GNSO update: WHOIS Task Forces; Council.

Looking at Bret’s latest insights into the kind of input the IPC (but not just the IPC) is getting from the public, one may be lead to believe that nothing goes on at ICANN. That’s not precisely accurate, as far as the GNSO is concerned — the las…

Looking at Bret’s latest insights into the kind of input the IPC (but not just the IPC) is getting from the public, one may be lead to believe that nothing goes on at ICANN. That’s not precisely accurate, as far as the GNSO is concerned — the last couple of weeks have been busy with conference calls.WHOIS task forces #1 and #2 (access mechanisms, review of data elements collected and displayed; I’m a liaison to both, but currently focusing on #2) have been busy figuring out what kinds of questions need to be asked in order to gather the input people believe they need for an informed discussion; I understand that task force #3 (accuracy) is going through a similar exercise. Fortunately, none of the task forces is going to repeat the large-scale survey exercise of the DNSO’s WHOIS Task Force. Instead, the plan is to tap GNSO constituencies and other specific sources of information. ICANN staff is expected to compile the input received before the Rome meetings. In Rome, there will be workshops for all three WHOIS PDPs. Constituency statements are then expected to arrive some time after Rome, with policy recommendations ideally ready by the time of the Kuala Lumpur meetings this summer.The GNSO council is working on the new registry services PDP. On last Thursday’s call, the council first discussed the business constituency’s request to remove two “out of scope” items from the Terms of Reference for that PDP. From the discussion, it didn’t become clear whether the BC was suggesting that the PDP should actually create a new consensus policy (that would be binding for registries, and would surely be highly contentious), or whether the BC was mis-reading the limits on the scopes of the PDP as limits on the scope of the process that is being designed. The discussion was settled by leaving the terms of reference unchanged, and by noting that the BC may, of course, include “additional remarks” with its constituency statement.Speaking of constituency statements, these were due on 12 January. Among the statements received so far, the registry constituency is still missing in action, some other constituencies have only posted draft statements. The statements were briefly presented on the council call, and ICANN staff was asked to produce a summary and identify areas of convergence or divergence as far as visible from the current statements. I understand that the new registry services PDP will be the topic of another workshop in Rome.The work that is going on on the four PDPs means that the GNSO is collecting a lot of experience with the new PDP. If anything is clear by now, then it’s that the time lines outlined in the new bylaws were the product of wishful thinking: Task Forces that have to gather input in order to produce results (like all of the whois task forces) have no chance at all to meet the deadlines suggested. And even council-driven policy-development processes that “only” involve deliberation within constituencies, and between constituencies (like the new registry services process), are not able to follow the process: According to the original announcement of the new registry services PDP, results were due on January 15.