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ICANN 55: The Winding and Sometimes Bumpy Road to Marrakech

After a final month of debate, drafting and re-drafting, the Cross Community Working Group on enhancing ICANN’s accountability has reached a consensus on the accountability enhancements that must be in place before the IANA transition occurs in September 2016. The final text of the recommendations has been forwarded to ICANN’s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees for approval during the ICANN 55 meeting in Marrakech.

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CDT addresses the United Nations General Assembly and Counter-Terrorism Advisor

This week, two of CDT’s experts appeared before key bodies of the United Nations dealing with critical issues for the future Internet. Matthew Shears addressed the UN General Assembly on progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS) review. Emma Llansó spoke to the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate on the risks to the human rights of Internet users as governments seek to find appropriate responses to “extremist” content online.

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Post-2015 WSIS Agenda Must Be Forward-Looking, Multistakeholder and Development Focused

Effectively, it is the ambition of some governments to turn back the clock on the role of stakeholders in the management and the governance of the Internet. But to outline and, importantly, implement a development-oriented post-2015 agenda will require all stakeholders coming together to build on the vast experience the community has creating social wellbeing and economic opportunity and growth.

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Preview of Internet Governance Forum 2015

The Internet Governance Forum 2015 kicks off next week in João Pessoa, Brazil and CDT’s Matthew Shears will be an active participant. The theme for this IGF is the “Evolution of Internet Governance: Empowering Sustainable Development”, which seeks to highlight the role the Internet, and ICTs more generally, play in economic development. A key focus will be the importance of reinforcing the linkages between Internet governance and the Sustainable Development Goals that were adopted at the United Nations in September.

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World Summit on the Information Society Must Focus on Sustainable Development Goals

In December, the UN General Assembly will be convening in New York to discuss a range of issues related to Internet policy and development. This convening, a culmination of the review process of the World Summit on the Information Society, will be guided by a negotiated document that sets out the scope of issues the government representatives will discuss. Consultations with non-governmental and governmental stakeholders in October provided those drafting the document with invaluable and, at times, divergent input. But the overall message was clear: the WSIS post-2015 should contribute to achieving the targets of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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ICANN Accountability Recommendations - Third Time’s the Charm?

The ICANN54 meeting in Dublin wrapped up with the Cross Community Working Group on enhancing ICANN accountability announcing that it is working towards a third version of its accountability recommendations. ICANN54 was supposed to be the meeting when it all came together: the IANA transition proposal largely ready to send to NTIA and the accountability proposal in its final approval stages. While the IANA transition proposal is almost ready, the same cannot be said for the accountability work.

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Making Privacy a Reality: The Safe Harbor Judgment and Its Consequences for US Surveillance Reform

Earlier this month, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) struck down the legal underpinnings of the EU-US Safe Harbor Agreement—the arrangement that enabled thousands of US companies to transfer EU users’ data to the US for processing and storage. Although the Court’s decision to invalidate the basis for Safe Harbor has placed a serious burden on transatlantic trade, the judgment makes clear and persuasive findings about the protections EU residents’ data must enjoy when transferred to the US. In doing so, it has provided a major impetus for reforms to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

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ICANN Accountability Enhancements Key in Moving IANA Transition Forward

The results of the public consultation on the IANA transition proposal are in and the news is good. The majority of the 150 comments received by the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) were supportive of the transition proposal as a whole. Yet, while the ICG moves forward on wrapping up the transition proposal, news on the accountability front is not as promising.

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The IANA Transition: The Work Ahead

The long anticipated extension of the US government contract with ICANN reflects the community’s need for additional time to accomplish a number of important tasks to bring about the IANA stewardship transition. The extension does not mean that the community is not delivering on its commitments, but rather that the process of ensuring appropriate consultation, refining proposals, securing endorsement from the ICANN community, undergoing interagency review, etc., is going to take more time.

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