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Major ICANN Proposal Could Adversely Impact Advertisers

The Government Accountability Committee (GAC) within ICANN has recently proposed a major amendment to its bylaws that would force ICANN to adopt all GAC advice unless two-thirds of ICANN's non-conflicted board members vote to oppose the advice. Already, GAC has a substantial amount of influence within ICANN because its advice must be taken into consideration in all Board decisions. When ICANN’s Board proposes actions inconsistent with GAC advice, it must give reasons for doing so and work with GAC to reach a mutually acceptable solution. In a recent posting for ANA’s “Regulatory Rumblings” blog, Brad Newberg of Reed Smith explains the potential implications of expanded GAC power and influence. 

ICANN is accepting the first round of public comments on this proposed change until September 14, 2014, and reply comments until October 6.  Comments can be sent to comments-bylaws-amend-gac-advice-15aug14@icann.org. This proposed change could radically impact the future of ICANN, basically providing governmental authorities extraordinary say as to ICANN policy, and could pose significant challenges for brands. 

ANA is planning to file comments in opposition to this proposal.  We encourage you or your allied associations to consider filing comments to make sure advertisers are fully represented in this process. 

If you have any questions regarding these proposed changes at ICANN, please contact Dan Jaffe at djaffe@ana.net or 202.296.2359.

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