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Policy Advisory Boards - A Cornerstone PICS (Public Interest Commitment Specification)

Drawing on my experience co-founding .TRAVEL, where we established a similar model, this post on Circle ID discusses a mechanism by which the ICANN Government Advisory Committee (GAC) safeguard advice for protecting the public interest attached to regulated sectors can be implemented. This approach would assure that as Internet users interact with domains at new "sensitive string" gTLDs associated with regulated industries and professions, they can be assured that the registrants are bona fide entities engaged in legitimate activities.

ONR Founder

Ron Andruff

With more than 30 years of international marketing experience and 15 years of intimate knowledge of the intricate workings of ICANN and the key individuals within the community that drive it, Ron Andruff offers essential insight and crucial strategic advice to businesses watching and wondering how the new regime of thousands of new top-level domains is going to impact them.

As co-founder and former president and CEO of Tralliance Corporation, the .travel Registry, Ron Andruff spearheaded the global initiative from its initial concept through to reality. Acknowledgment by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) as One of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Marketing Minds of 2006, was one of the many accolades Andruff accumulated over the course of that 7-year .travel undertaking.

A former NGO delegate to the United Nations' Association for World Education and a distinguished member of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Andruff has participated in numerous foreign affairs briefings and research projects over the last three decades. In 1994, on behalf of the Foreign Policy Association (FPA), Andruff undertook an eight-month assessment of emerging electronic media and new technologies. He later authored a widely acclaimed white paper, distributed by the FPA, which provided a comprehensive analysis of the Internet and its widespread impact.

A Canadian national and former professional ice hockey player, Andruff has served on the board of trustees of two foundations close to his heart: the Waterbor Burn & Cancer Foundation in New York City, and Just A Drop (fresh water) Charity in London, England. Currently he is an advocate for Peace and Sport, Monaco. Traveling some 100 days per year, Ron Andruff is a frequent speaker/moderator at a broad range of industry conferences.

As Drug Costs Rise, Bending the Law Is One Remedy
More Americans are buying medicine from foreign pharmacies, even though the Food and Drug Administration considers such imports illegal in most cases. ...about five years ago, Mrs. Higman started ordering the tablets from Canada, where a year’s supply that would cost about $1,000 in the United States sells for under $100. She explains, “When it became economically imperative I ordered it from Canada, a country with strict drug requirements.”
RxRights - Client Work related to the .PHARMACY new gTLD application

RxRights and its coalition partners are dedicated to promoting and protecting American consumer access to sources of safe affordable prescription drugs. U.S. drug costs remain a serious and growing problem; for example, 48 million Americans ages 19-64 did not fill a prescription due to cost in 2010, according to the Commonwealth Fund–a 66% increase since 2001. Indeed, it is estimated that the number of Americans who go without needed prescription drugs due to cost is greater than the entire population of Canada.

RxRights retained ICANN Sherpa to assist them in their opposition to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacies (NABP) application to manage the .PHARMACY gTLD.

NABP Moves .Pharmacy Program Closer to Launch, Enters Contracting Phase With ICANN

"Among the global coalition of stakeholders behind the .pharmacy initiative are the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, Eli Lilly and Company, European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines, Gilead Sciences, Inc, International Pharmaceutical Federation, INTERPOL, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc, LegitScript, Merck/MSD, National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities, Pfizer, and state boards of pharmacy."

With clear evidence that Big Pharma driving the .PHARMACY bus, NABP is anything but a nuetral industry oversight body.  And their most recent letters to ICANN focused on cowing ICANN Registrars into submission underscores their intention to use .PHARMACY to legislate the Big Pharma agenda...

Maine’s drug importation law does not endorse online pharmacies. Should it?

Five million Americans buy medication internationally due to the outrageous prices charged domestically. There’s an ethical and public health imperative to help them.

When you think about Americans ordering medication online from foreign countries, not just Canada, I want you to consider the following: 50 million Americans did not fill a prescription in 2012 due to cost. The online hunt for meds is not just about getting cheap Viagra without a prescription but [...]
Historical Work

Corporate Development

dotSport LLC

Sport is not just a game.Sport is about passion and incorporates a broad cross-section of society, all of whom are unquestionably attached to it. The appeal of the mainstream online social networks such as Facebook is starting to wear off. For many people the networks have become too much of "a mile wide and an inch deep". This has triggered demand for new categories of vertically oriented networks which offer functionality and services tailored towards specific needs and interests. is a dedicated social network positioned to serve the most emotional, exciting and obsessive activity in the world - sport.To put this in perspective, approximately 5% of all Americans are "obsessed" sports fans, while one in ten are "serious" sports fans.lifedotsport's mission is to provide a platform to fulfill this market’s social needs.

Tralliance Corporation, the .travel Registry

Founded Tralliance Corporation, the .travel Registry, the Internet's first global vertical Top Level Domain (gTLD) devoted exclusively to the tourism and travel industry.

The travel industry’s exclusive Internet domain was enthusiastically embraced by the global travel industry with more than 150,000 .travel domain names registered under RA’s leadership. The initiative was supported by more than 140 travel trade associations from 9 industry sectors and more than 73 countries. This was the last large-scale test before the advent of the new gTLD regime that began in 2013. Tralliance was sold to a publicly listed company in the United States.

Fare 1

fare 1, Inc., focused on the mission of putting travel agents back into travel.With travel agents under siege and faced with commission cuts from airline partners, the emergence of Internet travel companies offering new ways for consumers to reserve travel online, and suppliers encouraging consumers to book direct, travel agents faced the most serious crisis in the history of their profession.

fare 1 brought simplicity and order to an industry in transition by giving travel agents the tools they need to join the Internet revolution and profit from it, while providing their clients with the best fares available.

In May 2000, fare 1 was sold to U.K.-based, World Travel Holdings plc, which subsequently went public on the London A.I.M.Exchange in September 2000, realizing a 60,000,000-Pound Sterling (US$100,000,000) market valuation. [1999-2001]

DYNADX Technologies Company

DYNADX Technologies Company, Inc. developed, manufactured and marketed a proprietary, rotational poster advertising system, DYN-AD-X.

With the advent of the DYNADX, the televised sports advertising paradigm dramatically changed. For the first time, location became irrelevant; replaced by ‘time’. With DYNADX, each advertiser's name and logo was exclusively presented around the entire stadium.

DYNADX was immediately installed by the NBA's New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz and others.Today, most NBA teams utilize this technology, as do most Major League Baseball teams, and colleges.It can also be found in non-sports locations, e.g., at airports and in bus shelters.

Program Development

McDonald's Corporation

Created and implemented a 5-year, pan-European marketing plan as exclusive marketing consultant to McDonald's System of Europe (the chain's European operations).

A key element in the plan was the fulfillment of McDonald's first-ever athlete endorsement program with Jimmy Connors.Under the banner, Jimmy Connors and McDonald's - Two Great Americans Known Around The World, implemented a turn-key, multi-lingual marketing campaign in all restaurants in eight European nations (Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland).Over a 3-year period, more than 20,000 children 8-14 years old were taught the basic elements of the lifetime sport of tennis while significant sales increases were posted at virtually every participating restaurant, across all eight markets.

European Broadcasting Union

Authored model used by the European Broadcasting Union* ('EBU') to maximize cost saving from its sports television rights acquisitions. The unprecedented formula called for each EBU member to expand the coverage/viewership to increase the cost/value of the advertising signage around the playing field.In return, EBU members that broadcast the sports program received a share in the advertising revenues, traditionally owned exclusively by third party advertising rights holders.Under the model, both the EBU members and the advertising rights holders equitably shared in the significantly increased advertising income.


Foreign Policy Association

Authored White Paper on The Internet and Emerging Electronic Media, detailing the origins and impact of the Internet on the non-governmental organization, Foreign Policy Association.The study addressed access, content, key players, products and services "on the horizon", and the tools made available through the "one-to-millions" potential of the Net and brought to the light the field of possibilities available for the Association.

Implications and Effects Of the GAC Beijing Communique
Although this article was first published just a few days ago, on May 8th, there have been several important intervening developments. First, on May 10th ICANN released a News Alert on "NGPC Progress on GAC Advice" that provides a timetable for how the New gTLD program Committee will deal with the GAC Communique. Of particular note is that, as the last action in an initial phase consisting of "actions for soliciting input from Applicants and from the Community', the NGPC will begin to "Review and consider Applicant responses to GAC Advice and Public Comments on how Board should respond to GAC Advice...
ICANN Publishes RSSAC2 Review Survey for Community Input

LOS ANGELES – 27 November 2017 – Interisle, the independent examiner conducting the second review of the ICANN Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC2), is launching a survey to collect input from those who have interacted with RSSAC and/or have ideas for ways to improve it. Please share your input by taking the survey found at this link: The survey will close on 27 December 2017.


A periodic review of the RSSAC is mandated by ICANN Bylaws Section 4.4 "Periodic Review of ICANN Structure and Operations".

The RSSAC plays a critical role within ICANN, advising the ICANN community and Board on matters related to the operation, administration, security, and integrity of the Internet's Root Server System. It communicates on matters relating to the operation of the Root Servers and their multiple instances with the Internet technical community and the ICANN community. The RSSAC gathers and articulates requirements to offer to those engaged in technical revision of the protocols and best common practices related to the operation of Domain Name System servers, as well as ongoing threat assessment and risk analysis of the Root Server System, among other related activities.

Next Steps

Following the close of the survey, the independent examiner will analyze survey responses received along with input received via interviews at ICANN60, IETF100, and other forums, as input into its assessment report, to be posted in February 2018.

RSSAC Resources


ICANN's mission is to ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world

ICANN Mentors Young Leaders in Asia Pacific

SEOUL, Republic of Korea – 15 August 2019 – The Internet of tomorrow might well be influenced by 52 young people from the Asia Pacific region who are meeting this week to learn about a wide range of subjects relating to Internet governance.

They are attending the fourth Asia Pacific Governance Academy (APIGA) now taking place in Seoul, South Korea from 12 – 16 August. The five-day academy is organized by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). APIGA aims to improve participants' understanding of how the Internet works, the "bottom-up consensus building" model of Internet governance, and how they can take part in shaping the evolution of the Internet for the next generation.

"Developing the leaders of tomorrow is critical to strengthening the diversity of the multistakeholder model of Internet governance," said Göran Marby, ICANN President and Chief Executive Officer. "Events such as APIGA are key to achieving this goal, and ensuring that today's students are equipped to shape the future of the Internet tomorrow."

APIGA has been successful in nurturing relationships with alumni that remain involved in the Internet governance ecosystem, including ICANN. Today, it is recognized as a premier platform in the Asia Pacific region for youth engagement on Internet governance issues.

Since its inaugural launch in 2016, 134 young adults have attended APIGA. Approximately 25 percent of these are currently active alumni, participating in ICANN Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, Working Groups; or joining Internet governance related groups like Internet Governance Forums (IGFs) and Internet Society (ISOC) Chapters.

APIGA is an extension of ICANN's youth engagement programs. They aim to reach out to the next generation and mentor future leaders. Other ICANN programs include:

  • NextGen@ICANN – held on the sidelines of ICANN Public Meetings, for youths interested in becoming active in their regional communities and in shaping the future of global Internet policies.
  • ICANN Fellowship – targeted at individuals from underserved and underrepresented communities to become active participants in ICANN.

APIGA is co-organized by ICANN and the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA), and supported by partners such as the Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC), DotAsia, and the Internet Society (ISOC).

For more information about APIGA, please visit here.


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique, so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world.

Cambodian Activists Explain Why The EU-India FTA Is A Matter Of Life And Death
It is extremely worrisome that, despite assurance made by the Indian government regarding its determination not to include any measures hampering the production and provision of affordable generic medicines, the EU continues to put pressure on the Indian counterpart to accept Data Exclusivity, Intellectual Property Enforcement Measures and Investment Rules, all of which are designed to protect the interests of European pharmaceutical giants by curbing the availability of generic medicines cheaply produced in India. It is apparent that these provisions aim to secure bigger profits for large European pharmaceutical corporations and discourage production of cheap generic medicines in India, which have been saving millions of lives across the world. (Excerpt of letter from Cambodian garment workers, sex workers, entertainment workers, people living with HIV, LGBTs, university students, feminists and human right activists from different networks and organisations to Cambodian Health Minister H.E Jean-François Cautain)
Novartis Loses Patent Bid: Lessons From India’s 3(d) Experience
New Delhi - On 1 April, in a packed room in India’s Supreme Court, two judges - Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Desai - delivered a verdict that has the potential to dramatically change the national and global conversation about patents and patients.

A key aspect of the outcome is the possibility of curtailing a brand-name pharmaceutical industry practice of extending patent monopolies by getting new patents on variations of existing products. The issues which have come to the fore in the wake of the Supreme Court’s verdict will not likely disappear any time soon. The reason: there is simply too much at stake. A 2011 report by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) pointed out that India’s pharmaceutical industry is today the third largest market globally in terms of volume and 14th largest by value.

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