19 September 2000
In preparation for my presentation to the NC on the DNSO review committee's work on Thursday's call, please find attached Draft 1.2 - DNSO Review -- Work in Progress which was circulated to the NC-Review list.
Following the NC call, and discussion and/or suggestions, NC-review members will be asked to forward this draft to their respective constituencies (and Roberto to the GA).
Please note, this is a work in progress.
Outline for the DNSO Review STATUS OF DRAFT: This Draft document is a work in progress and is intended for further discussion at the NC teleconference September 21, 2000. As background, the outline was circulated to the NC-Review Committee on August 11th. Comments received have been incorporated into draft 1.1. Also included are comments received on the GA list, which have been compiled by Roberto Gateano who, as Chair of the GA, is the liaison to the NC-Review. Outreach to be carried out: Draft 1.2 must be forwarded by each NC-Review Representative to the respective constituency for comment and input. Comments are to be compiled by the respective NC-Review Representatives, and forwarded to the NC-Review committee. The GA Chair will be responsible for overseeing the continued GA input to this working progress. The Berkman Center for Internet and Society has offered to help with the DNSO process. Does the NC-review committee wish to use this offer at the present stage, or would it be more appropriate after the review, when any changes are undertaken? I. Introduction: The DNSO is a Supporting Organization of ICANN, with the responsibility of advising the ICANN Board with respect to policy issues relating to the domain name system. The DNSO has the primary responsibility for developing and recommending substantive policies regarding to the domain name system. Additionally, the Board can refer proposals for substantive policies regarding the domain name system to the DNSO for initial consideration and recommendation to the Board. Subject to the provision of Article III, Section 3, of the ICANN bylaws, the Board shall accept the recommendations of the DNSO if it finds that the recommended policy (1) furthers the purposes of, and is in the best interest of, ICANN; (2) is consistent with ICANNís articles of incorporation and bylaws; (3) was arrived at through fair and open processes (including participation by representatives of other Supporting Organizations if requested); and (4) is not reasonably opposed by the ASO or PSO. II. Background: The DNSO was formally established in March 1999 as one of ICANNís three SOs. It was formed following extensive global discussions and communications, with the intent of trying to establish an SO that represented the stakeholders in ICANN necessary for developing and recommending substantive polices regarding the domain name system. Since its establishment, it has made three recommendations for policies to the ICANN Board involving dispute resolution, new top-level domains, and famous trademarks and the operation of the domain-name system. During this period it has also chosen four directors to the ICANN Board through two sets of elections. .With this experience with the DNSOís actual performance, it is now appropriate to review the DNSO to determine whether it is fulfilling its commitments, and whether it needs to be adjusted in order to better fulfill them. III. Review: The objectives of the DNSO Review Committee are: ∑ To review the DNSOís responsibilities and its work. ∑ To recommend making DNSO function as designed. ∑ To review and discuss this with the respective constituencies, and general assembly of the DNSO. Outlined below are sections addressing the structure of the DNSO, and specific questions on the responsibilities of the organization, and the structure. This draft attempts to consolidate comments received on draft 1.0, which was circulated to the NC-Review. The review will conclude with recommendations, if any, on how to better improve the fulfillment of the responsibilities of the organization, and whether any improvements require structural changes. The Initial Self-Assessment of the DNSO Review is due October 13th. VI. DNSO Responsibilities: The DNSO is responsible for advising the ICANN Board with respect to policy issues relating to the domain name system. The DNSOís primary responsibility is to develop and recommend substantive policies regarding to the domain name system. Additionally, the Board can refer substantive policies regarding the domain name system to the DNSO for initial consideration and recommendation to the Board. To date, the DNSO has been tasked with the following responsibilities: A. Universal Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP): Working Group A, Names Councilís review of Working Group A report, followed by the Names Council recommendation based on the Working Group Aís report to the Board and the final adoption by the ICANN Board. B. new generic Top Level Domains (new gTLDs): Working Group B and C, Names Council review of Working Group B and Cís reports, followed by its recommendations to the Board. C. DNSO ICANN Board Elections: Two elections held: 1) October 1999, choosing three ICANN Board members for 3, 2, 1 years respectively; 2) September 2000, filling the three year seat for the 1 year expired seat. ∑ To what extent has the DNSO fulfilled these responsibilities? ∑ Have the policies recommended by the DNSO represented an adequate consensus of the affected stakeholders? Have the viewpoints of all stakeholders been considered? ∑ Have the recommendations been well defined, useful in terms of being timely and being structured with a degree of specificity/flexibility appropriate to allow practical implementation? ∑ To the extent the recommendations have been adopted as policies, have they received the support of those being asked to implement them? ∑ Has the DNSO failed to address problems that have been called to its attention through the Names Council? ∑ Does the DNSO performance require improvement, and if so, how? ∑ Are the responsibilities of the components (NC, Constituencies, GA) and the relationship among them well defined? ∑ How can the DNSO minimize the amount of subjectivity and increase the amount of objective consensus building, with its current structure? With a different structure? ∑ Has the DNSO process brought expertise to the issues it has addressed? If not, how can the degree of expertise be enhanced? V. Structure: The structure of the DNSO is as follows: The NC, Seven constituencies, and the General Assembly. A. Names Council: Under the ICANN bylaws, the Names Council is responsible for the management of the consensus-building process of the DNSO. The NC consists of representatives selected by each of seven constituencies. The NC functions via a list serve, regular teleconference calls, and physical meetings in conjunction with ICANN quarterly meetings. There have been concerns that the DNSO Names Council has evolved into a generalist body. Questions below aim to address the role of the NC, and how to improve it. ∑ Is the Names Council fulfilling its responsibility to steer and manage the DNSO consensus process, or can this be improved? ∑ What are the proper expectations for the Names Council, and what is its proper role in relation to the DNSO and the ICANN Board? ∑ Should the NC take a more active role in managing the consensus-development process, for example by giving working groups more defined charters and more frequently reviewing the state of their work? ∑ How can the NC enhance the level of technical or other expertise employed in the consensus-development process? ∑ How much or little should the NC be involved in the detailed management of ICANN? ∑ Does the NC manage the policy-development process so that recommendations are reached in a timely manner? ∑ Does the existing structure work to generate consensus recommendations on domain name matters? ∑ Does the Names Council give appropriate level of consideration to the views of all affected stakeholders? ∑ The NC recommendations have been criticized as often being Ďweakí, or merely reflecting the outcome of the respective working groups. How can the NC interpret the outcome of the working groups, and formulate a better defined and stronger recommendations consistent with the consensus process? ∑ Do the NC representatives adequately communicate with their respective constituencies? Do the constituencies communicate with their NC representatives? ∑ Does the NC adequately communicate with the ICANN staff and Board? ∑ Does the NC adequately communicate with other SO Councils? ∑ After consulting ICANN staff to address details which require legal and technical expertise, does the NC review whether or not such input is sufficient? ∑ How can the NC improve the role of the DNSO under ICANN, and improve its ability to provide advice and input to the ICANN Board on domain name policy issues? COMMENTS RECEIVED on Structure: From the GA Discussion list: ∑ Some people have expressed concerns at the Constituency structure altogether. ∑ Others, while they consider that there are at the moment no practical alternatives to the Constituency structure, propose some modifications. Proposal include: the reformulation of the Constituencies, aggregating the present groups in fewer categories; to improve the representation (some groups are under-represented, some over-represented, some misrepresented); to define better the balance of power between groups (i.e. not to allow one "alliance" among some Constituencies to rule); to allow dynamic configuration of constituencies as, for instance, some provisions in the Paris Draft. B. Constituencies: ∑ Are the constituencies a correct division? Are all DNSO interests adequately represented in the existing constituency groups? Do the current divisions aggregate individuals or entities with closely aligned interests and permit the development of focused positions? ∑ Should the constituencies be reformulated by combining user constituencies? By combining provider constituencies? In some other way? ∑ Is it up to each constituency to define its relationship with NC representatives or should the DNSO/ICANN have some minimal mandatory requirements for all? ∑ What happens if an elected NC rep does not attend NC meetings, ignores constituency members? Is this up to the constituency to address, or should it be brought to the attention of the NC? ∑ Are the constituencies fulfilling their role as open and transparent channels of dialogue and discussion toward the development of community consensus? Do they allow effective development of collective positions of those with similar interests? Does this process promote the development of overall community consensus? ∑ Does the current constituency division minimize the effectiveness of the DNSO and NC? ∑ Are the constituencies adequately representing the intended members? Or are there important parts of the Internet Community that may need better representation? ∑ Should there be a constituency for individuals, and if so, how should its membership be constituted? ∑ No constituencies have been added since the original seven constituencies were recognized (provisionally) in May 1999. What should be the ongoing process for assessing whether the constituencies serving the goal of providing appropriate forums for affected stakeholder groups? COMMENTS RECEIVED: From the GA discussion on Individuals ∑ A special case is a Constituency for Individuals. ∑ There is rough consensus that such a constituency should be added, but there is divergence of opinions on whether: ∑ the Constituency should be limited to Individual Domain Name Holders or have a wider charter; is IDNO the core of the Individual Constituency, or should other groups join in; ∑ The issue of ICANN having not responded to the IDNO proposal for Constituency has been raised. C. General Assembly (GA): ∑ What should the future role of the GA be? ∑ Is the function of the GA properly defined? ∑ How can the level of participation by constituency members in the GA be improved? ∑ How can the level of participation by GA members in the GA be improved? ∑ If changes are made in the constituency structures, and possibly an individual constituency added, should the GA continue to exist? D. Working Groups: ∑ Are the working groups an appropriate mechanisms to foster consensus in the DNSO? ∑ If the NC canít find consensus in a working group report, what should be the next step? ∑ Are there mechanisms other than working groups that the NC should employ in managing the consensus-development process? For example, assigned task forces? COMMENTS RECEIVED: from the GA discussion ∑ There seem to be consensus for a WG to start, addressing at least the point of creating a Constituency for individuals. ∑ Other points raised are more controversial, and should be addressed by the Working Group. E. Secretariat: ∑ What is the relationship between the ICANN Secretariat, the DNSO secretariat, and the Constituency secretariats? VI. Other Review Questions: ∑ Have the DNSO recommendations furthered the ICANN work consistent with the provision in Article VI, Section 2(e), of the ICANN Bylaws, that the ICANN Board shall accept recommendations of the DNSO if the Board finds that the recommended policy (1) furthers the purposes of, and is in the best interest of, the Corporation; (2) is consistent with the Articles and Bylaws; (3) was arrived at through fair and open processes (including participation by representatives of other Supporting Organizations if requested); and (4) isn't reasonably opposed by any other Supporting Organization. OTHER COMMENTS RECEIVED to include in the review: From the GA discussion list ∑ It has been noticed that DNSO is in a peculiar situation, because the other Supporting Organization had already existing working structures (IETF, RIRs). ∑ The relationship between DNSO and At Large has to be defined (but this concerns probably only - or primarily - the GA). ∑ The consensus building mechanism seems to need improvement. Suggestions include: let the GA discuss of the results of the WGs before forwarding them to the NC; improve the debate in the GA (common discussion point among Constituencies). >