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Minutes for the Special Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors

A Special Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors was held via teleconference on 20 November 2007. Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush called the meeting to order at 1:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

In addition to Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush the following Directors participated in all or part of the meeting: Harald Alvestrand, Raimundo Beca, Susan Crawford, Vice Chairman Roberto Gaetano, Demi Getschko, Steven Goldstein, Dennis Jennings, Rita Rodin, Jean-Jacques Subrenat, Bruce Tonkin; President and CEO Paul Twomey, David Wodelet. The following Board Liaisons participated in all or part of the meeting: Steve Crocker, SSAC Liaison; Janis Karklins, GAC Liaison; Thomas Narten, IETF Liaison; Reinhard Scholl, TLG Liaison; Wendy Seltzer, ALAC Liaison; and Suzanne Woolf, RSSAC Liaison. The following Board Members were not present on the call: Rajasekhar Ramaraj and Njeri Rionge.

Also, the following ICANN Staff participated in all or part of the meeting: John Jeffrey, General Counsel and Secretary; Doug Brent, Chief Operating Officer; Kevin Wilson, Chief Financial Officer; Kurt Pritz, Senior Vice President, Business Operations; Theresa Swinehart, Vice President, Global and Strategic Partnerships; Barbara Roseman, General Operations Manager of IANA; Donna Austin, Manager, Governmental Relations; Olof Nordling, Manager, Policy Development Coordination; Kim Davies, IANA Technical Liaison; and, Patrick Jones, Registry Liaison Manager.

The Board discussed and took action on the following matters:

Whois Conflict of National Laws Procedure

Kurt Pritz provided an update on the implementation of the draft “ICANN procedure for handling WHOIS conflicts with national privacy laws”. The GNSO developed a recommended procedure about WHOIS and conflicts with national laws. The Board subsequently directed Staff to implement the recommended procedure and also solicit input from GAC and other relevant advisory committees regarding the implementation of that procedure. ICANN Staff, posted for comment, produced the draft procedure and a letter was sent to the GAC requesting their review and advice. The GAC provided interim advice at the ICANN meeting in San Juan and provided additional clarification at the Los Angeles ICANN meeting. The GAC Communiqué indicated “…specific cases should be referred to the relevant national government for advice on the authority on the request for derogation from the ICANN gTLD WHOIS policy.” Accordingly, Staff indicated that they will work to amend the draft procedure taking into account GAC advice and will post the revised procedure for public comment.

Steve Goldstein asked about whether there were jurisdiction related issues associated with a US registrar having UK customers in light of the broader set of issues. Rita Rodin responded that in her experience these types of questions exist in other industries and throughout the world and ICANN should not get too concerned about jurisdictional issues, indicating that such issues should be dealt with at the local or national level.

The Chair asked about the likely timeframe for next steps and was advised by Kurt Pritz that the paper will be posted within the next 30 days and then will be submitted to the Board to consider no later than the January 2007 meeting.

Bruce Tonkin suggested that ICANN should clearly set out an advisory of what contractual WHOIS obligations currently exist. Bruce concluded that since there are a number of clauses that inter-relate, it might be useful to have standard advice that ICANN can document in the form of an advisory, so this could be provided to a privacy body or other interested parties.

The Chair generally supported the idea of more information, but raised concerns that from a legal perspective it is likely to be more difficult. John Jeffrey confirmed that it would not be advisable to provide an interpretation of provisions within the agreement, as opposed to letting the language stand on its own. Bruce Tonkin suggested that it might not be necessary to reinterpret the provisions, but that it may be useful to provide references to the relevant contractual or other provisions, so that they are easier for people to locate. The Chair indicated that a FAQ or information page would meet that need. John Jeffrey agreed and indicated that Staff would review how the provisions might be presented for more transparency.

Dennis Jennings indicated that he would like to see a definitive statement of the requirements for WHOIS, a documented policy and purpose document so there is a framework for questions to be answered relating data protection. The Chair noted that there would be different solutions in different jurisdictions.

The Chair noted that the Board should continue to consider this issue and asked Dennis Jennings to report back to the Board, if necessary, as to his view on whether additional steps should be taken to meet transparency requirements.

John Jeffrey advised that he would work with Staff to come up back to the Board with an answer regarding a potential advisory or providing additional information on the web site regarding the introduction of this procedure and the responsibilities of the involved parties.

Discussion of .TEL Contractual Amendment Proposal

Kurt Pritz advised that there had been additional consultation regarding the Telnic contract amendment request in the past week, among the Coalition for Online Accountability, Telnic and ICANN. As a result, there have been some amendments in the past week. Due to these recent developments, this is a status report of the Telnic proposal and it is expected that the proposal will be before the Board to vote at the December Board Meeting. The Telnic proposal is to restrict publication of WHOIS information for individuals in order to comply with UK privacy laws. The issue in considering this proposal is that IP attorneys, trademark holders and others want quick and unfettered access to information to protect clients against fraudulent use of trademarks. The question in restricting the information is how easy is it for parties with legitimate need to get full information.

ICANN consulted the UK GAC representative and the UK Privacy Commissioner’s Office to ascertain their opinion as to whether the existing contract clause was violating UK privacy law. The UK GAC representative considered the UK Privacy Commissioner was the right person to give advice. The UK Privacy Commissioner’s Office had clearly indicated to ICANN Staff that they believed it was necessary to change existing ICANN contractual provisions for .TEL registry to permit the registry to provide opt out provisions for individuals who wish to restrict access to their personal information.

The Telnic proposal was posted in April and following public comment, Telnic adjusted its proposal considerably with regard to making full information public to legitimate requesters: it eliminated a 13-step process, individuals have to opt out of full disclosure as a default rather than opt in, agreed to not publish names of subscribers, and they eliminated a fee for providing access to information. The proposal was posted again on 19 October 2007, and two comments were received. The most meaningful was received from the Coalition for Online Accountability. As a result a number of consultations were undertaken with Telnic and the Coalition of Online Accountability and further amendments were made. Staff indicated that the proposed contract amendment had been amended again and was now in final form based upon the most recent round of comments, and also indicated that they intend to bring it back before the Board for consideration at the 18 December 2007 Board Meeting.

The Chair asked if this was a first application of the draft procedure regarding Whois requirements and conflicts with national laws that is about to be published. Kurt Pritz advised that Staff followed the draft procedure as posted. The Chair reflected that it appears to be a workable compromise between all parties.

Wendy Seltzer raised reservations about the process and concerns that Telnic was bullied into a compromise. She indicated that the continued efforts by some interest groups aren’t always in everyone’s interests.

Kurt Pritz advised that there was public comment in support of the amendment in the interest of protecting registrants’ privacy. These comments were considered in ICANN pushing for a resolution that will meet Telnic requirements. It will be important for the Board to consider those comments and they will be reiterated for Board review. Also, the procedure for handing conflict of laws requires that the change to existing Whois requirements be as minimal as possible while also requiring adherence to local or national laws. Telnic’s original proposal went too far and so, after public comment Telnic went back to the UK Privacy Commission to find out if there was room for compromise and still be within the law. John Jeffrey advised that the UK Privacy Commissioner has engaged in active discussion with the registry, Kurt and himself and that their interests were well represented in the considerations of changes to the agreements.

Wendy Seltzer asked what is the way for the ALAC to get involved in such negotiations, and asked if they should restate their positions during each comment period to be included in the dialogue in a better way.

John Jeffrey indicated that she has raised good points, and that ICANN Staff would consider how to bring earlier comments back into the process of review for a revised agreement’s comment period. It was also noted that ICANN Staff had considered At-Large comments in its analysis and in the information presented to the Board on the rational for changes.

Wendy Seltzer noted that she did not re-post her comments and asked if she should have gone back and posted again. John Jeffrey agreed that in considering comments Staff would need to go back and focus on questions from previous comment periods, noting that we should avoid a tendency to focus on only those comments received in the current comment period. The Chair agreed that this needed to be looked at and asked to confirm that is would be noted in the minutes.

Redelegation of ccTLD for .BB ( Barbados)

Kim Davies advised by way of background for new Board members that the Board is regularly asked to approve redelegations of ccTLDs and in more recent times there has been at least one per Board meeting for consideration. IANA Staff prepares a report that provides a recommendation to the Board. The report is considered confidential but on approval by the Board a version of the report is made public on the website. Some portions of the analysis of the request for redelegation are not made public.

The redelegation application for .BB ( Barbados) meets all of the necessary criteria. The current operator supports the transfer as does the Government, who is the proposed operator. There is limited support from the local Internet community; however, Staff have visited Barbados and discussed matters locally. Staff also met with the proposed operators at ICANN’s San Juan meeting. Currently the nameservers do not meet the technical test; however, these will be made more robust, and Staff recommends the redelegation be approved. IANA will review nameservers performance to ensure compliance if the Board approves the request.

Steve Goldstein moved, and Demi Getschko seconded the following resolution:

Whereas, the .BB top-level domain is the designated country-code for Barbados.

Whereas, ICANN has received a request for redelegation of .BB to the Government of Barbados Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development’s Telecommunications Unit.

Whereas, ICANN has reviewed the request, and has determined that the proposed redelegation would be in the best interest of the local and global Internet communities.

It is hereby resolved (___), that the proposed redelegation of the .BB domain to the Government of Barbados Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development’s Telecommunications Unit is approved.

A voice vote was taken of all Board Members present and all Board Members present approved the motion unanimously by a vote of 13 to 0.

Initiation of Early Awareness Procedures for Global Policy Proposals Regarding the Allocation of Autonomous System Numbers

Olof Nordling advised that there is a global policy development for the allocation of Autonomous System Numbers and handling transition from 2 byte to 4 bytes. The needed transition is backward compatible. It has been proposed within and approved within the RIPE community and is waiting approval with LACNIC and comments in three other RIRs. He reported that approval seems imminent and accordingly it is appropriate to seek early approval.

Thomas Narten confirmed that he did not see any problems with the proposal.

Raimundo Beca moved, and Demi Getschko seconded the following resolution:

Whereas, the Board’s Review Procedures for Global Internet Number Resource Policies Forwarded for Ratification by the ASO Address Council in Accordance with the ASO MoU, in its Article 1 states that “When, in accordance with step 1 in the Global Policy Development Process of the ASO MoU (Attachment A, article 1), ICANN Staff liaising with the addressing community becomes aware of a global policy development within the scope of the ASO MoU, ICANN Staff informs the ICANN Board of this development. The Board decides, as and when appropriate, that this development should be followed by ICANN Staff and instructs the ICANN CEO to assign Staff for this purpose. ICANN Staff so assigned shall inform all ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, shall establish an ICANN web page to be kept up to date and shall compile a background report to be kept up to date on this global policy development. This background report shall be provided to the Board as requested.”

Whereas, ICANN Staff has informed the Board that a Global Policy Proposal on allocation of AS Numbers is in development and that this Proposal has entered the first adoption steps within the individual RIRs as well as being recognized by the ASO AC as a valid Global Policy Proposal.

Whereas, the Global Policy Proposal on allocation of AS Numbers is identified as a global policy development within the scope of the ASO MoU.

It is hereby resolved (__) that the Board requests that the development of a Global Policy Proposal on allocation of AS Numbers be followed by ICANN Staff in line with the Board’s Review Procedures for such policy proposals and instructs the ICANN CEO to assign Staff for this purpose.  

A voice vote was taken of all Board Members present and all Board Members present, with a vote of 13 to 0, approved the motion unanimously.

Initiation of Early Awareness Procedures for Global Policy Proposals Regarding the Allocation of the Remaining IPv4 address Space in the Regional Internet Registry System

Olof Nordling advised that there are numerous projections of dates on the possible exhaustion of IPv4 IANA blocks. A proposal was originally put forward by LACNIC that at a given point of time when a certain number of slash 8 blocks left, from that moment those remaining blocks would be distributed equally to the five RIRs. This has been replaced by putting ‘n’ an undefined number as the number for the final allocation and by then the IANA pool would be exhausted. This has been discussed in other RIRs and there has been variance to the original proposal put forward where the number ‘n’ has been put to ‘1’ and other discussions consider it should be ‘2’ rather than ‘5’, these proposals are a variance of one where ‘n’ remains to be finally decided. The proposal is fairly similar in both cases. Suggestion is to be followed in a similar way in an early awareness provision.

The Chair noted that the Board has been informed by Staff of a global policy developing, has received a report and instructed to put Staff on and keep an eye on process.

Dave Wodelet noted that in the context of the ASN proposal, these are fairly contentious and he does not see the one proposed by LACNIC gaining traction but time would tell.

Raimundo Beca advised that the rate of consumption for RIPE and APNIC is 3 blocks per year, LACNIC 1 per year, and AFRINIC 1 per 2 years. Harald Alvestrand noted that the Board must follow both of these two issues. The ASN is non-controversial and it is easy. IPv4 is terribly important to follow the most likely important issue is not likely to be followed by the global policy: that is the development of a trading policy.

Barbara Roseman reminded the Board that there are two staff members who follow these issues full time. If there were significant changes occurring, the Board would be notified in a timely fashion.

Olof Nordling reminded the Board that global policy is defined within the ASO MOU as the allocation policies between IANA and RIRs and that is the limit and remit of global policy. Trading is important but may be outside the scope of global policy on the allocation of blocks from IANA to RIRs.

Thomas Narten advised that. things like address markets can be done at regional level without Board approval, but we do need to track this at some level. By having Staff track global policy what do we tell Supporting Organizations, what they should do in this community, what ALAC do, should they follow etc.

Barbara Roseman expressed hesitancy about turning this into a policy that we start tracking. One of the dangers of alerting the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees too early when discussions are still fairly chaotic is they are not sure how to participate and what to address. Overall we do have to balance alerting Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees when we think it is most advantageous for them to be considered as participants rather than onlookers.

Raimundo Beca noted that once global policy is approved by the RIRs, ICANN has only 60 days to comment before ratification and the policy is approved. The early awareness was to make everybody in the community aware of things that may occur.

Raimundo Beca moved, and Jean-Jacques Subrenat seconded the following resolution:

Whereas, the Board’s Review Procedures for Global Internet Number Resource Policies Forwarded for Ratification by the ASO Address Council in Accordance with the ASO MoU, in its Article 1 states that “When, in accordance with step 1 in the Global Policy Development Process of the ASO MoU (Attachment A, article 1), ICANN Staff liaising with the addressing community becomes aware of a global policy development within the scope of the ASO MoU, ICANN Staff informs the ICANN Board of this development. The Board decides, as and when appropriate, that this development should be followed by ICANN Staff and instructs the ICANN CEO to assign Staff for this purpose. ICANN Staff so assigned shall inform all ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, shall establish an ICANN web page to be kept up to date and shall compile a background report to be kept up to date on this global policy development. This background report shall be provided to the Board as requested.”

Whereas, ICANN Staff has informed the Board that a Global Policy Proposal for the allocation of the remaining IPv4 address space in the Regional Internet Registry system is in development and that this Proposal has entered the first adoption steps within the individual RIRs as well as being recognized by the ASO AC as a valid Global Policy Proposal.

Whereas, the Global Policy Proposal for the allocation of the remaining IPv4 address space in the Regional Internet Registry system is identified as a global policy development within the scope of the ASO MoU.

Whereas, since Global Policy Proposal was introduced, other Proposals have been launched as alternatives/variants and work in the addressing community is underway to make them converge to a single Proposal.

It is hereby resolved (__) that the Board requests that the development of a Global Policy Proposal for the allocation of the remaining IPv4 address space in the Regional Internet Registry system, as well as variants/alternatives of and successors to this Proposal, be followed by ICANN Staff in line with the Board’s Review Procedures for such policy proposals and instructs the ICANN CEO to assign Staff for this purpose.  

A voice vote was taken of all Board Members present and all Board Members present approved the motion unanimously, by a vote of 13 to 0

Update on Czech Arbitration Court UDRP Application

John Jeffrey advised that the Czech Arbitration Court (CAC) UDRP application was posted for public comment originally earlier this year and that numerous comments were received. The CAC submitted a new application and this was posted for comment just following the Los Angeles Meeting and the comment period is ongoing. The representative from the CAC met with a number of board members during the LA meeting. The comment period will end shortly and comments will be summarized and brought back to the board for discussion and possible decision during the December Board Meeting

The Chair enquired about the nature of the comments. John Jeffrey advised that the CAC is proposing a number of unique things, for example administering in many more languages, allowing a single complaint could raise multiple rights holders which would be something akin to a class action, setting up differently by providing online access. WIPO, the IP constituency and others UDRP providers have raised concerns during the previous public comment period and during the ICANN San Juan Meeting.

Susan Crawford asked whether online access was considered to be a problem. John Jeffrey advised that CAC is the UDRP for .EU and they have worked through a number of the problems of online filing, such as authentication, and that he believed that online filing could be a valuable addition to the process, as it could provide broader access to the UDRP processes.

Jean-Jacques Subrenat asked if there are other candidate countries working along the same lines proposing services for UDRP in Europe. John Jeffrey advised that other groups proposing to become UDRP providers had contacted him, but no other applications had been received to date. John Jeffrey advised that they were groups or affiliated groups within Europe but did not believe that they were country-sponsored.

Steve Goldstein advised that he had lunch with their attorney, Zbynek Loebl, who was leading the proposal and was impressed by his credentials. When asked about other languages that they might provide dispute resolution services in, for example Asian languages, Mr. Loebl indicated that they were focusing on 21 European languages but would add Asian languages.

The Chair asked, if there is anything more the Board could do to help this progress. Paul Twomey noted that in terms of this broader issues of UDRP providers, Staff will bring to the Board a paper of a more general nature about how we ensure a couple of key issues for a stable UDRP that serves all potential stakeholders, for example around comprehensive court of decisions and has an interest with multi-language services. Also, if there is a move to having increased competitive offerings what is the rationale for that. He noted that we should not be providing an environment that creates forum shopping and that we need to be careful that we don’t end up with practitioners that are more likely to favor one group over another. While separate to the CAC application it would be valuable to have a discussion paper on issues that emerge in the UDRP environment.

The Chair asked where this work was being done. John Jeffrey advised it was being done through General Counsel’s office and they have worked closely with CAC and helped adapt their application to be responsive to the issues raised by WIPO and other key stakeholders relating to this area.

Susan Crawford noted that the UDRP was long overdue for review and it may be possible in issues of fairness of process, forum shopping is a key issue here. The Chair asked what the status of the review is and Susan advised that it had never happened. Bruce Tonkin advised that it had been raised in the GNSO during 2003 when developing a work program and the review of the UDRP was one of those on the list with new gTLDs, IDNs and other priorities, which were ahead of the UDRP. It is possible that the GNSO may have some capacity later in 2008 to look at this.

The Chair asked if this is something to be handled through the GNSO. Bruce Tonkin advised that Staff could review if there is compliance with policy. The GNSO looking at updating policy taking into account lessons learned. The UDRP was a balance and whatever change is made it will change the balance in favor of one or another.

The Chair asked if the review could be added to the review list. Paul Twomey said he would take the question on notice; however, would like to think through in the context of the new gTLD policy round and issues of linked timing.

The Chair noted that in light of the RegisterFly issue and that registry failover was a long unmet policy requirement, the overhang of the UDRP, it would re appropriate to record that we have not lost sight of the need for the review to be done. Paul Twomey considered it would be fine to do so, but would want to take advice about connections between new gTLDs, and how the two are linked and the appropriate timing.

The Chair noted the obligation of the requirement to review the UDRP and asked to be certain that the minutes capture what Paul has said with regard to the UDRP process. Susan Crawford noted that she hoped the issue would not cause a delay to new gTLDs process. Steve Goldstein asked whether the CAC proposal would be delayed by the broader review issues and Paul Twomey indicated that he did not believe that is should be delayed for that reason.

Contract for Consultant to write RFP for New GTLD Process

Kurt Pritz advised that this item was added to the agenda to provide information on the significant work Staff is doing regarding the implementation of new gTLDs. The Board might be asked later to approve a contract, which would exceed Staff’s approval authority.

The GNSO has concluded policy development work and the Board has asked Staff to continue its implementation work and advise on feasibility of implementing those policy recommendations no later than the Board meeting in January. A detailed project plan has been developed and one of the milestones is to develop a “Request for Proposals” (aka RFP) – the document soliciting applications for new gTLDs. This will be a significant document and will provide a complex roadmap and evaluation process so that the expectations of applicants are managed and met. The RFP will incorporate: technical criteria, business & financial criteria, identifying DNS stability issues associated with establishing a gTLD string, a methodology for identifying and resolving conflicts among confusingly similar strings, how to address an objectionable string (whether the objection is based upon public policy, infringement of rights, or misappropriation of a community label), defining process for resolving contention between identical applicants.

The RFP will synthesize all of these considerations into a single RFP that will be clear to applicants and will be costed out to guide ICANN on establishing application fees. ICANN posted a statement of work in September and received seven bona fide applications from different regions and performed rated them based on several criteria.

Staff met with the top five applicants face to face in LA and did a subsequent appraisal. The current approach is to engage with two of the applicants: to provide a diverse and wide range of capabilities; provide geographic and cultural diversity by selecting providers from two regions; and also build in a check for review to check work of one against the other.

The Chair considered that one of the apparent risks of encapsulating all policy recommendation in an RFP document; a lot of the proposed implementation language should follow from the policy. He indicated that he was not sure if this approach is sound without considerable Staff work first.

Kurt Pritz started to advise that, for example, policy recommendations state the applicant should meet certain technical requirements in order to operate a registry. Through this process ICANN would ask technical experts to write objective criteria for this respective section.

The Chair suggested that implementation guidelines would raise the level of discussion. The RFP should fall out of second or third stage of this Staff work and these discussions.

Paul Twomey advised that one of the recommendations for having external organizations write the RFP came out of the .NET evaluation that said there are people who write RFPs and it would be useful to have an outsider look at it. Staff has been developing implementation requirements for two years and there is now value in having an outsider to partner with to write the RFP in order to provide review and clarity.

The Chair agreed the need for a clear RFP and this path may include the retention of an RFP writer, but this should follow preparation of detailed implementation papers.

Paul Twomey advised that the plan has always been to do parallel processing of implementation work and consideration of the policy recommendations in places there are not likely to be contentions, so that work can proceed in accordance with community expectations and also inform Board deliberations.

Rita Rodin was concerned about a parallel process in light of the fees paid to a consultant. Effort may be lost if the work goes off to explore tangential issues and the policy recommendations are modified. She indicated that she appreciates the expertise of RFP writers, but the substance of what is being discussed is ground breaking. She indicated that ICANN needs to address what has happened in the past and we need to establish the guiding principles before engaging this form of expertise.

Steve Goldstein expressed concerns about the write up and potential cost of the expertise. Steve asked rhetorically, if ICANN doesn’t understand all the policy implications better than anyone in whole world why do we want to engage an independent RFP writer. Steve indicated that these issues, IDNs and new gTLDs are among the most vital issues facing ICANN and its continued existence. He said that if we, ICANN as an organization, don't have a clear handle on the issues, we cannot expect anyone else [e.g., a consultant] to.

The Chair solicited additional suggestions or comments. Steve Goldstein suggested that Staff should write the RFP and engage a consultant to refine it. Steve Crocker agreed with several of the issues being raised by Steve Goldstein. Steve Crocker asked for clarification of some of the earlier discussion.

Paul Twomey advised that as a result of the previous experiences with allocation processes around new gTLDs, ICANN received a recommendation to have people with professional experience to be configuring RFPs and then evaluate the resulting applications. He did not think that Staff is in disagreement with these Board positions. This is not a case of Staff not providing considerable substance in the creation of the RFP, but that RFP expertise is warranted to ensure the best possible outcome.

Jean-Jacques Subrenat agreed that it would be valid for Staff to do a first draft and go to a consultant as refinement. He asked what process is followed in looking for consultant how world wide and how really international, was the plan to do it in several countries, or in media across the world.

Kurt Pritz advised that a detailed Statement of Work was posted on website and also that ICANN consulted with experts in various fields both inside and outside of ICANN so that specific candidates could be targeted. Applications were received from many regions.

Bruce Tonkin noted there is significant work to be done in developing procedures and the timeline should not put us out to two years. With regard to procedural steps, some policy recommendations are related to controversial names. This procedure development will be complicated, for example, there needs to be a dispute resolution process identified to be able to deal with objections of strings. Staff could be asked to do more work before the Board is comfortable approving those. Staff could produce a report by January on these issues, in Delhi for Board consideration. Staff could continue on implementation and develop a formal RFP in accordance with a series of steps.

Bruce continued that, if ICANN were to publish an RFP in March, Staff should start work on some elements of an RFP with an assumption that the Board will approve the GNSO recommendations. ICANN would have to be comfortable with engaging a consultant before the Board approves the policy. With regard to dispute procedures, names allowed or not, perhaps we could divide and time the RFP in two: one for standard development and one to consider issues.

The Chair asked Bruce whether he was suggesting two RFPs or taking view that Staff should write up implementation papers first. Bruce Tonkin clarified that he is asking Staff to do the work on controversial issues such as: how to deal with controversial names, how we implement consideration of names that might be confusingly similar to existing strings, and that string chosen should not conflict with international legal norms. I do agree that in terms of writing an RFP on technical requirements this was not done well in the past.

Paul Twomey responded that Bruce’s opinions seemed correct and that a considerable amount of implementation work on the controversial topics was already underway.

Dennis Jennings agreed with Bruce, the idea that Staff should have extra resources that know what to do in a policy sense. Staff should address the controversial issues first before bringing in outside expertise.

Regarding implementation work done by Staff in preparation for engagement of an outside partner, Kurt Pritz advised that Staff: wrote two papers for GNSO Council to inform their deliberations about the implementation aspects of the policy choices. Staff have also created details process maps that describe in detail the evaluation process for use by those making the writing of the process final. Staff teams have been formed and are addressing many implementation issues: one team is considering how to perform comparative analysis for identical string applications. An ICANN Staff technical team is considering how effects of strings to DNS stability might be measured, how many TLDs can be introduced into the root zone and how similarity of one string to another might be measured. The ICANN legal team is developing a base contract. Dispute resolution procedures and some standards for resolving objections have already been developed. Staff has created several working papers to guide RFP writers. ICANN is asking them to implement the vision of Staff and Staff experts. The decision to select a partner is a bandwidth issue and also is about complementing the talents and skills that currently are not available on Staff. Also important is the timeframe publicly discussed for the implementation of new gTLDs – some time in 2008. There is a well-defined project plan that involves creation of the RFP if ICANN is to meet those timeframes. ICANN will be engaging with a consultant on issues where the goal is minimize the breakage if there were to be a change in policy recommendations. The original contract price for evaluation of five applications during a previous process indicates that the pricing received for RFP creation is reasonable.

The Chair noted that the recommendation proposed by Staff raised a concern for the Board. He takes the point about other Staff work and papers that have been prepared. The Chair also noted Bruce’s suggestion of an early report. Rita Rodin considered this a good bridge, and asked if it would be possible for Staff to prepare a document of what they are going to submit to the consultant for the Board to consider.

Jean-Jacques Subrenat noted that he does not know enough about the process. The policy issues should be expressed in implementation terms or guidelines by Staff before handing over to anyone else. Steve Goldstein hopes Staff could come up with first draft to be considered by the Board.

Doug Brent noted that Staff resources are fully applied to this effort. All the work described in this effort is in the budget and was anticipated. ICANN is asking the Board here to consider a step within the contemplated process to engage a consultant to build a project plan. The Staff goal is to prepare implementation instructions and if the Board approves we can get this implemented. He noted that the Board has seen a lot of this already. Staff will bring forward reports and recommendations incrementally for the Board to consider. Staff should put together implementation plans approved by Board to be incorporated into an RFP. The can be done between now and January.

The Chair asked what the consultants would do first. Doug Brent advised that this first step is under $50K to get the entire consultant scope and project plan detailed out. When Staff provides the materials in January that the Board has requested, ICANN will want the Board to consider the implementation plan.

The Chair asked what the deliverables were for this first stage. Kurt Pritz advised that this initial effort includes three deliverables for each of two consultants: a face to face meeting among ICANN and two consultants in Marina del Rey to review ICANN’s documentation and implementation plan, delivery of a detailed project plan the consultants for their piece of work, and a final and best price for doing the work.

The Chair asked if there are any objections to the first step. Rita Rodin wanted to make sure that in tandem Staff are doing an implementation paper to advise the Board regarding the Staff plan and the Board looks forward to receiving materials December. The Board needs to continue to get these papers so the Board can have discussions.

Discussion of progress planning for New gTLD Policy and Implementation

Paul Twomey advised that a paper in the form of an email was sent to the Board list (after consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair) describing the process that Kurt, Doug and Karen Lentz have developed to inform the Board of new gTLD implementation planning. Staff has proposed a chapter-by-chapter reporting process to the Board. New gTLDs are a very complex issue and it can be made most clear by breaking the issues into sections. There is an agenda laid out in that report that has been sent out, including an introductory paper (including a timetable) and then individual papers on 12 topics in all. Topics include confusingly similar names, technical issues, reserved names, and dispute resolution processes. Paul recommends that Board members review the paper and comment. This report also outlines and the contents (or an outline of) each of the topics. The basic framework includes: Staff’s implementation vision, work done to date, and potential comments/objections that are anticipated. Staff anticipates receiving comments on each of the topics from Board members by email so dialogue can be maintained on each of these. This will not be final implementation policy but it is a way of bringing the Board up to speed on the issues in January (as requested in the Los Angeles meeting Board resolution) and provides an equal level of understanding about them.

The Chair wanted to make sure that the point was recorded that the Board has agreed that it was informed by Staff about a plan is to spend up to $50k and there will be three deliverables: face-to-face meeting with ICANN and two consultants in Marina del Rey to review ICANN’s documentation and planning (part of that would be to consider dispute resolution issues); deliver a detailed project plan; and final and best price for doing work. Also, the Board expects a report in December of progress on implementation and of the standard reports described by Paul.

Doug Brent noted that on the primary reporting deliverable is scheduled for January but there will be an informative update in December.

The Chair requested reporting on this particular issue in December.

Updates on Bylaws-Mandated Reviews

The Chair asked if there is any new update that the Board had not been informed of regarding the Bylaws Mandated Reviews. Denise Michel advised that the terms of reference for the SSAC review had been posted for a comment period.

Roberto Gaetano advised that the deadline for comments relating to the GNSO improvements has been extended to the end of the month.

Discussion of President’s Report

Paul Twomey advised that the template that has been worked on and a November report following on from that template was being provided to the Board via email. Paul asked members to respond online and indicated that he would make amendments to the template for the December report. The Chair agreed on this approach.

Discussion of Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Paul Twomey advised that ICANN Board, Staff and community successfully participated in the recent IGF. The Chair supported Paul’s update and the quality of Staff work and preparation. There was a general discussion regarding the value of ICANN’s involvement.

Paul Twomey advised that a summary would be provided to the Board next week.

The Chair noted the success in its own terms and that there are important people coming to this, and there is a need for the IGF to succeed. Jean-Jacques Subrenat noted that members of the Board are of a broad diversity, and can be very helpful during such events.Theresa has been coordinating with other organizations that support the goals of the IGF about engaging in international fora, including upcoming IGF meetings . Topics would include ICT development, access and best practices. Theresa thanked Board for their support and expertise during the event.

Chair surmised that it was a good result for ICANN and thanked Paul Twomey, Theresa Swinehart and the entire Global and Strategic Partnerships Team and others responsible for that.

Adjournment

The Chair thanked Staff and the Board for their participation and closed the meeting at 3:08 PM PST.
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."