeps on giving, and its impacts with regards to how we obtain data in light of NIS2 or in a post-NIS2 world once those changes are implemented across the member states in Europe.

It was a really salient session. We’ve had quite a few requests that are going through in the six months, and it looks like we will have a continued pilot for the next six months, and we have some pending enhancements. As you can see from the slide, some of the pending enhancements include phone and address information, as well as an optional data field for the request to organization, and also allowing requests to be reviewed without filter or adding a request date, which are some of the changes that are on the course.

Is it enough? Maybe, maybe not, but we’ll see. But this pilot is still ongoing.

And again, if you, for whatever reason, you are a registrar that is on our session today and you are not signed to our RDRS, I would strongly urge you to engage and participate and to give your feedback as well. Because we need as much data as possible to understand what we need in order to create a new SAD type system because, and that’s right out there in the hypothetical world where RDRS is decided, we don’t have that. You’ll be facing a myriad of multiple different systems in order to access registered data. The whole point of this system was to standardize the initial process flow as to how you make your requests to make the user experience easier rather than you having to use multiple different systems. Imagine if you’re doing research on seven different registrars, that’s seven different systems, seven different request types. It takes longer.

If you do have any questions or require any further information about RDRS, feel free to ask some questions or post some questions into the chat, or you can reach out to our team afterwards, or you can email us a question at any time at GIR(at)markmonitor(dot)com. Always feel free to ping over any questions that you may have in relation to any of the policy topics that you’re hearing today.

All right, so let’s move on from RDRS and talk about all things ccNSO because they were active. They were very active. What’s going on with them, Chris?

ccNSO Sessions At-A-Glance, 34:38

Speaking: Chris Niemi

It was it was a good time as usual — the ccNSO had a jam packed schedule, agenda was chock full every day.

So, this is a selection of some of the various sessions and issues that were discussed throughout the week.

As always, universal acceptance (UA) is a major issue that, with New gTLDs, is important for the functionality and usability of the domain names on websites and applications, you know, web forms, e-mail addresses, all those sorts of things. UA is a continual sort of an uphill battle that a lot of the ccTLDS, especially that involves IDNs are working through to try to get those languages represented, get people to be able to use them throughout the Internet.

This meeting was just after the EU Day 2024, various events that happened through May that happened in 30 different countries, or more than 30 different countries, with over 5000 people and 17 languages represented. And there was various different policy updates.

An interesting exercise that happened one of the afternoons was a gap analysis of, kind of policy of the ccTLDS, and sort of where things digressed or diverged in regard to IANA functions about updating things about registries. That was an interesting exercise that they went through using some different interactive technology to get feedback from the ccTLD registries. Sort of related, there were a number of issues around things where the ccTLD is given to their proximity, especially to, you know, country ministries and country agencies, government agencies, things like that.

There’s a lot of crossover in issues like sustainable development goals regarding the UN and larger policy issues around Net Mundial + 10, you know, WISIS + 20, the UN’s Global Digital Compact, and issues around how ccTLDS can engage in those issues and take part in these larger, broader global policy governance matters.

And then there’s some good examples of how some of the ccTLD providers were, in delivering on those at the local level, providing education, investment, energy improvements, infrastructure development and things like that in their local countries, for instance, like Zimbabwe, France and Brazil gave a number of really interesting active examples of those things.

Another related matter was there’s a new what’s called the “Technical Community Coalition for Multistakeholderism,” which was kind of a coalition of the .au, .ca, .nz, and .uk ccTLD registry operators who are talking about how the ccTLDS need to really go to bat for multistakeholderism, especially in regard to some of those larger global governance matters.

So definitely a lot happening on the ccNSO. Next slide.

ccNSO DNS Abuse, 37:56

I mentioned this a moment ago when we first talked about DNS abuse, there was a really great example of the community coming together. The ccNSO invited some of the genus O registrars to come over and talk about issues they’re seeing about the developments that are going on with the DNS abuse amendments, what lessons can be learned and applied that the gTLD registrars were seeing in the last few months, and how that those can be applied to ccTLD registry DNS abuse behaviors.

It is an important thing to keep in mind that ccTLD abuse and DNS abuse and gTLD DNS abuse aren’t necessarily the same animal. Maybe one’s a lion and one’s a tiger, but you know, they’re slightly different. (I don’t know if there’s any ligers anywhere from the Napoleon Dynamite fans.)

So you know, the ccTLDs in general have a lot smaller instances of DNS abuse, just sort of based on their size and the behavior set that they see of their users. A lot of things are tied together — ccTLD operators are often tied to things like ISPs and other things like that, that sort of affect the kind of abuse they see. The ccTLD community was interested to learn and hear about how these processes can be changed, aligning their policies with the New gTLD contracts, and learning from the registrars and what they’ve done. And then they can do that to the next level by educating their registrants and collaborating with law enforcement and another entities to combat this growing issue.

It was definitely a great session and a great instance of how the broader policy community came together to work together. Next slide.

Registration Data Policy, 39:57

Speaking: Prudence Malinki

Thank you so much, Chris.

And Chris, because your tones are so dulcet, I think you underplayed just how significant that was that the CCS and GS are coming together to talk about their lions and tigers and not create a liger. They’re not trying to cross, but they’re able to come up with ways to make sure that they can standardize and align their policies — that is incredibly significant.

And here’s the other thing: People may complain about the multistakeholder model, what it means or what it doesn’t do — but it does [significant] things like this. And ultimately, what that benefits and who that benefits is the end user and their experience with regards to registration process flow or the Internet generally. Because once you make sure that you’re not having to do one bizarre, nuanced thing in one country, and that everyone is communicating with each other knows what the other was doing, then you can really make sure that ultimately Internet users are too. And if even if you add Internet users into the mix, so their voices are heard as well, which is exactly the essence of the multistakeholder model, it means that the Internet user experience is something that we can maintain and keep at a really high standard.

So this collaboration, or even just the indication that there’s a willingness to align policies between ccTLDs and gTLDs with regards to the fighting of DNS abuse, or as Chris said it, killing tigers and lions, this is actually really significant and it’s something that I think shouldn’t be underplayed and it’s something that should be applauded, and let’s see how that happens in reality and what that leads to.

Again, these discussions, I think are at the heart of what the multistakeholder model is. Now I’m going to get off my soapbox with regards to the importance of the multistakeholder model, and I’m just going to briefly remind everyone of some really salient dates.

The Registration Data Policy is in its phase of preparation. The transition period starts in just under two months, the 21st of August, begins the implementation of the actual registration data policy.

What does that mean? It means that there’s going to be changes with regards to how data is processed, displayed and used with regards to registrations, right? So you may already have started seeing notifications and emails from registries and you may be hearing conversations about something going on.

And there were originally concerns about what that means with regards to NIS2. However, we are very confident that this is in line with NIS2 and shouldn’t be causing too much issue. Now, the incredible group of Thomas and Lars at Echo did a phenomenal job of doing a NIS2 update document, which again, if you want a copy, we can provide a copy for you. It described really well the impacts of NIS2, especially with regards to registering data, so bravo, great work.

So yes, essentially we’ll be looking at 2025 in order to make sure that the actual policy is implemented. We know that a lot of registrars are getting work under way or at least having conversations as to what this looks like. So this is all happening and it’s all systems go, go, go.

Before I go on to the next slide, I wanted to briefly remind everyone that we’re having not only a new CEO, but that it’s election season across the different constituency groups. So there’s going to be fresh rounds of elections at registry level, at registrar level, various other levels, and at council level as well. There’s going to be like a whole new fresh turn of new faces that you’ll be seeing representing various stakeholder groups across ICANN. It’s almost like a spring cleaning of sorts. It adds to the excitement in the air. And I want to welcome and congratulate all of the new people that will be taking on new positions and also those who will be retaining their existing positions. I look forward to working all with you closely.

Let’s go and bring it home with all things GAC Communiqué — take it home, Chris.

GAC Communiqué, 44:47

Speaking: Chris Niemi

All right, so the GAC is the Governmental Advisory Committee, which is the way that the world governments are allowed to interact in the ICANN ecosystem.

Right now it currently has 183 member States and 39 observer organizations. I think somewhere in the neighborhood of ~90 attended the ICANN80 meeting.

These are the issues that the the GAC identified in the Communiqué that were important to them:

SOIs, Statements of interest, and the code of ethics. The GAC wants to make sure that the parties who are involved in particular activities have to make it very clear as part of their SOI who they are and what they represent so that transparency is maximized.

We brought up the PICs and RVCs a little bit earlier, with ICANN coming out with their notice on the 8th that they were not going to enter the content police category. I think the GAC was happy to see that. However, they did specifically ask for more information on how that could be reflected. They asked for information from the board and ICANN organization about what would be an example of an RVC that crossed over into policing content — for what would be an acceptable or not acceptable, and instances of those.

They asked for some clarity on on that regarding the Subsequent Procedures IRT a few weeks ago — the pricing structure came out for the RSP or Registry Services Provider Evaluation Process and I believe it was around $92,000 USD. And the gag view that as a sort of potential barrier of entry to people, especially parties that might be utilizing the Applicant Support Program. Some asked for clarity around why the price was set that way and if that could actually prevent people from potentially taking part in the program.

DNS abuse: The GAC pointed out that DNS abuse issues were rising in the African region, given that Africa was obviously the nearby region that represented in this particular meeting. And they encouraged people in the space to continue to share information and work together, like Prudence was talking about earlier, to target the DNS abuse collectively.

DNSSEC, there wasn’t a real particular, specific issue around this except for the GAC simply advised the DNSSEC is a good security standard. It’s registrants all across the world should be encouraged to use it

Similar to what Prudence just discussed regarding the RDRS, the GAC are proponents of the program and the test of the pilot program. They were proponents of it as sort of a precursor to the SSAD that Prudence was talking about. They wanted it to continue to be a thing that people are encouraged to utilize, make improvements on and so forth.

Registration Data Accuracy. The accuracy scoping team, well, they’re pausing their work because the contractor parties and ICANN are working on finalizing the data processing specification or DPS. The GAC wants to continue to see developments in that area as well.

And as Prudence also discussed the PPSAI, the GAC was a fan that ICANN was continuing to look at that area to see what could be utilized going forward.

So yes, these are the primary areas that the GAC really had distinct direction on regarding the Applicant Support Program because they want to make sure that under represented parts of the community are represented in the Next Round.

One of the issues that they had provided distinct advice on was that people who applied in the ASP round are not necessarily approved in order, instead they were all going to be held to the very end so that it could all sort of be released at once, so that no advantage should be given to any particular party who applied earlier or later should be advantaged or disadvantaged. That is more of a quality issue around the ASP. They view the ASP as a very positive development and were volunteering to take part in the evaluation process if needed.

Speaking to that RSP notion, the GAC wanted to potentially have the ASP reflect on this notion that applicants could potentially expand themselves into providing back end registry operator services and have that included as part of the ASP program. They were seeking to have broader results and provide input into the engagement and outreach plan regarding the ASP that ICANN’s marketing and press group was discussing in the meeting.

The auction issues that they’re getting at is that the GAC is very anti-private auctions to resolve contention sets. They believe that’s not a fair or appropriate means of breaking contention sets. And they then wanted to continue to involve the community in discussions around best ways of resolving contention sets and finding alternatives. The auctions of last resort, those board resolutions from June 8th, ICANN sort of acknowledged that it wasn’t sure if they were going to be able to meet the gas requirement in that regard. So they’ve actually now instituted a specific part of the ICANN bylaws where they need to enter some specific consulting and some alternate steps. That’ll actually begin in order to move through this process.

Get Involved, 51:58

Speaking: Prudence Malinki

Thank you so much, Chris, for that really salient update about the GAC advice. Clearly the GAC did have some concerns, especially with regards to auction processes, so keep your eyes peeled.

And the reason why we have given the GAC a specific slot is because GAC advice impacts policy, right? It’s really important to ensure that we heed the advice that’s given from GAC, and their concerns, and that we take those on board. So yes, keep your eyes peeled because the stuff that they’ve mentioned is not going to go away and they’re still going to be topics of discussion moving forward

Now, as you can see from the slide, this is the bit where we ask you to do something for us — if you think that you would like to dip your toe in, if you’ve heard anything that you find incredibly exciting from today’s webinar, you can get more directly involved and join ICANN. We’ve always wanted take you with us and want you to be with us alongside us on this journey.

But if you do have an interest in dipping your toe into the ICANN world, don’t do it blind. We can hold your hand through the process and we will be happy to host you, take care of you and you can come hang out with us in various places all over the world.

You can always join via the IPC if intellectual property is at the heart of what you do.

BC, Business Constituency, if you’re a businessd, you’re a company, or if you are holding a dot brand and it’s time, and you’re ready — you’re like, “I want to do some advocacy and policy myself.”

Let’s get in, get in on BRG, Brand Registry Group, and you can sit with Chris and Chris can hold your hand through that exciting process. Yes, he’s like flying that torch, flying that flag.

But again, we’re so keen to get you involved — we don’t want to just be your mouthpiece. We want you to see what the fun and the fuss is about. Policy is an acquired taste, I’m very acutely aware it’s not for everyone, but I still want to take you on this journey with me.

Next Meeting, 54:25

If you have a look at the next slide, you can see some of the meetings that are coming up and that are due to come. We have in November the AGM, the third part of the meeting format that we discussed, which will be in Istanbul, Turkey. There’s still time, you can join us in Turkey.

Next week we have the APAC DNS forum, which is going to be hosted in Indonesia. And then also as well, we have an RDRS webinar that’s coming up on the 8th of August.

So there’s always stuff happening — in conjunction to all of the things that you see on your screen — Our lovely and our own Chris Niemi does his own quarterly report on the Next Round and New gTLDs. And members of our team, including Shane and Heidi, do fantastic content and updates to do with blocking, Web3 and all of the new topics that will be impacting your ability to navigate the online world.

So with that, Chris, do you want to take us home and wrap up for us?

Thank You, 55:56

Speaking: Chris Niemi

Thanks again for joining us on this ICANN80 recap webinar and we’ll see you next time.