Archive for APILP-SSIG

Prof.Amir Qayyum Guest Lecture at IIPL

Prof. Amir Qayyum, Dean of Faculty of Enginner, Capital University of Science and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan, visited the Institute for Internet Policy & Law (IIPL) and gave an Expert Lecture to the BNU JM, LLM and international exchange students on Mobile Technologies and Relevant Governance Issues on June 6, 2016. Prof. Qayyum talked about the encrytion technology process and method with the PKI to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of communications on mobile network and digital forensics to combat cyber-crimes (including lawful interception). He mentioned that the Pakistan Internet penetration by broadband is aournd 17% while the people who access to mobile data is over 60%. Mobile Internet is the real solution to digital divide and access problem in a devleoping country like Pakistan.

Prof. Qayyum also shared the experence with the Chinese at-large community with respect to the organization of the School of Internet Governance (SIG) in Pakistan. He talked about the curriculum, faculties, fudning, international cooperation and managment of the SIG of which he was on the 2015 Management Committee. The Representatives from the two ALSes, Chinese Domain Name Users Alliance (CDNUA) and At-Large @ China presented at the meeting and had the interesting discussion with Prof. Qayyum.  The discussions are helpful for the Chinese community to improve the APILP and develop the other capacity building programs in China.

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CNDUA and At-Large@China Joint Community Workshop on ICANN Proposed New Bylaws

On April 20, 2016, ICANN  published its “Proposed New Bylaws” for public comments. The Draft New ICANN Bylaws were drafted in order to reflect the changes necessary as a result of the recommendations contained in the proposals by the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) and Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) as provided to the ICANN Board on 10 March 2016 and transmitted to NTIA. Taken together, the proposals call for significant governance changes within ICANN, such as the development of new community powers, the incorporation of the reviews currently required under the Affirmation of Commitments, and modifications to key accountability mechanisms such as the Independent Review Process and the Reconsideration Process. ICANN’s Bylaws are its fundamental document and impacts all the stakeholders. The Chinese at-large community that has been actively participating the ICG and CCWG process, does mind the importance of the “constitutional” document of ICANN.

With the support of BNU IIPL, the two ICANN accredited At-Large Structures (ALSes), Chinese Domain Name Users Alliance (CDNUA) and At-Large@China, both of which are the Members of the APRALO, convened the Joint Community Workshop on May 16, 2016, 18:00-20:00 (UTC +8:00) at Law School Auditorium, Room 1922, New Main Building, Beijing Normal University. The Chair of Council of CDNUA, Prof. Hong Xue, the Director of ICANN Beijing Engagement Center, Mr. Song Zheng, and the representative from At-Large@China, Ms. Antonia Chu gave the keynote speeches at the Workshop.

Remote participation and webcasting were available at the Workshop. The Workshop was in English to enable equal participation from all countries.

Prof. Xue gave an Overview of newly added and revised contents of the proposed new Bylaws and analyzed the new power structure and its check-and-balance design. Prof. Xue then narrowed down to the key provisions in the proposed new Bylaws,  especially in Article 1, 4, 6, 16, 17, 18, 19 and relevant Annexes and analyzed the ICANN’s new mission, commitments and  core values, new accountability mechanisms and community powers as well as the series of institutional designs regarding the post-transition IANA function. Prof. Xue pointed out that the empowered community and building justice through IRPs and other accountability mechanisms would better oversee the ICANN’s administration and serve the interest of the global Internet community. Mr. Song and Antonia also shared their views in their own area of expertise and provided their comments on the potential effect of the New Bylaws  on the domain name industry and young Internet generation.

Members of CDNUA and At-Large @ China, from Beijing, London, Paris, Aberdeen and African cities, joined the Workshop and interacted with the speakers. The young members’ made the impressive comments on the ICANN’s social responsibilities. All the comments on the proposed new Byblaws were collected and will be drafted and submitted to ICANN.








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Enhancing ICANN Accountability: User Prospective

ATLAS II Thematic Group on ICANN Transparency and Accountability

Prof. Hong Xue is the co-leader of the thematic group on ICANN Accountability and Transparency at At-Large Summit II to be held at ICANN London Meeting in June 2014. The following is the write-up by theme leaders on the topics. Prof. Xue completely the first draft and made the primarily updates that is shown in the current version.


ATRT Final Recommendation #9 generally reflects the community feedback on existing appeals mechanisms and includes a set of necessary improvements. Rec.9.2 is particularly important for accountability of decision-making process and reform of appeal mechanism. It’s suggested to form a Stakeholder Group Committee to examine the options to restructure the current Board reconsideration process and the Independent Review Process (IRP).

However, it is unclear whether Board reconsideration process and the IRP  will remain the only or the  “final” appeal channel available for reviewing other appeals decisions, either from internal bodies or outside service providers, especially in the various gTLDs and ccTLDs processes. For example, will improved appeals mechanisms take into account  the processing of reconsideration requests and objections on decisions made in the new gTLD program by ICANN or its dispute resolution providers,  or will it apply to a review procedure for decisions made in IDN ccTLD program, for issues such as string similarity.

In the long run, enhancement of accountability depends on the improvement and development of mechanisms in three correlated areas, namely (1) institutional transparency, particularly in the decision-making process; (2) check and balance through duly separation of powers, especially after the transition of stewardship of IANA function; and (3) effective and efficient appeal system, within or outside ICANN, including the external final appeal system to “judicially” supervise the decision of ICANN Board and its members, like the constitutional court.

As we have not seen what the Board intends to do about recommendation 9.2  it is good to be cautious.  But if the Board and ICANN staff do honor the suggestion for a community wide discussion of ICANN accountability and appeals, then At-large needs a strategy for contributing to that and needs to begin substantive work on identifying the features required in a well formed ICANN appeals process.  In developing accountability and transparency mechanisms, from a At-Large perspective,  discussion needs to extend to all of the At-Large Structures (ALS) so that they can contribute from the diversity of global user experience on accountability and transparency and access to appeals mechanisms, that only At-Large can bring to ICANN.

Questions raised by the community:

  1. What sort of appeals mechanisms does ICANN need? Does ICANN need to a final appeal mechanism to supervise the Board and its (paid) members?
  2. Is the soft bottom-up oversight offered by the AOC adequate or does ICANN need some other form of oversight, especially in this time of IANA stewardship transition?
  3. How can the AOC process and current Accountability and Transparency measures be improved?
  4. Do you agree with Transparency by default for an organization like ICANN?  Should all issues that are not treated with full transparency be logged as such with a description of why Transparency was not appropriate treatment for the issue?  Should there be a time limit on items that are deemed secret?
  5. Does ICANN need a yearly Transparency audit? Why or why not?

Questions raised by ICANN for enhancement of accountability:

  1.  What issues does the community identify as being core to strengthening ICANN’s overall accountability in the absence of its historical contractual relationship to the U.S. Government?
  2.  What should be the guiding principles to ensure that the notion of accountability is understood and accepted globally? What are the consequences if the ICANN Board is not being accountable to the community?
  3.  Do the Affirmation of Commitments and the values expressed therein need to evolve to support global acceptance of ICANN’s accountability and so, how?
  4.  What are the means by which the Community is assured that ICANN is  meeting its accountability commitments?
  5.  Are there other mechanisms that would better ensure that ICANN lives up to its commitments?

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Chinese Multi-Stakeholder Meeting on IANA Transition ICANN政策中文社群研讨会






The Consensus Statement formed at the Meeting has been submitted to ICANN.

Issue:  Draft Proposal, Based on Initial Community Feedback, of the Principles and Mechanisms and the Process to Develop a Proposal to Transition NTIA’s Stewardship of the IANA Functions.

Date:  6 May 2014

Public Comment Announcement URL:

 In response to the ICANN’s call for the Public Comment on Transition of Stewardship of IANA, Internet Domain Name System Beijing Engineering Research Center (ZDNS), Beijing Internet Institution (BII) and Beijing Normal University Institute for Internet Policy & Law (IIPL) hosted a Chinese Internet Community multi-stakeholder meeting on May 5th, where technical community, TLD registries, civil society, academic, private sector, and government and other stakeholders came together to discuss the views of Chinese community on the principles, mechanisms and processes of the transition as well as the ICANN recently published proposal on IANA Transition.

Based on the input and opinions from experts, scholars and representatives from relevant parties and organizations at the meeting, our comments may be  summarized as follows:

  1. Comments on the proposed multi-stakeholder model of transition
  2. Comments on Involvement of the Global Communities
  3. Comments on Mechanisms to ensure Accountability

Comments on the proposed multi-stakeholder model of transition

We strongly agree to the proposed multi-stakeholder model of transition, which shall optimize the Internet governance. However, we do think the model should be more specific, including who exactly the stakeholders are; the whole structure of the multi-stakeholder; if government is eligible to participate, to what extent can it be involved; if Internet companies are eligible to participated and have the right to input; how many members will the multi-stakeholder be; if they can represent the interest of majority of Internet community; what the decision–making process will be, by voting or any other way. The outline of the multi-stakeholder model is expected to be published soon.

 Comments on Involvement of the Global Communities

Under current governance model of ICANN, representatives from developed countries are the majority, which is theoretically against the openness of the Internet. We strongly suggest that regional balance and diversity should be enhanced by creating new process and mechanism to involve more relevant governors, representatives from different communities. Besides, customized communication channels should also be provided for experts, scholars and representatives to deliver their opinions to the new takeover party of current IANA functions, so that relevant parties can participate in the whole process of decision making. What’s more, the members of IANA function transition steering group should include more representatives from Asia-pacific region. With respect to Chinese Internet community, we do call ICANN’s special attention that more and more direct customers and partners of IANA function (e.g. hundreds of new gTLD registries) are emerging and are worthy ICANN of more effective engagement efforts and participation opportunities.

Comments on Mechanisms to ensure Accountability

If the key Internet domain name functions are going to be transferred to ICANN, the transition should begin with clarification of the NTIA’s oversight role that it’s been playing. Corresponding accountability mechanism should be established profoundly so that ICANN is able to function properly and serve the whole Internet community. Concerning the unpredictable issues that may arise, an accountability mechanism is imperative to supervise ICANN and urge ICANN to make amendments and adjustments. Therefore, a sound and responsible accountability mechanism should be put in place during the process of transition to prevent any disorder of key Internet domain name functions. Instead of conducting the badly needed reform and improvement of accountability system in a parallel and separate process, we do call ICANN to effectively integrate the accountability mechanism with the transition of stewardship of IANA function.


Based on discussion, relevant representatives and parties have come to the comments above. We do hope they can be taken into account by NTIA to work out a more reasonable and efficient transition proposal.

Names of Participants in the Comment Developing Process :

Beijing Internet Institute and Beijing Normal University Institute for Internet Policy & Law (IIPL) (Prof. Hong Xue)

InternetDomainNameSystemBeijingEngineeringResearchCenter(ZDNS)(Director General, Mao Wei)

BeijingInternet Institution (BII)(Director General, Liu Dong)

Internet Society ofChina(Doctor Cao Huaping)
Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications ( APNIC executive Member, Prof Ma Yan)
Tsinghua University (IETF IPv6 Excess Workshop Chairman, Prof Cui Yong)
Internet International Affairs Counselor (Doctor Zhang Jianchuan)
IEEE (Director of APAC, Hua Ning)
CNNIC( Internet Policy Research Managers, Han Liyun & Zhu Cong)
Zodiac Registry ( Internet Policy Expert, Tan Yaling)


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IANA Transition: Myth, Misconception and Expectation

On Friday, March 14 the U.S. Government announced its intention to transition its stewardship responsibilities of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Functions to the global multistakeholder community—a key component of the Internet ecosystem. The IANA Functions are the Internet’s technical identifiers, specifically, the top-level domain names of the Domain Name System, IP addresses, and protocol parameter registries.

However, it is still not very clear and uncertain what would happen over such a turbulent period. Firstly, it should figure out what the stewardship has ever been played by NTIA and what is the specification of the oversight. How would we know the new oversight mechanism when we are not even sure of the existing one? Secondly, it is not logical to have ICANN to oversee itself if IANA is a function within ICANN. Thirdly, what would be the way forward? Should that be a so-called “Chinese Wall” to let IANA relatively independent of ICANN when more solid accountability system is build up in or surrounding ICANN?

The global Internet community is now hotly debating the IANA transition from NTIA. I’m fully convinced that the transition should begin with clarification of the NTIA’s oversight role that it’s been playing. ccNSO has made a insightful statement with valuable details. However, it would be more helpful to group up the roles into 2 parts, namely, clerical function and stewardship. In the case that IANA is going to stay within ICANN, which seems gathering support from the community, the clerical role can well be fit into the boxes of direct users of IANA function, from IETF, RIRs to TLD registries (directly rather than through any SO). In such case, the so-called DNSA proposal might not be a very bad one. TLD registries need certain channel, like NROs for RIRs, to make sure IANA follow the normal rules and procedures for any change at zone file. Supporting Organizations (either gNSO or ccNSO) can hardly play such clerical role. It is not logical for a SO to support as well as oversee ICANN. With respect to  the stewardship role, it might be a constitutional moment. The new external and independent accountability for ICANN might be much similar to a global “constitutional court”, where ICANN’s policy decisions can be finally appealed, in addition to the existing territorial jurisdiction in California court, provided that ICANN is still a non-profit organization registered in CA.

In response to the critics and speculations, ICANN CEO made the following statement, which answers some questions but raises more.

  1. The announcement is NOT a final decision to surrender control of the Internet.On Friday, the U.S. government asked the global community to develop a proposal for transferring its stewardship of the IANA Functions. The government was not announcing a new law, rather initiating an inclusive, global discussion. The government also set clear boundaries for that discussion, including a very clear statement that it will not release control of these functions to any government-led or inter-governmental organization solution.Instead, ICANN will lead a transparent dialogue among governments, the private sector, and civil society to determine the transition process and establish a governing body that is globally accountable. This process ensures each of the Internet’s diverse stakeholders has a voice in its governance.In addition, the U.S. government has made it clear that the transition proposal must address the following four principles:
    • Support and enhance the multistakeholder model
    • Maintain the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet DNS
    • Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services
    • Maintain the openness of the Internet

    In other words, any proposal that affects the openness of the Internet and its multistakeholder governance will be rejected.

  2. The announcement is NOT a response to disclosures by Edward Snowden about the National Security Agency and its policies.One media report claims ICANN lobbied the U.S.Government to relinquish its oversight “using the Snowden leaks as a lever.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. The government first envisioned this transfer when it began contracting with ICANN in 1998. For the past 16 years, ICANN has protected the open Internet with increasing operational excellence – itself accountable to the global community. The March 14 announcement was the final step down a path paved years ago.
  3. The announcement will NOT lead to a division of the Internet into smaller, less technically resilient pieces.”A digital Iron Curtain” will not be imposed resulting from this announcement. An opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal claims that by stepping back, the United States will divide “425,000 global routes of the Internet into less technically resilient pieces.” In fact, the exact opposite is true.The March 14 announcement is an important step toward preserving and protecting the open Internet. U.S. oversight will not be usurped by authoritarian governments eager to censor free speech – or by any other inter-governmental institution. Instead, a globally accountable, multistakeholder governing body will ensure the Internet continues to promote the free exchange of ideas, propel innovation and drive economic development.
  4. The announcement transfers stewardship of an administrative and clerical function. ICANN does NOT serve a policing function in the Internet ecosystem.Let me be clear, ICANN coordinates one technical component of the Internet ecosystem – the names, numbers and protocol parameters of the Internet. ICANN does not control content on the Internet. ICANN has no role relating to Internet content and cannot enact Internet censorship.These technical components of the Internet have been working well for nearly two decades underneath a multistakeholder process with the U.S. government holding a stewardship role. In reality, ICANN has successfully administered the IANA Functions with increasing autonomy for the past 16 years and this announcement will not alter its commitment to the security and stability of the Internet’s Domain Name System.
  5. The announcement will NOT affect the billions who use the Internet every day.Some have speculated through the media that the U.S. announcement will “put the open Internet at risk” for everyday users. This concern is not rooted in reality. The transition of stewardship will not affect the functionality of the Internet.  The coordination of the IANA functions will continue unchanged. The announcement reinforces the principles that the Internet belongs to everyone and is responsible to everyone.Instead of politicizing the debate over the U.S. Government’s decision to transition stewardship of the Internet’s technical functions, let’s move forward with the discussion we need to have – how to engage in the necessary discussion to develop an effective transition process, one that continues to ensure an open Internet that belongs to everyone.



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