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What to Expect at ICANN 59, Johannesburg

Donna Austin

I'm excited! Not because of the 30 hours that it will take me to get to Johannesburg, but because this ICANN meeting will be the second time we've put the Meeting B Policy Forum to the test. If the second time is a charm then hopefully we'll have cemented the Policy Forum into the ICANN meeting structure, and we can start a conversation about having two Policy Forums each year and one AGM meeting.

From a Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) perspective, this meeting is great opportunity to get involved in a number of policy activities by attending PDP WG sessions on the following:

  • New Generic Top Level Domain Subsequent Procedures (Sub Pro PDP WG)
  • Next-Generation Registration Directory Service to Replace WHOIS (RDS PDP WG)
  • Review of All Rights Protection Mechanisms in all Generic Top Level Domains (RPMs PDP WG)
  • International Governmental Organisation-International Non-Governmental Organisation Access to Curative Rights Protection Mechanisms (Curative Rights PDP WG)

The Sub Pro WG has its hopes set on finding a path forward on the protection of geographic names in the context of future new gTLD rounds. A professional moderator has been engaged to assist with the task. Four and a half hours has been allotted on the schedule for this discussion and to answer your question — yes four and half hours is probably not enough time. Kudos to the PDP WG Leadership Team of Jeff and Avri and their ICANN support team for getting this one top billing.

The RDS PDP WG has ballooned in size in recent months as special interest groups mobilise to have their voices heard, but I understand the WG is in good hands and the train is still on the tracks. This WG would like to get your views on a number of issues they have been discussing during a cross-community discussion session on Monday afternoon.

The RPM WG is currently discussing the sunrise and claims processes that were developed for new gTLD registry operators that were established as part of the 2012 new gTLD program.

The Curative Rights PDP WG is expected to reveal its likely Final Report recommendations during the meeting. No doubt there will be a lot of interest from the community, given the considerable number of comments submitted on the draft recommendations posted for public comment prior to Copenhagen.

Other topics of interest include a moderated panel discussion that will explore the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the domain name industry and its users; the project that ICANN's CEO describes as 'hubbabubba' will get an airing; and who sets ICANN's priorities could be interesting.

The opening ceremony will be a low key affair, but it will include a presentation of this year's Multistakeholder Ethos Award recipient. As a privileged member of the Selection Panel, I can only say that our community is blessed to have so many hard-working and valued contributors who are worthy of this award — it's just a shame we can't recognize them all with this Award.

By Donna Austin, Policy & Industry Affairs Manager at Neustar

Related topics: Domain Names, ICANN, Policy & Regulation, Privacy, Top-Level Domains


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Welcome! Alan Levin  –  Jun 26, 2017 1:33 AM PDT

to South Africa… hope you have fun…

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