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Special Meeting of the Board Minutes

INTERNET CORPORATION FOR ASSIGNED NAMES AND NUMBERS
MINUTES OF SPECIAL MEETING

December 9, 1999

A meeting of the Board of Directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (the "Corporation") was held by teleconference on December 9, 1999. The following Directors of the Corporation were present by telephone: Esther Dyson, Chairman, Jean-François Abramatic, Amadeu Abril i Abril, Robert Blokzijl, Geraldine Capdeboscq, Jonathan Cohen, Greg Crew, Philip Davidson, Frank Fitzsimmons, Ken Fockler, Hans Kraaijenbrink, Jun Murai, Alejandro Pisanty, Michael Roberts, Linda S. Wilson, and Pindar Wong. Director Eugenio Triana joined the teleconference while it was in progress. Also present on the teleconference were Louis Touton, Vice-President, Secretary, and General Counsel of the Corporation; Andrew McLaughlin, Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation; and Joe Sims of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue.

The meeting was called to order by Esther Dyson at 8:05 am U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

REPORT ON STATUS OF MARCH MEETING SITE AND RELATED PLANS

Mr. McLaughlin opened the discussion by reviewing the proposals received from organizers proposing to host the ICANN meeting in Africa scheduled for March 7-10, 2000. Proposals were received for Cairo, Accra, and Tunis and, at the time of the teleconference, were being analyzed. (Preliminary expressions of interest from other locations in Africa did not develop into viable proposals.) Although all three proposals showed good facilities for the meeting, it was noted that Cairo offers lower cost and more frequent airline connections from locations both within and without Africa. The Cairo proposal also offers the lowest cost of lodging.

After discussion of the various venues, it was concluded that the decision should be made by the staff based on objective criteria. The Board expressed the hope that all proposers be involved in planning for the meeting regardless of which proposal is accepted and that staff take measures to encourage broad attendance, especially from within Africa.

REVIEW OF PLANNING FOR AGENDA FOR THE MARCH ICANN MEETING

Mr. Roberts discussed the planning process for the agenda for the March meeting. He discussed the various requirements of the bylaws and past practices for calendaring items on quarterly meeting agendas, and indicated that the following topics might be appropriate for the March meeting agenda:

    1. At large membership and elections

    2. Considerations and policies relating to creation of new top-level domain name registries

    3. ccTLD delegation and administration policies

    4. ICANN budget for 2000-2001 fiscal year

The Board then discussed the nature of each of these issues to determine whether they should be included in tentative plans for the March 2000 meeting agenda.

Mr. Roberts noted that one of the Corporation's remaining organizational tasks, completion of the at-large membership, should be discussed at the March 2000 meeting. This item was discussed in more detail later in the meeting, as reported below.

The status of policy development by the DNSO concerning gTLD expansion and famous names was discussed. At its May 1999 meeting in Berlin, the Board referred the recommendations of the World Intellectual Property Organization concerning gTLD expansion and famous names to the DNSO (Resolution 99.48). The Names Council established two working groups (WG-C and WG-B) to analyze and report on these issues. Despite considerable work, both working groups have had difficulty developing consensus on significant sub-issues. Given the scheduling requirements of the bylaws, it will be impractical for the Board to adopt a policy in either of these areas at its March 2000 meeting. Nonetheless, the Board felt it was appropriate to schedule these issues for substantive, detailed discussion at the public forum in March, so that the Board might become more familiar with the various viewpoints and so it might contribute to progress toward consensus.

It was noted that at the November 1999 Los Angeles annual meeting the Board adopted the recommendations set forth in the Final Report of the President's Task Force on Funding, including a recommendation that the ccTLD registries contribute a portion of ICANN's budget (Resolution 99.134), and directed the President to implement that recommendation through appropriate contractual relationships (Resolution 99.136). As the President carries out this direction, issues may arise which are appropriate for Board consideration. In addition, recent requests for delegations or redelegations have presented other issues regarding ccTLD relationships and operations. This factor, too, makes it timely for the Board to conduct a review at the March 2000 meeting of the policies and practices concerning ccTLDs.

During the above discussion, Director Triana joined the call.

Mr. Roberts noted that a discussion of the 2000-2001 budget would be appropriate at the March 2000 meeting, so that the budget can be adopted before the 2000-2001 fiscal year begins on July 1, 2000.

PROGRESS REPORT ON AT LARGE MEMBERSHIP IMPLEMENTATION PROGRAM

Mr. Roberts noted that the Board had established sufficient policy for the establishment of a membership and, with recently acquired funding, he is implementing a program to create the membership. By the time of the March 2000 meeting, significant steps should be underway to achieve the minimum goal of 5000 members, and an initial assessment by the Board of the results of those steps will be appropriate. In addition, details of the manner of election of the At Large Council remain to be established, which should be done no later than the March 2000 meeting if the nine Directors selected by the At Large Council are to be seated by the end of September 2000.

Mr. McLaughlin noted that, in response to a call for expressions of interest, he had received a large number of responses volunteering to serve on the Membership Implementation Task Force. He noted, however, that a large portion of these expressions were from persons in North America and that it would be desirable to obtain more responses from other regions of the world. It was noted that because most policy questions concerning membership have been settled by Board action, the Membership Implementation Task Force will be concerned with carrying out those policies, and that it will likely operate through several task groups in that regard.

PROGRESS REPORT ON POST-LOS ANGELES CONTRACTUAL ISSUES

Mr. Touton gave a report on progress in implementing various policies adopted at the Los Angeles meeting or before. He reported that the final adjustments to the language of the agreements among Network Solutions, the United States Department of Commerce, and the Corporation had been made and the agreements were signed on November 10, 1999. Subsequently, the staff prepared new registrar accreditation agreements and sent them out for signature by the other registrars. In addition, the Corporation continues to receive a steady stream of new applications for .com/.net/.org registrar accreditation. With regard to the Board's direction to the President to establish contractual relationships concerning ccTLD registries, the staff has been gathering information regarding the viewpoints of ccTLD operators, governments, and other interested parties. Over the near term, the staff will continue that effort and begin seeking to facilitate a convergence of views. Discussions with RIRs regarding financial contributions are also ongoing. Implementation of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy is in progress, with the policy having gone into effect for most registrars on December 1, 1999, and scheduled to go into effect for the remaining registrars on January 3, 2000. One dispute-resolution provider (WIPO) has been approved, and the staff expects to approve one or two others in the very near future.

AD-HOC GROUP

Mr. Kraaijenbrink reported on progress in identifying an editorial group for the discussion forum of the Ad Hoc group chartered in Resolution 99.138. He indicated that the editorial group's membership was nearly completed and that he expected to begin operations near the beginning of 2000.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:33am Eastern Standard Time.

_______________________
Louis Touton
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."