Nov 282014

Commission européenne

“Il est essentiel que l’Europe, continent de la démocratie et des libertés, fasse entendre sa voix et ses valeurs sur le sujet majeur de la gouvernance de l’internet.” Axelle Lemaire, la secrétaire d’Etat au Numérique, ne mâche pas ses mots en annonçant l’adoption (à l’unanimité) par le Conseil de l’Union européenne, le 27 novembre dernier, d’une position sur la gouvernance de l’Internet.

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Nov 212014

Fadi Chehade ICANN

During his monthly “what’s up” call with ICANN Supporting Organisation, Advisory Committee and Stakeholder Group leaders, CEO Fadi Chehadé addressed recent tensions between ICANN and the government of France.

Responding to questions from Registrar Stakeholder Group Chair Michele Neylon and Non-Commercial Users Constituency Chair William Drake, Chehadé described his efforts to improve his relationship with France’s IT Minister Axelle Lemaire. Starting point for the conversation was actually a post published on this blog in early October. “The French secretary has been making a comment now for a couple months that was reported by Stéphane Van Gelder in his blog that she essentially wants a NETmundial based in France.

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Nov 202014

ICANN newgTLD auctions

During ICANN’s first stakeholder call held on November 20, 2014, Global Domains Division President Akram Atallah confirmed the result of the latest new gTLD auction. These are designed as an “action of last resort” to resolve contention sets, i.e. situations where more than one applicant is after the same string.

In this latest case, the string was .DOT and the applicants vying for it were Internet behemoth Google and Dish DBS, a TV company in the US. Surprisingly, the latter won the auction. Even more of a surprise was the winning bid. At USD 700,000 it looks almost cheap compared to recent multi million dollar bids.

Still, it remains a hefty sum going into ICANN’s coffers… although Atallah was quick to point out that these auction proceeds are not going towards ICANN staff’s Christmas bonuses. “These funds are segregated from ICANN’s operating budget,” he said. “Once we have a better understanding of the scale of the proceeds from the auctions, we will begin discussions with the community to determine how the funds are used.”

A total of 31 contention sets have now been resolved through ICANN auctions. Overall, 430 new gTLDs have now been delegated (i.e. activated on the Internet) and 600 contracts signed between new gTLD operators and ICANN.

Nov 202014
ICANN quarterly stakeholder call

ICANN held its first quarterly stakeholder call today

ICANN has begun holding quarterly stakeholder calls, formatted a lot like a listed company’s quarterly investors call. “The goal of these is to provide a predictable and regular window into ICANN activities,” summarised ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé as he opened the first stakeholder call, held today, November 20, 2014.

Chehadé was followed at the microphone by David Olive (VP Policy Development Support), Akram Atallah (President, Global Domains Division) and Xavier Calvez, ICANN’s CFO.

During the new gTLD program update he provided as part of the call, Akram Atallah confirmed that despite original plans to see work on round 1 applications completed by 2015, processing of this first batch of new gTLDs would now extend to 2017.

“This is due to a number of external factors which are outside ICANN’s control,” Atallah explained. “For example, the time applicants are taking to sign their contracts and move forward to delegation. Applicants are able to ask for extensions under certain circumstances and when they do, the program stretches out. There are also a number of contention set resolution issues taking longer than initially planned.”

Nov 152014
ICANN NomCom 2015 website

ICANN’s 2015 NomCom website provides information on the committee and the application process. The NomCom recruits to key leadership positions on the ICANN Board, GNSO, ccNSO and ALAC.

ICANN’s 2015 NomCom webpage is now live, providing information on the NomCom process in general and how to apply as part of this year’s cycle.

This includes:

  • Video interview with the NomCom Chair
  • Committee members bios/photos
  • 2015 NomCom cycle timeline
  • Leadership Positions Infographic
  • Code of Conduct
  • NomCom Guidelines and Operating Procedures
  • Report Cards
  • NomCom Documents
  • 2015 Board Member Skill Sets
  • 2014 NomCom Final Report

Other content to be added shortly is a link to information about ICANN regions and a matrix on the current ICANN Board members with regions. These are new initiatives for 2015 designed to provide NomCom website users and prospective applicants with at-a-glance data on the Board’s current composition and which NomCom appointed Board members are coming to the end of their term during the current cycle.

Skillset/criteria received from the GNSO, ccNSO and ALAC will also be posted in the Committee Document section as soon as they are available.

Nov 042014
Icann Singapore 41

The ICANN Board voting on a resolution in June 2011, during the organisation’s first visit to Singapore.

ICANN’s 52nd International Meeting, its first of 3 planned in 2015, was due to be held in Marrakech (Marocco). But the meeting was planned before the Ebola outbreak.

This global situation has forced ICANN to react quickly to keep its 52nd meeting both relevant and productive. Says the organisation in a statement released yesterday (3rd November, 2014): “Community concerns that would prevent maximum participation at its next global meeting (ICANN 52, 8-12 February 2015), a critical one given the ongoing discussions around the IANA Stewardship Transition and ICANN Accountability, has prompted ICANN to postpone the meeting in Marrakech, Morocco and to relocate to Singapore on the same dates.”

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Nov 012014
Fadi Chehade, ICANN President and CEO

ICANN paid USD 363,083.20 for CEO Fadi Chehadé’s travel in Fiscal Year 2014.

Even diehard ICANN critics would be hard pressed to finger this report for lack of transparency. ICANN has just released a list of the reimbursements it has made for expenses incurred by its directors. From July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 the report shows how much Board members were paid in expense reimbursements, how much was paid on their behalf to cover their travel costs, and the level of their compensation.

Board members are eligible to receive an annual compensation of USD 35,000. Those directors who also chair a Board committee are awarded an extra USD 5,000 per committee. The Board Chair gets USD 75,000 in annual compensation.

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