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Here Is The GAC Advice to ICANN from The GAC Communique-Singapore

Posted on the 12 February 2015 by Worldwide @thedomains

The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) issued its Communique from the ICANN Singapore meeting.

Here is the GAC Advice:

Safeguards Advice Applicable to all new gTLDs and Category 1 (consumer protection, sensitive strings and regulated markets) and Category 2 (restricted registration policies) strings

The GAC considers the Singapore 52 meeting an important milestone in confirming the record to date of the NGPC’s adoption and implementation of GAC advice, as well as in setting the stage for subsequent GAC work related to the monitoring of ICANN’s compliance and enforcement activities.

While the GAC appreciates the efforts of the NGPC since the 2013 Beijing meeting to respond to the GAC’s advice, the GAC regrets that the NGPC has determined that requiring Registries to verify and validate the credentials of registrants for domain names in regulated and highly regulated industries poses cross-jurisdictional challenges for Registries and Registrars.

The GAC believes that its advised affirmative requirement for verification of credentials at the time of registration goes much further to meeting the goal of mitigating consumer harm and fraud than an after-the-fact complaint system.

The GAC also notes that a significant number of Registries and Applicants for highly regulated strings have, consistent with GAC advice, voluntarily committed to undertaking the verification and validation of credentials.

The GAC urges the NGPC to:

i. publicly recognize these commitments as setting a best practices standard that all Registries involved with such strings should strive to meet. In addition,

b. The GAC recommends:

i. that ICANN suggest to those Registries for which such commitments have not yet been taken and for which contracts have already been signed with ICANN, that they review means and ways of introducing such provisions in view of the public policy concerns. This could also help to raise confidence in Internet-based commerce.

With regard to the Public Interest Commitments Dispute Resolution Procedure (PICDRP), the GAC appreciates the further clarification that the PICDRP process provides a potential “alternative or parallel” mechanism for a harmed party to pursue remedies that does not “preclude or limit” ICANN’s normal contractual compliance process and timetable, and we urge the NGPC to continue to refine and clarify the process. At present, the GAC considers the PICDRP to be complex, lengthy, and ambiguous, raising questions as to its effectiveness in addressing serious threats.

c. The GAC urges the NGPC to:

i. consider refining the PICDRP and/or to consider developing a “fast track” process for regulatory authorities, government agencies, and law enforcement to work with ICANN contract compliance to effectively respond to issues involving serious risks of harm to the public. Finally, with regard to the GAC’s Beijing Category 2 advice,

d. The GAC urges the NGPC to:

i. provide greater clarity as to the mechanisms for redress in the event registrants believe they have been unduly discriminated against.

2. Protection of Names and Acronyms for Inter-Governmental Organisations (IGOs)

The GAC will continue to work with interested parties to reach agreement on appropriate permanent protections for names and acronyms for Inter-Governmental Organisations. This will include working with the GNSO PDP Working Group on IGO-INGO Access to Curative Rights Protection Mechanisms; and with IGOs and the NGPC.

3. Protection of Names and Acronyms for Red Cross/Red Crescent

The GAC welcomes the steps taken to implement the NGPC resolution adopted in Los Angeles on 12 October 2014. The GAC reiterates its advice to the Board to pursue its consultations in order to confirm permanent protection of the Red Cross and Red Crescent terms and names in the current and future new gTLD rounds.

4. Framework of Interpretation Working Group (FOIWG) Report

The GAC notes the work of the ccNSO FOIWG, and its efforts to provide interpretive clarity to RFC1591. The GAC welcomes the FOIWG’s recognition that, consistent with the GAC’s 2005 Principles, the ultimate authority on public policy issues relating to ccTLDs is the relevant government. As such, nothing in the FOIWG report should be read to limit or constrain applicable law and governmental decisions, or the IANA operator ́s ability to act in line with a request made by the relevant government.

5. Accountability and Transparency

The GAC will write to the Board, before the Buenos Aires meeting, providing details of progress on implementing relevant ATRT2 Recommendations, including those that are completed.

6. WHOIS

The GAC notes the receipt of a comprehensive briefing provided by the Board on the wide range of WHOIS-related activities currently underway across ICANN and the community.

7. Release of Two-Letter Codes and Country Names at the Second Level a. The GAC advices the Board to:

i. amend the current process for requests to release two-letter codes to establish an effective notification mechanism, so that relevant governments can be alerted as requests are initiated.

Comments from relevant governments should be fully considered.

b. The GAC further advises the Board to:

i. extend the comment period to 60 days.

These changes should be implemented before proceeding with pending and future requests. A list of GAC Members who intend to agree to all requests and do not require notification will be published on the GAC website.

8. Country and Territory Names
a. The GAC advises the Board that:

i. ICANN should work with the GAC to develop a public database to streamline the process for the release of country and territory names at the second level, as outlined in Specification 5.

The database will inform whether individual GAC Members intend to agree to all requests, review them case by case, or not agree to any. The absence of input from a government will not be considered as agreement.

9. International Law, Human Rights and ICANN

The GAC decided to establish a Working Group on Human Rights Issues and the Application of International Law as these matters relate to ICANN activities. The GAC will also monitor community developments and consider how any GAC initiatives can complement any such developments.

10. Public Safety and Law Enforcement

The GAC agreed to establish a Working Group on Public Safety and Law Enforcement.


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