Board Activities and Meetings
A Regular Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors was held on 23 June 2012 at 5:00 pm local time in Prague, Czech Republic.
Chairman Steve Crocker promptly called the meeting to order.
In addition to the Chair the following Directors participated in all or part of the meeting: Sébastien Bachollet, Rod Beckstrom (President and CEO), Cherine Chalaby, Bertrand de La Chapelle, Chris Disspain, Bill Graham, Gonzalo Navarro, Ray Plzak, George Sadowsky, Mike Silber, Bruce Tonkin (Vice Chair), Judith Vazquez, and Kuo-Wei Wu.
The following Board Liaisons participated in all or part of the meeting: Heather Dryden, GAC Liaison; Thomas Narten (IETF Liaison); Thomas Roessler (TLG Liaison); and Suzanne Woolf (RSSAC Liaison).
R. Ramaraj sent apologies.
- Consent Agenda
- 1.1. Approval of Board Minutes
- 1.2. Delegation of عمان (Oman)
- 1.3. SSAC Report on Dotless Domains
- 1.4. Ombudsman Regular Meetings with Board
- 1.5. GNSO Improvements Program Wrap-Up/June 2012
- 1.6. NOMCOM TRANSPARENCY GUIDELINES
- 1.7. .Post RSEP Request
- 1.8. Thanks to the CEO Search Process Management Work Committee
- 1.9. Update to Composition of New gTLD Program Committee
- .COM Renewal
- Adoption of the FY13 Operating Plan and Budget
- Location of April 2013 ICANN Public Meeting
- WHOIS Policy Review Team Final Report
The Chair introduced the consent agenda items and called for a vote.
The Board then took the following action:
Resolved, the following resolutions in this Consent Agenda are approved:
Resolved (2012.06.23.01), the Board approves the minutes of the 14 March 2012 ICANN Board Meeting.
Resolved (2012.06.23.02), the Board approves the minutes of the 14 March 2012 ICANN Board Meeting.
Resolved (2012.06.23.03), the Board approves the minutes of the 15 March 2012 ICANN Board Meeting.
Resolved (2012.06.23.04), the Board approves the minutes of the 16 March 2012 ICANN Board Meeting.
Resolved (2012.06.23.05), the Board approves the minutes of the 28 March 2012 ICANN Board Meeting.Resolved (2012.06.23.06), the Board approves the minutes of the 10 April 2012 ICANN Board Meeting.
Whereas, عمان ("Oman"), encoded as "xn--mgb9awbf", is a string that has been deemed to appropriately represent Oman through the IDN Fast Track process.
Whereas, ICANN has received a request for delegation of عمان to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).
Whereas, ICANN has reviewed the request, and has determined that the proposed delegation would be in the interests of the local and global Internet communities.
Resolved (2012.06.23.07), the proposed delegation of the عمان domain to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) is approved.
Why the Board is addressing the issue now?
ICANN presents delegation and redelegation requests for country-code domains to the Board for decision once the applicant has provided a sufficiently complete application that has a reasonable prospect of a positive Board decision. In line with ICANN's commitments to perform timely processing of requests relating to the IANA function, and the DNS root zone in particular, the ICANN Board seeks to evaluate such requests at its next scheduled Meeting.
What is the proposal being considered?
The proposal is to approve a request to the IANA function to change or designate the sponsoring organisation (also known as the manager or trustee) of a country-code top-level domain. In line with established practice, the ICANN Board is involved in making the decision to proceed with such requests as one step of this multi-step process.
Which stakeholders or others were consulted?
In the course of evaluating a delegation application, ICANN consults with the applicant, the current operator (if applicable), and other directly connected parties. In line with ICANN's practice of keeping incomplete root zone change requests in confidence, ICANN has not performed open consultation on this matter.
What concerns or issues were raised by the community?
Any concerns or issues are raised within the public report that will be published in conjunction with this action. This report will be published on ICANN's IANA website at http://www.iana.org/ should the root zone change request has successfully completed final processing, in a timely manner following the Board's decision.
What significant materials did the Board review?
The Board is involved in assessing requests against a variety of public interest criteria. This criteria includes establishing that: the country-code is eligible (e.g. listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard); the proposed manager is supported by the local Internet community; the proposed operator is operationally and technically competent; the proposed manager is based locally and bound under local law; the proposed manager operates fairly and equitably; that in cases there is a transfer of operations that an appropriate plan is in place to preserve ongoing stability of the domain; and the action is compatible with any applicable local laws and regulations. During the staff compilation process, the applicant is asked to provide a variety of materials in support of these various aspects. Pertinent information from these supplied materials and other research is provided to the Board, and published in a public report at the end of implementing an approved request.
What factors the Board found to be significant?
The Board considers factors described in the public report, in relation to the basic principles of country-code domain delegation described earlier.
Are there positive or negative community impacts?
The timely approval of country-code domain name redelegations that meet the various public interest criteria is positive toward ICANN's overall mission, and the local communities to which country-code top-level domains are designated to serve.
Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN (strategic plan, operating plan, budget), the community, and/or the public?
The administration of country-code delegations in the DNS root zone is part of the IANA function, and the delegation should not cause any significant variance on pre-planned expenditure. It is not the role of ICANN to assess the fiscal impact of the internal operations of country-code top-level domains within a country, other than ensuring the operator is based in country and has the appropriate mechanisms to allow the local Internet community to properly oversee the domain's ongoing operation.
Are there any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS?
For country-code top-level domain delegations, ICANN seeks to approve only such requests where reasonable concerns have been satisfactorily addressed, and the proposed new manager has demonstrated a sufficient level of operational and technical competency where such concerns should be minimal.
Whereas, the delegation of TLDs in a way that promotes security and a good user experience is a longstanding topic of importance to ICANN's Board and the global Internet community.
Whereas, on 23 February 2012, the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) published SAC 053: SSAC Report on Dotless Domains.
Whereas, the SSAC report concluded that the ways in which domain names are interpreted in different contexts would lead to unpredictable and unexpected dotless domain behaviour.
RESOLVED (2012.06.23.08), the Board hereby acknowledges the receipt the SAC 053, and thanks the members of SSAC and all other contributors for their efforts in the creation of the report.
RESOLVED (2012.06.23.09), the Board directs ICANN staff to consult with the relevant communities regarding implementation of the recommendations in SAC053 and no later than September 1, 2012, to provide a briefing paper for the Board which details the technical, policy and legal issues, if any, which may arise as a result of implementing SAC053 recommendations, listing the options, if any, for mitigating such issues.
SSAC studied the dotless domain issue due to potential user harm and user experience problems due to non-uniform implementations. As this issue is relevant in both nTLD and IDN ccTLDs, both of which are increasing in numbers, the SSAC recommends that the use of certain types of Resource Records (RRs) in the root is considered undesirable.
After the publication of SAC 053, the SSAC consulted with ICANN stakeholders (e.g., gNSO) in Costa Rica, as a result, some implementation questions were raised, (e.g., how long the prohibition period should be, what is the necessary and sufficient condition that it could be allowed). As a result, SSAC deemed further technical and community consultations are needed. Undertaking this work now is important due to the potential gTLD decisions/rollouts likely in 2013.
The board's receipt of this paper and direction for review of potential implementation issues is in furtherance of ICANN's accountability to the community, as ICANN is responding to the work of one of its advisory committees. This action is not expected to have an impact on ICANN's resources, and directing this work to be done may result in implementation plans that could positively improve the security or stability of the DNS.
Section 188.8.131.52 of the Applicant Guidebook states that the only permissible DNS Resource Records for the apex in a TLD zone (i.e., the TLD-string itself) are: SOA, NS, and related DNSSEC records. This effectively prohibits dotless domain names. The same section also states, "An applicant wishing to place any other record types into its TLD zone should describe in detail its proposal in the registry services section of the application. This will be evaluated and could result in an extended evaluation to determine whether the service would create a risk of a meaningful adverse impact on security or stability of the DNS." The process for consideration of new registry services is described in the new registry agreement. This combination would probably serve to bar dotless domain in new gTLDs but this is not fully clear.
Whereas, the Accountability and Transparency Review Team's (ATRT) Recommendation 24 related to the assessment of the relationship between the Board and the Ombudsman and to ensure that activities are in compliance with recognized standards.
Whereas, after his appointment in 2011, the ICANN Ombudsman undertook a review of his office and function in accordance with the ATRT Recommendation.
Whereas, while the Office of the Ombudsman reports to the Board as a whole, a formal and regular meeting schedule is not currently in place.
Whereas, the Ombudsman recommended to the Board Governance Committee (BGC) that a regular meeting schedule be established, possibly through a committee of the Board.
Whereas, the BGC recommended that Executive Committee regularly meet with the Ombudsman on current investigation issues and the Compensation Committee regularly meet with the Ombudsman relating to his performance and compensation issues.
Whereas, notwithstanding the Executive and Compensation Committees' liaison roles, the Ombudsman may provide reports to the full Board if consideration or action by the full Board is necessary.
Resolved (2012.06.23.10), the Executive Committee shall regularly meet with the Ombudsman on current investigation issues and the Compensation Committee shall regularly meet with the Ombudsman relating to his performance and compensation. Any Ombudsman reports that require the full Board's attention shall be provided to the Board as a whole, as needed as determined in consultation with the Executive Committee and the Ombudsman.
The Board's action is in furtherance of its accountability and transparency efforts and continued implementation of the ATRT recommendations. As a result of the Ombudsman's review of the operations of his office and the relationship with the Board, he recommended the implementation of a regular meeting schedule, which is established through this resolution. While establishing this regular meeting structure, this action maintains the Board's relationship with the Ombudsman and makes clear that the Board should continue to review reports that require the full Board's consideration or attention.
This action is not anticipated to have any fiscal impact on ICANN, nor is it expected to have an impact on the security, stability or resiliency of the domain name system.
Whereas, the GNSO Improvements Program was initiated following publication of the Board Governance Committee (BGC) Report on GNSO Improvements [PDF, 192 KB] in February 2008.
Whereas, the BGC recommended a series of specific and substantial improvements initiatives organized into five major areas: (1) Restructure the GNSO/Council; (2) Adopt a Working Group Model; (3) Revise the Policy Development Process; (4) Enhance & Support Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies; and (5) Improve Communications and Coordination among ICANN Structures.
Whereas, community preparation and planning activities began in May 2008 and, primarily through the work of two Steering Committees, five Work Teams, and over a hundred participants, the Program has substantially developed the structures, policies, procedures, and disciplines designed to achieve long-term improvement in all five target areas.
Resolved (2012.06.23.11), the Board acknowledges the outstanding accomplishments of the GNSO Improvements Program and recognizes the positive effects of the structural, operational, and process improvements successfully implemented within the GNSO over the past four years. The Board thanks the GNSO Council, the Steering Committees, Work Teams, volunteers, and Staff members who invested considerable time, effort, and commitment toward achieving the original vision of the Board Governance Committee. The Board looks forward to continued improvement in the GNSO.
The GNSO is the primary engine in the ICANN community for fashioning, recommending changes, and making modifications to generic top-level domain policies. At its core, the objective of the GNSO review process has been to identify ways to improve the inclusiveness and representativeness of the GNSO's work while increasing its effectiveness and efficiency.
The multi-year GNSO review process has been guided by several key objectives, including: maximizing the ability for all interested stakeholders to participate in the GNSO's processes; ensuring recommendations can continue to be developed on gTLD "consensus policies" for Board review, and that the subject matter of "consensus policies" is clearly defined; ensuring policy development processes are based on thoroughly-researched, well-scoped objectives, and are run in a predictable manner that yields results that can be implemented effectively; and improving communications and administrative support for GNSO objectives.
The GNSO Improvements approved by the Board, and implemented by the GNSO community and ICANN staff over the past several years have focused on five main areas:
Adopting a Working Group Model: A working group model should become the focal point for policy development and enhance the policy development process by making it more inclusive and representative, and – ultimately – more effective and efficient.
Revising the PDP: The GNSO's policy development process (PDP) needs to be effective and responsive to ICANN's policy development needs. It should be brought in-line with the time and effort actually required to develop policy, and made consistent with ICANN's existing contracts.
Restructuring the GNSO Council: The Council should move away from being a legislative body concerned primarily with voting towards becoming a smaller, more focused strategic entity, composed of four broad stakeholder groups, with strengthened management and oversight of the policy development process.
Enhancing Constituencies: Constituency procedures and operations should become more transparent, accountable and accessible.
Improving Communication and Coordination with ICANN Structures: There should be more frequent contact and effective communication between the GNSO Council, GNSO constituencies and the members the Council elects to the Board, and among the Chairs of the GNSO, other Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs)
The GNSO Improvements implemented by the GNSO community and ICANN Staff have addressed these key issue areas and merit recognition at this time. The Board understands that "improving" the structures and processes of its various communities is a constant, continuing and ongoing process and that a new independent review process of the GNSO will be initiated in accordance with the ICANN Bylaws.
Whereas, the Accountability and Transparency Review Team has recommended that the Board and Nominating Committee (NomCom) should increase the transparency of the NomCom's deliberations and decision-making process.
Whereas, the Board Governance Committee (BGC) has developed and shared some suggested Guidelines with the current NomCom.
Whereas, the current NomCom has had the opportunity to review and comment on the Guidelines.
Resolved (2012.06.23.12), the Guidelines to Preserve Transparency of Nominating Committee (NomCom) Activities are approved and all Nominating Committees are required to comply with these Guidelines.
Resolved (2012.06.23.13), the Guidelines to Preserve Transparency of Nominating Committee (NomCom) Activities shall be posted in the appropriate location on the NomCom website.
ICANN is committed to the transparency, to the extent feasible, of all decision-making processes that impact the ICANN community. The Nominating Committee (NomCom) is a key part of the process in that the NomCom selects important leadership positions within ICANN's Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees and Board. The community is entitled to have a clear and thorough understanding of the NomCom selection process, to the extent providing that information does not violate any rules of privacy or confidentiality.
Recognizing the importance of transparency in the NomCom processes, ATRT Recommendation No. 3, which was approved by the Board, stated: "Board & NomCom should increase transparency of NomCom's deliberations & decision-making process; e.g. explain timeline, skill-set criteria before process starts, & explain choices made at the end." The Board assigned this particular ATRT Recommendation to the BGC for managing. Noting that each NomCom is empowered to create its own procedural rules, the BGC deemed that creating a limited and focused set of Guidelines for all NomCom's to follow would be the most effective way to address ATRT Recommendation No. 3.
This resolution will have a positive impact on ICANN and the community as it will provide greater transparency into the NomCom activities. There will not be any fiscal impact or any impact on the security, stability or resiliency of the domain name system.
Whereas, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) submitted a Request pursuant to ICANN's Registry Services Evaluation Policy to release and allocate previously-reserved TLD names in second- and higher-level .POST registrations.
Whereas, ICANN evaluated the proposed amendment to the .POST Registry Agreement as a new registry service pursuant to the Registry Services Evaluation Policy, did not identify any security, stability or competition issues, and posted an amendment for public comment and Board consideration (http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/post-amendment-2012-09apr12-en.htm).
Whereas, the potential issues cited during the public comment period and by ICANN were addressed by the UPU's responses.
Whereas, the restriction that the UPU seeks to remove from its agreement is not incorporated into the proposed Registry Agreements for the New gTLD Program.
Resolved (2012.06.23.14), the UPU's request to amend the .POST Registry Agreement to release and allocate previously-reserved TLD names to second- and higher-level .POST sTLD registrations is approved, and the President and CEO and General Counsel are authorized to take actions to implement the amendment.
ICANN's stakeholder relations, legal, and technical teams reviewed the RSEP proposal for competition and DNS stability issues and found none.
This restriction does not appear in the draft registry agreement proposed for the New gTLD Program. This is the first time an existing registry has requested to remove the restriction on registering other existing TLD strings at the second level.
Lifting the restrictions follows the recommendations of the GNSO Reserved Names Working Group that found the restriction no longer necessary.
Several existing registries (i.e. .COM .NET .ORG) already had many of the reserved names registered prior to the implementation of the rules regarding reservation.
ICANN held a public comment period from 9 April 2012 to 30 May 2012. UPU addressed concerns raised by ICANN and the community through the public comment period.
Approving this amendment is not expected to have an impact on ICANN or community resources, nor are there any expected impacts on the security, stability or resiliency of the domain name system.
Whereas, over the past nine months, the CEO Search Process Management Work Committee has devoted substantial time and effort in identifying a successor to Rod Beckstrom as ICANN's President and CEO.
Whereas, the CEO Search Process Management Work Committee designed a full and thorough process, including seeking community input on criteria for the next President and CEO; creating a candidate profile; engaging a search firm to assist in recruitment; and an extensive interview process.
Whereas, on 22 June 2012, ICANN announced the results of the CEO search process, identifying Fadi Chehadé as the Board's selection as President and CEO of ICANN.
Resolved (2012.06.23.15), the mandate of the CEO Search Process Management Work Committee is now closed.
Resolved (2012.06.23.16), the Board thanks the members of the CEO Search Process Management Work Committee: George Sadowsky (chair), Steve Crocker, Bertrand de La Chapelle, Erika Mann, Chris Disspain, Cherine Chalaby, Ray Plzak and R. Ramaraj for the countless hours of work in completing the search process in a comprehensive, inclusive and timely manner.
The Board is taking this action to formally close the work of the committee and to acknowledge the work of the committee in operating to further ICANN's accountability through the identification of a new President and CEO meeting the criteria identified by the community. There is no impact to ICANN's resources nor to the security, stability or the resiliency of the domain name system as a result of this action.
Whereas, on 10 April 2012 the Board created the New gTLD Program Committee, to which it delegated all legal and decision making authority of the Board relating to the New gTLD Program (for the round of the Program, which commenced in January 2012 and for the related Applicant Guidebook that applies to this current round) as set forth in its Charter, which excludes those things that the Board is prohibited from delegating by law, or pursuant to Article XII, Section 2 of the ICANN Bylaws.
Whereas, Judith Vazquez previously had self-declared a conflict in relation to the New gTLD Program. Judith now confirms that the conflict has been removed and the Board Governance Committee's Subcommittee for Conflicts & Ethics accepts that confirmation.
Whereas, as of 1 July 2012, Akram Atallah will serve as ICANN's interim CEO and as a voting member of the Board during his service as CEO. Akram Atallah does not have a conflict of interest in relation to the New gTLD Program Committee.
Resolved (2012.06.23.17), Judith Vazquez is hereby approved as a member of the New gTLD Program Committee, effective immediately.
Resolved (2012.06.23.18), Akram Atallah is hereby approved as a member of the New gTLD Program Committee, effective on 1 July 2012.
Resolved (2012.06.23.19), all members of the New gTLD Program Committee reinforce their commitment to the 8 December 2011 Resolution of the Board (Resolution 2011.12.08.19) regarding Board member conflicts, and specifying in part: "Any and all Board members who approve any new gTLD application shall not take a contracted or employment position with any company sponsoring or in any way involved with that new gTLD for 12 months after the Board made the decision on the application."
The Board reaffirms its Rationale for Resolutions 2012.04.10.01-2012.04.10.04, stating in full: In order to have efficient meetings and take appropriate actions with respect to the New gTLD Program for the current round of the Program and as related to the Applicant Guidebook, the Board decided to create the "New gTLD Program Committee" in accordance with Article XII of the Bylaws and has delegated decision making authority to the Committee as it relates to the New gTLD Program for the current round of the Program which commenced in January 2012 and for the related Applicant Guidebook that applies to this current round.
Establishing this new Committee without conflicted members, and delegating to it decision making authority, will provide some distinct advantages. First, it will eliminate any uncertainty for conflict Board members with respect to attendance at Board meetings and workshops since the New gTLD Program topics can be dealt with at the Committee level. Second, it will allow for actions to be taken without a meeting by the committee. As the Board is aware, actions without a meeting cannot be taken unless done via electronic submission by unanimous consent; such unanimous consent cannot be achieved if just one Board member is conflicted. Third, it will provide the community with a transparent view into the Board's commitment to dealing with actual, potential or perceived conflicts.
This resolution should have a positive impact on the community and ICANN as a whole as the New gTLD Program Committee will be able to take actions relating to the New gTLD Program for the current round of the Program and as related to the Applicant Guidebook without any question of conflict arising.
No fiscal impact is anticipated as a result of this action and there will be no impact on the security, stability no resiliency of the domain name system.
Resolutions 2012.06.23.01, 2012.06.23.02, 2012.06.23.03, 2012.06.23.04, 2012.06.23.05, 2012.06.23.06, 2012.06.23.07, 2012.06.23.08, 2012.06.23.09, 2012.06.23.10, 2012.06.23.11, 2012.06.23.12, 2012.06.23.13, 2012.06.23.14, 2012.06.23.15, 2012.06.23.16, 2012.06.23.17, 2012.06.23.18, and 2012.06.23.19 were passed in a single vote. Fifteen directors voted in favor of the resolutions. R. Ramaraj was unavailable to vote on the resolutions. The resolutions carried.
Prior to the consideration of this item, Bruce Tonkin and Ram Mohan declared conflicts of interest and left the room.
Kurt Pritz provided the Board with a summary of the process leading to the consideration of the Renewal of the .COM Agreement, starting with the Board's agreement in Costa Rica that the proposed Agreement should be posted for public comment, and the subsequent 30-day comment period and 21-day reply period. Those comments were analyzed and provided to the Board, and the Board had opportunities to discuss these items with Kurt for clarification.
Bertrand de La Chapelle inquired about the renewal provisions in the current and proposed .COM Agreements.
George Sadowsky inquired about why terms that were considered important for inclusion in the New gTLD Registry Agreement would not be included in the .COM Agreement, such as requiring the provision of "thick" Whois.
Kurt noted that while a requirement for a "thick" registry had been a topic of conversation among ICANN and Verisign, the ongoing GNSO Policy Development Process initiated on this same issue rendered this topic somewhat ill-suited for two-party negotiations. In addition, the current .COM registrants entered registration agreements with the understanding of .COM as thin registry, and the resultant change – along with the ongoing policy work – weighed in favor of leaving this issue to policy discussions.
Thomas Narten commented that when discussing the proposed new terms, especially at this point in the negotiations, those within the Board have to be careful about using ideas such as "imposing" new terms. These are very complicated issues.
Bertrand de La Chapelle noted that this was not about ICANN making unilateral changes or re-opening the negotiations. Rather, Bertrand would like to see how ICANN can take lessons learned and not experience the same issues with over 1,000 new registries within the New gTLD Program. Are these contracts, or frameworks for discussion?
Sébastien Bachollet asked for clarification on the corporation with which ICANN would be entering the .COM Agreement.
The General Counsel and Secretary confirmed that the .COM Agreement is with Verisign, a Delaware Corporation with a principal place of business in Reston, Virginia USA.
The Chair then called for a vote, and the Board took the following action
Whereas, the current .COM Registry Agreement is due to expire on 30 November 2012.
Whereas, Section 4.2 of the current .COM Registry Agreement provides that the Agreement shall be renewed upon the expiration of the initial term so long as certain requirements are met, and that upon renewal, in the event that certain terms of this Agreement are not similar to the terms generally in effect in the Registry Agreements of the five largest gTLDs (determined by the number of domain name registrations under management at the time of renewal), renewal shall be upon terms reasonably necessary to render the terms of this Agreement similar to such terms in the Registry Agreements for those other gTLDs.
Whereas, the proposed .com renewal Registry Agreement includes modified provisions to bring the .com Registry Agreement into line with other comparable agreements (e.g., .BIZ, .INFO, .NET, .ORG), including modifications to terms such as functional and performance specifications, Whois, indemnification, and broad audit provisions.
Whereas, ICANN commenced a public comment period on the proposed .com renewal Registry Agreement on 27 March 2012 (see, <http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/com-renewal-27mar12-en.htm>) that was closed on 17 May 2012.
Whereas, ICANN received 40 comments from 34 different commenters addressing subjects such as rights protection mechanisms, thick Whois, Whois protocol replacement, application of subsequent policies ratified by ICANN, equivalent registry contracts, chief compliance officer, single-character registrations, presumptive renewal and pricing provisions, competitive contract bidding and a summary and analysis of those comments was prepared and provided to the Board.
Whereas, no revisions to the proposed .COM renewal Registry Agreement are necessitated after taking into account the thoughtful and carefully considered comments received.
Whereas, the proposed .COM renewal Registry Agreement includes significant improvements in security and stability as compared to the current .COM Registry Agreement.
Resolved (2012.06.23.20), the proposed renewal .COM Registry Agreement is approved, and the President and CEO and the General Counsel are authorized to take such actions as appropriate to implement the agreement.
Eleven Directors voted in favor of Resolution 2012.06.23.20. Bertrand de La Chapelle, George Sadowsky and Judith Vazquez abstained from voting. R. Ramaraj and Bruce Tonkin were unavailable to vote. The Resolution carried.
George provided the following statement regarding his abstention: "I feel very uncomfortable going forward with provisions that will tie our hands, I think, in the long run without an attempt to reach an accommodation at this time."
Bertrand provided the following statement regarding his abstention: "The reason why I abstain is because I cannot exclude in the future approaching Verisign, among other actors, as a potential contributor to the Internet and Jurisdiction Project that I am leading. I have therefore decided, in full transparency, to prevent any future perception of potential conflict of interest by abstaining on the specific resolution."
Judith Vazquez noted that her abstention was based on Verisign's role as the proposed registry technical provider within her application to the New gTLD Program that has been withdrawn.
Why the Board is addressing the issue now?
The .com Registry Agreement is due to expire on 30 November 2012.
What is the proposal being considered?
In accordance with the renewal provisions of the current .com Registry Agreement, the proposed .com renewal Registry Agreement includes modified provisions to bring .com into line with other comparable agreements (e.g. .biz, .info, .net, and .org), including modifications to terms such as functional and performance specifications, Whois, indemnification, and broad audit provisions. In addition to the changes to bring .com into conformance with other agreements, Verisign has requested a change to give more flexibility for the registry to take action to prevent the registration of particular domain names when necessary in order to protect the security and stability of the DNS and the Internet – such as the actions that were taken by Verisign and other registries in coordination with ICANN in order to mitigate the threat from the Conficker virus.
Which stakeholders or others were consulted?
ICANN conducted a public comment period on the proposed .com renewal Registry Agreement from 27 March 2012 through 17 May 2012, following which time the comments were summarized and analyzed for Board review.
What concerns or issues were raised by the community?
Various members of the community raised the concerns summarized in the aforementioned analysis, including concerns with respect to rights protection mechanisms, thick Whois, Whois protocol replacement, application of subsequent policies ratified by ICANN, equivalent registry contracts, chief compliance officer, single-character registrations, presumptive renewal and pricing provisions, competitive contract bidding.
What significant materials did the Board review?
The Board reviewed the proposed .com Renewal Registry Agreement and its Appendices, as well as the summary of public comments and Staff's response to those comments.
What factors the Board found to be significant?
The Board carefully considered the public comments and the Staff recommendation with respect to those comments. The Board considered ICANN's contractual obligations with respect to the current .com Registry Agreement in reaching this decision, specifically that the agreement must be renewed absent certain uncured breaches by the registry operator and that certain terms of the renewal are required to conform to existing comparable gTLD registry agreements.
Are there positive or negative community impacts?
As part of the renewal process, ICANN conducted a review of Verisign's recent performance under the current .com Registry Agreement. The compliance review covered areas including: DNS availability; equal Registrar access to the SRS; bulk zone file access; payment of required fees; and submission of monthly reports. Verisign was found to have met its contractual requirements (see http://www.icann.org/en/resources/compliance/reports/operator-verisign-com-27mar12-en.pdf) [PDF, 238 KB]. Evidence indicates that the community can expect that good performance to continue.
Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN (strategic plan, operating plan, budget); the community; and/or the public?
There is no fiscal impact expected if ICANN approves the proposed .com renewal Registry Agreement. The provisions regarding registry-level fees and pricing constraints are consistent with the new gTLD base agreement and the current major gTLDs.
Are there any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS?
There are no expected security, stability, or resiliency issues related to the DNS if ICANN approves the proposed .com renewal Registry Agreement. The proposed agreement in fact includes terms intended to allow for swifter action in the event of certain threats to the security or stability of the DNS.
Bruce Tonkin and Ram Mohan returned to join the Board meeting.
The Chair called for discussion on this agenda item. Hearing none, the Chair called for a vote.
The Board took the following action:
Whereas, on 6 May 2012, ICANN's Board approved an update to the Strategic Plan: http://www.icann.org/en/planning/.
Whereas, the Framework for the FY13 Operating Plan and Budget was posted on 17 January 2012 for community consultation and was presented during several webinars.
Whereas, community consultations were held to discuss and obtain feedback on the Initial Framework.
Whereas, the draft FY13 Operating Plan and Budget was posted for public comment in accordance with the Bylaws on 1 May 2012 based upon the Framework for the FY13 Operating Plan and Budget, community consultation, and consultations with the Board Finance Committee. <http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/#op-budget-fy12.>
Whereas, ICANN has actively solicited further community feedback and consultation with the ICANN community through online conference calls, meetings in San Jose, and email communication.
Whereas, the ICANN Board Finance Committee has discussed, and guided staff on, the development of the FY13 Operating Plan and Budget at each of its regularly scheduled meetings.
Whereas, the ICANN Board Finance Committee met in Prague on 23 June 2012 to discuss the FY13 Operating Plan and Budget, and recommended that the Board adopt the FY13 Operating Plan and Budget.
Resolved (2012.06.23.21), the Board adopts the FY13 Operating Plan and Budget available at http://www.icann.org/en/about/financials/adopted-opplan-budget-fy13-24jun12-en.pdf. [PDF, 5.11 MB]
Resolved (2012.06.23.22), the Board recognizes that there are some reply comments that have not been responded to and directs the BFC to consider those reply comments, and recommend changes to the FY13 Budget if, after consideration of those reply comments, the BFC determines changes are warranted.
Fifteen Directors voted in favor of Resolutions 2012.06.23.21 and 2012.06.23.22. R. Ramaraj was unavailable to vote. The Resolution carried.
In accordance with Article XVI, Section 4 of the ICANN Bylaws, the Board is to adopt an annual budget and publish it on the ICANN website. On 1 May 2012, a proposed annual budget was drafted and posted based on discussions with the Executive team, and extensive consultations with ICANN Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, and other stakeholder groups throughout the prior several months.
In addition to the day-to-day operational requirements, the draft budget includes amounts allocated to various FY13 budget requests received from community leadership. The annual budget discloses the impacts of the new gTLD application process, in direct response to community concerns of the budget framework, which was posted in February 2012. Further, all other comments received on the Framework, have been considered and discussed, and when appropriate and feasible have been adopted. A detailed Operating Plan is included in the budget indicating the major projects and initiatives that staff and community will undertake during the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
This budget will have a positive impact in that it provides a proper framework by which the Strategic Plan will be managed and fulfilled. This will have a fiscal impact on ICANN and the community as is intended. This should not have anything but a positive impact on the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system (DNS) with respect to any funding that is dedicated to those aspects of the DNS.
The Chair introduced this agenda item.
Chris Disspain inquired about the whether the fact that the proposed host is also an applicant within the New gTLD Program causes any issue.
The President and CEO noted that past hosts have been contracted parties with ICANN or have formalized relationships with ICANN, and there was no impact on the decision in those events. The gTLD applicant status here was not taken into account during the site selection process and had no impact on the process.
The General Counsel and Secretary suggested that it may be worth noting this issue in the rationale for the resolution, as it helps explain the items that were considered in the Board's decision.
Kuo-Wei Wu noted that in the past, the host or sponsors have often been ccTLDs and others with relationships with ICANN, and we never see any statement of their relationship with ICANN in those resolutions – they are just identified as hosts or sponsors.
The President and CEO noted that, as this has been raised as an issue, transparency and disclosure should be considered. It's important to make it explicit that it was not a factor in the decision. This situation will likely repeat over the next couple of years.
Thomas Roessler agreed that the recurring nature of this situation is important, and the issue should be reflected. Thomas recommended noting a general principal that these types of relationships are not considered in the meeting selection site decision.
Bill Graham and Bertrand de La Chapelle agreed that a more general statement is preferred, as there has long been a practice to have hosts that are potential applicants, only now we know who they are.
The General Counsel and Secretary agreed that where a general principle can be stated, that is good, but we should be working to make a practice of disclosing specific relationships when we are aware of this.
Mike Silber asked if it would be necessary to set up a broader best practice to identify relationships with all meeting sponsors, and not just the host, though cautioned that such a practice may go too far.
The General Counsel and Secretary noted that there could be a potential concern that those who are writing large checks in the sponsorship process are doing so to gain favor in the application process. Putting some transparency around the fact that the two issues remain separate is a good differentiation to make. There may be value in setting up a process to make statements standard as it applies to these meetings.
The Chair requested that the identification of Verisign's applicant status be noted in reference to the .COM discussion.
Mike noted that he did not think it was necessary to mention in reference to the .COM Agreement, instead requesting that staff prepare a document regarding how to recognize the types of sponsorship or other ad-hoc type financial transactions and how conflict of interest issues are considered.
Bertrand cautioned that this discussion could go very far down a path of questioning the method of funding for all ICANN meetings, and we have to be careful when setting the boundaries.
The General Counsel and Secretary noted that these items have to be considered in perspective. While ICANN has collected nearly $300 million in application fees, the sponsorship values are usually for $300,000 or less, the relative values have to figure into the discussion.
The Chair then called for a vote, and the Board took the following action:
Whereas, ICANN intends to hold its first Meeting for 2013 in the Asia Pacific region as per its process for rotation of meetings among ICANN's geographic regions.
Whereas, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the Internet Society of China (ISC) and the China Organizational Name Administration Center (CONAC), together submitted a viable proposal to serve as co-hosts for the ICANN 2013 Asia Pacific Meeting.
Whereas, staff has completed a thorough review and analysis of the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the Internet Society of China (ISC) and the China Organizational Name Administration Center (CONAC) proposal and finds it acceptable.
Whereas, the Public Participation Committee and the Board Global Relationships Committee each evaluated the proposal and recommended the Board accept the proposal.
Whereas, the Board Finance Committee has recommended the approval of the budget for the ICANN 2013 Asia Pacific Meeting as proposed.
Resolved (2012.06.23.23), the Board accepts the proposal of the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the Internet Society of China (ISC) and the China Organizational Name Administration Center (CONAC), and approves that the ICANN 2013 Asia Pacific Meeting shall be held in Beijing, China from 7-12 April 2013, with a budget not to exceed US$2.23M.
Fifteen Directors voted in favor of Resolution 2012.06.23.23. R. Ramaraj was unavailable to vote. The Resolution carried.
As part of ICANN's public meeting schedule, three times a year ICANN hosts a meeting in a different geographic region (as defined in the ICANN Bylaws) of the world. Meeting Number 46, scheduled for 7-12 April 2013, is to occur in the Asia Pacific geographic region. A call for recommendations for the location of the meeting in Asia Pacific was posted on 25 April 2011. Proposals were received from numerous parties. The Staff performed a thorough analysis of all of the proposals and prepared a paper to identify those that met the Meeting Selection Criteria. Based on the proposals and analysis, the Staff has recommended that ICANN 46 be held in Beijing, China.
The Board reviewed Staff's recommendation for hosting the meeting in Beijing, China and the determination that the proposal met the significant factors of the Meeting Selection Criteria used to guide site selection work. Outside of the call for recommendations, the process for selection of sites does not call for public consultation, as the staff assessment of the feasibility of any site is the primary consideration.
During the Board's deliberation on this matter, the Board noted that CNNIC and CONAC are each applicants within the New gTLD Program. The Board confirmed that the applicant status did not impact the consideration of the proposal, and further that CNNIC and CONAC's service as hosts will not be a factor in the consideration of their new gTLD applications.
There will be a financial impact on ICANN in hosting the meeting and providing travel support as necessary, as well as on the community in incurring costs to travel to the meeting. But such impact would be faced regardless of the location of the meeting. There is no impact on the security or the stability of the DNS due to the hosting of the meeting.
The Board thanks all who recommended sites for ICANN Meeting Number 46.
Thomas Roessler provided a summary of some of his concerns regarding issues with the report and the need to adequately address those issues. There are errors and misunderstandings in the report which make it not sufficient to stand as a state-of-practice documentation. In addition, the report is largely limited to the gTLD environment, and not the full Whois environment.
The Chair noted that prior to delving into Thomas' concerns, that the Board would first need to receive the report and commission a feasibility study, as is the practice in receiving these reports. The Board needs to proceed carefully and deliberately.
Bruce Tonkin stated that the Board should be careful to not pick out a single recommendation and perform work on it while the feasibility study is underway.
Ram Mohan requested that the Board include dates for the delivery of the reports identified in its proposed resolution, to provide surety and guidance on when this work is expected to be done. This includes dates for input from the ICANN community as well as the reporting by staff.
The Chair accepted Ram's suggestion of a date for inclusion.
Thomas also agreed with Ram's suggestion. Thomas confirmed that he is looking for a factual overview document as part of the Board's consideration of the feasibility of implementation of the Whois Review Team recommendations.
Ray Plzak noted that the level of attention required to address the report makes it important that the staff's feasibility report address some of the concerns raised by Thomas as part of putting together work plans to address the recommendations.
Denise Michel conferred with the Board on the dates and scope of work to be delivered, for appropriate identification in the resolution.
George Sadowsky moved and Cherine Chalaby seconded the following resolution, and the Board took the following action:
Whereas, the WHOIS Policy Review Team members volunteered their time over the last 18 months to develop their Final Report and Recommendations, as required by the Affirmation of Commitments.
Whereas the WHOIS Final Report and Recommendations has been posted for public comment for two months, closing on 11 July 2012.
Resolved (2012.06.23.24), the Board thanks the members of the WHOIS Policy Review Team for their time and commitment to contributing to improvements to the WHOIS service, and for providing substantive Recommendations for the Board's consideration.
Resolved (2012.06.23.25), the Board receives the Final Report.
Resolved (2012.06.23.26), the Board encourages public input on the Final Report and Recommendations, and requests that the ASO, ccNSO, GNSO, ALAC, GAC, and SSAC provide input to the Board by 31 August 2012.
Resolved (2012.06.23.27), the Board directs the President and CEO to consider the public comment and community input, assess the recommendations and other WHOIS-related proposals under discussion, evaluate the feasibility of and the potential implementation paths for each recommendation, and provide the Board with guidance and advice on the Report. No later than 31 July 2012, staff should identify a date by which this guidance and advice will be provided.
Fifteen Directors voted in favor of Resolutions 2012.06.23.24, 2012.06.23.25, 2012.06.23.26, and 2012.06.23.27. R. Ramaraj was unavailable to vote. The Resolution carried.
The Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) between ICANN and the U.S. Department of Commerce commits ICANN to enforcing its existing policy relating to WHOIS, subject to applicable laws, and to organize a community review of WHOIS policy and its implementation to assess the extent to which WHOIS policy is effective and its implementation meets the legitimate needs of law enforcement and promotes consumer trust. The AoC further commits ICANN's Board to publish for public comment the report submitted by the review team, and to take action on the report within six months of its submission.
The Team's volunteer members were appointed by ICANN's CEO and the GAC Chair, per the AoC requirements, and reflected the broad Internet community's interests in WHOIS. Over the past 18 months, the WHOIS Policy Review Team conducted fact-finding, including meetings with ICANN's relevant Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees and other interested parties, and issued a draft report for public comment before submitting its Final Report and 16 Recommendations to the Board on 11 May 2012. The Report and Recommendations are posted for two months of public comment and the forum closes on 11 July 2012.
Most of the Team's Recommendations address matters relevant to, and/or of interest to, the GNSO, GAC, ALAC and SSAC, as well as Recommendations regarding WHOIS for internationalized domain names, which are relevant to issues under consideration in the ccNSO. The Board is specifically requesting input from these Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees – along with public comments – to help inform the Board's action on the Report.
The Chair then called the meeting to a close.