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Internet Governance

My first IGF session – Open Forum 530- ICANN

Being a newbie to the IGF, I thought I’d start my experience by going to a workshop in which I knew most of the content.

Open Forum 530 – ICANN

This somehow cryptic title did not draw crowds to the Sinai Room. All in all, perhaps 30-40 people attended, panelists included.

The workshop started with Peter Dengate Thrush, ICANN’s current Chairman, providing a brief description of ICANN and its processes. A brief mention was made of the new gTLD creation process, Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), and the process of consensus by which decisions are taken at ICANN, including the fact that every process at ICANN is subjected to review, whether from the community, or through formal review panels.

Rod Beckström then took the floor, providing a more in-depth history of ICANN and introduction to ICANN’s functions, accompanied by a brand new deck of slides which were both informative and aesthetic.

  • 182 million domain names.
  • More than 1 billion IP addresses
  • 1000 protocol parameters
  • More than 100 billion transactions related to addressing every day (maybe 1 trillion?)

Special mention was made of ISOC, including the honor of being mentioned on slides (see enclosed photo), as the organization which, thanks to proceeds received from the Public Interest Registry (PIR – the .ORG registry), funds the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a key element to the Internet’s success today.
Indeed, Mr. Beckström announced that ISOC was very important in this Ecosystem.

“One world. One Internet. Everyone connected”

…with an emphasis that a single multi-stakeholder process is  required so that names aren’t replicated.

Next, was Ambassador Janis Karklins – explaining the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC)

  • Further step towards transparency and accountability
  • AoC reviews another step in maturation of ICANN
  • ICANN is now more internationally accountable

Last, but not least, Ambassador Karklins described the ICANN review processes which enable it to constantly improve its processes.

Question Time

Several questions and comments were launched from the audience, among which:.

Comment: there are too many review panels. Too many reviews.

Question: if the AoC of permanent nature? Might it be amended in the future?

The AoC can be amended. ICANN is an organization which constantly evolves.

Question: who participates in the reviews? Under the AoC, there should be a definitive list of people.

Answer: no such list can be put together because the review panels will be composed according to the skills required for each review.

In short, nothing groundbreaking, but good to see new presentation slides coming from the communications department.