ICANN AT-LARGE NEWSLETTER
After a 'Summer Break', the At-Large Newsletter team are back on the case, with new faces and a new look. Welcome to the October Edition! The online edition is available at http://www.alac.icann.org/announcements/announcement-05dec06.htm - we hope you like it - and we want to hear from you so please feel free to send ideas for stories, and comments, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
AT-LARGE COMMUNITY NEWS
Number of Certified At Large Structures Rises Sharply
The number of organisations certified as At Large Structures continues to increase rapidly worldwide, with eight new ALS certifications in the first week of October and another 12 in early November. This latest crop of accredited organisations includes groups from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia. The latest information is always available at http://www.alac.icann.org/applications/. Criteria for ALS status can be found online at http://www.alac.icann.org/correspondence/structures-app.htm. What are you waiting for? An engraved invitation? Consider yourself invited!
At-Large Structures are simply groups of individual internet users who go through a simple application and review process which gets them membership in the Regional At Large Organisation (RALO) in their region - a RALO being the association of ALSes in a region of the world.
Participation as an ALS allows input on all the policy areas of concern to ICANN via contributions to the At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), with each RALO selecting two of the members of the ALAC as their representatives. RALOs are currently in various stages of formation in each region - some close to completion - so now is a great time to get involved.
At Large to Reach Milestone at ICANN Sao Paulo Meeting
The At-Large community is expecting the ICANN Sao Paulo meeting to be one of the best ever. The first RALO is to be formed there, as the culmination of three sessions of the Latin American and the Caribbean Region's ALS community meet to finalise bylaws and become the first to agree their Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN. There is a public consultation before the meeting to get input on their organising instruments; if you are interested see http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-22nov06.htm.
This meeting will also see elections for the officers of the At Large Advisory Committee, as well as the unveiling of a set of new collaboration tools to allow At Large groups and interested individuals to work together much easier than ever before.
For full details, see the official schedule at http://www.icann.org/meetings/saopaulo/. We hope to see you there!
European ALS Groups, Candidates Meet in Berlin, Buenos Aires
Groups from around Europe met in Berlin on 17 th September to accelerate work on the Bylaws of the RALO for Europe. Those who attended were very energised by the progress made and the work continues online and via email. Do you know of a European organisation that should be a part of At Large? If so, there's no better time than now to apply for ALS status and join the dialogue.
Separately, groups from all over Latin America and the Caribbean met in Buenos Aires to accelerate work on the structure of their RALO. Their work was so successful that the RALO is to be launched at the 27 th International ICANN Meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil in early December.
Profile of a new ALS
A new feature of the newsletter, we will profile one of the newest ALS accredited groups each issue, taken from each of the At Large regions, in alphabetical order. First up: Africa!
ALS Profile-of-the-Month: JUSTA-AFRICA
The Journalists' Union for Science and Technology Advancement in Africa (JUSTA-AFRICA) is the latest ALS certified in Africa. Located in Dar-es- Salaam, Tanzania, it has as members more than 160 journalists located throughout the continent who are interested in science, technology, and how they can help sustainable development in Africa. With respect to At Large, it has identified internet governance as a particular area of interest, and as a result "A number of projects are in pipeline including journalists training programs on Internet governance and policy.", said Aloyce Menda, JUSTA-AFRICA Coordinator .For more about JUSTA-AFRICA, visit http://www.comminit.com/experiences/pds122004/experiences-2850.html.
The IP Address System Gets an Upgrade: Global Policy for IPv6 Address Allocation Goes Live
After a long and thorough analysis of all issues and consensus building in the Internet community, the global policy for allocation of the next generation of IP addresses by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), IPv6, is now 'live' after ratification by the ICANN board on September 7 th. The policy can be found at http://www.icann.org/policies/proposed-ipv6-policy-14jul06.htm. On October 12 th, the IANA allocated blocks of numbers to each of the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) to promote efficient assignment of the new numbers. (http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-12oct06.htm)
The new numbering scheme is essential to the growth and stability of the Internet as the old addressing system had a limited number of total addresses available (each individual 'node' - router, or computer - on the public Internet must have a unique number, or 'IP address') and the IPv6 addressing system has many orders of magnitude more available addresses, allowing the Internet to grow for a long time to come.
New Agreement Between the US Department of Commerce and ICANN Signed Gives ICANN Greater Flexibility in Managing Domain Names and Numbers
A new agreement with the US Department of Commerce, replacing the agreement that was to expire on 30 th September 2006, has now been signed. Amongst the many changes from the old agreement are:
- ICANN will no longer have its work prescribed for it. How it works and what it works on is up to ICANN and its community to devise;
- ICANN is not required to report every 6 months as it has been under the MOU. It will now provide an annual report that will be targeted to the whole Internet community;
- There is no requirement to report regularly to the DOC. The DOC will simply meet with senior ICANN staff from time to time.
Much more information, including the text of the agreement, may be found at http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-29sep06.htm.
The DoC/ICANN agreement is the key relationship that allows for private sector, multi-stakeholder management of the fundamental building blocks of the Internet (domain names and public internet addresses). As a result of this new agreement, the ability of ICANN to operate more independently than it previously did - which means that the multi-stakeholder process can potentially be more decisive in the decisions that affect these key elements of the management of the Internet.
One of the big issues that ICANN is engaged with is internationalising the Domain Name System.
Currently, domain names - such as www.icann.org - are only available in the Western, Roman, character set. Internationalisation will allow many other scripts around the world - such as Kanji (Japanese), Cyrillic (Russian), and Greek to name a few - to be an integral part of the domain resolution system by allowing native-script URLs - a big win for the many cultures worldwide using non-Roman scripts for their written languages. It will also allow the use of accented characters - such as seen above - to be used, for languages like French which use accented characters.
To help those concerned with this important issue stay abreast of developments, a new RSS feed has been created, at http://www.icann.org/rss/idn.rss . This supplements the information available from the microsite for this subject at: http://www.icann.org/topics/idn/.
In a related development, the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) announced a RFC (Request for Comments) on the continued development of IDN solutions; the URL for materials relating to the RFC can be found at http://www1.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/ietf-announce/current/msg02988.html and http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc4690.txt.
More Dynamic Process for Evaluation of New Registry Services Unveiled
Services Using the New Registry Request Service Technical Evaluation Panel Launches
As an improvement to the process of considering proposals for new registry services, the Registry Services Technical Evaluation Panel (RSTEP) now compliments the Registry Request Service. The panel will consider new proposals where the initial review by ICANN determines that significant security or stability issues may be raised by the proposed new service. For details of the RSTEP and the process by which new proposed services are evaluated, see http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-30aug06.htm.
What kind of services does this cover? For an example, see http://search.travel/travelsearch/ - the first service to be submitted to the new process, search.travel is currently under review.
First Two ICANN Meetings of 2007 Announced
ICANN's first two meetings of 2007 have been announced: 26-30 March in Lisbon, Portugal, and 25-29 June in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Further information will be forthcoming from the ICANN Meetings Page at http://www.icann.org/meetings/.
GNSO Reviewed by London School of Economics
In the first of a series of independent reviews mandated by ICANN's bylaws, the London School of Economics has completed its report on the Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO). Though the focus is of course on the GNSO, there are some references to individual participation and At-Large as well. The report can be found at http://www.icann.org/announcements/gnso-review-report-sep06.pdf.
Big Changes Underway in Design of www.icann.org
Input Wanted on Issues Paper for ICANN Strategic Plan 2007-2010
After the Marrakech meeting and feedback to online forum questions, ICANN has released an Issues Paper to help inform the drafting of the Strategic Plan. You can find it at http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-13sep06.htm, but don't just read it - ICANN wants your input! Post your comments by email to email@example.com , and read the comments of yourself and others at http://forum.icann.org/lists/issues-paper-comments.
The Strategic Plan covers each three-year period, with the calendar divided into two-month segments. Planning occurs for strategic issues in the first six months of the year, with financial planning for operations and budgeting occupying the last six months. The present strategic and operating plans can be found at http://www.icann.org/announcements/strategic-plan-22jun06.htm and http://www.icann.org/announcements/operating-plan-22jun06.htm , respectively.
Articles and Stories Submissions
We want to include coverage of the stories that interest you. If you have a news item, please send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll put a newshound on it right away. If you have a comment about anything in this issue, send that too!
Upcoming Meeting Dates
02-08 December - ICANN Meeting, Sao Paulo, Brazil: http://www.icannsaopaulo.br/
26-30 March 2007 - ICANN Meeting, Lisbon, Portugal
25-29 June 2007 - ICANN Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico
ICANN Official Site: www.icann.org
At-Large Advisory Committee: http://icannalac.org
How to become a part of At-Large: http://www.alac.icann.org/framework.htm
At-Large Africa: http://www.afralo.org/
At-Large Asia-Pacific http://www.apralo.org/
At-Large Europe http://www.euralo.org/
At Large Latin America/the Caribbean http://www.lacralo.org/
At-Large North America http://www.naralo.org/