Day One: At-Large: Introduction to the Empowered Community and ICANN Community Working Group reports

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The first part of the session covered the role of the Empowered Community (Presenter: Stephen Deerhake, from .as American Samoa and ccNSO council NA Region). 

The role of the Empowered Community was to replace US Government Oversight over the IANA Function with global community oversight, and also make some changes to the bylaws. The results was “ICANN 3.0”.  

EC was established as a new organization with ICANN as a California Non-profit Association, with members ASO, ALAC, ccNSO, GNSO, and GAC.  SOACs are collectively called The Decisional Participants, and EC Membership is known as the “Empowered Community Administration” (contained in Art 6 and Annex D of ICANN bylaws).

Powers of EC:

  • Appoint individual Directors
  • Approve Fundamental bylaw amendments, Articles Amendments, Asset sales
  • Reject ICANN Budgets, IANA BUdgets, operating plans and Strategic plans
  • Reject Standard Bylaw Amendments


  • Reject PTI Governance actions
  • Require actions of ICANN Board
  • Initiative Community reconsideration, request mediation or community IRP
  • Remove individual Directors (other than President)
  • Recall the entire Board
  • Take action to enforce powers and rights (including suing)


ECA activities:

  • Paperwork (Corporate Secretary on appointment/election of Board Directors, Rejection Action Petition, ICANN/PTI Budgets, Strategy Plan revisions, Standard bylaw changes
  • Hold Public Forums (involved a Fundamental bylaw change regarding Board Committees)

Two types of EC Events:


  • Election of Board members (subsequently appointed by ECA)
  • Annual budget cycles
  • Annual planning updates (Operational Plans, Strategic Plans)


  • Bylaw changes (Standard bylaws change triggers a Rejection Action Petition period) Fundamental Bylaw Change triggers an Approval Action Period
  • Any other exercise of EC Power (Remove the entire Board, Sue ICANN etc)

Approval Action

The Board requires Community Approval for the following:

  • Fundamental bylaw change
  • Asset sale
  • Articles change

Approval Action has a detailed procedure (outlined in the slides) involving an Approval Action Community Forum. Decisional Participants decide whether they will support , oppose or abstain from deciding on the Board action and they notify ECA and ICANN. The approval of 3 or more DP implies that the action stands. Otherwise the Board’s action is blocked.

Rejection Action

More complicated that Approval Action. AC/SO attempting to reject should get support from another SO/AC just to be able to submit their Rejection Action Petition. There is a 21-day time limit on the Rejection Permit. 

In general, Rejection a very complicated procedure and heavily tilted towards ICANN.

Activities since ICANN64

  • Filled up Maemura-san and Becky Burr for Seat 10 and Seat 13
  • Expiration of Rejection action periods for FY2020 Operating Plan and Budget and Updates to the 5-year Operating Plan

Upcoming activities

  • Fundamental Bylaw change is currently out for public comment
  • Two standard bylaw changes out for public comment (Relating to SSAC and RSSAC leadership structure change arising from reviews) 
  • Potential upcoming EC Public Forums at Montréal
    ALAC Presentation ICANN65 – Stephen Deerhake

GNSO Auction Proceeds

Report by Alan Greensberg on GNSO Auction Proceeds. After two years of meeting the group might default for not reaching consensus on a final report recommendations.

Cross Community Working Group on Internet Governance (CCWG IG) – Olivier Crépin-Leblond 

(with Thanks to Nigel Hickson for having taken the notes from the Group, on which this report is based)

There were 23 people in the meeting

Board members included Leon Sanchez (Chair Board Working Group on IG), Matthew Shears, Chris Disspain, Ron Da Silva, Avri Doria, Tripti Sinha, Becky Burr, Danko Jevtovic, Lito Ibarra

1. Introduction

The agenda was changed, taking report from Board WG first given other commitments of Leon Sanchez.  

2. Update on priorities for Board WG Group on IG –  Leon Sanchez, Chair of Board WG;

Leon Sanchez

Leon Sanchez welcomed opportunity for this dialogue; more important than ever. 

He noted publication of Strategic Plan with specific Goal in Operational Priorities on IG issues; namely the part   “To develop a mechanism to address emerging issues ……and share them with the community”

Want this Community Group to address these issues.  Noted the agreed “three layers approach” on Engagement remains the same. So these synergies allows us to move forward and included in goals for CEO for this FY.  So a top priority and cannot do without the Community being involved.

Importance of this Group is function not form. So we can update engagement model

Board WG should meet with the CCWG on regular basis; this helping to revitalize the group

In his intervention, Leon added that the Board do not need a single position from Community on issues, but do need to coordinate positions and not have surprises when it needs to take action.

Leon’s explanations were supported by other Board members.


Marilyn Cade:   Thanked Leon.  Well received; welcome all; but also want folks at Calls as well as these sessions; noted that legislation initiatives fall within the purview of CCWG IG but just a list is not helpful. 

We need discussion on what to do.  We have to be careful though in looking at legislation, which is complex and not all put up for serious intent.

Leon responded that the Community is a valuable resource for signaling of legislation and welcomed its analysis. Also keen to see trends emerging even in draft pieces of legislation.

Young Eum Lee – Pleased at focus on legislation. ccNSO also takes seriously, indeed they have set up a Committee in ccNSO to discuss IG issues.

Ron da Silva – So useful having experts across all 3 parts of ICANN.

Wolfgang Kleinwachter  – Happy to see pendulum swinging back; then we went a bit backwards but now emerging again; a big mistake for ICANN to be silent. We now have “cyber” and “digital” which includes DNS; so need to be involved.  At WTO they are talking about DNS. 

Several other speakers, including further Board members, supported the points made by Leon.

Olivier – Asked how proposed Charter (discussed in Kobe) fitted into this?

Leon – codification of what we are doing so to speak.  We need to focus on substance to have good interaction inter-sessionally.

Jim Prendergast – how will we foster interaction on legislation work?

Leon – has to be worked out in detail; but of course we already have mailing list for input. We can look at what would be best tools;

Olivier – we should be more interactive on list, not just at physical sessions  

Chris Buckridge – we ought to discuss substance not process.

Marilyn – we ought to have a separate process; not just a list. 

Action Item: for the group to look at other means to track each of the threads in Internet Governance. Knowledge Management is needed.

3. Update on Charter of Cross Community Engagement Group on Internet Governance (CCEG IG)

Olivier recalled positions of ccNSO; gNSO and GAC on Charter.  As a result of this and dialogue in CCWG the proposal currently on the table was to have a form of Engagement Group on Internet issues without chartering as originally proposed.  So would become a looser arrangement capable of supporting the new legislative tracking platform discussed.

Staff support will not change; re resources or activity at ICANN Sessions or inter-sessionally.

In the discussion:

Matthew Shears – logical way forward.  It frees us up; good step forward.

Greg Shatan – Glad we do not go away; we should still assume support from ICANN structures; need to focus on substance; should not worry about “shape of table”.

4. Review of CCWG IG Activities since ICANN64

Nigel Hickson briefly outlined a few issues that had been addressed in recent months:

  • ITU – Gave brief update on ITU-D sector members application, noting approval on fee-exemption basis by ITU Council last week; awaiting confirmation letter;
  • WTO Plurolateral meetings at Geneva which touch on ccTLD use and governance
  • UN CSTD – Potential dialogue on DNS, governance arrangements;
  • WIPO – Committee on Trademarks and Geographic Nanes; directly racks  

Veni – referenced work at UN, which he had referenced on Mailing List, namely in the UN Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) and Government Group of Experts on Cybersecurity (UN GGE);  

In discussion

Marilyn – IGF will post consultation on the UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and thus anyone can comment on this; strong emphasis and interest on commenting on this; she noted Implications for ICANN in the three Recommendations on Digital Cooperation; these will need to be analyses in CCWG IG; we should also flag these Recommendations to membership.  

Pablo Hinjosa – Norms discussion at IGF in Berlin

Wisdom Donkor was concerned re slippery slope to T Sector given their agenda – should this change would expect a broad consultation

Wolfgang – Agree re Norm making; working in commission on final Report ; and also good working with ICANN on this; will be delivered at Paris Peace Forum in September; will be talking to GAC on Thursday. Look forward to comments on Notm re “Protecting the public core”; would like this norm to be endorsed in a global multistakeholder way; Sessions with GAC and RSSAC.

Andrea Beccalli – Noted EuroDIG initiative for an inter-sessional project re UN Report.

Paul Rendek –  Is there enough ICANN energy being spent on collaborative issues; such as defending the IGF?

Mandy Carver – Noted how our collaborative work, for example at IGF, fits together within overall three-layer IG Strategy  

Matthew Shears – ICANN should certainly be engaged on HLP Report consultation, it is directly relevant to us;  

Theresa Swinehart – Noted Board adoption of Strategic Plan to move forward.  Part of this is to discuss trends

Nigel – gave our work in Internet Collaboration List and at OECD

5. Future Internet Governance Topics

Paul Rendek – on the future of the IGF  hope it has been a topic for some dialogue; very concerned about future; do we support or not? This has to be an I* decision;

Veni  Markovski – mentioned venue. And real support for underserved regions etc coming from Germany

Chris  Disspain – Is there a threat to the very existence of IGF because of Recommendations from UN Report  – do we have a Community view here?

Danko Jevtovic – Will Germany be bringing Ministers to IGF in Berlin, including from global south

Veni noted there would be a High Level Ministerial Session at IGF  

Marilyn – This is very important; there is a need for new thinking; we can preserve IGF with changes; doing some things better and some differently

6.  AOB

Matthew – We ought to make sure we set up the collaborative discussion space for legislation tracking before Montreal

GNSO Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) – Presentation –  Hadia Elminiawi

GNSO New gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP – Presentation – Justine Chew

GNSO Work Track 5: Geographic names at the Top Level
– Javier Rua-Jovet – Presentation

This session was to both provide a summary of the discussion on the issue of geographic names at the Top Level and reach consensus – if possible – on an ALAC position on the issues.  

Javier gave the background to the issue – the issue of geo names at the top level what is being discussed in Work Track  5 of the subsequent procedures. Work Track 5 WG is specifically looking at whether there should be changes to the existing policy on this issue – with the policy arising from the GNSO policy recommendations in 2007 and the AGB rules. 

The existing policy, there are four categories of names.  The first category – country and territory names – are unavailable as gTLDs at the top level.    The second and third categories – Capital cities and subnational place names and UNESCO regions are available but again, only with rules on necessary support/no objection to their use.

The fourth category – other geographic names – are available.

Justine provided further information on the issue of availability on the fourth category and the debate so far.

In discussion, many points of view on whether or in what circumstances the fourth category of names should be available.  The views ranged from having all fourth category names available on a first come, first served basis, to proposing that such names be available for all comers, but if an applicant clearly associated with the name subsequently wants the name, they should have some kind of right to acquire it. There was also suggestions of special rules for names associated with communities.  In the end, there was no agreement on whether there should be any change to the existing AGB policy that fourth category geo names are generally available.

Satish Babu

Reporter   Satish Babu