The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), which represents states at ICANN, primarily advises on public health issues and the interplay between ICANN policies and national or international law standards. At the draw of each ICANN meet, GAC issues a Communiqué summarizing the latest developments and requests. The GAC Communiqué of October 16, 2014 mainly addresses issues related to the transition of the US Stewardship in overseeing the functions of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and recommendations concerning safeguards applicable to new gTLDs.
The first recommendation submitted to ICANN concerns Internet governance and considers how the IANA stewardship transition should be structured. The GAC is also committed to work on ICANN’s governance and accountability. Thus, this process should be guided by consensus based decisions taking into account the public interest. The goal is to cater for a more general interest rather than that of the communities or groups immediately affected by Internet governance. This process should include all stakeholders in order to be legitimate for all everyone.
The second part of the recommendations reflects the concerns of GAC in relation to the manner in which the New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) managed the previous recommendations made in the Beijing, Singapore and London Communiqués as regards consumer protection, sensitive strings and non-discriminatory registration policies. These recommendations are set out extensively in the Beijing Communiqué where the safeguards are classified into two categories.
Category 2 comprises generic extensions which are for restricted use. With reference to registration policies, GAC recommends that registration limits be proportionate to the types of risks associated with TLD extensions. These include extensions such as .tires or .hotel.
GAC insists that ICANN should focus on implementing WHOIS related safeguards and transparency measures and on complementing the existing assessment on this issue.
The GAC also recommends that an interim mechanism be put in place to respond to security issues. The PICDRP (Public Interest Commitment Dispute Resolution Process) should be amended to address urgent cases more expeditiously. The GAC deems that the NGPC should verify the credentials of registrants in an effort to supplement the safeguards for Category 1 Strings.
For extensions falling under Category 2 safeguards, the GAC recommendation emphasizes the need to ensure that nondiscriminatory registration policies are enforced for new gTLDs.
To be followed…