Preliminary Framework of the Names Policy Development Process Assistance Group
The ICANN Evolution and Reform Committee (the "ERC") has requested assistance in formulating a process for names policy development to be used within a reformed ICANN. In preparing our recommendations, we will follow the core principles laid out both by the ERC in its report entitled "ICANN: A Blueprint for Reform" (the "Blueprint") and by the ICANN Board, in its action on June 28 in Bucharest, Romania accepting and endorsing the Blueprint. These principles require a process that: (i) encourages broad, informed participation reflecting the functional, geographic, and cultural diversity of the Internet; (ii) is open and transparent; (iii) promotes well-informed decisions based on participation by affected and interested parties and, where appropriate, expert advice; (iv) ensures that those entities most affected have an appropriate role in the policy development process; and (v) encourages bottom-up policy development.
In addition, we are cognizant of the Department of Commerce's concern that ICANN's reform efforts should: (i) clarify ICANN's mission and responsibilities, (ii) reform its decision-making processes to provide for transparency and accountability, (iii) create a mechanism for a fair hearing of Internet stakeholder views, (iv) provide an effective advisory role for governments, and (v) devise an adequate mechanism for the creation of sufficient financial and personnel resources to carry out its mission.
With the above points in mind, below we offer some initial thinking on a new names policy development process for ICANN. As we continue our discussions, these general concepts will be refined and, in some cases, revised in order to develop what we hope will be an efficient and certain process that will offer transparency and accountability and that will ensure the appropriate involvement of all interested parties in the policy development process.
In preparing our recommendations, we will draw on the experience of Rita A. Rodin (chair), Marilyn Cade, Guillermo Carey, Caroline Chicoine, Bret Fausett, Jeff Neuman, Bruce Tonkin and Philip Sheppard. Each of these individuals has a long history of involvement with ICANN and its current DNSO policy development processes. They have a variety of backgrounds and perspectives on policy development, and our ultimate recommendations will take full advantage of their range and depth of expertise.
I. High Level Topics
Our work will proceed on the following assumptions:
II. Basic Framework.
The following is our current thinking on the various steps that should be included in the names policy development process. Our final recommendations will incorporate the policy development framework described in the ERC's Blueprint and will describe a detailed process and timeframe for each of these areas.
Our final recommendations will more specifically address additional areas, including the value of minority reports, impact statements, and cost analyses.
Respectfully submitted by:
Rita A. Rodin
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP