Welcome to the United Nations | Department of Economic and Social Affairs

 

FINISHED COPY

 

NINTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE

INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM 2014

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

"CONNECTING CONTINENTS FOR

ENHANCED MULTI‑STAKEHOLDER INTERNET GOVERNANCE"

 

04 SEPTEMBER 2014

11:00

WS 159

 

GLOBAL PUBLIC INTEREST OF THE INTERNET 

 

 

 

***

This is the output of the real‑time captioning taken during the IGF 2014 Istanbul, Turkey, meetings.  Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.

***

 

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Good morning, everyone.  I think we should start.  And thank you very much for joining this panel.  My name is Pierre Dandjinou, V.P., stakeholder engagement in Africa.  My colleague, Nora, could not be with us.  She has to go back to the U.S. for an urgent matter, but nevertheless, we are happy to have our panelists here all around.  This panel, of course, is about the global public interest of the Internet, and our panelists are actually going to take us through some of the public interest and also introduce, well, the ICANN ‑‑ the responsibility framework, but also of course we have panelists who are going to showcase their own ‑‑ from their own personal experiences.

Of course they are up there, Nii Quaynor, from my far left, from the Cape Coast, but of course he's wearing so many hats.  He was chairing the strategy panel, who we'll be talking about later on. 

Nevine Twefik from Egypt, who is also part of the panel, and Nevine will give out some aspects of the public interest of Internet, and maybe especially what they're doing now in Egypt. 

And we have Rinalia Abdul Rahim from ‑‑ she's managing director of Compass Rose ‑‑ actually she will be on the board ‑‑ at the public meeting in Los Angeles. 

And then Titi Akinsanmi from Google, and she will be bringing her own perspective on responsibility. 

This workshop is going to discuss the issues of public interest and public responsibility, and how different organisations and Internet Governance ecosystem, how it has evolved in this respect.  Of course they've developed different approaches and some of the things that come to mind sometime is know how to define those things.  But I don't think we are here to define public interest pure say.  I was on ‑‑ per se, I was in one of the discussions and people were talking about public interest, and one comment was, well, public interest is a dangerous term.  How is it dangerous?  It means different things to different people.  But today we are going to try to focus more on the Internet organisations.

With that, what I would like to be doing right now is of course our panelists will have, you know, their own share of time, but they will have a discussion later also on what matters.  So without further ado I would like to call upon Nii to start by providing his perspective of this.  So Nii, please.

>> NII QUAYNOR: Okay.  Thank you.  Thank you very much, Pierre.  Well, we had to start by taking a look at what ICANN was doing, because we did not want to go and propose things without understanding what ICANN had been doing over the years.  So one of the first things that we did was to take a look at existing programs, especially in the regional strategies area, and from that point we observed that we could develop relevant capacity, resources and Internet infrastructure in a coordinated, comprehensive and sustainable fashion, focusing on addressing the needs of every specific region. 

The reason strategies are based on capacity building and development ‑‑ oh, okay.  Yeah.  The reason our strategies are based on the need for capacity building and development of key regions, ICANN, through the development of public responsibility department, has incorporated strategic objectives to be pursued through four primary tracks.  And the four tracks that are being explored in this first effort are education, localization and services, participation in the Internet, global cooperation and development, and next‑generation projects.

The four tracks with education, the intention is to increase access to training, capacity‑building programs, knowledge sharing and raise awareness of ICANN's rule and mandate.  With respect to localization and services, ICANN will continue to make information available in languages other than English, to facilitate a diverse and robust participation that enhances the effectiveness of the multi‑stakeholder model.

For next‑generation projects, to raise awareness and encourage the participation of the next generation in Internet Governance.  And lastly, participation in the global cooperation and development to continue to collaborate with governments, international organisations, Civil Society Organizations, and private sector to build trust and encourage participation in the global multi‑stakeholder model.

Defining the global public interest of the Internet and the work of the ‑‑ the public responsibility.  The process was first take a look at the strategy on the public responsibility framework, the meetings and the public consultations and the development of the report, and the report was released in May 2014, and since then ICANN is exploring the four areas, since the London ICANN meeting, and the goals are to develop objectives and milestones that promotes the global public interest and participation in the work of ICANN.  Propose a framework for implementation of ICANN's rule that involves the global public interest, builds capacity within the ICANN community, increases the base of that and engage ICANN stakeholders, and of course provide advice on programs and initiatives that help achieve the above objectives.

With respect to the definitions, ICANN defines the global public interest in relation to the Internet as ensuring that Internet becomes and continues to be stable, inclusive and accessible across the globe so that all may enjoy the benefits of a single and open Internet.  In addressing public responsibility, ICANN must build trust in the Internet and its ecosystem.  The current work, we did an inventory, as was mentioned, and you can find more details in the report.  We took a look at the regional strategies, all monitored from the ICANN overall goals, and of course the department work was also studied. 

The recommendations were to review and where appropriate formalize the approaches, the programming and projects serving the public interest and throughout ICANN's departments; seek out partnerships in the ecosystem that will strengthen and support ICANN's work in serving the public interest; create public responsibility programs that fall within the scope of the focus areas outlined in the framework for our report and continually review how does ICANN communicate and engage with the public and serving the public interest; establish a focused department that should review and will formally form eyes look the approaches (?) taken to ICANN department; seek out partnerships in the Internet ecosystem that will strengthen and support ICANN's work in serving the global public interest that provide funding and expertise assistance, qualified partners; create specific public responsibility programs that fall within the scope of the focus areas outlined in the framework report and continually review how best ICANN can engage and communicate with the public in relation to serving the public interest.  Considering the broad public interest and after reviewing the initiatives undertaken by ICANN, activity should continue by the departments, while the (?) would take and narrow our focus on promoting public responsibility through the formalization of activities where appropriate.  I think I'll pause here.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you very much, Nii, for introducing us to this ‑‑ this framework that ICANN can work with.  Of course we'll be discussing this in detail later on.  But let me turn over to Nevine.  You joined the public responsibility panel a while ago, but your background is from (?) sort of area.  How do you evaluate this experience and how do you visualize the progress in pursuing public interest among different organisations?

>> NEVINE TEWFIK: Thank you very much, Pierre, and good morning to everyone.  Thank you first for inviting me to this workshop and thank you for inviting me to be part actually of the public responsibility panel of ICANN.  I'm not part of the ICANN community, and when it was suggested I was wondering why are they choosing me to be part of this panel.  I was very scared.  I'm still scared.  (laughter) I don't master the jargon.  I'm not a technical person, but I thought that maybe what I can want to do at this particular phase of its development is to open up a little bit to other people from different backgrounds.  So this is what I've been trying to do in the discussions, actually, that took place in the public responsibility panel, and let me reflect a little bit on our discussions, which are actually ‑‑ have developed into what Nii has presented a moment ago.

At the very beginning, as an outsider, someone who is not really sharing the core interest of ICANN, it was difficult for me to communicate.  It was ‑‑ I was a little bit trying to become an ICANN converted, which I wasn't exactly sure what I should be doing to become converted, but I tried a little bit to know about ICANN, which is definitely a must, and then I thought that I should stick to the core interest DNS, IANA, all these issues, but I felt that in the discussions what the members of the panel were looking for is also for a fresh perspective.  How can ICANN, as an organisation, reach out to other people who were not traditionally part of its constituency or its community.  And that's why I was suggesting more and more that we don't confine ourselves to the specific corporate responsibility of ICANN but to open up more to the idea of global responsibility, where there is a large area of social activities that could be pursued if an entity is seeking to assume its social responsibility role.  And I've been trying, actually, to convey this idea throughout our discussions and I felt that there was a very strong responsiveness to this thought. 

When we talk about global responsibility it allows us actually to look at what an organisation can do from the perspective of the beneficiary and ask, and wait for the beneficiary or expect the beneficiary to seek help, assistance, and it entails actually opening the door for a whole new perspective from those who need such help.  This is ‑‑ I think it's a new policy or a new perspective for ICANN that might adopt ‑‑ it might adopt with some reservations.  I'm not really sure.  However, yesterday there was another workshop for ICANN, and I recall a comment that Dr. Kamel made about previous meetings of ICANN in Egypt, and he was ‑‑ on the first day we had a good attendance, and then on the second day there was very little people attending the ICANN meeting in Cairo, which shows that there is really a need to make the work of ICANN known more and more to other segments who could be actually interested and could be more mobilized and would have also a value added to the work that is already done.

So if we look more to the regional engagement strategies from a perspective of global responsibility and maybe open a little bit of plans, I've also heard about the different plans of the regional engagement strategies of Africa and Middle East, and Barry is here, of course, and Pierre, maybe what is needed is not just to focus on the poor, poor interest, just immediate interest of ICANN but have this immediate interest also engrained in larger development and projects.  This is an idea, opening our ‑‑ or enlarging the base of the beneficiaries to what the ICANN is doing on the regional engagement strategies. 

Nii mentioned the four programs that we want ‑‑ that ICANN is planning to focus on, and my suggestion, if we are talking about education, and of course the main technical capacity building that ICANN is offering, that this could be part not just of a programme focusing only on the technical issues, but it could also be part of a larger eLearning programme with other institutions that are working in this field, and this might lead to, of course, more benefits and more ‑‑ a better positioning for the organisation.

The same applies on the issue of fellowship and next generation programs, and I had a very specific comment about the fellowships that ICANN is offering, and I know that many of my colleagues in Egypt have benefited from these fellowships.  Actually we're very happy for that, but what is also important about that is to see how these fellows ‑‑ what they are doing with the learning experience they got out of their journey in ICANN events.  If it's possible to create a network of these young fellows who have actually attended these special events and use this network actually to bring more people on board in the different countries.

Another point relates to the participation ‑‑ global Internet cooperation and development, responsibility, transparency and accountability, and in this respect one of the things that I would like also to suggest is also the possibility of opening up to the other issues that are on the agenda, maybe a forum like the Internet government forums.  There are so many coalitions and so many international organisations involved in these coalitions.  Also embedding the programs of social responsibility of ICANN with the other programs can also made add different fruits in this respect.

Briefly, what I'm calling for is to have these social responsibility programs not acting in silo, but embed them in other programs with other regional or international organisations.  This would lead to reciprocity, opening up the mass of beneficiaries and also it might keep lead to a better or rational management of resources that are available.

I recall that one of the experiences I like to share with the ICANN panel when we were discussing the strategy was our experience in Egypt, ICT trust fund.  And ICT trust fund is a mechanism we have created and where we're having different organisation, we call them partners, suggesting different projects that would be of help to NGOs, to the masses, and these organisations can actually ask for a special agenda, and they can fund ‑‑ what they're doing actually is to bring these different organisations on board together.  So we don't have different organisations working alone, but we have them ‑‑ many of them cooperating together for a particular target, let's say using the Internet to enhance the performance of S&Es, or something we are working currently on is reforming accessibility, the reform of high‑tech labs.  So this is a very good channel that I think could be explored by ICANN.

I have other comments, but maybe I would like to stop at this point and give the rest to the discussion.  Thank you very much.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you very much, Nevine, for bringing this perspective, and especially being from Egypt you've also told what you've been achieving over there.  Thanks very much on that.  Of course there will also be a few questions, and you mentioned that we should not be acting in silos. 

One other question I would like to actually ‑‑ actually I would like Titi to discuss, is World Health Organization and Internet ‑‑ how can they forge better collaboration in the global public interest agenda.  Of course, Titi, you come from Google.  You are the ‑‑ you have the public responsibility ‑‑ social responsibility, and also you are managing relations at Google.  What's your take on this?

>> TITI AKINSANMI: Thank you very much.  I will keep it as brief as possible.  There are three key things that I think is critical if we are going to be looking at public interest from a different perspective.  One is transparency.  I think the entire ICANN needs to be more transparent.  The second thing is simplicity.  Inasmuch as we are a very complex environment and a complex structure already in place and conversations were come across as intricate, I think it's more critical for us to better understand how we can share that messaging to those who are outside the core and bring them on board.  I think that would respond to a lot more issues that have been mentioned around relevance.  Third is they need to step away from continuing replication of processes that exist elsewhere, but rather work towards more a lot of cooperation across the board.

Now, one of the things I ‑‑ if we give the example of the transition that's currently happening, one of the critical things that needs to be in place is to ensure that in identifying ‑‑ in putting together the accountability process for the IANA transition that should be separate from the accountability structures being put in place for ICANN itself.  But what ‑‑ I can also say this.  That as Google, what is more critical is that we get the transition right and not just have the transition for the sake of the transition.  Let's just get that in as well.  That's it for me.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you very much for being quick, but we'll be coming back to you in a few questions.  Rinalia, you'll be joining in a few months, but you are well‑known as an advocate for, you know, public interest and you also have this experience of managing the GKP.  What's your take on these questions?

>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Thank you, Pierre.  It is a pleasure for me to be here, and I speak completely in my personal capacity and I was invited to share some thoughts, and I have some thoughts in terms of the initiative that was presented, and also a response to the question that has been posed.

The first remark that I would like to make is that the public interest can be very challenging to define, and the process for achieving that definition requires consultation of all the affected stakeholders and all the interested parties.  Now, we are talking about the global public interest, and that makes it even more challenging, and the fact that the initiative was able to come up with a definition of global public interest, that's quite an achievement.

And I think when looking at the public interest, you have to consider the challenge of the organisation in terms of whether or not it is within scope or outside of the scope, and I think that this can be addressed by thinking about partnerships and trying to achieve a particular goal, because there are things that are within a particular scope of the organisation and there are things that are outside of it but can contribute to the success of the organisation, and through partnerships you can achieve that.

Now, going on to the question of how can organisations in the Internet Governance ecosystem forge better collaboration in the global public interest agenda, I will just draw back from my experiences in facilitating activities of sharing knowledge and building partnerships for close to a decade. 

I would say the first one is that the partners that I involved must have a shared interest in the goal, and the goal must be clear. 

Secondly, there must be a recognition of each partner's mandate and scope.  And there should be clarity of roles and responsibilities.  And ideally, there must be complementarity of strengths and resources because this will help you to have a better collaboration and to be more effective. 

Fifth, there must be open and effective communication, because this makes sure that trust is assured and there is no misunderstanding. 

Six, there must be shared risks and rewards, and rewards need not be financial, it could be recognition or attribution to be fair to the partners involved.  Seven, there must be continuous joint learning amongst the partners.  You must not be selfish about the knowledge.  Knowledge needs to be shared, and there must be continuous improvements and adjustments in the collaborative effort based on what you have learned.  Eight, you must be open to expanding the partners in the collaboration as appropriate ones emerge to achieve global scale, because we are talking about the global public interest and the scale is immense. 

And finally, you have to measure the impact and show that you have actually made a difference.  Thank you.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you very much, Rinalia, for this, and you are suggesting a few interesting areas and especially that we should bear in mind, when we promote these kinds of partnerships we need.  I think that our panelists have done well, we are keeping time, which is good.  It will give us ample time for discussion, that's what matters here.

Then what I will right now do is open up to the floor, and ‑‑ but what we are trying to do here, of course, is introduce you to the framework, of course, but we also want to share experiences, how best we can collaborate in terms of partnership.  So please feel free with your question, then just introduce yourself before you speak.  Do we also have any on‑line questions?  Great, we'll come back on that.  So please hold the mic ‑‑ the mic is at the back?  Okay.

>> CHUCK GOMES: Hi, Ahsan ‑‑ okay, thanks.  My name is Chuck Gomes.  I'm from VeriSign.  Titi, you ‑‑ I think I heard you say that you thought the IANA transition should be separated from the general ICANN accountability.  And I understand there are two separate processes.  That's not what I'm getting at.  I'm curious as to why you think that, if I understood it correctly, and also whether or not that's really possible to separate the two.

>> TITI AKINSANMI: What I have indicated is that there's a recognition that the IANA transition, the process itself is interdependent with the process to improve ICANN's accountability of the role, but in trying to achieve ICANN's accountability processes, that should be distinctly separated in terms of the mechanisms from the process that would be ‑‑ that would apply to the IANA functions.  I also wanted to be able to very much clarify how that could be in place.  A typical example is the GAC.  The GAC accountability process must be outside the GAC itself.  It must not be that the GAC is subject to an internal ‑‑ sorry ‑‑ an internal review process but rather that should be completely independent of what currently exists.  And I'm happy to have that conversation in more detail.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you, Titi.  Anyone else would like to chip in and any question or any observations?  In the ICANN framework but also with the public interest.  Okay.

>> CHUCK GOMES: Chuck Gomes again.  Somebody else?  Okay.  All right.  Public interest.  Okay.  By the way, the things all of you said, the list, was it nine or ten things that Rinalia shared, and Nii shared things like inclusiveness and stability and security.  Those are all, I think, pretty well accepted principle ‑‑ or things that we can all agree are in the public interest.  But there's ‑‑ there are also many diverging public interests, depending on what public you're talking about.  How do we distinguish between those and ‑‑ when we're looking to fulfill the public interest, not get distracted and just serving one subset of interests versus another subset of interests that may diverge?

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Go ahead.  Sorry.  Yeah ‑‑

>> ROBIN GROSS: Yes, I just wanted to have maybe a little bit of a follow‑up on this, particularly with respect to what is what does the public interest mean in the ‑‑ I'm too fast?  Okay.  My name is Robin Gross.  I'm with IP justice and the noncommercial stakeholder group at ICANN.  So going back to this issue of what is the public interest at ICANN, I think that's part of what the GNSO is set up to try to figure out where you get the different stakeholders together to talk about what the issues are, talk about what the concerns are and try to compromise and come to a consensus that everyone can agree on.  So I think that baking those sorts of transparency issues and openness issues into the GNSO process is really the way to achieve the public interest at ICANN.

My concern is that the GNSO could go through a whole process and come up with policy recommendations that it had decided were in the public interest, and then the decision ‑‑ those recommendations go up to the board and the board starts all over again with a new analysis of, well, does this recommendation meet the public interest?  And I feel like that's an opportunity to sort of reopen, rehash, incentivize lobbying, whether it's from the GAC or from a particular constituency to try to change what the community came up as being the public interest.  So I think we want to bake these important principles into the existing policy development process and that's the best way to try to achieve the public interest in the ICANN policy development process, at least.  Thank you.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you very much.  You indicated that there may be some sort of interest at some point.  But we'll come back.  Thank you.  Yes, please.

>> MICHELE NEYLON: Thanks, I'm Michele Neylon.  Speaking in my capacity as a dirty filthy registrar that helps fund the ICANN party, I have ‑‑ I have a lot of concerns about the way that ICANN staff are framing some of ‑‑ some of these things.  You know, ICANN's scope needs to be focused, it needs to be narrow, but there seems to be this kind of run‑away thing where anything and everything about making the Internet better for everybody and puppies and fluffy clouds all suddenly becomes within ICANN scope, which to be perfectly honest is ridiculous, and you really need to stop doing it, because you can't have a situation where on the one hand both registries and registrars are meant to provide a super‑duper high level of service, meet exacting standards, deal with acting as arbiters for public interest, IP intellectual rights, criminal this and that, and God knows what else, while it's also doing this in a cost‑effective manner while, in the meantime, oh, my God, we need to build up capacity in every single country in the world.  Those don't work together.  They're incompatible.  And I just don't see how on earth you can do all that.

Now, I have no issue with ICANN or anybody within the ICANN space going off and trying to get more people involved up to a point, and I have no issue with the kind of high‑level concept of education and all that kind of thing, but the question I have is, you know, at what cost?  Who's going to pay for it and where do you draw the line?  Thanks.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you very much for those ‑‑ that's important, the question.  Maybe we ‑‑ Fahd, maybe we hear from remote participation and then we ‑‑

>> FAHD BATAYNEH: Okay.  So we have a question from remote participation from somebody called Quentin.  So the question is, okay ‑‑ sorry.  So a question from Quentin.  You speak about public interest, about Internet Governance, but it's very complex.  Do you think people can understand that ICANN is organised by U.S. association and not by United Nations?  Do you think the Internet Governance structure is simple for a large public?

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Okay.  Thank you very much.  At this point maybe one of our panelists would like to respond to some of the questions and then we'll come back to the room.  Nii.

>> NII QUAYNOR: Yeah, okay.  I think Chuck is very right, that the more ‑‑ there are some things we can agree with as being clearly public interest.  But the more we move further ‑‑ not within our scope, and that's really to me where we have to be very careful, because the intention is not for ICANN to solve everybody's problem.  You know, that's not what we can do.  However, ICANN, over the years, has been called upon to do a variety of things, like fund people, provide some support for education, DNSA, so on, so forth.  So it makes sense to streamline those things as part of the goodwill that ICANN is doing.  I think that's as far as I can see.

Now, the other side is I'm very pleased that you've observed that natural fact is for the (?) to drive this public responsibility thing, okay, in the sense that that's what you do, it's part of what you do, is to find a common things that we have consensus on.  And that means that once the SOs begin to move in that direction we'll have more effective public responsibility programs, because ‑‑ not only ICANN but also the different communities.  So I think that's a very useful thing to hear, meaning that you could also adopt some of the same concepts and figure out how you want to contribute in that direction, by yourself, not by somebody pushing you but by yourself to improve things.

Now, the other thing that I can comment on is ‑‑ this is from the registrar side of things.  I think we are always hesitant going too far from where we are, and the same applies to the work that we did.  On the other hand, if you have scattered public interest, activities, a caring organisation, practically every department has some programme, it does make sense at some point to start to ‑‑ harmonize them or coordinate them, and I think that is where the concepts may be coming from.  So I'm looking to see how the registrars may also figure out for themselves what they believe is an acceptable public interest contribution on their part, and that way then it is truly bottom‑up as opposed to ICANN driving that.  So that's what I can say for now.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Okay.  Go ahead.

>> MICHELE NEYLON: Michele Neylon.  As you mentioned, registrars, and I happen to be one ‑‑ what you're saying there about drawing the line, that's all well and good, but we actually can't because ICANN will basically throw that in under discretionary spending, over which we have no control.  And that's ‑‑ it's not like you have a completely transparent assignment of all your spending.  I have a hell of a lot of leeway and pet projects and these are pet projects in the broadest sense.  So if ICANN wants to go off and fund, I don't know, some crazy project, it might be a wonderful concept.  It might not be a bad thing, but the GNSO doesn't really have any way, apart from just whining, of saying, oh, no, we don't support those, because it could be thrown in under discretionary spending.  Now, maybe I'm wrong.  I don't know, Chuck or somebody might be able to correct me on this, but I don't think I am.  Thanks.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thanks for that.  You wanted to ‑‑ please, go ahead.

>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Thank you, Pierre.  I wanted to say earlier that as a person from a developing country and as someone who has engaged ICANN in about three years, I fully appreciate the initiative out of the strategy panel because it's oriented to outreach and capacity building, because I can see how desperately needed it is.  And if you look at the definition of global public interest that the panel came up with it's floating the words "stable Internet, inclusive Internet."  Stability is within the realm of ICANN.  Inclusiveness is important because if you focus on the policy development process of the generic names supporting organisation or GNSO in ICANN itself, there was a study done looking at a sample of policy development processes where they discovered that there was virtually zero input from the developing regions, meaning Africa, Latin America, Asia‑Pacific. 

Now, there are many reasons that can attribute to but certainly lack of understanding, lack of knowledge and barriers in participation are certainly part of that equation, and initiatives such as the one that the strategy came up with is certainly needed.  And how it affects the balancing of interest that I think was mentioned by Chuck earlier and also Robin, when you play in the pool of the GNSO and you have a multitude of interests you have to balance when dealing with specific policy issues, there is a responsibility to ensure that all the interests are represented, and when there are gaps in representation, the recommendations may not necessarily be the best recommendation for the overall community.

So you can see it from either side, whether it's relevant or irrelevant.  I actually think that it can be channeled to the more relevant in terms of scope for ICANN.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you, Rinalia.  Comment from Titi?

>> TITI AKINSANMI: Yes, I had a short comment.  You recall one of my points is around replication and showing that it's not necessarily too much replication and then there's also connectivity in (?).  I think she has been specific to identify how it sits within the realm of ICANN.  When it shows is when ICANN is stepping out of its core functions, it can draw ‑‑ it can draw on the strength of the existing members to be able to ‑‑ like an extended ‑‑ to bring about some of this capacity building and educational projects. 

If I can give an example.  A lot of work that I'm currently doing in sub‑Saharan Africa as the policy lead for Google is to enable local organisations have a better understanding of the various issues that ‑‑ access to ‑‑ policies around freedom of expression, around privacy, all connect into the wider process and I think that's why throws a consistent message in there.  In general, this is a governance forum.  It's not just about ICANN, not just about IEEE, it's about whatever all the initiatives ‑‑ but it's about being able to ensure the ecosystem is connected can work together and strengthen each other. 

I've been trying to avoid this word all week but multi‑stakeholder should be not just about having all the voices at the table but ensuring there are voices able to pitch in and be strengthened where they have the most expertise and I think that's where ICANN needs to get better and I think it's a bit more aware of that fact.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Okay.  Nevine, you wanted to ‑‑

>> NEVINE TEWFIK: Thank you, Pierre.  I think that Titi has expressed what I wanted to say quite clearly.  What is meant about maybe going into capacity building and other activities that are necessary for the developing countries is not having, for instance, ICANN starting ‑‑ reinventing the wheel but maybe joining forces, not investing in very diversified directions but maybe building on existing efforts that exist and trying to harmonize or consolidate these efforts.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you very much.  One of the other questions we're having, I'd like you to react to it, which is how do public interests or responsibility programs advance because of a free and open Internet?  So anyone has any ideas to share on that question?  The question is how the public interests or responsibility programs advance the cause of a free and open Internet.  Your views.  Is that tricky enough?  Because I think we should have ‑‑ this is quite obvious but still there's a question about it, and this also came up in the cause of developing this framework.  How does this really advance the cause of free, open Internet?  The floor?  Chuck?

>> CHUCK GOMES: Thanks, Chuck Gomes again.  I hope I'm understanding your question correctly Pierre.  Correct me if I'm not.  To the extent that the public interest is, how should I say it, appropriately represented by certain organisations, I think that's an easy one.  I think we all ‑‑ those ‑‑ everybody that wants a free and open Internet, that's a public interest for us.  But there are organisations, including governments, in our world that don't want that and don't represent what may be the individual user ‑‑ maybe the individual user might want as free and so forth. 

So I guess all I'm doing, that's a reality that's in our world that we want to change, assuming that we all agree that a free and open Internet is the right way to go, which I certainly support.  But it is ‑‑ that is something we have to deal with in terms of the work that we're doing.  And I don't have any easy answers.  I suspect nobody does.  But that is ‑‑ that is a factor that affects the public interest now, governments that are very authoritarian.  I mean, they believe they're protecting the public interest, but they may not be supporting a free and open Internet.  So how do we deal with that?  I'm sure all of us would like to find a magic solution there, but it's a challenge.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you very much.  Actually there should be ways in which we really strike a balance between all of those sort of ‑‑ whatever ‑‑ the public interest.  But also we should be able to kind of think out of the box and that's why we're insisting on the whole issue of how best to collaborate on those issues.  And that's what it's all about, this framework is about collaboration.  And Titi was also right in saying that we should not be replicating and then this becomes an issue of getting focus on what we intend to achieve here.

Well ‑‑ and then, of course, this relates also to Human Rights, you know, how do ‑‑ the development and the component of it, and but then I come back to the question, who pays for all of this?  We have this question.  We haven't responded to him.  Who pays for it?

>> TITI AKINSANMI: So certainly from my perspective, a lot of the paying for it will come from ‑‑ has previously come from ICANN, but I think what has been missing is the ability to be able to independently audit, and I think you made reference to it when you said discretionary funding, and what process, or how does that happen?  I think certainly there is some value to saying that as part of the accountability mechanism and improvement that I had mentioned previously is being able to have the community actually interrogate that to a larger extent, and I think that's fair enough.

We actually submitted a very detailed document around suggestions around how we can better work as ICANN, and I'm happy to share ‑‑ I believe it should be public on the Web site, but if it isn't, like I mentioned, I'm willing to be able to identify some of these points that we've been able to share with ICANN and where we need to be able to take it forward.  Who pays for it?  If we want to see change, a lot of that change will come from us, and it will be painful at first but until we can get the conversations ‑‑ these conversations to be owned by a lot more people, the cost will continue to come from us, from us as a Civil Society, as governments who are willing to commit to it.  And I see you shaking your head very vigorously but until we can do a better job of actually communicating why it is important, it will continue to come from us.

>> MICHELE NEYLON: So why ‑‑ sorry, but I mean why should small private companies such as mine finance Civil Society and everybody else?  I mean, I have no problem with Civil Society, but I don't see why the hell I should ‑‑ but I don't see why the hell I should be footing their bill.  A global multi‑billion‑dollar corporation that wants to put money into these things and get a nice tax write‑off, fine, but I'm just saying that ‑‑ saying that we should pay for this is completely ridiculous, because at the same time you're talking about building up capacity in certain parts of the world, so you're also saying by the same token the one registrar in Morocco is meant to be financing the development of infrastructure across the rest of the continent of Africa.  Meanwhile he's trying to actually pay for hosting and provide a decent level of service while he's going head‑to‑head with always the global multi‑billion‑dollar companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter as he's eating his lunch.  The thing is we're just simply saying we're going to have to pay for it I'm afraid is rather facetious.

>> TITI AKINSANMI: I'm willing to take it quickly, but with my Google hat off, and come back to you with this.  That if you can understand the concept in trying to build your business to a sustainable level you need to be able to continue to ensure you have a very ‑‑ a wide base of consumers or customers.  You will see the sense in actually investing in it, and when you think about it it's not necessarily about just investing in places quote/unquote, because I believe that's the interest, is actually within your community as well.  If you cannot (?) within your community, certainly it can be (?).  With the Google hat on it makes good business sense.  In terms of ‑‑ might not show return on investment immediately but it makes good sense if you want to be around the next 10 years, 15 years.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: I thought our ‑‑ I'd comment on this.  Part of the work of the panel was to suggest that we should actually co ‑‑ subordinate from other partners the solution for public interest where we have common interest.  In other words, it's not for everything to fall on ICANN or, for that matter, on GNSO and so on, but to seek out who can partner on what issues so that we expand the net.  There is not ‑‑ if you remember the definition, you first point out that we're not alone.  We are in an ecosystem, different parties with different interests, maybe also with (?) programs.  So it's more a question of how do we collaborate, in some sense, to raise whatever funding is needed.  In some cases the collaboration will have to be with governments, because not all IG's are global.  Sometimes internal (?).  So the strategy is opening the door for us to find a different ‑‑

(technical difficulties)

>> ‑‑ Michele has points we need to focus on and realise.  But that's where 95% of ICANN's revenue comes from and has for many years.  Again, I'm not stating that as a complaint.  It's just a data point.  So it is important that the accountability of how those funds are used and using them for what you're suggesting from the strategic panel and so forth, in my opinion to help us do a better job of policy development is appropriates.  And now to the extent that we go beyond ICANN's mission, and several of you addressed that too, then we need, I think, to look at that, but I'm supportive of using it to help us get better involvement. 

Now, with regard to the three regions that are underserved, I don't think they said ‑‑ you can correct me if I'm wrong ‑‑ I don't think they said there was no participation, because I've been involved in too many working groups where we have had people from Asia and Latin America.  It has been much more limited with regard to Africa, although I'm involved in a working group right now where we have one of our co‑chairs, in fact, is from Africa.  So it's improving.  Long ways to go.  And so ‑‑ so I think that's ‑‑ that's a good sign.  We have some goals to improve that.  So ‑‑ so thanks.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you.  Yeah, go ahead.

>> ROBIN GROSS: Hi, this is Robin Gross again.  I just wanted to make a comment about this new development and public responsibility department at ICANN.  It's interesting that ICANN is creating this department to apparently figure out what the public interest is, but I'm ‑‑ I'm concerned ‑‑ okay, sorry about that.  I'll speak closer to the microphone.  But it's interesting because for many, many years a number of us at ICANN have been asking them to reach out to privacy commissioners and privacy data protection officers in different countries and try to incorporate their vows into the ICANN policy development process, and we've said we need a privacy officer.  We need a privacy officer at ICANN, and that hasn't happened yet. 

So I'm wondering if anyone has any idea to what extent this new department will deal with Human Rights and ICANN's obligation to respect Internet users' Human Rights, for example, the privacy rights of Internet users, and particularly with respect to the ‑‑ who is database, and we've got a workshop this afternoon with Article 29 working party and a number of other experts on privacy issues to talk about how ICANN's policy, who is policy, is in clear violation of a number of national and international legal obligations with respect to privacy rights.  So it would be wonderful if we could start to direct some attention and some concern within ICANN on actually incorporating these rights and these responsibilities into their own policies, and so I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas about this new department and whether or not that's an issue of focus or one of ‑‑ one of ‑‑ falls within one of these primary tracks that it will be undertaking.  Thank you.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you for this.  Of course we bring this up to the department, of course, this is a good suggestion.  I don't really know whether there is any programme, you know, Human Rights.  But definitely we'll convey this message to the leader of this department.  But Nii, do you want to chip in?

>> NII QUAYNOR: Okay.  I think we had advice to stay as close to the core mission of ICANN, at least in the first instance.  And the middle part was to build out of a community to the regions and the countries, was a major aspect of it.  Okay.  Now, I think a caution is where we draw the line, you know, meaning as we move away from the core mission, there may be others who do a much better job at addressing Human Rights, and we would like to work with them rather than necessarily assume the role, because I don't know where within the ICANN objectives ‑‑ I think you understand where I'm coming from.  So we support it. 

I'm sure everyone would like to make sure that Human Rights are maintained on the Internet, but we also have to be very careful because as you go out of the core mission, you have to deal with more divergent views, and it may be much more effective to kind of co‑subordinate with others who are known to address those issues and then we can collaborate with them, especially in the build‑out.  So that's how I'll react to that.

>> TITI AKINSANMI: Can I just quickly ‑‑

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Titi.

>> TITI AKINSANMI: ‑‑ just indicate I don't want to sound like a broken record, but that goes back to the same compliance and accountability, independence of accountability that would be suitable to address that particular issue as well.

>> NII QUAYNOR: This is where sometimes I differ.  I think ICANN is much more accountable to the community than most organisations.  I mean, it doesn't mean that we don't work at improving it, but we should not paint it as ICANN is not transparent and not accountable.  I think we've done a strong job and we look for ICANN to do more and we will all in some sense translate that into our individual groups to all become more accountable in the process but we should put it in the right light that over the years ICANN has become more and more accountable, maybe not yet where we want to be because it's handling a lot of issues, and more complex issues are also coming.  So I just want you to take heart that it's coming.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Okay.  Thanks for this.  Rinalia, go ahead.

>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: When you talk about Human Rights everybody starts jumping in.  Actually, Robin, I actually see the human rights issue as crucial content that is being delivered in the context of the outreach and capacity building, because I think it's absolutely important for stakeholders who are coming in the ICANN system or the Internet Governance ecosystem as a whole to have a better understanding of it to guide their participation to help make the organisation put the correct attention to the issues.  So I don't see it as appointing a particular person to be responsible for that, but actually ensuring that it cuts across and permeates the content of what is delivered with regards to this department.  I actually don't know much about this department.  I think it's quite new and it's just emerging and I think they're exploring what their scope should be and how many people should be handling it.  So I think that we may get more clarity as we get to the ICANN public meeting in Los Angeles in October.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Okay.  Thanks.  Yes?

>> AUDIENCE: I've got a question.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: We go to remote.  Go ahead.  Go ahead.

>> AUDIENCE: Cool.  My name is Gabrielle from South Africa.  Now, what I'd like to find out just that we know the status of ICANN ‑‑ in Africa, it's four or five ‑‑ but you can correct me there.  What my question is, what should be the role of this new department regarding the support and growth of ICANN registrars in Africa?

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: So your question is about how best ICANN can support, in Africa, meaning increasing numbers of them?

>> AUDIENCE: Yeah, increasing the numbers of them, because currently, I mean, the ISP model in Africa is still ‑‑ still it is (?) and there is a reputation for growth in that field.  So therefore all of this department, when you come to it, what will be its role to support that growth?

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Yeah.  Thank you very much.  Of course you are aware that ICANN is implementing what we are calling in Africa strategy, and the ‑‑ it is to, in fact, support the development of African market, for the domain name.  And this goes through different Web shop and also the restrategy to some of the best practices, you know.  We're having training, for instance, on IP, you know, rights, but those are things that ICANN is already doing, you know, within it's strategy.  Now, how do you have them grow?  We happen to have ‑‑ I think Nii here is one of those ‑‑ the registrar.  Actually we are having eight of them right now from Africa.  Maybe Nii could best elaborate on what it takes to maybe grow that market.  Please.

>> NII QUAYNOR: I'm a small registrar, but I'm not sure the answer is more, necessarily.  Sometimes the registrar from here makes that point very strongly.  What you want is strong and successful registrars, not a hundred of them.  Okay?  And they are not making money.  So that debate will go on for some time.  Okay.

Now, I think the department did not drill down to that level ‑‑ I mean, the discussion around the department did not drill down to that level, because evidently that is more GNSO interest, but the department was looking at how do we build out the community, okay?  So more people in this country or other countries participating in ICANN and then joining the different aspects of ICANN is the surest way.  And how do we collaborate with others who are very effective in setting areas that maybe we are not, okay?  So that we can collaborate with them. 

We ‑‑ I don't believe that the ‑‑ the drafters here meant that the department would want to implement everything, because to start with the department is collaborating with other departments, and where the departments don't have a full programme and it's a new programme, then this new department will mainstream it.  And the same, I imagine, will be true of the different SOs, because the department has to work through the organisations.  It can't just by itself go and do it, because they don't have the expertise.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you very much.  You want to ‑‑ is it on that, on the registrar thing?  Okay, please, and then we'll take the remote.

>> AUDIENCE: Michele, speaking as the Chair of the registrar group, since I like changing hat, with respect to the entire thing around the African strategy and registrars and everything else, we've had meetings with most of the ICANN senior execs on this.  I mean, one of the areas that we have agreed needs to be addressed is with respect to the entire accreditation process.  That's been identified as being very ‑‑ very problematic, while the Africans may wish to consider it to be a terrible problem for Africans, believe me, you're not alone.  The Europeans have issues with us because the way the entire thing was set up was from an American perspective.  So if you go to an Irish insurance company and ask them for, say, the insurance as written and described on the ICANN Web page, the most insurance ‑‑ most insurance people would look at you like you had three heads, because it's an American concept. 

I've personally met with Acrom on this as well and there was a common period about two months ago, I think it was, one of you should know, looking at this entire thing, but part of the problem, of course, is that the problem itself wasn't framed very clearly, because it's talking about a problem but without actually defining the problem within narrow enough criteria so that anybody could say, this is what we need to fix, because obviously the thing is you don't want a situation where you have just to kind of take a few boxes; instead of having five registrars you now have a hundred, but oh, wait, they're all bankrupt.  Because that's not going to help anybody.

There is work ongoing there.  One of the people within the registrar liaison team, Amy Biffins, is the main person dealing with us, and if you want ‑‑ if you want to talk to me directly about it as well, you know, I'm not that hard to find.  Thanks.

>> NII QUAYNOR: I didn't want to go in, but let me illustrate some challenges new registrars face.  When it was a handful of registries we knew what to do, put money in each registry.  And now we have a thousand registries.  Cannot go put money, 1,000, a thousand places, that would be a million dollars.  Mm‑hmm.  So the gTLD is introducing new challenges, especially for new entrants, and I don't know how we resolve it, and even EPB.  We may have to come up with a new structure that once I connect I can reach all, as opposed to having to interconnect with each one of the registries.  So there are some challenges, in that space and I'll leave it like that.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: We're actually working on that.  We do have, as you mentioned, ongoing work on the support to underserved region, and those issues are being discussed and hopefully we'll end up with some solutions.  We do have remote.  There's a question there, line, please?  Fahd?

>> FAHD BATAYNEH: It's not a question, it's actually a comment from Nora, who was ICANN's vice president for public responsibility programs.  She said, "I can't establish the department, which is the public responsibility department, to define public interest and public responsibility.  I established it to formalize the work already done in the space and build on existing efforts."  And then she goes on to say, the panel developed these definitions and gave clear recommendations on the way forward.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: I mean, this is putting focus on what we are ‑‑ we've been talking about here, which is quite good.  I think before we adjourn this I would like us to eventually share some of the experiences that we heard about what ICANN would like to be doing.  Maybe also interesting for us to share what the best, you know, example was, case, you wanted to share, you know, attempts of public interest on the Internet, arena.  So I would like to pass it over to ‑‑ if you do have any experience to share or any specific question to raise about this before we adjourn.  Okay?  Do we have anyone ‑‑ okay, at the back there, please.

>> AUDIENCE: Hi, my name is Misteri.  I'm from Nigeria.  I work with a regulator.  Can you hear me now?  Okay.  Yeah, personally I'd like to share my experience because my journey with ICANN started in 2010 when I became a fellow, and believe me, there are just a few people attending the meeting from the developing countries.  So ‑‑ but now I think there is more awareness, and ‑‑ with the setup of the ‑‑ is set up, what was it called?  Was it original meeting, the one we had in Addis Ababa, people came in and we should urge more people from the developing countries to take the advantage to join and see what we can gain from here.  Because believe me, where we started from to now I think there has been a lot of improvement.  A lot of ‑‑ for my own company, Nigeria, a lot of registrars never new Afrinic, where they could connect instead of going to foreign countries, and I think the Afrinic, the Afrinic IPV seeks training, they've been doing up and down, because they went to Nigeria two times last year and once this year.  There is more contribution and more people are now interested in the Internet, because this Internet is for everybody.  That's just my own contribution.

>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: There is a gentleman at the back of the room.  I know him as Edmond Chong and I know he has projects and programs that helped build capacity as part of their organisational public responsibility initiative.  Do you want to say something about that?

>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, Rinalia, for pointing me out, Edmond Chong from dotAsia.  Sorry I barged in and was a little bit late.  I'm kind of out of context of what we are discussing here, but from what you were just asking, I guess dotAsia supports a number of different programs, including a youth programme that we try to bring young people to the Internet Governance discussion here at IGF, but also on supporting like the ‑‑ an R&D grants fund and a digital inclusion grants fund that help fund projects that have capacity building components into it, especially leading towards both access, but not only just access, also help getting people, I guess, activated to be able to participate in the Internet ‑‑ Internet Governance discussion.  So I think that's sort of one of the threats that dotAsia tries to promote.  If I'm ‑‑ if I'm on topic that's ‑‑ hopefully I am.  Thank you.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you for this.  Of course we did hear about ‑‑ I mean, many things here.  Of course we didn't dwell into definition or concept per se.  We introduced ICANN's framework and good questions were raised.  I think some of the keys words to keep in mind is about how do we strike the appropriate balance, you know, between different, you know, public interest, and they were worried about accountability, and also openness and strategy partnership that we could build, and that's quite great.  Of course the issue surrounding Human Rights and the key question about who pays for what.  We received some kind of responses for those.  Now we would like to give some ‑‑ another second to our panelists if they want to cover anything before we adjourn the session.  So over to our panelists if you want to add anything and then ‑‑ you start, okay.

>> NII QUAYNOR: For me very brief.  I think this is a good thing.  We just have to figure out how to make it work, and we have to form the right partnerships with those who may be more appropriate for setting divergent areas.  And on the whole the more partners we have, including development organisations, the better we'll be able to build the community out.

>> TITI AKINSANMI: Okay.  Last thought.  Accountability again.  So accountability has been in ICANN.  It can get much better and I think that's why there's a lot of emphasis right now because it's seen as a critical player to ensure we don't lose the balance we are working towards around multi‑stakeholder governance of the Internet. 

Second is the continuing emphasis on finding the right set of partners to be able to help us implement a lot of the very laudable goals we have in place. 

And third and final is the fact that change is always painful, uncomfortable, but we have an opportunity to really rewrite history and move us forward, and we should make the very best of it.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Good.  Nevine?

>> NEVINE TEWFIK: Thank you, Pierre.  Nora has made quite an interesting comment pointing out that the role of this department is really to consolidate what has been taking place.  What I'm hoping for is that the efforts done on the regional level, the regional strategies would always be a strong input to the work of this department, as a bottom‑top approach.  The other thing I'm hoping for is that there will be a very clear keep your eyes to the work of the department ahead.  Thank you.

>> I only have one point to make, and it's not to summarize the session.  I just wanted to say that when we agree that the initiative will have positive spill‑over effects and will be generally good across the board, we should not be hung up over the financing issue, because there are solutions that can be found to address that.  You don't have to assume ICANN has to bear all the costs because with the right level of partnership you can actually diversify the risk of handling that cost and be able to deliver the programs worldwide.  So don't use funding as an excuse for not doing something that's considered to be good in the global public interest.  Thank you.

>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you very much, Rinalia, no excuse.  I like this.  Thanks to our panelists.  Thanks to you for your questions, contributions, and then a round of applause to our panelists who deserve this.

(Applause)

Then we adjourn this session.  Thank you. 

 

***

This is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2014 Istanbul, Turkey, meetings.  Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

 

***