have the honour to bring to the attention of the conference, the annexed
Report on ITU activities related to Resolution 102: Management of Internet
names and address.
on itu activities related to resolution 102: MANAGEMENT OF INTERNET NAMES
As instructed in Resolution 102 (Minneapolis, 1998) on Management
of Internet domain names and addresses[i],
related activities have been previously reported to Council in documents
C99/51, C00/27, C00/27B, C01/EP/8,
and C02/46. Although Resolution 102 did not instruct Council to
report to the Plenipotentiary on progress, it may be helpful to do so. This
document provides an overview of related ITU
activities and developments; particularly ITU’s recent activities
related to ICANN reform and further developments after Council 2002.
The development of an appropriate framework for administration and
evolution of the Internet’s naming and addressing system has had a long
and widely debated history. The ITU’s involvement dates to 1996 when it
was requested to co-operate with an Internet Society initiative that
formed the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC)[ii]. The IAHC released a study
on generic top-level domains (gTLDs) management in the report:
“Recommendations for Administration and Management of gTLDs”[iii].
This activity resulted in the establishment in 1997 of a Generic Top Level
Domain Memorandum of Understanding (gTLD-MoU),[iv]
for which the ITU Secretary-General agreed to act as depository to
In partial reaction to this plan, the US Administration released a
“Green Paper” in January 1998 outlining a “Proposed Rule” where
the US Department of Commerce (USDOC) would license new Internet top-level
domain registries. Following public comment on this paper, USDOC issued in
June 1998 a “Statement of Policy” concerning “Management of Internet
Names and Addresses” [v],
also known as the “White Paper”, that moved away from “substantive
regulatory provisions” but defined broad principles and procedures that
it would use to transition “from its existing management role” to a
“new non-profit corporation”.
In this paper, the US Administration stated its
views on the role of governments in management of Internet names and
“the U.S. continues to
believe, as do most commenters, that neither national governments acting
as sovereigns nor intergovernmental organizations acting as
representatives of governments should participate in management of
Internet names and addresses.”
This position was a foundation of the White Paper, which called for
oversight of Internet names and addresses to be done by a new private,
not-for-profit corporation headquartered in the United States. The White Paper noted the US Administration would maintain an oversight
such time as the new corporation was established and stable, phasing out
as soon as possible, but in no event later than September 30, 2000.”
In November 1998, shortly after the adoption of Resolution 102 at
the ITU 1998 Plenipotentiary, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was
entered into between USDOC and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names
and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit corporation established under the laws
of the State of California, in the United States[vi]. ICANN’s web site says
it “is the non-profit corporation that was formed to assume
responsibility for the IP address space allocation, protocol parameter
assignment, domain name system management, and root server system
management functions …”[vii]. The USDOC MoU with ICANN
has been extended three times. The most recent extension, until 30
September 2003, was recently announced on 20 September 2002[viii].
After Plenipotentiary 1998, there were some developments with
regard to ICANN and the role of governments. In February 1999, following
negotiations between some Administrations and ICANN staff and/or its legal
counsel, an ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)[ix]
was created. Although the ITU Secretariat, after the adoption of
Resolution 102, was closely monitoring ICANN’s activities at this time,
it was not involved in or aware of the discussions that resulted in the
creation and particular legal formulation of GAC. The GAC is a body of government representatives that can, under ICANN’s
bylaws, only provide non-binding advice to the ICANN Board of Directors.
Representatives of several intergovernmental entities, such as the
European Union, ITU, OECD and WIPO, also participate in GAC meetings.
There are a number of different views among ITU Member States as to
the appropriate level of governmental involvement in management of
Internet names and addresses, particularly where there is overlap with
public policy issues (e.g. intellectual property, promotion of
competition, consumer protection, privacy, telecommunications regulation,
equitable access, country code top level domains, security, domain names
associated with cultural, ethnic, geographical and/or geo-political
units). There are also discussions as to what legal form this should take
and whether the current arrangements remain the most appropriate
framework. This suggests that reflection on the specific role of
government and their relationship with Internet technical administrative
bodies is still underway and is likely to continue to evolve in the coming
Management of Country Code Top Level Domains
A specific example where the interests of ITU Member States overlap
with management of Internet names is in the area of country code top level
domains (ccTLDs), where there are complex issues, inter alia,
related to national sovereignty, critical infrastructure
protection, security and international law. During the last few years, the
ITU has received an increasing number of enquiries and requests for
assistance concerning the delegations as well as recommended practices for
country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). While there are some ITU Member
States that, through government agencies, act as ccTLD administrators or
recognize (either informally or formally) private ccTLD administrators, in
other cases governments take a hands-off approach to ccTLD administration.
More importantly, there are some Member States, in particular
developing countries, that have had prolonged disagreements with the
current delegation and management of their ccTLD. In some cases, these
ccTLDs are operated by private entities outside the relevant country or
jurisdiction. Some guidelines have been developed in this area but to date
there has not been general wide acceptance of appropriate policies. It
should also be noted that because USDOC maintains an oversight role of
some ICANN activities, including the approval of changes in the DNS root
servers, all ccTLD administration changes require approval by USDOC[x].
Another specific example that merits close attention by ITU Member
States is ENUM[xi],
which takes numbers from the international public telecommunication
numbering plan (ITU-T Recommendation E.164[xii])
and incorporates them into the DNS for the purpose of identifying and
finding network resources. This includes the possibility of assignment of
E.164 resources to Internet Protocol (IP)-based devices. ENUM has a
potential impact on national regulatory and legislative frameworks vis-à-vis
a converged telecommunications and Internet/IP environment and therefore
deserves appropriate consideration. The development of a stable
international framework for ENUM deployment would require the assignment
of authority over elements of the E.164 number space when mapped into the
DNS, as well as the assignment of ongoing management to one or more
responsible authorities in each ITU Member State. The ITU has hosted
several consultative and tutorial workshops on ENUM.
ITU-T Study Group 2 is currently developing a draft Recommendation
to deal with certain issues related to ENUM, has published a Supplement,
and has agreed interim procedures to allow ENUM trial implementations to
Multilingual Domain Names
The deployment of non-ASCII or multilingual domain names raises a
number of complex issues, many of which are of direct concern to ITU
Member States. These include, inter alia, new top-level domains
having semantic association with politically sensitive cultural, ethnic,
geographical and/or geo-political units, technical and interoperability
issues, competition policy and market access, as well as intellectual
property and dispute resolution.
In December 2001, the ITU and World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO), in association with the Multilingual Internet Names
(MINC), organized a Joint Symposium on Multilingual Domain Names[xv]. Day
one of the Symposium was led by ITU and dealt with technology and policy
issues. Day two was led by WIPO and dealt with intellectual property and
dispute resolution issues. ITU and WIPO both provided briefing papers
available on the Symposium’s web site[xvi].
The Symposium brought together some 200 participants drawn from the
Internet and legal communities, as well as policy-makers and government
representatives. The objective was to raise further understanding of the
subject matter as well as offer an opportunity to share views on possible
Intellectual Property Issues
Resolution 102 instructed the Secretary-General to pay special
attention to the activities of the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO) vis-à-vis Internet names and addresses. In addition
to the joint activity on multilingual domain names referenced above, of
particular interest to ITU Member States is WIPO’s activities concerning
protection against abusive
domain name registrations related to the names of countries and the names
and acronyms of international intergovernmental organizations. With regard
to the former, special extraordinary measures
for country names in relation to the recently released .INFO top-level
domain have been taken by ICANN, based on a request from GAC. WIPO’s
General Assembly meeting, starting 23 September 2002,
shall consider specific recommendations from WIPO’s Standing Committee
on Trademarks for protective measures in this area.
At the request of the IPv6 Forum[xvii],
the ITU has participated in the 1st and 2nd phases
of an IPv6 Task Force with the intent to develop an action plan aimed at
ensuring the timely availability of Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6).
The ITU hosted a meeting of the 1st phase Task Force in January
2002 in Geneva. In May 2002, the ITU‑T also hosted a tutorial
workshop on IPv6[xviii].
ITU-T and ICANN Reform
At its 22 April-3 May 2002 meeting, Council discussed C02/46 and in
particular the associated Annex on "ITU and ICANN Reform". Council unanimously supported the initiative of the Director
of TSB in proposing to engage in discussions with ICANN with respect to
increasing cooperation between ITU-T and ICANN.
Council requested that the Director of TSB keep ITU Member States
informed with respect to future developments.
The Council discussion is captured in C02/92. In response to the
requests by Council, a number of actions were taken, which are reported on
Discussions in ITU-T Study Group 2
At its 7-16 May 2002 meeting ITU-T Study Group 2 (SG2) discussed
the Annex to C02/46 as well as the longer paper referenced in that Annex.
SG2 agreed the following statement and transmitted it as a liaison
to the Telecommunications Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) (COM 2-LS
52/2 Rev 1):
“There was consensus to
support the ITU's involvement in the ICANN reform process, but it is
clearly recognized that the next actions are up to ICANN.
There was also consensus that it is too early to make specific comments
on specific areas of potential collaboration between ITU and ICANN.”
Discussions in TSAG
At its 17-21 June 2002 meeting, TSAG discussed the Annex to C02/46
as well as the longer paper referenced in the Annex.
TSAG agreed the following statement (TSAG-R
“TSAG recognizes and
appreciates the support extended to the TSB Director by the 2002 session
of the ITU Council for his initiative in providing input to the ICANN
reform process. TSAG strongly
encourages the Director to continue his efforts in these matters in line
with the guidance offered by the ITU Council.”
In addition, the ITU representatives to ICANN's Protocol Supporting
following statement to the ICANN Evolution and Reform Committee (ERC):
“The PSO had originally
been set up because ICANN wanted to take advantage of getting technical
advice from a wide cross section of standards bodies.
The view of the ITU is that the PSO is serving a useful purpose but
if it is to be discontinued under the ICANN reform then ICANN should
recognize the value of their relationship with the ITU (and the other PSO
standards organizations) and should find in any new organization a way for
this relationship to continue.”
GAC Discussions in Canberra and Bucharest
A GAC meeting was held 3-4 June 2002 in Canberra, Australia.
At that meeting, the ITU representative presented the Annex to
C02/46 as well as the longer paper referenced in that Annex and summarized
the discussions that had taken place in Council and SG2.
The consensus of GAC was that further discussions should take place
concerning possible future cooperation between ICANN and ITU and that, in
particular, consideration of the role of ITU-T with respect to ccTLD
re-delegations would be appropriate.
A GAC meeting was held from 24-26 June 2002 in Bucharest, Romania
as part of the scheduled ICANN meeting. The main topic of the GAC meeting
was ICANN reform. After long discussions, the GAC issued a Statement on
Based on interpretation of Resolution 102, discussions in Council 2002
and TSAG, ITU representatives to GAC expressed some reservations with
respect to the statements issued by GAC on ICANN Reform at its Bucharest
meeting (see Annex A), as did some other GAC members. The
reservations expressed by the ITU Secretariat are reproduced in Annex A.
In its Statement, the GAC suggests changes to ICANN's mission
statement, primarily to make it clear that ICANN should focus on the
coordination of certain core technical and directly related policy areas[xxi]
and to recognize the role of governments as representatives of the public
interest. In its Statement, the GAC also recognizes that relevant
intergovernmental organizations have a valuable contribution to make in
their areas of expertise.
Recent Activities after Council 2002
ICANN's ERC has posted a number of updates of its activities after
the Bucharest meeting[xxii].
On 19 June 2002, in connection with the ICANN Protocol Supporting
Organization (PSO) plenary meeting, the Director of TSB met with Mr Andrew
McLaughlin, Chief Policy Officer of ICANN.
Discussions were positive and constructive.
It was agreed that further discussions between TSB staff and ICANN
staff would be productive and could result in agreements on specific
On 31 July 2002, in response to a number of questions, TSB staff
posted clarifications to the previously published papers on ITU and ICANN
On 9 August 2002, the Director of TSB met with the President of
ICANN, Mr Stuart Lynn, at ITU Headquarters.
The Director presented a discussion paper to Mr. Lynn.
It was agreed that it would be worthwhile to have future
discussions to explore possible ways of increasing cooperation between
ICANN and ITU-T.
On 28 August 2002, the Director of TSB met with US Assistant
Secretary of Commerce Nancy Victory in Washington, D.C.
On 29 August 2002, the Director of TSB met with the President of
ICANN in Los Angeles, California.
On 9 September 2002, TSB Staff made a presentation to CENTR, the
forum of European ccTLD operators in Vilnius, Lithuania.
On 19 September 2002, the Director of TSB and TSB and General
Secretariat staff met with representatives of governments comprising the
European Union in Bruxelles, Belgium.
TSB Circular No.125 was issued on 16 September 2002 in 6 languages
entitled “Developments with respect to Management of Internet Domain
Names and Addresses”, which provides the information on actions taken by
TSB after Council-02.
Reservations to GAC Statement on ICANN Reform
ITU Secretariat expresses the following reservations with respect to the
27 June 2002 GAC Statement on ICANN Evolution and Reform.
The ITU Secretariat notes that the statement in paragraph 1 in the
27 June 2002 GAC statement makes reference to the Communiqué of 2 March
1999. This particular reference is a statement of the national governments
present (see http://www.icann.org/committees/gac/communique-02mar99.htm)
and, at the request of the ITU in 1999, specifically excluded making
reference to intergovernmental organizations.
The issue of ICANN Evolution and Reform and the relations between
ITU and ICANN have been discussed in a number of ITU bodies, notably ITU
Council, ITU-T Study Group 2, and the ITU-T Telecommunications
Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG). While there is unanimous support
within ITU for increased cooperation between ICANN and ITU, varying views
have been expressed with respect to the best ways to increase cooperation,
with some Member States favoring continued reliance on ITU participation
in ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee and Protocol Supporting
Organization, while other Member States propose exploration of a wider
range of options for cooperation.
Because of the range of views expressed by ITU Member States on
many of the topics covered in the Statement, the ITU Secretariat must
disassociate itself from a number of the substantive conclusions made in
the GAC statement on ICANN Evolution and Reform. In particular, inter
The ITU Secretariat notes that while the GAC “shares the view”
that a private/public sector partnership is essential (paragraph 8), it
refers to ICANN as a “private sector body” (paragraph 3). The ITU
Secretariat considers that unclear boundaries between the role of the
“private sector” and the role of “public sector” as well as the
legal form and venue of ICANN, and, in particular, the role of GAC as an
“Advisory Committee”, will continue to pose fundamental structural
difficulties. For example, the Secretariat is unaware of any “private
sector body” that would have its “Core Values” and/or “Mission
Statement” subject to detailed editing by government representatives.
The ITU Secretariat considers that ICANN cannot be characterized as
a “private sector body” if its existence, particular responsibilities
and oversight is subject to ongoing oversight of a single government. On
the other hand, if a “private/public sector partnership is essential”
and a private sector body is to be chartered or mandated with certain
responsibilities by governments collectively, then in accordance with ITU
Plenipotentiary Resolution 102 (Minneapolis 1998): “it must flow from
full international cooperation” and “the role of governments is to
provide a clear, consistent and predictable legal framework”.
With respect to consensus, given that ICANN has explicitly asked
for advice, we note that telecommunications standardization and
policy-making activities have a long tradition of being based on
bottoms-up consensus-based decision making, and that this tradition
continues to guide work on IP-based networks and IP-based services in many
standardization bodies and forums.
With respect to funding, given that ICANN has explicitly asked for
advice, we note the current trend in telecommunications in many countries
towards national policies that favour market pricing mechanisms,
reductions in cross-subsidization mechanisms, and cost-based pricing.
ITU-T Recommendation E.164 titled “The
International Public Telecommunications Numbering Plan” specifies
the format and types of use of public telephone numbers.
As stated by US Assistant Secretary of Commerce Nancy Victory in
testimony to the US House of Representatives on 12 June 2002: "
The Department believes ICANN's efforts should be focused around
coordination of the core technical and directly related policy areas
initially set forth in the Department's 1998 Statement of Policy. We
agree with the majority of stakeholders that ICANN's mission must
'stay narrow.' ICANN is not, and should not become, the 'government of