Here’s a Washington Post story indicating it might be time to hasten the transition of the city’s official websites from the Federal .gov TLD to our locally controlled .nyc TLD. Note: Inc. has committed to reserve the domain for use by the city of New York, Inc. as part of The Civics Project.

House Lawmakers Question Privacy in Cyber-Security Plan Staff Writer

Friday, February 29, 2008; Page D03

House lawmakers yesterday raised concerns about the privacy implications of a Bush administration effort to secure federal computer networks from hackers and foreign adversaries, as new details emerged about the largely classified program.

The unclassified portions of the project, known as the “cyber initiative,” focus on drastically reducing the number of connections between federal agency networks and the Internet, and more closely monitoring those networks for malicious activity. Slightly more than half of all agencies have deployed the Department of Homeland Security’s program.

But administration officials have not said how far monitoring would go, and whether oversight would extend to networks operated by state, local, and private sector entities, including government defense contractors… (See the full story from the February 29, 2008 Washington Post.)

Filed February 29th, 2008 under Civics, Oversight, COPIC, DoITT, Governance, City Agency

nyc-grassroots-media-2008.0.jpg The Campaign for .nyc will be making a presentation at the Grassroots Media Conference on Sunday, March 2 from 10:30 AM to 12 at Hunter College. (Cost and location details here.)

Here’s the sponsor’s definition of Media Justice, this year’s conference theme:

“Media Justice recognizes the need for a media that comes from, and is responsive to, the people, ­a media that addresses systemic marginalization and discrimination and that speaks truth to power. Media Justice asserts that our communities and airwaves are more than markets, and that our relationship to the media must be more than passive consumption. Media Justice recognizes that the form of our current media system is not inevitable, but the result of an interplay of history, technology, power, and privilege. Media Justice seeks to integrate efforts to reform our media system with a social justice agenda, in order to create not just a better media, but a better world.”

Our presentation “A Platform for Community Media” will be delivered by Thomas Lowenhaupt. The presentation and plans for the day are under development here. It’s an ambitious topic that ties media justice into The Civics Project. Your thoughts will be appreciated.

Also, we’re going to have a table at the conference and could use some staffing assistance.

Filed February 24th, 2008 under Civics, Education, Governance

department-of-commerce.jpgThe NTIA (the unit within the U.S. Department of Commerce that oversees the ICANN’s operation) issued a Notice of Inquiry concerning the readiness of ICANN for greater independence. Inc. responded on February 15, 2008.

We saw much progress by ICANN but thought more was required before it was granted greater independence, probably as an international organization. Relating to the .nyc TLD, we made two specific suggestions:

  • TLD Acquisition & Operation Costs – With all indications from GNSO and the ICANN that demonstrated community support will be a criterion for evaluating new TLD applications, we have dedicated the preponderance of our resources to soliciting community needs and support. Previous TLD acquisition opportunities have required costly and time consuming application fees and processes. We proposed the ICANN shortcut the process and costs associated with acquiring the .nyc TLD (and other city-TLDs). With urban area now home to more than half of the world’s population, the lacuna in the original DNS (i.e., no city-TLDs) screams for repair . We seek a nominal application fee for what we see as our repair operation. Also, we proposed that for the initial 5 years of operation, the per-name new and renewal fees to ICANN should be eliminated.
  • Priority on Application Processing – Creating a process for new TLDs has taken over a decade and indications are that many applications will be forthcoming when the application window opens. We expressed our concern that a plethora of product applications for new TLDs by Fortune 1000 firms might inundate the ICANN’s small staff and reduce the likelihood of city-TLDs being issued on a timely basis. We recommended that the ICANN make provision for the priority handling of applications for city-TLD applications, enabling a rapid application of Internet’s TLD medicine to long simmering city needs.

More broadly, we reviewed the “Broadening the Domain Name Space: Adding TLDs for Cities and Regions” panel at the U.N. sponsored Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Rio De Janeiro last November, and panelist Sebastian Bacholet’s preview of the internationalization study initiated by developers of the .nyc, .berlin, and .paris TLDs at the ICANN Los Angeles meeting. We indicated that this first research effort presages many similar opportunities and a role for coordination and sharing among cities. As well, it points to the need for a more formal position for cities in ICANN’s oversight processes. We noted that urban areas are now home to more than 50% of the world’s population and consume 75% of its resources and that the initiation of city-TLDs provides an opportunity to address the sustainability issue.

See the full comments. (Commons photo courtery of robertcz.)

Filed February 17th, 2008 under Oversight, NTIA, ICANN, Governance

hex-clock.jpg The ICANN published a revised schedule for the new global-TLD issuance process on the first day of its tri-annual meeting underway in New Delhi (February 11). The new schedule is presented on slide 19. The full 20 slide presentation is available here. (Note: RFP = Request for Proposals):

  • Feb – May Aspects of RFP published: base agreement; dispute standards and process; technical standard; confusingly similar algorithm/standards
  • Apr-Jun Board approves recommendations (staff target)
  • 15 Jun Draft RFP published
  • 1 Aug Communications effort launched
  • 15 Aug Final DRP in place (accepting middle risk)
  • ~16 Sept RFP amended/posted after synthesizing public comment
  • Oct Board approves final RFP / implementations plan Actual RFP posted – open for 90 days

A few observations.

First, while they did not admit to any delays, the posted schedule is very tight. My recollection from the Los Angeles meeting was that the draft RFP was to be published in February. Now they’ve got pieces of it posted from February through May. Perhaps this is an effective way to move the process forward and provide an opportunity to direct a focus on the different parts. But is there slippage?

Next, I like the “staff target” comment on the Apr-June period. Seems the staff is putting some pressure on the ICANN board. Go staff!

But in the end they still manage to present ICANN as prepared to receive proposals before the end of the year - December 30. Tight as a tick!

The end goal is new TLDs, not speed. We’ve waited 10 years for this process to evolve, let’s not rush the last few details. (Commons Hexadecimal Clock photo courtesy of adactio.)

Filed February 10th, 2008 under ICANN, Governance