igf-kenya.jpgJackson Hts., New York, September 24, 2011 - Connecting.nyc Inc.’s Thomas Lowenhaupt presented a paper to the Mapping Internet Governance panel at the 2011 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Nairobi, Kenya. The panel met on Wednesday, September 28th. The other panelists were:

  • Andrea Glorioso: Coordinator of the Internet Governance team at the European Commission - Directorate-General Information Society and Media [EU].
  • Jeremy Malcolm: Consumers International, Kuala Lumpur Office for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
  • Sheba Mohammid: ICT Policy Specialist in Trinidad and Tobago, focusing on Digital Inclusion in Small Island Developing States.
  • Bitange Ndemo: Permanent Secretary in The Ministry for Information And Communications, Republic of Kenya.
  • Douglas Onyango: CTO, Lake Victoria IT & Bio-tech Park (LAVIT), Kampala (Uganda); AfriNIC, IANA, EA-IGF, ISOC.
  • David Souter: Managing Director, ict Development Associates; author of http://www.apc.org/en/pubs/books/mapping-internet-public-policy ; Visiting Professor in Communications Management, Business School, University of Strathclyde; Visiting Senior Fellow, Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics; Associate of the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

See the paper as presented and follow its evolution on this wiki page.

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Vilnius, Lithuania, September 17, 2010 - At the 5th Internet Governance Forum in Vilnius, Lithuania, leaders from government, civil society, and business gathered to discuss the design, development, and operation of city-TLDs. Participants at the City-TLD Governance and Best Practices workshop made the following recommendations:

  • City-TLD proponents should prepare a preliminary definition of public interest TLDs, using resources such as the Paris Understanding.
  • An organization of proponents of public interest city-TLDs be formed.
  • Literature should be prepared to inform mayors of the world of the utility of city-TLDs, and that it be distributed through their best practices organizations.
  • Via petition and other mechanisms, the thoughtful and rapid approval of city-TLDs should be presented to the ICANN.
  • Such petition to the ICANN should note that the operation of city government, the quality of city life, and the sustainability of cities will be improved by the thoughtful issuance and development of city-TLDs.
  • Such petition should also note the unsuitability of the proposed filing fees, technology requirements, and registry/registrar separation for city-TLDs proposed in the Draft Application Guidebook, especially for less developed areas.
  • The petition should note that the acceptance of city-TLDs as a distinct category of TLDs, governed under the existing laws of nation-states; unencumbered by traditional concerns about trademark stress; and governed by responsible entities will free the ICANN to focus on more problematic TLD categories.
  • That nation-states be contacted through the members of the ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee (GAC) and other channels and requested to assemble a list of cities with an existing interest in TLDs.
  • That a list of cities proposing public interest TLDs be submitted to ICANN.
  • That a dedicated unit within ICANN be created to process public interest city-TLD applications.
  • That cities on such a list be processed and approved in an expedited manner.
  • That trademark issues be closely considered. 
  • That the city-TLD advocacy organization create city-to-city processes and communication channels to share best practices.

See City-TLD Governance and Best Practices - Report for the full workshop details and the follow-up page for responses under consideration. (Photo courtesy of Patti Shubitz.)

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UPDATE: See the workshop report.

New York, August 17, 2010 - (Sept. 14 update) Connecting.nyc Inc. will participate on a City TLD Governance and Best Practices workshop being held at the 5th Internet Governance Forum (IGF)  in Vilnius, Lithuania on September 17.

As the ICANN moves closer to issuing city TLDs, a few cities have publicly shown an interest in their acquisition and development - Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, New York - with several others  in contemplation. But most remain unaware of the economic benefits and improved quality of life a thoughtfully developed city TLD can provide.

To date, the few cities with an announced interest have developed their plans in camera, without public or inter-city consultation. The City TLD workshop was organized to shine a global light on the opportunities provided by the digital infrastructure enabled by city TLDs. It is hoped that the dialog will facilitate information sharing policies and processes that will result in more efficient, governable, and livable cities.

The IGF was created by the United Nations’ Secretary-General to help carry out the World Summit on the Information Society mandate to convene a new forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on Internet governance.  The workshop was proposed by Connecting.nyc and developed in consultation with the Internet Governance Caucus and the IGF.

The City TLD Governance and Best Practices workshop will be held in Room 7 of the LITEXPO Center on Friday, September 17, from 2:30 to 4:30 PM Vilnius time. New Yorkers can participate in the event via a remote connection beginning at 8:30 AM on the 17th. Details on the connection process for Vilnius events will be found here.

Connecting.nyc Inc. will be represented on the workshop by its founding director, Thomas Lowenhaupt. If you have questions or comments for the workshop, email tom@connectingnyc.org.

UPDATE: See the workshop report.

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UN-Under-Secretary-General-Sha.JPG New York, March 30, 2010 - Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Mr. Sha Zukang presided at a briefing on the future of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) at United Nations Headquarters in New York today.

Mr. Sha noted his early interest in Internet Governance, observing that he was the first to raise the issue of Internet Governance at the U.N. By way of background, and perhaps responding to some suspicion arising from his former position as China’s Ambassador to the U.N., Mr. Sha emphasized that today he speaks as a U.N. employee.

After these brief comments Mr. Sha read a six page statement about the process that might lead to the IGF’s continuation, interspersed with personal observations. In my role as reporter, I’ve transcribed portions of Mr. Sha’s report, beginning on page 3, after the IGF history notation, under the heading “How The Review Process Will Unfold.”

After his prepared statement, Mr. Sha took comments from Yemen, EU, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Canada, U.S., U.K., France, Norway, ICC and then offered some concluding statements. See the full meeting report here.

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Filed March 31st, 2010 under NTIA, Governance, Internet Governance Forum

The-nyc-TLD-Oversight-Structure-2-jpg.JPGNew York, July 22, 2009 - ­When Queens Community Board 3 first considered recommending the development of the .nyc TLD as a public interest resource in 1999, the ICANN was engaged in a fierce debate as to its internal governance structure, with a key issue being the role of Internet users in selecting members to its board of directors.

Over the ensuing decade the ICANN tested the direct election by Internet users to 5 regional seats on its board (in 2000) and, since 2005, it has been responding to global pressure for a more independent and effective operation centered around the United Nations initiated Internet Governance Forum.

One of the more difficult tasks before Connecting.nyc Inc. (or more broadly, the people of New York) is establishing a governance structure for the .nyc TLD. Perusing our wiki pages one will find a dozen or so pages dealing with different aspects of the governance issue - a work in progress.

Today, with ICANN supportive of city TLDs and the city administration supportive of .nyc, its time to start a conversation toward a governance structure that’s acceptable to ICANN and to the people of New York City. As an initial step, we’ve begun organizing and consolidating the wiki pages under the concept of a Governance Ecology.

The Governance Ecology - NYC Element page describes the above graphic and presents 1/3 of the story, with links to the other 2/3’s of the puzzle available via our Governce Ecology - Home Page. It’s a work in progress, but with your help we hope to complete a governance ecology for a .nyc operated in the public interest by summer’s end.

Learn more about .nyc on our wiki pages. ­­­

igf-brazil-graphic.jpg November 14, 2007, New York -  Connecting.nyc participated on a 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. The panel first heard about the positive experiences of three recently issued TLDs: .cat (for the Catalonia cultural), .asia (for use in the continent of Asia), and .eu (for use in the European Union).

The focus then turned to prospective TLDs with .nyc leading off the presentations. Panelist Thomas Lowenhaupt reviewed the basis for city-TLDs and recent organizing activities in support of Connecting.nyc’s application, including a recent favorable meeting with the city’s IT department. He also reiterated his concern, first raised at the ICANN meeting in Los Angeles, that a plethora of applications by Fortune 1000 firms for new TLDs might inundate the ICANN’s small staff and reduce the likelihood of city-TLDs being issued on a timely basis.

Panelist Sebastian Bacholet, appearing on behalf of the .paris TLD, reviewed the internationalization study initiated by developers of the .nyc, .berlin, and .paris TLDs at the ICANN Los Angeles meeting. He provided three instances where second level domain names might be developed in various languages - www.taxi.nyc, www.hotels.paris, and www.hospital.berlin. By way of example, he explained that when in need of health care, German or French speaking visitors to New York City might enter www.krankenhaus.nyc or www.hôpital.nyc in their respective languages and receive pages with the needed information.

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Home Page