David Redl has written to ICANN in relation to the ongoing work around whois and GDPR.
The letter, which was shared with the GNSO Council last night, is a mixed bag.
On the one hand it offers the carrot in relation to what’s been done so far, but then there’s the not so veiled threat, which isn’t a revelation by any means, of “domestic legislation”.
Bottom line the US Government wants ICANN to push this process forward as quickly as possible and goes so far as to demand some level of closure by the ICANN meeting in Montreal in November.
Is this realistic?
The work in “phase 1” was intense, contentious and a massive burden on the group of volunteers involved. Several of the participants from phase 1 have already dropped out from continuing into phase 2, while others are unsure if they can or not. The problem is that for many people ICANN is not their full-time job, so asking an employer to pay an employee to work on ICANN processes for free is not an “easy sell”. While normal working groups might require 2 to 3 hours of meetings per week, or less, the ePDP has essentially been a full-time job for most of its participants. (Matt Serlin’s articles on CircleID give some insights into the process from the inside and are worth reading.)
So what now?
The GNSO Council is still trying to find candidates to fill the role of Chair of the ePDP group, but with the workload it entails there hasn’t exactly been a deluge of applicants. In the interim the group is meeting under the guidance of an interim Chair.
You can read the letter from NTIA below: