Tuesday is Constituency Day and Music Night. My Tuesday began bright and early with a breakfast for the Commercial Stakeholder Group (CSG) with the GAC. This was our chance to rub shoulders with the government reps. I sat next to the rep from Nigeria and discussed the role of the GAC in the ICANN policy process. We both seemed to think that the GAC should be more closely involved, which would avoid the "parallel tracks" that seem to occur, including with the IOC/RCRC WG. Another highlight – we were actually in a room with windows. Of course, we had the morning sun, so we baked quite nicely.
Constituency Day then moved on to the CSG meeting. The CSG includes the Commercial and Business Users Constituency (CBUC), the Internet Service and Connectivity Provider Constituency (ISCPC), as well as the Intellectual Property Committee (IPC). We are the regular business users of the Internet – those that are not "contracted parties" with ICANN. We heard from several other ICANN groups. Of greatest concern was the presentation from the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) – the "name clash" issue has the capacity to compromise the security and performance of thousands of private networks worldwide. This was reported in such a deadpan tone that Mikey O’Connor of the ISCPC pointed out (in an even more deadpan tone), something like: "So, what you are saying is, my house is burning down, my children are inside, there’s gasoline in the garage, and there are no fire trucks in the neighborhood."
We next received a visitation from the ICANN Board, where a number of issues were discussed and reiterated. One issue I haven’t touched on yet is volunteer burnout. Members of the CSG are (to a greater or lesser extent) volunteers, and the mad rush that ICANN has decreed means that multiple working groups, public comment periods and other efforts sap the strength of those in the groups. For many, "ICANN fatigue" sets in. The groups are small and not all that well funded, so much work is DIY ("do it yourself" – not an ICANN acronym). So, if you are reading this blog and you think that this sounds interesting – get involved! Join a constituency, join the conversation, travel to exotic locales!
Next, the IPC met by itself. Key issues discussed included the SSAC report and the name clash issue, geographic names issues and volunteer issues.
The evening began with drinks between the Noncommercial Stakeholders Group (NCSG) and the IPC. These groups are often on the opposite side of issues, with the NCSG standing up for privacy absolutism and against intellectual property rights, while the IPC (not surprisingly) stands up for IP rights and for a balance between privacy concerns and needs of law enforcement and private actors to get access to WHOIS data (showing who owns the domain name where bad stuff is happening). In the ICANN way, differences were (largely) set aside and a good time was had by all.
After that, a quick Japanese dinner turned into a three-hour marathon. The teppanyaki show was good, and the prawns were tasty, but Music Night awaited me! I sat next to Phil Corwin, who represents domainers (among other things) and (in the ICANN way) I found that we had much more in common than not.