Skip to main content

Special Meeting of the Board Minutes


A meeting of the Board of Directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") was held by teleconference on 17 September 2002. The following Directors of the Corporation were present by telephone: Vint Cerf (chairman), Amadeu Abril i Abril, Karl Auerbach, Frank Fitzsimmons, Masanobu Katoh, Sang-Hyon Kyong, Stuart Lynn, Andy Mueller-Maguhn, Nii Quaynor, and Linda S. Wilson. Directors Lyman Chapin and Alejandro Pisanty joined the call while it was in progress. Also present on the teleconference were Louis Touton, Vice-President, Secretary, and General Counsel of the Corporation, and Joe Sims, outside counsel to the Corporation.

The meeting was called to order by Vint Cerf at 12:06 UTC (5:06 am U.S. Pacific Daylight Time).

2003 Meetings

Mr. Mueller-Maguhn gave a report on the progress of the Meetings Committee in obtaining and reviewing applications for ICANN meetings in 2003. The meetings committee has received and reviewed a proposal to hold the June 2003 (North American) ICANN meeting in Montreal, Canada. The committee believes this proposal is quite attractive and, subject to Board consultation, recommends that the June 2003 meeting be held in Montreal. Dr. Lynn indicated that he agreed with this assessment.

Dr. Lynn and Mr. Mueller-Maguhn also noted that the Meetings Committee was still in the process of reviewing a proposal for the March 2003 meeting in Latin America, and that the deadline for proposals for the October/November 2003 meeting in Africa had not yet arrived.

Mr. Abril i Abril moved, with Mr. Auerbach's second, that the Board adopt the following resolution:

Resolved [02.101] that the President is authorized to make arrangements for the June 2003 ICANN meeting to be held in Montreal, Canada.

The above resolution was adopted, with ten votes in favor, none opposed, and no abstentions.

MoU for .la ccTLD

Mr. Touton noted that ICANN staff had been in discussions with the Lao National Internet Committee (a committee of officials of the Lao government) concerning a memorandum of understanding that would formalize the relationship between ICANN and the Committee as delegee of the .la top-level domain. (The .la domain is currently delegated to an employee of the Lao government as administrative contact and the Keeper of Domains at Singapore Telecom as the technical contact, with the Science, Technology and Environment Organization in the Lao Prime Minister's Office listed as sponsoring organization.)

The negotiations have resulted in a proposed memorandum of understanding that is based on the model memorandum of understanding for bilateral situations posted on the ICANN web site, with the following revisions: (a) particulars as to the Lao National Interent Committee have been filled in and (b) minor revisions have been made to the recital in model section 1.3 to reflect that the delegation is to a governmental entity.

Mr. Mueller-Maguhn asked whether the agreement established any precedent concerning TLD zone-file transfers at the time of nameserver changes with respect to ccTLDs not having agreements or memoranda of understandings. He noted that there had recently been controversy about a requirement of zone-file transfer as a condition for nameserver changes, and that he disagreed with that condition. Mr. Touton noted that the Lao National Internet Committee had agreed to inclusion of a provision generally allowing the IANA to have zone access, but that the controversy referred to be Mr. Mueller-Maguhn involved non-contracted ccTLDs.

Dr. Pisanty joined the meeting at this point in the proceedings.

Mr. Abril i Abril moved, with Dr. Kyong's second, that the Board adopt the following resolutions:

Whereas, negotiators for the Lao National Internet Committee and ICANN have reached agreement, subject to the ICANN Board's approval, on the terms of an ICANN-ccTLD Manager Memorandum of Understanding for the .la top-level domain according to the model memorandum of understanding for bilateral situations as posted on the ICANN web site, adapted to the particular circumstances of the .la top-level domain;

Whereas, the President and General Counsel have presented the ICANN-ccTLD Manager Memorandum of Understanding to the Board and recommended that the Board authorize its entry as negotiated;

Resolved [02.102] that the President is authorized to enter on behalf of ICANN the ICANN-ccTLD Manager Memorandum of Understanding for .la as presented to the Board, along with any minor corrections or adjustments as appropriate;

Resolved [02.103] that, upon signature of the memorandum, the President is authorized to take such actions as appropriate to implement it.

The Board adopted the above resolutions with nine votes in favor. No votes were cast in opposition and Dr. Pisanty and Mr. Mueller-Maguhn abstained.

MoU with U.S. Department of Commerce

Dr. Lynn gave a report on the status of ICANN's discussions with the United States Department of Commerce on extension of the ICANN-Commerce Department Memorandum of Understanding originally entered on 25 November 1998. That MOU has been twice before extended for one-year periods, and it is now scheduled to expire on 30 September 2002. After some discussions, agreement has been reached between ICANN staff and the Commerce Department on an additional one-year extension to the MOU, the text of which has been supplied to the Board. Dr. Lynn and Mr. Touton recommend that the Board authorize entry of the one-year extension.

A discussion of various points of the proposed MOU extension ensued. In response to an inquiry from Mr. Mueller-Maguhn, Dr. Pisanty indicated that he felt that the proposed extension was consistent with ICANN's ongoing reform process. Mr. Mueller-Maguhn stated his opinion that the MOU may give too much emphasis to intellectual-property issues. Mr. Auerbach raised a question about the manner in which the MOU extension discusses ICANN's relationship with the Regional Internet Registries, which differs from the original MOU's text on this topic; in response it was noted that the proposed extension repeats the currently effective text, which was introduced in Amendment 2 to the MOU in 2000.

Mr. Auerbach inquired whether the Commerce Department was prepared to enter into the extension. Mr. Sims replied that he understood that it was, subject to some technical compliance checks. Mr. Sims indicated that, if the MOU extension is approved by the Board at this meeting, it could be signed the following day.

Dr. Kyong moved, with Dr. Quaynor's second, that the Board adopt the following resolutions:

Whereas, on 25 November 1998 the United States Government entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ICANN, recognizing it as the private-sector, not-for-profit corporation that should assume various technical coordination responsibilities for the Internet;

Whereas, the MOU called for ICANN to develop and test various mechanisms to allow stable, private-sector technical coordination during a transition period in which the effectiveness and stability of these mechanisms would be demonstrated;

Whereas, the MOU's initially scheduled expiration date was 30 September 2000;

Whereas, the MOU has been amended twice to provide for one-year extensions, and is now scheduled to expire on 30 September 2002;

Whereas, on 15 August 2002 ICANN submitted its fourth status report to the United States Government under the MOU describing the progress ICANN has made on completing the tasks identified in the MOU;

Whereas, as recognized by the Board in undertaking ICANN's ongoing evolution and reform process, the transition tasks will not be completed by the currently established 30 September 2002 expiration date for the MOU;

Whereas, the U.S. Government has proposed an amendment to the MOU that provides an extension to complete the remaining tasks until 30 September 2003;

Whereas, the language of the proposed amendment has been presented to the Board;

Whereas, the President and General Counsel have recommended to the Board that the proposed amendment be entered;

Resolved [02.104] that the President is authorized to enter an Amendment 5 to the MOU, in substantially the form presented to the Board;

Resolved [02.105] that upon entry of both parties into the amendment, the President is authorized to take such actions as appropriate to implement it.

The Board adopted the above resolutions with ten votes in favor. No votes were cast in opposition and Mr. Auerbach abstained.

At this point, Mr. Chapin joined the call.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:36 UTC (5:36 am U.S. Pacific Daylight Time).

Louis Touton

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."