ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) are currently developing their three-year Strategic Plan, which is reviewed and updated annually. They have published an issues paper summarising the comments made in response to the first phase of consultation. The questions in this first phase were as follows:

1. What are the major factors that will affect the Domain Name Server (DNS) over the next three to five years?

2. What are the major issues facing ICANN over the next three to five years?

3. What are the most important issues for the ICANN community to discuss over the next three to five years?

4. What should be ICANN's priorities for the next three years?

The Issues Paper

The responses to these consultation questions are summarised in ICANN's document entitled "Issues identified during the initial consultation process for the ICANN July 2008 – June 2011 Strategic Plan". As well as containing material from the current strategic plan, this issues paper brings together ideas from three further sources: community consultation, input from ICANN staff, and discussions by the ICANN Board. The paper identifies ten major issues that need to be considered in the Strategic Plan:

1. The introduction of Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) and the impact of this on all aspects of ICANN.

2. The new generic top level domain (gTLD) process.

3. Security. It was felt that the stability and security of the DNS are central to ICANN's mission and ICANN must therefore develop strategies to deal with attacks on the DNS.

4. Capacity building for developing internet communities. In particular, it has been suggested that ICANN should be providing more support for the growth of the internet in the developing world.

5. The run out of IPv4 and the implementation of IPv6. This relates to the allocation of addresses and the relocation of currently assigned space.

6. Promotion of worldwide participation in the ICANN process, from the bottom up.

7. Improving policy processes, including supporting timely decision making and representation of the end user.

8. Management of risks associated with business failure and the protection of end users.

9. Improvements in accountability and transparency.

10. The continued move towards independence from the United States Department of Commerce.

The Second Phase of Consultation

ICANN is now inviting comments on the issues paper and have asked the following questions:

1. Are there any significant issues that have been overlooked?

2. Given the issues raised by the community and summarised in the Issues Paper, what should be ICANN's priorities for the June 2008 – July 2011 Strategic Plan?

The submissions sent to ICANN in response to these questions will be used to formulate key priorities and the draft Strategic Plan. The deadline for submission of comments was 12 October 2007.