During ICANN64, the At-Large community held three workshops on policy topics ranging from balancing privacy and security/stability, universal acceptance, as well as new generic top-level domain (gTLD) subsequent procedures. The policy workshops were led by Jonathan Zuck, Co-Chair of the At-Large Consolidated Policy Working Group (CPWG).
Balancing Privacy with Security and Stability for the Internet End User
At-Large hosted a panel of experts on the topic of “Privacy vs Consumer Protection”, including Laureen Kapin of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Greg Aaron from the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) and Kathy Kleiman and Farzaneh Badii of the ICANN Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG). This informational session is part of a process to develop consensus on At-Large objectives for Phase II of the EPDP. The At-Large community remained committed to representing the interests of non-registrant end users on the EPDP, both because they represent the majority of end users and because those interests are underrepresented on the EPDP. Greg Aaron from SSAC noted reputation systems are suffering under the WHOIS virtual blackout. The data show that the capacity of cybersecurity firms to identify malicious websites has been cut nearly in half. The concerns raised by the At-Large community throughout Phase I of the EPDP have therefore been confirmed. This suggests a need for efficiency in Phase II to minimize the damage the data shortfall produces. Accreditation is no simple task. Distinctions will need to be made between various law enforcement jurisdictions in order to protect free speech.
Challenges and Possible Opportunities Regarding Universal Acceptance
The At-Large community discussed universal acceptance (UA), and formed two areas of consensus. First, the interests of Internet end users, particularly those using non-Latin scripts, are being undermined by a lack of universal acceptance around the world. It was therefore unanimous among those present that UA should be a priority issue for the At-Large community. Second, there was enthusiasm to experiment with At-Large community mobilization on the issue of universal acceptance. Given the worldwide challenges that a lack of UA poses, the Regional Leaders of the At-Large community committed to participating in a program of widespread outreach to end users, to engage them in testing applications and websites around the world and reporting those that fail to accept top-level domains (TLDs) longer than 3 characters, or in non-Latin scripts (International Domain Names, or IDNs). John Laprise, Vice-Chair of the ALAC and Chair of the At-Large Social Media Working Group (SMWG) will develop a plan for multi-tier Internet end user outreach and activation on universal acceptance. John will facilitate continued discussion and brainstorming in terms of audience, ask and technology for this program.
New gTLD Subsequent Procedures and Objectives for the At-Large Community
While the At-Large community views the notion of a new gTLD round with skepticism, the priority of At-Large is to focus efforts on those left behind in the last round - namely communities and so-called "underserved" regions around the world. Christa Taylor from the Subsequent Procedures Working Group (SubPro) explained that the WG is tending towards trying to identify a "middle tier" region that was not present in the last round, but would likely be interested in the New gTLD Program. They are dedicated to improving the applicant assistance over what was provided in the 2012 round. The At-Large community has committed to help with a more functional definition of “community” and to make recommendations for qualified participants on the various evaluation committees. Furthermore, the At-Large community has committed to spreading word of a new round if and when it happens.
Joint GAC-ALAC Statement on the EPDP
During ICANN64, the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) drafted and approved a Joint GAC-ALAC Statement on the EPDP.
The GAC and ALAC are aligned overall with the EPDP Phase I Report, as it pertains to outstanding concerns as articulated in their respective statements to the report. The two advisory committees are in agreement on the need to distinguish between natural and legal persons. In addition, the GAC and ALAC highlighted the importance of data accuracy, the technical contact field, and protecting the public interest.
The statement was drafted jointly with the GAC with input from the ALAC Liaison to the GAC, Yrjö Lansipuro, and GAC representative, Cathrin Bauer-Bulst, as well as the At-Large representatives to the EPDP, Hadia Elminiawi and Alan Greenberg.