ICANN 74 - The Hague
As the first "hybrid" event since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, ICANN 74 marked a return to in-person meetings, with a limited number of vaccinated participants attending sessions in the Netherlands. The Policy Forum ran from June 13 to June 16, 2022. The Prep Week for the event ran from May 31 to June 2, 2022.
Return to In-Person
The meeting was the first to feature an in-person gathering since the initiation of safety measures in response to COVID. Attendees noted that registration for some sessions was quickly fully booked. the overbooking appeared to be mostly related to room size and limitations on attendance. ICANN CIO Ashwin Rangan noted that the lessons of the pandemic would improve the experience for both in-person and remote attendees:
The switch to virtual meetings more than two years ago presented us with the opportunity to further innovate and advance the way we get together as a global community. Since then, we have significantly enhanced the meeting experience for participants from around the world. We look forward to blending the knowledge gained through the virtual meetings with the option of in-person participation to make ICANN74 more inclusive and equitable for all who attend.
Elections and Rotation of Appointments
- At the GAC opening plenary, Manal Ismail noted that there were nearly 150 new GAC representatives since the last in-person meeting at ICANN 66.
- The Phase 1a Initial Report of the Policy Development Process to Review the Transfer Policy Working Group was presented at Prep Week,  with an expectation that the public comment period for the report would open on or around ICANN 74.
- The initial report concerning inter-transfers (changes in registrars) to be published Q2 of 2022; at ICANN 74, the focus will focus on intra-transfers: change of registrants.
- The Prioritization Framework pilot was also a topic during Prep Week in the Planning & Finance Update Session. Participants in the pilot process praised the efficiency and work product of the pilot. Xavier Calvez clarified that, in principle, recommendations and policy objectives would only go through the prioritization framework one time.
- Updates and details from the SUBPRO Operational Design Phase were also shared and discussed during Prep Week.
- special focus on possibly updating the rules on Application Change Requests (ACRs) to resolve contention sets, lengthening the objection period, determining the interest/potential volume of applications, and outlining how long the ODP process may take (10 months), followed with a 3-month allowance for the ICANN Board to consider the ODA
- DNS Abuse persisted as a salient topic; the GNSO's small team on DNS Abuse was optimistic about its work and said that it had received a lot of input from across the community and generated many fresh ideas on tackling the issue
- The session on ICANN's Evolution of the Multistakeholder Model involved several participant polls, which reflected an interest in ICANN improving inclusivity, accountability, and the culture (moving away from silos)
- The ALAC identified DNS Abuse as a top priority during its leadership session on the first day of the meeting.. ALAC members also held a session on DNS abuse from the end user's perspective. The session focused on what the RALOs were doing to address abuse.
- Leon Sanchez opened the discussion by stressing the need for a consensus definition of DNS Abuse, as well as improving understanding of the approaches to and interests in DNS Abuse responses from different stakeholders. Graeme Bunton intervened later in the meeting, noting that there was no need to gain consensus on a definition in order to move forward. Stating that it would be very easy to spend endless hours defining the edges of the term, Bunton urged participants to focus on solutions.
- Joanna Kulesza, acting as moderator noted that there is no current policy development platform within ICANN for addressing DNS Abuse, although it is a topic in numerous other policy processes;
- Seun Ojedeji, representing AFRALO, emphasized the importance within the AFRALO region of educating the continent's end user population, who have a strong expectation that the Internet will reliably deliver the information or goods they are searching for. AFRALO's efforts have focused on virtual and in-person opportunities to raise awareness and build capacity among end users;
- Satish Babu of APRALO repeated the call for education and capacity building within the region, and added that both policy advocacy and the development of tools, technologies, or institutional knowledge were other opportunities for RALO involvement. He pointed out efforts such as NetBeacon, as well as mooting the possibility of an inter-RALO abuse watchdog, which might be particularly effective at noting trends or new targets (such as the rise in fraudulent charities in the wake of a natural disaster). Babu agreed with Graeme Bunton that a precise, consensus definition had very little benefit, and wasted time that could be spent combating abuse;
- Olivier Crepin-Leblond spoke on behalf of EURALO, and also emphasized the value of focusing on concrete tools to combat abuse. He highlight ISOC Belgium's ISTrust.org tool, which provides a plugin for all major browsers that provides information about the owner, age, security protocols, and other aspects of a website;
- Augusto Ho, representing LACRALO, suggested that entrepreneurship and and work within the private sector might assist and inform RALO efforts to develop tools and solutions;
- Eduardo Diaz spoke for NARALO.
- The ccNSO held a session from the perspective of ccTLD managers.
- The GAC was briefed on NetBeacon and also received information from ICANN staff in their discussion on DNS Abuse.
- The Contracted Parties House held a session on community outreach regarding DNS Abuse.
- Brian Cimbolic reminded the CPH of the definition of DNS Abuse: malware, botnets, phishing, pharming, and spam when it is a delivery mechanism for one of the prior methods of abuse.
- Samaneh Tajalizadehkhoob from ICANN org presented on ICANN findings regarding trends in the data from domain abuse reporting.
- Graeme Bunton reminded the audience of the plenary session held at ICANN 73 regarding responses to intentional abuse and hijacked or co-opted URLS. He reported that the outcomes of that plenary session and subsequent work would be presented at ICANN 75. He subsequently presented on NetBeacon as well.
- Reg Levy discussed abusetool.org, a CPH-created tool to identify the web host and email hosting company for a given domain.
- Alan Woods presented on Specification 11(3)(b) of the Registry Agreement and CPH advances toward a proposal for gathering and reporting statistics around abuse as required under that specification.
- Keith Drazek then facilitated a discussion around DNS Abuse and what the CPH can do to address SG and AC concerns and needs.
- The GNSO Council DNS Abuse Small Team held a session to identify opportunities and next steps.
- The presentation and subsequent discussion emphasized prioritizing action against known abuse, as opposed to precisely defining DNS abuse.
- Commenters noted that Contractual Compliance was not necessarily calling for more tools to combat abuse through the Registrar Accreditation Agreement or Registry Agreement.
- The second half of the session was devoted to the continued work of the small team on specific issues or recommendations. In particular, the small team focused on the conversation that began at ICANN 73 regarding malicious registration versus compromised websites.
External Forces: Governments, International Agreements, & Emergencies
- EURALO hosted a session on legislative and regulatory developments in the EU and how they impact the DNS.
- Pari Esfandiari set the stage for the discussion, noting the critical EU initiatives that were announced in December 2020:
- Communication on the EU's Cybersecurity Strategy for the Digital Decade, including the DNS4EU initiative and developing resilience of critical entities, including a contingency plan for the root;
- Revision of the Directive on the Security of Network and Information Systems (NIS 2); and
- Esfandiari noted that "the devil is in the details" on all of these objectives and initiatives, noting particularly that revisions to Article 23 under NIS 2 were critical to the ICANN community.
- Elena Plexida described ICANN's view on the EU's efforts described above:
- Related to DNS4EU, Plexida noted that the EU was concerned about market consolidation of public resolvers. However, ICANN's study on the existing public resolvers within the EU revealed that roughly 96% of the Internet queries within the Eu are reliant on an in-country ISP resolver. Google and Cloudflare, the particular points of concern for the EU, represented only about 2% of the resolver usage. ICANN's conclusion was that there was no indication that the market was contracting.
- On NIS 2, Plexida stated that ICANN org's attention was focused on the scope of application of the regulations on the DNS, and the registration data provisions of Article 23.
- Pari Esfandiari set the stage for the discussion, noting the critical EU initiatives that were announced in December 2020:
- EURALO also hosted a policy session on issues facing ICANN and other Internet Governance bodies in time of emergency.
- The SSAC presented on the progress of the Name Collision Analysis Project. Due to a small meeting room, seats for the presentation were fully reserved before the commencement of the meeting. The discussion group presented on the workflow for name collision analysis and evaluation, as well as the current state of the project. NCAP project members also held working group meetings during the conference, which were also open to the public.
- The Prioritization Framework was featured in a broader plenary session on priority-setting. The briefing paper for the session provided some background on the ongoing struggles with ICANN board, org, and community workloads, and the enduring call for prioritization. The paper noted that a similar plenary session was held at ICANN 59:
While ICANN community discussions with the ICANN Board and ICANN org were ongoing, there was a perceived risk that various ICANN community groups were asserting different priorities with different interpretations.
The ICANN Strategic and Operating Planning Framework provided an initial shared understanding about prioritization, but further work was needed on how to prioritize projects related to the strategic plan and how to meet evolving needs. The plenary session explored the likely benefits from future discussions about how to set priorities.
Subsequent Procedures for new gTLDs
- The ICANN team presented on the SUBPRO operational design phase and the process, and discussed with board and IRT members the scope and focus of the SPRT.
- The GAC held a discussion session on SUBPRO, focusing on the open topic of closed generics, and had an opportunity to speak with ICANN org staff regarding developments and advances in the ODP. The session also provided background on the intended facilitated dialogue between the GAC and the GNSO regarding closed generics.
- The plans and structure of the facilitated dialogue were also a main topic in the GAC's meeting with the GNSO.
- Jonathan Zuck facilitated a session on closed generics for the ALAC, and made an effort to identify At-Large's consensus position on the analysis and response to applications for closed gTLDs.
- The working group initiated work on Phase 1(b) of the Transfer Policy Review PDP.
SSAD and Alternative Tool Options
- The GNSO held a session on Phase 2 of the EPDP on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data, whose recommendations focused on creating a Standardized System of Access/Disclosure of registration data (SSAD). Correspondence and analysis before ICANN 74 had resulted in the opinion of GNSO Council that a "SSAD Light" option might be more feasible and cost-effective. The session therefore focused on options and tools for a SSAD Light system. Goran Marby introduced Ashwin Rangan's presentation on a "WHOIS Disclosure System," a technical solution for the reporting of registration data. Rangan then proceeded to describe how ICANN org might be able to leverage existing technologies to create a solution for the needs of accurate access and disclosure of registration data. The proposal was to utilize the ICANN Account authorization system to allow users to request registration information through ICANN's Naming Services Portal, which is built with SalesForce. This would create a ticket capture method, and would allow each request to be handled in a pre-existing service system. The WHOIS Disclosure System would then be an application that would allow retrieval of encrypted registration data. The proposal would balance the need to access registration data with the requirements of GDPR and other data privacy regulations. It would also sidestep the requester authentication process that rendered SSAD too expensive in the eyes of ICANN org. During Q &A, Marby emphasized that the technical aspects of the proposal were designed to avoid complications with GDPR.
- At the same session, Steve Crocker was given an opportunity to present on another software tool that might fit the bill for a SSAD Light system. The project is a collaboration between Donuts and Crocker's Edgemoor Research Institute. Crocker noted that there would be "quite a bit of similarity and some differences" between the Donuts/ERI tool and ICANN org's proposal. He stated that the systems could coexist and augment each other.
- During the GNSO Council session, as well as earlier in the week at GNSO stakeholder gatherings, Sebastien Ducos reported that the "SSAD Light" scoping and implementation of the proposed ICANN tool could impact the timeline of the SUBPRO Operational Design Phase.
- The GAC received a briefing on the SSAD ODP and the next steps for registration data policy making.
- Prep Week: May 31 - June 2, 2022
- ICANN 74: June 13 - 16, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive
- ICANN.org Blog - Update on the Technical Preparations for ICANN 74, May 19, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - GAC Opening Plenary, June 13, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - Initial Report of the GNSO Transfer Policy Review Phase 1a, June 2, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - Planning & Finance Update, June 1, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - New gTLD Subsequent Procedures ODP Update, May 31, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - At-Large Leadership Session: Welcome to ICANN 74, June 13, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - At-Large Policy: An End User's Perspective on the Role of At-Large in DNS Abuse, June 13, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - ccNSO: ccTLD Role in DNS Abuse Policies, June 16, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - GAC Discussion: DNS Abuse, June 14, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - GNSO: CPH DNS Abuse Community Outreach, June 15, 2022
- See ICANN.org blog - ICANN Publishes DNS Abuse Trends, March 22, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - GNSO Council DNS Abuse Small Team Meeting, June 16, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - At-Large EURALO: Laws and Regulations in the European Union, June 14, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - At-Large EURALO Policy: Internet Governance and Multistakeholderism in Times of Emergency, June 16, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - NCAP Status Update, June 14, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - NCAP Discussion Group, June 14, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - Plenary Session: Who Sets ICANN's Priorities?, June 14, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - Briefing Paper: Who Sets ICANN's Priorities?, June 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - New gTLD Subsequent Procedures: Working Together, June 13, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - GAC Discussion on Subsequent Rounds of new gTLDs, June 13, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - Joint Meeting: GAC and GNSO, June 13, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - At-Large Policy: Closed Generics - Finding a Balance, June 15, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - GNSO Transfer Policy Review PDP Working Group, June 13, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - GNSO: EPDP Phase 2 (SSAD), June 13, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - GNSO Council Meeting, June 15, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - GAC Discussion: WHOIS and Data Protection, June 14, 2022