Board Activities and Meetings
A Special Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors was held telephonically on 6 March 2022 at 17:30 UTC. Each Director waived notice of holding the meeting.
Maarten Botterman, Chair, promptly called the meeting to order.
In addition to the Chair, the following Directors participated in all or part of the meeting: Alan Barrett, Becky Burr, Edmon Chung, Sarah Deutsch, Avri Doria, Danko Jevtović, Akinori Maemura, Göran Marby (President and CEO), Mandla Msimang, Ihab Osman, Patricio Poblete, León Sánchez (Vice Chair), Katrina Sataki, Matthew Shears, and Tripti Sinha.
The following Board Liaisons participated in all or part of the meeting: Harald Alvestrand (IETF Liaison), James Galvin (SSAC Liaison), Manal Ismail (GAC Liaison), and Kaveh Ranjbar (RSSAC Liaison).
Secretary: John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary).
The following ICANN Executives and Staff participated in all or part of the meeting: Michelle Bright (Board Content Coordination Director), Xavier Calvez (SVP, Planning & Chief Financial Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), Mandy Carver (SVP for Government and Intergovernmental Organization Engagement), Sally Newell Cohen (SVP, Global Communications), Sally Costerton (SVP, Global Stakeholder Engagement, Senior Advisor to the President and CEO), John Crain (Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer), Samantha Eisner (Deputy General Counsel), Dan Halloran (Deputy General Counsel), Jamie Hedlund (SVP, Contractual Compliance & U.S. Government Engagement), John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary), Aaron Jimenez (Board Operations Specialist), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Senior Director, Board Operations), Elizabeth Le (Associate General Counsel), David Olive (SVP, Policy Development Support), Krista Papac (Complaints Officer), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Senior Manager), Erika Randall (Associate General Counsel), Ashwin Rangan (SVP, Engineering & Chief Information Officer), Lisa Saulino (Board Operations Specialist), Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel), Theresa Swinehart (SVP, Global Domains & Strategy), Gina Villavicencio (SVP, Global Human Resources), and Russ Weinstein (VP, GDD Accounts and Services).
- Main Agenda:
ICANN Allocates Emergency Financial Support for Continued Access to the Internet
The Chair introduced the agenda item and the Board discussed a proposed resolution to allocate emergency financial support in the amount of USD $1 million to support the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet's unique identifier systems. The allocation would specifically support mitigation measures where access to the Internet infrastructure is jeopardized by sudden, unexpected events beyond the control of the affected users. The Board's expectation is that the funds would focus on support for maintaining Internet access for users within Ukraine, and the President and CEO would advise the Board on whether and how ICANN could continue this effort beyond FY22.
After discussion, León Sánchez moved and Avri Doria seconded the proposed resolutions. The Board then took the following action:
Whereas, the ICANN Board has watched events unfold in Ukraine and the surrounding region that are tragic and profoundly troubling. Our hearts go out to the millions of people who are suffering from the violence as well as the related consequences that are impacting their lives.
Whereas, the ICANN Board confirms that ICANN stands for a single, global, and interoperable Internet that serves all people around the world in exercising their fundamental human rights, including the human right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas. It is through unimpeded access to the Internet and the free flow of information that people can gain knowledge and exposure to a diversity of viewpoints and information. This is especially critical when timely access to information and communication may be life-saving.
Whereas, the ICANN Board affirms that ICANN's mission and the global public interest support that ICANN continues to uphold the multistakeholder stewardship role it has been entrusted. ICANN shall continue to act in a manner that supports the world's access to the Internet DNS and the unique identifiers.
Whereas, the ICANN Board recognizes that during times of local crisis or emergency, ICANN has a longstanding practice of providing technical guidance and support to entities such as ccTLD operators and others working to maintain secure and stable operations of portions of the Internet's DNS. The ICANN Board also recognizes that access to funding to support such technical solutions is also essential.
Resolved (2022.03.06.01), the ICANN Board directs the ICANN President and CEO to develop a process for how ICANN can provide financial assistance to support the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet's unique identifier systems, specifically for use in supporting mitigation measures where access to the Internet infrastructure is jeopardized by sudden, unexpected events beyond the control of the affected users.
Resolved (2022.03.06.02), the ICANN Board allocates an initial sum of US$1,000,000 from ICANN's FY22 Budget to be used within the remainder of FY22 in order to provide financial assistance to support access to Internet infrastructure in emergency situations. The Board directs the ICANN President and CEO, or his designees, to promptly develop a proposal for distribution of these funds in support of ICANN's mission and distribute accordingly, taking into account fiduciary and legal obligations, and to report back to the Board on how these funds were utilized. The ICANN Board expects that the distribution directed today will focus on support for maintaining Internet access for users within Ukraine.
Resolved (2022.03.06.03), the ICANN Board directs the ICANN President and CEO, or his designees, to advise the Board on whether and how ICANN can continue this effort beyond FY22 and be instilled in future budget years.
All members of the Board present voted in favor of Resolutions 2022.03.06.01 – 2022.03.06.03. The Resolutions carried.
Rationale for Resolutions 2022.03.06.01 – 2022.03.06.03
The ICANN Board takes this action today in response to the events unfolding in Ukraine and the surrounding region that are tragic and profoundly troubling. Our hearts go out to the millions of people who are suffering from the violence as well as the related consequences that are impacting their lives.
ICANN, as the entity entrusted with the global stewardship role of some key technical Internet functions, is in a unique position to uphold its mission and meet the expectation of all across the world that rely upon maintaining unimpeded access to the Internet and the free flow of information. This access allows people to gain knowledge and exposure to a diversity of viewpoints and information. The ICANN Board notes that groups across the ICANN community have recently issued statements regarding the value of a global and interoperable Internet and we thank the multistakeholder community for all of their efforts in supporting ICANN's mission.
As ICANN's President and CEO recently stated: "ICANN is a facilitator of the security, stability, and resiliency of these identifiers with the objective of a single, global, interoperable Internet. . . . Essentially, ICANN has been built to ensure that the Internet works, not for its coordination role to be used to stop it from working."
The ICANN Board recognizes that there have been and will unfortunately continue to be sudden and unexpected events that threaten access to the Internet's infrastructure. The impact of loss of access and widespread disconnection from the Internet is contrary to ICANN's mission, no matter the cause.
The ICANN organization has a longstanding practice of coming to the technical support and aid of technical providers, such as ccTLD managers, to enable them to stay connected to the Internet's DNS and continue servicing their customers and region during times of crisis. The Board's action today goes a step further and directs ICANN org to also provide funding, as legally appropriate and within ICANN's mission, to support maintaining access to Internet infrastructure through these challenges.
The Board is directing that for the remainder FY22, an initial sum of US$1,000,000, funded from ICANN's FY22 Budget, shall be made available to support mitigation measures where the access to the Internet is jeopardized by sudden, unexpected events beyond the control of the affected users. The ICANN President and CEO is directed to swiftly work with his team to identify how and to actually distribute these funds in alignment with ICANN's mission and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The ICANN President and CEO is to report back to the Board on how these funds were utilized. The Board expects that the FY22 distribution will focus on maintaining Internet infrastructure access for users within Ukraine. Further, the Board recognizes the value of providing this support on a longer-term basis, and directs the ICANN President and CEO to evaluate whether and how to instill this effort for future budget years.
For clarity, the Board notes that though this type of financial support might be the sort of project that could be funded through the eventual grant-making mechanism anticipated by the recommendation of the Cross-Community Working Group on New gTLD Auction Proceeds, today's action does not access the Auction Proceeds fund in any way.
This action is within ICANN's mission as it directly supports ICANN's core role, and is also within the global public interest. This action is anticipated to have a positive impact on the security, stability, and resiliency of the DNS as it will make funding available to maintain accessibility when operators or others might otherwise not have the resources to do so.
The Chair called a meeting to a close.
Published on 13 May 2022