There is so much going on this week and next week in Internet governance and IGP is so involved that we barely have time to blog about it. Here is a quick summary and some links to more information. First, in Internet addressing policy there is an intense buzz of controversy around a March 15-16 workshop of the International Telecommunication Union on two proposals to change the way we allocate IPv6 addresses. The Regional Internet Registries' are riled up about this, seeing it, correctly, as a challenge to their exclusive control of address policy, but there are also signs of an improving dialogue between ITU and RIRs. You can see this reflected in an interesting transcript of the APNIC meeting last week and in the ARIN public policy list.
Second, the quarterly ICANN meeting is taking place in Nairobi. One of the key decisions that will take place at that meeting involves how ICANN will respond to the Independent Review Panel ruling that its treatment of the .xxx top level domain application was unfair and discriminatory. The obvious response to this ruling would be to turn the clock back to August 9, 2005, and sign the contract awarding ICM Registry its TLD, as ICM has requested. But there is still strong opposition to an .xxx domain, so ICANN is presented with a tough choice: either adhere to its policies and principles, create .xxx, and make some stakeholders unhappy, or ignore its independent review panel and reveal to all the world that its accountability mechanisms are toothless and can be ignored. A real test of ICANN's mettle. Also on the agenda for Nairobi: creating a working group on vertical integration of registries and registrars, and a decision whether the Board will agree to create an “expression of interest” for new TLDs.
Earlier this week, the Council of Europe's Ad hoc Advisory Group on Cross-Border Internet held its first meeting in Paris March 1 and 2. This working group is taking up some interesting issues regarding the “mutual responsibilities of states in ensuring that critical Internet resources are managed in the public interest,” and “proposals relating to the prevention and management of …malicious acts [e.g., DDoS attacks], falling within member states’ jurisdictions or territories, which could block or significantly impede Internet access to or within fellow members of the international community.”
Finally, on the Google front, Google has ratified Brenden Kuerbis's prediction that its conflict with China will become a trade dispute — see our Twitter links. And an Italian blogger has provided a more detailed explanation of how Google's conviction in Italy could have been based on the fact that the E-Commerce directive's safe harbour does not apply to privacy and data protection issues. We will have more to say about this.