ICANN meeting – Buenos Aires, November 2013 (updated)

Maureen Hilyard – PICISOC Board Chair, Buenos Aires, Argentina

23 November 2013

The last day.. the last meeting – the ALAC Leadership Team. I have become a member of this group through my role as the ccNSO Liaison. If I had a takeaway from this meeting – something that had a significant impact on me both personally and professionally – it would be my involvement on the ALAC and the dual role I have as the ccNSO Liaison. I am expecting to be pretty busy over the next two years.  Over the past year, I have been actively involved in a load of working groups, planning committees and meetings both online and face to face, that certainly seemed to leave little space in my life for real world activities. Now that the roles are official, the time requirement seems to have doubled. Interestingly, I am a member of the Metrics Working Group which is looking at how effective volunteer participants are – on the ALAC, as ALSes and as a group in a Regional Organisation (RALOs). We are starting off with the ALAC members – 15 of us who have been elected to the ALAC by our RALOs (the ALSes in our region) or by the NomComm (a special committee that appoints volunteers to fill any gaps in various sections of the ICANN hierarchy, including a Board member).  Creating metrics to assess how well ALAC members are performing is not an easy task because in most cases, metrics are merely counts of attendance or participation… but how do you measure participation? What value does one’s participation add to the effectiveness of the ALAC as a major decision-making body of ICANN? We are currently asking ALSes to feedback what they feel is important to be measured, and how we might do this, and we are getting some great feedback (mainly from APRALO, strangely enough although I did get to meet with the RALO groups in Buenos Aires, and asked the ALSes from the different regions to pass on any contributions). This feedback is important, because what we put together will be used to evaluate the performance of people like myself who have been elected onto the ALAC to do a job – to contribute to ICANN’s decision-making process which eventually creates policy which guides the delivery of services to our domain name system. This year I have also been on a working group which has been inching its way through the policy which guides the actions of managers of country codes.  The latest paper to come out of the working group is its guidelines for the revocation of the delegation of a ccTLD guidelines (removing a manager). As a member of the ccNSO, I will be endeavouring to get more Pacific ccTLD operators to join the support organisation, and to make their voices heard in this important section of ICANN.  With Singapore as our next meeting venue in March 2014, APRALO is the host region so we have a committee of ALSes already involved in preparing for our Showcase. We had a very active group in Buenos Aires to get things started. Already a lot of Working Groups – like the Metrics team – are gearing themselves to have their results in place by Singapore. So it is back to the mines.. Whoever said that going to an ICANN meeting at an exotic venue was a holiday, has not been to an ICANN meeting. Don’t forget to apply for fellowships. We need to engage more PICISOC members, and we need more ALSes to join our Pacific team at these meetings. So get your IT groups together and fill in that application form (http://atlarge.icann.org/correspondence/structures-app.htm)

20 November 2013

We have just held our APRALO meeting – attended by the three PICISOC Board members – which began with an introduction by Vice Chair, Siranush Vardanyan, to the Armenian Association for the Disabled – both the challenges and the achievements of their group which was established during the rebuilding of Armenia following the tragedy of a major earthquake in 1988. I was able to raise my request for feedback from ALSes about measuring performance of their ALAC members, as part of the work of the ALAC METRICS Working Group that I am a member of.

My role on the WG is to liaise with ALSes to get their views on what we should be measuring, and how. Performance is an expectation that is included in Section 9 of the ALAC Rules of Procedure but we can appreciate that measuring a person who is volunteering for a particular position is something that has to be treated with some sensitivity. At the same time, as Fadi mentioned in the opening ceremony, ICANN is involved in so many things so that metrics and getting value for the funding that goes towards enabling participation in its meetings has become an important issue for ICANN.  The working group has been tasked by the Chair of the ALAC to get some metrics in place by Singapore.

A new development that APRALO has been involved in is an MOU with APNIC. The document itself was modelled on some sections of the PICISOC MOU, but it looks at how APNIC may be able to collaborate with and support the APRALO region. It was noted that APNIC does not cater for much of the Asia region – especially Armenia.

The next meeting is in Singapore and APRALO will again be the host region. We therefore will be presenting at a Showcase so an ad hoc committee set itself up to start organising the event.  Such was the enthusiasm, we are well set for Singapore, and it already looks like another busy meeting!

I attended Day 2 of the ccNSO programme and whereas yesterday’s introductory day was basically updating the ccTLD membership on the ccTLD policy development that has already been through the ALAC process, today’s session was a little more ccTLD oriented which has required me to be a lot more attentive. The first session was on capacity building activities across the different regions which covered areas that are very similar to the training needs and concerns of our own technical community although we don’t have too many ccTLD participants at our PacINETs. The second session began with a security incident involving .cr (Costa Rica) with Rosalia Morales explaining what they did to address the situation. These are her two slides that provide a plan of action in the case of a TLD being compromised.

Security Incident REACTION
Security Incident REACTION
Recommendations for other ccTLDS
Recommendations for other ccTLDS

During the lunchbreak, the OCEANIC STRATEGIC ENGAGEMENT group met with Save Vocea to discuss a strategy for developing capacity building and general outreach within the Oceania region. It was attended by Ellen, Emani, myself, Keith, Sala, Save and the Chair of the group, Criden from Nauru. Sala has offered to be the Secretariat for Criden. They will get back to us about preparations for Singapore, and will provide us with information about our first online meeting. More members welcome.

 OCEANIA team @BA 2013cr

19 November  2013

Another significant development for me within the ICANN ecosystem is that due to my role on the ALAC, I have also been designated the position of ccNSO Liaison – taking over from Cheryl Langdon-Orr who is now the Chair of the NomCom. In this role I am expected to attend ccNSO meetings as well as the ALAC which makes ICANN meeting week a very busy time for me.  The  first session today was a presentation on the voluntarycontributions for the different sized registries. For many Pacific countries (with under 5000 domains) then the cost is USD500.  Although the fee is voluntary, it is what helps to manage all of ccNSO’s services and activities.  The rest of the day was policy updates many of which come across ALAC’s table as part of the consultation process.  During the day the ccNSO group held joint meetings with ALAC and then later with the GAC at which they discussed common issues and concerns.


18 November 2013

After the Opening Ceremony, at which the Chairman of the Board Dr Steve Crocker welcomed everyone and introduced some important speakers from Argentina and elsewhere, Fadi Chehade then proceeded to tell everyone about what ICANN had achieved during his first year as CEO of ICANN.  ALAC got congratulated for its leadership training initiative and Fadi also promoted ICANN’s  online learning programme.  The rest of the day was spent attending  single sessions –  Future Challenges, Internet Governance and presenting the METRICS objectives to the North American Regional At Large Organisation (NARALO).


17 November 2013

Out and about in Buenos Aires
Out and about in Buenos Aires

It is Sunday in Argentina, and at the Buenos Aires ICANN meeting, we have myself, Emani and Ellen from the Board, with Sala, Save, Keith and Don making up a very creditable PICISOC contingent. Although this is the first day of the week, ICANN meetings including the GAC (Government Advisory Committee) and a Leadership Development workshop were held over several days last week. Meetings for me began on Saturday not long after I arrived, with two meetings with members of the ALAC (At Large Advisory Committee) and a committee that monitors the selection process for choosing Board members.

Today was  our first full day of ALAC meetings. I may not be sitting on the ALAC until the end of the week, but as I have been involved in several working groups dealing with issues about domain names and IP addresses which are ICANN’s principal concerns.  These required taking an active part in the reporting back for several ALAC working groups that I have been on. One of the working groups I am on is looking at metrics and how we can measure the performance of volunteers like myself who put ourselves forward to assist ICANN with its work globally.


Fadi and Olivier (ALAC Chair) discussing an issue with Wolf (EURALO) and Evan (NARALO)
Fadi and Olivier (ALAC Chair) discussing an issue with Wolf (EURALO) and Evan (NARALO)

Today also, we had updates from Fadi Chehade, the CEO of ICANN and Steve Crocker, the Board Chair, and a number of ICANN staff who lead major ICANN initiatives and other volunteers who lead other sections of the ICANN.  This session is a major talk-fest, but it is amazing when you consider how much happens in the 3-4 months in between ICANN’s three  meetings a year.  Fadi explained what he has been involved in during the past year since he first took up his post just after the Prague meeting. His biggest achievement has been the success of the new gTLD programme. They have signed up 100 generic top level domain names and have over a hundred still waiting to be processed.

As well as this, he is busily preparing for an important  meeting in Brazil which arose out of the Montevideo Statement which was a major focus of the IGF talks in Bali followed by a meeting he had with the Prime Minister of Brazil. This meeting will discuss the future of the internet, and looking at how ICANN can contribute to multistakeholder cooperation to ensure that the internet remains open and free.  He explained that the internet is the lifeblood of the economic development of our communities and that  because of this, the internet has risen in its importance, globally.  When South Korea was recently hit by a cybersecurity attack it suffered a loss of billion of dollars. The recent surveillance issue raised its importance due to the fear that it has engendered. The internet is at risk if users don’t trust the people who are running the internet and trying to keep it safe and open.  Such important issues need to be dealt with using the multi-stakeholder approach. ICANN must be aware of its environment, and must ensure that communities know about ICANN and how it is contributing to the dialogues to help keep the internet as it should be.  The Brazil meeting will be held around about April-May in 2014.

Waterfront restaurant area - Buenos Aires

Waterfront restaurant area – Buenos Aires

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