" ITREALMS: Civil Society calls for revisiting of GAC role

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Civil Society calls for revisiting of GAC role

THE Civil Society Caucus on Internet Governance (CSC-IG) has called for a re-visitation of the role of Government Advisory Committee (GAC) in the coordinating of Internet Governance (IG) by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Whereas ICANN handles Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions, GAC on the other hand, plays a key role within the ICANN, specifically regarding to public policy issues, as the Internet continues to expand and command greater influence within all the societies.

GAC, currently being presided over by Ambassador Janis Karklins of Latvia, recently adopted a set of general principles guiding the introduction of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), and a set of principles concerning gTLD WHOIS services.

CSC-IG also said it has advanced plans to make input into the forthcoming Global Internet Policy activities slated for Geneva, Switzerland, between May 13 and 25, this year, and called for the revisitation of the role of GAC, in just as they called for a special session on public issues relating to key elements of Internet Governance (IG).

Champion Infotel gathered that the Geneva meeting would consist of a follow-up and implementation meetings of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), just as the lead United Nations (UN) agency in-charge of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is also organising a session for the Commission on Science and Technology.

Equally, the Geneva meeting is to set the stage for the next Internet Governance Forum, scheduled for Rio de Janeiro in November this year and has been specifically billed to hold between May 23 and 25.

Additionally, IGCS called on the proposed plenary session on Internet Global Public Policy to ensure deliberation of public issues relating to key elements of Internet governance, noting that it is the first point in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) mandate in the Tunis agenda.

The group led by Adam Peake as its Coordinator, in a draft proposal sighted by Champion Infotel, noted that the agenda deals at length with the question of new global public policy issues regarding IG, “the possibility of new frameworks and structures as well as the role of existing ones evident in paragraphs 61 and 69.”

IG also expressed believe that an IGF plenary session should explore lots of begging issues in the industry, including “What is ‘public policy’ on the Internet and when do we need to use global institutions to establish it?”

They also pointed out that the Tunis Agenda (TA) distinguished between technical and public policy issues, and between public policy and the day-to-day technical and operational matters.

“What makes an Internet governance issue a ‘public policy’ issue, and what happens when policy concerns are closely linked to technical administration?” the group said.

The caucus wondered what was intended by the TA’s call for the “development of globally-applicable principles on public policy issues associated with the coordination and management of critical Internet resources and how can this goal be pursued?”

They tasked the meeting on issues of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and core Internet resources, saying, “Core Internet resources should be discussed as a main session in the IGF, but policy toward critical Internet resources were a major topic in the Tunis Agenda and the mandate for the IGF.”

Currently, the caucus said that name and number resources are being administered by ICANN and the Regional Internet Registries, stressing that this session should focus on the policy issues and policy-making processes in these institutions.

The caucus reiterated that ICANN’s status as an international organization, its representation of individual users, and the changing role of the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) within ICANN should be revisited.

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