Help Us Shape The Internet's Future


In this issue:



  • A BALANCED APPROACH TO REGISTRY SERVICES? – Public comments are needed by 20 June on a committee report which proposes to change the process for introducing new registry services. To share your views, send an email to the GSNO email list and the At-Large forum for posting.

    The committee that issued the report was created last year, in part, in response to the “Sitefinder controversy” (VeriSign Registry's re-direction of queries for non-existent domain names). The report proposes new procedures for allowing changes in the architecture or operation of a gTLD registry (generic top level domain registry – such as .COM). Does it succeed in balancing the need for innovation and the introduction of new registry services with the need to protect Internet users’ rights and identify potential problems for users? Please share your views.

    A member of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) participated (and represented individual Internet user interests) in the committee that issued the report. Formal ALAC comments in the committee focused on both the need to allow for innovation as well as the need to prevent harm that can be caused by changes to registry architecture or operations: changes that affect the network's openness for innovation; changes that cause cost at the edges but benefits for the registry; and changes that enable registries to leverage their monopoly position into different markets where they can then compete unfairly.

    If you would like to refresh your memory on Sitefinder, read comments on this topic in the At-Large forum and background information.

    After public comments are received, the report will be considered by the GNSO Council and, if approved, by ICANN’s Board.

    HOW DO YOU USE WHOIS? – ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) recently directed a task force to look at the purposes of the WHOIS system to determine whether it is meeting the needs of users and registrants. How have you used WHOIS? How have you abused it (or feared your information being abused)? Email your input to the At-Large public forum.

    Do you have a feeling of dejavu ? This is another in a series of GNSO task force efforts to address WHOIS – this time to consider the purpose and usefulness of the various contacts listed in WHOIS. The ALAC is participating in this task force and your views are encouraged.

    Last month, the ALAC issued comments on the privacy of personal data in the WHOIS system in response to another GNSO WHOIS task force report. The ALAC recommended changes to improve notification and consent for the use of individuals’ WHOIS contact data and suggested ways of making the proposed WHOIS policy more clear, enhancing registrants’ experience, and strengthening mandatory disclosure on how individuals’ information will be used.
  • JOIN US IN LUXEMBOURG! – You are invited to join the ICANN community in Luxembourg City, 10-15 July, and participate in several meetings and fora on issues that affect the Internet's end-users. If you are interested in the activities of At-Large, don’t miss the events on Sunday, 10 July.

    ICANN's annual meeting in Europe will be held at the "LuxExpo" and is free and open to all. Events of special interest to the At-Large community have been scheduled for Sunday, 10 July, including:
    • Building the European At-Large Network (Meeting of groups interested in At-Large in Europe)
    • ICANN Orientation (Brief introduction to ICANN, its history, structure and operations)
    • Lunch with the ICANN Board (Chance to discuss your group's priorities with ICANN leadership)
    • At-Large Issues Forum (Discuss proposed changes to the domain names system)

    Other events during the week of importance to end-users include:


    • At-Large Roundtable Discussion (Discuss pending issues of interest to the Internet's end-users)
    • WSIS Workshop (Share your views on future plans for Internet Governance)
    • IDN Workshop (Learn about new plans for implementing internationalized domain names)
    • Fora on ICANN's Future (Share your views on ICANN's future and pending issues)


    In addition, ICANN is providing a unique opportunity for individuals to discuss and offer views on the future direction of ICANN. During the course of the meeting, a number of small, interactive group sessions will take place to allow individuals to discuss and provide input in several languages on ICANN�s Strategic Plan.


    And last but not least, At-Large will defend the third place soccer trophy it won at the ICANN Mar de Plata meeting. The ICANN Soccer Tournament will be held on 13 July. Interested individuals with soccer skills are encouraged to participate!

    Check the meeting website periodically for information and updates to the conference schedule.
  • AND THE WINNER IS... – ICANN’s Board recently chose VeriSign to succeed itself as the next .NET registry. Despite the ALAC’s request, the Board did not respond to public comments on this matter prior to its vote. Post your views At-Large forum.

    VeriSign was awarded the .NET registry by the Board this month in an 8 - 4 vote with three abstentions. The ALAC had urged the Board to “acknowledge, consider, and respond to the many thoughtful comments submitted during the public comment period” before deciding which company would be the .NET registry. While we have been assured that the comments were considered, the Board did not publicly respond to the specific concerns and suggestions submitted during the public comment periods.

    The current .NET registry contract between ICANN and VeriSign expires on 30 June 2005. ICANN will enter into a new agreement with VeriSign for their continued management of the .NET registry for six additional years. ICANN launched a process last year to designate a successor and five companies submitted applications to the run registry.
  • THINK YOU CAN DO BETTER? – If you are interested in volunteering for an ICANN leadership position but have been procrastinating – you’re in luck. The deadline for statements of interest has been extended to 20 July. Application forms are available online.

    ICANN’s Nominating Committee is accepting applications for the following positions: two members of ICANN’s Board of Directors; two members of the Council of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO); one member of the Council of the Country-Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO); and three members of the At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC). The Committee will be adding members to the ALAC from Africa, Asia/Australia/Pacific, and Latin America/Caribbean.

  • NEW TOP LEVEL DOMAINS ADVANCING – ICANN’s Board has designated two new sponsored top level domains (sTLDs): .JOBS and .TRAVEL. Designation of .MOBI is pending before the Board, and “negotiations” are ongoing between ICANN staff and applicants XXX, .CAT, and .POST. Four other applications are still being considered: .ASIA, .MAIL, .TEL-Pulver, and .TEL-Telnic.

    ICANN launched the process for selecting new sTLDs from a pool of ten applications last year. ICANN’s Board designated .JOBS and .TRAVEL as new sTLDs in April. ICANN staff recently concluded negotiations with .MOBI and sent the agreement to designate .MOBI as a new sTLD to the Board for their consideration. “Technical and commercial negotiations” are ongoing between ICANN staff and applicants XXX, .CAT, and .POST. ICANN reports that “discussions continue among ICANN Board and staff” regarding the evaluation of .ASIA, .MAIL, .TEL-Pulver, and .TEL-Telnic.


The Interim At-Large Advisory Committee