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  • Chair's Blog: ICANN61 Meeting & Board Workshop
    on March 21, 2018 at 7:00 am

    I would be remiss if I didn't begin this blog by thanking the people of Puerto Rico for such a wonderful experience during ICANN61. The conference center was great, the hosts gracious and the island is recovering after hurricane Maria. I hope to visit Puerto Rico again soon. I would also like to thank the ICANN org staff for their quick work navigating the technical challenges that came with suspending Adobe Connect services during the meeting, and the ICANN community for their good spirits and understanding surrounding the inconveniences. Board Workshop Ahead of ICANN61, the Board held a three day workshop in San Juan on 9,10 & 11 March. The Board Committees met on the first day to take care of their regular business, and then the full Board met for two consecutive days. We held in-depth sessions about policy and advice on priority issues for ICANN61 in preparation for Constituency Day. As you can imagine, a large part of our workshop was taken up with discussions on the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We also held sessions on Workstream 2 recommendations, the anticipated updates to the Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) Implementation Guidelines, which apply to the IDNs at the second level, the status of work on the Registration Data Services PDP, and on the proposed disbursement mechanisms considered by the Cross Community Working Group on Auction Proceeds. Finally, we reviewed several resolutions which were approved subsequently during the Board formal meeting at the end of ICANN61. Public Meeting Much like at ICANN60, a big focus during the meeting was on data protection and privacy rules, mainly GDPR. I'd like to thank the community for the thoughtful contributions, vibrant conversations and challenges raised during the meeting. I encourage continued participation and engagement as we address near and longer term GDPR compliance issues. Based upon all of your inputs, comments, and submissions, we will in the coming weeks be pursuing a single compliance approach and model. As we work towards this model, please continue to participate and provide your views. We need the community, all of you, to work together to iron out differences. It is important to have a model that has unified community support. Another major topic of conversation was ICANN's Draft FY19 Operating Plan and Budget. I appreciate very much the thoughtful ideas shared and the information exchanges between the community, ICANN org and the Board. It was a really productive conversation. There seemed to be general agreement that we can and should do our work more effectively, more timely and with the efficient utilization of ICANN's resources. The Board is cognizant of concerns around the proposed budget cuts to various community programs and request mechanisms, and considers the comment period, that just ended, to be valuable in ensuring the community has an opportunity to weigh in on priorities. In finalizing the FY19 Budget, all public comments will be taken into account. There were also discussions on the consultation paper on the replenishment of the ICANN Reserve Fund. As always, the Supporting Organizations (SO) and Advisory Committees (AC) made great strides in their work, including: The At-Large Community held sessions on its improvement planning and reviewed comments on several current policy and budget topics, and Regional At-Large Organizations (RALOs) held meetings and events, in particular for the North American and Latin American organizations. The ASO Address Council, with new leadership, held its annual meeting covering regional policy developments, the ASO organizational review and candidates for ICANN Board Seat 9; The Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) made progress on the retirement of ccTLDs, and elected Council Chairs and Vice Chairs; The Government Advisory Committee (GAC) completed its Communiqué; The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) spent significant working group time advancing PDPs on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures, Right Protection Mechanism, and Next Generation Registration Directory Services, and reviewed its policy development work with a report expected soon; The Number Resource Organization (NRO) Chair provided an informative overview about the activities of the Regional Internet Registries at the opening session; The Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) discussed its Statement on Entries in DNS Root Sources; and The Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) reviewed the Names Collision and Analysis project and hosted a DNSSEC Workshop. The SO and AC Leaders also started planning for ICANN62, the Policy Forum, in Panama in June 2018. Finally, the Board held a full Board Meeting as we usually do. For more details on the workshop, including minutes from the public Board Meeting, please see the Board Page. The Board will hold its next workshop in May 2018 in Vancouver, Canada, ahead of the GDD Industry Summit, but I expect you will be hearing from me sooner. […]

  • More Information on the Adobe Connect Issue
    on March 20, 2018 at 7:00 am

    In our last blog on this issue, we reported that our technical teams are testing various scenarios to determine the root cause of the technical issue affecting our use of Adobe Connect. We are investigating whether the issue was caused by the software, or ICANN's configuration, or both. We are continuing to collaborate with CoSo Cloud LLC, our Adobe Connect cloud service provider and, through them, with Adobe. We will continue to provide updates on this issue pursuant to our coordinated disclosure guidelines. This means we will work jointly with CoSo and the person who reported the issue on the investigation and on sharing information about this issue. Until we know more, ICANN's Adobe Connect services will remain offline. In the meantime, we will be rolling out alternative collaboration tools to the community soon, so stay tuned. […]

  • Budget Discussions at ICANN61
    on March 20, 2018 at 7:00 am

    During ICANN61, a major topic of conversation was the FY19 draft Budget and Operating Plan. As you’ve heard from me, 80-85 percent of our budget is already committed to certain projects that are in our Bylaws, our contracts, our operations, and other fixed costs. This means that roughly 15-20 percent of the overall budget can be considered when we are looking at ways to decrease our spending. We must work together to determine the best allocation of the remaining funds, because this is your decision, not mine. One of the things I greatly appreciated about this meeting was the willingness of our community to look at things differently, to try to think outside the box, and to come up with unexpected ideas. For example, in Puerto Rico, we talked with the SO/AC leaders who make up the meeting planning group to explore the key drivers of cost and high-level considerations on how we might be able to make ICANN meetings more efficient and effective. Our next step is to supply a more detailed paper outlining options and recommendations for the group to consider. We also talked a lot about reviews during the meeting, which was a particularly interesting discussion. In the next fiscal year, we have nine reviews running in various stages including a new Accountability & Transparency Review (ATRT3), a continuation of the Registration Directory Services (RDS) Review, and, we expect, the Security, Stability and Resiliency Review 2 (SSR2). Many people are not happy with the high number of reviews because they do not have the time to participate, and raised concerns that for the ATRT3, the Work Stream 2 Accountability recommendations are still being finalized, and for the RDS Review, there is still significant work remaining to address the impacts of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the WHOIS system. Delaying either of these reviews would save many hours of volunteer time. Additionally, and more broadly, addressing the timing of reviews, and approach, will contribute to discussing how to make future reviews more efficient and more relevant. Deferring a review that will be impacted by current Policy Development Processes or other outside factors, could have significant savings on productivity and cost. For example, deferring the ATRT3 Review alone would save $700,000 USD, thus impacting next year’s budget. There were also discussions on staggering or phasing implementation of reviews, changing how certain reviews are conducted (limiting travel, number of review team members, clarity on scope or prioritization of recommendations, etc.), or considering the timing of reviews differently, for example timing the start of the next review based on when the implementation of prior review recommendations is complete. Some of these proposals could require Bylaw changes. These ideas are not about getting around the responsibilities detailed in the Bylaws. I can speak for the org, but I am sure the community and Board would agree, we are committed and accountable to conducting the reviews detailed in the Bylaws, and will work with the community to make any necessary adjustments based on community input and agreement. I’ve heard many times now, from various members of the community, about the need to and benefit of coordinating the work plans of the Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, Board, and org. The aim would be to reduce the number of parallel tracks being worked on, leading to reduced workloads and increased efficiency in developing policies or community recommendations. This coordination could be organized by developing mechanisms to plan together during the development of the next strategic plan. The ideas stemming from these initial conversations, are just that – initial. It’s important to note that some of the ideas here are inconsistent with the Bylaws, so, if agreed, implementing these ideas may require Bylaw changes. I am beginning to look at what changes might be made to the cycle of reviews embedded in our Bylaws. I am working with my team to determine the best next steps on this, including holding another public comment period about any changes that might have an effect on either Bylaws or policies. I look forward to your comments on the proposal. Ultimately, it is your decision if you would like to accept any change of the Bylaws. I look forward to working together. It was good to see so many of you in Puerto Rico and I hope that you had safe travels home. Now, it’s back to work. […]

  • Next Stop: ICANN62 in Panama City
    on March 14, 2018 at 7:00 am

    ICANN61 in Puerto Rico has been a memorable meeting. After six days of intense work and dynamic discussions, I can say that this meeting has been successful and special. The ICANN community decided to honor its commitment to host the meeting in Puerto Rico after the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria. This gesture contributes to solidarity and growth at a time when some are recovering from a period of need and tragedy. I am grateful to the community of stakeholders in Puerto Rico, who, with open arms, welcomed the global Internet community to the island. As we leave Puerto Rico with good memories, we focus on ICANN62 in Panama City, Panama. After three years, ICANN returns to Latin America for this Policy Forum and for the first time, Panama City will be the location for the Internet community's activities. From 25 to 28 June, we will experience three days of hard work and discussions about policy and outreach. This is a great occasion to see familiar faces and new ones, too. We are excited to see all of you in Panama. Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is a vibrant region with much potential and young talent, eager to engage with other regions and organizations to discuss the future of the Internet. In the last few years, LAC has been an example of outreach expansion and innovative projects from stakeholders. Panama City is a dynamic metropolis where modernity, commerce, and amazing historical landscapes create the perfect backdrop for our 62th meeting. This city is a natural hub for the world's commerce as it connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through its canal. This year Panama will also be the connecting point for the Internet community. Join us on this ICANN62 journey. We anticipate this meeting to be an opportunity to increase collaboration among the community and create a space for new initiatives that affect the future of this shared network of networks: the Internet. See you in Panama! […]

  • Update on ICANN61 Adobe Connect Issues
    on March 14, 2018 at 7:00 am

    I wanted to provide you with a brief update on the issue with our Adobe Connect services. The issue is one that could possibly lead to the disclosure of the information shared in an ICANN Adobe Connect room. We are still investigating the root cause of the issue. We have formulated different scenarios based on authentication, encryption, and software versions, which we are testing in a controlled fashion in attempt to replicate and understand the root cause of the issue. We are working directly with Adobe and with our cloud service provider to learn more. As a reminder, we continue to offer Livestream video, multilingual audio, and live scribe feeds in the main meeting rooms at ICANN61. We are also accommodating questions and comments via email. For now, the investigation continues and I’ll keep you updated as we learn more. […]

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