AtLarge Advisory Committee (ALAC) Report to the 33rd Meeting of ICANN, on activities of the ALAC and AtLarge,
in Cairo, November 6th 2008.
In the last 12 months, involvement of the world’s individual Internet user communities in
ICANN has continued to grow. The number of Internet user organizations certified as At-Large
Structures (ALSs) continues to increase worldwide, with 116 applications received as of October
2008. A list of these groups, which range in size from 25 individuals to millions of members, is
posted at http://www.atlarge.icann.org/en/applications. ALS certification recognizes groups
that involve individual Internet users at the local or regional level in issues addressed by the
Effective participation as an ALS facilitates input into ICANN activities and processes that affect
users via contributions to the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC). ALS certification enables
groups to participate in the work of the Regional At-Large Organization (RALO) nearest them.
Our five RALOs are the focal point for At-Large information sharing and participation from
around the world, and they select the majority of the members of the At- Large Advisory
Committee (ALAC) directly as their representatives. The forthcoming At-Large Summit
scheduled for the ICANN meeting in Mexico in 2009 is a landmark event in the facilitation and
development of the community and the ALAC invites wide participation in this event from the
wider ICANN community.
The At-Large community has gone from strength to strength this year. It has continued to
increase its activities in policy development, providing more input to the Board of Directors
than any other Advisory Committee. These statements are a genuine example of the bottom-up
consensus building process, as they incorporate the ALS communities’ views in positions before
the ALAC votes on them. One key feature in this development of a best practice model for
consensus building involves ensuring we have an informed ALS community. To assist in this,
monthly telephonic briefings on topical issues are held in three languages for the At-Large
community - and the wider ICANN community.
At the same time, ALAC has become the first community to oblige its members to accept
performance and transparency obligations, and is we believe the first ICANN community to
publish monthly key performance indicators (KPIs) related to these obligations. Issues affecting
Internet users on which the At-Large community has provided input is in my opinion an
impressive list for a ‘mere year' and includes working groups, workshop activities, statements
and/or comments on; The introduction of new gTLDs; Advancing use of Internationalized
Domain Names; Changes to Whois services; Revisions to the Registrar Accreditation
Agreement; Migration from IPv4 to IPv6; Domain Name Tasting; The restructuring of the
Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO) specifically including the engagement of
individual Internet users more fully in the GNSO; the ICANN Travel Procedure for volunteers,
and the ICANN Operating Plan and Budget. These statements and those from previous years
may be found online at http://www.atlarge.icann.org/en/correspondence.
The current ALAC (v.2.0) is also undergoing its Independent Review, and the Board Governance
Committee Working Groups’ recent report and the ensuing ICANN communities discussions
around their initial thinking, is an activity that we both look forward to participating in and
learning from as we strive to create an ALAC v.3.0 that is a thriving part of ICANN processes and
Main Areas of Work for At-Large during Cairo:
* At-Large community leaders discussed the mid-point report of the Board Governance
Committee’s At-Large Review Working Group (BGC-ALRWG) with that group and other parts of
the community. A drafting team of community members met several times and a draft
statement is nearly ready to be sent to the ALS's and RALOs for comments to ensure bottomup
input from the community members not present during the Cairo meeting.
* ALAC met with the Registrar Constituency during the Cairo meeting; Amongst the subjects
discussed were proposed RAA amendments provisions that would extend registrant protections
and a proposal being debated in the ALAC that would request a new RAA amendment to
require all registrars to publish their place of incorporation and business addresses in order to
ensure that they could be reached by registrants when issues arise. ALAC is also proposing that
work on a registrar Code of Conduct should commence something that has been done in
ccTLDs (EURid, auDA) successfully on a multi-stakeholder basis. Meetings between the
two communities will continue in Mexico City and in intercessional work.
* The ALAC discussed with staff and community members their proposal to request an issues
report related to how post domain expiry grace periods operate in order to strengthen
protection of registrants. This has been a subject of ongoing work and consultation between
stakeholders over the past several weeks. The ALAC voted unanimously to transmit the request,
subject to some further consultations with other GNSO communities being concluded. The
formal request is expected to be transmitted to the Staff shortly. And copy of this request can
be on our Web site soon as an announcement and is currently found (along with earlier drafts)
* ALAC met with Steve Crocker and members of the SSAC to discuss working more closely
together on topics such as WHOIS data accuracy (especially in an IDN context) and DNSSEC and
its value to end users and registrants. The discussion about DNSSec explored the importance of
helping end users understand the importance of the DNSSec rollout; one of the outcomes of
this discussion is that a telephonic briefing, in the series of such briefings held regularly, would
focus on DNSSec to help all of At-Large, and other ICANN communities, understand it and the
proposals related to its rollout better.
* ALAC and RALO (Regional At-Large Organisation) leaders met Saturday to considerably
advance work on the organisation of the At-Large Summit, scheduled for the Mexico City ICANN
Meeting in March 2009.
* Organisational Development: ALAC will be discussing improvements to their accountability
requirements as community leaders. At-Large is the first community to adopt written criteria
for community leaders’ participation obligations and to publish ALAC members’ performance;
this effort is to improve them and expand upon them. In addition, the ALAC advanced work on
formalizing the process by which ALAC Statements are developed in a bottom-up way involving
the worldwide At-Large community.
* ALAC concluded nominations of candidates for ALAC Liaisons and began discussing the
candidates. Elections will begin shortly after the conclusion of the Cairo meeting as required by
ALAC’s Rules of Procedure.
In closing I would like to publically thank and recognize the long serving and tirelessly
committed outgoing members of the ALAC; Annette Muehlberg (EURALO), Izumi Aizu (APRALO)
who are being replaced by NomCom Appointment Adam Peak (EURALO) and by Regional Election, Dr.
V.C. Vivekanandan, HRD IP Chair Professor & Head-Centre for IPLaw Studies, Nalsar University of Law,
Hyderabad (APRALO); and the stepping down From the role of ALAC IDN Liaison of Hong Xue, whose
extraordinary efforts and energy in this vital work to benefit our community and specifically those
millions of internet users whose online experience will be enhanced so much by the introduction of
Doman Names in non-asci scripts. Hong has selected for us, a most worthy successor for this vital role,
Sivasubramanian Muthusamy, President at ISOC India Chennai and CEO at Turiya, his appointment
became effective with his appointment at our 3rd Session Meeting of the ALAC yesterday and the ALAC
look forward to the energy and enthusiasm these generous volunteers will bring to our work and
activities over the next 12 months. I should also confirm for the record that the Executive Officers of the
ALAC for the 2008-2009 period have been elected and are, for their second terms of office as co-Vice
Chairs Vanda Scartezini (Brazil), Sebastien Bachollet (France), along with myself as continuing ALAC
Chair, and we are joined by Alan Greenberg (Canada) who is serving his second term as Nom Com
appointee for the North American Region and also continues to serve as our ALAC Liaison with the
November 6th, 2008.
ALAC Chair (November 2007–November 2009)