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Guidelines for the Posting of Board Briefing Materials

In June 2010, ICANN org began publicly posting Board Briefing Materials. These are "Board Decision-Making Materials" that the Board reviews and considers in preparation for each Board meeting.

"Board Decision-Making Materials" are documents or records created for or during the Board's internal decision-making process that factor into a substantive action proposed in a meeting, and may include, but are not limited to the following types of materials:

  • Board Papers, which provide an overview of the matter to be considered by the Board, recommendations from staff and/or the Board Committee proposing a particular course of action, and draft resolutions and rationale supporting the recommended course of action.
  • Reference Materials, which provide additional supporting documentation or more detailed information concerning the topics discussed in the Board Papers.

Board Decision-Making Materials generally do not include the following:

  • Slide presentations used during Board meetings to assist the speaker in presenting information provided in the Board Papers.
  • Documents compiling (for ease of use) all resolutions presented to the Board during a meeting.
  • Agenda tables.
  • Items removed from the agenda or otherwise not considered during a meeting.

What is in Board Briefing Materials?

The Board Briefing Materials consist of Board Papers and Board Reference Materials, or "Annexes" as referenced in earlier Board meetings, and are posted along with the Bylaws-mandated meeting minutes.

The Board Papers include a summary of the issue(s) before the Board, a recommendation from the relevant Board Committee overseeing the issue (if appropriate), and a proposed resolution (if Board action is recommended). A proposed rationale statement is also included for the Board's consideration.

The Reference Materials provide further background information and/or discussion regarding the items before the Board. This is also where reports and documents are provided to the Board, as well as general informational items. Not every Board Submission has a corresponding set of Reference Materials.

Redaction Guidelines

Since 2008, ICANN has followed its Documentary Information Disclosure Policy ("DIDP") at The DIDP identifies public documents, as well as Defined Conditions for Non-Disclosure ("Defined Conditions") to be followed when a determination is made that information not be made public.

One of the Defined Conditions addresses Board deliberative materials: "Information exchanged, prepared for, or derived from the deliberative and decision-making process between ICANN, its constituents, and/or other entities with which ICANN cooperates that, if disclosed, would or would be likely to compromise the integrity of the deliberative and decision-making process between and among ICANN, its constituents, and/or other entities with which ICANN cooperates by inhibiting the candid exchange of ideas and communications."

ICANN has adopted a limited exception to the non-disclosure of deliberative materials, and since 2010 routinely posts the Board Briefing Materials. Prior to posting, however, Board Briefing Materials must be reviewed to determine if other Defined Conditions for Non-Disclosure are applicable, and if so, to what extent the Board Briefing Materials should be redacted.

Guiding Principles for Review of Materials

In reviewing the Board Briefing Materials for publication, the following assumptions are to be applied:

  1. Start with the presumption that all material will be posted.
  2. If redaction is required, redact the smallest amount of material necessary; do not redact an entire document if redaction of a single paragraph will suffice.
  3. Provide clear justification for each redaction.
  4. Do not redact information that is already publicly available when the Board Briefing Materials are posted.

Defined Areas Where Redaction is Appropriate

To standardize the redaction process, ICANN org developed a list of Board Redaction Codes to address the various types of commonly redacted materials. Beginning with the materials posted from the 10 December 2010 Board meeting, each occurrence of redacted material is accompanied by a Board Redaction Code specifying the basis of each redaction. A detailed list of the Board Redactions Codes, a description of the purpose of each code, and whether the redaction is subject to review for future disclosure are provided below.

Board Redaction Codes Description of the Board Redaction Codes Redaction Subject to Review for Future Disclosure?

Confidential Employment Matter

Sensitive personnel information including:

  • Personnel, medical, contractual, remuneration, and similar records relating to an individual's personal information, when the disclosure of such information would or likely would constitute an invasion of personal privacy, as well as proceedings of internal appeal mechanisms and investigations.
  • Identities of persons considered for and not receiving appointment, including discussion of reasons why appointment was not recommended.

Information redacted as "Confidential Employment Matter" will not be subject to disclosure as ICANN org respects the protection and privacy of Personal Information. Please see ICANN org's Privacy Policy.

Resolution Text Superseded

Proposed resolutions, when the Board approves a modified or different resolution.

Information redacted as "Resolution Text Superseded" will not be subject to disclosure because the underlying resolution text was never considered by the ICANN Board.

Rationale Text Superseded

Proposed rationale statements, when the Board approves a modified or different rationale statement.

Information redacted as "Rationale Text Superseded" will not be subject to disclosure because the underlying rationale text was never considered by the ICANN Board.

Item Removed From Agenda


Resolution Not Considered

Items removed from a Board agenda or not discussed.

Information redacted as "Item Removed From Agenda" or "Resolution Not Considered" will not be subject to disclosure because these items were never considered by the Board in its internal decision-making process.


Drafts of correspondence, reports, documents, agreements, contracts, emails, or any other forms of communication.

Information redacted as "Draft" is subject to the annual review process through which ICANN org will consider the release of previously redacted materials.

Sensitive Delegation Information

Delegation information including:

  • Country code top-level domain (ccTLD) Delegation and Transfer request assessments; and
  • IANA Delegation and Transfer request reports not published at the time the Board Materials are published or modified prior to publication.

Information redacted as "Sensitive Delegation Information" may be subject to disclosure if and when the relevant TLD has been delegated or transferred. These redactions will be considered no less frequently than the annual review process through which ICANN org will consider the release of previously redacted materials, and at times is already released on an earlier time frame certain delegation information may never be appropriate for future disclosure, pursuant to IANA processes.

Confidential Negotiation Information


Confidential Business Information

Strategic negotiations and analysis or business information including:

  • Strategic relationship information, such as identification of proposed strategic partners.
  • Descriptions of external proposals and bids under consideration, including proposals for ICANN meeting locations, particularly those not selected.
  • Information that relates in any way to the assessment of internal or external security issues or risk analyses.

Information redacted as "Confidential Negotiation Information", or "Confidential Business Information" is subject to the annual review process through which ICANN org will consider the release of previously redacted materials.

Privileged and Confidential

Information subject to the attorney-client privilege, attorney work product doctrine, or any other applicable privilege, or disclosure of which might prejudice any internal, governmental, or legal investigation.

Information redacted as "Privileged and Confidential" is subject to the annual review process through which ICANN org will consider the release of previously redacted materials.

Contact Information Redacted

Personally identifiable information including Board call information/Director and other third-party phone numbers and personal identifier information.

Information redacted as "Contact Information Redacted" will not be subject to disclosure because ICANN org respects the protection and privacy of Personal Information. Please see ICANN org's Privacy Policy.

ICANN org is committed to following the DIDP in making any additional determinations on whether information is appropriately redacted from Board Briefing Materials. If a redaction is required that does not fall within one of the codes identified above, ICANN org will provide as much information regarding the basis for such redaction, including how the redaction is appropriate under the DIDP. ICANN org will also identify if the redacted information is potentially appropriate for release in the future.

Process for Redaction

To reduce the potential for the need to redact more information than is necessary, ICANN org first strives to pre-identify, at the time of development of the Board Briefing Materials, whether information will need to be redacted. For example, if attorney-client privileged information is being presented to the Board within a larger submission and can be segregated, the section containing the privileged information should be identified and blocked off by a header and footer, and only that section will require redaction. As it is not always possible to predict materials that will require redaction, adherence to this practice may not be uniform.

As of December 2019, ICANN org is applying the following enhancements to its Board Briefing Material redaction process:

  1. ICANN org maintains the ICANN Redaction Register ("Register") for Board Briefing Materials dating from 9 August 2016. The Register tracks all instances of redacted materials within Board resolutions, Minutes, and Board Briefing Materials.
  2. On an annual basis, for any redaction that is subject to the annual review process through which ICANN org will consider the release of previously redacted materials, ICANN org will review that redaction to see if the information can be published. If so, ICANN org will complete that publication.
  3. For any redaction that is subject to the annual review process but the information has not been published within 15 years, during the next annual review process, ICANN org will publish the information unless there is a significant reason to continue to maintain the redaction (for example, a pending legal action relating to information redacted pursuant to the attorney-client privilege).
Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."