[gnso-idn-wg] GAC principles related to new gTLDs
Hello All, The GAC Communiqué is available at: http://gac.icann.org/web/communiques/gac27com.pdf With respect to gTLDs, the main communiqué stated: "The GAC adopted Principles Regarding New gTLDs (Annex B) which are intended to provide the ICANN Board and the wider global community with a clear indication of the governmental priorities for the introduction, delegation and operation of new gTLDs. The principles respond directly to several agreed provisions resulting from the World Summit on the Information Society and will provide a coherent framework for future interactions on these issues, particularly in relation to the ongoing ICANN Policy Development Process for new gTLDs. The GAC intends to develop its interactions with the GNSO in the future regarding the implementation of both the WHOIS and New gTLD principles." With respect to IDN, the main communiqué stated: "The GAC acknowledges with satisfaction ICANN's 7th March 2007 announcement of its successful conduct of laboratory tests of Internationalized Domain Names. The GAC has taken note of the draft issue paper on selection of IDN ccTLDs associated with the ISO 3166-1 two letter codes prepared within the joint ccNSO-GAC IDN Working Group. In the spirit of the collaborative effort that was adopted in the Sao Paulo meeting GAC has asked all its members to evaluate the socio-political and cultural implications of the issues outlined in the aforesaid paper in terms of the languages and characters that may be used for IDN ccTLDs and respond directly to the ccNSO Council. The GAC has similarly taken note of the outcomes report of the working group on IDNs constituted by the GNSO Council. The GAC recognizes that the IDN ccTLD standards development processes can be slow and would encourage early action to develop methodology to prepare these standards. The GAC and its members along with the ccNSO and GNSO Councils will work towards the global deployment of IDNs which will expand the spread of the Internet and enable a vast number of people to exchange information in their local languages." Please see below for the GAC principles. Regards, Bruce Tonkin Annex B GAC PRINCIPLES REGARDING NEW gTLDs Presented by the Governmental Advisory Committee March 28, 2007 1. Preamble 1.1 The purpose of this document is to identify a set of general public policy principles related to the introduction, delegation and operation of new generic top level domains (gTLDs). They are intended to inform the ICANN Board of the views of the GAC regarding public policy issues concerning new gTLDs and to respond to the provisions of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process, in particular "the need for further development of, and strengthened cooperation among, stakeholders for public policies for generic top-level domains (gTLDs)" and those related to the management of Internet resources and enunciated in the Geneva and Tunis phases of the WSIS. 1.2 These principles shall not prejudice the application of the principle of national sovereignty. The GAC has previously adopted the general principle that the Internet naming system is a public resource in the sense that its functions must be administered in the public or common interest. The WSIS Declaration of December 2003 also states that "policy authority for Internet-related public policy issues is the sovereign right of States. They have rights and responsibilities for international Internet-related public policy issues." 1.3 A gTLD is a top level domain which is not based on the ISO 3166 two-letter country code list . For the purposes and scope of this document, new gTLDs are defined as any gTLDs added to the Top Level Domain name space after the date of the adoption of these principles by the GAC. 1.4 In setting out the following principles, the GAC recalls ICANN's stated core values as set out in its by-laws: a. Preserving and enhancing the operational stability, reliability, security, and global interoperability of the Internet. b. Respecting the creativity, innovation, and flow of information made possible by the Internet by limiting ICANN's activities to those matters within ICANN's mission requiring or significantly benefiting from global coordination. c. To the extent feasible and appropriate, delegating coordination functions to or recognizing the policy role of other responsible entities that reflect the interests of affected parties. d. Seeking and supporting broad, informed participation reflecting the functional, geographic, and cultural diversity of the Internet at all levels of policy development and decision-making. e. Where feasible and appropriate, depending on market mechanisms to promote and sustain a competitive environment. f. Introducing and promoting competition in the registration of domain names where practicable and beneficial in the public interest. g. Employing open and transparent policy development mechanisms that (i) promote well-informed decisions based on expert advice, and (ii) ensure that those entities most affected can assist in the policy development process. h. Making decisions by applying documented policies neutrally and objectively, with integrity and fairness. i. Acting with a speed that is responsive to the needs of the Internet while, as part of the decision-making process, obtaining informed input from those entities most affected. j. Remaining accountable to the Internet community through mechanisms that enhance ICANN's effectiveness. k. While remaining rooted in the private sector, recognizing that governments and public authorities are responsible for public policy and duly taking into account governments' or public authorities' recommendations. 2. Public Policy Aspects related to new gTLDs When considering the introduction, delegation and operation of new gTLDs, the following public policy principles need to be respected: Introduction of new gTLDs 2.1 New gTLDs should respect: a) The provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which seek to affirm "fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women". b) The sensitivities regarding terms with national, cultural, geographic and religious significance. 2.2 ICANN should avoid country, territory or place names, and country, territory or regional language or people descriptions, unless in agreement with the relevant governments or public authorities. 2.3 The process for introducing new gTLDs must make proper allowance for prior third party rights, in particular trademark rights as well as rights in the names and acronyms of inter-governmental organizations (IGOs). 2.4 In the interests of consumer confidence and security, new gTLDs should not be confusingly similar to existing TLDs. To avoid confusion with country-code Top Level Domains no two letter gTLDs should be introduced. Delegation of new gTLDs 2.5 The evaluation and selection procedure for new gTLD registries should respect the principles of fairness, transparency and non-discrimination. All applicants for a new gTLD registry should therefore be evaluated against transparent and predictable criteria, fully available to the applicants prior to the initiation of the process. Normally, therefore, no subsequent additional selection criteria should be used in the selection process. 2.6 It is important that the selection process for new gTLDs ensures the security, reliability, global interoperability and stability of the Domain Name System (DNS) and promotes competition, consumer choice, geographical and service-provider diversity. 2.7 Applicant registries for new gTLDs should pledge to: a) Adopt, before the new gTLD is introduced, appropriate procedures for blocking, at no cost and upon demand of governments, public authorities or IGOs, names with national or geographic significance at the second level of any new gTLD. b) Ensure procedures to allow governments, public authorities or IGOs to challenge abuses of names with national or geographic significance at the second level of any new gTLD. 2.8 Applicants should publicly document any support they claim to enjoy from specific communities. 2.9 Applicants should identify how they will limit the need for defensive registrations and minimise cyber-squatting that can result from bad-faith registrations and other abuses of the registration system Operation of new gTLDs 2.10 A new gTLD operator/registry should undertake to implement practices that ensure an appropriate level of security and stability both for the TLD itself and for the DNS as a whole, including the development of best practices to ensure the accuracy, integrity and validity of registry information. 2.11 ICANN and a new gTLD operator/registry should establish clear continuity plans for maintaining the resolution of names in the DNS in the event of registry failure. These plans should be established in coordination with any contingency measures adopted for ICANN as a whole. 2.12 ICANN should continue to ensure that registrants and registrars in new gTLDs have access to an independent appeals process in relation to registry decisions related to pricing changes, renewal procedures, service levels, or the unilateral and significant change of contract conditions. 2.13 ICANN should ensure that any material changes to the new gTLD operations, policies or contract obligations be made in an open and transparent manner allowing for adequate public comment. 2.14 The GAC WHOIS principles are relevant to new gTLDs. 3. Implementation of these Public Policy Principles 3.1 The GAC recalls Article XI, section 2, no. 1 h) of the ICANN Bylaws, which state that the ICANN Board shall notify the Chair of the Governmental Advisory Committee in a timely manner of any proposal raising public policy issues. Insofar, therefore, as these principles provide guidance on GAC views on the implementation of new gTLDs, they are not intended to substitute for the normal requirement for the ICANN Board to notify the GAC of any proposals for new gTLDs which raise public policy issues. 3.2 ICANN should consult the GAC, as appropriate, regarding any questions pertaining to the interpretation of these principles. 3.3 If individual GAC members or other governments express formal concerns about any issues related to new gTLDs, the ICANN Board should fully consider those concerns and clearly explain how it will address them. 3.4 The evaluation procedures and criteria for introduction, delegation and operation of new TLDs should be developed and implemented with the participation of all stakeholders. N.B. The public policy priorities for GAC members in relation to the introduction of Internationalised Domain Name TLDs (IDN TLDs) will be addressed separately by the GAC.