The importance of dialogue: ICANN at ITU Telecom World 2018

Nigel Hickson Speeches

Once again, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has the privilege of being involved in ITU Telecom World, this year in Durban, South Africa.

This year, the ICANN organization will be part of a discussion on “Strengthening Collaboration in Data Protection,” which will be taking place on Thursday 13 September. During this session, we will have the opportunity to outline how we have adapted our own operations, and those of registries and registrars that deal with generic domain names, to be compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, widely known as the GDPR. While registries and registrars must continue to collect all contact information for domain name registrations, they may no longer make public in the WHOIS service any personal information in the administrative, technical or contact fields. The restrictions apply to any registrations linked to the European Economic Area. This change to the WHOIS system has sparked important conversations in our community about who can gain access to non-public data and under what circumstances.

As our discussions regarding the impact of the GDPR continue to move forward, ITU Telecom World 2018 provides us with an opportunity to continue the productive conversations with stakeholders and the wider internet community. We encourage you to follow the latest news on ICANN’s efforts in this arena at our Data Protection/Privacy Issues page.

The internet and the impact it is having on people from all walks of life has become increasingly important. New policies, regulations and legislation are being introduced to address aspects of privacy, access, intellectual property rights and surveillance, among others.

As legislation such as the GDPR has an impact on ICANN org, and potentially the multi-stakeholder model and the domain name industry, it is important for all stakeholders to have these constructive conversations and to participate in the right fora, including ICANN, to ensure that the internet continues to be open, accessible, and secure.

ICANN’s mission is ensuring the stable and secure operation of the internet’s unique identifier system, more commonly referred to as the Domain Name System (DNS), with a broader vision of contributing to a “one world, one internet.” Along with many others in the technical community and beyond, we have a fundamental interest in seeing enhanced global connectivity and access to as many people as possible.

As such, we look forward to dialogue in Durban, whether it be with service providers or policy makers on how ICANN can use our expertise for the benefit of all. Building trust and working together in a multistakeholder fashion is imperative in this day and age, in order to address the challenges we face more efficiently and effectively.

About the Author
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Nigel Hickson

Nigel works out of the Geneva office as part of the Government Engagement Team. He is responsible for engagement with the UN in Geneva, IGOs and other international organisations. Nigel joined ICANN in 2012 and worked until 2014 as the VP for Global Stakeholder Engagement in Europe. He joined ICANN from the UK government, where he had served in a number of capacities for just fewer than 30 years. Latterly he had been responsible for a team dealing with international ICT issues, including Internet Governance.