Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

Special Meeting of the Board Minutes

25 September 2000

INTERNET CORPORATION FOR ASSIGNED NAMES AND NUMBERS
MINUTES OF SPECIAL MEETING
25 September 2000

A meeting of the Board of Directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") was held by teleconference on 25 September 2000. The following Directors of the Corporation were present by telephone: Esther Dyson, Chairman, Amadeu Abril i Abril, Robert Blokzijl, Vint Cerf, Greg Crew, Phil Davidson, Frank Fitzsimmons, Ken Fockler, Hans Kraaijenbrink, Jun Murai, Michael Roberts, Eugenio Triana, and Pindar Wong. Directors Geraldine Capdeboscq, Jonathan Cohen, Alejandro Pisanty, and Linda S. Wilson joined the call while it was in progress. Also present on the teleconference were Louis Touton, Vice-President, Secretary, and General Counsel of the Corporation; Andrew McLaughlin, Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation; and Joe Sims of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue.

The meeting was called to order by Esther Dyson at 5:05 am U.S. Pacific Daylight Time.

DELEGATION OF ccTLDs

Mr. Roberts raised the need for interpretation of existing policies regarding the delegation of "country code" top-level domains (ccTLDs). There are two areas in which the Board should consider clarifying the manner in which ccTLD policies are to be implemented:

1. ICP-1, which summarizes the current ccTLD policies, states that new ccTLD "codes are assigned from a table known as ISO-3166-1." On 6 July 2000, Erkki Liikanen, the European Commissioner for Enterprise & Information Society, wrote to Mr. Roberts regarding the possible establishment of an .eu TLD. Although the alpha-2 code "eu" is not directly included on the ISO 3166-1 list, the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency, as pointed out in Mr. Liikanan's letter, "has decided to extend the scope of the reservation of the code element EU to cover any application of ISO 3166-1 that needs a coded representation of the name European Union, including its being used as an Internet Top Level Domain." This gives it a status that seems practically equivalent to direct listing. The IANA staff seeks the Board's guidance as to whether codes not directly listed but having been granted an "any application" reservation on the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency's exceptional reservation list should be treated as subject to delegation under ICP-1.

2. For several months, discussions have been ongoing in the Internet community regarding the legal and other relationships between ICANN and ccTLD managers. Mr. Roberts stated that, although there continues to be disagreement about terms, there appears to be a clear consensus that ICANN's relationships with ccTLD managers should be set forth in contract. (In the past, there have been no contracts.) Indeed, ICANN's Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Commerce states that one task remaining to be completed in the transition is for ICANN to "achieve stable agreements" with ccTLD organizations.

Mr. Roberts presented the following resolutions for discussion (the numbers in brackets are added for convenience of reference in the discussion below):

[1] Whereas, the participants in the ICANN process have for many months been engaged in discussions regarding the appropriate relationships among organizations operating ccTLDs, the relevant governments or public authorities, and ICANN, this topic having been discussed in detail in connection with the ICANN meetings in March 2000 in Cairo and in July 2000 in Yokohama;

[2] Whereas, at the Cairo meeting the Board authorized (in Resolution 00.13) the President and staff to work with the ccTLD organizations, Governmental Advisory Committee, and other interested parties to prepare draft language for contracts, policy statements, and/or communications embodying these relationships;

[3] Whereas, although the exact terms of the relationships are still under discussion, some progress has been made, and it is clear that ICANN and the ccTLD organizations should enter into agreements with each other describing their roles and responsibilities;

[4] Whereas, ICANN has committed in its second status report under its Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Government and in Amendment 2 to that Memorandum of Understanding to continue its efforts to achieve stable agreements with the ccTLD organizations;

[5] Whereas, the United States Government has indicated that completion of the transition of responsibilities for technical coordination of certain Internet functions from the United States to the private sector requires achievement of stable and appropriate agreements between ICANN and the ccTLD organizations;

[6] Whereas, completion of the transition is a high priority and all reasonable efforts should therefore be devoted toward finalizing and entering appropriate and stable agreements with organizations operating ccTLDs;

[7] Whereas, the IANA has received various applications for establishment of ccTLDs involving alpha-2 codes not on the ISO 3166-1 list but on the reserved list published by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency;

[8] Whereas, the IANA's practice on the delegability of such codes has varied from time to time in the past;

[9] Whereas, the IANA staff has requested guidance as to the appropriate practice to follow regarding such codes;

[10] It is therefore RESOLVED that the IANA staff is advised that alpha-2 codes not on the ISO 3166-1 list are delegable as ccTLDs only in cases where the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency, on its exceptional reservation list, has issued a reservation of the code that covers any application of ISO 3166-1 that needs a coded representation in the name of the country or territory involved;

[11] It is further RESOLVED that in view of the state of ongoing discussions directed toward reaching stable and appropriate agreements between ICANN and the ccTLD organizations, delegation of additional ccTLDs should be finalized only upon achievement of stable and appropriate agreements between ICANN and the ccTLD organization, in a form approved by the Board.

In discussion of this issue, Ms. Dyson, Mr. Fockler, and Mr. Abril i Abril expressed the view that providing a response to the IANA staff regarding how to treat "any application" reservations (see [10] above) raised a policy matter, which should be referred to the DNSO. Other Board members stated that it was important for the IANA to be able to deal with particular applications in a timely manner, that the question posed involves only a minor interpretational matter rather than the type of significant policy matter for which the DNSO is designed to provide recommendations, and that in these circumstances it is appropriate for the Board to act.

During the above discussion, Ms. Wilson, Mr. Cohen, and Ms. Capdeboscq joined the call. In the early part of the following discussion, Mr. Pisanty joined.

In continuing discussion, Mr. Triana stated his view that the guidance sought by the IANA staff does not involve any new policy. Various directors discussed the proper procedure for formulating the guidance requested by the IANA staff, with the discussion emphasizing the importance of balancing the urgency of action with the degree of policy content involved.

Mr. Fockler moved to revise clause [10] above and to add a clause [10.5] to read as follows:

[10] It is therefore RESOLVED that the ICANN Board intends to advise the IANA staff after decision at the November 2000 Board meeting that alpha-2 codes not on the ISO 3166-1 list are delegable as ccTLDs only in cases where the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency, on its exceptional reservation list, has issued a reservation of the code that covers any application of ISO 3166-1 that needs a coded representation in the name of the country or territory involved;

[10.5] It is further RESOLVED, that the ICANN Board will seek the opinion of the DNSO prior to the November 2000 board meeting on this use of alpha-2 codes not on the ISO 3166-1 list;

The motion was seconded and discussed. In the discussion, several Board members expressed the view that the Board should take care not to intrude on the primary responsibility of the DNSO to make recommendations on policy. Board members also commented, on the other hand, that the DNSO process would take too long in view of the need to respond to a pending request and that the matter at hand does not involve a change in policy, but rather only an interpretation of existing policy. The question of whether to adopt the amendment was called, and the motion to amend was defeated, with three directors voting in favor (Ms. Dyson, Mr. Abril i Abril, and Mr. Fockler) and fourteen voting against. (Mr. Abramatic and Mr. Conrades were not in attendance.)

Mr. Wong proposed amending clause [10] by replacing "country or territory" with "country, territory, or area". By consensus, this amendment was adopted.

In the discussion, it was noted that the provision in clause [11] for entry of stable and appropriate agreements between ICANN and ccTLD organizations prior to actual delegation is necessary and appropriate to further ICANN's purposes because it involves the initial establishment of ICANN's initial set of relationships and essential to fulfillment of the mission envisioned for ICANN in the White Paper.

The following resolutions were then read and adopted, with 16 directors (Ms. Dyson, Mr. Abril i Abril, Mr. Robert Blokzijl, Ms. Capdeboscq, Mr. Cerf, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Crew, Mr. Davidson, Mr. Fitzsimmons, Mr. Kraaijenbrink, Mr. Murai, Mr. Pisanty, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Triana, Ms. Wilson, and Mr. Wong) voting in favor and one director (Mr. Fockler) voting against:

Whereas, the participants in the ICANN process have for many months been engaged in discussions regarding the appropriate relationships among organizations operating ccTLDs, the relevant governments or public authorities, and ICANN, this topic having been discussed in detail in connection with the ICANN meetings in March 2000 in Cairo and in July 2000 in Yokohama;

Whereas, at the Cairo meeting the Board authorized (in Resolution 00.13) the President and staff to work with the ccTLD organizations, Governmental Advisory Committee, and other interested parties to prepare draft language for contracts, policy statements, and/or communications embodying these relationships;

Whereas, although the exact terms of the relationships are still under discussion, some progress has been made, and it is clear that ICANN and the ccTLD organizations should enter into agreements with each other describing their roles and responsibilities;

Whereas, ICANN has committed in its second status report under its Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Government and in Amendment 2 to that Memorandum of Understanding to continue its efforts to achieve stable agreements with the ccTLD organizations;

Whereas, the United States Government has indicated that completion of the transition of responsibilities for technical coordination of certain Internet functions from the United States to the private sector requires achievement of stable and appropriate agreements between ICANN and the ccTLD organizations;

Whereas, completion of the transition is a high priority and all reasonable efforts should therefore be devoted toward finalizing and entering appropriate and stable agreements with organizations operating ccTLDs;

Whereas, the IANA has received various applications for establishment of ccTLDs involving alpha-2 codes not on the ISO 3166-1 list but on the reserved list published by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency;

Whereas, the IANA's practice on the delegability of such codes has varied from time to time in the past;

Whereas, the IANA staff has requested guidance as to the appropriate practice to follow regarding such codes;

It is therefore RESOLVED [00.74] that the IANA staff is advised that alpha-2 codes not on the ISO 3166-1 list are delegable as ccTLDs only in cases where the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency, on its exceptional reservation list, has issued a reservation of the code that covers any application of ISO 3166-1 that needs a coded representation in the name of the country, territory, or area involved;

It is further RESOLVED [00.75] that in view of the state of ongoing discussions directed toward reaching stable and appropriate agreements between ICANN and the ccTLD organizations, delegation of additional ccTLDs should be finalized only upon achievement of stable and appropriate agreements between ICANN and the ccTLD organization, in a form approved by the Board.

Mr. Cerf left the call after stating his vote on the above resolutions.

AMENDMENT TO ASO MOU

Mr. Touton presented resolution language to authorize entry of an amendment to the ASO Memorandum of Understanding regarding the terms of Address Council members. The amendment language had been circulated to the Board members and posted on the ICANN web site prior to the meeting. Mr. Touton noted that the amendment had been agreed by the RIR and ICANN staffs, and had received uniformly favorable informal input from members of the Address Council and the RIR boards.

Upon motion duly made and seconded, the Board unanimously adopted the following resolution:

Whereas, ICANN and the three current Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) entered a Memorandum of Understanding (ASO MOU) for formation of ICANN's Address Supporting Organization on 18 October 1999;

Whereas, questions have arisen under the ASO MOU about the exact terms of office of Address Council members;

Whereas, the members of the Address Council, along with the staffs of the RIRs and ICANN, have suggested that the ASO MOU be amended to align the terms so that the terms of new members of the Address Council all begin on 1 January and so that outgoing members can continue in office for up to six months after their terms in the event their successors have not yet been chosen;

Whereas, the Board has been presented with a proposed amendment to the ASO MOU that accomplishes these purposes;

Whereas, the proposed amendment has been discussed favorably by the members of the Address Council and the RIR staffs and is being presented to the RIR boards for their formal approval;

RESOLVED [00.76] that the President is authorized to enter an amendment to the ASO MOU on substantially the terms presented.

MARCH 2001 MEETING LOCATION

Mr. McLaughlin informed the Board that the only formal proposal for hosting the March 2001 ICANN meeting that was received called for holding it in Melbourne, Australia, from 10-13 March 2001. This spans the period of Saturday-Tuesday. The usual four-day format would be used, with the public forum on Monday and the Board meeting on Tuesday. By consensus, the Board gave approval to those plans.

MULTILINGUAL DOMAIN NAMES

Mr. Touton raised the topic of the multilingual testbed for the .com, .net, and .org top-level domains recently announced by Verisign Global Registry Services (formerly NSI Registry). Mr. Wong immediately recused himself from the discussion of this topic.

Mr. Touton noted that on 22 August Verisign Global Registry Services announced its introduction of the multilingual testbed, under which users can register domain names in alternative character sets under the .com, .net, and .org top-level domains. Under the program, users can register second-level domain names (the "example" in "example.com") in various non-ASCII character sets (traditional and simplified Chinese, Japanese, and Korean initially; Arabic, Portuguese, and Spanish later). The top-level domain names themselves (".com," ".net," and ".org") will not be affected. (I.e. only the second-level name can be multilingual under this testbed.)

Multilingual names do not meet the technical format currently required for domain names stored in the DNS. This so-called "host name" format requires that a domain name label consist entirely of ASCII letters and numbers. (Internal hyphens may also be used.) To meet this format requirement the Verisign testbed system takes the multilingual name and converts it to a valid host name using a coding scheme called "RACE." Thus, the Chinese characters for "example" would converted to "3bhyww2q". This string is then appended to a four-character string (in the initial proposal "ra--") so that a valid host name is generated that is not likely to be of interest for ordinary uses (in this example "ra--3bhyww2q.com"). For its testbed, Verisign Registry is planning to deploy special resolvers throughout the Internet that would receive multilingual queries for domain name resolution, convert the strings to the ASCII equivalents, and look up those equivalents in the ordinary DNS zone file. The proper IP address will then be returned to the requesting party.

Under the Verisign testbed, multilingual names can be registered with any accredited registrar that enhances its systems to handle the multilingual names and passes technical certification of this capability. As required by the Registry Agreement, multilingual names will be registered on the same economic terms ($6 per year) as any
other domain name. In other words, the ASCII-equivalent domain name is handled contractually just like any other name and Verisign Registry is planning to deploy the conversion resolvers at no additional charge.

The IDN Working Group of the IETF has been engaged for some time in developing standards for internationalizing the DNS to permit use of multilingual domain names. The technical challenges in devising a suitable standard in this area are substantial. All of the approaches deployed so far (including Verisign's) involve some risk of incompatibility, although Verisign's technical approach appears to present fewer compatiblity issues than some other approaches.

In announcing its multilingual testbed, Verisign stated its commitment to implement the testbed consistent with the IAB's comments onInternationalized Domain Names and the Unique DNS Root. However, Verisign Registry noted that it "intends to develop and deploy multilingual domain name technology in the testbed prior to formal approval of multilingual domain name standards by the IETF."

In the ensuing discussion, Board members thought it appropriate for ICANN to promote an environment that supports development of open, non-proprietary standards for extension of the DNS to non-ASCII character sets without undue delay, while minimizing interoperability problems. They also stressed that the Verisign testbed was only one of several experiments going on, that fair treatment of domain-name holders and registrars is important, that experiments should not significantly risk the smooth operation of the Internet, and that the experimental character of the testbed should be understood by all.

During the above discussion, Ms. Capdeboscq, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Triana, and Ms. Wilson left the call.

Upon motion duly made and seconded, the Board adopted the following resolution:

Whereas, Verisign Global Registry Services has announced a multilingual testbed under the .com, .net, and .org top-level domains to be available for all accredited registrars passing technical certification;

Whereas, ICANN recognizes that it is important that the Internet evolve to be more accessible to those who do not use the ASCII character set;

Whereas, the internationalization of the Internet's domain name system must be accomplished through standards that are open, non-proprietary, and fully compatible with the Internet's existing end-to-end model and that preserve globally unique naming in a universally resolvable public name space;

Whereas, constructive experimentation with extensions to the domain name system to support multilingual names should be encouraged, provided it is done in a manner consistent with promoting responsible standardization, it avoids disrupting the stability of the Internet or the interoperability of Internet services, and its experimental character is clearly understood by all affected;

RESOLVED [00.77] that the ICANN Board calls on Verisign Global Registry Services to consult closely with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Internet Architecture Board concerning the design and implementation of the testbed, with the goal that the testbed should promote, rather than complicate, technical standardization efforts in this area;

RESOLVED [00.78] that the ICANN Board calls on Verisign Global Registry Services to conduct the testbed in full compliance with its agreements with ICANN, including by providing equivalent access within the testbed to all ICANN-accredited registrars that meet reasonable technical-qualification requirements;

RESOLVED [00.79] that the ICANN Board urges participating registrars to handle registrations within the testbed in a manner that protects the interests and expectations of both domain-name holders and affected third parties;

RESOLVED [00.80] that the President and staff are directed to investigate and report to the Board whether any addenda to the agreements with Verisign Global Registry Services are appropriate to facilitate the operation of the testbed in a manner that protects those interests and expectations, including provisions that facilitate evolution of the testbed to match evolving standardization efforts within the IETF.

Eleven directors (Ms. Dyson, Mr. Abril i Abril, Mr. Robert Blokzijl, Mr. Crew, Mr. Davidson, Mr. Fitzsimmons, Mr. Fockler, Mr. Kraaijenbrink, Mr. Murai, Mr. Pisanty, and Mr. Roberts) voted in favor and Mr. Wong abstained.

MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS

The Board members briefly discussed the status of the CEO search and arrangements for the upcoming selection of five At-Large directors.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:25 am U.S. Pacific Daylight Time.

_______________________
Louis Touton
Secretary

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