Skip to main content
Resources

Special Meeting of the Initial Board Minutes

INTERNET CORPORATION FOR ASSIGNED NAMES AND NUMBERS
MINUTES OF SPECIAL MEETING
July 16, 1999
Draft posted August 20, 1999
Formal approval October 24, 1999

A meeting of the Board of Directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (the "Corporation") was held by teleconference on July 16, 1999. The following Directors of the Corporation were present by telephone: Geraldine Capdeboscq, Gregory L. Crew, Esther Dyson, Frank Fitzsimmons, Hans Kraaijenbrink, Michael Roberts, and Eugenio Triana. Also present on the teleconference were Andrew McLaughlin, Interim Secretary of the Corporation; and Joe Sims and Louis Touton of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue. Andrew McLaughlin acted as secretary for the meeting.

The meeting was called to order by Esther Dyson at 9:03 am U.S. Eastern Daylight Time.

UPDATE ON U.S. CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS

Counsel briefed the Board on the status of the anticipated hearings in the Commerce and Judiciary Committees of the U.S. House of Representatives. Counsel observed that the Commerce Committee hearing had been scheduled for Thursday, July 22, 1999, that the witness list for the hearing was still in flux, but that at least Esther Dyson would be appearing on behalf of ICANN.

RESPONSE OF U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE TO ICANN'S SIX-MONTH STATUS REPORT

Mr. Roberts briefed the Board on the July 8 response of the U.S. Department of Commerce to the six-month Status Report that ICANN had submitted on June 15. In its response, the Department of Commerce noted ICANN's substantial progress and accomplishments, but made four recommendations to the Board: (i) the Supporting Organizations should elect Board Directors by November; (ii) because it is controversial, ICANN's use of a per-registration component to its cost-recovery fee structure should be eliminated until after the Supporting Organization-elected Board members are added in November; (iii) Board meetings should be opened to the public; and (iv) in order to allay concerns that ICANN might experience a "creeping" policy scope in the future, registrar and registry implementation of ICANN policies should be contractually limited to the goals and procedural principles set forth in the White Paper.

The Board discussed each of these suggestions. On point (i), the members of the Board observed that the election of Supporting Organization and At-Large Directors was already ICANN's top priority. The Board has already publicly stated that it expects the Supporting Organizations to elect their Board members in time to be seated at the November annual meeting in Los Angeles; and, having received the report of the Membership Advisory Committee, the Board has directed the ICANN staff and counsel to prepare membership implementation reports for consideration at the Board's next regular meeting, in Santiago.

On point (ii), the Board discussed ICANN's need to recover its costs in a stable and fair manner. The existing volume-based registrar fee is a fair way to apportion ICANN's costs among the registrars according to the benefits they receive from ICANN's coordination and pro-competition functions. Moreover, the existing fee was developed through ICANN's notice and comment procedures, and was supported by a broad consensus of commenters, including most notably the affected registrars. The Board discussed the conflict between the Department of Commerce's recommendation and ICANN's need for funding to do its work, particularly in light of the unfairness and impracticability of relying solely on voluntary contributions for ICANN's long-term funding. The Board agreed to defer collection of the existing cost-recovery fee, and to convene a task force on funding to make recommendations on this issue.

At this point in the call, Director Capdeboscq departed.

On point (iii), the Board decided to make its next full meeting in Santiago open to public observation.

On point (iv), the members of the Board discussed and noted their full agreement with the principle that ICANN should confine its policy development efforts to the goals of the White Paper. Though the White Paper principles are already embodied in the ICANN Bylaws, the Board agreed that it is appropriate to include in the various contracts with registrars and registries language limiting their obligation to implement ICANN-developed policies to those consistent with, and reasonably related to, the goals of ICANN as set forth in the White Paper. Such representations would accord with the Board's understanding of ICANN's proper role.

In light of the Board's views, Mr. Roberts stated that ICANN would prepare an appropriate response to the Department of Commerce within the next few days.

At this point in the call, Director Roberts departed.

PROTOCOL SUPPORTING ORGANIZATION

Mr. Kraaijenbrink briefed the Board on the signing of the PSO Memorandum of Understanding by ICANN, the IETF, the W3C, the ITU-T and ETSI in Oslo.

The special meeting was adjourned at 10:04, U.S. Eastern Daylight Time.

_______________________
Andrew McLaughlin
Interim Secretary

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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."