Date: Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Time: 21:00 UTC (for the time in various timezones click here)  

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1(800)550-6865, Teleconference EN ID: 1638

Adobe Connect Link:

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Attendees:  Gordon Chillcott, Glenn McKnight, Candice Mendez, Evan Leibovitch, Alan Greenberg,  Joly MacFie, Tom Lowenhaupt, Judith Hellerstein, Louis Houle, Avri Doria, Loris Taylor

Apologies: Leah Symekher

Staff: Heidi Ullrich, Silvia Vivanco, Gisella Gruber,Terri Agnew

Call management: Terri Agnew

Summary Minutes:    

Action Items: EN

Transcript:   EN

Chat: EN             

Recording: EN

Adobe Connect Recording: EN


      1. Introduction and Ground rules -Glenn Mc Knight - 2 mins

       2. NARALO nominees for  ALAC Members, opening statements - 5 mins each candidate

        3. Questions & Answers- 45 mins

  • Glenn to read first question,  Judith Second
  • Responses  Louis then Alan
  • Questions from the Audience

    4. Candidates closing remarks - 2 mins each
  •  Alan  Greenberg
  •  Louis Houle





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  1. Question for candidates for the NARALO ALAC position

    During Monday's NARALO call, I raised a question about the role of ALSes in cities that have TLDs. And I referred participants to a Google doc that presented the issue in more detail, see In it I outlined Inc.'s role with the city of New York and its .nyc TLD, in particular, citing 4 changes to the registry agreement that were made without consulting our organization. Also in that document I cite precedent for stakeholder participation in geographically based top level domains via the .us TLD. 

    My question: In principle, do you believe that ALSes based in cities with TLDs should have a role in the decision-making process relating to those cities registry agreements? If so, what changes do we need to make to the existing operating processes to effectuate the inclusion of ALSes in a multistakeholder governance process for a city's TLD?

    1. To answer your last question. I think that would be a delightful idea. Depending on how the city TLD is structured, it may be mandatory, possible, or impossible under today's rules. My detailed answer that follows addresses how that could happen if the registry is not already obliged to do it as part of how they were created and does not choose to do it voluntarily.

      The following was posted in reply to the text in the Google Doc that was posted to the NA-Discuss mailing list.

      Tom, you have also addressed this as a question to the candidates for the NARALO ALAC Member selection and in that capacity I will be glad to address this issue at the meeting tomorrow. However, since you have sent this to the entire NARALO list, the answer has far more to it than can be addressed on our candidate teleconference, and many of the recipients will not likely be at that meeting, I thought it appropriate to reply here as well.

      In the name of transparency I will note that you had already addressed a similar question to the NARALO ALAC Members about two weeks ago, and I did address what I understood to be the issues at that time. I see that you copied the majority of my reply to you below under the title "Basis for ICANN approval of 4 .nyc TLD registry agreement changes". This was presented as my personal understanding and not necessarily the "basis" for the changes. And for the record, I am proudly an Unaffiliated Member of NARALO and not a fellow ALSer.  ;-)

      On to substance.

      .nyc is Generic Top Level Domain granted under the 2010 round of New gTLDs. It is under the sole control of the applicant and now registry operator, The City of New York through its Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications. It is of course subject to all of the ICANN policy associated with gTLDs.

      When I say "sole control", that is of course subject to the terms of its contract and and other organization'                                                        s restrictions. Many city TLDs chose to also be "community" TLDs (examples are .berlin, .madrid, .paris and .osaka), and in that case, they would also be responsible to the community that supported the application, and that responsibility might include some of the user connections that you desire, But even in those cases, it would depend on the specifics of the contracts and relationships. Regardless of the details, the Registry Agreement is a legal contract between ICANN and the Registry Operator, and its amendment is governed by a host of ICANN policies.

      At-Large through the ALAC, and with the RALOs and ALSes has a significant ability to influence many issues. That was not always the case, and we certainly do not implicitly overrule others in the multistakeholder community, but we are heard. That being said, one of the prime purposes of ICANN is to establish policy in the gTLD arena. And we do. But of course, once that policy is established, we have to follow it.

      To look at one of the perhaps less onerous examples you gave, the contract amendment to add several new data fields to the Registration Data Directory (formerly WHOIS). These fields allow the registry to request that all registrants provide information indicating that they are indeed eligible to have a .nyc domain name.  Despite the seeming simplicity of the change, how a registry is granted the right to do this is through making a request to establish a new Registry Service (Registry Services is a specifically defined term). The Registry Services Evaluation Policy (RSEP) governs such changes. The RSEP is one of the earlier Consensus Policies establish within ICANN through MS Model deliberations. RSEP evaluates the change for potential security, stability or competition issues. If it has any of these a consultative process is started which ultimately might result in a the ALAC submitted a comment on the proposed registry service (we have done this a number of times). If it has no security, stability or competition issues, then the request is approved, and in this case, required a contract amendment (since the RDS fields are explicitly listed in the Registry Agreement.

      Now, on to your question, can At-Large change this process to allow for more and explicit consultation. Yes, we can. (Whether we want to or not is a different question - with the New gTLDs, there were about 90 such requests in 2015.) We can cause the policy to be reviewed and potentially changed. I can speak with some authority on the process because I have initiated it twice, and in both cases, the end result was a new gTLD policy that, in my mind and those of many others, significantly improved the gTLD namespace. If you think that this issue is one worthy of the effort it will take to effect the change you want, I encourage you to learn more about the process. I will say (and I have the scars to prove it), you will need to convince a lot of other people that there is a problem and that it is worth addressing.

      The other amendments are related to 2-character 2nd-level names. As I have mentioned in my earlier reply, this subject has been the topic of a number of formal Public Comments and the ALAC did contribute. I do not recall how much ALS input there was into these processes, but there was surely the opportunity for input at many level.

      You ask whether your ALS, which clearly has a great interest in the .nyc TLD, should be consulted before the .nyc agreement is modified. I see no way that we can make a specific link between your ALS and the TLD unless the registry chooses to do so. The more general question is whether the wider community should be notified of potential contractual amendments and have an opportunity to comment. That is certainly an issue that could be raised, as with changing RSEP, we would need to make a strong case that there is a problem and that is is worth of community time to address.

      Regarding the use .us as a model. .us is a ccTLD which operates under a completely different set of rules and constraints. At some level (certainly for a redelegation or transfer of a ccTLD to a new operator), there must be some demonstration that the interested parties within the country/territory support the registry operator and their policies. Of course, the form this takes, and the actual level of real support, varies greatly from country to country.

      .us was historically operated by Verisign and was redelegated to NeuStar in 2001 ( I don't know if the .usTLD Stakeholder Council was put in place out of a sense of public interest, or whether they had to commit to it in order to satisfy the US Government's procurement process. It is certainly a model that can be used for how .nyc should be operated, but perhaps unfortunately, there  is nothing in the current policies that could compel .nyc, as a delegated TLD, to adopt such a policy other than voluntarily. On the other hand, if your aim is to make sure that this type of problem does not happen again, a GNSO PDP on setting the policies for any future gTLD rounds (or other methods of release) has just started. It is doing a full review of all policies, and you (and anyone else) are welcome to take an active part in it. See to sign up.

  2. Following up. It's my hope that ALSes will play a part in a multistakeholder governance process that supports the development of future city TLD applications. And presumably/hopefully those ALSes will play a continuing role in an ongoing multistakeholder governance process.

    1. I hope that all ALSes will play a part in the ICANN multistakeholder model in relation to all aspects of Internet governance within the scope of ICANN. Where specifically each ALS, and even more importantly each ALS member, puts their efforts is up to them.

      Some of us are working hard to encourage that to happen.

  3. Hi Tom,

    ALSes based in cities with TLDs should have a role in the decision-making process relating to those cities registry agreements? If so, what changes do we need to make to the existing operating processes to effectuate the inclusion of ALSes in a multistakeholder governance process for a city's TLD?

    To your first question, I'll be glad to share my views and use some story telling with what I've done with Dot-Quebec.

    To your second question, your TLD must perceive how you can be useful to them and helpful in linking to your community. More details during our meeting.

    On your 3rd comment, the ALs are a knowledgeable source of information on both ICANN governance model and Internet users concerns. It would be wise for a City TLD to be inclusive and learn more about the ongoing multistakeholder model. It would be wiser to use the ALs to better shape there business model.