Question regarding whether the proposed IDN issue, as currently outlined is within scope for a ccNSO PDP
Name: Avri Doria Affiliation; Luleå University of Technology
While I am currently a Nomcom appointee to the GNSO council and serving as its chair, I am writing in a purely personal capacity and completely on my own initiative. I have not discussed this comment with the GNSO council and no approval or agreement by the GNSO council with my remarks should be assumed.
I have no business relationships or income of any sort that are affected by this, or any other PDP.
I question whether this topic is in scope for the ccNSO to resolve within the by-laws for a ccNSO PDP. According to the by-laws, specifically Article IX section 4.2, the ccNSO's scope covers responsibility for ISO 3166-1 two LDH ASCII character codes, i.e. which are generally known as country codes. Additionally the rules for ccNSO membership and for engagement in ccNSO policy only refer to: "... organization or entity responsible for managing an ISO 3166 country-code top-level domain...". I believe that the question of whether this mandate can be extended further to cover a set of IDN TLDs, which may or may not map to the existing ISO 3166-1 codes, is not an issue that can be resolved by the Supporting Organization itself, but is one which needs to be resolved by the Board upon a recommendation of the community at large.
The PDP processes in the by-laws refer to recommendations that are within the scope of a single Supporting Organization. As there is no PDP process that currently exists for a community wide recommendation to the Board on this sort of issue, the Board is responsible for determining a mechanism by which the viewpoints of all relevant stakeholders, including ALAC, ccNSO, GAC, GNSO, SSAC and the community of registrants and Internet users, can be fairly taken into account before making any policy decisions of this magnitude. Under the rules in Article II, in cases where there is no specific bylaws-determined mechanism for developing a recommendation, the Board is empowered to create such a mechanism, and in fact has done so on many occasions.
I believe that the basis for the proposed PDP under the rules of Article 9 6.1 results from the presumption of an entitlement to create IDN ccTLDs that refer to territory names or abbreviations and aliases of territory names. As far as I understand there is no a-priori limitation on this entitlement and that as many variants in any script as can be imagined would be possible; though I do not claim that this is the current intent of this PDP, it is also not eliminated as a possibility. While this may be acceptable to the ICANN community at large, I do not believe that this can be assumed until the community is allowed to discuss the issue and its ramifications.
In bringing up this question, I want to emphasize that I am personally strongly in favor of the creation of IDN ccTLDs and in fact believe that it is a good idea and that it is something that ICANN should enable as quickly as is possible. I also personally believe the ccNSO should be responsible for creating policy regarding these new ccTLDs within its PDP structure once the Board, upon recommendation of the ICANN stakeholder community, has decided on the appropriate apportionment of the name space and the principles under which the allocations may be made. Additionally, I support a "fast track" process for few non-contentious IDN ccTLDs as long as that process fully respects the equal interests of all relevant stakeholders as outlined above. What I question is whether the ccNSO itself can use its own PDP process to extend its own mandate, which, I believe, is currently limited to the set of ISO 3166-1 2 letter LDH codes. I believe it is important to answer this question in such a way that guarantees that when new IDN ccTLDs are created and delegated it is done with full legitimacy and with the full support and backing of the ICANN community of stakeholders.