In council election: 1. Candidates are sorted by vote count. If electing N first ones would not result in fewer than two representatives of either gender or more than two of any region in the council, they shall be elected. 2. If there would be fewer than two of either gender, minority gender candidates shall be elected over majority gender ones until there'd be two of them in the council. If there're multiple minority gender candidates available, those satisfying the two-per-region limit shall be given first priority, then ones from otherwise non-represented regions, after that the ones with most votes. 3. If there are not enough minority gender candidates to achieve the required minimum of two, their slots shall be left empty, to be filled by the Executive Committee with temporary alternate appointments, with the proviso that majority gender representatives may be appointed for a maximum of one month at a time until a minority gender one can be appointed. 4. If there would be more than two of any one region and there are candidates from less-represented region, the slots over two for the overrepresented region shall go preferentially to a candidate from a region that has no representative at all, after that to one that has only one. More than two councillors from one region shall be acceptable only in case there are no candidates left from other regions. 5. In event of a tie, minority gender and region shall be given priority as above until the requirement of at least two of each gender and at most two per region are satisfied. After that, priority shall be given to any otherwise non-represented region, then to minority gender representative. If tie still remains unresolved, winner shall be determined by lot. 6. In case there are some 1-year and some 2-year slots to be filled, 2-year slots shall be given to those with most votes from the set determined by rules above.
NCSG Travel Slot Transfer
This is the operating procedure for the allocation of ICANN-funded travel support to NCSG leaders (Executive Committee and Council members) and NCSG members for public ICANN meetings:
The NCSG receives the following travel slots per meeting:
At the annual Policy Forum and the annual Community Forum, the NCSG receives 6 slots for Council members, and 3 slots for NCSG Executive Committee members, being a total of 9 travel slots.
At the Annual General Meeting, the NCSG receives travel slots for all incoming and outgoing Councilors (a minimum of 6 slots and a maximum of 9 slots, depending on whether or not new persons are rotating into the Council) as well as 3 travel slots to be allocated to the to NCSG Executive Committee.
The chair of the NCSG shall send a note to the archived mailing lists of the NCSG Policy Committee and the NCSG Executive Committee about travel support upon receipt of notification from the GNSO Secretariat. The note should not be sent later than two days after receipt of the GNSO Secretariat email.
The Council members and whomever receives travel support, including the NCSG EC representatives, should respond within one calendar week (7 days) indicating whether or not they will be able to attend the meeting. If a member of the NCSG EC cannot attend, the respective constituencies’ leadership will be informed and the NCSG EC will decide on the allocation of travel slot. If the Chair cannot attend, the NCSG EC will be informed.
If a Council member or a funded NCSG Executive Committee cannot attend the meeting, the following process should be invoked to decide upon the travel slot transfer:
The NCSG chair announces the opportunity on the NCSG-Discuss list and requests that the interested members send their Motivation Statement privately to the Chair and copy in ICANN support staff.
The Motivation Statement must explain in detail why the applicant would like to attend the meeting, provide evidence of full and verifiable engagement in Domain Name System policy deliberations, proof that the applicant has previously attended calls and contributed to PDPs, NCSG Policy Committee meetings and other relevant policy and related meetings, and explain why their physical presence is important for this meeting, mentioning specific tasks they commit to carry out on behalf of the NCSG. The tasks must be related to the NCSG and advance the NCSG’s interests at that specific ICANN meeting.
If the applicant is to be an alternate to a GNSO Councillor, he or she should have an understanding of how the Council works and have observed their meetings beforehand. They must provide a letter of recommendation from either a) the Chair of the NCSG Policy Committee, or (b) a serving member of the Council in his or her second term.
While Execeutive Committee’ travel slots may be allocated to newcomers, newcomers should commit to attending sessions of the NCSG leading up to the ICANN meeting, as well as undertaking revision and background reading on at least one internal governance document and a PDP.
The applicant must commit to attending the ICANN meeting fully, be at the meeting venue every day, and be present to the greatest extent possible at all NCSG meetings, constituency meetings, GNSO Council meetings, and PDP sessions for which they have expressed interest in their Motivation Statement. If the selected applicant does not appear to be present at the venue without justification, s/he will not be eligible to be allocated a travel slot in the future. The decision of such ineligibility will be made by the NCSG Executive Committee (in the evaluation of at least two members).
The NCSG leaders and members should abide by the ICANN org timeline for submitting travel requests and reviewing itineraries when allocated a travel slot, so that they do not impose any additional and unnecessary costs onto ICANN. If they do not book travel swiftly without a justification, ICANN org may not agree to book the travel, and the recipient will not be given a travel slot by the NCSG for the next meeting.
If, under unforeseeable circumstances, the Council members have to cancel their travel after it has already been booked, they should inform the NCSG Chair as soon as possible to see if a transfer of their hotel room and per diem can be arranged. It is the responsibility of the traveler to determine whether or not he or she requires a visa to travel to a particular destination. If a Council member or an Executive Committee member requires a visa to travel to the meeting, the member is responsible for applying for a visa at the earliest opportunity and abiding by ICANN’s travel timeline. If, one month prior to the event the visa has not been issued, the member must inform the NCSG Chair and comment on the likelihood that his or her visa will be issued in time for the meeting. The NCSG Chair will consult with the NCSG EC and ICANN Constituency Travel about the potential transfer of the travel slot or, if it is feasible, allow additional time for the NCSG Council member to receive her/his visa.
The NCSG Chair or ICANN support staff will send all eligible requests received for travel support to the NCSG EC mailing list. Ineligible requests are those applications that do not have Motivation Statements. (If a Motivation Statement is missing and the application has been received well before the deadline, the NCSG Chair or ICANN support staff will endeavor to remind the candidate to re-submit their application before the deadline with the Motivation Statement completed.) In addition, after the deadline has passed, the NCSG Chair or ICANN support staff will inform any applicants whose application was unsuccessful due to being incomplete. An application is incomplete if it only expresses the desire to travel but does not provide a detailed justification for being present during the meeting and fulfill the criteria set out under section 4.
The email addresses of the applicants should not intentionally be shared on the public mailing list. If other private information is found within the Motivation Statement or other attachments, such as one’s home address, the NCSG Chair or ICANN support staff will endeavor to cloak this information with a black box. However, candidates should know and be notified prior to applying that their Motivation Statement will be made public and shared in a public mailing list.
The NCSG Executive Committee will decide who to allocate the travel slot to within one calendar week (7 days) after the deadline for submitting applications. Each EC member must provide a justification as to why they support an applicant and how the supported candidate fulfills the criteria stipulated under section 4 and throughout this policy. The decision should be taken through full consensus but if it is a matter of urgency, the Chair can give a shorter deadline and make a decision with the support of at least two other EC members.
The results should be announced on the NCSG mailing list with a justification.
The EC deliberations on allocating travel slots should take place on the NCSG-EC mailing list. If there are discussions about applicant eligibility that should not be discussed on the public mailing list, the EC can enter an executive session to discuss this matter privately, but with full disclosure to the NCSG-mailing list on the rationale of discussing such a matter privately. Discussing privately is allowed only under exceptional circumstances and should be agreed upon by the majority of EC.
Those who have an NCSG leadership slot transferred to them should send a report of their activities to the NCSG Chair within 2 weeks of the meeting concluding. They should also report from the meeting about the ongoing discussions and important issues.
If non-refundable transportation has already been booked for a traveler who finds themselves unable to attend a meeting, and this ticket cannot be transferred to another traveler, it is possible that their hotel and per diem can be allocated to another NCSG member. The NCSG Chair and EC should endeavour to re-allocate those components of the travel slot that can be allocated, so they are not left unused.
Travel Opportunities As Given by Additional Budget Requests
Occasionally ICANN approves some of the Additional Budget Requests (ABR) that the NCSG has submitted, and these might include travel components. The allocation of those travel slots should take place according to the following:
The NCSG Chair liaises with ICANN org to determine what resources are available and what timeline must be followed for the allocation of this resource.
The NCSG Chair drafts the call for applicants based on the ABR approval text and advice from ICANN staff, including within this call what is required from the candidate as well as the specific tasks that are expected of the member. This is sent to the NCSG Executive Committee giving them at least one calendar week (7 days) to approve the call for applicants announcement. This deadline can be shorter under justifiable circumstances, but the Chair has to be clear as to why the deadline is amended. If the deadline is amended simply because the Chair was too late to submit with no adequate justification, then the EC should give a warning to the Chair.
If applicable, the NCSG EC suggests modifications or additions to the proposed text of the call for applications.
The Chair finalizes the announcement and sends it to the NCSG-Discuss list with a deadline for applications. Under normal circumstances applicants should be given 7 to 10 days to apply, however depending on the ABR and the specialized knowledge it requires, it may be necessary to allow a longer application window. If the call for candidates is longer than 10 days, a ‘last call’ reminder email should be sent to the NCSG-Discuss list five days before the deadline ends. The Chair may delegate the responsibility of sending the reminder email to the ICANN support staff.
The applicants are required to provide a Motivation Statement that fulfills the criteria set by the NCSG EC, and to submit a Statement of Interest (SOI) on the ICANN wikispace that outlines any conflicts of interest.
The applicants should send their Motivation Statement and SOI to the NCSG Chair and ICANN Staff Support.
The complete applications should be sent to the NCSG EC mailing list.
The EC has 7 days to decide on successful applications.
Preferably, all the EC members should evaluate the applicants and provide a reasoning for their choice.
If there is a significant support for a candidate or candidates (depending on the number of travel slots) among those EC members who have evaluated them, the Chair will announce the result on the EC list and on the NCSG mailing list. If none of the EC members evaluate the applicants on the NCSG-EC mailing list within the deadline, the Chair will send the name of a recommended applicant with a justification to the NCSG-EC mailing list. If there is no significant opposition (>1 members) to this suggestion after 7 days, the applicant will be selected and announced on the mailing list. If there is substantial objection and name of an alternative has been put forward, the Chair gives the EC 7 days from when the suggestion has been made to decide. (the deadline can change depending on the urgency of the matter, however, urgency has to be justified for example by showing that if the name is not submitted soon, the travel slot will not or can not be used). If the rest of the EC does not oppose or agree on the alternative, the Chair will consider the alternative but ultimately will decide on the selection with a justification and announce it on the list.
ICANN Constituency Travel information can be found here: https://community.icann.org/x/TjjxAg
NCSG-EC Procedures for Review, Re-Categorization, and Removal of NCSG Membership Status
These Operating Procedures of the Noncommercial Stakeholder Group Executive Committee (NCSG-EC) should be read together with NCSG’s Charter and are intended to supplement NCSG’s Charter with respect to procedures for review, re-categorization, and removal of NCSG membership.
I. Reasons for Review and / or Removal of Membership
NCSG membership entails eligibility requirements and all NCSG members shall keep their membership current and accurate.
Reasons that Pertain to All Types of Membership
Any NCSG Member shall have their NCSG membership reviewed and removed under any of the following circumstances:
Member determined by EC to be currently not eligible for NCSG membership under the category for which Member is admitted and / or any other claimed eligible category of membership.
2. Member found by EC to have engaged in serious misconduct relevant to Member’s NCSG participation such as violations of NCSG’s Principles for Members and Leaders as described in Section 1.2 of NCSG’s Charter, or for violations of ICANN’s Expected Standards of Behavior and Anti-Harassment Policies, or based on the recommendation of the ICANN ombudsman’s office, or for intentionally providing false or misleading information in one’s membership application that is considered material to the Member’s eligibility or application, or for other misconduct related to a serious legal, civil, or criminal complaint against the Member.
3. Member Requests Removal of Self.
B. Reasons that Pertain to Organizational Members
NCSG Member Organizations shall have their NCSG membership reviewed and removed as ineligible under the following circumstances:
- Organization no longer exists, ceases to operate or otherwise function as a legal entity, or
- Organization’s individual representative(s) leave(s) the organization and the organization fails to replace representative(s) within 60 days after notice of pending removal is sent to Member via email to the email address on record with NCSG, or
- Organizational Member is determined to be among an excluded category of ineligible organizations under NCSG’s Charter. Categories of ineligible organizations under NCSG’s Charter include political organizations; commercial organizations and associations that advocate for the benefit of commercial entities (even if they are non-profit in form); organizations already represented in ICANN through another Supporting Organization or GNSO Stakeholder group; organizations under contract or MoU with ICANN; government organizations or government departments, whether local, regional, or national; intergovernmental organizations whose membership primarily includes nation states, or
- Organizational Member is determined to not meet eligibility requirements for NCSG membership. Pursuant to NCSG’s Charter, only organizations meeting the following criteria are eligible for membership in the Stakeholder Group:
a) The organization is incorporated as a noncommercial entity (in countries that have a provision in their commercial code) or, if unincorporated, or if operating in a country without provisions for noncommercial incorporation, that operates on a not-for-profit basis primarily for noncommercial purposes, and
b) Be the exclusive user of at least one domain name for noncommercial purposes, and
c) Is engaged in online activities that are primarily noncommercial, and
d) In the case of a membership-based organization, (meaning organized as a membership-based organization under the applicable law as used in NCSG’s Charter) the organization should not only be noncommercial itself, but should have a primarily noncommercial focus, and the membership should also be primarily composed of noncommercial members.
C. Reasons that Pertain to Individual Members
NCSG Individual Members shall have their NCSG membership reviewed and / or removed under the following circumstances:
Individual Member does not support noncommercial public-interest positions in its advocacy within the Stakeholder Group, or
2. In reference tocategories of eligible membership under section 2.2.5 of NCSG’s Charter:
a) Individual Member admitted under first category and does not currently have the domain name registered that is used primarily for noncommercial uses; or
b) Individual Member admitted under the second category who has no registered noncommercial domain name but who is primarily concerned with noncommercial public interest aspects of policy in NCSG activity and is not represented at ICANN through another Supporting Organization or GNSO Stakeholder Group; or
c) Individual Member admitted under the 3rd category who was admitted as employee or member of large noncommercial organization and is not currently an employee or member of the organization; or
3. Death of Individual Member, based on information received by the Chair.
II. Initial Review of Membership Eligibility
A. Who can initiate removal or review of an NCSG Member?
Any member who no longer meets membership criteria under which that member is admitted, is obligated to notify NCSG-EC and resign membership, or if applicable, to request a change in membership status that corresponds to a different category of membership eligibility under NCSG’s Charter.
To initiate the process for self-removal of membership, the Member requesting removal should notify the Chair via email with a request for removal from membership. Upon Chair’s receipt of the Member’s notification of removal and as soon as reasonably possible thereafter, the entire EC should be informed of the request for membership change via the EC email list or during an EC meeting, where it can be noted for the record that membership has been removed.
To initiate the process for self-recategorization of membership eligibility (i.e., to move from one category of eligible membership to another category of eligible membership), the Member requesting the self-recategorization shall notify the Chair via email with a Request for Review of membership eligibility. Together with the notification, the Member shall additionally provide information to the Chair that is sufficient to substantiate Member’s claim regarding the new category of membership eligibility. Upon receipt of the notification and supporting information, the Chair shall add that Member request for self-recategorization of membership eligibility to the existing list of pending NCSG membership applications to be evaluated by the NCSG-EC in its regular due course.
2. Any NCSG member(s) in good standing (including members of the NCSG-EC) may request review of eligibility of another NCSG member pursuant to these operating procedures.
3. ICANN’s Ombudsman Office may also request a review of eligibility of an NCSG member pursuant to these operating procedures.
B. Process for Request for Review of Membership Eligibility
1. Request for Review of membership eligibility of a NCSG Member shall be filed by sending an email to the NCSG Chair providing notice of such request, together with any evidence supporting the Request or otherwise relevant to the issues under review. The Request shall state sufficient facts and argument that is supported by evidence which demonstrates that the Member under review is not currently eligible for NCSG membership under the category for which that Member is admitted (or any category of eligibility if applicable).
2. The Chair retains the right to decide in Chair’s discretion if any Request for Review is frivolous or vexatious or otherwise totally lacking in merit and may summarily deny the Request on those grounds, provided that the Chair informs the EC of such a decision simultaneously with the Requester. Any Member of the EC may revive the summarily denied Request for Review for the next 14 days by notification of email to the EC email list requesting such revival.
3. Within 10 days of Chair’s receipt of a valid (i.e., revived, non-frivolous, non-vexatious) Request for Review of membership, the Chair shall forward the Request for Review and any supporting documentation to the NCSG Member whose membership is under Review and shall request a response from the Member to be submitted to the EC within 21 calendar days from Member’s notification of the Request. Simultaneous with Member’s notification, the Chair shall also send the NCSG EC Members a copy of the Request for Review and any supporting documentation provided.
4. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Chair retains discretion with respect to decisions about what information may be disclosed to Member based on confidentiality, privacy, retaliation, and other legitimate concerns. However, any member of the NCSG EC may dispute the decision to withhold certain information to Member and may call for a vote of the EC on this issue that shall over-rule the Chair’s judgment upon reaching a two-thirds threshold, excluding the Chair in the vote.
5. EC Members shall investigate and evaluate the merits of any valid Request for Review of eligibility pursuant to the NCSG Charter and these Operating Procedures.
6. If Member’s response is submitted in a timely manner, and review of eligibility is disputed by Member therein, an online (or telephonic) EC meeting will be called by the Chair to be held approximately 7-14 calendar days after the Member’s response is received. During this meeting the EC will evaluate the merits of the request, response, and any additional relevant information provided on the matter, and make a decision on the request. Any member of the EC may request that the Member whose eligibility is in question, the Requester, or any additional individual(s) with relevant information be allowed to participate at the EC meeting where the matter is to be decided. The Chair retains discretion with respect to the organization and chairing of the EC meeting where the matter is to be deliberated upon.
7. Member(s) who are the subject of the Request for Review and the Requester(s) shall be informed of the EC’s initial decision via email from the Chair within one business day of the EC decision being taken, and the Chair shall also record the initial decision on the NCSG-EC email list within one business day of the EC decision being taken.
III. Appeal Decision to Entire NCSG Membership
A. Filing an Appeal of a Membership Decision of the EC
1. Any decision of the NCSG-EC regarding Requests for Reconsideration may be appealed by requesting a full vote of the NCSG membership, pursuant to NCSG Charter Section 126.96.36.199.
2. If at least 15 NCSG members in good standing and whose membership is not under review including at least one organizational and one individual member, request such an appeal, then the NCSG Executive Committee will first take the appeal under consideration.
3. The first NCSG Member listed on the appeal notice shall be considered the “lead appellant” and point of contact between the NCSG-EC and the NCSG Member appellants and shall have decision making authority for the entire group of appellants in this matter.
4. Members have 7 days from the time the decision is posted to the NCSG-EC email list in which to lodge the appeal of the EC’s decision.
5. Such notice shall be made by sending email notice of the appeal to the EC Chair together with any additional information and argument that appellants wish to be considered in the appeal.
6. The Chair shall simultaneously forward a duly filed notice of appeal with supporting information to the NCSG-EC email list and shall organize and hold EC discussions regarding the appeal as soon as practicable where the EC will reach a Final Decision on the appeal.
7. The Chair shall inform appellants on the outcome of EC’s Final Decision regarding the appeal via email within one day of the decision being taken. The Chair shall also record the Final Decision on the NCSG-EC email list within one business day of the EC decision being taken.
8. If, after consideration of any documentation provided by those making the appeal, the NCSG‑EC does not reverse its decision and the decision becomes final, the NCSG‑EC and those making the appeal should attempt to negotiate a mutually agreeable solution. The NCSG Chair and the lead appellant shall undertake discussions via email, telephone, online meeting software, or something similar, to try to find a solution regarding the EC’s Final Decision.
9. If the NCSG‑EC and the appellants cannot reach a mutually acceptable agreement on the EC’s Final Decision within the negotiation period of 30 days from the filing of the appeal, then an NCSG vote will be scheduled unless both parties agree to a single 30-day extension in the negotiation period, and such agreement shall be recorded on the NCSG-EC email list by the Chair within one business day of reaching the agreement to extend negotiations only once.
10. If the NCSG-EC and the appellants do reach a mutually acceptable agreement regarding the EC’s Final Decision within the negotiation period, then the Chair will announce the agreement as a Revised Final Decision to the NCSG-EC and Membership email lists within one business day of reaching the agreement. A Revised Final Decision shall be considered final and unappealable and shall replace any earlier decision of the EC on the matter.
B. NCSG Membership Vote on EC Final Decision
1. The request for an NCSG membership vote on the EC’s Final Decision regarding the appeal shall be made by the lead appellant sending an email notice of the request for membership vote to the EC Chair within 7 days after the negotiation period has ended.
2. The Chair shall simultaneously forward a duly filed request for membership vote to the NCSG-EC email list and to the NCSG membership list within two business days of Chair’s receipt of the request.
3. Under the EC’s supervision, the Chair shall organize and call for a special election among the NCSG membership to be scheduled as soon as practicable if the next regularly scheduled NCSG annual election is more than 8 months away. If the next regularly scheduled NCSG annual election is less than 4 months away, the appeal will be included as a ballot item on the NCSG regularly scheduled annual election and a special election shall not be called for.
4. The appeal shall be included on the ballot as a yes or no referendum on the EC’s Final Decision with a “no” vote meaning approval of the appeal of the EC’s Final Decision and a “yes” vote meaning approval of the EC’s decision.
5. For this type of appeal to succeed, the threshold of 60% of all of the NCSG members voting in the election must approve of the appeal in a full membership vote as defined in section 4.0 of NCSG’s Charter.
6. In the event that the NCSG membership vote does not meet the threshold to appeal the EC’s Final Decision, or in the event that the EC’s Final Decision is not duly appealed in a timely manner, then the EC’s decision shall be considered final and unappealable and shall be recorded by the Chair on the NCSG-EC email list and the NCSG membership list as soon as reasonably practicable.
V. General Provisions for NCSG Membership Review and Decision Making
A. NCSG Member Obligations
1. Members are expected to participate in good faith and cooperate with the NCSG-EC in its investigation and evaluation of member’s eligibility and good standing.
2. Members have an affirmative obligation to notify NCSG-EC of any pertinent change of their NCSG membership status (including moving from one category of eligibility to another category of eligibility of NCSG membership) and to request EC review of the change of eligibility.
3. The Member email address provided by the NCSG Member to receive official NCSG communications shall be the email address utilized by NCSG-EC for any communications required under these procedures.
B. NCSG Membership Status Pending Evaluation
1. A Member whose application for self-recategorization of eligibility is pending shall have membership voting rights suspended pending the outcome of the EC’s recategorization determination and any appeals.
2. A Member whose eligibility is under review based on the filing of a Request for Review by another shall continue to enjoy membership rights and privileges pending the outcome of the EC’s initial decision on the Request for Review, which shall then become determinative and in effect pending the outcome of any Final Decision that is not successfully appealed in a membership vote.
3. EC decisions shall remain in full force and effect pending the outcome of any appeal of the EC’s decision to the membership.
C. EC Decision Making Over Membership Reviews
1. All decisions, communications, and evaluations made by the NCSG-EC regarding termination shall be done transparently to the extent reasonably possible (including publicly archived online record of the discussions and any decisions reached). Notwithstanding the foregoing, certain redactions and other protections for personal privacy and other legitimate concerns shall be invoked, where appropriate, in the publication or dissemination of this information at the discretion of the Chair.
2. NCSG Chair may appoint another NCSG-EC Member to serve as chair for these procedures regarding the evaluation and determination of Requests for Review of NCSG membership and may continue to participate in the EC discussion as a voting member in such case. The appointment may be for a specific duration or for the entire duration of the matter to be decided at the mutual agreement of the appointed and the appointing EC Members, and the terms of agreement shall be noted on the NCSG-EC email list for the record.
3. NCSG-EC Members who are also signatories on any Request for Review or who are the subject of a Request for Review shall recuse themselves from the EC decision on that review of eligibility, and NCSG-EC Members so recused may be replaced by the appointing NCSG constituency with an “alternate representative” from within that constituency’s membership for the sole purposes of that EC Request for Review decision.
4. NCSG-EC decisions regarding Requests for Review of membership (including but not limited to Initial and Final Decisions) are taken by an 80% threshold vote of NCSG-EC members (including any “alternate representatives” as defined in the preceding sub-section of these Operating Procedures, if applicable).
5. Possible EC decisions and remedies include but are not limited to: recategorization of membership, temporary suspension or permanent removal of any or all NCSG membership privileges including but not limited to participation rights in ICANN working groups, email lists, travel support, participation in leadership roles, and other NCSG or ICANN-related activities as determined at the discretion of the EC.
6. Any EC decision for membership recategorization, removal, suspension, restriction, or other NCSG membership decision additionally applies to Member’s participation in any constituency within NCSG. Any such recategorization, removal, suspension or other decision regarding NCSG membership shall be immediately communicated by the Chair to the executive committees of the constituencies within the NCSG to which that Member held membership.
7. These operating procedures shall be repealed or amended in accordance with NCSG’s Charter at any time by an 80% affirmative vote of the NCSG-EC, after consulting with the NCSG membership on the proposed changes via the NCSG membership email list and receiving no significant objections to the changes from the membership as determined by the Chair.
NCSG Membership: Applicants’ Guidelines and Approval Process
1. What are non-commercial interest, users, and uses?
The Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group amplifies the voice of civil society organisations, public interest groups, and individuals in ICANN processes. Typical members include: non-profit organizations that serve non-commercial interests; non-profit services such as education, philanthropies, consumer protection, community organizing, promotion of the arts, public interest policy advocacy, children's welfare, religion, scientific research, and human rights; public interest software concerns; families or individuals who register domain names for non-commercial personal use; and Internet users who are primarily concerned with the non-commercial, public interest aspects of domain name policy.
2. Why is it essential for us that you protect and aim to advance the noncommercial interest in domain name policy as an NCSG and its constituencies member?
We are the only community within the ICANN ecosystem that exclusively advances non-state and non-market interests. We use the Domain Name System (DNS) in order to promote and protect non-commercial communication and activity. Our members are researchers, academics, advocates, digital human rights groups, and ICT for development organisations, among others.
We also welcome individuals with a technical background whose DNS activities advance non-commercial policy objectives. For example, if you have a company that uses WHOIS personal data of domain registrants to provide software for others, you are not eligible to apply for NCSG. If you do business in the digital realm but are passionate about the non-commercial aspects of DNS policy, as long as the company does not directly relate to DNS, you can still apply as a non-commercial individual. If you are a member of At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and Regional At-Large Organizations (RALOs), as long as you have non-commercial interest and agree to promote non-commercial interests in NCSG, you are eligible to apply.
If you are protecting the brand owners’ interests over non-commercial users and uses of DNS interests, you are not eligible to apply. You can join the commercial stakeholder group, which has an intellectual property constituency and a business constituency as well as an Internet service provider constituency. Such criterion does not mean NCSG is not concerned with intellectual property rights law and policy. We have intellectual property lawyers and experts as our members, but their mission is to prevent intellectual property overreach and have a balanced approach towards individual rights and commercial rights.
3. How does the approval process work?
After you submit your application to join the NCSG, the NCSG Executive Committee (EC) will review your Statement of Interest, evaluate your non-commercial interest in Domain Name System policy, and verify your credentials. Incomplete forms make it difficult for us to assess the suitability of a candidate for membership. You will not be automatically accepted into the NCSG; in order to protect our reputation and the integrity of our work, there is a review process of all applications that can take up to one month or longer if there are questions or need more information.
We are also a voluntary organization. If the process takes longer, or you have not been informed about your application status, the delay might just be due to the EC’s heavy workload, however you are welcome to contact the NCSG Chair to follow-up on your membership application: (email@example.com).
We encourage the inclusion of references on your application form, particularly if your online presence is limited.
After assessing your application, the following will happen:
- When the Executive Committee approves your application, you will receive a welcome email, and you will be subscribed to our main mailing list, and will be a member of NCSG. After your NCSG membership has been approved, those constituencies you indicated you want to join, if any, will be notified. Constituencies have their own processes for accepting your application after your NCSG membership application has been approved.
- If the Executive Committee does not find you eligible for membership, you will be sent an email with the reason explaining why your application has been unsuccessful. Your personal information, other than your name (or/ and organization name, if applicable) and the reason for rejection, will be deleted from our database. The EC will also keep a record of its communication with you which might have the email address you provided in your application.
- If the Executive Committee cannot verify your non-commercial interest in DNS policy or if the website you have pointed us to does not resolve , or for other reasons that the Executive Committee deems appropriate based on the charter and these guidelines and your application, you will be sent an email requesting clarification before a formal decision is made. If we did not receive any response within one month of our inquiry, your application will be withdrawn, but you will be welcome to re-apply for membership again in the future. In such circumstances, the Executive Committee will delete your personal data from our membership database other than your name (and organization name, if applicable) and the reason for rejection. The EC will also keep a record of its communication with you which might have the email address you provided in your application.
4. How can I ensure my application is processed in a timely manner?
Make sure that you provide us with an effective means to contact you if we require clarification about something contained within your application. Ensure that you submit a clear and detailed statement of interest, with ample justification as to why you want to join the NCSG. Your statement of interest should:
- clarify your non-commercial interest in Domain Name System policy; and
- explain how you would like to advance Domain Name System policy in furtherance of non-commercial objectives.
Please note that while we are one of the most diverse communities at ICANN, we can only help with advancing the interests of non-commercial users and uses of the Domain Name System. Regional and national Internet governance issues can only be advanced within the NCSG as they pertain to ICANN’s mandate and mission. We cannot help with important but broader issues to do with Internet access and infrastructure.
If you are known by, or affiliated with, an existing NCSG member, please state their name in your application.
For example through an ISOC chapter or other RALO organizations