IGF 2019 WS #118 Public Interest Challenges in governing Geo Top-Level Domain

Organizer 1: Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 1: Wolfgang Kleinwaechter, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Lousewies van der Laan, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Jorge Cancio, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Marianne Georgelin, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 5: Dirk Krischenowski, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Policy Question(s): 

What are the Key Public Interest Challenges in governing geographic Top-Level Domains (geoTLDs)?
What do we currently see as best practice in governing geoTLDs?
Which model is more feasible for governing geoTLDs: a private or a governmental model?
How can geographic names be protected for a reasonable use as public identifier?

Relevance to Theme: Over 60 new geographic top-level domains (geoTLDs) from allover the globe have become digital identities for cities, regions and cultural and language communities so far. The local geoTLDs like .corsica, .tokyo and .quebec complement the national country code extensions like .fr, .ca and .jp.

Relevance to Internet Governance: With the operation of geoTLDs city and regional governments have become new stakeholders in the governance of critical Internet infrastructures and services. The public and private governance models of the geoTLDs differ with the level of interaction with the place‘s stakeholders which are mainly the relevant government and private companies, but also citizens, culture, academia, science and the technical community.

geoTLDs also touch a broad range of public interest aspects, including the protection of geographic names on the Internet. More geoTLDs will be introduced once ICANN opens a new application round.


Debate - Classroom - 90 Min

Description: The issue of the proposed debate is to identify key public interest challenges (such as trust, accountability, security, geonames) and exchange best practice in governing the place’s digital home. The debate format is designed for a balanced interaction of participants from relevant stakeholders from a broad variety of countries including the audience.

The debate setting is:
1-2 participants from local governments operating a geoTLD
1-2 participants form private sector organisations operating a geoTLD
2 judges from academia, internet user community, others
1 moderator

Expected Outcomes: The debate is designed to contribute to a better understanding of the challenges in governing public geographic identifiers such as city and regional names on the Internet. This includes policy and governing aspects, intellectual property rights and economic challenges.

The debate also aims to educate what the key factors that make a geoTLD a success for the place, its inhabitants and the government.

Discussion Facilitation: 

We are going to invite a large community of stakeholder in the topic through our channels with ICANN, ISOC, city governments and others.

Online Participation: 

We would like to use the official Online Participation Platform which means live streaming.

Proposed Additional Tools: May be we use Skype/Threema/Periscope as further access and participation tools.


GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities