[Privsec] NCUC update from ICANN / Marrakech

Robert Guerra rguerra at lists.privaterra.org
Fri Jul 7 02:18:25 BST 2006

Thought this might be of interest to this list...



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	A Special Thanks to NCUC and EPIC -- and My Update from Marrakech
Date: 	Thu, 6 Jul 2006 12:18:10 EDT
From: 	KathrynKL at AOL.COM
Reply-To: 	KathrynKL at AOL.COM

I wanted to share my update to the Constituency on Marrakech, thanks to
NCUC for the travel funding, and a special thanks to Marc Rotenberg and
the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) for a range of support
on my efforts on the Whois work before/in Marrakech.

As you have probably guessed, the Whois Task Force takes a ton of time.
We have met since 2002, sometimes once a week and sometimes once every
two weeks, by telephone with the Task Force.  These meetings last from 1
to 1 ½ hours and they involve not only time on the call, but preparation
ahead of time, research, report writing and editing, and innumerable
emails and calls.

On behalf of NCUC, I have prepared spreadsheets of privacy laws, reports
summarizing comments of the Data Protection Commissioners and their
organizations, organized speakers at Rome and Vancouver, and worked with
the many members on the TF on wording, report writing, editing,
positions and compromises (See NCUC’s Archives page).  Of course, the
work continued at a feverish pace before and during Marrakech!

Making My Work Possible:
So I want to thank those who supported the work for this trip and
provided a summary (below) of work done so that we can discuss and plan
for the future.

The NCUC generously provided a travel grant that covered my airplane
ticket to Marrakech – thank you!

An additional grant from EPIC covered many other expenses -- hotel,
meals, local transportation – and provided funds for some time for
preparations for the Marrakech meeting.  I would like to extend a huge
thanks to Marc Rotenberg and EPIC, for the grant, and also for the time
and guidance they provided as I prepared for Marrakech.

(Note:  EPIC wrote a seminal letter on Whois for the debate just before
the GNSO Council decision in April – if you have not seen it, it is the
best argument I know for privacy in the Whois – to protect both personal
privacy and freedom of speech and expression  --

Work Done:
Before Marrakech, we knew that the discussions on privacy by the
Government Advisory Committee (the GAC) would be key.  It seemed to me
(and others) that the GAC should be strongly divided on the issue of
privacy in the Whois database.  Why weren’t the EU Countries strongly
supporting some privacy in the Whois?  My thought was that their Data
Protection Commissioners – all government officials – were purposely NOT
invited to the GAC meetings (the one meeting with Dr. Alexander Dix, the
Berlin Data Protection Commissioner for Vancouver was canceled at the
last minute).  We need more input and more dialogue.

Marc Rotenberg supported the effort to reach out to Data Protection
Commissions around the world.  Some who I wrote to, e.g., Mr. Giovanni
Buttarelli of Italy and Ms. Stephanie Perrin of Canada, have spoken at
past ICANN meetings (on my/NCUC’s invitations).  Others, we thought,
would be interested and concerned about the Whois issues.

I am so happy to say that the Data Protection leaders responded!  As
soon as I arrived in Marrakech, the major letter being discussed came
from Mr. Peter Schaar, Germany’s Data Protection Commissioner and
Chairman of the Article 29 Working Party (created under EU Data
Protection law to include all EU Data Protection Commissioners)!   ICANN
staff printing out his important letter and distributed it circulated to
the ICANN Board, to the GAC, to staff, to the Whois Task Force, and to
others.  He is very concerned about privacy in the Whois (and strongly
supports the GNSO Council’s Purpose of Whois).

Many other important letters too – from the Belgian Commission de la
Protection de la Vie Privee, the American Library Association, the
Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, the Association for
Computing Machinery – and of course, lots from intellectual property
owners and their organizations.  All of these are a great read – and
provided a strong base for information and a much more balanced
discussion ‘in Marrakech!  They are posted at ICANN’s Correspondence
page --- http://www.icann.org/correspondence/.

That’s my news from Marrakech.  New, important and timely voices joined
the discussion.  But the work is not over.  If the GNSO Council’s
Purpose of Whois is allowed to stand (and I hope it is!), then the next
debate is on Access to Data formerly public and to be private.  That
will involve research, negotiations and untold hours of work with law
enforcement, data protection, intellectual property – and the Registries
and Registrars who will be asked to respond to the requests.  The Whois
Conference in Brazil in December will be a wonderful opportunity to
share any progress we are able to make.

So a brief appeal:  (1) If you/your organization have funds to share to
help the work on the Whois debate, please let me, Carlos and Milton know.

(2) If you/your organization know your GAC representatives, would you be
willing to set up some time for the  NCUC Whois TF members to talk with
them about Whois?

Regards and thanks,

p.s. I will be out of town at a wedding for the next few days, but look
forward to continuing the work and the challenges in Whois ahead.

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