ICANN 74 - The Hague
As the first "hybrid" event since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, ICANN 74 marked a return to in-person meetings, with a limited number of vaccinated participants attending sessions in the Netherlands. The Policy Forum ran from June 13 to June 16, 2022. The Prep Week for the event ran from May 31 to June 2, 2022.
Return to In-Person
The meeting was the first to feature an in-person gathering since the initiation of safety measures in response to COVID. Attendees noted that registration for some sessions was quickly fully booked. the overbooking appeared to be mostly related to room size and limitations on attendance. ICANN CIO Ashwin Rangan noted that the lessons of the pandemic would improve the experience for both in-person and remote attendees:
The switch to virtual meetings more than two years ago presented us with the opportunity to further innovate and advance the way we get together as a global community. Since then, we have significantly enhanced the meeting experience for participants from around the world. We look forward to blending the knowledge gained through the virtual meetings with the option of in-person participation to make ICANN74 more inclusive and equitable for all who attend.
- The Phase 1a Initial Report of the Policy Development Process to Review the Transfer Policy Working Group was presented at Prep Week,  with an expectation that the public comment period for the report would open on or around ICANN 74.
- The initial report concerning inter-transfers (changes in registrars) to be published Q2 of 2022; at ICANN 74, the focus will focus on intra-transfers: change of registrants.
- The Prioritization Framework pilot was also a topic during Prep Week in the Planning & Finance Update Session. Participants in the pilot process praised the efficiency and work product of the pilot. Xavier Calvez clarified that, in principle, recommendations and policy objectives would only go through the prioritization framework one time.
- Updates and details from the SUBPRO Operational Design Phase were also shared and discussed during Prep Week.
- special focus on possibly updating the rules on Application Change Requests (ACRs) to resolve contention sets, lengthening the objection period, determining the interest/potential volume of applications, and outlining how long the ODP process may take (10 months), followed with a 3-month allowance for the ICANN Board to consider the ODA
- DNS Abuse persisted as a salient topic; the GNSO's small team on DNS Abuse was optimistic about its work and said that it had received a lot of input from across the community and generated many fresh ideas on tackling the issue
- The session on ICANN's Evolution of the Multistakeholder Model involved several participant polls, which reflected an interest in ICANN improving inclusivity, accountability, and the culture (moving away from silos)
- The ALAC identified DNS Abuse as a top priority during its leadership session on the first day of the meeting.. ALAC members also held a session on DNS abuse from the end user's perspective. The session focused on what the RALOs were doing to address abuse.
- Leon Sanchez opened the discussion by stressing the need for a consensus definition of DNS Abuse, as well as improving understanding of the approaches to and interests in DNS Abuse responses from different stakeholders. Graeme Bunton intervened later in the meeting, noting that there was no need to gain consensus on a definition in order to move forward. Stating that it would be very easy to spend endless hours defining the edges of the term, Bunton urged participants to focus on solutions.
- Joanna Kulesza, acting as moderator noted that there is no current policy development platform within ICANN for addressing DNS Abuse, although it is a topic in numerous other policy processes;
- Seun Ojedeji, representing AFRALO, emphasized the importance within the AFRALO region of educating the continent's end user population, who have a strong expectation that the Internet will reliably deliver the information or goods they are searching for. AFRALO's efforts have focused on virtual and in-person opportunities to raise awareness and build capacity among end users;
- Satish Babu of APRALO repeated the call for education and capacity building within the region, and added that both policy advocacy and the development of tools, technologies, or institutional knowledge were other opportunities for RALO involvement. He pointed out efforts such as NetBeacon, as well as mooting the possibility of an inter-RALO abuse watchdog, which might be particularly effective at noting trends or new targets (such as the rise in fraudulent charities in the wake of a natural disaster). Babu agreed with Graeme Bunton that a precise, consensus definition had very little benefit, and wasted time that could be spent combating abuse;
- Olivier Crepin-Leblond spoke on behalf of EURALO, and also emphasized the value of focusing on concrete tools to combat abuse. He highlight ISOC Belgium's ISTrust.org tool, which provides a plugin for all major browsers that provides information about the owner, age, security protocols, and other aspects of a website;
- Augusto Ho, representing LACRALO, suggested that entrepreneurship and and work within the private sector might assist and inform RALO efforts to develop tools and solutions;
- Eduardo Diaz spoke for NARALO.
- ccNSO held a session from the perspective of ccTLD managers.
- The Prioritization Framework was featured in a broader plenary session on priority-setting. The briefing paper for the session provided some background on the ongoing battle with ICANN board, org, and community workloads, and the enduring call for prioritization. The paper noted that a similar plenary session was held at ICANN 59:
While ICANN community discussions with the ICANN Board and ICANN org were ongoing, there was a perceived risk that various ICANN community groups were asserting different priorities with different interpretations.
The ICANN Strategic and Operating Planning Framework provided an initial shared understanding about prioritization, but further work was needed on how to prioritize projects related to the strategic plan and how to meet evolving needs. The plenary session explored the likely benefits from future discussions about how to set priorities.
- The SSAC is presenting on the progress of the Name Collision Analysis Project. Due to a small meeting room, seats for the presentation were fully reserved before the commencement of the meeting. NCAP project members also held working group meetings during the conference.
Subsequent Procedures for new gTLDs
- The ICANN team presented on the SUBPRO operational design phase and the process, and discussed with board and IRT members the scope and focus of the SPRT.
- The GAC held a discussion session on SUBPRO, focusing on the open topic of closed generics, and had an opportunity to speak with ICANN org staff regarding developments and advances in the ODP. The session also provided background on the intended facilitated dialogue between the GAC and the GNSO regarding closed generics. The plans and structure of the facilitated dialogue were also a main topic in the GAC's meeting with the GNSO.
- The working group initiated work on Phase 1(b) of the Transfer Policy Review PDP.
SSAD and Alternative Tool Options
- The GNSO held a session on Phase 2 of the EPDP on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data, whose recommendations focused on creating a Standardized System of Access/Disclosure of registration data (SSAD). Correspondence and analysis before ICANN 74 had resulted in the opinion of GNSO Council that a "SSAD Light" option might be more feasible and cost-effective. The session therefore focused on options and tools for a SSAD Light system. Goran Marby introduced Ash Rangan's presentation on a "WHOIS Disclosure System," a technical solution for the reporting of registration data. Rangan then proceeded to describe how ICANN org might be able to leverage existing technologies to create a solution for the needs of accurate access and disclosure of registration data. The proposal was to utilize the ICANN Account authorization system to allow users to request registration information through ICANN's Naming Services Portal, which is built with SalesForce. This would create a ticket capture method, and would allow each request to be handled in a pre-existing service system. The WHOIS Disclosure System would then be an application that would allow retrieval of encrypted registration data. The proposal would balance the need to access registration data with the requirements of GDPR and other data privacy regulations. It would also sidestep the requester authentication process that rendered SSAD too expensive in the eyes of ICANN org. During Q &A, Marby emphasized that the technical aspects of the proposal were designed to avoid complications with GDPR.
- At the same session, Steve Crocker was given an opportunity to present on another software tool that might fit the bill for an SSAD Light system. The project option is a collaboration between Donuts and Crocker's Edgemoor Research Institute. Crocker noted that there would be "quite a bit of similarity and some differences" between the Donuts/ERI tool and ICANN org's proposal. He stated that the systems could coexist and augment each other.
- Prep Week: May 31 - June 2, 2022
- ICANN 74: June 13 - 16, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive
- ICANN.org Blog - Update on the Technical Preparations for ICANN 74, May 19, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - Initial Report of the GNSO Transfer Policy Review Phase 1a, June 2, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - Planning & Finance Update, June 1, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - New gTLD Subsequent Procedures ODP Update, May 31, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - At-Large Leadership Session: Welcome to ICANN 74, June 13, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - At-Large Policy: An End User's Perspective on the Role of At-Large in DNS Abuse, June 13, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - ccNSO: ccTLD Role in DNS Abuse Policies, June 16, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - Plenary Session: Who Sets ICANN's Priorities?, June 14, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - Briefing Paper: Who Sets ICANN's Priorities?, June 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - NCAP Status Update
- ICANN 74 Archive - New gTLD Subsequent Procedures: Working Together, June 13, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - GAC Discussion on Subsequent Rounds of new gTLDs, June 13, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - Joint Meeting: GAC and GNSO, June 13, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - GNSO Transfer Policy Review PDP Working Group, June 13, 2022
- ICANN 74 Archive - GNSO: EPDP Phase 2 (SSAD), June 13, 2022