[ArabICANN] ICANN's EMEA Newsletter Issue #2
fahd.batayneh at icann.org
Fri Oct 10 18:16:49 EEST 2014
Jump To: Istanbul Hub Events | EMEA News & Activities | Regional Insights | Spotlight | Upcoming Events | News Highlights
Welcome to our second edition of the EMEA newsletter
We’ve had a busy quarter, especially last month in Istanbul with various activities planned around the 9th Internet Governance Forum (IGF).
Our newsletter provides a snapshot of activities within our Istanbul hub along with highlights from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa and also a few insights into what we have been doing and why.
You will also find a special feature ‘Spotlight’ in this edition, which highlights efforts in the EMEA community and stories of successful multistakeholder collaboration designed to ensure the safeguarding of a secure, stable and resilient global Internet. This issue’s spotlight is the Lebanon Internet Center (LINC), a multistakeholder body mandated with overseeing Internet policies in Lebanon. It is the first national multistakeholder body in the Middle East launched earlier this year. LINC’s CEO shares his thoughts with us.
We hope you find our news and features engaging and, as always, we welcome your feedback.
The EMEA Team
ICANN’s Hub in Istanbul – Regional and Local Focus on Internet Activities
The opening of the Istanbul Hub marked a significant milestone in the evolution of ICANN as it spreads its operational functions across three global headquarters—Los Angeles, Istanbul, and Singapore. Since then, the Istanbul hub office and its staff have served as both hosts and conveners with events stakeholders for across all of its sectors. Additionally, the hub provides full support to the engagement offices and their staff throughout the EMEA, along with standard ICANN services in the following areas: policy development, contractual compliance, operations, registries and registrars’ services, communications, meetings, and Board support.
In our host city, Istanbul, we have been active in our outreach efforts on several levels, meeting and collaborating with members of government, business, academia, and civil society, a testament to ICANN’s commitment to the region and to its globalization efforts. Hosting and convening meetings of stakeholders from various sectors helps achieve ICANN’s engagement efforts in Turkey and the EMEA region more broadly. From meetings with researchers and scholars to planning a forum of DNS experts, ICANN appreciates the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to globalizing its services and resources for the multistakeholder community.
ICANN looks forward to expanding the Istanbul hub and further elevating its work in Turkey and the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region.
Vice President, Policy Development Support
General Manager, ICANN Regional Headquarters –Istanbul
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
Istanbul Hub Events
Meeting with law students from the Bilgi University IT Law Institute
Local Officials, ICANN President and CEO Launch .ist and .istanbul
The Municipality of Istanbul signed an agreement with ICANN for the registration of .ist and .istanbul as domain extensions. Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş and ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehade attended the signing ceremony on 2 September 2014 in Istanbul. “Istanbul will also have a central presence on the Internet via the new '.ist' and '.istanbul' domains,” said the Mayor Topbaş.
The Mayor said Istanbul was "in a position that can influence the world in many fields" and that the municipality is exerting efforts to turn Istanbul into "a hub for everything." Mentioning that few cities had their own domain names, Mayor Topbaş continued, "I believe it is a great opportunity to boost recognition of Istanbul and further expand its role as a financial hub." He emphasized that the city became the first of 81 cities in Turkey to have its own domain name.
Fadi Chehadé noted that Istanbul has managed to preserve its past while building its future. "Istanbul is a unique city and imitated by others”, Chehadé said. “It will now have more online visibility and websites will benefit from those new domain names."
Broad Multistakeholder Participation as IGF 2014 Wraps Up in Istanbul
ICANN participated <https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-3-2014-08-25-en> in this year's 9th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) <http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/> meeting in Istanbul. The overarching theme of the meeting was Connecting Continents for Enhanced Multistakeholder Internet Governance <http://www.igf2014.org.tr/about.igf.html> . This year's meeting built on previous IGFs and furthered the dialogue on Internet governance and emerging Internet issues. It also built on the success of this year’s NETmundial in Sao Paulo, Brazil and promoted its outcomes. ICANN believes that the IGF plays an effective role in fostering global multistakeholder cooperation in Internet governance and strongly supports its continuation beyond its 2015 mandate.
Key IGF 2014 statistics
· 2,374 onsite participants
· 1163 remote participants
Onsite Participation by Region
Onsite Participation by Stakeholder Group
Eastern Europe Host Country
Latin America and the Caribbean
Western Europe and Others
Briefing by the Academic Community on Multistakholder Research Projects
On 3 September, the IT Law Institute at İstanbul Bilgi University and the Harvard University Berkman Center for Internet and Society, both members of the Global Network of Interdisciplinary Internet & Society Centers (NoC <http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/research/network_of_centers> ), introduced a preliminary report of ongoing research to members of the ICANN Board, senior ICANN executives, members of the Turkish Internet Improvement Board, and other Internet stakeholders.
As an academic community, an integral part of the multistakeholder Internet governance approach, this group decided to make an academic contribution to the ongoing debate on the distributed, decentralized Internet governance ecosystem. They prepared a report based on the foundational principles of NetMundial and framework for a global, collaborative, and decentralized Internet governance ecosystem as described in the report of the Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms. http://networkofcenters.net/event/evolution-internet-governance-ecosystem
Future Activities Planned in Istanbul
Taking place on the 18th November 2014 in Istanbul, is the Turkey DNS Forum where participants from ICANN, registries, registrars, registrants, ccTLDs, new gTLD applicants, policy makers, Internet service providers, IT businesses, brand owners, and legal firms all will attend in an attempt to build bridges between interested parties in Turkey and the world's experts in these fields, to share experiences and best practices, inform the audience of what is taking place in the domain name industry at a global level, and to discuss emerging business opportunities.
The first edition of the forum is expected to be the building block for future annual forums. The purpose of an annual forum is to spread the message and introduce interested parties to the key players in the DNS industry, hopefully leading to a stronger domain name industry in the region. More details will be provided soon.
EMEA News & Activities
ICANN signed an MoU with the Ministry of Information Society and Administration. Read more here <https://www.icann.org/news/blog/macedonia-and-icann-sign-cooperation-agreement>
DNSSEC Workshop: http://dnssec-deployment.icann.org/training/AMM/
Danish IGF <http://www.fremtidensinternet.dk/> – Panel: Internet Governance – Who is in Control. Speaker – Jean-Jacque Sahel, VP Stakeholder Engagement, Europe
Southern Africa IGF <http://giplatform.org/events/saigf-malawi> - Speaker: Bob Ochieng
Demo Africa <http://www.demo-africa.com/events/event-details/demo-africa-2014> ,; Speaker: Bob Ochieng
Connect to Connect <http://extensia-events.com/events/connect-2-connect-2014> ,; - Main topic : Internetworking in Africa; Speaker: Bob Ochieng
Panel “Roundtable on Internet Governance” <http://www.chathamhouse.org/event/multi-stakeholder-model-internet-governance-developing-new-governance-model-21st-century> , Speaker: Sally Costerton, Senior Advisor to the President, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
Tunisian ICT Association Panel on “Internet Governance, present situation and new approaches”, Speaker: Baher Esmat, VP, Stakeholder Engagement, Middle East
High Level Workshop on Internet Governance <http://www.smartrwandadays.rw> , ICANN Africa team and Mike Silber, ICANN board Member will be speaking.
Government Engagement Group Activities
UN New York briefing hosted by the Polish and Mexican Permanent Missions to the UN - 40 attendees and active dialog with China, Egypt, the Philippines, Turkey and others
Lunch briefing in Geneva to all missions and most IGOs and Internet organisations - Keynote by Fadi Chehade
Paris meeting convened by SG OIF of the steering committee on Forum de la Langue Française
WTO Public Forum: Presentation on Internet and Trade by ISOC and ICANN
ICANN Regional Insights
The Internet Governance Forum: From Dialogue to Action
By Baher Esmat, VP Stakeholder Engagement, Middle East
IGF Photo Gallery:
When the Internet Governance Forum (IGF <http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/> ) came to birth nine years ago, many perceived it as a mechanism for damage control. During its first couple of years, skepticism was rife about both its continuity and its ability to address controversial IG issues. However, over time, the IGF succeeded in bringing different stakeholders closer by offering them an open space for dialogue, very much like the Internet itself, where they can debate IG related issues. It has even gone further in building bridges of trust and knowledge transfer across stakeholders.
The 9th IGF meeting was held in Istanbul, Turkey during 2-5 September 2014, bringing together more than 3,500 onsite and remote participants. This is credit to how the IGF has become a meeting point for those who are interested in the broad spectrum of Internet Governance, to come together, engage in discussions, interact with one another, and perhaps launch new ideas and initiatives. In fact, the very first IGF meeting took place the same year Twitter was created and Facebook was opened to the public. This was only eight years ago, yet the Internet has evolved tremendously since then. While one could argue that the IGF has evolved at a much slower pace than the Internet, the fact of the matter is that it is the IGF participants who have been shaping its evolution in a bottom-up, multi-stakeholder fashion, which by its very nature takes time to develop and thrive. But nevertheless, the IGF has continued to improve, particularly following the recommendations <http://unctad.org/meetings/en/SessionalDocuments/a67d65_en.pdf> of the CSTD working group on improvements to the IGF.
This year’s IGF had a lot on the agenda, covering the current affairs of Internet Governance with a wide range of topics inclusive of ICANN accountability, network neutrality, Internet rights, digital trust, empowering youth, spam, content creation, to name just a few.
Improvements to the IGF this year were manifested in many aspects that may be hard to cover in full here; but some are worth noting. In an attempt to make outcomes of the IGF more visible and tangible, the MAG Chair has put an open call for information on concrete actions and decisions taken by organizations as a result of their participation in the IGF. Feedback along with a summary document is available online <http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/documents/contributions/call-for-information> . Best practice forums have been introduced with an aim to have more informed discussions on specific topics and produce outcome documents. The IGF website has been given a facelift and become in some parts more streamlined. On the financial side, an IGF Support Association has been launched <http://www.internetsociety.org/news/new-association-launched-support-internet-governance-forum-and-its-essential-role-addressing> to support and complement existing funding, and to strengthen the IGF secretariat as well as regional and national IGFs.
As in previous IGF meetings, ICANN was present <https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-3-2014-08-25-en> in Istanbul with staff, Board, and community members organizing and taking part in various sessions. The IGF offers ICANN the opportunity to reach out to a wider community that is not regularly present at ICANN meetings. The ICANN Open Forum attracted more than 100 participants who came to hear from ICANN leadership and have a dialogue with them on any issues related to ICANN. This year, the issue of IANA stewardship transition and ICANN accountability was the subject of discussion in several sessions. A Town Hall meeting was held on Day 1 to further engage with community and clarify any points in relation to the Enhancing ICANN Accountability and Governance Process <https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-08-2014-09-05-en> . This was yet another opportunity for ICANN to listen to community members and assure them that we are taking their feedback seriously.
Statistics in the Chair’s summary <http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/documents/igf-meeting/igf-2014-istanbul/246-chairs-summary-igf-2014/file> show that almost half of the IGF attendees this year were from developing countries. Enhancing participation from developing countries and involving new stakeholders was one of the key recommendations of the CSTD working group. Obviously, IGF Istanbul has made progress in this direction. Another issue the IGF has been looking into is how to strengthen its linkages with regional and national IGFs. Such regional and national forums, particularly those in developing countries, deem the global IGF as the place where they can showcase their work and at the same time get to learn from other experiences and return home with homework to do. As one participant from Yemen told me during the meeting “there is a lot going on in Internet governance and we’ve got enormous work to do back home”. So, “action” is what the IGF community is after, and many have felt that the IGF this year was more focused on the action side of the things, or as the Chair’s summary puts it: “From dialogue to action”.
The importance of the 7th annual conference of registries and registrars in Baku this year
TLDCON-2014 was held on Sept.10-11 in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan
By Michael Yakushev, VP Stakeholder Engagement
Traditionally this conference attracts not only regional companies and organizations, but also a wider number of stakeholders and jurisdictions. This year more than 100 delegates from 24 countries gathered in Baku.
The TLDCON-2014 was preceded by a regional ENOG conference, organized by RIPE NCC. The week was packed with interesting and fruitful discussions, by both the IP/Telecom and DNS business communities, on the most current Internet issues. Naturally, discussions focused on the new technical issues and legal challenges that arise with the evolving nature of the Internet and its ecosystem; becoming more complex and more diverse.
The DNS industry, which was considered at the TLDCON-2014 as a ‘cornerstone’ of the Internet infrastructure, is heavily influenced by the nGTLDs Program, and we can see not only rapid regional development of some new domains, but also a certain decline of the growth rate of many ccTLDs, and failed expectations of the business success of other new GTLDs. This factor raised discussions on the future of the Internet, its technical infrastructure and its role in the global economic processes. Which is healthy and helps bring more awareness to the issues and processes that need to be followed in order to circumvent and overcome the hurdles faced with the growth of the Internet.
Both events (TLDCON and ENOG meeting) are important for our regional efforts to engage stakeholders, to share best practices, and to understand better regional and global trends in the development of the network infrastructure, Internet-related business, and government regulation. Events in Baku were really cross-regional: people came there not only from the region of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia, but also from different Western and Southern European Countries, United States, and Asia. There were also proposals on better integration of such regional events into the overall ICANN meetings strategy, as many ‘Regional-specific’ issues may be fruitfully discussed and solved at the regional (or cross-regional) level, saving more room for global questions of the Internet Governance at ICANN meetings.
ICANN had good presentation at the TLDCON-2014 by myself, Patrick Jones - Global Stakeholders Engagements Senior Director, and Sarmad Hussein-IDN Program Senior Manager. Issues like new GTLD Program implementation, development of the L-Root infrastructure, IDN Variants and Label Generation Panel for Cyrillic names, NTIA transition project, and forecasts for the “Internet-2020”, were covered. All such issues are among the most discussed in the local technical and business communities. A lot of commercial companies and government agencies expressed their interest to the possible new cycle of the nTLD program. Many regional companies would like to install L-Root servers for improving their global connectivity. As the official languages of many countries in the region are based on Cyrillic letters, and there may be new IDN gTLDs in the future, the corresponding technical issues should be solved as soon as possible. And, finally, any proposals for the regulation and/or technical projects should be based on the vision, what the main trends in the Internet development are now and may be visible in the future.
Further information on the conference may be found at http://meeting.cctld.ru/en/.
>From Westphalia to Sao Paulo: building our future (governance) together
By Jean-Jacques Sahel, VP Stakeholder Engagement, Europe
Evolution is happening at an exponential rate in our time. You need only remember, the Radio took 38 years to reach a market of 50 million users; Television took 13 years to reach 50 million users - and the Internet took only about 4 years to reach the same number. Today, close to 3 billion users have increasingly come to rely on Internet access to facilitate basic, everyday needs and aspirations, all over the world. In less than one generation, the Internet exploded in the number of users, mobility, data volumes, economic importance, and global reach.
These achievements are due in some significant part to the Internet’s peculiar bottom-up, multi-stakeholder model of governance which, by bringing together different stakeholders' particular remit and expertise, helped to achieve a scalable and robust Internet.
Yet, for all the progress enabled by the multi-stakeholder model we are mindful that the Internet is relatively young, and likewise is our pioneering system of governance. The very pace and magnitude of the Internet’s development has also brought with it a whole set of new challenges we have to address as we build our future Internet governance together. It is a long road ahead of us. Relying on, and improving, our decentralized, collaborative, multi-stakeholder model of governance is the best way to address these new challenges and evolve the way the Internet is governed in the future. One of the major steps in consolidating and improving the model is happening right now with the transition of oversight for the IANA functions, and the accountability & governance review that comes with this change.
It is perhaps interesting to look at what the multi-stakeholder model often gets compared to, or contrasted with: the nation-state model enshrined in the treaties of Westphalia in 1648; when the major powers in Europe agreed on a number of peace treaties aimed to end the wars that had plagued much of continental Europe for most of the century. As often, nothing happens overnight. The model did not achieve its aim of peace immediately: France and Spain were at war for another 11 years after the treaties were signed. In short, what this experience could tell us is: give peace – and multi-stakeholderism – a chance to develop.
It is incumbent on us all to engage positively and constructively towards improving our processes, and to allow for the necessary time for the model to develop and thrive – we are after all, experimenting with a model, which could solve more than just the Internet’s problems. Just over 20 years ago, Samuel Huntington famously raised the prospect of a looming ‘clash of civilizations’, of cultural conflicts. Others since – and many more recently, in the wake of the multiplication of regional and transnational conflicts – have expanded to talk about the end of the nation-state system as initiated in 1648. As we enter the 21st century and are waking to the realization of the immense benefits of the Internet - our first truly global tool of human ‘inter-connectedness’ - the multi-stakeholder model presents an interesting evolution in governance possibilities. One that could not replace, but coexist with and relieve, the nation-state system.
Over the next year, in taking forward the Net Mundial Roadmap and transitioning the USG oversight of IANA to the ‘global multi-stakeholder community’, we have a great chance - and a common responsibility: to work together to build on and reinforce the multi-stakeholder global model of governance that has permitted the Internet to serve the whole world so amazingly over the past quarter of a century. As someone stated once: ‘Internet Governance in in Your Hands’. Or as I would say, in my understated fashion: ‘the future is in your hands’ – together we can build a better and evolving Internet that serves all of our needs and aspirations.
Monetization of the Africa domain name space
By Pierre Dandjinou, VP, Africa
Domain monetization is one of the largest and most profitable online industries. Simply put, a company or an individual decides to purchase domain names either to sell, lease, or to park them with the purpose of making money. The ROI (return on investment) rate through domain monetization depends on the entrepreneur’s plans and initiative. Registries and registrars also can reap benefits through the potential of domain monetization. Why should one discuss monetization in Africa? The recently held Africa Domain Name Forum in Abuja Nigeria offered many examples of how African registries and registrars have taken advantage of new opportunities through investment and monetization. Moreover, registries feel the need to increase their customer base; hence the necessity for engaging in targeted marketing activities. The ICANN African strategy calls for a series of initiatives including capacity building that could boost the African domain name market and business. One obvious result of increased monetization of the domain name space in Africa is the potential transformation of the current ecosystem, with a total of approximately 1,200,000 registrations (out of a population of 1.2 billion). Of these, nine hundred thousand (900,000) are solely from South Africa. This alone shows how much work we need to do to fully capitalize on the domain industry. Indeed there are different methods of monetizing domain names:
· Developing Affiliate Websites
· Developing Pay Per Click(PPC) Websites , which originates from PPC advertising systems such as Google AdSense and Yahoo Publisher Network.
· Domain Parking
· Domain Leasing – Renting the domain name to advertisers or other interested parties
· Domain Purchase and Resale
· Domain Development which entails development of a website with unique content and a business model
For African registries, one way of monetizing is the development of registrar and reseller friendly TLD policies. Other avenues include the development of local content and scalable automated registry platforms as well as through the improvement of the technical and business capacity of registry operators through continuous training and packaging of domains as a service and not as a commodity.
For registrars and resellers, the reduced taxation, which has a direct impact on the overall cost of domains, should be the norm as this will lead to a reduction in the cost of registering domain names. Consequently, African Governments should also consider tax waivers for ccTLDs to promote uptake.
Marketing is another key element, which starts by the registries offering reliable and predictable service to their clients. Hence, the technical staff plays as equal a responsibility in marketing as the business staff by ensuring stable, reliable and secure registries.
Moreover, registries should look for agile and adapted payment solutions. For example, e -payment and cash payment should run in parallel. Many online payments solutions (especially PayPal) exist but have yet to be implemented in most parts of Africa.
As was noted in the Africa strategy, there is a need to build capacities for business development within African ccTLDs and registrars; issues pertaining to quality of service (QoS), and quality of experience (QoE) as well as trademarks and Intellectual property concerns should be considered and embedded within comprehensive and operational policies and procedures. In so doing, one paves the way for the advent of an African business and industry of the domain name.
The Story behind ICANN’s BCG Road show
By Chris Mondini, VP Stakeholder Engagement, Global Business and North America
The work of ICANN in coordinating the names and addresses of the Internet helps keep it global, expanding and interoperable. Furthermore, increased access to a global, expanding, and interoperable Internet is good for business and national economies. Support for this point can be found in the Boston Consulting Group’s report on E friction, “Greasing the Wheels of the Internet Economy” <https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/bcg-internet-economy-27jan14-en.pdf> .
The BCG report came out in January, and continues to resonate with governments and business leaders around the world by providing a clear roadmap of how businesses and national economies can continue to benefit by fully embracing a global, borderless Internet.
Why did ICANN commission the research? In part because much of the current reporting in global Internet governance has focused on the “doom and gloom” scenarios of an Internet fragmented or “balkanized” by a patchwork or national regulatory regimes. And in part, not much research has been done on the effect of barriers and hurdles in the online world, and the drag they have on economic growth. The E friction report has made it easier to identify the areas of friction that hold back the digital economy and at the same time has helped ICANN to emphasize the opportunities for advancement that come from making the most of the ever expanding, globally interoperable Internet.
This last point is especially useful for business users of the Internet and the Domain Name System. In conducting their research, BCG found that Small and Medium Enterprises with a robust web presence, who make the most of online marketing, sales and systems management, and who embrace cloud computing can considerably grow their revenues.
By creating an index and measuring the performance of 65 countries, BCG has provided a valuable benchmark against which future gains can be measured. But it is all predicated on an Internet that remains borderless and interoperable, hence complementing other reports that highlight the benefits of reducing or eliminating barriers to Internet access and its affect for both countries and companies.
Each ICANN-BCG roundtable gathers a mix of government officials and business leaders and takes on its own regional characteristics. A representative from a global telecommunications firm described the discussions a “crisp and brisk … full of innovative thinking and interesting people”. Another participant asserted: “the world needs to know about the risks faced by the global Internet. It is up to business to help governments understand what’s at stake”.
In creating a country index, BCG has opened the door to possible future iterations of the report to see how countries perform. In the meantime, at least one ICT ministry has reported that they will use the report as a menu of ways to work with business to improve their country’s friction score. The report has also successfully underscored ICANN’s role as a partner in a shared aim to maintain an open, scalable and interoperable Internet.
ICANN Business Engagement meeting successfully held in Africa
By Bob Ochieng, Manager; Stakeholder Engagement - East Africa
ICANN's work is crucial to the interoperability and growth of the Internet on which so many businesses depend regardless of geographical location.. Furthermore, ICANN is an open and participatory model – business advantage and useful information can be gained simply through participation. Knowing – and actually shaping – Internet policy related to the Domain Name System and other unique identifiers is a primary reason many companies participate today. But while participation has increased over the years, private sector involvement in general, especially in Africa, is minimal. This has prompted ICANN to engage this constituency to stimulate better and meaningful participation from across the world.
And so as curtain came down on the 9th global IGF in Istanbul, Chris Mondini headed to Nairobi, Kenya where he convened a business engagement roundtable.. The event was titled “Sustaining the power of the global Internet for transformative economic growth” and was designed to encourage participants to focus on the Internet as a global business resource with the potential of contributing significantly to the growth of a national GDP as evidenced by the recent report by the Boston Consulting Group on “e-friction”. This meeting was just the first of many that will be held in various parts of Africa, targeting the business sector in line with the Africa strategy.
In preparation for the Nairobi meeting, we collaborated with the Ministry of ICT, the Director General of the Kenya regulator (Communications Authority - CA) and key Telco’s and ISPs in Kenya while coordinating with the ISP Association in Kenya (Telecommunications Service Providers Association – TESPOK) and KeNIC (.KE registry) to widen our reach to the community. The two-day meeting engaged over 60 participants from two groups of business stakeholders, namely, telecommunications businesses - those involved in the ICT business including Telco’s – as well as other businesses involving banks, and the Chamber of Commerce. The mixed panel presentation areas focused on the ICANN Africa Strategy and the BCG report with a panel discussion on Business Engagement – the How & Why Engage?
It was stressed during the panel discussions that the BCG report is meant to stimulate countries and its policy makers to refocus their attention in addressing key areas of e-friction (infrastructure; industry; information; and individual) by having all parties siting on the same side of the table to deliberate.
All in all, the reception to the panels was positive with candid and constructive engagement from the attendees. The key takeaways from our panel was how to localize the data presented to better engage the African business community, and the recognition that there is definitely a need to spread this engagement through other parts of Africa.
The Lebanese Internet Center (LINC) – A Democratic Multistakeholder Governance Initiative in EMEA
By Nabil Bukhalid, CEO
The Lebanese Internet Center (LINC) is a public/private, not-for-profit organization characterized by a democratic multistakeholder governance structure (Figure 1). LINC’s strategic alliance between civil society organizations, corporations, syndicates, universities, research organizations and the government of Lebanon emanated from major and long standing gaps in Internet governance in Lebanon affecting the sustainability and growth of the Internet and more specifically the operation and business continuity of the Lebanese Domain Name Registry (LBDR).
LINC is initially responsible for the Internet’s Lebanese top-level domain (.lb ccTLD and .لبنان AIDN), including the registration of domain names, and the administration and technical maintenance of the national domain-name registry infrastructure. LINC will also promote the positive development of the Internet in Lebanon. A share of the fee that LINC intends to charge for domain name registration will be invested in capacity and community building activities and projects that promote the positive development of the Internet in Lebanon.
There are currently less than 4,000 registered .lb domains. LINC intends to file with ICANN for the re-delegation of the .lb ccTLD, apply for the .لبنان AIDN, and develop the DNS industry in Lebanon by establishing friendly, efficient, secure and competitive registration processes based on the registry/registrars business model. LINC aims to grow into the natural choice for companies, organizations and individuals that want a domain name associated with Lebanon by providing the best services to the local Lebanese market, the globally spread Lebanese diaspora and the global market at large.
The necessity for a multistakeholder body to assist in the amalgamation of different and competing interests was pinned by Fadi Chehadé, ICANN CEO, during a reconnaissance visit to Beirut in February 2013. The partners engaged in long sessions of critical thinking on governance structure outcome, impact and alternatives and, while they acknowledged that multi-stakeholder governance will introduce complex processes with insecure outcomes, they made a conscious decision that multi-stakeholder governance is a strategic and preferred option for the Internet governance in Lebanon. On June the 2nd, 15 months later, Fadi Chehadé returned to Beirut to celebrate with Lebanon the launching of LINC from the Ministry of Economy and Trade.
As the incumbent .lb registrar and one of the key facilitators in the making of LINC, I would like to share my reflections and observations on the multi-stakeholder building process:
· In a multi-stakeholder development initiative, the democratic process is as important as the outcome. Democracy is a complex and testing evolutionary process.
· The Internet is a network of complex interdependent networks at the physical, economical, political and social levels. With growing complexity and interdependence comes growing needs for collaborative efforts.
· In a multi-stakeholder development process confrontational parties develop trust relationships as a byproduct of: working together; sharing problems, concerns and dilemmas; and facilitating the exchange of information and the alignment of goals. Trust-building among the stakeholders is crucial for success.
· Engaging in multi-stakeholder governance efforts opens the way to gradually introduce multi-stakeholder practices and get them transcribed in governmental policies and regulations.
· The execution of multi-stakeholder governance requires from the partners to address the sustainability issues. The partners should secure sustainable means to finance the operation while neutralizing the power of money. I.e. since power equal money, the corporate partners’ financial might should not give them additional privilege over the NGOs, etc.
· Interest diversity is at the core of multi-stakeholder governance, the more diverse interests are; the more diverse stakeholders should be involved in order to increase the effectiveness of the process. The target is to engage all stakeholders and leave nobody out. The price to pay is that this makes collaboration more complex and difficult.
· Interest diversity in a dynamic and continuously evolving and mutating environment, such as the Internet, require a dynamic and flexible multi-stakeholder governance structure. Interests can change over time, new parties might want to enter the partnership and others might want to exit.
· The success of the multi-stakeholder process dictates utmost transparency and open communication.
· Participation in a multi-stakeholder initiative requires considerable resources and consumes a lot of time.
Key Regional Upcoming ICANN Events
Please view the ICANN calendar for a more detailed look at all events <https://features.icann.org/calendar?keys=&field_date_value%5Bmin%5D%5Bdate%5D=&field_date_value%5Bmax%5D%5Bdate%5D=&field_region_value=All&field_event_source_tid%5B%5D=19&field_event_source_tid%5B%5D=24> in the ecosystem.
Los Angeles, USA
collaboration with I* organizations to monitor Internet related resolutions and discussions at ITU PP 14 in Busan, Korea – [Government Engagement Group Activities]
Joint IIC-ISOC-London School of Economics workshop on IG evolution; http://www.iicom.org/iic-chapters/iic-uk-chapter
“The Internet Today and Tomorrow”: ICANN – NASK- Polish Government-FOSSF Workshop
RIPE 69 <https://ripe69.ripe.net/>
Workshop on building sustainable domain names business in Africa and the Middle East - Organizers: ICANN, NTRA (Egypt), AfICTA (African ICT Association).
Workshop on Investigating DNS Abuse/Misuse for Law Enforcement Agents; ICANN team participating. Organizers: Lebanese University and Ministry of Interior
Turkey DNS Forum <https://community.icann.org/display/MES/Turkey+DNS+Forum>
Registry Roadshow Workshop <https://community.icann.org/display/RH/Agenda+for+Registry+Roadshow+Workshop>
Internet Day Sweden <http://internetdagarna.se/english/> : Panel “Internet governance – who will shape the future of the Internet?” and a panel session on the new gTLDs Speaker: Jean-Jacques Sahel
Arab IGF Beirut, Lebanon - Theme: “Arab Perspective for Shaping the Future of the Internet” http://beta.igfarab.org/ArabIGF2014.jsp
ITU Telecom World 2014 <http://www.itu.int/en/ITUTELECOM/Pages/world2014.aspx> - Panel “The Next Big Internet Step: Moving to IPv6 to Enable Everything” Speaking: Baher Esmat <http://www.itu.int/net4/Telecom/webs/TelecomWorld/session/description/C-00000418/http:/www.itu.int/net4/Telecom/webs/TelecomWorld/session/description/C-00000418/>
Africa Telecom People 2014
Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
ICANN51 in Los Angeles
This could very well be one of the largest international Internet conferences of the year. The meeting is filled with interesting and engaging sessions on a wide variety of topics, such as:
· The SO/AC-Led High Interest Topic Session, which will discuss the role of government representation in ICANN
· Enhancing ICANN Accountability, which will address the issue how ICANN can remain accountable in the absence of its historic contractual relationship with the U.S. government, and the
· Community Discussion with the ICG where the IANA Stewardship Coordination Group (ICG) will discuss the transition.
Registration for ICANN51 is free – just go to https://registration.icann.org/. If you can’t attend in person, remote participation is highly encouraged – and easy to do. Just visit the online schedule and select the session you’re interested in – almost all have options for joining in from wherever you are.
ICANN News Highlights
Accountability / NTIA IANA Functions Stewardship transition
You need to be involved. All of the Accountability track information can be found here:
NMI launch in Geneva
The Initiative is being undertaken by the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with various partners including ICANN and key governmental, industry, academic and civil society stakeholders.
This collaboration will facilitate a distributed environment of effective multistakeholder cooperation through innovative and legitimate mechanisms to:
1. Help solve global Internet challenges, especially the non technical ones
2. Inform and equip capacity development initiatives to ensure global participation in Internet cooperation, especially from under-represented regions;
3. Build trust in the Internet and its governance ecosystem.
For more information: http://www.weforum.org/issues/global-internet-governance
· ICANN Approves Name Collision Occurrence Management Framework | Special IP Address (127.0.53.53) Alerts System
· Administrators of Potential Issue: http://goo.gl/vlDDMa.
· Current statistics <http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/program-status/statistics> as the applications work their way through to the Internet:
· Over 300 strings have been delegated. You can view them here <http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/program-status/delegated-strings> .
· Look here to view the “new gTLD programme” timeline <http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/program-status/timelines> .
· For more information about the GDD, follow this link: http://goo.gl/4A7wDQ.
Latest posts by Fadi Chehadé
Internet Governance is in Your Hands
Who will run the Internet and how?
The question is now galvanizing the mainstream media. Numerous stories are appearing on both the reportorial pages (i.e. WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web) <http://news.yahoo.com/wef-unveils-crowdsourcing-push-run-210507320.html> , and on the opinion pages (i.e. The Internet Power Vacuum Worsens <http://online.wsj.com/articles/l-gordon-crovitz-the-internet-power-vacuum-worsens-1410124265> ). In that context, this seems like an appropriate time to set the record straight and to correct some inaccuracies that are being spread across the media landscape.
Read More >>
An Initiative for Action
Back in May, I wrote a blog titled <https://www.icann.org/news/blog/turning-talk-into-action-after-netmundial> "Turning Talk into Action after NETmundial." In it, I promised to work tirelessly on coalescing governments, private sector and civil society to operationalize the NETmundial roadmap. I did not make this promise lightly
Read More <https://www.icann.org/news/blog/an-initiative-for-action> >>
"We Need Your Input"
Public Comment is a vital element of ICANN’s decision-making process. Here is an opportunity for all stakeholders to provide input and feedback on all facets of ICANN’s work. Find and participate in Open community discussions, review past work and browse upcoming topics. Visit https://www.icann.org/public-comments#open-public
Stay in touch!
We hope this edition gave you a glimpse into the issues at hand in our region, and our ongoing community activities to help pave the way to a sustainable multistakeholder governance enabling our Internet to stay open, secure, stable and resilient. Our newsletter focuses primarily on Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
We look forward to hearing your feedback on the newsletter, and perhaps suggestions you might have on topics of interest.
On ways to participate at ICANN, please browse here <https://www.icann.org/search/#!/?searchText=participating> .
For more information, please send an email to: emea.newsletter at icann.org.
EMEA Communications Director
ICANN Europe, the Middle East and Africa Offices
Istanbul, Turkey Hub Office
Geneva, Switzerland Engagement Office
Tel: +41 22 819 1844
Brussels, Belgium Engagement Office
Tel: +32 2 894 7400
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