INSTRUCTIONS

Before and after the At-Large Community wide teleconference on Tuesday, 14 February 2017, the At-Large Community will have two windows of opportunity to ask Candidates questions and view their responses in written form.

Before the teleconference: To prepare for the interactions with the Candidates in the teleconference, you may ask questions to the Candidates beforehand. Round 1 questions must be sent no later than Friday, 10 February 2017 23:59 UTC.  

After the teleconference: After viewing Candidates' responses to questions received before the teleconference and interacting with them during the teleconference, you may ask follow-up questions afterward. Follow-up questions must be sent no later than Thursday, 16 February 2017 23:59 UTC.

IMPORTANT

  • Please email your questions to the Candidates to program-admin@atlarge.icann.org for posting on the wiki. 
  • Program Admin Staff will consolidate duplicative questions and perform minor editing for clarification, if necessary, before posting. The names of the At-Large members who sent questions will be recorded on the wiki.  
  • Candidates are requested to send their response to program-admin@atlarge.icann.org for posting. Program Admin Staff will send announcement to the Community to view the responses. 
  • All questions and responses will be posted in English. 
  • For both Candidates to be able to read and understand the questions, please write them in English. If you are unable to write in English, Program Admin Staff will provide translation support within our capability (e.g. Spanish, French, Chinese, Turkish). 

    Question 1 from Robert Guerra sent on  

    What efforts would you propose to the board to more effectively engage and dialogue with the more than a billion Internet users that are not familiar with ICANN nor At-Large?

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    With the current number of Internet Users estimated at about 3.5 billion, there are a lot more than a billion users who know nothing about ICANN. Nor will they ever know about ICANN or At-Large. But they will all be impacted by decisions taken within ICANN. And for many of them, the decisions that we take in ICANN, about IDN for instance, will be critical ones that facilitate their use of the Internet.

    Some small fraction of these users, if they knew about us, might be interested in being involved, and some fraction, at some point, will have a problem or question that is within the remit of ICANN.

    I believe that there are several focus areas where we can do much better than we are now. It is not clear that it is the Board that needs to act, but clearly the Board instructing the CEO is an important step.

    First, we need to get information out, to all sectors of the community including users, about what ICANN is and why we are a force for good in the Internet. The actions in Washington when the IANA transition was pending showed just how bad we are at getting a positive message out compared with the skill of those distributing misinformation. People within At-Large (and I was among them) have been very vocal that we need to do better. Better at speaking a language non-experts can understand. And better at explaining what we do in that simple language – not small feats.  In fact, the ALAC is proposing a project in FY18 to start doing just that – see http://tinyurl.com/ICANN-PublicMedia.

    The second area more directly addresses the question. We are never going to interact with a significant fraction of the world’s internet population. Even a 1/1000 of 1 percent would be 35,000, a relatively daunting number. But augmented by the first initiative, we can make a LOT of people aware of us and that will lead to dialogues as long as we are receptive and to the extent possible responsive. Mobile-friendly communications and social media will certainly play a large part in this. We cannot expect volunteers to do all of this, so ICANN will have to allocate resources (including staff).

    The third component of how we should interact with users is by increasingly factoring in their needs (within our narrow remit) and being responsive to problems as they arise. At-Large certainly has a role to play here. The new Director, Consumer Safeguards position (as yet unfilled) directly focuses on these issues. If this person is effective, then ICANN will be MUCH further along at ensuring that as the custodian of the domain name system and formulator of policy for gTLDs, we are responding to users and their needs. The Position Summary is pretty far reaching, and if this new person can even partly meeting this set of targets, we will be in a much better position to serve and communicate with users.

    Inform a variety of constituents regarding the role that ICANN plays in the Internet ecosystem. Facilitate solutions to challenging problems in a manner consistent with ICANN’s mission, remit and policies. Manage and participate in a number of cross-organizational projects relating to safeguards with the goal of addressing a variety of kinds of abuse and illegal activity, including spam/malware, intellectual property infringement, the unlawful sale and distribution of pharmaceuticals and controlled substances, and other illegal activities on the Internet, particularly where there is a focus on multi-stakeholder collaboration and a commitment to promote consumer trust in the domain name system.  Work with ICANN’s leaders to set the consumer safeguards strategy and plans for ICANN.

    There are a number of efforts that can be implemented to have a Board that’s close to internet users and specifically to engage with those users that are not aware of either ICANN or At-Large. Some of this efforts, which I would certainly propose if elected are:

    a)    Identify users groups through the five ICANN regions and coordinate with the GSE team in order to organize or participate more (inter)actively in engagement events like Rightscon which is currently sponsored by ICANN. By more interactively I mean that Board members should not only attend this type of events but also be closer to the attendees and provide workshops or interactive sessions;

    b)    Take advantage of the Board retreats to setup meet-ups with local users’ communities and evangelize them on ICANN’s mission.

    c)    Propose the implementation of a pilot program that allows translating key basic information into non-official UN languages. I think of languages that are spoken both in developed and developing countries. For example, German, Zulu, Quechuan, Afrikaans, Swahili, Berber, Otomi, Hebrew, Filipino, Japanese, Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi and Turkish.

    Question 2 from Robert Guerra sent on

    In regards to the At-Large Review that was just conducted, do you believe that it was an omission to not survey internet users that are not currently engaged at ICANN?

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    My understanding is that the Review Team DID survey people who are not currently engaged in ICANN. Specifically they attended a variety of Internet-related events (IGF, Schools of Internet Governance, etc.) and surveyed people who were previously involved with ICANN and as I understand it, those who knew of ICANN but have not been active. Since the reviewers have not released a list of who they interviewed or who responded to their survey (and perhaps never will), there is no way I can provide further details.

    I am not sure what the benefit would be of surveying who were totally unaware of ICANN or At-Large.

    Yes. Although I cannot speak to the reasons why the reviewers didn’t survey users that are currently not engaged with ICANN, I do believe that surveying those users could have provided with a better understanding on why they are not engaged and also help identify if this lack of engagement is due to the need of more outreach or due to other reasons. Surveying users outside of ICANN would’ve been very helpful in many ways.

    Question 3 from Glenn McKnight sent on  

    What special qualities and experience do you bring to the ICANN Board upon selection that help the other Board Members appreciate and understand the needs of the Internet End User community? 

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    I have spent a very large part of the last ten years of my life working with At-Large. I authored or edited a significant fraction of all At-Large statements over that period. Prior to that, I managed workshops training people from developing countries how to build, operate, manage and use the Internet in their countries. My ICT4D work on the use of technology and the Internet to better individual lives also had a significant user component. 

    I think that all of this has put me very much in touch with the needs of end-users with respect to ICANN’s remit. This is experience that few other Board members have had and I think it will add a new perspective to Board discussions.

    There is also a second aspect to this. As the ALAC Liaison to the GNSO, I have been involved with (and led) many gTLD policy discussions and processes. I was very heavily involved with the development of the New gTLD Program. Such knowledge is not common on the Board. During his nine years on the Board, Bruce Tonkin was the “goto” person for information on the GNSO and gTLDs. There is no one now with that kind of experience. I could fill that gap, and do it with an At-Large perspective.

    Lastly, I, like most At-Large volunteers, have had difficulty dealing with ICANN staff (not At-Large staff!) over the years, and what has often seemed to be arbitrary rules. That too is not a common Board trait and adding that to the Board mix will serve the Board and At-Large well.

    If elected I can bring to the Board the following special qualities: 

    a)    A fresh and independent approach;

    b)    Regional diversity.

    c)    Ability to build bridges and alliances.

    d)    Ability to negotiate.

    e)    A community based perspective, solidly grounded in user experience.

    f)      I am a solid expert lawyer in governance issues and have the capacity to make informed difficult decisions about ICANN, in my best capacity, consistent with the views of At-Large.

    g) My leadership skills which have been demonstrated through my work as Co-Chair of the CCWG on enhancing ICANN accountability.

    Question 4 from Satish Babu sent on  

    Given that both of you have a history of making much-appreciated contributions to At-Large as well as to ICANN in general, how are you uniquely placed to contribute in the specific context of the Board?

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    I have over 10 years of experience with At-Large, and have drafted or edited a very large percentage of the ALAC Statements made during that time. I live, breath and understand the positions that At-Large has taken. There is no doubt that on the Board, even though I do not formally “represent” At-Large I have a strong affinity for and knowledge of how At-Large is likely to react to most issues. As such, I am in a strong position to help the Board work towards positions that will be in line with those supported by At-Large.

    For eight of those 10 years, I was the ALAC Liaison to the GNSO.  In fact, I believe I served for more years on the GNSO Council than any formal GNSO Council members. I have served on more GNSO PDP and other WGs that I can count, and in fact I chaired one. This has given me an extremely wide and deep knowledge of all aspects of gTLD Policy. With the departure of Bruce Tonkin who had served on the Board for nine years and was the main source of gTLD knowledge, there is a distinct lack of such knowledge on the Board at the moment. I would be in a position to fill that gap, and to fill it from an At-Large perspective.

    Lastly, most Board members either have no experience with ICANN as a volunteer worker, or that experience is either minimal or MANY years old. As a current worker, I am far more in touch with issues of importance to volunteers and to try to help address them. 

    I have solid legal experience in governance issues that allow me to make difficult decisions with legal soundness. Also my views are provided from the regional perspective that comes from the view of a developing country and a non-English speaking environment that enriches ICANN’s diversity, which places me in a unique position to contribute in the specific context of the Board given the delicate times ICANN is going through after the transition.

    Question 5 from Thomas Lowenhaupt sent on  

    There is an apparent requirement that ICANN Board Members vote for the interest of the Corporation, and not the entity that enabled their holding their Board position. In situations where the interest of individual Internet users (as expressed through ALAC) conflicts with that of the ICANN Corporation, how would you act?

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    There is indeed a requirement that a Director take actions that they believe to be in the interest of the corporation. Note the difference in wording from the question.

    In selecting the At-Large director, electors need to consider carefully who they pick. They need to select someone who truly has the same values as they do with respect to users. By selecting someone with the same values, they ensure that when decisions are being made, there is a much larger probability that the Director will see things in a similar manner to those in At-Large.

    The Director must weigh all aspects of a question, but if At-Large picks the right person, that balancing will factor in the issues that are critical to At-Large.

    How I would act in any given situation will no doubt largely be influenced by my last ten years in At-Large and by my own morals and values. I don’t think there is more than can be said without knowing the specifics of any given decision.

    Section 7.7 of the ICANN bylaws reads as follows:

    “Section 7.7. DUTIES OF DIRECTORS

    Directors shall serve as individuals who have the duty to act in what they reasonably believe are the best interests of ICANN and not as representatives of the EC, the Nominating Committee, Supporting Organization or Advisory Committee that nominated them, as applicable, their employers, or any other organizations or constituencies.”

    From this section, it is clear that it is a duty of all Directors to act in what they reasonably believe are the best interests of ICANN. Should there be a situation in which the interests of individual internet users conflicts with that of the ICANN corporation, I would have the duty to make my decisions following the duty stated in section 7.7 of the ICANN bylaws. However, any decision I made under said hypothetical circumstances, would take into account the points of view from the RALOs and the ALAC, as well as those from other end users communities outside of ICANN, as a source to better form my criteria and be able to make an informed and balanced decision.

    During the CCWG on enhancing ICANN accountability discussions, there was a division between the Board and the community. Part of this division was because the Board intervened, late into the process, to express their fiduciary responsibilities.

    While I understand the fiduciary responsibilities of Board members, I will do my best to consult, as soon as possible, and seek advice of the At-Large community to prevent divisions from board members and the community. Therefore, I will also ensure that the Board is fully aware and cognizant of the views of the ALAC/At-Large during all discussions and deliberations.

    I firmly believe that board members are part of the community. And the interests of ICANN as corporation should be aligned with those of the community. 

    Question 6 from Andrei Kolesnikov sent on  

    How do you plan to enhance the cooperation between At-Large and NCSG in order to avoid unnecessary duplications and bring synergies in our work to benefit the community?

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    I am not sure that this is the work of a Director. Having said that, the enmity that is often exhibited, particularly through targeted attacks on At-Large and the ALAC by just a few vocal NCSG participants is quite distressing and certainly counter-productive.

    The ALAC often does take different positions on a number of issues than does NCSG, or perhaps more accurately, NCUC. Or if not different, perhaps more nuanced. That alone is not an issue. We differ from the positions others take with some regularity, and that often indicates we are doing our job.

    However, in this case, we are both supposed to be representing “users” and that makes the differences more problematic. But it does not explain the animosity.

    As ICANN uses the umbrella term “civil society” more, we will increasingly be brought together. It is up to the leaders of the groups to try to find common ground. That is happening with outreach event in Copenhagen and I think that this could lead to better relationships.

    I suspect that as a Director, I may be in a position to quietly speak to various leaders within both communities and try to encourage better behaviour.

    And perhaps we have to accept that a few people will not change…

    With my capacity to build bridges and bring people together, I would foster the approach between the two communities so that the communities themselves can first identify topics of common interest and then build cross-community strategies that help them address their specific concerns in a coordinated fashion that will allow them to create synergies to optimize time and efforts while avoiding unnecessary duplications. This will also impact the time spent by volunteers on common topics and help each constituency come out of their silos and have a more integral view and common understanding of each other’s interests and needs.

    Question 7 from Javier Rua sent on  

    What will be your main strategy and course if action, as Board Member, in order to augment the resonance and relevance of At-Large & ALAC within ICANN and vis a vis other ACs such as GAC?

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    My answers to Q03 and Q04 partially address this. Since I have much experience with At-Large, most actions I take on the Board will be coloured with my history within At-Large and the ALAC.

    With regard to other ACs, I think we are in a good position.

    For RSSAC, I don’t think there is any issue where we are likely to be on opposite sides, since the RSSAC mandate in coordinating Root Server operations is completely synergistic with the user need of a stable and reliable Internet.

    Similarly for SSAC, it is very rare that we are in competition or on opposite side of the table with SSAC, so again, it is not a competition but to support each other to ensure that we are listened to.

    The GAC situation is more nuanced. In many cases, we are “on the same side”, as with the SSAC, and that just improves the chances that we are listened to. There are times however, where we do not agree. Generally, these are in areas where issues such as “national sovereignty” are of more importance to the GAC than the concern for their individual users. In such cases, I am prepared to present the end-user perspective and stress its importance. Based on past history, the number of such cases, where the GAC and ALAC positions are at odds with each other, and it will have real impact on users*, is quite small.

    * There have been occasional cases where we PHILOSOPHICALY have been at odds with the GAC, such as over protection of the International Olympic Committee trademarks, but these have rarely had a real impact on users.

    I will be the first champion to promote and explain the successes and different milestones reached by the ALAC. However, ALAC’s and At-Large’s resonance and relevance depends more on their own work and not directly on that of any Board member.

    From my part, I will continue to give my best to our community and the organization as I truly believe that, if elected, my work as Board member will speak on behalf of the At-Large community and the ALAC, as I am part of this community and will continue to work closely with you.

    Question 8 from Vanda Scartezini sent on  

    How can you improve ALAC’s influence and advice recognition on ICANN’s new structures post the IANA Stewardship Transition?

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    The IANA transition itself has not changed anything, but the accompanying accountability changes have. Listening to the community is FAR more important than it was before.

    ALAC is listened to much more than it was in earlier years, and I would like to think that my efforts over the years have helped to achieve this.

    In recent years, ALAC has started more actively working with other parts of the organization and more of that will help. As a Director, and being as familiar with At-Large and ALAC as I am, I think I can be a good mentor to help ALAC understand how to craft advice that will hit its target.

    ALAC’s influence depends more on its own work and performance than that of the Board member designated by the At-Large community. Nonetheless, if elected, I will do all I can to facilitate ALAC’s work.

    Also, I will be the first champion to promote and explain the successes and different milestones reached by the ALAC.

    Question 9 from Vanda Scartezini sent on  

    What type of recognition and influence do you believe that At-Large, specifically RALO members, have on ICANN’s new structures post the IANA Stewardship Transition?

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    Anyone who is willing to work and put in time to develop an understanding of ICANN and its issues can make a difference. Many of our statements are drafted by a single person, with others then contributing and refining it. But it takes that one person with initiative. As we work to involve more people in At-large, and specifically more than just the people who have been acting as ALS representatives, I think we will find more people, at all levels, who will be active and contribute.

    You use an interesting word in your question – recognition. I will use it in another sense, how we recognize people who make the effort to contribute. I think ICANN does a HORRIBLE job of this. A person can labour for years, and then when they step down, they may be called up on the stage and given a certificate in a blue folder.

    We MUST do a lot better than this, and some of the ways are trivial. One of my favourite examples is to give out ICANN lapel pins. This is something that a person can proudly wear when they are NOT at an ICANN meeting, advertising ICANN and talking to people about it (spreading the word about ICANN and and getting recognition from their peers at home).

    RALO members are the soul of the At-Large community. With the new Empowered Community, RALO members will be able to influence decisions made through this new body if the bottom up process is carried out properly.

    Through the EC, At-Large will be able to have a say in exercising the new community powers, namely approving or disapproving bylaw changes, appointing or removing Board members, recalling the entire Board, etc.

    Question 10 from Vanda Scartezini sent on  

    How can we attract large businesses participation in ICANN’s new structures post the IANA Stewardship Transition?

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    There are two aspects to this.

    At face value, the home of large businesses in ICANN in within the GNSO, and particularly in the Constituencies of the Commercial Stakeholder Group and to some extent the Registrar and Registry Stakeholder Groups (some of which are very large businesses). I suspect that as part of the accountability work that is going on, these groups will be doing more outreach than before, and their groups will grow and be more representative. At least I hope so.

    I see another aspect to this question though. How can we increase business participation from developing economies which are often very poorly represented in these groups, and particularly among those companies that are part of the domain industry? Here ICANN is nominally active but I believe has to do more. I am not an expert on what would be most effective, but as a Board member, I would support increasing such activities.

    ICANN needs to create awareness of its existence and work on large business in developing regions. ICANN is, so far, mainly populated with large companies from developed economies but we lack presence of those large companies from developing countries.

    ICANN needs to engage with these companies and show them what might be at stake for them and consequently have them participate in the ICANN ecosystem.

    Question 11 from Vanda Scartezini sent on  

    What should be the main uses of the existing fund accumulated through the new gTLDs Auction Proceeds and its future fund?

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    To be clear, we are only talking about the current auction funds, sitting at either $105m or 235M depending on whether the auction for .web stands. The Charter of the CCWG explicitly says that this is a one-time event. If, in the future, some additional money materializes that IACANN wants to use in a similar way, perhaps we could use the same mechanism. I support this, but others on the CCWG are very much against even hinting that there may be more money in the future.

    The footnote in the Applicant Guidebook that talked about the use of Auction Proceeds said:

    Funds must be used in a manner that supports directly ICANN’s Mission and Core Values and also allows ICANN to maintain its not for profit status.

    Possible uses of auction funds include formation of a foundation with a clear mission and a transparent way to allocate funds to projects that are of interest to the greater Internet community, such as grants to support new gTLD applications or registry operators from communities in subsequent gTLD rounds, the creation of an ICANN-administered/community-based fund for specific projects for the benefit of the Internet community, the creation of a registry continuity fund for the protection of registrants (ensuring that funds would be in place to support the operation of a gTLD registry until a successor could be found), or establishment of a security fund to expand use of secure protocols, conduct research, and support standards development organizations in accordance with ICANN's security and stability mission.

    One of the key phrases to me was “projects for the benefit of the Internet community”.

    However, since then things have changed. Specifically, with the new Bylaws, we are even further constrained to only do things that are within the ICANN Mission and Scope, and that is much more constrained than before.

    The good news is that as a member (and Vice-Chair) of the Charter drafting team, I worked to use slightly different wording in the Charter. Two expressions are used: “the need for auction funds to be utilised in a manner that is not inconsistent with ICANN’s Mission” and “aligned with ICANN’s Mission”.

    Those two are just a bit more flexible. It will be up to the CCWG to further refine and possibly limit these uses.

    Now for my personal views. One of my favourite ideas going into this was that we fund Internet Exchange Points. Although this would not be a “main” use of funds, since the cost is relatively low, there are few things that benefit local communities at a relatively low cost. This is clearly “of benefit to the Internet Community”, but it is no clear that we could justify that it is aligned with the ICANN mission.

    But I think there will be many projects that do fall within our remit. Supporting gTLD applications from developing economies is easily within these bounds, as are a large variety of training and DNS security projects.

    I do not think that the ITEMS suggestion of allocating money to the ALAC for our operational use falls within the mandate, but allocating money to the ALAC, RALOs or ALSes for particular projects does. This presumes that the CCWG decides to allow parts of ICANN to apply, something I support, but I am sure there will be opposition.

    One of my favourite ideas may not be possible, but it is something we need to talk about. Due to the CCWG Accountability and other issues, the ICANN reserve fund is very low. This is the money that we would support ICANN with if, for some reason, we had a major drop in revenue, or suffered major losses in court. Because it is low and there is a real need to build it back up, all ICANN budgets are under pressure. If we get to use the entire $240M, I would like to see part of that carved out to build up the reserve. That would put ICANN in a much stronger position financially, and would take the yearly pressure off of the budget, allowing more funds to be used for staff and SO/AC requests (among other things).

    There is currently a CCWG working on the issue. At a general level, funds should be used to promote activities that guarantee ICANN’s mission. If elected I will continue to follow the CCWG’s work closely so that the community is able to guide the Board as to which are the best ways in which that money can have the most meaningful impact. 

    Question 12 from Javier Rua sent on  

    What is the main reform you would propose to ICANN and why?

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    The changes introduced by the IANA Stewardship transition and the Accountability measures are far reaching and not anywhere near complete. The CCWG-Accountability WS2 measures will add to this.

    I suspect that ICANN needs a modest period of stability at this stage.

    That being said, I see two areas that do a focus.

    1. We have built a system of reviews that each seem to make sense in their own right but together are becoming oppressive. The organization reviews (such as the current At-Large Review) have a large cost. The financial cost might be justified, but I believe that the cost on volunteers is too high compared to the benefits received. Too many of these reviews are largely ignored, or cause change for the sake of change without sufficient substantive real benefit – no consultant will submit a report saying no changes are necessary! The Specific Reviews (formerly Affirmation of Commitment Reviews) need to be carefully reviewed (pun intended) to ensure that the benefits meet the investment made.
    2. Our multistakeholder model is very unbalanced and stakeholders with access to funds independent of ICANN can dominate. Those dependant on ICANN funds are left (effectively) to beg. Participation in the Global IGF is a good example. There was an ATRT2 recommendation that this imbalance be addressed, and it has largely been ignored. We MUST do better. We will never completely fix the problem that groups such as At-Large, where all participants are volunteers and have to balance their ICANN work with their real lives, but others participate in ICANN as PART of their employment. But we could partially address the problem that the groups are also imbalanced in terms of access to funding.
    The community has recently made mayor changes to the ICANN structure and governance mechanisms. I believe that we must finish implementing the changes made during the transition as well as those coming as a result of the work from the CCWG on enhancing ICANN accountability in WS2, before doing any other reforms. If elected, I would work to oversee that the remaining possible changes are duly and timely implemented. Specially the recommendations related to Diversity, SO/AC and Staff accountability.

    Question 13 from Javier Rua sent on  

    Do you think the role and/or relevance of International Organizations (IGOs) involved in internet governance should be lowered or raised?

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    Clearly regardless of any of our feeling or desires, some IGOs such as the United Nations and the ITU are not going to go away. I think we need to make a distinction between IGOs that are very directly controlled by their constituent governments and those that are funded by governments but largely have a specific mission that does not greatly vary based on the governments’ whims (perhaps UNESCO or WHO are examples, although not perfect ones). I think that we want to see IGOs that are direct servants of the constituent governments such as the ITU decrease influence, while I suspect the Internet would benefit from the 2nd class of IGOs being more active and ensuring that their areas of concern can be better served by the Internet.

    I believe that Internet governance is and should remain as horizontal as possible. The multi-stakeholder model relies on the equal footing of all its players. Therefore, I believe that IGOs should continue to contribute to the internet governance ecosystem but keeping in mind the equal footing principle and where this principle is not met, then they should be leveled accordingly to preserve this equal footing principle.

    Question 14 from Javier Rua sent on  

    Should states/countries have more say or less say regarding ccTLD policy? Why?

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    I think that is a matter to be resolved in each country or territory. Clearly the current state of affairs is NOT one-size-fits-all and I don’t see it practical or desirable that we move in that direction. Moreover I see nothing but trouble if ICANN decides that it SHOULD have input into this area.

    I believe States/Countries should continue to have the same say they have today regarding ccTLD policy, because policy decisions are made within the FoI developed by the community and ICANN cannot intervene in local government matters.

    Question 15 from Hong Xue (on behalf of Chinese Domain Names Users Alliance) sent on  

    What are your comments and assessments for ICANN's ongoing Review of All Right Protection Measures (RPMs) for all gTLDs? How could the At-Large community effectively take part in the Review process and influence the outcome? What would you propose to reform the RPMs, particularly for new gTLDs, for the interests of global Internet individual users?

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    I am currently an active member of two GNSO PDPs and one Implementation Review Team, but this PDP is not one I have focused on norbeen personally involved in.

    Although it has been active for nearly 10 months, its work is far from over and its first phase is not scheduled to be completed until the start of 2018. The 2nd phase, the review of the UDRP, will then begin.

    Five people associated with At-Large have joined the PDP WG. Of these, two have attended no meetings (out of 29 held), two attended 1 meeting, and one person, who only joined late in 2016 has attended 9 of the 11 meetings since he joined.

    So the first part of the answer is that based on these statistics, it would appear that this topic is not of great interest to people in At-Large. If indeed people are interested in the topic and want to influence the outcomes, then they need to get involved in the group. At-Large will not be in a strong position to either comments on the draft reports or advise the Board after the fact if we have not had an active presence in the work.

    Although I have been involved in a number of discussions and policy processes in ICANN related to trademarks, this is not one of my areas of great expertise. One issue that has arisen a number of times is whether we should provide any protection for common law (unregistered) trademarks. In some jurisdictions represented by At-Large (particularly smaller ones), they are very common and the case has often been made (unsuccessfully to date) that ICANN should consider these trademarks as meaningful in relation to domain names.

    If the At-Large community wants to effectively take part in the review process and influence the outcome, it needs to encourage more people to join the WG. Currently there are only 4 members and 2 observers participating in the WG that identify themselves as linked to the At-Large community. If we don’t have people participating, then it will be more difficult for the At-Large community to influence any outcome. 

    In the ALAC statement on the preliminary issue report for the review I raised two questions regarding the effectivity of the current RPMs and the barriers of access to those PMs from the individual user perspective. I also proposed that any outcome should take into account lowering the cost of access as many times individual users aren’t able to access said protection mechanisms.

    Question 16 from Satish Babu sent on  

    At-Large represents the interests of end-users, but there are still vast swathes of geographies that At-Large still has very limited or no presence in (for instance the Mekong Delta region in Asia). If you become part of the ICANN Board, how will you address this issue?

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    I think that the ICANN Board cannot directly influence this, nor should they be able to, other than to note the issues and raised them to the attention of At-Large Leadership, ask for input on how it might be addressed and provide resources to better address the situation. At-large leadership in turn would have to look to regional leadership to guidance.

    I suspect that if this was done, the resultant answers might point in three directions:

    • work that ICANN needs to do on a global sense (that is improve ICANN’s global presence in those areas) ;
    • targeted resources that need to be devoted to addressing the imbalance. That might take the form of funding to At-Large, but could also relate to such areas as language services;
    • targeted reaching out to known individuals in these regions, both as unaffiliated members of At-Large and as potential NomCom appointees to the ALAC. But we need to identify the people carefully so that there is a real connection between their interests and ICANN. If we do that, I think we a can increase our presence and more importantly, people from these regions can influence our work.

    There are a number of efforts that can be implemented to continue engaging with internet users and specifically to engage with those users that are not aware of either ICANN or At-Large. Some of this efforts, which I would certainly propose if elected are:

    a)    Identify users groups through the five ICANN regions and coordinate with the GSE team in order to organize or participate more (inter)actively in engagement events like Rightscon which is currently sponsored by ICANN. By more interactively I mean that Board members should not only attend this type of events but also be closer to the attendees and provide workshops or interactive sessions;

    b)    Take advantage of the Board retreats to setup meet-ups with local users’ communities and evangelize them on ICANN’s mission.

    c)    Propose the implementation of a pilot program that allows translating key basic information into non-official UN languages. I think of languages that are spoken both in developed and developing countries. For example, German, Zulu, Quechuan, Afrikaans, Swahili, Berber, Otomi, Hebrew, Filipino, Japanese, Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi and Turkish.

    Question 17 from Olivier Crepin-Leblond sent on  

    For a domain name registration records, what is more important: privacy or real identity?

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    The illusion that we can have such a one-size-fits-all answer to this question is why we are still hotly debating WHOIS nearly 20 years after ICANN was created.

    We need to be FAR more nuanced in the question, and then we need to recognize that even then, in different jurisdictions, the answer may be different. And based on history, we may still not all agree.

    It is general accepted (and is in fact the practice for many ccTLDs, but not currently for gTLDs), that crepin-leblond.tld, if it is declared to be used purely for personal and non-commercial purposes, can expect a reasonable amount of privacy. Reasonable in that if you use if for commercial, illegal, or in violation of some rules associated with the TLD (such as trade-mark violation), you may lose your anonymity. This may be the case even if you use a privacy or proxy service.

    On the other hand, if you are using a domain to sell stuff, many jurisdictions require that you provide a real identity such as a corporate or personal name and a physical address. I am told that this is the case in much of Europe (even though ICANN WGs have claimed that it is impossible to recognize “commercial” use). I strongly support the position that if you are conducting business, you should be identifiable and traceable. To be clear, buy “commercial”, I mean you are transacting business and accepting funds in exchange for services or goods.

    To make it a bit more complex, privacy laws in many jurisdictions have strict (and varying!) rules on what information may be collected and kept, and what you can do with it. So even if the registrar knows your “real identity” (and they probably have some idea if this is not a throw-away registration that you plan to renew year after year), they may, by law, be required to mask your identity.

    So if you want a simple answer, it is YES. If you want one that will have actual meaning and usefulness, you are probably destined to spend a lot of time understanding the issues, and there are many.

    Those who are interested in this are encouraged to join the GNSO PDP on Next-Generation gTLD Registration Directory Service (RDS).  But if you do so, you are destined to spend many hours listening to (or participating in) seemingly endless and often circular debates. But some of us are hopeful that the WG will come to an equitable closure.

    I don’t think that users should have to worry that it’s either one or the other. I believe that both privacy AND real identity are important for a healthy DNS. On the one hand, domain name registrations records should be as accurate as possible, hence providing real identity but, on the other hand, they should also be as private as the registrant decided. The key to achieving this balance is to refine the RDS so that there can be access to different tiers of data depending on the identity and qualifications of the person trying to access the information. This way, publicly displayed information may remain as private as the registrant decides but real identity could still be provided under specific circumstances to different types of requestors depending on the requestors’ qualifications. Lastly, registrants should also have clear information as to what type of privacy proxy services are available and how they can access said services.

    Question 18 from Alejandro Pisanty sent on  

    How do you deal with conflict of interest between your professional activities, which also involve your clients' interests, and the function of representing the interests of at-large, general, individual Internet users within ICANN's mission? Please provide at least one representative, verifiable example.

    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    My current professional activities are minimal and all are related to genealogical research. There is no overlap between that and ICANN or its remit.

    I am not aware of how I can provide a representative, verifiable example of something that does not exist.

    During the period from 2002-2011, I was very actively consulting. Most of my assignments were for national development support agencies (the Swedish International Development Agency – SIDA being the dominant one). All projects were studies related to the use of technology in developing countries. A few were marginally related to the Internet and none had any real connection with ICANN. The relationship with end-users was that some of the studies had aspects related to Internet users, but in those rare cases, any possible overlap with ICANN’s remit fully meshed with the interests of At-Large, general and individual Internet users (both within ICANN’s remit and outside of it).

    I also contributed chapters to two books, one on security for end users, and the other of the use of mobile technology to support end users in developing economies.

    A Google search for: greenberg site:sida.se will yield a number of reports. For the books, see  https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/15005 and http://g3ict.org/download/p/fileId_928/productId_241.

    My professional activities don’t collide with ICANN’s mission as copyright and content regulation clearly falls outside the scope of ICANN’s limited mission. Nonetheless, the one time that I drafted a statement where there could be a chance that the outcome of commenting on a PDP could benefit my professional practice, I was transparent about how and why a given output could benefit my practice or my clients. The case of which I speak can be seen in the following link to a mailing list thread from the LACRALO mailing list in relation to the ALAC statement on the Preliminary Issue Report on a GNSO Policy Development Process to Review All Rights Protection Mechanisms in All gTLDs http://atlarge-lists.icann.org/pipermail/lac-discuss-en/2015-November/013955.html in which I clearly stated that the outcome of the PDP could benefit my practice and my clients but I also stated that the work being done and the proposal made on the statement was made for the benefit of end users as it looked to widening access to all RPMs by end users and not to benefit my practice or my clients. This disclosure was seen as fair and reasonable by the person asking this question (Alejandro Pisanty) as you can read in his reply to my mail on the following link http://atlarge-lists.icann.org/pipermail/lac-discuss-en/2015-November/013957.html

    If elected, I will be bound by ICANN’s Conflicts of Interest Policy, which can be found in the following link https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/governance/coi-en therefore I will strictly follow and act in compliance with ICANN’s Conflicts of Interest Policy.

    Question 19 from Thomas Lowenhaupt sent on  

    Alan (and Leon, if you choose),

    As per your response to Question 4 from Satish Babu, if you're elected to the board you will be the “goto” person for information on the GNSO and gTLDs.

    • If you're asked about the efficacy of city-TLDs issued in the 2012 round in addressing the needs of individual Internet users (IIUs) in cities, how would you respond?
    • If asked if city governments were adequately prepared for the arrival of TLDs, with suitable plans to enable IIU engagement in their planning and operation, how would you respond?
    • If asked if ICANN should facilitate communication between individual Internet users in the 2012 cities, to share best practices in governance and operation, how would you respond?
    • Do you think city-TLDs should constitute their own TLD category, with names reserved for that time when they can meet a standard that demonstes engagement by IIUs in their planning, design, and operation?
    • Referencing the previous question, some cities will find it difficult to garner the resources to apply for a TLD due to the high ICANN fees. Noting here that the costs of engaging and demonstrating the engagement of IIUs is likely to increase the cost of application development, should ICANN seek a funding stream for "needy" cities?
    Alan Greenberg León Sanchez

    With respect to the first three questions, these are simply not issues that would arise at the ICANN Board. ICANN, and certainly the ICANN Board does not interfere in the details of how a TLD managers handles there affairs. The only exceptions would be if the TLD is not honoring its contract with ICANN, and in the specific case of a community TLD, this might the body that represents the “community” claiming the commitments (in the contract) were not being honoured. Moreover, these are also not issues that the GNSO has included in its policy, nor has ICANN in its implementation.

    If you ask me my personal opinion of these questions, my answer would have to be that I have not studied city TLDs sufficiently to be able to answer in the general case. I am aware of issues that have arisen with .NYC, which the person asking the question is most deeply involved with, but I have not been made aware of concerns in other city-TLD (which says nothing about whether there are similar concerns or not). I do note that some city-TLDs are “community” TLDs, and others such as .nyc, are, from ICANN’s perspective, contracted as purely commercial ventures.

    I strongly support the concept of different categories of TLDs, a concept which was not agreed to under the first round, but eventually evolved in any case. I believe it should be part of the next round. Whether city TLDs should be separate from other geographic TLDs, I have no strong opinions, but the GAC in concert with the ongoing PDP on future gTLDs will have to resolve that. Similarly, whether every possible city name should be reserved, or a subset, or not reserved but used only with permission, I have not investigated the implications of the options. I tend to think names that might have multiple meanings or uses should not be reserved for one particular use, but I might be convinced otherwise I guess.

    Funding of “needy” applicants is a topic within the GNSO PDP and will also no doubt be an issue considered within the CCWG on the use of the Auction Proceeds from the first round. I have not looked into the details of whether city TLDs should eligible, but if you believe that to be the case, you should be participating in these processes.

    n/a - question was addressed to Alan Greenberg

     

     

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