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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    Government Advisory Committee (GAC) Montreal is spelled "G-A-C"
    posted by Mueller on Monday June 23 2003, @06:00AM

    The biggest story in Montreal so far is the increasingly aggressive role of the GAC in proposing and defining policy.Will this be the stamp of the Twomey era?

    The GAC is urging the Board to implement WIPO-developed policies despite the fact that no GNSO constituency supports them. (The GNSO is ICANN’s domain name policy formulating organ, for those of you who forgot) GAC representatives thoroughly dominate the WHOIS workshop program. In many cases spokespersons for government agencies have usurped the role of spokespersons for “privacy advocates.” The US Government is here in force: NTIA Director Nancy Victory, Christine Pauze (NTIA), Robin Layton (NTIA), and a US PTO representative all attended a special session allowing GNSO Council to interact with GAC members.

    As a sign of the times, the GAC has formed policy task forces on various key issues; however, it is afraid to publicly release the names of people on them knowing that they will be heavily lobbied.

    Look to the WIPO 2 issue as a portent. WIPO has decided that country names and the name of international intergovernmental organizations (like, uh, WIPO) should receive special forms of protection in the domain name space, and that ICANN (rather than an international treaty) should be used to create these new rights. The GAC spokesperson before the GNSO Council was under the impression that the ICANN Board resolution of June 2 2003 has accepted the policy proposed by WIPO and is only studying implementation. In fact, the study of implementation is meant to determine whether the WIPO 2 recommendations are a complete and utter disaster, or only disastrous in somewhat less destructive ways. As the delicate language of the Board resolution put it, the Board wants to find out “whether implementation of the WIPO recommendations would require ICANN to prescribe adherence to normative rules, not based on established laws, for the resolution of competing third-party claims to rights to register names,” and whether it would totally disrupt the UDRP.

    Aside from that, there is a general sense of unease about the impending departure of Louis Touton. It occurs at a time of turnover in the Board, implementation of new ERC structure, and the management problems associated with ICANN’s internalization of the GNSO Secretariat function. There is recognition in GNSO Council that Touton is the only one capable of providing policy support and guiding staff. There are fears of a train wreck.

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      Related Links  
  • Government Advisory Committee
  • UDRP
  • Dr. Paul Twomey
  • Nancy Victory
  • US Nat'l Telecom & Info Admin.
  • WIPO 2
  • ICANN Board resolution
  • WIPO-developed policies
  • WHOIS workshop program.
  • More on Government Advisory Committee (GAC)
  • Also by Mueller
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