World Wide Alliance of Top Level Domain-names

ccTLD ICANN Meetings in Carthage

 Home | Meetings | AdCom | ccTLD | Participants 

ccTLD ICANN Meetings in Carthage, Tunisia, 26-28 October 2003

To: "Richard Francis (E-mail)" 
Cc: 'ccTLD List server' 
Subject: Joint GAC ccTLD WG / ccTLD Community Meeting - GAC Principles Paper
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 11:45:54 +0100

Richard,                cc Pablo Hinojosa, George Papapavlou, members of GAC WG4
In preparation for the proposed meeting between the GAC ccTLD WG
and the ccTLD community, I now attach a short paper produced by
George Papapavlou - explanatory remarks giving the reasons for
revision and our thoughts on some of the clauses - which might
help your members prepare for the discussion.
I would be grateful if you could circulate this to your members
(conscious that some of them will already be en route, so my
apologies that this is late being sent out).
Kind regards,
Martin Boyle
International eCommerce Policy
Department of Trade & Industry
Tel:              +44 20 7215 1812


George Papapovlou

Some explanatory remarks

    1. History

    The decision to consider revision and updating of the ccTLD principles was taken by the GAC in the Rio de Janeiro meeting in March 2003. Instructions were given to GAC WG 4 to "examine the appropriateness of an updating of the ccTLD principles of the GAC" [1: GAC Rio de Janeiro Communiqué]. At the Montreal meeting in June 2003, a non-paper on the possibility for such an updating was submitted by the WG, which argued for an updating and identified five main objectives:

    1. Adapting GAC principles to the new structure of ICANN and the appropriate role for governments, the GAC, ICANN and ccTLD Registries.

    2. Clarifying the provisions on the procedure for delegation and re-delegation of ccTLDs.

    3. Clarifying certain principles that seemed to unduly limit the scope of the GAC principles or be in conflict with national laws.

    4. Internationalising the delegation re-delegation processes, and

    5. Addressing some specific concerns expressed by GAC colleagues with regard to the current GAC principles.

    How these objectives have been dealt with is discussed under point 3 below. At the Montreal meeting the GAC accepted the non-paper in principle and "requested the WG to prepare a discussion document for consideration at the next meeting in Carthage" [2: GAC Montréal Communiqué] . A first draft of revised GAC principles is ready for consideration by the GAC in the Carthage meeting on 26-28 October. The document is not yet ready for adoption by the GAC, for two reasons: Firstly, there are still some diverging views that need to be addressed, firstly within the working group. Secondly, there is some input that may still be received from GAC colleagues, the ccTLD community and ICANN on issues like delegation/re-delegation (reassignment of delegation is the term used in the principles) or ICANN.s role with respect to performing the IANA function. Carthage will allow some further progress on these issues but realistically it may be expected that the revised GAC principles will be put to the GAC for adoption at the Rome meeting.

    2. Status of the GAC principles

    The GAC ccTLD principles are guidelines addressed to governments and public authorities, ccTLD Registries and ICANN. In this respect, they are partly beyond the scope of the GAC as an advisory body of ICANN, since they address some issues that are outside the scope of ICANN's competence. They are a good example of the new role the GAC may choose to give itself as a body that is independent of ICANN, providing advice to ICANN while talking directly with all key Internet stakeholders.

    3. How the Montreal non-paper objectives have been addressed

    3.1. Adapting GAC principles to the new structure of ICANN and the appropriate role for governments, the GAC, ICANN and ccTLD Registries.

    The preamble has been brought up-to-date with regard to the increasing importance of the Internet. The principle that most ccTLD issues should be dealt with at national level has been included. The role of governments is first mentioned in the preamble. A small history of ccTLD developments has been included in the preamble, to avoid giving the impression that the GAC principles are starting from scratch. Section 4.Role of the ccTLD Registry has been modified to reflect the ICANN ccNSO Bylaws agreed in Montreal (new clauses 4.2 and 4.9). The same applies to section 5. Role of government or public authority (new clause 5.8) and section 6.Role of ICANN (new clause 6.1).

    Clauses 4.4 (now 4.6), 4.6 (now 4.8), 5.2 (now 5.3) 9.1.9, 9.2, 10.1.2 have been modified to better reflect the different roles in the light of ccTLD experience.

    Some clauses have been deleted where colleagues have felt they did not reflect the roles of each party, in particular ICANN (clauses 8.2, 9.1.7, 10.2.5, part of clauses 7.2 , 7.4 (now 7.5) 9.1). Some clauses have been deleted because they have been considered redundant (reference to RFC 1591 in the preamble, clause 4.3 (now 4.5). Clause 8.3 referred to gTLDs and has been deleted as irrelevant to ccTLDs.

    3.2 Clarifying the provisions on the procedure for delegation and re-delegation of ccTLDs.

    Section 7 is substantially redrafted to ensure that governments may have the leading role in a delegation/re-delegation process according to national law and that ICANN receives relevant authoritative requests from governments or public authorities. Appropriate modifications have also been made to clause 8.1. The issues of governments not having the necessary domestic legal basis or not wishing to have a role in these processes, of ccTLD Registries established outside the country concerned, of legal disputes in cases of contested reassignments of delegation clearly require further discussion. The report expected from ICANN in Carthage may be useful in this respect.

    3.3 Clarifying certain principles that seemed to unduly limit the scope of the GAC principles or be in conflict with national laws.

    By referring to "delegees" rather than "ccTLD Registries" and assuming the existence of communications, although in most cases such communications have been absent, the GAC principles seemed to be able to apply to a very limited number of cases (i.e. some future re-delegations) and to disregard the legacy of ccTLDs and the legal reality of many countries. Appropriate rewording has been introduced throughout the text. References to IPRs (4.2 in the current principles) were in conflict with some countries copyright laws and rewording has been suggested to take legal reality into account while maintaining the objective of that clause (transferring of data in case of reassignment of delegation). Clause 10.2.1 concerning zone file data being continuously available to ICANN was in contravention of some countries privacy laws. A rewording has been introduced with the same objective of ensuring technical verifications of zone files.

    3.4 Internationalising the delegation re-delegation processes

    This objective mainly concerns the current roles of ICANN/IANA and the DoC implementing and approving delegations and re-delegations, respectively. A new clause 5.1 has been introduced stating the principle that every country or distinct economy has the right to have its country code represented as a ccTLD in the DNS and to designate the Registry for the ccTLD concerned. This means that eventually if an authoritative request for a delegation or re-delegation came from the government or public authority concerned and provided there were no technical problems to be resolved, it would be immediately implemented by ICANN/IANA. It seems that it is the intention of the DoC to withdraw from their .final approval. function and pass all responsibilities concerning changes in the root to ICANN/IANA before the end of the current MoU. In that case, ICANN/IANA should not have any political authority on a delegation/re-delegation. This should be with the government concerned, provided they had an appropriate domestic legal basis and the will to take on this responsibility. What should be done in case there was no such legal basis and will requires some further discussion.

    3.5 Addressing some specific concerns expressed by GAC colleagues with regard to the current GAC principles.

    Several colleagues have made detailed remarks, a summary of which is included in the Montreal non-paper. It is not possible to refer to each one of them in detail. This is done in the footnotes of the draft revised GAC principles.

    4. Some additional modifications

    Section 2. Objective of this document has been modified to reflect the updating nature of the new text, use a positive language to describe the necessary co-operation of the parties concerned and some specifications regarding the different communications, suggested by colleagues.

    Section 3. Definitions includes two new definitions, for the terms "reassignment of delegation" and "authoritative request", because these terms are used in the text and are crucial in the re-delegation process. It no longer includes definitions of "DNS", "ICANN" and "Top Level Domain", because they are considered redundant. It introduces modifications to the definition of the terms "ccTLD Registry" (rather than "delegee") and "designation", which reflect current ccTLD reality.

    5. Next steps

    Provided there are no firm objections from GAC colleagues on the revised text, this could be the basis for the new text. The GAC may choose to adopt it as it is or instruct the WG to make some additional work, for a text to be submitted for adoption in Rome. Three areas in which some further work may be useful are delegation/re-delegation (in particular procedures to be followed on contested issues and in cases of ccTLD Registries located outside the territory of the country concerned); some more detailed reference to performance requirements for the ccTLDs IANA function (reflecting the most recent agreement between ICANN and the DoC and specific requests the ccTLD Registries have made); and some best practice requirements for ccTLDs (CENTR, the European ccTLDs association, have recently adopted a code of best practice).

© ccTLD Managers
Page updated : 2003-10-24 00:36:14