ICANN selected the members of the Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG)

Yesterday, 14 February 2013, ICANN selected the members of the Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG). On 13 December 2012, Fadi Chehadé, ICANN‘s President and CEO, announced the creation of an Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG) and invited volunteers to submit applications to indicate their interest in serving on it. The EWG is the first step in fulfilling the ICANN Board’s directive to help redefine the purpose and provision of gTLD registration data. This project is designed to provide a foundation for the creation of a new global policy for gTLD directory services, and requisite contract negotiations, as appropriate.

Over 70 highly qualified experts from across the Internet ecosystem were considered. In selecting the EWG, each candidates’ operational knowledge and experience with registrant data or directory services (or analogous systems) was considered, along with consensus-building skills, aptitude to innovate, geographic diversity, and other published criteria.

After an extensive evaluation of each candidate, the following individuals were selected to participate in this critical project:

Pekka Ala-Pietilä (Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Blyk)
Lanre Ajayi (Managing Director of Pinet Informatics)
Scott Hollenbeck (Director of Verisign Labs)
Jin Jian (Assistant General Director and Director of CNNIC R&D center at CNNIC)
Susan Kawaguchi (Domain Name Manager at Facebook)
Nora Nanayakkara
Michele Neylon (CEO of Blacknight Internet Solutions)
Michael Niebel (heads the Task Force on Internet Policy Development in the Directorate General CONNECT of the European Commission)
Rod Rasmussen (co-founded Internet Identity (IID) and serves as its President and CTO)
Carlton Samuels (independent international ICT4D consultant and an adjunct lecturer at the University of the West Indies)
Faisal Shah (Founder and former CEO of a corporate brand protection registrar –MarkMonitor)
Fabricio Vayra (Assistant General Counsel for Time Warner Inc.)
Stephanie Perrin

Additional members may be added to the Expert Working Group to provide special areas of expertise and knowledge (e.g. privacy).

Joining these executives will be:
Jean-Francois Baril, Lead Facilitator of the EWG
Steve Crocker, Board Liaison to the EWG
Chris Disspain, Board Liaison to the EWG

The EWG is expected to commence its analysis and deliberations immediately, with the objective of discussing its progress online and with the community at the Beijing ICANN Meeting.


A Board-directed Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) policy development process (PDP) is expected to follow the work of the EWG to evaluate the policy implications of the EWG’s recommendations. The EWG’s objectives are to 1) define the purpose of collecting and maintaining gTLD registration data, and consider how to safeguard the data, and 2) provide a proposed model for managing gTLD directory services that addresses related data accuracy and access issues, while taking into account safeguards for protecting data. The EWG will be informed by Internet stakeholders’ activities, and the extensive work of the GNSO work over the last decade. The group also will consider the WHOIS Policy Review Team Report [PDF, 1.44 MB], address key questions set forth by the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC [PDF, 348 KB]), and take into consideration current and future Internet operations and services. In addition, the EWG will address concerns of the parties who provide, collect, maintain, publish or use gTLD registration data as it relates to ICANN‘s remit.

EWG Schedule and Operations

The EWG’s activities are expected to be conducted from February through May 2013 and may be extended, if needed. Work will be conducted online and through conference calls and periodic face-to-face meetings.

When the EWG’s efforts get underway, the group’s WIKI page will be updated to keep the public apprised of its work.


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.

One comment

  1. Private global yellow pages construction, in the hands of a small group of friends, has started.

    Bye bye free competition.
    Bye bye Freedom.

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