ICANN 50 - London

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Dates: 22-26 June 2014
Location: London, England
Venue: Hilton London Metropole Hotel
Website: ICANN 50 Website
Total Registrants: 3,300

ICANN 50 was an ICANN Meeting held from June 22 to June 26, 2014 in London, England.[1] It was the first meeting in ICANN's history to be held in London.

The conference had the largest attendance of any ICANN meeting to date, with 3,300 people registered for the event.[2] Major topics of discussion focused on Internet Governance and the recent NETmundial conference, the IANA Transition and Stewardship, and ICANN transparency and accountability. New gTLDs were also a topic of much discussion as they had been for many meetings.

Major Events and Topics

Opening Ceremony

Multistakeholder Ethos Award

Avri Doria was announced as the first ever recipient of the ICANN Multistakeholder Ethos Award during the Opening Ceremony. The award is given to a community member in recognition of his/her work in ICANN groups, programs, and participation in the Internet Governance community in general. Avri was recognized for her work in ICANN Working Groups and various constituencies as well as her participation in IGF, IETF, ISOC, and others.[3]

President's Speech

After thanking the speakers that came before him and congratulating Avri Doria for her award, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade took a few moments to look back on ICANN's history and remark on the historic event of the 50th ICANN meeting. He spoke about how much the Internet has grown since the first ICANN meeting, and highlighted IDNs to explain that in the future far more people will be accessing the Internet in their own language and on non-Latin keyboards. He outlined ICANN's core values and stressed that these must not change (such as Transparency) even as the industry and Internet changes at a rapid pace.

In his normal update to the ICANN community on ICANN's accomplishments since the last meeting, Mr. Chehade said he wanted to cover 5 topics. The first topic was the IANA Stewardship and transition. He stated that ICANN is committed to being a transparent organization and has put out a proposal to the community so that ICANN remains accountable to the community as the contract with the US government ends. Regarding the IANA transition, he remarked that ICANN had received thousands of comments and proposals regarding the transition of IANA stewardship and understood there would be much more discussion on this subject in London, and that a coordination group has been proposed of 27 members representing all different stakeholders in order to plot the course forward for IANA transition.

His second topic was about ICANN globalization and hardening of operations. He said that ICANN has about 2-3 years to go before he is comfortable that ICANN operations are where they need to be. He applauded the new service channels which allows customer support in many different languages and time zones, and mentioned local language support that would add to the languages in which ICANN content is currently available. Chehade spent a few minutes discussing the future of WHOIS "Directory" technology and highlighted the initial report that a working group had put together, led by Jean-Francois Poussard.

Chehade's next topic was the GDD, the Global Domains Division of ICANN and an update from that division on the New gTLD program. He mentioned the ICANN Auction, the contracts that had been signed, and the number of New gTLDs that had already been delegated to the Root.

Internet Governance was Chehade's 4th topic of discussion. He said that Internet Governance was important but that it was only one of the things ICANN. His view on NetMundial was that it was a big success, and that now ICANN will participate in future discussions on Internet Governance but it will not be a high priority.

Chehade's last statement was that he wanted to leave the audience by reminding them of ICANN's core values, and said that the ICANN community "needs a little harmony". Upon mentioning harmony, a surprise performance by a Welsh Men's choir commenced to finish out the Opening Ceremony.[4]

High Level Government Meeting

The UK government hosted a high-level meeting during ICANN London that brought together representatives from governments of the world to discuss Internet Governance and specifically the NTIA transition of the IANA contract. Many representatives expressed that the transition should not leave specific governments or interest groups with more control over the Internet, but that governments should have a voice in political issues in Internet Governance. Many government representatives recognized that the stewardship of IANA should be a shared responsibility between governments and private sector groups while other representatives stressed giving governments a stronger voice than other stakeholders.[5]

GAC Participation & Communiqué

The GAC drafts a report to the ICANN board during each ICANN meeting, titled a GAC Communique, in which they give advice to the board on decisions involving policy and implementation. Highlights from the London Communiqué include:

  • The GAC advises the Board regarding the .africa string, saying it would like to see an expedited process, especially once the Independent Review Panel comes to a decision regarding the two applicants for the string. They reaffirm their decision that DotConnectAfrica's application should not proceed.
  • The GAC mentioned the controversy surrounding .wine and .vin, where some European GAC representatives strongly felt that the applications for these strings should not proceed without proper safeguards for geographic names at the second level. However, the GAC was unable to reach consensus advice regarding this issue and thus did not relay any formal advice to the Board.
  • The GAC requested safeguards in the New gTLDs for IGO (Inter-Governmental Organization) names at the second level, and specifically related such advice for names relating to Red Cross and Red Crescent.[6]

At-Large Summit II

Main article: ATLAS II

Building on the achievements of the first ATLAS in Mexico City in 2009, the second At-Large Summit was held in London in conjunction with ICANN and its theme was "Global Internet: The User Perspective."

Session Highlights

Saturday, 21 June 2014:

  • ATLAS II sessions
  • GNSO Working Session

Sunday, 22 June 2014:

  • ATLAS II sessions
  • Newcomer Welcome Session

Monday, 23 June 2014:

  • Welcome Ceremony & President's Opening
  • New gTLD "Stories" Panel
  • Name Collision
  • High Level Government Meeting

Tuesday, 24 June 2014:

Wednesday, 25 June 2014:

Thursday, 26 June 2014:



Video Interviews

ICANNWiki partnered with Dyn and CircleID to do video interviews highlighting the meeting. Raymond King interviewed Jothan Frakes and Michele Neylon[7]:


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 ICANN London ICANN.org; Retrieved 11 March 2014
  2. Announcement 23 June 2014 ICANN.org; Retrieved 09 July 2014
  3. Announcement (June 23 2014) ICANN.org; Retrieved 23 June 2014
  4. President's Opening Speech Youtube.com; Retrieved 09 July 2014
  5. Video from High Level Government Meeting ICANN.org; Retrieved 10 July 2014
  6. GAC London Communiqué (PDF) ICANN.org; Retrieved 10 July 2014
  7. Video Interviews Highlighting ICANN 50 in London CircleID.com; Retrieved 24 July 2014