Scribe's Notes
March 8, 2000
Cairo, Egypt
DNSO General Assembly

DNSO General Assembly March 8, 2000 – Cairo, Egypt
I.   Introduction – Gaetano
   A.   Review of Agenda
       1.   Reports from constituencies and working groups.
       2.   Additions to agenda are welcomed.
       3.   Must finish by noon to make way for Government Advisory Committee Public Forum.
   B.   Thanks to - staff (Berkman Center webcast), Ford Foundation (Gaetano travel funding), DNSO secretariat, ICANN for organizing meeting.
   C.   34 remote participants online already – helpful in addressing concern at expense of attending physical meetings.
   D.   History and purpose of GA
       1.   GA was start of DNSO before additional structure created.
       2.   Getting more organized. Working Group E is considering outreach issues. Seek to get more people involved in the DNSO.
           • Need more structure because huge mailing lists are impractical. Further organization needed.
   E.   Portneuve, Secretariat. Volunteer. Started in spring of 1999.
       1.   Ran election of DNSO’s Board Members – long process of nominations, voting procedures, arrangements for openness.
       2.   Struggling with rules for mailing lists.
       3.   Everyday work of secretariat in European morning and evening – requires working around the clock to communicate with interested parties worldwide.
   F.   Gaetano: Feedback from yesterday’s sessions?
       1.   Langenbach (ISP constituency): Discussed DNSO budget ($250,000/year), thought some line items too large, discussion to follow via NC. Reports from officers that ICANN Board does not consult NC sufficiently often. Recommendation on At-Large Membership to be presented at noon; support general idea of Membership.
       2.   Gomes (gTLD constituency, for Telage). Discussed separation of registry and registrar. Status of Shared Registration System: 34 active registrars, discussed service level agreement. Dicsussed recent major upgrade of SRS.
       3.   Kirk (Intellectual Property Constistuency):
           • Met ten days ago in Washington to discuss issues; had significant international participation. Discussed protections for famous marks, desired improvements to WHOIS system. Position papers revised and made available; all posted on IPC web page
           • Yesterday, reviewed papers. Attendance of ~35 people. Further comments received re papers.
       4.   Sheppard (Business Constituency): Interested in formalization of chain of UDRP, creation of new gTLDs.
       5.   Palage (Registrar Constituency): Busy since LA with new NC representatives (Kane, Roberts). Think SLA for SRS is workable. Discussed WG-B, especially re liability issues, efficiency, system integrity. Prepared, submitted, and discussed paper in WG-B. Discussed possibility of best practice standard and/or code of conduct to address some challenges of past few months. Discussed compromises for WG-C.
       6.   ? (ccTLD): 80 participants, 36 ccTLDs represented from all five ICANN meetings. Chaired by Chon and Jennings.
           • Best practices for ccTLDs discussed (see []). Working group to be established to discuss best practices, delegation, redelegation of ccTLDs; recommendation to be ready by Yokahama.
           • Discussed elections of NC representatives because current ccTLD representatives to NC are not sufficiently geographically diverse.
           • Discussed residency versus citizenship.
           • Discussed issues re multilingual domain names.
           • Discussed DNS-SEC; new WG to meet in Yokahama to discuss related issues.
           • Discussed funding. Requested transparency in budget, formalization of relationships in ICANN-ccTLD.
           • Agreed that secretariat should be a paid position. Perhaps such expenses to be paid through ICANN to reduce invoicing complications.
       7.   Kleinman (Non-Commercial Constituency): Chaired by Zaccharia Amr.
           • Election process: Elect five people; the three from different regions with highest votes are representatives to the NC.
           • Education of those new to ICANN. Discussed new gTLDs, WG-C, process for new registries, WG-B concerns that increased protection for famous marks would hurt non-commercial users. More educational efforts still needed.
           • Strongly urge that at least half of testbed gTLDs be for non-commercial use.
           • Discussed At-Large Membership and problems with current proposal. Briefly reviewed CDT/Common Cause report.
           • Concern at difficulty of raising $5000 initially, not to mention potentially higher costs later.
           • Procedure within constituency: Need regular updates to members, secretariat for constituency.
       8.   Palage (Working Group B – Famous Marks): Meeting well-attended by IP and registrar constituencies. Concern at loss of efficiency that might result from certain policies intended to protect famous marks by delaying new registrations. One suggestion: A “sunrise” period for new gTLDs where only holders of famous marks could register them. But concern that this might overstep ICANN’s authority.
       9.   Sheppard (Working Group C – New gTLDs): Hard to find true consensus. Concern that mission of WG is overly ambitious. Question of how many new gTLDs to add.
       10.   Swinehart (Working Group D – Business Plan and Internal Procedures):
           • WG-D did not meet in Cairo, instead doing work online.
           • Committee working on outstanding questions.
       11.   Kilnam Chon (Working Group E – Global Awareness and Outreach): Completed overview. Working on information materials – determining what’s needed, whether video or printed material or something else. Outreach – attempting to coordinate with existing efforts. Awareness – workshops run by Berkman Center and other organizations; have run such seminars in ten countries and will attempt to hold more in the future. Funding.
           • Gaetano: WG-E’s work is of great importance to the GA since it finds ways to broaden participation in the GA.
           • Chon: Berkman Center LA workshop [] was successful. Should we hold such a workshop before each ICANN meeting? Perhaps local organizers to hold such workshops? Will hold such a workshop in Yokahama before the ICANN meetings begin.
   G.   Accepting new items for discussion.
II.   Main Issue – GA Membership
   A.   Suggestion: GA needs to be more than a “working list.” Needs tasks – like IETF model of a general list with smaller lists for particular issues. Don’t want to take responsibilities from NC, but a single big list seems unproductive because too much going on of no interest to many participants.
   B.   Question of membership – an open mailing list risks abuse. Perhaps need a more formal sense of what GA membership means, something other than simple subscription to a mailing list. Question of how DNSO GA relates to At-Large Membership; want to reduce duplication of effort and function.
   C.   Request feedback from audience.
       1.   Feld: Questions of GA membership related to overall uncertainty about At-Large Membership, relationship between DNSO and ICANN Board, etc.
       2.   Abril i Abril: Only requirement of membership is to determine who can not be a member. The GA is the place for the DNSO to do work and get ideas, so its membership should be as open as possible.
           • Gaetano: Don’t mean to assume that GA membership is only those on the mailing list; it’s everyone interested in DNSO activities. But voting – determining who’s eligible to vote – could then be quite difficult.
       3.   Berman: Please read report about At-Large Membership (Nefertiti 3, noon). Concern that half the board will soon be replaced. Process must be fair, and rules must make sense. Worry that few fundamental questions have been answered. Concern that individuals solicited to vote may not have sufficient knowledge. Not clear what qualifications will need to be for candidates. Not clear what functions of elected will be. Report says election without clarification and publication puts process at risk. Several recommendations building off email address as basis for voting rights. Essentially, take more time to clarify issues and process and mission prior to having election. Make it clear that this is not a world government. Please come to meeting today to discuss the proposals.
           • We are avoiding having debate at General Assembly on points not relevant exclusively to GA. However, ICANN must have opportunity to reply briefly. Debate can be continued in meeting at noon.
       4.   Dyson: ICANN considers the concerns raised by CDT/CC valuable because they point out the flaws and dangers of the process, and knowing potential problems is helpful. However, we still plan to go forward. Please come discuss these issues at noon.
       5.   Lindsay: Sugestion of an Intake Committee whereby GA sends suggestions to NC which creates WGs and sends policies to the ICANN board.
       6.   Comment from Crispin (#726) read outloud.
       7.   Touton: Use of mailing lists like GA to help the DNSO is perhaps a good idea as a way to have “online BOFs” [Birds of a Feather] so that those with a common interest can come together. Haven’t heard that idea before.
           • Gaetano: Yes, function of GA is to bring in new ideas.
           • Further comments requested from audience; none offered.
III.   Relationship between GA and NC
   A.   Gaetano: Question of how the pieces fit together. Request input from NC members in particular.
   B.   Kleinman: Relationship between GA and NC is of great importance. Concerned about Intake Committee because perhaps final decision shouldn’t be made by NC.
   C.   Abril i Abril: NC is supposed to manage the process. Kleinman treats the GA as an eighth constituency. Existing arrangement represents a delicate balance between competing interests.
   D.   Kornfeld: Perhaps need some GA members to participate fully in the NC also so that they can be part of the policy-making process.
       1.   Sheppard: Nineteen members of GA are already on the NC.
       2.   Kornfeld: GA is not just supposed to be another constituency. But if it doesn’t have NC representatives, it lacks power.
       3.   Gaetano: Have discussed at length the question of what interests are favored by the current structure. Concerned that there’s no constituency for individuals. In the meanwhile, personally offer to bring ideas from GA to NC.
   E.   Lindsay: Perhaps discussion here follows from misunderstanding of what the NC does. NC only makes working groups, receives their report. Intake committee (a function to be performed by the secretariat) only to reduce administrative burden of NC – to combine multiple similar and related requests, but not to make substantive or subjective decisions.
   F.   Kleinman: Chicken-and-egg problem. Until people know and understand the process, they may not be inclined to participate. Need to make the GA’s powers more clear in order to get more people to participate.
       1.   Gaetano: Do need to work harder on outreach.
   G.   Remote comment #729 from Joop Teernstra read in full.
       1.   Gaetano: Agree to some extent. Will attempt to bring these issues to the attention of the NC and the ICANN Board.
   H.   Touton: Would a mechanism for establishing specialized lists be preferable to what’s currently used?
I.   Gaetano: Question of whether or not to filter the GA list. Now have an unfiltered list and a filtered list, and each subscriber can choose which he or she prefers. Currently have three people on the full list and 220 on the monitored list. This teaches a lesson: Comply with the requests of members/subscribers. Some question going forward about whether or not the double-list is worth the effort. Welcome input on the subject. No responses from audience.
       1.   Sheppard: Budget of DNSO is an issue for the NC to discuss. Perhaps the dual lists are not necessary, and money could be saved by cutting this feature.
   J.   Byungkyu Kim: Concern that most people are outside the GA room. More people should be involved.
IV.   Planning
   A.   Business Plan
       1.   Need to get past voluntary efforts and better define roles and responsibilities.
       2.   Porteneuve: Need staff coverage seven days a week. Three staff people required. May also need contractors for some projects. Legal advice needed – ICANN lawyers. Also office space, web hosting, computers, connectivity, server mirroring. Expected to cost about $250,000 total.
       3.   Gaetano: Questions or comments?
           • None.
   B.   Deadlines
       1.   Need more permanent rules.
V.   General comments
   A.   Abril i Abril: Need to rethink the balance among constituencies and perhaps the underlying constituency structure.


For additional technical information, please contact:  

Ben Edelman and John Wilbanks
Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School 

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