Board Activities and Meetings
Preliminary Report | Special Meeting of the ICANN Board | 15 May 2023
Formal Minutes are still to be approved by the ICANN Board.
Note: This Preliminary Report has not been approved by the Board and does not constitute minutes. It does set forth the unapproved reporting of the resolutions from that meeting. Details on voting and abstentions will be provided in the Minutes, when approved at a future meeting.
NOTE ON ADDITIONAL INFORMATION INCLUDED WITHIN PRELIMINARY REPORT – ON RATIONALES – Where available, a draft Rationale for each of the Board's actions is presented under the associated Resolution. A draft Rationale is not final until approved with the minutes of the Board meeting.
A Special Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors was held in telephonically on 15 May 2023, at 18:00 local time.
Tripti Sinha, 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, Maarten Botterman, Becky Burr, Edmon Chung, Sally Costerton (Sr. Advisor to President and SVP, Global Stakeholder Engagement & Interim President and CEO), Sarah Deutsch, Avri Doria, Danko Jevtović (Vice Chair), Christian Kaufmann, Katrina Sataki, and Matthew Shears.
The following Directors sent their apologies: Chris Chapman, Patricio Poblete, Sajid Rahman, and León Sánchez.
The following Board Liaisons participated in all or part of the meeting: James Galvin (SSAC Liaison) and Wes Hardaker (RSSAC Liaison).
The following Liaisons sent their apologies: Harald Alvestrand (IETF Liaison) and Nico Caballero (GAC Liaison).
Secretary: John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary).
The following ICANN org Executives and Staff participated in all or part of the meeting: Andre Abed (Vice President, Relationship & Delivery Management), Michelle Bright (Board Content Coordination Director), Mandy Carver (SVP, Government and Intergovernmental Organization Engagement), Xavier Calvez (SVP, Planning and Chief Financial Officer), Andrew Chen (Research Specialist), Sally Newell Cohen (SVP, Global Communications and Language Services), John Crain (Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer), Samantha Eisner (Deputy General Counsel), Jamie Hedlund (SVP, Contractual Compliance & U.S. Government Engagement), Aaron Jimenez (Senior Board Operations Specialist), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (VP, Board Operations), Elizabeth Le (Associate General Counsel), David Olive (SVP, Policy Development Support & Managing Director – Washington, D.C.), and Theresa Swinehart (SVP, Global Domains & Strategy).
1. Consent Agenda
The Chair opened the meeting and introduced the Consent Agenda.
a. RSSAC057: Advisory on requirements for measurements of the local perspective on the root server system
Avri Doria introduced the agenda item. She explained that RSSAC057 is an advisory on creating a set of tools to provide a local perspective on the root server system (RSS) for future improvements. She further noted that there are no security, stability, or resiliency issues and that creating a data repository for the RSS local perspective measurements specified by RSSAC057 will be a positive step to improve overall performance of the RSS. Following discussion, Avri moved and Maarten Botterman seconded.
Whereas, on 9 September 2021, the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) published RSSAC057: Requirements for Measurements of the Local Perspective on the Root Server System. RSSAC057 Recommendation 2 defines requirements for measurements of the local perspective on the root server system.
Whereas, ICANN organization has evaluated the feasibility of the RSSAC's advice in RSSAC057 and developed implementation recommendations for Recommendation 2.
Whereas, the Board Technical Committee (BTC) has considered RSSAC057 and ICANN org's feasibility assessment of implementation of Recommendation 2 and found that implementing the recommendation would be in alignment with ICANN's strategic goals and mission to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems. The BTC also found that implementation of Recommendation 2 would further preserve and enhance the operational stability, reliability, security, and global interoperability of the Internet.
Resolved (2023.05.15.01), the Board accepts RSSAC057 Recommendation 2 calling for ICANN org to identify a person or group to collaborate with the RSSAC Caucus on further development of the data repository and produce specific proposals for the data repository, and directs the ICANN Interim President and CEO, or their designee(s) to implement this recommendation.
The Consent Agenda was approved by general consent. Four Directors were unavailable to vote. The Resolution passed.
Rationale for Resolution 2023.05.15.01
Why is the Board addressing the issue?
The Board is taking this action in response to the advice of the RSSAC. The Board's consideration of this advice forms a part of the Action Request Register (ARR) process designed to manage community requests to the Board and ICANN org in a consistent, efficient, and transparent manner.
What is the proposal being considered?
The Domain Name System (DNS) root server system (RSS) has more than 1,000 instances deployed all over the world to provide fast, reliable service to the Internet. There may, however, be certain locations or points on the Internet where the level of service does not seem as good as others due to one reason or another. The RSSAC wishes to have a tool or set of tools that can easily measure the local perspective of the RSS at various locations, or points, on the Internet. This allows Internet users to share measured data from their network perspective and help inform root server operators (RSO) where to deploy new instances for greater global coverage. The tool(s) should collect enough information to identify some of the reasons why the location is performing at the measured level.
RSSAC057's Recommendation 2 proposes that ICANN Board identifies a person or group to collaborate with the RSSAC Caucus on further development of a data repository as described in Section 5 of that document. The purpose of such collaboration is to make specific proposals for a data repository, including:
- Implementation of the data publication mechanism
- Whether or not access to measurement results should be public or limited due to privacy concerns
- How to ensure data quality and prevent abuse
- A proposed database schema and model
- A proposed data exchange format (e.g., JSON)
- Cost estimates for the initial development and ongoing operation
- Identification of groups or parties that could operate the data repository
Which stakeholders or others were consulted?
RSSAC057 was created and edited by the RSSAC Caucus, which consists of dozens of experts from the wider community. The RSSAC submitted this Advisory in its capacity of advising the ICANN community and Board on matters relating to the operation, administration, security, and integrity of the Internet's RSS.
What concerns or issues were raised by the community?
No concerns or issues raised.
What significant materials did the Board review?
The Board reviewed RSSAC057, ICANN org's understanding of the recommendation as confirmed by the RSSAC, and ICANN org's feasibility assessment of implementation.
What factors did the Board find to be significant?
The Board is acting based on its acceptance of ICANN org's implementation proposal for how to implement RSSAC057 Recommendation 2.
Are there positive or negative community impacts?
Creating a data repository for the RSS local perspective measurements specified by RSSAC057 will be a positive step to improve overall performance of the RSS.
Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN (strategic plan, operating plan, budget); the community; and/or the public?
Implementation of RSSAC057 Recommendation 2 requires a minimal amount of ICANN org time and a minimal amount of operational expenditure. These costs are incorporated into ICANN Office of the Chief Technology Officer's (OCTO) budget as part of OCTO's normal activities. Recommendation 2 will lead to a discussion with the RSSAC Caucus on the public data repository described in RSSAC057. If, in the future after those discussions, the RSSAC Caucus were to submit a proposal to create that repository, additional funding would be required.
Are there any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS?
The local perspective measurements stored in the data repository should allow the RSOs to place root server instances in currently underserved or under-performing locations, which would increase the resiliency of the overall RSS.
Is this decision in the public interest and within ICANN's mission?
Yes. RSSAC057 defines requirements for measurements of the local perspective on the RSS. This falls directly under ICANN's Mission Statement, from Bylaws Section 1.1. MISSION:
"(a) The mission of the ICANN is to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifiers
(ii) Facilitates the coordination of the operation and evolution of the DNS root name server system."
In addition, the implementation of this advice aligns with item "1.2 Strengthen DNS root server operations governance in coordination with the DNS root server operators" from the ICANN Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025.
2. Main Agenda
The Chair introduced the Main Agenda.
a. GAC Advice: ICANN76 Cancún Communiqué (March 2023)
Becky Burr introduced the agenda item. She noted that the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) issued advice to the Board during the ICANN76 meeting in ICANN76 Cancún Communiqué and that the Board followed its process for receiving and responding to GAC advice. The Board GAC Caucus has evaluated the advice, asked and received responses to its clarifying questions, and developed a scorecard in response to the GAC advice. The resolution seeks the adoption of the scorecard titled "GAC Advice – ICANN76 Communiqué: Actions and Updates (15 May 2023)".
The Board discussed and noted that the proposed action with respect to GAC advice section 3.a.i. regarding Privacy Proxy Services was prioritized by the community as part of the process for prioritization of recommendations from review items.
Following discussion, the Chair called for a vote and the Board took the following action:
Whereas, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) met during the ICANN76 meeting in Cancún, México and issued advice to the ICANN Board in a communiqué on 20 March 2023 ("ICANN76 Cancún Communiqué").
Whereas, the ICANN76 Cancún Communiqué was the subject of an exchange between the Board and the GAC on 11 April 2023.
Whereas, in a 20 April 2023 letter, the GNSO Council provided its feedback to the Board concerning advice in the ICANN76 Cancún Communiqué relevant to International Governmental Organization (IGO) Protections, the Registration Data Request Service (formerly known as the WHOIS Disclosure system), and Privacy and Proxy Services.
Whereas, the Board developed a scorecard to respond to the GAC's advice in the ICANN76 Cancún Communiqué, taking into account the dialogue between the Board and the GAC and the information provided by the GNSO Council.
Resolved (2023.05.15.02), the Board adopts the scorecard titled "GAC Advice – ICANN76 Communiqué: Actions and Updates (15 May 2023)" in response to items of GAC advice in the ICANN76 Cancún Communiqué.
All Board members present voted in favor of Resolution 2023.05.15.02. Four Directors were unavailable to vote.The Resolution passed.
Rationale for Resolution 2023.05.15.02
Article 12, Section 12.2(a)(ix) of the ICANN Bylaws permits the GAC to "put issues to the Board directly, either by way of comment or prior advice, or by way of specifically recommending action or new policy development or revision to existing policies." In its ICANN76 Cancún Communiqué (20 March 2023), the GAC issued advice to the Board on IGO Protections, the Registration Data Request Service (formerly known as the WHOIS Disclosure system), and Privacy and Proxy Services. The ICANN Bylaws require the Board to take into account the GAC's advice on public policy matters in the formulation and adoption of polices. If the Board decides to take an action that is not consistent with the GAC advice, it must inform the GAC and state the reasons why it decided not to follow the advice. Any GAC advice approved by a full consensus of the GAC (as defined in the Bylaws) may only be rejected by a vote of no less than 60% of the Board, and the GAC and the Board will then try, in good faith and in a timely and efficient manner, to find a mutually acceptable solution.
The Board is taking action today on the GAC Consensus Advice to the ICANN Board in the ICANN76 Cancún Communiqué, including the items related to IGO Protections, the Registration Data Request Service (formerly known as the WHOIS Disclosure system), and Privacy and Proxy Services.
The Board's actions are described in the GAC Advice – ICANN76 Communiqué: Actions and Updates (15 May 2023) scorecard.
In adopting its response to the GAC advice in the ICANN76 Cancún Communiqué, the Board reviewed various materials, including, but not limited to, the following materials and documents:
- ICANN76 Cancún Communiqué (20 March 2023): https://gac.icann.org/advice/communiques/ICANN76%20Cancun%20Communique.pdf
- The GNSO Council's review of the advice in the ICANN76 Cancún Communiqué as presented in the 20 April 2023 letter to the Board: https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/correspondence/ducos-to-sinha-20apr23-en.pdf
The adoption of the GAC advice as provided in the GAC Advice – ICANN76 Communiqué: Actions and Updates (15 May 2023) scorecard will have a positive impact on the community because it will assist with resolving the advice from the GAC concerning generic top-level domains and other matters. There are no foreseen fiscal impacts associated with the adoption of this resolution. Approval of the resolution will not impact security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS. This is an Organizational Administrative function that does not require public comment.