In this report, you will find a brief account of the third edition of #AskNCUC Twitter Interview we had in June. For the special Asia Pacific Edition, we had Farzaneh Badii (Chair, NCSG) joining us and the theme was surrounding the values of Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group of ICANN and Domain Name Policy in ICANN. The interview was curated by E-team member, Shahul Hameed (@Shahul_Hameed_) and NCUC EC Regional Rep, Elsa Saade (@Elsa_Saade). We started the session at 1200 UTC on 26th June.
The complete interview is as follows:
Q1. What are the core values of NCSG and as a Chair how do you ensure that it’s propagated?
Farzaneh: Freedom of expression, privacy, access and generally values that resonate with noncommercial interest and human rights. I try to mobilise our members, get them involved with the domain name policy processes at ICANN. The policy committee chair has a significant part in this as well.
Q1.a. How do you ensure that the newly joining members and volunteers are equipped with these values when they start contributing?
F: The potential members should join because they already care about these values. For example, if someone thinks intellectual property rights are to be protected at any expense in domain name policy, then NCSG is not where they can advance that. I also spell out our values and what we advocate for at various outreach events, in my occasional email to the NCSG members list. I am also a part of NCUC mentor/buddy program where I tell people what NCUC and NCSG do.
Q2. According to you, how would ICANN maintain a global WHOIS system and remain consistent with legal requirements under the EU’s GDPR?
F: Oh wow! you expect me to respond to this in a tweet?:) ICANN needs to start caring about minimum privacy protection for domain name registrants. It’s not only about compliance with GDPR. The fact that domain name registrants personal information was published for so long in cyberspace (unless they got proxy services) and ICANN did not budge to improve its policies shows we still have lots of work to do. But GDPR helped in that it’s a law that ICANN HAS to comply with. 🙂 also my personal opinion about WHOIS: get rid of personal information. Be more creative when wanting to provide security and protect your IP. it’s been 30 years! It’s becoming obsolete!
Q2.a. Do you think #ICANN compliance with GDPR will be a starting point for better privacy protection for registrants and how do you see the role of NCSG or GNSO in making it better?
F: It already has. If you look at WHOIS now, you cannot find the personal information of domain name registrants in public. @NCSG_ICANN and its constituencies have to fight hard to keep it that way because there is a lot of pressure to give bulk access to this personal info.
Q3. In your opinion, how should the accreditation model for WHOIS system be designed in ICANN?
F: We need to distinguish between accreditation and access. What some interest groups and stakeholder want is “access” to “personal information” of domain name registrants. For various reasons. Sometimes not good reasons. While granting access to the personal information of domain name registrants for legitimate purposes is possible, large accrediting number of interest groups and people to have access to this data defeats the purpose of having data protection in place in the first place. We can talk about access first. Accreditation is a much more complicated issue which should be done by legal and privacy experts. Also always remember, when they say “access to nonpublic WHOIS data” they don’t mean anything but access to “personal information” of domain name registrants. That means they want to have access to your phone number, to your physical address (could be where you live) etc
Q4. What is PDP 3.0?
F: Improvements to the PDPs. I think the co-chairs and the chair of the GNSO council talk about these changes and improvements here: https://gnso.icann.org/en/node/20441
Q4. What do you suggest to a newcomer on where should he/she begin if he/she wants to start involving in NCSG/NCUC in ICANN?
F: Step 1. Start with what you care about, establish your values, see what you want to do. Step 2. Join the group that you think is doing stuff closest to those values. 3. See how you can use your skills and expertise best in what group. 4. Talk to veterans, ask questions. 5. Read read read/ monitor mailing list 6. Ask when you don’t understand 7. Understand the mission then see if you can fulfil your ambition within that 8. Be patient 9. Don’t be intimidated 10. Contact me, am here to help. Yes, there is an overwhelming amount of topic. But you need to pick what you like and be patient when the events and issues around it unfold. Selecting specific issues of interest help. We can discuss more if you want.
Q5. Any last advice you could give the Asia Pacific region specifically?
F: Find out the most critical domain name policy issues that your region is facing. Is it access to domain names? Privacy in WHOIS? Dispute resolution processes for domain names? We will help solve them as long as they are non-commercial and can be addressed at ICANN.
The session was wrapped up after an hour of informative and exciting conversation with Farzaneh. Like she rightly mentioned, for any newcomers who want to involve in NCUC or NCSG for that matter, identifying the values we care about is the preliminary and most crucial step and once done the rest is relatively easy, and we can quickly figure out by following the steps she outlined. As a newcomer, I was always fascinated by the excellent volunteering work these people have been doing for NCSG. Now that I understand, at the core, she’s someone who believes in the values of freedom of expression, privacy, access that’s where the energy and passion come to work for NCSG comes from. Thanks @farzanehbadii
A brief about #AskNCUC: It’s an in-reach/outreach initiative we proposed to NCUC E-team during my application and was welcomed with excellent support from members as well as NCUC EC team especially the chair, Renata. The primary aim of this initiative is to bring conversations in public about the policy work we are doing at NCUC/NCSG levels and to showcase the experts behind it. We’d organised three editions so far, started with Rafik Dammak (Policy Chair, NCSG) and Kathy Kleiman (Co-founder, NCUC) and a recent version with Farzaneh Badii. We had several members who actively contributed by asking questions, liking and re-tweeting the tweets and also volunteers like Muriel Alapini who helped us live translate the tweets to French during the interview. We are planning to host the August edition about Expedited Policy Development Process mainly to make everyone aware about what’s it all about. We will also have an #AskNCUC during #ICANN63. Stay tuned with @NCUC.