The GovLab SCAN – Issue 5

Supporting the ICANN Strategy Panel on Multistakeholder Innovation.

As part of the GovLab’s Living Labs on Smarter Governance project, this is our fifth edition of SCAN – Selected Curation of Articles on Net-Governance. Feel free to share your suggestions with us at icannmsipanel@thegovlab.org.

This week’s highlights:

  • The ICANN community met in Buenos Aires, Argentina for ICANN48, where much discussion centered on clarifying ICANN’s role in recent Internet governance initiatives, including the Brazilian Internet Summit planned for April 23-24, 2014 in São Paulo.
  • ICANN announced the membership of a fifth, high-level strategy panel on the “Future of Global Internet Cooperation,” which will be chaired by President Toomas Ilves of Estonia and will hold its first convening on December 12-13, 2013 in London.
  • ICANN Labs offered the public a sneak peak at the next generation of ICANN.org and asked users to share comments for enhancing the site before it goes live next year.
  • ICANN announced that London will be one of the first cities to receive its own top-level domain (TLD): .london.
  • In the United States, the Consumer Choice in Online Video Act has been introduced in the Senate in attempt to breakdown blockades used by telecommunication companies to restrict access to video content online.
  • The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is working on protocols to enable a fully encrypted Web to make NSA and other surveillance more difficult online.

ICANN

Allemann, Andrew. “ICANN Posts all Name Collision Reports – Except for 25 New TLDs That Don’t Qualify.” Domain Name Wire. November 18, 2013.

  • ICANN has published the “block lists” applying to all TLDs hoping to pursue “the alternate path to delegation” – a process leading to faster delegation if the TLD operator agrees to block certain second-level domain registrations. Not all new TLDs are eligible for this alternate path, but those that are include .web, .blog, .mail, .site and .free.

Chehadé, Fadi. “Share Your Thoughts on ICANN’s Vision, Mission, Focus Areas.” ICANN Blog. November 17, 2013.

  • ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehadé writes to the ICANN community and public to elicit input on ICANN’s strategic planning in the following areas: “evolving ICANN’s implementation of the multistakeholder approach for coordination; developing a world-class public responsibility framework; supporting a healthy unique identifier ecosystem; striving towards technical and operational excellence; [and] defining role clarity for ICANN in the Internet governance ecosystem.”

Gibbs, Samuel. “Icann Chief: Shift Away from US ‘Is the Way Forward.’” The Guardian. November 21, 2013.

  • While ICANN seeks to globalize its functions and relationship with the U.S. government, ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehadé stressed at ICANN48 that any “transition away from a single government link” – while the way forward – would not be rushed.

GMO Registry Signs ICANN Registry Agreements for New Geographic Top Level Domains, .tokyo, .nagoya.” PRWeb. November 18, 2013.

  • ICANN has signed Registry Agreements with GMO Registry for GMO’s operation of two new TLDs: .tokyo, and .nagoya. The next stage of the process will involve “pre-delegation testing.”

Henderson, Nicole. “ICANN Creates Panel to Address Internet Governance.” The Whir. November 18, 2013.

  • ICANN has announced the creation of a high-level international panel on the Future of Global Internet Cooperation, which is chaired by Toomas Ilves, President of Estonia, and vice-chaired by Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. The Panel will meet for the first time in December in London and its report is expected to include principles for global Internet cooperation, a proposed framework for such cooperation, stakeholder relations, and a roadmap for future Internet governance.

Lipinski, Lynn. “Community Responds to ICANN Internet Governance Initiatives.” ICANN Blog. November 20, 2013.

  • At a morning session at ICANN48 aimed at addressing ICANN’s recent Internet governance initiatives – ICANN President and the community discussed ICANN’s role in the Brazilian Internet Summit planned for São Paulo in April and in the recently launched 1Net initiative. The ICANN community requested precise details about these initiatives, but also expressed gratitude that the ICANN leadership has tuned in to community concern and input.

Murphy, Kevin. “GAC Gives ICANN a Way out on IGO Acronyms.” DomainIncite. November 22, 2013.

  • The Governmental Advisory Committee’s longstanding advice has been that IGOs should have their names and acronyms reserved in all new gTLDs. However, this week at ICANN48, the GNSO Council unanimously approved a resolution for removing all IGO acronyms from existing block-lists. The GAC’s Buenos Aires Communique suggests that, rather than permanently blocking these names, ICANN could explore alternative paths to dispute resolution in the situations involving both an IGO and a potential registrant, such as allowing these IGO strings into the Trademark Clearinghouse.

Sinha, Kounteya. “London to Get Own Web Domain Suffix in 2014.” The Times of India. November 18, 2013.

  • ICANN has announced that London will become one of the first cities to have its own top-level domain – .london – starting from the summer of 2014.

Van Gelder, Stéphane. “Will the ICANN Auctions Kill off New gTLD Innovation?CircleID. November 15, 2013.

  • Van Gelder discusses ICANN’s new gTLD application and auction program and questions if and how big money will affect the possibility of introducing new and innovative approaches to using the Domain Name System (e.g., Dotpay SA’s proposal for .pay).

Working Toward a New ICANN.org.” ICANN Labs. November 20, 2013; and new.icann.org.

  • At ICANN48, the community got to preview the new ICANN.org website, which ICANN Labs hopes to launch officially in February 2014. The new site currently runs in parallel with the existing ICANN.org to enable collection and integration of user feedback before the site goes live.

INTERNET GOVERNANCE

Bamzai, Sandeep. “DISEQUILIBRIUM: The UPA’s Janus-faced stance on global internet regulation.” The Daily Mail. November 16, 2013.

  • In India, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal recently proclaimed his support for a multi-stakeholder dialogue about Internet governance, stating: “The way forward is to take a consensual approach where all stakeholders including the government will have an equal say while deciding the institutional framework.” However, misalignment is an issue between Telecom and India’s Ministry of External Affairs, which often makes decisions counter to information Telecom relays to the public.

Fung, Brian. “Here’s the scariest part about the Internet of Things.” The Washington Post. November 19, 2013.

  • Like our mobile phones, our household and medical devices are becoming smarter. Platforms like SmartThings, for example, allows users to monitor their lights while they are away from home and already has 10,000 users. But how are engineers designing these new networked devices such that privacy and security are not compromised?

Karr, Timothy. “Defying Washington to Save the Internet.” The Huffington Post. November 19, 2013.

  • U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller recently introduced the “Consumer Choice In Online Video’”Act, which, if adopted, would re-write current online video viewing laws that favor monopolistic telecommunication companies. Rockefeller builds his case using a First Amendment argument, stating that the bill would promote “a diversity of views” by “tearing down most of the blockades gatekeepers use to protect their legacy monopolies.”

Mueller, Milton. “Booting Up Brazil.” Internet Governance Project. November 19, 2013.

  • In April 2014 ICANN and President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil will meet to discuss the future of Internet governance in Brazil. The meeting now has a name, which is the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance. Details are emerging about how ICANN and the Brazilian government are sharing leadership roles in advance of the meeting, but fundamental questions continue to loom: who will be able to participate in the meeting? Who will manage its agenda? If committees are established, who selects committee members? The biggest question, though, is who will  head 1net, the committee responsible for soliciting input from the Internet community to decide upon an agenda for the meeting.

Talbot, David. “Engineers Plan a Fully Encrypted Internet.” MIT Technology Review. November 18, 2013.

  • In the wake of NSA surveillance, the IETF is developing protocols to encrypt all Web traffic and will debut the more secure system next year. Experts believe that these increased security measures will make mass surveillance more difficult and will redirect the NSA’s efforts to areas that matter most. Although adoption of the new security protocols is voluntary, computer scientists involved with the project believe that if widespread adoption takes place it will make a significant difference in the security of the Web.

PAPERS & REPORTS

DeNardis, Laura and Reymond, Mark. “Thinking Clearly About Multistakeholder Internet Governance. Social Science Research Network. November 14, 2013.

  • This new paper posits that “multistakeholderism should not be viewed as a value in itself applied homogenously to all Internet governance functions.” Rather, DeNardis and Reymond argue that the appropriate approach depends on what administration function proves optimal for balancing “interoperability, innovation, free expression and operational stability in any particular functional and political context.” This approach, they note, requires new “conceptual and theoretical tools” not yet developed.

Manyika, James, et al.”Lions go digital: The Internet’s transformative potential in Africa.”McKinsey & Co. November 2013.

  • A new report by McKinsey & Co projects that if the take-up rate of Internet access in Africa follows the precedent set by mobile telephone take-up, a full 10 percent –or $300 billion—could be added to Africa’s GDP by 2025.

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