ICANN Resolutions » Adoption of GNSO Consensus Policy relating to Certain Red Cross & Red Crescent Names at the Second Level of the Domain Name System
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Whereas, in March 2017 the Generic Names Supporting Organization ("GNSO") and the Governmental Advisory Committee ("GAC") engaged in a good faith, facilitated dialogue in an attempt to resolve outstanding differences between the GNSO's original Policy Development Process ("PDP") consensus recommendations and the GAC's advice concerning certain Red Cross and Red Crescent names.
Whereas, in the course of that facilitated dialogue the GAC and the GNSO noted certain specific matters, namely:
The public policy considerations associated with protecting identifiers associated with the international Red Cross movement ("Movement") in the domain name system;
The GAC's rationale for seeking permanent protection for the terms most closely associated with the Movement and its respective components is grounded in the protections of the designations "Red Cross", "Red Crescent", "Red Lion and Sun", and "Red Crystal" under international treaty law and under multiple national laws;
The list of names of the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies is a finite, limited list of specific names of the National Societies recognized within the Movement (http://www.ifrc.org/Docs/ExcelExport/NS_Directory.pdf );
There are no other legitimate uses for these terms; and
The GAC had provided clarification following the completion of the GNSO PDP, via its March 2014 Singapore Communiqué, on the finite scope of the specific list of Movement names for which permanent protections were being requested (https://gacweb.icann.org/download/attachments/28278854/Final%20Communiqu...).
Whereas, following the GAC-GNSO discussion, the ICANN Board had requested that the GNSO Council consider initiating the GNSO's process for amending previous GNSO policy recommendations concerning the full names of the Red Cross National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and a defined, limited set of variations of these names, in the six official languages of the United Nations (https://www.icann.org/resources/board-material/resolutions-2017-03-16-en...).
Whereas, in May 2017 the GNSO Council resolved to reconvene the original PDP Working Group to consider the Board's request (https://gnso.icann.org/en/council/resolutions#20170503-071).
Whereas, in August 2018 the reconvened PDP Working Group submitted six recommendations that received the Full Consensus of the Working Group to the GNSO Council (https://gnso.icann.org/en/issues/igo-ingo/red-cross-protection-policy-am...), including a defined, limited set of variations of the Red Cross and Red Crescent names to be reserved under the proposed Consensus Policy (https://gnso.icann.org/en/issues/igo-ingo/red-cross-identifiers-proposed...).
Whereas, in September 2018 the GNSO Council voted unanimously to approve all the PDP consensus recommendations (https://gnso.icann.org/en/council/resolutions#20180927-3) and in October 2018 further approved the submission of a Recommendations Report to the ICANN Board (https://gnso.icann.org/en/council/resolutions#20181024-1).
Whereas, as required by the ICANN Bylaws, a public comment period was opened in November 2018 to allow the public a reasonable opportunity to provide input on the proposed Consensus Policy prior to Board action as well as for the GAC to provide timely advice on any public policy concerns.
Whereas, the Board has considered the GNSO's recommendations and all other relevant materials relating to this matter.
Resolved (2019.01.27.19), the Board hereby adopts the final recommendations of the reconvened International Governmental Organizations (IGO) & International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGO) PDP Working Group, as passed by a unanimous vote of the GNSO Council on 27 September 2018.
Resolved (2019.01.27.20), the Board directs the President and CEO, or his authorized designee, to develop and execute an implementation plan, including costs and timelines, for the adopted recommendations consistent with ICANN Bylaws Annex A and the Implementation Review Team Guidelines & Principles endorsed by the Board on 28 September 2015 (see https://www.icann.org/resources/board-material/resolutions-2015-09-28-en - 2.f), and to continue communication with the community on such work.
Why is the Board addressing the issue?
The GNSO conducted a PDP, concluding in November 2013, that considered and developed certain policy recommendations for protecting certain identifiers associated with the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. Those of the GNSO's recommendations that were consistent with GAC advice on the subject; namely, relating to the specific terms "Red Cross", "Red Crescent", "Red Crystal" and "Red Lion & Sun" were adopted by the Board in April 2014 (http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/documents/resolutions-30apr14-en.ht...). Following implementation work by ICANN Organization and community volunteers, these four specific terms are now withheld from delegation at the top and second levels of the DNS, in the six official languages of the United Nations, under a Consensus Policy that went into force in January 2018.
The Board did not approve the remaining GNSO policy recommendations from 2013 that concerned other Red Cross and Red Crescent identifiers, e.g. the full names of all the National Societies of the Red Cross movement and those of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The Board did not approve these policy recommendations at that time to allow for further discussions between the Board, GNSO, GAC and community about the inconsistencies between the GNSO policy recommendations and the GAC's advice. Over the next several months, the Board facilitated dialogue among the groups about a possible path forward. Following the conclusion of a facilitated dialogue between the GAC and the GNSO in March 2017, the GNSO Council reconvened the original PDP Working Group to consider possible modifications of its previous recommendations concerning these specific identifiers.
In September 2018, the GNSO Council unanimously approved the modified policy recommendations presented in the final report of the PDP Working Group. With the GNSO Council's unanimous approval of the modified policy recommendations, the Board is now taking action to adopt the revised consensus policy recommendations in accordance with the process documented under the ICANN Bylaws.
What is the proposal being addressed?
The PDP recommendations are that certain specific Red Cross and Red Crescent names as well as a list of agreed, permitted variants of those names be withheld from delegation at the second level of the DNS, in all six official languages of the United Nations. The PDP recommendations include a specific, documented process and criteria for correcting errors found on the list of agreed names and variants, as well as for adding or removing entries from the list. The adopted policy will supplement the existing Consensus Policy on protection at the top and second levels of the terms "Red Cross", "Red Crescent", "Red Crystal" and "Red Lion & Sun" in all six official languages of the United Nations.
For clarity, the PDP recommendations do not include proposals for protection of the specific acronyms associated with the international Red Cross movement, which remains an issue outstanding from the original 2013 GNSO PDP that resulted in recommendations that are inconsistent with GAC advice regarding these acronyms.
Which stakeholders or others were consulted?
The reconvened PDP Working Group performed its work in accordance with the GNSO's PDP Manual and Working Group Guidelines, which include provisions pertaining to broad community representation. Members of the Working Group comprised representatives from various parts of the GNSO and ICANN community, including representatives of the Red Cross. The Working Group's Initial Report was published for public comment in June 2018, following which the group considered all input received in developing its final recommendations, all of which received the Full Consensus of the Working Group. Prior to the GNSO Council's vote on the Final Report, the Working Group chair conducted a meeting with community members who had expressed some concerns about the proposed recommendations. The GNSO Council voted unanimously to approve all the recommendations in September 2018.
The policy recommendations as approved by the GNSO Council were published for public comment in November 2018 and the GAC notified of the Council's action.
What concerns or issues were raised by the community?
Possible concerns about freedom of expression were raised concerning reservation of the Red Cross and Red names at the second level of the DNS, as well as the Working Group's development of criteria and a process for adding new names and variants to the list instead of recommending a fixed list. The community also sought clarity about the mechanism for implementing the proposed policy (i.e. whether ICANN Org's contracts with its contracted parties will need to be amended). The Board understands that the Working Group believes it addressed these concerns in developing its final Consensus Policy recommendations.
Other community comments supported the proposed policy, citing the public policy need to provide adequate protections for the Red Cross against abuse of its names and recognized variants, as well as the fact that the recommended protections are grounded in international humanitarian law and multiple national laws.
What significant materials did the Board review?
The Board reviewed the Working Group's Final Report and the recommended protected list of Red Cross names (https://gnso.icann.org/sites/default/files/file/field-file-attach/red-cr... and https://gnso.icann.org/sites/default/files/file/field-file-attach/red-cr...), the GNSO Council's Recommendations Report (https://gnso.icann.org/en/drafts/reconvened-red-cross-recommendations-14...), a summary of the public comments received (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/report-comments-red-cross-na...) and the relevant GAC advice on this subject (https://gac.icann.org/).
What factors did the Board find to be significant?
The recommendations were developed following the GNSO Policy Development Process as set out in Annex A of the ICANN Bylaws and have received the full consensus of the Working Group as well as the unanimous support of the GNSO Council. As stated in the ICANN Bylaws (Annex A, Sec. 9.a.), "Any PDP Recommendations approved by a GNSO Supermajority Vote shall be adopted by the Board unless, by a vote of more than two-thirds (2/3) of the Board, the Board determines that such policy is not in the best interests of the ICANN community or ICANN."
The Bylaws also allow for input from the GAC in relation to public policy concerns that might be raised if a proposed policy is adopted by the Board. In this context, the GAC's October 2018 Barcelona Communique expressed the hope that the Board will adopt the GNSO's recommendations.
Are there positive or negative community impacts?
The Board's adoption of these recommendations will resolve the issue, outstanding since 2013, of inconsistencies between the GAC's advice and the GNSO's previous policy on these specific Red Cross and Red Crescent names. This means that the interim protections previously put into place by the Board concerning these names will be replaced by the Consensus Policy when it goes into effect, leading to greater clarity as to the scope of protections for these names for ICANN's Contracted Parties and the community at large.
Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN (strategic plan, operating plan, budget); the community; and/or the public?
Aside from any financial or other resource costs that may arise during work on implementation of the adopted policy, no fiscal or ramifications on ICANN, the community or the public are envisaged.
Are there any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS?
There are no security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS that can be directly attributable to the implementation of the PDP recommendations.
Is this either a defined policy process within ICANN's Supporting Organizations or ICANN's Organizational Administrative Function decision requiring public comment or not requiring public comment?
This matter concerns the GNSO's policy process, as defined and described by the ICANN Bylaws and the GNSO's operating procedures. All requirements for public comments as part of these processes have been met.