From May 7 to 9, Paris hosted the ICANN Contracting Parties Summit

From May 7 to 9, Paris hosted the ICANN Contracting Parties Summit.
From May 7 to 9, Paris hosted the ICANN Contracting Parties Summit.

The last time Paris hosted ICANN was in 2008 for ICANN32. Sixteen years later, ICANN returns to the French capital for the Contracted Parties Summit. The latter is a special event in the organization’s agenda, as it is not a policy-oriented event like the three annual summits flanked by the edition number (Editor’s note: ICANN79, for example). Before the covid pandemic, ICANN met its stakeholders once a year at a dedicated event. These summits, highly focused on operational aspects, only resumed in 2022 and now only take place every two years.

Over the course of three days, the contracting parties – registry operators and registrars – have the opportunity, during working sessions, to communicate their needs to the organization by directly questioning the ICANN Board of Directors, and to exchange views on common issues. In particular, these meetings provide an opportunity to compare approaches to policy changes and contractual modifications to be implemented, while also taking into account changes in the regulatory and legislative framework. One of the three days was entirely devoted to workshops on the abuses to which the contracts of the contracting parties have evolved in 2024.

Although only 150 to 250 people in total took part in the event, with the public holiday no doubt having a negative impact on attendance, it has to be said that there was plenty to do on the subjects that directly impact the contracting parties.

As a consequence of the GDPR in force since 2018, a perennial policy, the Registration Data Policy has just been promulgated to replace the Temporary Specification. This must be implemented by August 2025. Stakeholders also had to implement two amendments to their contracts with ICANN. The first was a protocol transition from Whois to RDAP (Registration Data Access Protocol). The second concerns abuse, with new obligations that make contractors more accountable in the event of proven abuse. The summit provided an opportunity to hear initial feedback on this major issue, to which some service providers are more exposed than others. To this the legislative framework can be added, in particular the European NIS2 cyber security directive, which will also have a major impact on registries, DNS resolution service providers and registrars.  It will come into force in October of this year. The most advanced countries in terms of transposition into national law, notably Croatia and Belgium, have shown that they are fully in line with the initial text voted by the European Parliament at the end of 2022. And the next round of new generic extensions must be prepared for the next application window announced for April 2026.  

From now on, ICANN will be meeting the Internet community in Kigali, Rwanda, from June 10 to 13, to discuss developments in Internet naming policies. This will be ICANN80.

Author: Arnaud Wittersheim

Head of Operations Department Nameregistry - Compliance - Nameshield