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ICANNLogo.png
ICANNWiki Partner
Type: Private, Non-Profit
Industry: Internet Protocol Management
Founded: 1998
Headquarters: 12025 Waterfront Drive, Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90094-2536 USA
Employees: 140 employees
Revenue: $72 million (2011)
Website: icann.org
Blog: blog.icann.org
Facebook: icannorg
LinkedIn: ICANN
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png@ICANN
Key People
Fadi Chehadé, CEO and President

Steve Crocker, Chair of the Board
Jeff Moss VP and Chief Security Officer

ICANN is an acronym for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a global multi-stakeholder organization that was created and empowered through actions by the U.S. government and its Department of Commerce.[1] It coordinates the Internet DNS, IP addresses and autonomous system numbers, which involves a continued management of these evolving systems and the protocols that underly them.

While ICANN has its roots in the U.S. government, it is now, and continues to strive to be, an international, community-driven organization. Their management of an interoperable Internet covers 180 million domain names, the allocation of more than 4 billion network addresses, and the support of approximately a trillion DNS look-ups everyday across 240 countries.[2]

ICANN collaborates with companies, individuals, and governments to ensure the continued success of the Internet. It holds meetings three times a year, switching the international location for each meeting; one of these serves as the annual general meeting when the new ICANN Board members take their seats.[3]

Contents

Organization & Structure

It is central to ICANN's mission that the organization itself is structured in a way that welcomes a variety of voices and seeks to represent the extremely diverse constituencies with continued interest in the Internet's development, from registries, to corporations, to individual Internet users. In relation to ICANN's structural development, there have been critics who have taken issue with its closed-door sessions, the role of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and other structural and procedural rules.[4] ICANN has been described as being in a contentious oversight situation; with some countries calling for all U.S. influence to be removed from the organization by subordinating it to the U.N.'s jurisdiction, or suggesting similar solutions.[5] ICANN's structure and process is outlined in the ICANN Bylaws.

Board of Directors

Main article: ICANN Board

ICANN is governed by a Board of Directors made up of 15 voting members,[6] and the President and CEO, who is also a voting member. The board is further aided by five non-voting liaisons.[7] From ICANN's inception to December 2011, being a board member was a voluntary position. At that time, the ICANN Board responded to mounting pressure regarding conflicts of interest and the notion that compensation would create a more professional and accountable body by awarding themselves a $35,000 annual salary.[8]

Current Board of Directors

The 19 current directors and the current CEO, are listed below, along with the organization which nominated them and the length of their term:[9]

Current Non-Voting Liaisons

GNSO

Main article: GNSO

The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) brings together smaller stakeholder groups, which in turn bring together constituencies and other groups, together into one Supporting Organization to develop policies, form consensus, and make recommendations related to gTLDs to the ICANN Board.[10]

ccNSO

Main article: ccNSO

The Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) is an advisory body within ICANN created by and for ccTLD managers, which are the entities that oversee a given nation's own Country Code Top Level Domain. The ccNSO is a consortium of working groups and the ccNSO Council, and it works in conjunction with other supporting organizations and bodies within ICANN. It was founded in 2003. It is a forum for global discussions and debates regarding issues related to ccTLDs.[11]

ASO

Main article: ASO

The Address Supporting Organization (ASO) is one of the supporting organizations that was formed, according to ICANN's bylaws, through community consensus in 1999. The main objective of the ASO is to review and develop Internet Protocol recommendations, address policy, and advise the ICANN Board.[12] Its members are appointed by the world's 5 Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), which manage and allocate IP addresses in their respective continental regions.[13][14]

Process

Meetings

Main article: ICANN Meetings

ICANN holds week-long meetings three times per year; one of these meetings serves as the organization's annual meeting, where new board directors take their appointed seats. These meetings are held in a different location each time, with each global region hosting a meeting before the regional cycle is started anew.[3] The next meeting will be the 53rd meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. [15]

Meetings officially begin on a Monday, though some supporting organizations meet prior to this, and run through Friday.

A fellowship program is in place to bring in individuals who have a desire or need to attend but do not have the financial backing to attend on their own.[16]

Review Processes

ICANN has mechanisms in place for any individual or entity to solicit a reappraisal of any board decision that affects them. The Board Governance Committee is in charge of reviewing all reconsideration requests, which are submitted electronically and must be responded to within 30 days. The boards actions are also reviewed by an Independent Review Panel, which has the power to call attention to discrepancies between the bylaws and actions taken by the board, and recommend that the board readdress certain issues. Furthermore, ICANN's structure and operations, including every supporting organization and committee, is also subject to occasional reviews.[7]

History: The Beginning

On July 1st, 1997, U.S. President Bill Clinton directed the Secretary of Commerce to privatize the management of the DNS, which had heretofore been managed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other U.S. research agencies.[17] The goal was to open the Internet to greater international participation, and to bolster it as a new medium of commercial competition and exchange.[1]

On July 2nd, the Department of Commerce requested public input regarding DNS administration and structure, policy input regarding new registrars and the creation of new TLDs, and concerns regarding trademarks. More than 1,500 pages of comments were received.[18]

In January 1998, an agency of the Department of Commerce (NTIA) issued what has become known as the "Green Paper." The document was a proposal which made clear that the agency intended to empower a non-profit entity to take control of the Internet and its DNS system.[19] The proposal drew criticism from some American lawmakers and other concerned individuals who saw the American-fostered Internet about to be handed over to a Swiss entity.[20] The revised "White Paper" addressed some of those concerns but still posited the need for an Internet organization which could respect and foster stability, competition, bottom-up coordination, and international representation, while also establishing appropriate protocol and administrative mechanisms.[21] The "White Paper" did not clarify all of the divisive issues but instead called for the proposed entity to utilize its self-governance to decide on the issues at hand itself.[20] The White Paper spurned the creation of the International Forum on the White Paper, which involved the creation and meeting of four globally regional forums, and brought together some 1,000 Internet stakeholders. The IFWP did not create any specific proposal in response to NTIA's White Paper, but it did create a valuable body of thought and laid the foundations for future Internet governance and multi-stakeholder conferences and organizations.[22]

The Memorandum of Understanding

On November 25th, 1998, The U.S. Department of Commerce and ICANN entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU),[1] which officially recognized ICANN as the entity that would:

  1. Establish policy for and direct the allocation of IP number blocks;
  2. Oversee the operation of the authoritative root server system;
  3. Oversee the policy for determining the circumstances under which new TLDs would be added to the root system;
  4. Coordinate the assignment of other Internet technical parameters as needed to maintain universal connectivity on the Internet; and
  5. Oversee other activities necessary to coordinate the specified DNS management functions, as agreed by the Department of Commerce and ICANN.

Once again, these responsibilities would be undertaken and guided by the principles of stability, competition, private bottom-up coordination, and representation.[1] The agreement established ICANN as an entity that would encourage transparency in its dealings and would create ample room for appeals for any binding decisions it would make. The Department of Commerce later noted that it was comfortable ceding its control to ICANN, as it seemed like the best step towards true privatization while still binding the authority of the institution to the American policies found within the MoU.[23] The original agreement was set with an expiration of September 30th, 2000.[1] The MoU has been amended several times.

The First Three Supporting Organizations

The three original supporting organizations include: [24]

Initial Issues

ICANN was immediately faced with two pressing, opposing issues: the task of reigning in cybersquatting by creating policies necessary to protect recognized trademarks, and conversely the need to expand the number of entities accredited to function as registrars. Following the release of the White Paper, WIPO began its own research into how to protect trademarks and intellectual property within the changing DNS. A congressional hearing some 7 months after the empowerment of ICANN recognized the steps that the new entity had already taken to protect intellectual property, recognized the headway WIPO had made in creating further proposals, and called on intellectual property owners to become involved in ICANN.[23]

WIPO's report, submitted to ICANN at their 1999 meeting in Berlin, supported the Whois system, but also recommended that, should the Whois system fail to provide adequate contact information for the trademark holder to contact the domain name holder, the registrar should be obliged to rectify the situation by canceling the domain name holder's rights to the name. ICANN immediately took steps to develop the nascent Whois system.

The report also made recommendations regarding the process of accrediting new registrars, called for the creation of a concrete dispute resolution process for intellectual property issues within the DNS, and also recommended that the creation of any new gTLDs should proceed slowly and with caution. These recommendations precipitated ICANN's Accreditation Guidelines, the creation of the UDRP, and the continued debate over how and when to increase the number of gTLDs.[23]

Registrar Accreditation

A month before the MoU officially recognized ICANN, the Department of Commerce and NSI amended their cooperative agreement. The agreement had previously maintained the NSI as the only registrar for the .com, .org, and .net domains.[30] The three amendments to the agreement removed the exclusive rights of NSI; amendment 11 called for the creation of a Shared Registry System, whereby an unlimited number of competitive registrars would have access to one system managed by NSI.[31] Amendment 12 gave more time to NSI to complete important milestones in the liberalization of registry services; the final phase, which called for equal access to the SRS by all accredited registrars, was now given a deadline of about one year, October 25th, 1999.[32] Amendment 13 attached a $9 fee for each second level domain name registered, payable as $18 for new registrations and $9 per year on the anniversary of the original registration.[33]

On February 8th, 1999, ICANN posted its Draft Guidelines for Registrar Accreditation for public commentary.[30] The guidelines were formed through consultation with the DOC and NSI, and further tailored after the session of public commentary.[34] Some issues raised during the period of public commentary include: concerns regarding the inherent bureaucracy, inadequate protections for intellectual property, and the reasoning behind accrediting registrars before the DNSO was constituted.[35] The ICANN board accepted the revised Statement of Registrar Accreditation Policy at their March, 1999 meeting in Singapore.[30]

The initial policy called for registrars to provide secure access to the registry, be operationally capable of handling significant registration volume, maintain electronic transaction records, handle and provide prompt service to SLD requests, provide security, handle seamless transfers of customers who desire to switch registrars, employ an adequately sized staff, and have measures in place to protect the interests of their customers should the registrar fail. The registrar would also have to demonstrate that it had a sufficient liability insurance policy and store of liquid assets. A concern over creating and maintaining a valid registry service is evidenced in the requirement that information regarding each registrant of a SLD would have to be submitted by the registrar to NSI for inclusion in its registry. Providing a searchable Whois service was also required. Application fees for those applying to be included in the Phase 1 testbed cost $2,500, the general application fee was $1,000. Annual accreditation fees, amounting to $5,000, would also be assessed.[36]

The Registration Accreditation Agreement was unanimously amended by the ICANN board in May, 2009.[30]

The Testbed Period

Numerous technical problems plagued the testbed period of the SRS.[37] The aforementioned Amendment 12 established the testbed period as Phase 1 of the deployment of the SRS, and set a start date of April 26th, 1999, and an end date of June 25th, 1999.[32] Register.com finally became the first of the 5 competitive testbed registrars to successfully implement its interface with the SRS, which happened 6 weeks into the 2 month testbed period. The technical difficulties also extended to the deployment of the required Whois system.[37] Throughout the testbed period general applications for the later phases were being accepted.[30] The Department of Commerce and the NSI extended the testbed period about 4 times,[38] the final extension finally expired on November 5th, 1999.[39]

UDRP

Main article: UDRP

On September 29th, 1999, ICANN posted the Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy for public comments. The process aimed to address problems arising from cybersquatting and protect intellectual property rights. This process was not solely a concern or product of ICANN, given WIPO's earlier, and continued, effort on the UDRP. The policy asserts that it will transfer, delete, or asses other changes to any domain name held by a domainer which:

  1. Is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
  2. The domainer no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
  3. The domain name in question has been registered and is being used in bad faith.[40]

The same day, ICANN also issued the Rules for the UDRP, which set forth the procedure for filing and responding to complaints. This was also open for a period of public commentary.[41] Some of the public comments can be found here.

ICANN adopted the UDRP at its November, 1999, meeting in Los Angeles.[42]

History: ICANN 2.0

ICANN's bottom-up focus and its periodic structural reviews lead to revision of its bylaws and the introduction of new entities and policies. One such rush of changes happened in and around the year 2000, when the prospective changes and the discussions surrounding them spurned people to talk of "ICANN 2.0".[43]

The Introduction of the ALAC

One of the discussions and propositions which was involved in the debate surrounding "ICANN 2.0" was the introduction of a body which could represent individual Internet users.[24] This became known as the At-Large Committee, or ALAC, and while it was finally introduced through amendments to the bylaws in 2002, it had been a hot topic for debate for years.[44]

Other Committees

Many of the other new developments at ICANN were accomplished through the introduction of review teams; such as the Committee on ICANN Evolution and Reform. Other Committees intent on expanding and specializing the role of ICANN were also created, such as the Security Committee, which eventually became the Security and Stability Advisory Committee. Both of these committees were given official recognition in 2002.[45] The push for reform was also significantly aided by Stuart Lynn's "President's report: The Case for Reform,"[46] which they credited for starting the dialogue on reform and leading to the creation of the more formal committee.[47]

ICANN adopted a new set of by-laws, which were first laid out by the aforementioned Evolution and Reform Committee, before being revised in response to Public Forums. Those by-laws can be read here. The by-laws not only more clearly defined ICANN's mission and core values, but it also put in place and improved apparatuses for review and greater transparency. The Reconsideration Committee, Independent Review Panel, and the Ombudsman all were strengthened as a part of this move towards a more transparent organization that is able to defend its actions and decisions.[48]

Further Developments

gTLD Expansion

Main article: gTLD

The discussion of creating new Generic Top-Level Domains has been around since the inception of ICANN; there was no set number fixed, and the fact that the .com extension has long been the most widely used and recognizable top-level domain was encouraged by ICANN's slow policy development process. It was underwritten in the 2001 amendments to their MoU with the U.S. Department of Commerce that ICANN was to "collaborate on the design, development and testing of a plan for creating a process that will consider the possible expansion of the number of gTLDs".[55]

In 2000, a number of Working Groups that had been created the year before submitted reports on their take on the introduction of new TLDs; most notably, Working Group C called for a limited number of extensions to be introduced. The Board continued to move ahead with new TLD introduction, creating this application process. The task force that worked with the process helped .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, and .pro all become recognized extensions in 2000.

At the October, 2003 meeting in Carthage, the Board passed its most significant resolution to date on fully opening the gTLD creation process. In it they recognized their obligation to develop new gTLDs in an effective, transparent, and stable manner, the overdue nature of a formal process for gTLD expansion, and the problems they faced when introducing the last round of extensions in 2000. Thus, they resolved to begin to dedicate significant resources to the issue and to establish a public forum in order to receive community input.[56]

In 2003, important new sTLDs began being proposed. While these domains are different from gTLDs in that they are sponsored by a given constituency, this can be seen as another way in which the wider community was pressing for a greater variety of domain space. Applications came from .asia, .xxx, .net, .cat, .mobi, .jobs, and .travel.[57]; they all went on to approval in 2005-2006, except for the controversial .xxx,[58] which went through a much more contentious and drawn out process but was still approved in March, 2011 at ICANN 40.[59]

Further Developments

New gTLD Program

Main article: New gTLD Program

After the results of the 2000 and 2003 expansions of new gTLDs, a Policy Development Process in connection with the introduction of new gTLDs was developed by the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), which lasted from 2005 until 2007. During this Policy Development Process, the GNSO conducted extensive and detailed consultations with all constituencies within the ICANN global internet community. In 2008, 19 Specific Policy Recommendations were adopted by the ICANN Board for the implementation of new gTLDs, which describe the specifics of allocation and the contractual conditions. ICANN involved the global internet community in an open, inclusive and transparent implementation process to comment, review and provide their input toward creating the Applicant Guidebook for New gTLDs. The protection of intellectual property, community interests, consumer protection, and DNS stability were addressed during the process. Different versions and multiple drafts of the Applicant Guidebook were released in 2008. By June 2011, the ICANN Board launched the New gTLD Program, at the same time approving the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook.[60] The Board announced the possibility of a 9th version of the Guidebook in January 2012, but the industry speculated that there was little chance that the changes would be more than clarification, as opposed to new rules and policies.[61]

In November, 2012, ICANN, Verisign, and NTIA, all confirmed that they were prepared with enough resources to begin launching 100 new gTLDs per week.[62]

Physical Expansion

In September, 2011, the ICANN Board approved resolutions to secure new office space for the organization. It is possible they will negotiate for more space at their current location, or that they find a new space at their headquarters of Marina Del Rey. It was also decided to begin permanently leasing its office space in Brussels instead of continuing to rent their space month-to-month. Much of its expansion is related to the new gTLD program. At the time of the board's decision, ICANN staff numbered 124, with 21 open positions to be filled. The 2012 budget includes $2.1 million for office space acquisition and maintenance for its offices in Marina Del Rey, Brussels, Sydney, Paolo Alto, and Washington D.C..[63] The Sydney office went on to be closed in 2012.

In February 2013, CEO Fadi Chehadé announced that ICANN's office in L.A. would diminish in importance while two new "hubs" would be created to fill the gap and provide new means of outreach to ICANN's international constituents. The hubs are to be located in Singapore and Istanbul, and are to act with far more authority and purpose than a stand-alone office; it is clear that many senior staff from the L.A. office will be asked to move, and the CEO himself said he will be based in Singapore once that office is up and running.[64][65] The news was announced during Mr. Chehadé's first comprehensive tour of Asia, with trips to South Korea, China, Japan, and Singapore. He noted that ICANN needed to apologize to Asia, as it had long not been given the attention it deserved within the organization.[66]

Conflicts of Interest

ICANN has never had a clear conflicts on interest policy, or any regulations in place that would prevent its most important staff members and its directors from moving directly into employment within the industry. This is an issue given the fact that these people of power influence the decisions and market-power of ICANN, and thus they could help create programs and policies that they could then go on to financially benefit from. This notably came to a head in 2011, when a prominent staffer and the Chairman of the Board left ICANN for employment in the industry. Both were involved in developing ICANN's new gTLD program, and both went on the be employed in new gTLD related ventures.[67]

The Chairman of the board in question was Peter Dengate Thrush, who led the directors to the historic approval of a new gTLD program and timeline at ICANN 41 in Singapore. This was his final meeting as Chairman of the board due to the determined term limits. Mr. Thrush went on, weeks later, to become the Executive Chairman of Top Level Domain Holdings, the parent company of new gTLD registry and consultancy, Minds + Machines. He was the first chair to move directly into a high-paying, domain name industry job.[68]

Following Mr. Thrush's move to Minds + Machines, a number of outside organizations and ICANN stakeholders called for a concrete ethics policy to be set in place, these include: U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, the Association of National Advertisers, The European Commission, The U.S. Department of Commerce, the French government, and other IP and industry organizations.[69] ICANN's CEO, Rod Beckstrom had previously noted at the opening ceremony to ICANN 42, even before Peter Dengate Thrush moved on, that he was encouraged by the fact that the ICANN community was moving to fix the lack of clear ethics rules within the organization. AusRegistry's CEO, Adrian Kinderis, later noted the converse fact that without clear ethics policies he and his industry would continue to go after ICANN's most knowledgeable and prepared individuals for their own gain.[67]

Following these developments, ICANN announced it would hire outside ethics experts to review its policies and make recommendations. The decision was made during a September, 2011 meeting of the board governance committee.[70]

A new Conflict of Interest Policy was released on December 8th, 2011, effective immediately. The policy requires that all Board Members, as well as those in various other postions, disclose any and all potential conflicts of interest to the Board Governance Committee. They must then abstain from any ICANN activities related to the conflict of interest,[71] Board members also may not join business with a new gTLD registry until 12 months after the registry's application has been voted on.[8]

Time Zone Database

On October 14th, 2011, ICANN announced that it would take over the management of the Internet Time Zone Database, which contains the code and data that computer programs and operating systems rely on to determine a given location's correct time. It agreed to pick up this new responsibility after a request from IETF. Prior to this, the Time Zone Database was managed by a group of volunteers, namely its coordinator, Arthur David Olson at the US National Institutes of Health.[72]

Manwin Anti-Trust Lawsuit

Manwin, one of the most prominent adult content producers on the Internet, filed an Anti-Trust suit against both ICM Registry and ICANN over the creation and implementation of the .xxx sTLD. This legal action took place in November, 2011, well after the TLD's approval and just before its general availability.[73] It also filed an Independent Review Panel (IRP) Request with ICANN, making it only the second company ever to do so (the first being ICM Registry itself). Manwin felt that ICANN did not "adequately address issues including competition, consumer protection, malicious abuse and rights protection prior to approving the .xxx TLD."[74]

In January, 2012, ICANN and ICM both filed motions to dismiss the case. ICANN argued that since it is a not-for-profit organization and it is not engaged in "trade or commerce," the US anti-trust laws are not applicable; additionally, both ICM and ICANN argued that Manwin's filing was essentially complaining about the possible increase in competition. ICM cited that Manwin had approached the company earlier with a supposed mutually-beneficial agreement, in which Manwin would acquire various premium .xxx domains for free, in exchange for sharing the profits of these domains with ICM. When ICM turned down the agreement, Manwin Managing Partner Fabian Thylmann said that he would do whatever he could to stop .xxx.[75] ICANN's and ICM's motions to dismiss can be found here and here respectively.

In mid-February, Manwin, ICANN and ICM Registry announced that they were in talks and hoping to resolve some or all of the outstanding complaints. The motions to dismiss the case filed by ICANN and ICM were temporarily put on hold.[76] On February 17, the company amended its anti-trust lawsuit against ICANN and ICM Registy. According to Manwin's counsel Kevin E. Gaut, two related state law claims were dropped to avoid potential risks of trial delays.[77]

In August 2012, a mixed ruling by the Central District of California District Court accepted only 2 out of ICANN and ICM's 7 motions to dismiss. The court ruled that ICANN would be subject to anti-trust law, as ICM pays fees to them in order to be permitted to run the .xxx domain space, and that the trial would proceed with focus on the "defensive registrations" market.[78]

Employ Media Arbitration

Employ Media requested an arbitration proceeding to resolve the notice of breach on the .jobs registry agreement issued by ICANN on February 27, 2011 in connection with the universe.jobs website. The jobs board website was launched by Employ Media in partnership with the Direct Employers Association, which the registry operator allowed to register more than 40 thousand .jobs domain names used on the jobs board to advertise job opportunities for more than 5,000 leading companies in the United States. ICANN claimed that that universe.jobs appeared to be in competition with other companies offering the same service and Employ Media's actions violated its charter. ICANN directed the .jobs registry operator and the [[SHRM|Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the sponsoring organization, to resolve the issues mentioned in the notice of breach and to comply with its charter. ICANN threatened to terminate the .jobs registry agreement if the problems were not be resolved. Employ Media argued that the universe.jobs was launched in compliance with the Phase Allocation Program, which was approved by ICANN. Although the registry operator was disappointed with ICANN's actions Employ Media agreed to resolve the issue by invoking the cooperative agreement provisions in the registry agreement. During the cooperative negotiations, Employ Media agreed to stop registering non-company name domain names until May 6, 2011. However, the company abandoned the cooperative agreement proceedings when it learned that ICANN posted the information about their cooperative negotiations regarding the notice of breach. Employ Media also accused ICANN of "bad faith action." ICANN's legal counsel explained that the internet governing body is just performing its duty to maintain accountability and transparency. When ICANN responded to the Employ Media's arbitration request it reiterated its strong position the Employ Media violated its charter and its decision was appropriate. ICANN asked the court to deny the registry operator's request for relief. At present, both parties are still waiting for the the schedule of their arbitration proceedings from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration.[79] [80] [81] [82] [83] [84] [85]

.JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition Criticism

One day before the implementation of the new gTLD program, the .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition, sent a letter to ICANN detailing the internet governing body's failure to evaluate and investigate all comments and information submitted by entities against the request of the .jobs registry operator to change its charter. It pointed out that ICANN failed to acknowledge its mistake and overturn its decision when complaints and evidence were filed for reconsideration that Employ Media violated its charter. The coalition chairman stated that ICANN was inefficient in dealing with the arbitration proceedings to immediately resolve Employ Media's charter violation, and consequently the company continues to exploit the .jobs TLD and expand the universe.jobs website. Furthermore, it said that the internet community is concerned that ICANN's new gTLD program's multiple stakeholder protection mechanisms might end up mismanaged just like the .jobs TLD and ICANN's promises are "empty words." Moreover, Bell requested the ICANN Board to publicly disqualify Employ Media and its partner, the Direct Employers Association ,from the new gTLD expansion program because the registry operator has a "history of abuse." According to its Chairman, this is the only way for ICANN to regain a measure of regulatory authority.[86]

A New Approach to Africa

On August 10, 2012, ICANN, with the support of AfriNIC, announced an initiative to increase African participation in influence within ICANN. The initiative is the result of a meeting between Steve Crocker, Chairman of ICANN's Board of Directors, ICANN's CEO-Designate Fadi Chehadé, and Interim CEO Akram Atallah, with African community members at ICANN 44 in Prague, Czech Republic. Their goal is to develop a framework for ICANN's Africa strategy to be announced at ICANN 45 in Toronto, Canada. A working group was established, led by Nii Quaynor of Ghana, to contribute to the development of the strategy. The group is also to work with Tarek Kamel, Head of Governmental Affairs.[87] The initiative has received strong support from African Internet stakeholders, including former Board Member Katim Touray. In March 2013, CEO Fadi Chehadé, expressed his desire to raise the number of registrars in Africa from 5 to 25, via personal and business relations with the banking and insurance sectors that would allow the African companies to more easily meet some form of tailored ICANN accreditation. His hope is to accomplish this in just a few months, with something implemented around ICANN 47 in Durban, in July, 2013[88]

IANA Functions Stewardship Transition

Main article: IANA Functions Stewardship Transition

In March 2014, NTIA released a statement saying that they are intent on transitioning their part of the IANA functions away from NTIA and to the global stakeholder community. [89] ICANN issued a press release supporting this shift. [90]

ICANN created a co-ordination group from nominations among 13 community stakeholder groups, totaling 27 individuals, which produced a draft transition document. On December 2nd 2014, ICANN opened the public comment period on the draft transition document produced by the coordination group.[91]

Senate Hearing on New gTLD Program

On December 8, 2012, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation conducted a full committee hearing to evaluate the value and effects of the new gTLD expansion program as well as ICANN's efforts in resolving the concerns raised by the Internet community. Witnesses present during the committee hearings included:[92]

Witnesses' Testimonies

Angela Williams represented the concerns of the members of ICANN's Not-for-Profit Operational Concerns Constituency (NPOC) during the Senate hearing. In her testimony, she raised budgetary, public confusion, and cybersquatting issues. According to her, the increased risk of public confusion compromises Internet security. She also noted that it would be more expensive for not-for-profit organizations to protect their brand names/trademarks against fraud, cybersquatting and trademark infringement. She also pointed out that not-for-profit-organizations cannot afford the amount of money needed to become a domain name registry to ensure brand protection. Williams encouraged ICANN to consider the concerns of the members of the NPOC. She also recommended that verified not-for-profit organizations be allowed to exempt their trademarks from any new TLD applicant at no cost or at a drastically reduced fee.[93]

During the hearing, Dan Jaffe testified that the new gTLD program is "bad for consumers, marketers and the entire online marketplace" and enumerated different reasons why it is necessary to the stop its implementation. According to him, there is no substantial evidence that the new gTLD program will promote competition, relieve the scarcity of domain name space and support differentiated services and new products. He also cited that the new gTLD program has a serious economic impact. Brand owners might be compelled to file for defensive registrations to protect their trademarks or intellectual property rights. There is a possibility of misappropriation of intellectual property rights, domain navigation dilution, increased risk of cybersquatting, reduced investments from intellectual property owners, and losses from failed TLDs. Jaffe supported his claims using the “Economic Considerations in the Expansion of Generic TopLevel Domain Names, Phase II Report: Case Studies,” a study commissioned by ICANN in December, 2010. In addition, he also emphasized that the new gTLD programs lacks consensus and ICANN failed to meet its "bottom-up, consensus driven approach to policy development." Furthermore, he pointed out that the application fee is too expensive and harmful for brand owners and he also raised the concerns regarding the organization's conflict of interest policies after Peter Dengate Thrush decided to join Minds + Machines as Executive Chairman immediately after his term as chairman of ICANN. Thrush strongly advocated approval of the new gTLD program.[94]

Esther Dyson testified that the new gTLD program is not necessary to promote innovation. She said, "The rationale is that there's a shortage of domain names... but actually, there's a shortage of space in people's heads." She recommended for ICANN to conduct further consultation regarding the program and make a broader public outreach. She concluded her testimony with the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"[95]

As representative of the U.S. NTIA, Fiona Alexander informed the members of the Senate Committee that the agency is part of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), which is actively involved in the policy development process within ICANN. She testified that the NTIA and its counterparts within the GAC provided consensus advice to ICANN during the policy development process for the new gTLD program for six years. She emphasized that the GAC developed a "scorecard" to address the different issues raised by governments, which include:

  • objection procedures for governments
  • procedures for the review of sensitive strings
  • root zone scaling
  • market and economic impacts
  • registry-registrar separation
  • protection of trademark rights and other intellectual property
  • consumer protection issues
  • post-delegation disputes with governments
  • use and protection of geographic names
  • legal recourse for applicants
  • opportunities for stakeholders from developing countries
  • law enforcement due diligence recommendations
  • early warning mechanism for applicants to identify if a proposed string would raise controversies or sensitivities

Ms. Alexander strongly emphasized NTIA's support of ICANN's multistakeholder model of internet governance and dedication to maintaining the open Internet to promote economic growth, innovation and the free flow of information, products and services online.[96]

Kurt Pritz testified to the Senate committee that the introduction of new gTLDs has been one of the mandates of the Internet governing body since its establishment. Pritz pointed out that the new gTLD program was developed through the multistakeholder process; global internet stakeholders including brand and trade mark owners, domain name registries, registrars, registrants, governments, law enforcement agencies, governments, not-for-profit organizations, etc. participated in the policy development and implementation program for new gTLDs. He also emphasized the provisions in the Applicant Guidebook regarding new trademark protections such as the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) and the Trademark Clearing House, measures to mitigate malicious conduct, create objection processes, maintain DNS Security (DNSSEC) and other relevant issues. He concluded his testimony by reiterating that the "ICANN community worked tirelessly to create the new gTLD program to promote competition and innovation..."[97] [98]

ICANN's Answers to the Senate Committee

On Janury 25, 2012, Pritz answered the questions sent by members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation regarding the new gTLD expansion program. The questions were asked by Senators Barbara Boxer, Maria Cantwell, Claire McCaskill, Olympia Snowe and Mark Warner on January 8. The questions of the legislators were centered on the following issues:[99]

  • Intellectual Property Rights- In order to avoid consumer confusion and or violations of intellectual property rights, Pritz explained that the new gTLD program has mandatory intellectual property rights protection mechanisms for both first and second level domain names. He also added that strict reviews will be implemented and it will reject the applications of entities with a history of cybersquatting. In addition, the public and the various constituencies of ICANN will have the opportunity to review and raise their concerns regarding the proposed new gTLD strings. Pritz also enumerated the four available objection processes, which include:
  1. String Confusion Objection- the proposed new gTLD is confusingly similar to an existing or to another applied for gTLD string.
  2. Legal Rights Objection- the gTLD string being applied for infringes the existing legal rights of the objector.
  3. Limited Public Interest Objection- the proposed new gTLD string contradicts the generally accepted legal norms of morality and public order that are recognized under the principles of international law.
  4. Community Objection- a significant number of the target community is opposed to the new gTLD string being applied for.

Any objections should be filed to one of the three independent dispute resolution providers approved by ICANN, including the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (string confusion objections), WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (legal rights objections), and the International Chamber of Commerce-International Center of Expertise (limited public interest and community objections). Moreover, Pritz also emphasized the appointment of an Independent Objector, whose responsibility will be to review applications on behalf of the public interest and to file an objection if necessary.

  • Sunrise Period- Pritz informed the members of the committee that a Sunrise Period is mandated for all approved new gTLDs. The Trademark Clearinghouse will serve as a central repository of trademark rights information to be authenticated, stored and disseminated. All trademark holders will have the chance to record all their nationally and multi-nationally registered word marks from all jurisdictions. All the authenticated trademark rights data in the Trademark Clearinghouse will be used to protect those related domains during the pre-launch of the Sunrise Period and the Trademark claims services.
  • DNS Security (DNSSEC)- Pritz confirmed that all new gTLD applicants are required to implement DNSSEC. He also informed them that 82% of existing TLD registries have already deployed DNSSEC to ensure the security and stability of the DNS.
  • Crackdown on Rogue Websites- The new gTLD program is designed to prevent illegal activities and to easily remove malicious conduct through increased accessibility of information by law enforcement agencies. A Thick Whois data system will be implemented to allow faster search capabilities and to efficiently combat rogue websites. ICANN will also implement background checks on applicants and will review their history of bad faith or reckless disregard of anti-cybersquatting law.
  • Estimated Number of New gTLDs to be Created- Pritz explained that based on the Root Server Stability experts advise, ICANN is committed and limited to add 1,000 new gTLD to the root zone in one year.
  • Plans on Excess Revenue from new gTLDs- ICANN is committed to using any excess funds to promote its non-profit missions for the benefit of the Internet community, such as the creation of a registry continuity fund for the protection of registrants, or establishment of a security fund to expand the use of secure protocols, support standards development organizations and other projects in accordance with the internet governing body's security and stability mission. Prits also emphasized that ICANN's budget is utilized in a transparent manner. The use of excess funds are subject to community discussions and consultations.
  • Concerns Raised by ANA and other parties- Pritz explained that the new gTLD program was developed for more than six years with input from 10 or more experts and community working groups under the multistakeholder process. He pointed out that significant protection mechanisms were created to ensure protections for intellectual property rights, registry failures, etc. He also pointed out that all concerns raised by ANA and other parties were accepted, considered and responded to. He also reiterated that in the multistakeholder process not everyone will be satisfied with the result. He quoted NTIA Assitant Secretary Larry Strickling's statement that "it is critical to respect the process and the outcome reached".
  • Harm of Delaying the new gTLD program Implementation- According to Pritz, if the new gTLD program implementation were to be delayed it will upset the multistakeholder process, which was designed by the United States government to ensure the openness of the internet.
  • FCC Concern on Rapid Exponential Expansion of new gTLDs- According to Pritz, the approved new gTLDs will be introduced in a measured and limited manner. No new gTLD will be operational before 2013 and the introduction will be distributed over time.
  • Recommendations of Law Enforcement Agencies- Pritz emphasized that ICANN is actively working to address the 12 recommendations of law enforcement agencies. ICANN is negotiating with registrars to amend an strengthen the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) to meet the recommendations before 2013.
  • Registry Failure- One of the safeguards implemented by ICANN for the new gTLD program is the availability of an Emergency Back End Registry Provider in case of registry failure.
  • United Nations Model on Internet Governance and its Impact- Pritz emphasized that the ICANN multistakeholder model is not perfect but "it has shown to be a powerful, dynamic model that is capable of reaching consensus positions on extremely difficult issues. A UN model will push the stakeholders outside the government to an inconsequential role." He also reiterated the statements of Sec. Strickling and Ambassador David Gross that abandoning the multistakeholder model will cause negative impact to the Internet and its governance, and he said that an "internet constrained by an international treaty will stifle the innovators and entrepreneurs who are responsible for its awesome growth."
  • Internet Growth and DNS Expansion- Pritz affirmed that the internet and the DNS will continue to grow. ICANN is committed to carrying out its mandates- to promote competition in the DNS while protecting vital information as well as business and consumer interests.
  • Status of IPv6 Migration- Pritz explained that the IPv4 and IPv6 protocols will be running side by side for years to come. Over 7,500 IPv6 had been allocated to network operators around the globe by the end of September 2011.

In early November 2012, Chehadé invited a group of business, IP, and noncommercial users, along with registrar and registry stakeholder groups, to discuss Clearinghouse-related issues. Resolutions and decisions for ICANN include[100]:

  • Registration: How registration recording and verification are addressed
  1. Agreeing to map out trademark submission and verification components
  2. Developing a new system to offer timely and accurate information on new gTLD launches
  3. Implementing seminars between implementers and various users
  • Sunrise Management: How to use Sunrise data files and offer flexibility for rights holders
  1. Offering model in which Clearinghouse data can be provided securely to rights holders for early sunrise registration
  2. Giving details on the degree of "matching" between a Clearinghouse record and a domain name's Whois data.
  • Claims Management: How new gTLDs registries and registrars will facilitate Clearinghouse records during the registration process
  1. Agreeing to hybrid system of decentralized and centralized system for Trademark Claims
  2. Offering trademark claims service for at least first 60 days of general registration and all new gTLD registries must offer a minimum 30-day sunrise period
  3. Decided not to implement measures to address the potential mining of the Clearinghouse database for purposes not related to rights protection, on the basis that most controls would be ineffective

House of Representatives Hearing on new gTLD

On December 14, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives Sub-Committee on Communications Technology-Committee on Energy and Commerce also conducted a similar hearing regarding the new gTLD program. Kurt Pritz and all the other individuals who testified in the Senate also served at witnesses at the House of Representatives who echoed the same views about the program. Joshua Bourne, President of The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA), Thomas Embrescia, CEO of Employ Media and Anjali Hansen, IP attorney at the Council of Better Business Bureaus joined the rest of the witnesses during the hearing.[101]

Testimony of Witnesses

Mr. Joshua Bourne expressed his concern over the program and suggested some recommendations including the availability of a second round of application ease the anxiety associated with the program, provide option to block trademarks, update the language of the Anti-Cybersquatting Protection Act (ACPA), reduce pricing for multiple gTLD applicants and to add conditions on the IANA contract.[102] The call for second round of application was also expressed by Josh and the attendees of the CADNA gTLD Conference on November 2011.[103]

In her testimony, Ms. Anjali Hansen expressed her concern regarding the level of abuses and fraud over the internet and the high costs of brand protection. She also pointed out the importance of a competitive, innovative and open internet and BBB is not requesting for excessive regulation of the Internet by governments but they encourage registries and registrars to implement application standards to help reduce costs to businesses and to restore consumer trust.[104]

Thomas Embrescia testified in support of the ICANN new gTLD program. During the hearing, he pointed out that the private sector has a strong demand for new TLDs and the new gTLD program promotes competition, innovation. Furthermore he emphasized that it would help create more jobs and opportunities.He encouraged the members of the Congress to support the program. [105]

ICANN's Answers to Sub-Committee Members' Inquiries

On January 5, 2012, Cong. Greg Walden, Chairman of the House Sub-Committee on Communications and Technology, sent a letter to ICANN requesting answers to some issues related to the new gTLD program including:[106]

ICANN explained that consensus was achieved through community-driven policy development processes wherein working teams composed of members of the different internet stakeholders developed reports and recommendations and the public were given the opportunity to comment. The public comments were considered when drafting the final report and recommendations, before they were submitted it to the appropriate organization within ICANN such as the GNSO Council, which would in turn present their findings to the ICANN Board. ICANN emphasized that the GNSO Council is composed of all internet stakeholders and voted 19-1 in favor of the new gTLD policy. The internet governing body also pointed out that ICANN's Advisory Committees (GAC, ALAC, SSAC, RSSAC etc.) were involved in the consensus development. ICANN reiterated the statement of Sec. Larry Strickling that the ICANN "multistakeholder does not guarantee that everyone will be satisfied with the outcome.But it is critical to preserving the model of Internet governance that has been so successful to date that all parties respect and work through the process and accept the outcome once a decision is reached..."

  • Rights Protection Mechanisms

Rights protection will be implemented in the first and second level domain names. The internet governing body mentioned the development of the Trademark Clearinghouse as one of the rights protection mechanisms and it is mandatory to all new TLDs.

  • Request for a Second Round of Application

ICANN stated that it is committed to conducting additional rounds of new gTLD applications and it is working on determining that schedule.

  • Transparency regarding Surplus Funds generated from the new gTLD applications

ICANN emphasized that it is committed to using the excess funds generated from the new gTLD applications to advance its missions in a transparent way, such as allocating funds to projects that are of interest to the greater Internet community.

  • Bilateral Negotiations with registrars about the twelve Law Enforcement Due Diligence Recommendations

ICANN confirmed that it is conducting negotiations with its accredited registrars regarding the 12 recommendations of the enforcement agencies. Updates to the negotiation are available here

  • Contingency Plan in case a registry operator goes out of business

ICANN told the Congress that an "Emergency Backend Registry Operator" (EBERO) is in place to take-over the operations if a failed registry to ensure that the interest of domain name registrants are protected.

ICANN explained that information regarding the new Applicant Support Program is available, which offers two types of financial assistance under ASP: a reduced application fee of $47,000 from $185,000, and a payment plan to deal with the whole $185,000 application fee. To qualify for financial assistance, entities must meet certain criteria. Financial Assistance applications will be evaluated by an independent Support Application Review Panel (SARP).

ICANN explained that the Trademark Clearinghouse is a database of registered trademarks and other types intellectual property rights, which will be used to provide protection during the "Sunrise" and "Trademark Claims" processes. ICANN notes that 60-days post launch operation of the Trademark Claims exceeds the final recommendation of the Special Trademark Issues (STI) team, which was involved in developing the service and suggested that no mandatory post-launch claims service is necessary.

  • Possibility of subsidizing the costs of Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) using surplus funds

ICANN clarified that no commitment has been made regarding the use of surplus funds and that the issue is a matter of continued community consultations. ICANN will consider the proposal to subsidize costs of disputes under the UDRP.

ICANN is dedicated to improving the access and accuracy of the Whois information; Thick Whois information requirements will be in place for all new gTLDs. Five studies regarding Whois services focusing on issues related to misuse, registrant identification, privacy and proxy services were conducted.

  • New gTLD Application Fee

ICANN provided a breakdown of the current $185,000 application fee, which includes development costs ($26,950 per application), applications processing and evaluation costs ($97,800 per application), costs for risk mitigation steps ($60,000 per applicant). Further breakdown of the cost is available here

  • Revenue from second level domain name registrations under new gTLDs

ICANN said that it did not evaluate any additional revenue that might be generated from defensive second level domain name registrations. Registries are required to pay ICANN with annual fees with fixed components.

  • Cost recovery model in assessing fees

The cost-neutral model was a direct response to the GNSO policy recommendation that application fees are designed to ensure that the implementation of the new gTLD program is self funding. Once the TLDs are operational, transaction based fees for registries and registrars will apply to domain registrations.

  • Loser pays system against cybersquatting

The new gTLD dispute resolution under the new gTLD program implements the loser pays system. The IRT did not recommend a full loser pays system for domain name disputes related to cybersquatting. The loser pays system has exceptions on filing fees for disputes and URS claims of less than 15 domain names. Claims for 26 or more names in a URS claims might be done on a loser-pays basis.

  • Auction process for multiple gTLD applicants

The auctions process in case of multiple gTLD applicants will be applied as a last resort. ICANN encourage applicants to work on developing a mutually-agreeable solution.

The new gTLD program offers heightened protection mechanisms against abuses, registry failure and other malicious conducts designed by intellectual property experts

  • Law Enforcement Community Recommendations

ICANN is actively working on the 12 recommendations of the law enforcement community and negotiating with registrars to amend the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), particularly the inclusion of a more improved and accurate Whois database.

  • Cost/Benefit Analysis used by ICANN before implementing the new gTLD program

Five economic studies were commissioned by ICANN to examine the anticipated benefits and costs of the new gTLD program.

Second Round of Application

On February 7, 2012, the ICANN Board approved the implementation of a second round and application window for the new gTLD program in response to the request of the global Internet community, particularly the members of CADNA. The board delegated the ICANN CEO to work with the Internet community to develop a work plan and the needed prerequisites to open the second round of application for new gTLDs.[107] [103]

Awards

In May, 2012, ICANN was recognized by The Board of Trustees of Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah Informatics Award with their 11th 'Informatics Medal'. The medal is given with appreciation for the organization's efforts at maintaining and strengthening the Internet's infrastructure. The Board also expressed gratitude for the role that ICANN has played in developing and deploying Arabic IDN's, which allow Arabic populations to surf the web without relying on foreign characters or domains. The award has been given out since 2007, and is given to institutions or public figures that are influential in the fields of Informatics and Internet Development. It was received on behalf of ICANN by the company's President and CEO, Rod Beckstrom.[108][109]

CEO Fadi Chehadé

Since first introducing himself to the ICANN Community at ICANN 44 in Prague, and assuming the CEO position ahead of ICANN 45 in Toronto, Mr. Chehadé has actively engaged and restructured the organization to better facilitate what he has determined are its core functions. This includes: Operational Excellence, Contract Compliance, International Outreach, and Transparency.[110]

Contractual Compliance

A major push by Mr. Chehadé was to improve contractual compliance at ICANN. He stressed in his introductory speech that his prior experience at IBM taught him the importance of writing and following through clearly on contracts. On his first day as CEO he promoted Maguy Serad, Senior Director of Contractual Compliance, to Vice President of Contractual Compliance, with her department reporting directly to the CEO.[110]

"Contractual Compliance Audit Program" was introduced in late 2012 as a 3 year plan to ensure all registries and registrars are following their contracts. The scope of the program is: Registrar and registry agreements, including the incorporated ICANN consensus policies; All ICANN-accredited registrars (2001 and 2009 RAAs); Existing TLD registries; New agreements entered into with a contracted party may be included; New gTLD registries (when available). The timeline is broken down so that over the three year period 1/3 of Registry and Registrar agreements from a complete list will be randomly selected and audited, continuing with the remainder until finished.[111]

In January, 2013, Verisign Senior Vice President Pat Kane sent ICANN a letter stating that it had no intentions submitting to an ICANN audit of its .net registry. Kane wrote, "Verisign has no contractual obligations under its .net Registry Agreement with ICANN to comply with the proposed audit. Absent such express contractual obligations, Verisign will not submit itself to an audit by or at the direction of ICANN of its books and records." A registry audit would entail a review of compliance with Whois, zone file access, data escrow, monthly reporting, and other policies outlined in the registry agreements.[112]

International Outreach & Engagement with Underrepresented Regions

Fadi Chehadé made expanding on previous CEO Rod Beckstrom's work on reaching out to the international world a major priority, which notably entailed requiring new staff hires to speak 2 languages and personal and staff tours to promote ICANN and its New gTLD Program. It seemed through the way he talked about the current level of outreach and engagement and the lack of results that he believed that previous efforts were not substantial enough. He noted in his first speech to an ICANN audience, at ICANN 44 in Prague before he took up the CEO position, that he had already met with the African and Latin American delegations and that they were "yearning" to be reached out, which would be a top priority.[113] The day that he assumed the position of CEO he also appointed Sally Costerton to lead Stakeholder Engagement and Tarek Kamel to act as Senior Adviser to Government Affairs. The promotion of Mr. Kamel, an Egyptian national, was the first time an individual from the developing world had been made an Executive of ICANN. Both these positions are based in ICANN's European Headquarters and report directly to the CEO.[114]

Weeks later, 4 Vice Presidents of Regional Stakeholder Engagement were announced. These positions report directly to Sally Costerton and were mostly internal promotions intended to raise the level of importance for global engagement. The Vice Presidents are: Pierre Dandjinou, Africa; Baher Esmat, Middle East; Veni Markovski, Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe; Savenaca Vocea, Australasia/Pacific Islands.[115]

In October, 2012, AFRINIC and ICANN signed an agreement to facilitate the deployment of anycast instances of L Root DNS server, operated by ICANN, in the African region. ICANN, as the operator of the L-Root Server, will work cooperatively with AFRINIC to identify candidate sites within the region of Africa that meet the criteria for the hosting of anycast instances of the L-Root server operated by ICANN. Part of AFRINIC's mission aims to increase the number of DNS root servers instances in the African region as well as its own DNS Anycast platform where AFRINIC hosts its own DNS services but also make it available at no cost for ccTLDs in the region.[116]

At ICANN 45 in Toronto, a 3 year plan, entitled "ICANN's New Approach to Africa", was unveiled and presented to the community for comment. The plan was created through a working group convened at the previous ICANN meeting, which involved input from much of the African delegation, AFRINIC, and other important contacts knowledgeable about the region.[117]

In February 2013, CEO Fadi Chehadé announced that ICANN's office in L.A. would diminish in importance while two new "hubs" would be created to fill the gap and provide new means of outreach to ICANN's international constituents. The hubs are to be located in Singapore and Istanbul, and are to act with far more authority and purpose than a stand-alone office; it is clear that many senior staff from the L.A. office will be asked to move, and the CEO himself said he will be based in Singapore once that office is up and running.[118][119] The news was announced during Mr. Chehadé's first comprehensive tour of Asia, with trips to South Korea, China, Japan, and Singapore. He noted that ICANN needed to apologize to Asia, as it had long not been given the attention it deserved within the organization.[120]

In March 2013, Mr. Chehadé continued on his global outreach tour and engaged Middle eastern stakeholders at the Arab Multi-Stakeholder Internet Governance meeting in Dubai. The meeting, hosted by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates, brought together representatives from several different Internet organizations. Fadi Chehadé noted that he hoped to have a more clear engagement strategy for the Arab World by May, and noted that this goal would only be possible if the many Arab stakeholders involved also came to the table.[121]

Implementation vs. Policy Development

While a longstanding issue within the ICANN community, the difference and use of implementation procedures and policy development began to reach a noticeable head throughout 2012 and into 2013. Strictly speaking, anything that is "ICANN Policy" needs to go through its various supporting organizations and be approved, while implementation refers to matters adopted by the ICANN Board regardless of any consultation to the rest of the community. ICANN is supposed to be driven by bottom-up, consensus policy development, and this often results in the organization making slow progress. Implementation procedures are necessary to accommodate the practical issues related to organizational effectiveness.[122]

Issues that have recently sparked debates over implementation vs. policy development:

  • Special protections were given to the Internaional Olympic Comittee and Red Cross/Red Crescent in 2012 with regards to their marks across all New gTLDs. This action was approved by the ICANN Board despite the fact that the GNSO was still debating the issue though still largely against the special protections.
  • In 2012, the registry agreements for .com and .net were renewed without requirements for a "thick" Whois, despite policy development that was working for such requirements.[123]
  • The current model of the Trademark Clearinghouse and Uniform Rapid Suspension System did not come from the policy that was drafted on trademark issues but rather special groups, including the Implementation Review Team.
  • Further trademark issues appear to be forthcoming via implementation and not policy development after closed-door meetings in late 2012 with business and IP interests within the community.[122] This is known as the "Strawman Solution".[124]

Chinese version of this page/本页中文版

互联网名称与数字地址分配机构

ICANN互联网名称与数字地址分配机构的首字母缩略词,它是一个由美国政府及其商务部牵头创建和授权的多利益相关方全球机构。[1]它负责对互联网域名系统(DNS)、IP地址和自治系统号码进行协调,其中涉及对这些不断发展的系统以及其中的协议进行持续化的管理。

虽然ICANN的根源在美国政府,但是它现在正在并且继续努力成为一个国际化的社区推动型机构。他们对互操作性互联网的管理涉及1.8亿个域名、分配40多亿个互联网地址以及支持来自240个国家每天大约一万亿次的域名系统系统查找。[125] ICANN与公司、个人和政府相互协作以确保互联网的持续顺利运作。其每年召开三次会议,并且变更举办每次会议的国际地址;其中一次会议为年度大会,届时新一届ICANN董事会成员将列席会议。[3]

组织和结构

ICANN的核心使命是确保组织本身的结构可以接纳各种不同的声音并且争取代表持续关注互联网发展的广大支持者,包括从注册局公司,再到互联网上的个人用户。与ICANN的结构化发展有关的是,一直有批评家针对其闭门会议、美国商务部的角色以及其他结构性和程序性的规则加以批判。[126] ICANN已经被描述为正处于一种有争议的监管处境;一些国家要求ICANN服从联合国的管辖,或建议类似方案从而从该组织中消除所有的美国势力影响。[127] ICANN的结构和流程在ICANN章程中有描述。

董事会

主要文章: ICANN 董事会

ICANN由15位表决成员以及同时也是表决成员的总裁兼首席执行官组成的董事会管理。[128]董事会还由五位无表决权的联络员进行协助。[7]自ICANN成立之始至2011年12月,董事会成员只属于志愿的职位。当时,利益冲突的发生以及每年补偿董事会成员35,000美元从而使ICANN更加专业并且更加可靠的观念让 ICANN董事会面临着不断增加的压力,ICANN对此进行了回应。[8]

本届董事会

本届董事会的15位董事和首席执行官名单、每人的委派组织及其任期如下:[129]

目前的无表决权联络员

通用名称支持组织

主要文章: 通用名称支持组织

通用名称支持组织(GNSO)集合小型的利益相关团体,进而集合支持者组织和其他团体组成了一个负责开发政策、达成共识并且向ICANN董事会推荐通用顶级域相关建议的支持组织[130]

国家代码域名支持组织

主要文章: 国家代码域名支持组织

国家代码域名支持组织(ccNSO)是由国家代码顶级域的管理者根据需要而创立的隶属于ICANN的一个咨询机构,是负责监督一个特定国家自身的国家代码顶级域的实体。ccNSO是工作组和ccNSO委员会结成的联盟,并且与ICANN内部的其他支持组织和机构协同工作。它创建于2003年。它是一个用于在全球范围内探讨和论证国家代码顶级域相关事宜的平台。[131]

地址支持组织

主要文章: 地址支持组织

地址支持组织(ASO)是于1999年根据ICANN章程通过社区共识而创建的支持组织之一。ASO的主要目标是审核并且形成互联网协议建议和地址政策,并且向ICANN董事会建议。[132]其成员由负责管理和分配各自相应大陆地区IP地址的全球五大地区互联网注册局(RIR)委派。[133][134]

流程

会议

主要文章: ICANN会议

ICANN每年举行三次为期一周的会议;其中一次会议作为该组织的年度大会,新任的董事根据相应的委派列席。每次的会议都在不同的地点举办,即每一个全球地区举办一次会议,直至下一次重新轮到这个地区。[3]下一届会议是将在新加坡举办的第41届会议。第41届会议原预定在约旦的安曼举办,但后来出于安全方面的考虑而进行了变更。[135]后来,新加坡被选择为第41届会议的举办地。[136]

会议从周一正式开始 ,不过一些支持组织在此之前就开始会面,并一直持续到周五。 伙伴关系计划的创立使得希望或者需要参加会议但不具备独立参会经济后援的个人也能参与其中。[137]

审核流程

ICANN拥有多种机制允许任何个人或实体针对影响他们的任何董事会决议申请重新评估。董事会治理委员会 负责审阅通过电子方式提交的所有重审请求,并且必须在30天之内做出答复。董事会的行为也将由独立评审组进行审核,它有权就章程和董事会所采取的行动之间存在的差异提请注意,并且建议董事会重新审视某些问题。此外,ICANN的结构和运作,包括每一个支持组织和委员会,也将受到不定期的审核。[7]

历史回顾:成立之初

1997年7月1日,美国总统比尔•克林顿指示商务部长将域名系统(DNS)的管理私有化,在此之前的管理工作则由美国国防部高级研究计划局(DARPA)、国家科学基金会(NSF)和其他美国研究机构执行。[138]此举的目的是为了提升互联网的国际参与度,并且将其打造为一个商业竞争和交流的新型媒介。[1]

7月2日,商务部域名系统的管理和结构、新注册商政策和新顶级域的创建以及有关商标方面的担忧征集公众意见。一共收到了1,500多页的评论。[139]

1998年1月,商务部的一个机构(国家电信和信息管理局)发布了后来被称为“绿皮书”的文件。这份文件中明确提出,该机构提议授权一家非盈利实体掌管互联网及其DNS系统。[140]该提议招致一些美国立法者和其他了解到由美国培养的互联网即将被一家瑞士实体接管的相关个人的批评。[20]修改后的“白皮书”解决了其中的部分担忧,但依旧认为需要一个能够尊重和促进稳定、竞争、实行由下而上的协助和具有国际化代表性,并同时能建立恰当的协议和管理机制的互联网组织。[141]这份“白皮书”没有对所有存有歧义的事项进行澄清,却要求被推荐的实体利用其自我治理就当时的事项自行做出决定。[20]这份白皮书废弃了白皮书国际论坛(IFWP)的建立,其中涉及到四个全球性区域论坛的创建和集会,并且汇集了大约1000名互联网利益相关方。在对国家电信和信息管理局白皮书的回应中,IFWP没有提出任何具体提案,但是的确创建了一个有价值的思想机构并且为未来互联网管理和多利益相关方会议和组织奠定了基础。[142]

合作谅解备忘录

1998年11月25日,美国商务部和ICANN签署了合作谅解备忘录(MoU[1],正式承认ICANN作为具有以下权力的实体:

  1. 制定相应政策并管理限制性IP号码的分配;
  2. 监督授权根服务器系统的运作;
  3. 监督用以判定新顶级域在何种情况下可以加入根系统的条件判定政策;
  4. 根据需要协调其他互联网技术参数的分配,从而维持互联网的全球连通性;并且
  5. 根据商务部和ICANN的约定,监督可以协调规定的域名系统管理功能的其他必需活动。

再次说明,这些职责应该在稳定、竞争、私下由下而上的协调,以及代表性的原则引导下执行。[1]该协议确立了实体ICANN将在其交易中鼓励透明并且为其做出的任何有约束力的决定创造足够的上诉空间。商务部后来发现,放权给ICANN是正确的,因为这是真正迈向私有化的最好决定,同时又能根据MoU中的美国政策约束该机构的权力。[23]协议最初设定的有效期为2000年9月30日。[1] MoU曾经过数次修订。

最早的三个支持组织

最初的三个支持组织包括:[24]


初期问题

ICANN立即遇到了两个迫切的、对立的问题:通过创建必需的政策保护公认的商标,从而控制域名抢注的任务,以及相反地需要增加被委任为注册商的实体数量。在白皮书发布之后,世界知识产权组织(WIPO)开始独立研究如何在变化的域名系统内保护商标和知识产权。在ICANN授权后大约7个月的一次国会听证会上,新实体在保护知识产权方面迈出的步伐得到了认可,也承认了WIPO在创建进一步提案方面的进展,并号召知识产权所有者加入ICANN。[23] WIPO在1999年的柏林会议上提交给ICANN的报告对Whois系统表示支持,但同时也建议,如果Whois 系统未能向商标持有人提供充分的联系信息与域名持有人取得联系,注册商应负责通过取消域名持有人对域名的权力来纠正这种情况。ICANN立即着手开发初期的Whois系统。 该报告还针对委任新注册商的流程提供建议、要求为域名系统中的知识产权问题创建一种具体的争议解决流程,并且建议任何新通用顶级域的创建都应该缓慢而谨慎地进行。这些建议很快导致ICANN委任指南的诞生、统一域名争议解决政策(UDRP)的创建以及对如何和何时增加通用顶级域数量的持续争论。[23]

注册商委任

合作谅解备忘录(MoU)正式承认ICANN一个月之前,商务部NSI公司修订了他们的合作协议。该协议之前曾确立了NSI作为 .com.org.net三个域名的唯一注册商的资格。[30]协议的三处修订取消了NSI的独家权利;修订11要求创建一个注册局共享系统(SRS),从而不限数量的竞争注册商能够使用NSI管理的同一个系统。[147]修订12赋予NSI更多的时间从而完成注册局服务自由化的重要阶段;要求所有被委任的注册商拥有平等使用注册局共享系统权力的最后一个阶段的截止日期现在被限定为大约一年,即1999年10月25日。[32]修订13要求对每个注册的二级域名收取9美元的费用,初次注册时的费用为18美元,以后每年到期日支付9美元。[148]

1999年2月8日,ICANN公布了其注册商委任指南草案,公开征求意见。[30]该指南是通过与 商务部NSI的磋商形成的,并且在公共评论阶段结束后做出了进一步的调整。[149]在公共评论期被提出一些问题包括:对内部官僚主义的担忧、对知识产权的不充分保护以及在域名支持组织成立之前委任注册商背后的依据。[150] ICANN董事会在其1999年3月的新加坡会议上接受了修订后的注册商委任政策申明[30]

起初的政策要求注册商提供安全访问注册局的方法、能够操作处理大量的注册量、保存电子交易记录、迅速处理并提供二级域名请求服务、提供安全保障、为希望更换注册商的客户提供无缝转接处理、聘请足够数量的员工并且拥有适当的措施以保证在注册商停业时保护其客户的利益。注册商还必须证明其拥有足够的责任保险单和流动资产储备。对创建并维持有效的注册局服务的担忧表现在每个二级域名的注册人信息必须由注册商提交给NSI归入其注册局之中这一要求里。此外,还要求注册商提供可供搜索的Whois服务。申请加入第一阶段测试平台的申请费为2500美元,一般申请费为1000美元。每年总计5000美元的委派费用也需要评估。[151]

注册服务商委任协议的修订在2009年5月 由ICANN董事会全体一致通过。[30]

测试期

注册局共享系统(SRS)的测试期受到了许多技术问题的困扰。[37]上述的修订12将测试期作为SRS系统部署的第一阶段,并且将开始日期定在1999年4月26日,结束日期设定在1999年6月25日。[32]Register.com最终成为5家竞争性测试注册商中第一个成功实施SRS系统界面的注册商,刚好是为时2个月的测试期的第六周]]。Whois系统的部署同样也经历了技术困扰。[37]在整个测试期,后来阶段的一般申请正在被接纳。[30] 商务部NSI曾4次延长测试期。[152] [153]经过最后一次延期,测试期最终在1999年11月5日结束。[154]

统一域名争议解决政策

主要文章: 统一域名争议解决政策 1999年9月29日,ICANN发布统一域名争议解决政策并公开征求意见。该流程旨在解决由域名抢注和保护知识产权引起的问题。考虑到世界知识产权组织(WIPO)统一域名争议解决政策早期付出的和持续付出的努力,该流程不仅仅是ICANN的一种担忧或者说一种产品。该政策声称,在满足下列条件时,其将对米农持有的任何域名进行转移、删除或对其他变更进行评估:

  1. 与投诉人享有权力的商标或服务标志完全相同或类似并可造成混淆的;并且
  2. 米农对该域名不享有相关权力或合法利益;并且
  3. 争议中的域名已经被注册并且使用目的不良。[155]

当天,ICANN还发布了UDRP 条例,其中规定了对投诉建档和回复的程序。针对该条例也进行了意见的公开采集。. [156]部分公众评论可以参阅这里

ICANN在其1999年11月的洛杉矶会议上采纳了统一域名争议解决政策[157]

历史回顾:ICANN2.0

ICANN由下而上的聚焦及其定期的结构审核致使对其章程进行修订并且引入新的实体和政策。其中一次快速的更改发生在2000年及2000年左右,当时预期的变更和围绕他们的讨论导致人们开始考虑“ICANN 2.0”。[158]

一般会员咨询委员会(ALAC)的引入

围绕“ICANN 2.0”展开的争辩所涉及的讨论和提议之一就是引入一个能够代表互联网个人用户的机构。[24]这个机构就是一般会员咨询委员会,或称为ALAC,虽然该机构在2002年通过对章程的修订而最终被引入,却一直被当做热论话题争论数年。[159]

其他委员会

ICANN的许多其他新进展通过审核团队的引入而随之完成;比如ICANN进化和重组委员会。还有其他旨在扩大并且专门化ICANN角色的委员会也纷纷被创建,比如安全委员会,最后成为安全和稳定咨询委员会(SSAC)。这两个委员会在2002年双双获得官方认可。[45] 改革方面的推动也得到了Stuart Lynn的“总裁报告:重组事宜”的大力协助[160],他们开始重组对话并且由此导致更多正式委员会的创立。[47] ICANN在对公开论坛做出回应而修改之前采纳了由上述的进化和重组委员会首次提出的一套新章程。具体的章程可以参阅这里。章程不仅更加清晰地定义了ICANN的使命和核心价值,还落实并改进了用以保障审核和更大透明度的结构和组织。复议委员会、独立评审组(IRP)和监察专家都得到了加强,朝着更加透明的组织方向变化,从而使之能够捍卫其行动和决策。[161]

进一步发展

通用顶级域(gTLD)扩展

主要文章: 通用顶级域

对创建新通用顶级域的讨论自ICANN形成之初就已经开始;没有确定的数量,而且 .com这个扩展长久以来是使用最广泛和认可度最高的顶级域这个事实是由于ICANN缓慢的政策开发流程导致的。ICANN在与美国商务部2001年签署的合作谅解备忘录(MoU)的修订中承诺,ICANN将“协助设计、开发和测试一种计划,该计划将创建一个可以考虑扩展通用顶级域数量的流程。” [169]

2000年,在一年前创建的几个工作组提交了他们担负引入新顶级域任务的报告;尤其是工作组C呼吁引入有限数量的扩展。董事会继续进行新顶级域的引入,并创建了这个申请流程。参与该流程的任务组协助了 .aero.biz.coop.info.museum.name.pro 的申请,这些扩展在2000年全部得到了认可。 在2003年10月的迦太基会议上,董事会通过了迄今最重大的一次决议,即完全开放通用顶级域的创建流程。在这次会议上,他们意识到自己以有效、透明和稳定的方式开发新通用顶级域的责任,通用顶级域扩展正式流程的缺乏,以及他们在2000年引入最后一轮扩展时遇到的问题。因此,决定开始投入大量资源解决这一问题并且创建一个公开论坛以征求社区意见。[170]

2003年,重要的新赞助顶级域开始被提出。这些域名不同于 通用顶级域之处在于他们是由特定的支持者赞助的,但这可以视为广大社区迫切要求更加多样化域名空间的另一种表现方式。申请来自.asia.xxx.net.cat.mobi, .jobs.travel[171]]它们全部在2005年-2006年得到认可,除了有争议的.xxx[172]它经历了一个更加有争议和漫长的过程,但最终还是在2011年3月的ICANN第 40届会议上得到了批准。[173]

进一步发展

新通用顶级域项目

主要文章: 新通用顶级域名项目

在2000年和2003年新通用顶级域扩展之后,通用名称支持组织(GNSO)开发了一个与新通用顶级域的引入相关的政策开发流程,这个过程从2005年一直持续到2007年。在开发这个政策制定流程期间,GNSO与ICANN全球互联网社区内的所有成员进行了广泛而细致的磋商。在2008年,19个特定政策建议被ICANN董事会采纳用以实施新通用顶级域,它们对分配和合同条款进行了详细描述。ICANN让全球互联网社区参与了一次开放的、包容的和透明的实施过程,让他们对创建新通用顶级域的“申请人指南”进行评价、审查并提供建议。该过程期间解决了知识产权和社区利益保护、消费者保护和DNS稳定性的问题。在2008年,申请人指南的不同版本和多次草稿得以发布。到2011年6月,ICANN董事会启动了新通用顶级域项目,同时批准了新通用顶级域申请人指南。[174]董事会宣布,在2012年1月有可能推出该指南的第9版,但是业内推测,更多的将是阐释而不是新规则和新政策,更改多于阐释的可能性很小。[175]

2012年11月,ICANN、威瑞信国家电信和信息管理局(NTIA)一致确认他们已经准备好充足的资源以开始每周推出100个新通用顶级域。[176]

实体扩展

2011年9月,ICANN董事会批准了扩展组织新办公场所的决议。他们有可能在其目前的位置洽谈寻求更多的办公场所,或者在其总部玛丽安德尔湾寻找新的场所。董事会还决定永久租赁其位于布鲁塞尔的办公场所,而不是按月租赁。其大部分的扩展都与新通用顶级域项目有关。在董事会做出此项决定时,ICANN的员工数量为124人,还有21个空缺的职位。2012年的预算包括210万美元的办公场所购买经费和维护其位于玛丽安德尔湾、布鲁塞尔、悉尼、帕洛阿尔托和华盛顿的办公场所的经费。[177]悉尼办事处在2012年被关闭。

2013年2月,首席执行官Fadi Chehadé宣布ICANN洛杉矶办事处的重要性将降低,而将创建两处新的“枢纽”以填补缺口并为ICANN的国际成员提供新的外展方法。新建的枢纽将位于新加坡和伊斯坦布尔,其拥有的职权和功能将远远超过一个孤立的办事处;洛杉矶办事处的许多高级职员将随之搬迁,首席执行官自己声称,一旦新加坡的办事处建立并且投入使用,他将在新加坡办公。[178][179]该消息宣布于Chehadé先生的首次亚洲大旅行期间,在此期间,他曾前往韩国、中国、日本和新加坡旅行。他提到,ICANN需要向亚洲致歉,因为亚洲长久以来没有在该组织内部得到应有的关注。[180]

利益冲突

ICANN从来没有一项明确的利益冲突政策,或任何适当的条例能够阻止其最重要的成员和董事直接转而在行业内就业。由于这些手握职权的人对ICANN的决策和市场权力会产生影响,因此这是一个值得注意的问题,他们可以协助创建项目和政策,也可以随后从中受益。该问题在2011年开始凸显,当时一位杰出的职员和董事会主席先后离开ICANN转而在行业内就业。两位均参与了ICANN新通用顶级域项目的开发,而后又双双就职于新通用顶级域的相关合资企业。[67]

该问题牵涉的董事会主席是Peter Dengate Thrush,他领导了ICANN董事们在新加坡ICANN第41届会议上批准了具有历史意义的新通用顶级域项目及其时间表。根据既定的任期限制,这是他作为董事会主席参加的最后一次会议。Thrush先生在数周后成为Top Level Domain Holdings的执行主席,该公司是新通用顶级域注册局和咨询公司Minds + Machines的母公司。他是直接转而获得域名行业高薪职位的首位主席。[181]

在Thrush先生易主Minds + Machines公司后,许多外部组织和ICANN利益相关者要求制定一项具体的道德约束政策,其中包括:美国议员Ron Wyden、美国广告主协会欧洲委员会、 美国商务部、法国政府和其他知识产权及行业组织。[182] ICANNN的首席执行官Rod Beckstrom早在ICANN42届会议的开幕仪式上,甚至是在Peter Dengate Thrush离开之前,就已经提到ICANN社区即将弥补组织内部缺乏明确伦理规范的缺陷这点让他深受鼓舞。AusRegistry的首席执行官Adrian Kinderis之后注意到了相反的事实,在没有明确伦理政策的约束下,他和他所在的行业为了谋求自身的利益,将继续追求ICANN最资深和已经准备好的人员。[67]

随着这些事件的进展,ICANN宣布其将聘请外部伦理专家对其政策进行评审并且给出建议。该决策制定于2011年9月的一次董事会治理委员会会议上。[183]

新的利益冲突政策发布于2011年12月8日,并立即生效。该政策要求所有的董事会成员以及身居其他不同职位的成员,均向董事会治理委员会披露所有潜在的利益冲突,并且在之后涉及利益冲突的ICANN活动中弃权。[184] 董事会成员还不允许参与新通用顶级域注册局的业务,直至该注册局的申请经过表决后的12个月为止。[8]

时区数据库

2011年10月14日,ICANN宣布其将接管对互联网时区数据库的管理,其中包括了计算机程序和操作系统赖以判断给定位置正确时间的代码和数据。ICANN在接到互联网工程任务组(IETF)的一次请求之后同意担负起这项新的责任。在此之前,时区数据库是由一群志愿者,尤其是其协调员,美国国家卫生署的Arthur David Olson进行管理。[185]

Manwin反垄断诉讼案

Manwin是互联网上最著名的成人内容制作商之一,它就创建和执行赞助顶级域 .xxxICM Registry和ICANN提出反垄断诉讼。该法律诉讼发生在2011年11月,在该顶级域获得批准后很久,并且在其正常注册期之前。[186]它还对ICANN提出独立评审组(IRP)请求,这使其成为提出该请求的第二家公司(第一家是ICM Registry自己),Manwin认为ICANN没有“在批准顶级域.xxx之前充分处理包括竞争、消费者保护、恶意滥用和权力保护方面的问题。” [187]

2012年1月,ICANN和ICM双双提出动议以撤销该案件。ICANN辩称,由于自己是一家非盈利组织并且没有参与“交易或商务”,因此美国的反垄断法不适用;此外,ICM和ICANN均辩称,Manwin的申请本质上是对潜在竞争的增加进行抱怨。ICM提到,Manwin早前曾接触过他们,并且提出了一份所谓的互惠协议,其中Manwin要求免费获得各类优质的.xxx域名,作为交换,他们将与ICM分享这些域名的利润。当ICM拒绝这份协议后,Manwin的管理合伙人Fabian Thylmann说过,他将尽一切努力阻止.xxx[188] ICANN和ICM的撤销动议可以分别参阅这里这里

在二月中旬,Manwin、ICANN和ICM Registry宣布三方正在会谈,并且希望解决部分或所有未解决的投诉。ICANN和ICM申请撤销案件的动议被暂时搁置。[189] 2月17日,该公司修改了其对ICANN和ICM Registy提出的反垄断诉讼。根据Manwin的法律顾问Kevin E. Gaut所言,他们放弃了两项相关的州法律索赔,以避免审判延期的潜在风险。[190]

2012年8月,加州中区地方法院的一项混合裁决只采纳了ICANN和ICM7项撤销动议中的两项。法院裁决ICANN将受反垄断法的管辖,因为ICM向其付费以获得运营.xxx域名空间的权限,审判将着重处理“防御性注册”市场。[191]

Employ Media仲裁

Employ Media提请仲裁要求解决ICANN在2011年2月27日发出的和universe.jobs网站有关的.jobs注册局协议违约通知。该招聘网站是由Employ Media和Direct Employers Association联手推出的,注册局运营商允许注册招聘网站上使用的4万多个.jobs域名,为美国5000多加领先公司发布工作机遇广告。ICANN声称universe.jobs似乎与其他提供相同服务的公司形成竞争,而且Employ Media的行为违反了它的章程。ICANN要求.jobs注册局运营商和赞助组织[[SHRM|人力资源管理协会(SHRM)共同解决违约通知中提及的问题,并且遵守其章程。ICANN威胁称,如果问题没有得到解决,将终止.jobs注册局协议。Employ Media辩称,universe.jobs的推出符合由ICANN批准的阶段分配程序(Phase Allocation Program)的要求。虽然注册局运营商对ICANN的行为感到失望,Employ Media同意通过引用注册局协议中的合作协议条款来解决该问题。在合作谈判期间,Employ Media同意在2011年5月6日之前停止注册非公司名称域名。然而,该公司在获悉ICANN将他们有关违约协议的合作谈判信息发布出去之后,放弃了合作协议程序。Employ Media还控告ICANN“恶意行为”。ICANN的法律顾问解释道,作为互联网管理机构,ICANN只是在履行其职责以维护问责制和透明度。在ICANN回应Employ Media的仲裁请求时重申了其认为Employ Media违反ICANN章程的强硬立场,并认为自己的决定是恰当的。ICANN要求法院拒绝注册局运营商的救济请求。目前,双方仍旧在等待国际商会(ICC)国际仲裁院的仲裁程序时间表。[192] [193] [194] [195] [196] [197] [198]

.JOBS 章程合规联盟的批评

在实施新通用顶级域项目的前一天,.JOBS章程合规联盟致信ICANN详述了互联网管理机构在评估和调查由反对 .jobs注册局运营商要求更改ICANN章程这一请求的实体所提交的所有评论和信息方面的失职。它指出,ICANN未能承认自己的错误并且没有在投诉和证据已提交申请重新考量Employ Media违反其章程时推翻其决策。联盟主席声称,ICANN未能及时处理Employ Media的章程违约仲裁程序所表现出的低效率致使该公司继续利用顶级域.jobs,并且扩建了universe.jobs网站。而且,它提到互联网社区担心ICANN的新通用顶级域项目的多利益相关方保护机制可能最终就像顶级域.jobs一样最终管理不善,而ICANN的承诺是“一纸空谈”。此外,Bell要求ICANN董事会公开取消Employ Media及其合伙人Direct Employers Association参加新通用顶级域扩展项目的资格,因为该注册局运营商曾有“滥用记录”。据其主席所言,这是ICANN恢复部分管理权威的唯一途径。[199]


针对非洲实施的新方案

2012年8月10日,ICANN在非洲互联网信息中心(AfriNIC)的支持下,宣布了一项旨在提高非洲在ICANN内部影响力的计划。该计划是在ICANN董事会主席Steve Crocker、ICANN指定首席执行官Fadi Chehadé和临时首席执行官Akram Atallah在捷克共和国布拉格ICANN第44届会议上与非洲社区成员的一次会面后形成的。他们的目标是创建一个框架,从而使ICANN的非洲战略在加拿大多伦多的ICANN第45届会议上得以宣布。一个由加纳的Nii Quaynor领导的工作组被随之创建,其目的是为了协助战略的开发。该工作组还将与政府事务主管Tarek Kamel合作。[200]该计划得到非洲互联网利益相关方的大力支持,包括前董事会成员 Katim Touray。2013年3月,首席执行官Fadi Chehadé表达了 他希望通过在银行和保险行业的个人和业务关系将非洲注册商数量从5个提高到25个的愿望,以此让非洲公司更加容易符合部分定制的ICANN委任形式。他的愿望是在数月之内完成该计划,并在2013年7月ICANN第47届德班会议前后取得一些进展。[201]

互联网号码分配局(IANA)职能管理工作过渡

主要文章: IANA职能管理工作过渡

2014年3月,国家电信和信息管理局(NTIA)发表声明表示,他们打算将其互联网号码分配局(IANA)的职能部分从NTIA过渡出去而转移给全球利益相关者社区。[202]ICANN发布了一篇新闻稿证实了这一转变。[203]

ICANN根据13个社区利益相关方群体的提名创建了一个协调组,总计27位个人,共同参与制定一份过渡文件的草案。在2014年12月2日,ICANN公开协调组制定的过渡文件草案并公开征求意见。[204]

参议院有关新通用顶级域项目的听证会

2012年12月8日,美国参议院商务、科学和交通委员会进行了一次完整的委员会听证会,对新通用顶级域扩展项目的价值和效果,以及ICANN在解决互联网社区提出的问题方面的努力进行评估。在委员会听证会期间出席的证人包括: [205]

证人证言

Angela Williams在参议院听证会期间表达了ICANN非盈利性业务问题支持者(NPOC)成员的担忧。在她的证言中,她提出了有关预算、公众混淆和域名抢注方面的问题。据其所言,提高的公众混淆风险损害了互联网的安全。她还提出,对于非营利组织而言,他们在保护其品牌或商标不受诈骗、域名抢注和商标侵权危害时的成本更高。她还指出,非营利组织无法负担成为域名注册局的费用从而确保对品牌的保护。威廉姆斯鼓励ICANN考虑NOPC组织成员的担忧。她还建议,免费或者费用大幅降地允许已证实的非盈利组织的商标免除被任何新顶级域申请人申请。[206]

在听证会期间,Dan Jaffe证实新通用顶级域项目“不利于消费者、营销商和整个在线市场”并且枚举了为何需要停止实施该项目的不同原因。据其所言,没有实质性的证据证明新通用顶级域项目能够促进竞争、缓解域名空间的不足并且支持已分化的服务和新产品。他还提出新通用顶级域项目会对经济产生严重的影响。品牌所有者可能被迫提出防御性注册申请以保护其商标或知识产权权利。存在知识产权权利侵吞、域名导航稀释、域名抢注风险上升、知识产权所有者投资降低以及失败顶级域损失的可能性。杰夫援引了受ICANN在2010年12月委托而进行的研究“通用顶级域名扩展中的经济考量,第二阶段报告:案例分析”来支持他的观点。此外,他还强调,新通用顶级域项目缺乏共识并且ICANN未能实现其“自下而上共识驱动的政策开发方案”。而且,他指出,申请费用过于昂贵并且不利于品牌所有者,而且在Peter Dengate Thrush结束其作为ICANN主席任期时立即决定加入Minds + Machines担任执行主席后,他还提出该组织存在的利益冲突政策方面的问题。Thrush曾强烈倡议批准新通用顶级域项目。[207]

Esther Dyson证实新通用顶级域项目不是促进创新的必需元素。她说:“原理是域名存在短缺……但事实上,人们的大脑空间也有限。”她建议ICANN针对该项目进行进一步的磋商并且执行更加广泛的公众外展。她用一句谚语总结了自己的证言:“亡羊补牢,为时不晚!” [208]

作为美国国家电信和信息管理局的代表,Fiona Alexander告知参议院委员会成员,该机构隶属于政府咨询委员会(GAC),GAC积极参与ICANN内部的政策开发流程。她证实自新通用顶级域项目的政策开发流程实施六年以来,NTIA及其在GAC中的对应部门不断向ICANN提供了相关的一致性建议。她强调,GAC开发了一种“计分卡”以解决政府部门提出的不同问题,其中包括:

  • 政府异议程序
  • 敏感字符串评审程序
  • 根区域调整
  • 市场和经济影响
  • 注册局-注册商分离
  • 商标权和其他知识产权保护
  • 消费者保护问题
  • 与政府之间的授权后纠纷
  • 地理类名称的使用和保护
  • 申请人的合法追索权
  • 发展中国家利益相关方的机遇
  • 执法部门尽职调查的建议
  • 申请人早期预警机制,识别提议的字符串是否会引起争议或具有敏感性

亚历山大先生着重强调了NTIA对ICANN的互联网管理多利益相关方模式的支持以及致力于维护互联网的开放性以促进经济增长、创新以及网络信息、产品和服务的自由流通的目标。[209]

Kurt Pritz向参议院委员会证实,新通用顶级域的引入是互联网管理机构自创建以来的一个使命之一。普里茨指出,新通用顶级域项目是通过多利益相关方流程开发的;全球互联网利益相关方包括品牌和商标标志所有者、域名注册局、注册商、注册人、政府、执法机关、非盈利组织等均参与了新通用顶级域的政策开发和执行程序。他还强调了申请人指南中有关新商标保护措施的条款,比如统一快速暂停系统(URS)和商标信息交换库 (TMCH)、用以缓和恶意行为、创建异议流程、维护域名系统安全(域名系统安全扩展DNSSEC)的措施和其他相关问题措施。他在证言的最后重申了“ICANN社区在过去不辞辛劳地创建新通用顶级域项目以促进竞争和创新……”[210] [211]

ICANN答复参议院委员会

2012年1月25日,普里茨回复了参议院商务、科学和交通委员会成员提出的新通用顶级域扩展项目的相关问题。问题由参议员芭芭拉•博克瑟、玛丽亚•坎特韦尔、克莱尔•麦卡斯基尔、奥林匹亚•斯诺和马克•沃纳在1月8日提出。立法者的问题主要集中于以下事项:[212]

  • 知识产权权利– 普里茨解释道,为了避免消费者混淆以及或者违反知识产权权利,新通用顶级域项目拥有针对一级和二级域名的知识产权强制保护机制。他还补充道,将实施严格的审查并且将拒绝有域名抢注历史的实体的申请。此外,公众和ICANN的各种支持者组织将有机会针对提议的新通用顶级域字符串进行审核和发问。普里茨还枚举了四种可行的异议流程,其中包括:
  1. 字符串混淆异议– 被提议的新通用顶级域与现有的或另一个被申请的通用顶级域字符串相似并且容易引起混淆。
  2. 合法权利异议被申请的通用顶级域字符串侵害了异议提出者的现有合法权利。
  3. 限定的公众利益异议- 被提议的新通用顶级域字符串与被普遍接受的合法道德规范以及符合国际法律原则的社会秩序相抵触。
  4. 社区异议- 大量的目标社区与被申请的新通用顶级域字符串对立。

任何异议都应向ICANN批准的三个独立争议解决服务提供商之一提出,包括国际争议解决中心(ICDR)(字符串混淆异议)、世界知识产权组织(WIPO)仲裁和调解中心(合法权利异议)以及国际商会-专业知识国际中心(ICC-ICE)(限定的公众利益和社区异议)。此外,普里茨还强调了任命一名独立异议员的必要性,其职责是代表公众利益审核申请并且在必要时提出异议。

  • 优先期- 普里茨告诉委员会成员说,所有被批准的新通用顶级域都将强制性地进行优先期。商标信息交换库将作为一家针对需要认证、存贮和散播的商标权信息的中央知识库 。所有的商标持有人将有机会记录其全国和多国各个司法管辖区注册的字标。商标信息交换库中所有经过认证的商标权数据将被用于优先期和商标请求服务期间保护相关域名。
  • 域名系统安全(域名系统安全扩展DNSSEC)-Pritz证实所有的新通用顶级域申请人都需要执行域名安全系统扩展。他还告知委员会成员,现有82%的顶级域注册局已经部署了域名系统安全扩展,以确保域名系统的安全和稳定。
  • 打击恶意网站- 新通用顶级域项目旨在通过提高执法机构对信息的访问程度来预防非法活动并轻松消除恶意行为。 Thick Whois数据系统的实施将加快搜索速度并有效对抗恶意网站。ICANN还将对申请人进行背景调查并审核其忽视反域名抢注法律的不诚信或恶意历史。
  • 预估将创建的新通用顶级域的数量- Pritz解释道,根据根服务器稳定性专家的建议,ICANN承诺每年最多向根区域添加1,000个新通用顶级域。
  • 新通用顶级域超额收益的规划- ICANN承诺任何超额收益将用于其非营利性的任务从而维护互联网社区的利益,比如创建注册局连续性资金从而保护注册人,或者创建安全资金,根据互联网管理机构的安全和稳定使命用以扩大安全协议的使用、支持标准开发组织和其他项目。Pritz还强调,ICANN的预算使用是透明的。超额资金的使用将由社区讨论和协商决定。
  • 美国广告主协会(ANA)和其他团体提出的担忧- Pritz解释道,新通用顶级域项目的开发历时6年以上,在多利益相关方流程下综合了10几位专家和社区工作组的意见。他指出,已经创建了重要保护机制从而确保对知识产权权利、注册局停业等方面的保护。他还指出,ANA和其他团体提出的所有担忧都已被接受、考量并且回复。他还重申道,在多利益相关方流程中,不是所有人都会对结果感到满意。他引用了国家电信和信息管理局助理部长Larry Strictling的言论说"尊重该过程以及达成的结果是十分重要的。"
  • 推迟实施新通用顶级域项目的危害- 据Pritz所言,推迟实施新通用顶级域项目将会打乱由美国政府为了确保互联网开放性而设计的多利益相关方流程。
  • 联邦通信委员会(FCC)对新通用顶级域快速指数扩张的担忧- 据Pritz所言,获批的新通用顶级域将以慎重和有限制的方式被引入。所有的新顶级域在2013年之前不会进行运作,并且将分时引入。
  • 执法机构的建议- Pritz强调,ICANN正在积极解决执法机构提出的12条建议。ICANN正在与注册商谈判,从而在2013年以前对注册服务商委任协议(RAA)进行修订和加强以符合12条建议的要求。
  • 注册局停业– ICANN针对新通用顶级域项目实施的安全措施之一就是为了应对注册局停业而推出的后方紧急注册管理机构(EBERP)。
  • 联合国的互联网治理模式及其影响- Pritz强调,ICANN的多利益相关方模式虽然不完美,但是’’“却被证明是在面对极其困难的问题时能够取得一致立场的一种强大的动态模式。联合国模式将把利益相关方推至政府之外的一种无关紧要的角色中。”他还重申了史特里克林部长及大卫•格罗斯大使的言论,即摒弃多利益相关方模式将对互联网及其治理产生负面的影响,而且他还说道:’’“受到国际条约约束的互联网将会扼杀对互联网的快速增长负有责任的创新者和企业家。”
  • 互联网的发展和域名系统的扩张- Pritz断言互联网和域名系统将继续发展壮大。ICANN将致力于执行其使命-保护极其重要的信息以及企业和消费者利益的同时促进域名系统的竞争。
  • 互联网通信协议第6版(IPv6)迁移的动态– Pritz解释道, IPv4和IPv6协议将在未来几年里一起运行。截止2011年9月底,已经有超过7500个IPv6地址被分配至全球的网络运营商。

在2012年11月初,Chehadé邀请一群企业、知识产权和非商业用户与注册商和注册局利益相关方团体一起探讨与商标信息交换库有关的事项。ICANN的决议和决策包括[213]

  • 注册:注册登记和验证是如何解决的
  1. 同意筹划商标提交和验证组件
  2. 开发一个能够及时、准确地提供新通用顶级域推出信息的新系统
  3. 在实施者和不同用户之间实行研讨会
  • 优先期管理:如何使用优先期数据文件并为权利持有者提供便利
  1. 提供一种能够将商标信息交换库的数据安全地提供给权利所有者从而提前完成优先期注册的模式
  2. 提供商标信息交换库记录与域名的 Whois数据匹配度的详细信息
  • 请求管理:新通用顶级域注册局和注册商在注册过程中如何促进商标信息交换库的数据
  1. 同意采纳用于处理商标请求的分散化和集中化的混合系统
  2. 提供至少60天的正常注册期商标请求服务,所有的新通用顶级域注册局必须提供至少30天的优先期服务
  3. 基于大部分的控制都将无效,决定不实施与权利保护无关的,为了解决商标信息交换库数据潜在开发的措施。

众议院有关新通用顶级域的听证会

2011年12月14日,美国众议院能源和商务委员会的通信技术小组委员会也进行了一次类似的与新通用顶级域项目有关的听证会。库尔特•普里茨以及其他所有在参议院作证的个人还作为证人参加了众议院的听证会,他们对该项目持有相同的观点。反域名滥用联盟(CADNA)总裁Joshua Bourne内、 Employ Media 首席执行官Thomas Embrescia、商业改进局(BBB)委员会的知识产权律师Anjali Hansen在听证会剩余的时间里加入了证人的行列。[214]

证人证言

Joshua Bourne先生表达了他对这个项目的担忧并提出了包括实行第二轮申请以缓解由该项目带来的焦虑、提供保护商标的方法、更新反域名抢注保护法案(ACPA)、降低多通用顶级域申请人的费用并且增加互联网号码分配局(IANA)合约中条款的建议。[215] Josh和2011年11月反域名滥用联盟(CADNA)通用顶级域会议的与会者也同样表达了实行第二轮申请的要求。[103]

在她的证言中,Anjali Hansen表达了她对互联网滥用和欺诈程度以及品牌保护的高昂成本方面的担忧。她还指出了具有竞争性、创新性和开放性互联网的重要性,以及商业改进局没有要求政府对互联网进行过度管理,但是他们鼓励注册局和注册商执行申请标准,以此降低企业的成本并且恢复消费者的信任。[216] Thomas Embrescia表达了他对ICANN新通用顶级域项目的支持立场。在听证会期间,他指出,私人领域对新顶级域拥有强烈的需求,而且新通用顶级域项目能够促进竞争、创新。此外,他还强调,该项目有助于创造更多的工作和机遇。他鼓励国会成员支持该项目。[217]

ICANN答复小组委员会成员的询问

2012年1月5日,国会议员兼众议院通信和技术小组委员会主席格雷格•华登致信ICANN,要求ICANN对一些与新通用顶级域项目有关的事项进行答复,其中包括:[218]

ICANN解释道,共识的达成是通过社区推动的政策开发流程实现的,由不同的互联网利益相关方成员组成的工作组生成报告并提出建议,而且公众也有机会参与评论。对公众评论的考量是在形成最终报告和建议草案,并且将之提交给ICANN内部的相关组织,比如会把他们的调查结果递呈ICANN董事会的通用名称支持组织(GNSO)委员会之前。ICANN强调,GNSO委员会是由所有的互联网利益相关方组成的,并且以19:1的票数支持新通用顶级域政策。该互联网管理机构还指出,ICANN的咨询委员会(政府咨询委员会GAC一般会员咨询委员会ALAC安全与稳定咨询文员会SSAC根服务器系统咨询委员会RSSAC等)均参与了共识的形成过程。ICANN重申了Larry Strictling部长的言论,即ICANN的"多利益相关方模式不能保证每个人对结果都感到满意。但是保留这个至今一直非常成功的互联网管理模式十分重要,在这个模式下,所有相关方都尊重这个流程而且在这个流程中互相合作,并且接受形成的决议……"

  • 权利保护机制

权利保护机制将在一级和二级域名中实施。该互联网管理机构提到了开发商标信息交换库(TMCH)作为其中一种权利保护机制,并且将对所有新顶级域强制实施。

  • 第二轮申请的请求

ICANN申明将实施额外轮次的新通用顶级域申请,并且正在制定相关的时间表。

  • 有关新通用顶级域申请产生的盈余资金的透明度

ICANN强调,其承诺将以透明的方式使用新通用顶级域申请所产生的超额资金,从而推进其使命的实施,比如将资金分配给与广大互联网 社区利益相关的项目。

  • 与注册商就12条执法部门尽职调查建议的双边谈判

证实正与其委任的注册商就执法机构的12条建议进行商谈。谈判的最新情况可以参阅。这里

  • 应对注册局运营商停业的意外事件规划

ICANN告知国会,“后方紧急注册管理机构”(EBERO)的建立是为了在注册局停业时接管其运作从而保护域名注册人的利益。

ICANN解释道,有关新申请人支持项目的信息已经可以参阅,其中共有两种经济援助类型:一种是将申请费用从18万5千美元降低到4万7千美元,另一种是用于应对完整18万5千美元申请费用的付款计划。实体必须满足特定的标准才能获得经济援助的资格。经济援助申请将由独立的支持申请评审小组(SARP)进行评估。

ICANN解释道,商标信息交换库是已注册商标和其他类型知识产权权利的数据库,它将被用于在“优先期”和“商标请求”过程期间提供保护。ICANN注意到推出后60天的商标请求运作超过了参与了服务开发的特别商标事项(STI)小组的最终建议,因而建议不需要强制实施推出后请求服务。

  • 使用盈余资金补助统一域名争议解决政策(UDRP)的可能性

ICANN澄清说没有针对盈余资金的使用做出任何承诺,而该问题是一个需要在社区协商的持续性事务。ICANN将考虑补助UDRP争议费用的提议。

ICANN致力于改进Whois信息的使用和精确度;Thick Whois信息要求将针对所有新通用顶级域实施。ICANN实施了有关Whois服务的五项研究,主要集中在滥用、注册人识别、隐私和代理服务方面。

  • 新通用顶级域申请费

ICANN提供了当前185,000美元申请费的构成细目,其中包括开发费用(每份申请26,950美元)、申请处理和评估费用(每份申请97,800美元)、风险缓解步骤费用(每个申请人60,000美元)。成本的其他细目详见 这里

  • 新通用顶级域下二级域名的注册收益

ICANN称没有评估可能由二级域名防御性注册产生的任何额外收益。注册局需要向ICANN支付细目固定的年费。

  • 评估费的成本回收模式

费用中立模式是对GNSO政策建议的直接回应,即申请费的设计是为了确保新通用顶级域项目的实施可以自筹资金。一旦顶级域开始运作,域名注册将适用基于交易的注册局和注册商费用。

  • 负者付费系统对抗域名抢注

新通用顶级域项目下的新通用顶级域争议解决方案采用的是负者付费的系统。执行建议小组(IRT)不建议针对与域名抢注有关的域名争议实行负者完全付费系统。负者付费系统对争议建档费和统一快速暂停系统(URS)15个域名以下的请求实行例外。26个或更多域名的统一快速暂停系统请求可能需要实行负者付费系统。

  • 多个通用顶级域申请人的竞拍流程

在具有多个通用顶级域申请人的情形下将实行竞拍流程作为最后的解决方案。ICANN鼓励申请人开发一种互相认可的解决方案。

新通用顶级域项目提供由知识产权专家设计的对抗滥用、注册局停业和其他恶意行为的强化保护机制。

  • 执法机构社区的建议

ICANN正积极处理执法机构社区提出的12条建议并与注册商谈判修订注册服务商委任协议(RAA),尤其是纳入更加先进和精确的Whois数据库。

  • ICANN在实施新通用顶级域项目之前使用的成本/效益分析

受ICANN委托,共进行了五项经济研究从而调查新通用顶级域项目的预期效益和成本。

第二轮申请

2012年2月7日,作为对全球互联网社区,尤其是反域名滥用联盟(CADNA)成员的要求的回应,ICANN董事会批准执行第二轮申请以及新通用顶级域项目的申请窗口。董事会授权 ICANN首席执行官与互联网社区合作开发工作计划以及开始新通用顶级域第二轮申请所需的必备条件。[219] [103]

奖项

2012年5月,ICANN得到了塞伦家族阿里•阿尔萨巴赫信息学奖受托委员会的认可并被授予其第11届“信息学奖章”。该奖章的授予是对ICANN在维护和加强互联网基础结构方面所付出的努力的认可。该委员会还表达了对ICANN的感激,由于ICANN在开发和部署阿拉伯语国际化域名(IDN)方面扮演的角色使得阿拉伯民众能够不依赖外语字符或域名也能在网络上冲浪。该奖项自2007年以来,一直颁发给在信息学和互联网发展领域有影响力的机构或公众人物。该奖章由ICANN总裁兼首席执行官Rod Beckstrom代表ICANN领取。[220][221]

首席执行官Fadi Chehadé

自从在布拉格ICANN第44届会议上向ICANN社区自荐之后并且在多伦多 ICANN第45届会议之前担任首席执行官以来,Chehadé先生一直积极参与并且调整该组织以更好地促进他所认定的组织核心功能。其中包括:卓越运营、遵守合约、国际外展和透明度。[110]

遵守合约

Chehadé先生的一大决心就是提高ICANN的合约遵守性。在其介绍演说中他强调,他过去在IBM的经历教会他通过书面明确合约条款并且贯彻执行合约的重要性。在其履任首席执行官的第一天,他将合约遵守高级总监Maguy Serad晋升至合约遵守副总裁的职位,并要求她所在的部门直接向首席执行官汇报工作。[110] 在2012年末引入的三年期计划“合约遵守审计项目”是为了确保所有的注册局和注册商都遵守其合约。该项目的范围包括:注册商和注册局协议,包括被并入的ICANN共识政策;所有的ICANN委任注册商(2001和2009年的注册服务商委任协议);现有的顶级域注册局;与缔约方签署的新协议可能被包括在内;新通用顶级域注册局(存在时)。时间被细分在三年期内,完整清单上1/3的注册局和注册商协议将被随机选取和审计,并分批持续进行到全部审计完成为止。[222] 2013年1月,威瑞信高级副总裁 Pat Kane致信ICANN,申明其没有计划将其.net注册局提交给ICANN审计。凯恩写道:"威瑞信与ICANN的.net注册局协议中没有约定义务要求遵从提议的审计。没有此类明确的合约义务,威瑞信将不会按照ICANN的指示提交其账簿和记录进行审计。"注册局审计将引起Whois合规审查、区域文件使用审查、数据托管审查、月报告审查和在注册局协议中列出的其他政策审查。[223]

未充分代表地区的国际外展和参与

Fadi Chehadé将拓展前首席执行官Rod Beckstrom的深入到国际世界的工作作为一大优先事务,其中显然涉及需要聘请会两国语言的新员工以及进行个人和职员巡演从而推广ICANN及其新通用顶级域项目。通过他对目前的外展和参与水平以及结果的不足方面的评说貌似可以看出,他认为之前的努力不够充分。在其担任首席执行官之前,他在布拉格的 ICANN第44届会议上的首次演说中对一位ICANN的受众提到,他已经与非洲和拉丁美洲代表团进行了会面,他们“渴望”参与外展计划,而这是首要优先的事务。[224]在其担任首席执行官的当天,他还任命Sally Costerton牵头利益相关方参与度任务以及Tarek Kamel担任政府事务高级顾问。对埃及国民Kamel先生的晋升使得ICANN的管理人员中首次出现了发展中国家的个人的身影。这些人都在ICANN的欧洲总部就职并直接向首席执行官汇报工作。[225]

几周后,4位地区利益相关方参与度副总裁得到了任命。这些职位直接向Sally Costerton汇报工作,而其中大部分属于内部晋升,意在提高全球参与度的重要级别。这些副总裁包括:非洲的Pierre Dandjinou、中东地区的Baher Esmat、俄罗斯、独联体(CIS)和东欧的Veni Markovski、澳大拉西亚/太平洋岛屿的Savenaca Vocea[226]

2012年10月,非洲互联网信息中心(AFRINIC)与ICANN签署了一项协议,旨在促进非洲地区由ICANN运作的L根域名系统服务器任播实例的部署。作为L根服务器的运营商,ICANN将与非洲互联网信息中心合作从而在非洲地区内选出能够满足由ICANN运作的L根服务器任播实例托管要求的候选站点。非洲互联网信息中心的部分使命旨在提高非洲地区的域名系统服务器实例数量及其自有域名系统任播平台数量,非洲互联网信息中心通过其域名系统任播平台托管其自身域名系统服务但同时免费提供给该地区的国家代码顶级域使用。[227]

在多伦多的ICANN第45届会议上,一项名为“ICANN的非洲新方案”的三年期计划被公之于众并且公开征集社区意见。该计划是通过上一届ICANN会议上集合的工作组创建的,其中包括非洲代表团非洲互联网信息中心(AFRINIC)大部分人的意见以及其他对非洲具有深刻认知的重要联系人的意见。[228]

2013年2月,首席执行官Fadi Chehadé宣布ICANN洛杉矶办事处的重要性将降低,而将创建两处新的“枢纽”以填补缺口并为ICANN的国际成员提供新的外展方法。新建的枢纽将位于新加坡和伊斯坦布尔,其拥有的职权和功能将远远超过一个孤立的办事处;洛杉矶办事处的许多高级职员将随之搬迁,首席执行官自己声称,一旦新加坡的办事处建立并且投入使用,他将在新加坡办公。[229][230]该消息宣布于Chehadé先生的首次亚洲大旅行期间,在此期间,他曾前往韩国、中国、日本和新加坡旅行。他提到,ICANN需要向亚洲致歉,因为亚洲长久以来没有在该组织内部得到应有的关注。[231]

2013年3月,Chehadé先生继续进行他的全球外展巡演并且在迪拜的阿拉伯多利益相关方互联网管理会议中接触了中东利益相关方。此次会议由阿拉伯联合酋长国电信管理局(TRA)召开,集聚了几个不同互联网组织的代表。Fadi Chehadé提到,他希望在5月前制定出更加明确的阿拉伯世界的参与策略,并提到只有相关的阿拉伯利益相关方也参加到会议当中,这一目标才能得以实现。[232]

实施VS政策开发

虽然一直是ICANN社区内部长期存在的问题,但在2012年直至2013年间,实施程序以及政策开发的差异和利用开始达到了一个显著的顶峰。严格而言,任何的“ICANN政策”都需要通过其各种 支持组织而获得批准,而实施指的是由ICANN董事会采纳的不需向社区其他成员咨询的事项。ICANN应当受自下而上的一致性政策开发流程的驱动,而这通常会导致组织进度缓慢。实施程序对于调整与组织效率有关的实际问题而言是必需的。[122] 近期引起针对实施和政策开发争论的事项包括:

  • 2012年赋予国际奥委会(IOC)和红十字会/红新月会有关其所有新通用顶级域标识的特别保护。此举获得了ICANN董事会的批准,而事实上通用名称支持组织依旧在针对此举进行辩论,而且大部分人都反对此项特别保护。
  • 2012年,.com.net 的注册局协议续约中没有“thick”Whois的要求,尽管政策开发流程正在制定此类要求。[233]
  • 商标信息交换库统一快速暂停系统的当前模式并非源自根据商标事宜起草的政策,而是源自特殊团体,包括执行审查小组
  • 在2012年末与社区内企业和知识产权利益团体进行闭门会议后,进一步的商标问题似乎即将通过实施而不是政策开发显现。[122]这就是众所周知的稻草人解决方案[234]

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ICANN es un acrónimo de la Corporación de Internet para la Asignación de Nombres y Números de Internet, una organización global de múltiples partes interesadas que se ha creado y fortalecido a través de acciones por parte del gobierno de Estados Unidos y su Departamento de Comercio. [235] Coordina el DNS de Internet DNS, direcciones IP y números de sistema autónomo, lo que implica una gestión continua de estos sistemas en evolución y los protocolos que subyacen ellos.

Mientras que ICANN tiene sus raíces en el gobierno de Estados Unidos, sigue esforzándose por ser una organización internacional, impulsada por la comunidad. Su gestión de una Internet interoperable abarca más de 200 millones de nombres de dominio, la asignación de más de 4 mil millones de direcciones de red, y el apoyo de aproximadamente un billón de búsquedas diarias de DNS a través de 240 países.[236]

ICANN colabora con empresas, individuos y gobiernos para asegurar el éxito continuo de Internet. Sostiene reuniones tres veces al año, cambiando la ubicación en distintos países para cada reunión; uno de éstas sirve como la asamblea general anual, cuando la nueva Junta Directiva de ICANN toma su cargo. [237]

Organización y Estructura

Es fundamental para la misión de ICANN de que la propia organización se estructure de manera que de la bienvenida a una variedad de voces y busque representar los diversos grupos de interés en el desarrollo de Internet, a partir de registros, a corporaciones, para los usuarios particulares de Internet. En relación con el desarrollo estructural de ICANN, se han criticado algunas sesiones a puerta cerrada, el papel de la Departamento de Comercio de Estados Unidos, y otros procedimientos.[238] ICANN ha sido definida como en una situación de supervisión contenciosa.; con algunos países solicitando una menor influencia de Estados Unidos, mediante la subordinación a la jurisdicción de la ONU, o sugiriendo soluciones similares.[239]La estructura y el proceso de ICANN se describen en los Estatutos de ICANN.

Directorio de ICANN

Artículo principal: Directorio de ICANN

ICANN es gobernado por un Consejo de Administración que tiene un total de 15 miembros con derecho a voto, [240] y el Presidente y Director General, quien también es miembro votante. El Directorio es apoyado además por cinco coordinadores sin derecho a voto. [241] Desde el inicio de ICANN hasta diciembre de 2011, ser miembro de la junta era una posición de trabajo voluntario. En ese momento, el Directorio de ICANN respondió a la creciente presión respecto a los conflictos de interés y la noción de que la compensación podría crear un cuerpo más profesional y responsable mediante la concesión a sí mismos un salario anual de $ 35.000. [8]

Miembros del Directorio de ICANN

Los 15 directores actuales, y el CEO, se detallan a continuación, junto con la organización que los ha nominado y la duración de su mandato: [242]

Liaisons actual sin derecho a voto

GNSO

Artículo principal: GNSO

La Organización Apoyo para Nombres Genéricos (GNSO) agrupa a un conjunto de grupos de interés, en una misma Organización de apoyo para el desarrollo de políticas, genera consensos, y hace recomendaciones en relación a para nombres de dominio genéricos gTLD al Directorio de ICANN. [243]

CcNSO

Artículo principal: ccNSO

Las Organización de Apoyo para Nombres de Código País (ccNSO) es un órgano consultivo dentro de ICANN creado por y para gerentes de ccTLD, que son las entidades que supervisan el código de país o el dominio de nivel superior de una nación determinada. La ccNSO es un consorcio de grupos de trabajo y el Consejo de la ccNSO, y trabaja en conjunto con otras organizaciones y órganos de apoyo dentro de ICANN. Fue fundada en el año 2003. Se trata de un foro de discusiones y debates sobre cuestiones relacionadas con los ccTLD. [244]

ASO

Artículo principal: ASO

La Organización de Apoyo para Direcciones (ASO) es una de las organizaciones de apoyo que se formó, de acuerdo con los estatutos de ICANN, a través del consenso de la comunidad en 1999. El objetivo principal de la ASO es revisar y desarrollar el Protocolo de Internet, hacer recomendaciones, elaborar directivas para direcciones, y asesorar al Directorio de ICANN. [245] Sus miembros son nombrados por los 5 Registros Regionales de Internet que existen en el mundo (RIR), que gestionan y asignan direcciones IP en sus respectivas regiones continentales [246] [247]

Proceso

Reuniones

Artículo principal: Reuniones de ICANN ICANN lleva a cabo reuniones tres veces al año de una semana; una de estas reuniones sirve como la reunión anual de la organización, para que los nuevos consejeros ocupen sus nuevos puestos designados. Estas reuniones se llevan a cabo cada vez en un país diferente, en cada región del mundo. [237] La próxima reunión será el encuentro número 53 en Buenos Aires Argentina.

Las reuniones comienzan oficialmente el domingo de la semana, aunque algunos organizaciones de apoyo se reúnen antes de esto, y comienzan a trabajar los viernes de la semana anterior.

Existe un programa de becas para que en los individuos que tienen deseo o necesidad de asistir, pero no tienen el respaldo financiero puedan hacerlo. [248]

Procesos de Revisión

ICANN tiene mecanismos establecidos para que cualquier individuo o entidad pueda solicitar una reevaluación de cualquier decisión del Directorio que les afecta. El Comité de Gobernanza de del Directorio se encarga de la revisión de todas las solicitudes de reconsideración, que se presentan electrónicamente y deben ser respondidas en un plazo de 30 días. Las acciones son revisadas ​​también por una Panel de Revisión Independiente, que tiene el poder de llamar la atención sobre las discrepancias entre los estatutos y las medidas adoptadas por el Directorio, y recomendar que se revisen ciertos temas. Por otra parte, la estructura y las operaciones de ICANN, incluyendo todas las organizaciones de apoyo y comités asesores, también están sujetos a revisiones. [241]

Historia: El comienzo

El 1 de julio de 1997, el presidente de los Estados Unidos Bill Clinton, ordenó al Secretario de Comercio que privatizara la gestión del sistema de nombres de dominio DNS, que hasta ahora había sido gestionado por la Agencia de Proyectos de Investigación Avanzada y de Defensa (DARPA), la Fundación Nacional de Ciencia (NSF) y otros organismos de investigación de los Estados Unidos [249] El objetivo era abrir Internet hacia una mayor participación internacional y para reforzarla como un nuevo medio de competencia comercial y de intercambio. [235]

El 2 de julio, el Departamento de Comercio solicitó la opinión del público en relación con la administración y estructura del DNS, opiniones sobre las reglas con respecto a los nuevos registradores y la creación de nuevos dominios de Alto Nivel TLD s, y preocupaciones en materia de marcas. Se recibieron más de 1.500 páginas de comentarios. [250]

En enero de 1998, una agencia del Departamento de Comercio la (NTIA) emitió lo que se conoce como el "Libro Verde." El documento era una propuesta que dejó claro que la agencia pretendía dar el mandato a una entidad sin ánimo de lucro para tomar el control de Internet y su sistema de nombres de dominio DNS. [251] La propuesta provocó críticas de algunos legisladores estadounidenses y otras personas interesadas que vieron la Internet originalmente americana a punto de ser entregado a una entidad suiza [252] El revisado "Libro Blanco" se refirió a algunas de esas preocupaciones, pero aún postuló la necesidad de una organización de Internet que podría respetar y fomentar la estabilidad, la competencia, la coordinación de abajo hacia arriba, y la representación internacional , a la vez que establecer mecanismos administrativos y protocolos apropiados. [253] El "Libro Blanco" no aclaró todas las cuestiones, sino que llamó a la entidad propuesta a utilizar su autogobierno para decidir sobre sus propias cuestiones. [252] El Libro Blanco rechazó la creación del Foro Internacional sobre el Libro Blanco, que implicó la creación y reunión de cuatro foros regionales a nivel mundial, y reunió a unos 1.000 participantes en Internet. El IFWP no creó ninguna propuesta específica en respuesta al Libro Blanco de la NTIA, pero sí la de crear un cuerpo de pensamiento y sentó las bases para las conferencias de gobernanza de Internet y de múltiples partes interesados ​​y futuras organizaciones.[254]

El Memorando de Entendimiento

El 25 de noviembre de 1998, el Departamento de Comercio de los Estados Unidos e ICANN suscribieron un Memorando de Entendimiento (MoU), [235] que oficialmente reconocía a ICANN como la entidad que podría:

  1. Establecer políticas para y dirigir la asignación de bloques de números IP;
  2. Supervisar el funcionamiento del sistema de servidores raíz oficial;
  3. Supervisar la política para determinar las circunstancias en que se agregan nuevos TLD s al sistema raíz;
  4. Coordinar la asignación de otros parámetros técnicos de Internet, según sea necesario para mantener la conectividad universal en Internet; y Otras actividades
  5. Supervisar las acciones necesarias para coordinar las funciones de gestión del DNS, según lo acordado por el Departamento de Comercio y ICANN.

Una vez más, estas responsabiliddes se llevarían a cabo en base a los principios de estabilidad, competencia, coordinación privada de abajo hacia arriba, y la representación. [235]. El acuerdo establece a ICANN como una entidad que haría fomentar la transparencia en sus relaciones y crearía un amplio espacio para las apelaciones de las decisiones vinculantes que tomaría. El Departamento de Comercio señaló más tarde que era cómoda ceder su control a ICANN, ya que parecía el mejor paso hacia una verdadera privatización mientras que estaría vinculada su autoridad a instituciones estadounidenses que se encuentran dentro de la MoU. [255] El acuerdo original fue creado con vencimiento el 30 de septiembre de 2000. [235] Los MoU, y ha sido modificado en varias ocasiones.

Las primeras tres organizaciones de apoyo

Las tres organizaciones de apoyo originales incluyen: [24]

  • Organización de Apoyo de Dominios (DNSO) ofrece asesoramiento político al Directorio de ICANN en temas relacionados con el Sistema de nombres de dominio (DNS) y las direcciones IP. La Junta directiva de ICANN estableció las disposiciones estatutarias de la estructura básica de la DNSO, el 31 de marzo de 1999. [256] La DNSO estuvo integrada por el Consejo de Nombres, la Asamblea General y electorales, incluyendo los registros de ccTLD, los registros de gTLD, entidades comerciales y de negocios, proveedores de acceso a Internet ISPs y de conectividad, registradores y estudios de propiedad intelectual. [257] El 9 de julio de 2003 se reestructuró la DNSO y sus responsabilidades fueron transferidas a la Organización de Apoyo para Nombres Genéricos (GNSO) [258] La organización dejó de funcionar después que la Junta directiva de ICANN aprobó el artículo XX: Artículo de transición de los Nuevos Estatutos del 15 de diciembre de 2002. [259]

Problemas iniciales

ICANN se enfrentó inmediatamente con dos cuestiones apremiantes y opuestas: la tarea de reinar en ciberocupación mediante la creación de las políticas necesarias para proteger marcas reconocidas, y por el contrario la necesidad de ampliar el número de entidades acreditadas para funcionar como registros s . Tras la publicación del Libro Blanco, la OMPI inició su propia investigación sobre la forma de proteger las marcas y la propiedad intelectual dentro de los DNS. Una audiencia en el Congreso unos 7 meses después de la definición del rol de ICANN reconoció los pasos que la nueva entidad ya había tomado para proteger la propiedad intelectual, reconoció los avances que la OMPI había hecho en la creación de nuevas propuestas, y pidió a los dueños de propiedad intelectual que participaran en ICANN. [255]

El informe de la OMPI, presentado a ICANN en su reunión de 1999 en Berlín, apoyó el sistema Whois, y recomiendó que, en caso que los Whois del sistema no proporcionaran información de contacto adecuada para el titular de la marca para contactar con el nombre de dominio titular, el registro debería estar obligado a rectificar la situación mediante la cancelación de los derechos del nombre de dominio del titular del nombre. ICANN inmediatamente tomó medidas para desarrollar el sistema naciente del Whois.

El informe también hizo recomendaciones sobre el proceso de acreditación de los nuevos registradores, pidió la creación de un proceso de resolución de disputas concreto para las cuestiones de propiedad intelectual dentro del DNS, y también recomendó que la creación cualquier nuevo gTLD se debiera hacer lentamente y con precaución. Estas recomendaciones hicieron que ICANN Directrices de acreditación, creara la Política Uniforme de Disputas, y el debate continuo sobre cómo y cuándo debería aumentar el número de gTLD s. [255]

Acreditación de Registradores

Un mes antes del MoU que oficialmente reconoció a ICANN, el Departamento de Comercio y NSI modificaron su acuerdo de cooperación. El acuerdo había mantenido previamente el NSI como el único registro para los dominios de alto nivel .com, .org y .net dominios. [260] Las tres enmiendas al acuerdo quitaban los derechos exclusivos del NSI.; enmienda 11 llamó a la creación de un Sistema de Registro Compartido, en el que un número ilimitado de registradores competitivos tendría acceso a un sistema gestionado por NSI [261] Enmienda 12, dio más tiempo a NSI para completar los hitos importantes en la liberalización de los servicios de registro; la fase final, que busca la igualdad de acceso a la NSI a todos los registradores, se le dio un plazo de aproximadamente un año, el 25 de octubre de 1999. [32] Enmienda 13 fijando una tarifa de $ 9 para cada dominio de segundo nivel. Pagando $ 18 para nuevas inscripciones y $ 9 por año en la renovación de la inscripción original, [262]

El 8 de febrero de 1999, ICANN publicó su proyecto de directrices para la acreditación Registros y lo abrió a comentarios públicos. [260] Las directrices se forman a través de la consulta con el DOC y NSI, y fue adaptado después de la sesión de comentarios públicos [263] Algunas cuestiones planteadas durante el período de comentarios públicos incluyen: Preocupaciones con respecto a la burocracia inherente, protecciones inadecuadas para la propiedad intelectual, y el razonamiento detrás de los acreditación de registradores antes de la constitución de la DNSO [264] La junta directiva de ICANN aceptó la revisión del Declaración de Políticas de Acreditación de Registro. En su reunión de marzo de 1999 en Singapur [260]

La política inicial llamaba a los registradores para que proporcionen un acceso seguro al Registro, que sea operacionalmente capaz de manejar un volumen de registro importante, que pueda mantener registros de las transacciones electrónicas, gestionar y proporcionar un servicio rápido a peticiones SLD, proporcionando seguridad, manejar las transferencias de los clientes que desean cambiar registradores, contratar a un personal en cantidad adecuada, y tomar medidas para proteger los intereses de sus clientes. El registrador también tendría que demostrar que tendría un seguro de responsabilidad suficiente y suficiente liquidez en sus activos. La preocupación por la creación y el mantenimiento de un servicio de registro válido se evidencia en la exigencia de que la información relativa a cada titular de un SLD tendría que ser presentado por el registrador para NSI para su inclusión en el Registro. También se requería brindar un servicio Whois para búsquedas. Las tarifas de solicitud para las que rigen para ser incluidos en la Fase 1 del banco de pruebas costaria $ 2.500, la tasa de solicitud general fue de $ 1.000. Las tasas de acreditación anuales ascienden a $ 5.000, también se evaluarían. [265]

El Acuerdo de Acreditación de Registro fue modificado por unanimidad por la junta directiva de ICANN en mayo de 2009. [260]

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