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RAA - The way forward

24 November 2008

It was expected that the ICANN Board would approve the proposed RAA changes. That has not happened. Under the terms of the RAA, it can be changed as follows:

4.3.1 "Consensus Policies" are those specifications or policies established based on a consensus among Internet stakeholders represented in the ICANN process, as demonstrated by (a) action of the ICANN Board of Directors establishing the specification or policy, (b) a recommendation, adopted by at least a two-thirds vote of the council of the ICANN Supporting Organization to which the matter is delegated, that the specification or policy should be established, and (c) a written report and supporting materials (which must include all substantive submissions to the Supporting Organization relating to the proposal) that (i) documents the extent of agreement and disagreement among impacted groups, (ii) documents the outreach process used to seek to achieve adequate representation of the views of groups that are likely to be impacted, and (iii) documents the nature and intensity of reasoned support and opposition to the proposed policy.

The process that resulted in the current set of proposals is deemed to have met criteria (c).

So what remains prior to Board approval is that the GNSO adopts the changes by a 2/3 vote.

For reasons that are not clear to me, it has been decided that if a different set of changes is to be adopted, that we (ICANN) must go through a full GNSO PDP process. Note that according to the RAA, only some aspects of it are subject to consensus policy. A PDP will realistically take several years. If very small issues are addressed separately, each PDP would likely take a year or more from start to finish. The Domain Tasting PDP was pretty fast, and it will have taken about 21 months from requesting the Issues Report to full implementation.

I believe that the position taken by the ALAC is that although the proposed changes to the RAA are incomplete, and perhaps some are not "perfect", it would be better to enact them rather than start the process all over again. Although I do not have a vote on the GNSO Council, I believe that if the ALAC says they do not want the current set of changes (as a package - no changes), then it may well not happen.

If we support the adoption, it may well happen.

Regardless of that decision, the policy process can be started on RAA-related issues. The policy process starts with an Issues Report and can then lead to a full-blown PDP. Some aspects of the proposed RAA amendments could be addressed through the PDP process. Some might be deemed to be contractual issues and out of scope. If out of scope, the GNSO can STILL do a PDP, but there is a much higher threshold required to do so.

I ask for ratification that the ALAC would prefer adopting the current changes rather than start a new revision process from scratch. I also ask for ratification that the ALAC would like to see a policy development process start on RAA issues which have not been satisfactorily addressed in the current round of changes.


Disagree with the assertion that the current set of proposals is deemed to have met criteria (c). We have neither documentation of the extent of agreement/disagreement among impacted groups nor documentation of outreach to impacted parties, nor documentation of the nature and intensity of reasoned support/opposition to the proposed amendments. This documentation is necessary otherwise the claim of consensus cannot be upheld. Further, why should it matter if it takes a year to finish a PDP? We gave the registrars 18 months to arrive at their negotiated position. Isn't the rest of the Internet community entitled to a slate of time to properly arrive at a consensus view? Yes, some non-contentious amendments can be adopted by way of the Right to Substituted Updated Agreement clause, so we don't have to wait forever to see some forward progress on some points. Let's get these RAA revisions done correctly rather than passing through a bunch of clearly deficient proposals.

contributed by Guest User on Nov 24 3:58pm