The GovLab SCAN – Issue 4

Supporting the ICANN Strategy Panel on Multistakeholder Innovation.

As part of the GovLab’s Living Labs on Smarter Governance project, this is our fourth weekly edition of SCAN – Selected Curation of Articles on Net-Governance. Feel free to share your suggestions with us at [email protected].

This week’s highlights:

  • ICANN’s new gTLD program moves forward with the release of 9 new gTLDs, including the first in the Latin alphabet.
  • Recapping the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) 88 meeting in Vancouver – attendees discussed post-Snowden Internet security protocols and the need to strengthen encryption.
  • The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has launched a new program to crowdsource broadband research to better understand the state of the U.S. wireless networks.
  • ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehadé discusses ICANN’s role in the Internet governance space going forward and addresses some questions about the upcoming Internet Summit in Brazil.
  • In anticipations of ICANN’s 48 Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina next week – find out about all net governance-related sessions and how to follow along with the ICANN Strategy Panel initiative during next week’s meeting.


Chehadé, Fadi. Internet Governance Update. November 14, 2013.

  • Fadi Chehadé recounts latest updates on the Internet Governance Forum in Brazil as well as recent conversations across the global Internet community. He focuses attention on articulating what ICANN’s role should be going forward as pressure increases around evolving the Internet governance multi-stakeholder model. Chehadé notes that while there are requests to expand ICANN’s “multistakeholder remit to tackle some of these emerging issues,” ICANN cannot and should not be the organization to address these challenges.

Kaliski, Burt. “Name Collision Mitigation Requires Qualitative Analysis (Part 3 of 4).” CircleID. November 13, 2013.

  • With 1400 new top-level domains applied for in ICANN’s new gTLD program, many organizations are analyzing security and stability considerations in whether new gTLD strings and new second level domains (SLDs) will create name collisions in the public DNS. Kaliski finds that many of these colissions would be the result of internal naming systems of individual networks, and suggests solutions lie in reconfiguring those naming systems so that they are in line with the public DNS.

Mirani, Leo. “The English-Language Internet Just Grew by a Third –But You Probably Won’t Notice.” Quartz. November 11, 2013.

  • Until last week, the English-language Internet had 22 top-level domains (TLDs). Last week, ICANN approved the first nine of the around 1400 applied-for new TLDs. Mirani speculates that many of these new TLDs are “niche” in nature and will not draw large numbers of domain registrants.

Van Gelder, Stéphane. “Fighting for Smaller New gTLD Applicants.” CircleID. November 12, 2013.

  • ICANN’s new generic top-level domain (gTLD) program raises the issue of barriers to access for smaller gTLD applicants. Van Gelder argues that, just as politicians cannot just make laws based on the views of big business, so ICANN cannot let the new gTLD program be overtaken by those who are the loudest or those who have the resources to attend ICANN meetings while many smaller applicants do not.

York, Dan. “First Nine English-Language newgTLDs Delegated by ICANN – .Camera, .Clothing, .Singles and More.” CircleID. November 9, 2013.

  • Nine new generic top-level domains (gTLDS) were delegated this past week, including the first to use the Latin alphabet. They are: .Camera, .Clothing, .Equipment, .Guru, .Holdings, .Lighting, .Singles, .Ventures, and .Voyage.

Internet Governance

Ehrenkranz, Melanie. “Is Internet Access A Human Right? ‘Web’ Director Michael Kleiman Talks Bridging The Digital Divide.” International Digital Times. November 12, 2013.

  • In “Web”, a feature-length documentary addressing the increasingly connected and digital world we live in, director Michael Kleiman explores the modern question of whether Internet access is a human right. The film includes interviews with Vint Cerf, Jimmy Wales, and other prominent thinkers in matters relating to the Internet.

FCC to Crowdsource Broadband Research with Android App.” Circa. November 9, 2013.

  • The FCC Speed Test App will help the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to collect data about wireless networks in the U.S. By downloading and using the app, the public will help crowdsource the FCC’s research on the “state of broadband access in the U.S.”

Goodin, Dan. “Now There’s a Bug Bounty Program for the Whole Internet.” Ars Technica. November 6, 2013.

  • “Microsoft and Facebook are sponsoring a new program that pays big cash rewards to whitehat hackers who uncover security bugs threatening the stability of the Internet at large.”

Kapersky, Eugene. “‘Internet Passport’ Will Benefit Security, and E-Commerce. ZDNet. November 12, 2013.

  • Eugene Kapersky believes an “Internet passport” – a regulated passport to access certain parts of the Internet — will benefit cybersecurity and e-commerce. The passport would be secured either biometrically or cryptographically, and will not directly identify its holder. Kapersky argues that this “passport” is one way to balance privacy and security online.

Kleinwächter, Wolfgang. “Enhanced Cooperation in Internet Governance Mystery to Clarify.” CircleID. November 12, 2013.

  • The UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD) Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation (WGEC) will meet in February 2014 to prepare a set of recommendations for a UNCSTD meeting in May 2014. A WGEC questionnaire sent this May identified the key issue as the need for a new mechanism and new decision-making procedures for Internet governance, and how these will be designed.

Lee, Timothy B. “Here’s How People are Changing their Internet Habits to Avoid NSA Snooping.” Washington Post. November 7, 2013.

  • Since revelations of the NSA’s surveillance programs, many more people are educating themselves about Internet security and privacy. A survey posted by the Washington Post shows respondents deleting their Gmail accounts and switching to accounts under individually-owned domain names; reducing the use of Dropbox and other cloud computing services; and increasingly using Tor, a browser that keeps users anonymous.

Morozov, Evgeny. “Why We Are Allowed to Hate Silicon Valley. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. November 11, 2013.

  • Morozov asks whether the “hidden exceptionalism” that characterizes the way our language treats commodities like “information,” “networks,” and “the Internet” leads the “digital debate” astray and has us avoiding questions about the social, political, and economic systems that these tools enable, and has us instead making arguments like “this law is bad because it will break the Internet.”

Rutkowski, Anthony. “A Hospice Strategy for the ITU-T.” CircleID. November 8, 2013.

  • As described by Rutkowski,The ITU-T – the ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector — is in its “death throes.” There are 829 work items for the ITU-T to complete, which Rutkowski argues would best be the last, and suggests they be completed in a way that is open and transparent.


Developments from Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) 88, Vancouver:  “Internet Security: Besieged.” The Economist. November 9, 2013; Talbot, David. “Time for Internet Engineers to Fight Back against the “Surveillance Internet.” MIT Technology Review. November 6, 2013; and “The Internet after Snowden: New Threat Model Army.” The Economist Blog. November 11, 2013.

  • The IETF recently held its 88th meeting in Vancouver, Canada. Reacting to news of the NSA’s surveillance activities, IETF researchers and engineers are upset because some have blamed them for insufficiently strong Internet encryption standards. After an emotional debate, IETF engineers reached consensus: as much encryption as possible should be injected into the Internet’s protocols. For example, some have suggested using an “open-source hardware and software cryptography engine platform which could add security to various places on the network.”

Noam, Eli, et al. CONFERENCE: Is There a Third Way for the Internet: Neither the US nor the UN but Independence? Columbia Institute for Tele-Information. November 12, 2013.

  • This week the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) hosted an online conference around the question, “Are there models of Internet governance that establish Internet independence from the US without the UN or other governments expanding their influence or control? What are their advantages and disadvantages?”

Upcoming: ICANN 48 Meeting

Sessions of Particular Interest for Understanding ICANN’s Role in Internet Governance

Click on the hyperlinked titles to get to remote-participation services for these sessions. Note: times are in ART (Argentina time).


 Newcomer Welcome and Information Session. Sunday, November 15, 10:00 – 16:00. Room: Libertador C

  • If you are new to the ICANN community, new to the ICANN meeting week, or returning to ICANN after a period of time and in need of a refresher, this day is for you. The Newcomer Track is a series of sessions held in a casual and intimate atmosphere, meant to help Newcomers feel welcomed and ready for the ICANN meeting week. This session’s aim is to quickly immerse you into the ICANN Multi-Stakeholder model through interactive discussions with regional leaders, community and staff members.


Welcome Ceremony & President’s Opening Session. Monday, November 18, 08:30 – 10:00 Room: Libertador AB

Internet Governance. Monday, November 18, 13:30  – 15:00. Room: Libertador AB

  • The objective of this session is to discuss with the Community: 1) The current IG governance debate including discussion and updates on the IGF, the Enhanced Cooperation work in CSTD (UN); the WSIS+10 Review, WTDC and PP-14; and 2) The evolution of the global multi-stakeholder IG ecosystem and the role for the ICANN Community in this.

ICANN Strategy Panels – An Introduction. Monday, November 18, 15:15 – 16:45. Room: Libertador C

  • The ICANN President and CEO and Strategy Panel representatives will walk you through the Strategy Panels’ objectives and timeline and will invite participants to contribute ideas for ICANN’s Strategy Panels, which will serve as an integral part of a framework for cross-community dialogue on strategic matters. The Panels’ work will build on public input being generated to inform ICANN’s new, overarching vision and five-year strategic plan.

Strategic Planning. Monday, November 18, 17:15 – 18:45. Room: Libertador AB

  • This interactive session is an opportunity for you to discuss with ICANN’s Board, and share ideas on ICANN’s new, overarching vision and five-year strategic plan. In line with ICANN’s commitment to the multi-stakeholder model, a working draft has been provided for community discussion and public comment. It proposes a new vision, reiterates ICANN’s existing mission, and describes five proposed focus areas with goals. At this stage of development, ICANN is seeking general feedback, as well as input on measurable outcomes.


Multistakeholder Innovation Strategy Panel. Tuesday, November 19, 17:00 – 18:00. Room: Libertador AB

  • The goal of the training session will be to share an agenda and set of tools with the community and to encourage people to go out to their networks and get input, advice and ideas to help answer the core question of the Panel: How do we design a 21st century institution that can coordinate and manage a global shared public resource like the DNS?  No matter how capable, the MSI Panel doesn’t pretend that seven people have all the answers on how to evolve the ways in which we practice multi-stakeholder decision-making. Rather, the Panel will help to curate and organize the innovations they learn about from those in the ICANN community, from those knowledgeable about innovations in governance and from netizens committed to the future of a free and open Internet. Good ideas can come from many places and the Panel can’t reach everyone on their own. This training session will provide to participants a toolkit to those willing to lead the conversation about 21st century institutions in their home communities and networks.


Strategy Panel on ICANN’s Role in the Internet Governance Ecosystem. Wednesday, November 20, 11:45 – 12:45. Room: Martin Fierro 1/2

  • The Strategy Panel on ICANN’s Role in the Internet Governance Ecosystem will review the assumptions, linkages and frameworks that dictate ICANN’s responsibilities in the current Internet ecosystem. It will seek insights into ways to maintain and enhance ICANN’s stewardship of the evolving ecosystem while cultivating thought leadership on ways in which ICANN can serve a complex set of Internet constituencies. This interactive session will be an opportunity for the Community to voice input and to exchange ideas with Strategy Panel representatives.

Identifier Technology Innovation Strategy Panel: Discussion with Panel Chair. Wednesday, November 20, 13:00 – 15:00. Room: Catalinas.

  • This will be an opportunity for the Community to informally interact with the Chairperson of the Strategy Panel on Identifier Technology Innovation.

Public Responsibility Framework Strategy Panel. Wednesday, November 20, 15:30 – 16:30. Room: Libertador AB

  • The Public Responsibility Framework panel will examine ICANN’s existing efforts in capacity building and development and advise on how to strengthen and formalize these efforts through ICANN’s newly announced Public Responsibility Programs Department. It will focus on ICANN’s role as an enabler of growth in the DNS industry and related industries around the world. This session will allow the community to converse with panel members and share their thoughts and experiences related to development and capacity building. It will also give the panel an opportunity to brief the community on their work.

Online Learning Platform Pilot. Wednesday, November 20, 16:45 – 18:15. Room: Libertador AB

  • An introduction to the Online Learning Platform (OLP), this session will include a presentation of the features of the OLP and the showcase of a module on ICANN and Latina America and Caribbean region.


Global Stakeholder Engagement: Outreach Moving Forward. Thursday, November 21, 09:00 – 10:30. Room: Libertador AB

  • ICANN staff and community have been engaging on the topic of outreach for many years. This past year was focused on determining what were the main themes and acting on them which included improved communication/digital engagement, better calendaring through recognition of regional and global events, and strengthening our regional approach to capacity building. In this session, we will update on our progress on these initiatives and provide a strategy for outreach opportunities and engagement moving forward.

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