The Council of Europe released a Declaration encouraging the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (‘ICANN’), when developing policies for the Internet’s domain name system, to consider international privacy, security and human rights laws and policies. The Council has no legal power to force any changes on ICANN, but, having official observer status within ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee, can offer detailed advice.

In its Declaration, the Council were keen to emphasise the important role that ICANN holds with regard to the control, security and supervision of the Internet, but also talked about its own responsibility to protect human rights; namely, the right to freedom of expression and access to information, the freedom of assembly and association, and the right to private and family life, including the protection of personal data.Continue Reading ICANN urged to take international and security rules seriously by Council of Europe

At a standing-room-only meeting on the evening of June 21, 2015 – at the ICANN 53 global meeting in Buenos Aires – Assistant Secretary Larry Strickling, administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”), gave his comments on the current timeline for the transition of the IANA (i.e., technical) functions of ICANN. The bottom line is that transition will probably happen sometime in spring 2016 under the best-case scenario.

By way of background, before transition (also called “stewardship”), a number of milestones need to be achieved. The Cross-Community Working Group on Stewardship – Naming (“CWG”) needed to complete its report and have it approved, which was done on June 24. The report forms part of the larger IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (“ICG”) process. It was made clear at the other meetings here that the CWG report (part of the ICG effort) will be contingent on certain criteria being established in the parallel work of the Cross-Constituency Working Group on Accountability (“CCWG”), which has two major workstreams – one relating to the transition (stewardship) and one on more general issues. The CCWG intends to hold a face-to-face meeting in Paris in July and hopes to have its work on transition accountability completed by the ICANN 54 meeting in Dublin in October 2015. When the ICG and the CCWG have completed their reports, NTIA will need to review the completed unified proposal which, by the current timeline, could not happen before the Dublin meeting.Continue Reading ICANN 53 Global Meeting

Reed Smith partner Gregory Shatan begins ICANN 47 early with a number of working meetings over the weekend of various ICANN groups, including the Generic Names Supporting Organization (“GNSO”), Commercial Stakeholder Group and the GNSO members on the ICANN Board, New gTLD Program Committee (“NGPC” of the ICANN Board with the Government Advisory Committee (“GAC”)