The most highly attended ICANN conference to date may also be the meeting we will look back on as the precise moment when the Internet business ceased to be synonymous with the Wild West. As ICANN and the satellite businesses and organizations which support the function of the Internet gain notoriety and publicity and institutionalized “big business” steps into the space as players in the New gTLD realm, the existing community must also step up its game.ICANN 40 hosted the most illustrious guest speaker ICANN has hosted in some time, and enjoyed the most media attention the organization has received to date. This is, as Keynote speaker and Ex-President Bill Clinton described, quite a “High Class” problem to have.Scheduled midway through the conference to precede the Gala event, the Clinton speech was heavily attended. The line to get in grew to such a daunting length that some opted straight away for the overflow rooms where the speech was broadcast on large screens, brining cases of beer along (perhaps something the erstwhile president, known for being “down to earth” would have appreciated). Clinton’s appearance, became a celebration of how far the Internet and ICANN have come in the last decade; and while we may focus on certain issues getting hamstrung it is hard to deny that we have come quite far.The speech was moving although he admitted to having recycled it causing a light stir in the crowd over receiving a used speech for the alleged amount of money he was paid to deliver it. As Clinton slipped in and out of the southern charm and colloquialism he is so well known for; making jokes at his own expense; it became clear that the not easily impressed crowd were visibly star struck. Among other things, former President Clinton spoke to the importance of growing and funding the Internet during his administration. Discussing his pet causes and touching on a few of our own, he encouraged that as a community we can’t be afraid of innovations.Clinton explained that there were, “50 websites on the internet when I took office, jumping to 130 and then 136 million by the time I left.” And credited then senator Al Gore and the passing of the Information Infrastructure Act in large part for this success.He cited the importance of the Internet in creating the “critical mass” in Egypt. He followed this by stating “I believe it is very important not to get so carried away that we don’t think that things like real world power and organizations matter,” and called the “enormous amount” of Internet commerce a “high class problem.”Clinton let the audience know in no uncertain terms that, “It is very important to get the Internet right.” He also emphasized the need for “building the positive and reducing the negative forces of interdependence requires.” While he may not have been directly talking about government interference on New gTLDs, it is not bad advice to apply to the situation.He spoke directly to the crowd, saying: “I still believe that human possibility is in some measure a matter of the imagination, attitude and courage of those in position to seize and develop it. We are actually here because some of the people sitting in here 20 years ago imagined a different world and they didn’t know exactly how it would come out. They just knew that a networked world would probably work better than a bureaucratic one, that a free world would probably work better than one that was predetermined. And they fully recognized that there would be rough edges and questions about access and all the other questions we are all dealing with, but they got the big things right. It’s important to stumble in the right direction.” He then added, “You are laughing at me, but I know what I am talking about.”He stressed that perfection may never be achieved but that one can always do better. He warned against zero sum games and asked the audience to consider whether they were “creating a world that you would like to leave to your children or grandchildren?” As ICANN and the domain industry “stumble” forward into the next phase of Internet innovation and industry evolution, these are good words to consider.Kelly Hardy is a freelance consultant and blogger. Her work can be found at www.namesmash.com
President Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, praised the success of ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model by pointing out that when he took office in 1992, there were about 50 Internet web sites. When he left office eight years later, there were roughly 36 million.”We’ve seen an enormous amount of success,” said President Clinton. “All of you played a role in that and I am grateful. We have in its new incarnation, the international community, governments and the private sector working together to get information to people all over the globe and I think it’s a good model.”The Clinton administration was instrumental in 1998 in helping to form ICANN as a unique non-profit multi-stakeholder organization to coordinate the global Internet addressing system.President Clinton stressed the link between job creation and information technology during his address Wednesday evening to about thirteen hundred people at ICANN’s on-going Silicon Valley-San Francisco international public meeting.Discussions during the weeklong meeting have delved into a wide range of subjects, including the possible addition of new generic top-level domains. Participants have also considered issues ranging from expanding IPv6 Internet address protocols to the best way in which to deal with online cyber security threats.The meeting will draw to a close on Friday with a series of votes by ICANN’s international board of directors.To read this ICANN news release in full, see:
President Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, praised the success of ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model by pointing out that when he took office in 1992, there were about 50 Internet web sites. When he left office eight years later, there were roughly 36 million. Continue reading President Bill Clinton Voices Support for ICANN's Multi-Stakeholder Model of Internet Governance – Emphasizes Link between Internet and Job Creation
Glacial progress is being made towards resolving issues between ICANN and the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) says Kieren McCarthy in a posting on his .NXT blog, reporting on on progress at the ICANN Silicon Valley San Francisco meeting on Tuesday.”[W]ith the first of those two days over, little or no progress has been made and a late-afternoon summary session was cancelled at the moment it was due to start,” wrote McCarthy.Signs that progress was not being made in a hoped for manner were being displayed by questions and comments on issues that deviated from the “carefully broken-out list of numbered issues.” Of course, anyone that has been to an ICANN meeting is used to such topics meandering off course as many people want to have their say.”Three-and-a-half hours later only two points had been agreed, and most issues had been deferred to a later date. The meeting broke up at 12.30pm, with the ICANN Board promising to return ‘between 4pm and 5pm’ with its responses after it had broken up into working groups.”To read Kieren McCarthy’s report on his .NXT blog in full, see:
The US government is opposed to proposals for the International Telecommunications Union to have a veto over ICANN board decisions, said Larry Strickling at the welcome ceremony for the ICANN Silicon Valley-San Francisco meeting on Monday.”The United States is most assuredly opposed to establishing a governance structure for the Internet that would be managed and controlled by nation states,” said Strickling, the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce, in one of several suggestions in his address at the ceremony.”Such a structure could lead to the imposition of heavy-handed and economically misguided regulation and the loss of flexibility the current system allows today, all of which would jeopardise the growth and innovation we have enjoyed these past years.”But nonetheless, ICANN needs to do more to engage governments in the multistakeholder process by providing them a meaningful opportunity to participate and be heard inside of ICANN.”Strickling also spoke of the new gTLD programme and said that he was pleased with the progress that has been made between the GAC and ICANN in recent weeks, but that GAC advice should not come at the end of a policy development process.”I am quite pleased with the apparent progress made in the last few weeks as a result of the first really meaningful exchanges between the board and the GAC to understand and evaluate GAC advice on the new global top-level domain program, but as the review team pointed out in its recommendations, this is a two-way street.”The GAC needs to have the discipline in its process to offer consensus advice to the board, but when it does so, the board really needs to listen and engage with the GAC.”A weakness of the current model is that the ICANN bylaws and practices seem to envision that GAC advice often comes at the end of the policy development process. That should not be the case.”In his third suggestion that followed “from the recommendation of the review team” Strickling said “that the board clarify the distinction between issues subject to ICANN’s policy development process and those within the executive functions of the staff and the board.”As ICANN decision-making continues to grow more fractious, the board needs to evaluate the impact that its process of making decisions is having on the development of bottom-up policy within the organisation.”Increasingly, the board finds itself forced to pick winners and losers because the policy development process is not yielding true consensus-based policymaking.”This is not healthy for the organisation.”Strickling believes “there are two steps the board should take.””First, the board needs to insist upon the development of consensus before a matter reaches the board. And when the policy development process delivers a truly consensus process, the board needs to refrain from substituting its own judgment.”Second, when consensus has not been reached, the board needs to push back to ensure that the parties have exhausted all possible efforts to reach consensus before the board imposes its own judgment in a given matter.”If one group — in this case, the ICANN board — attempts to pick winners and losers, the multistakeholder model is undermined. Choosing between competing interests, rather than insisting on consensus, is destructive of the multistakeholder process because it devalues this incentive for everyone to work together.”A full text and audio transcript of the Welcome Ceremony, also including speeches by Vint Cerf, Ira Magaziner, Andrew McLaughlin, Peter Dengate Thrush and Rod Beckstrom is available from svsf40.icann.org/node/22345.
Bill Clinton is addressing the San Francisco-Silicon Valley ICANN meeting this Wednesday and ICANN has asked for questions from the audience.Questions for President Clinton need to be submitted in advance and will be moderated with Rod Beckstrom, ICANN President and CEO, joining President Clinton on stage after the speech asking the questions on behalf of the community.ICANN is also advising that due to the time restrictions, not all questions received will be answered.All questions must be received no later than 10:00 PST, Tuesday 15 March. Questions can be sent until the deadline via email addressed to email@example.com. This address delivers to a list that operates very much like our Public Comment Forum. To monitor the questions being asked, visit forum.icann.org/lists/clinton-questions.
Former ICANN staffer and now consultant Kieren McCarthy has posted a guide to the ICANN San Francisco meeting currently underway. The guide lists the most important issues to be discussed in the meeting that ends this Friday.
The guide discusses issues, and why they are important, such as new gTLDs, the .XXX sponsored Top Level Domain, Accountability and Transparency, domain transfer policies and new GNSO constituencies.
The guide published on his .NXT site also gives added commentary, background and links to relevant resources.
The guide is available at news.dot-nxt.com/2011/03/13/icann-sf-rundown.
Former ICANN staffer and now consultant Kieren McCarthy has posted a guide to the ICANN San Francisco meeting currently underway. The guide lists the most important issues to be discussed in the meeting that ends this Friday. Continue reading Kieren McCarthy's Guide To ICANN San Francisco Issues
For those not attending the ICANN meeting in Silicon Valley-San Francisco and who want to follow President Bill Clinton’s speech, there will be a live feed on the ICANN website. Continue reading Live Web Feed For President Clinton's ICANN San Francisco Address
For those not attending the ICANN meeting in Silicon Valley-San Francisco and who want to follow President Bill Clinton’s speech, there will be a live feed on the ICANN website.
The President’s speech will take place at the meeting at 18:00 on Wednesday 16 March.
For those who aren’t aware, President Clinton is the founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and the 42nd President of the United States. The Clinton administration was instrumental in ICANN’s formation in 1998.
For those attending the presentation, all registered attendees are welcome to attend.