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Minutes | Special Meeting of the ICANN Board

A Special Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors was held telephonically on 28 February 2013 at 21:00 UTC.

Steve Crocker, Chair, promptly called the meeting to order.

In addition to the Vice Chair the following Directors participated in all or part of the meeting: Sébastien Bachollet, Fadi Chehadé (President and CEO), Bertrand de La Chapelle, Chris Disspain, Bill Graham, Olga Madruga-Forti, Erika Mann, Gonzalo Navarro, Ray Plzak, George Sadowsky, Mike Silber, Bruce Tonkin (Vice Chair), and Kuo-Wei Wu. Judith Vazquez sent apologies.

The following Board Liaisons participated in all or part of the meeting: Heather Dryden (GAC Liaison), Ram Mohan (SSAC Liaison); and Suzanne Woolf (RSSAC Liaison). Francisco da Silva (TLG Liaison) and Thomas Narten (IETF Liaison) sent apologies.

The following ICANN staff participated in all or part of the meeting: Akram Atallah, Chief Operating Officer; John Jeffrey, General Counsel and Secretary; David Olive, Vice President, Policy Development Support; Geoff Bickers, Megan Bishop, Michelle Bright, Samantha Eisner, Kim Davies, Elise Gerich, Dan Halloran, Jamie Hedlund, Jeff Moss, and Diane Schroeder.

  1. Consent Agenda
    1. Approval of Board Meeting Minutes
    2. Action from Board Compensation Committee
  2. Main Agenda:
    1. Arab Center for Dispute Resolution's Proposal to Serve as UDRP Provider
    2. Redelegation of the .ML domain representing Mali
      1. Rationale for Resolution 2013.02.28.03
    3. Delegation of the .укр domain representing Ukraine
      1. Rationale for Resolution 2013.02.28.04
    4. New Approach to Process for ccTLD Delegation & Redelegations
    5. Beijing Meeting Information Update
    6. Any Other Business

 

  1. Consent Agenda

    The Chair provided an overview of the Agenda before the Board. The Chair introduced the items on the consent agenda and called for a vote. The Board then took the following action:

    Resolved, the following resolutions in this Consent Agenda are approved:

    1. Approval of Board Meeting Minutes

      Resolved (2013.02.28.01), the Board approves the minutes of the 2 February 2013 Special Meeting of the ICANN Board.

    2. Action from Board Compensation Committee

      Whereas, the retention of high calibre staff is essential to ICANN's operations and ICANN desires to ensure competitive compensation for staff.

      Whereas, the Board recently appointed David Olive as an ICANN Officer (see http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/documents/resolutions-02feb13-en.htm#1.e).

      Whereas, independent market data provided by independent compensation experts indicates that the current compensation for David Olive, ICANN's Vice President, Policy Development Support, falls within ICANN's target of the 50th to 75th percentile based on market data supplied by ICANN's independent compensation experts.

      Whereas, the Compensation Committee and the full Board have confirmed that they are not conflicted with respect to the Vice President, Policy Development Support's compensation package.

      Resolved (2013.02.28.02), the Board adopts the current compensation of Officer David Olive, Vice President, Policy Development Support, as reasonable based on the market data and recommendations from the independent compensation experts.

      Rationale for Resolution 2013.02.28.02

      Attracting and retaining high calibre staff by providing a competitive compensation package is crucial to the organization. In adopting as reasonable the compensation for ICANN's Officer, David Olive, the Compensation Committee and the Board reviewed and accepted the market analysis and recommendations from the independent compensation experts, and by taking this action are confirming that they are not conflicted as to David Olive's compensation package.

      This decision will have no fiscal impact on the organization or the community, and it will not have an impact on the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system. This is an Organizational Administrative Function not requiring public comment.

    Fourteen members of the Board voted in favor of Resolutions 2013.02.28.01 and 2013.02.28.02. Erika Mann and Judith Vazquez members were unavailable to vote on the Resolutions. The Resolutions carried.

    After completion of the vote on the Consent Agenda, Bertrand de La Chapelle made an inquiry regarding the status of an item that was previously proposed for inclusion on the Board's agenda. The item was the application for the creation of a Cyber Café constituency in the non-contracted parties' house of the GNSO.

    Ray Plzak provided a brief update on the issue and informed the Board that the matter is being re-considered by the Structural Improvements Committee. Updated information will be provided to the Board for consideration at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board.

  2. Main Agenda:

    1. Arab Center for Dispute Resolution's Proposal to Serve as UDRP Provider

      The Chair pulled this item 2.a. from the Consent Agenda to the Main Agenda. The Chair introduced the topic and began the discussion, focusing on a method to reach final resolution on the issue.

      Samantha Eisner noted that while the changes made within the ACDR's application were not of a substantive enough nature to lead to a recommendation that further public comment was required prior to the Board's consideration, if the sense of the Board is that further public comment is advisable, then there is no objection to take this item out for further comment. Staff would then bring the summary of those further comments back to the Board.

      The Chair noted some of the concerns that had been brought to his attention related to the matter of how ICANN will assure uniformity among providers. The Chair would like this matter to be brought to a close.

      Samantha confirmed that bringing the issue of provider uniformity to a close could be separated from the specific application from the ACDR's application, and that ICANN could draft a separate statement or document for public consumption on the uniformity issue. That would bring the work on community questions on provider uniformity to a close, while proceeding with consideration of the ACDR's application.

      Bruce Tonkin requested an explanation of the framework in place to address situations where a UDRP provider was not performing its obligations or there were quality control issues. Bruce also inquired about the worst-case scenario or related risk management issues in these situations.

      Samantha noted that there have been very few actual allegations of UDRP provider misconduct brought to ICANN's attention, and those that have been brought were determined, after investigation, to be more of a claim that the complainant was unhappy with the decision reached. But when claims of misconduct are brought, ICANN reviews and investigates as appropriate. In the worst-case scenario of provider misconduct, ICANN has the ability to revoke the approval for the UDRP provider. Due to lack of complaints over the years, ICANN does not have a robust process for this type of complaint review and revocation, but one could be developed. It's also important to note that the UDRP Provider Approval Process has been partially identified as within the ambit of the GNSO's policy development process. Many years ago there was an opportunity for the GNSO to take up a specific issue dealing with UDRP providers and they chose not to. Recently, in the potential UDRP PDP, this is one of the items that could be included in there. That PDP is delayed for a period of time after the entry of new gTLDs into the root. Some of this work could be addressed through that policy process.

      Bruce concurred that having some form of contract or publicly available process for review or revocation or providers within would be beneficial.

      The General Counsel and Secretary noted that the competitive marketplace for dispute resolution services factors into ensuring that UDRP providers perform as expected. The proposal for formalizing a process for handling complaints against UDRP providers would be a good enhancement.

      Bertrand de La Chapelle concurred with the proposal to better document the process of handing non-performing UDRP providers but did not believe it necessary to have another round of public comments on the ACDR application, as the consultation would likely result in comments similar to what has already been received.

      The Chair noted that while he agreed with Bertrand on the likely outcome of further comment on the ACDR's application, the outreach that was received calling for the comment on the new version is of import. Whether or not public comment is received, it seems right for the Board to defer a decision on the ACDR's application for at least one meeting while the work to close the issue of uniformity of providers is closed.

      Bruce confirmed that because the public had not seen the new documents. In the future, the need for further comment could be mitigated if there was at least the opportunity to post this type of document before the Board took action.

      Bertrand supported the initiation of a comment period on the ACDR application at this time.

      After taking the sense of the Board, the Chair directed staff to open an additional comment period on the ACDR's application, and also requested the Office of the General Counsel to present information to the community on the framework used to address non-performing or under-performing UDRP providers. No resolution was taken.

    2. Redelegation of the .ML domain representing Mali

      After the Chair introduced the Resolution for consideration, Elise Gerich provided a brief history of the request for the redelegation of the ccTLD representing Mali and the process followed by the IANA Function Department in processing the current request for redelegation.

      Kuo-Wei Wu then moved and Bill Graham seconded the proposed Resolution.

      The General Counsel and Secretary made a small refinement to the proposed Resolution to refine the language.

      Bertrand de La Chapelle reiterated a request he had previously made that ICANN revisit the language used within the resolutions on delegation and redelegation, as the review performed by ICANN may not always allow for ICANN to make the substantive judgment that the request is in the interests of the Internet community. Instead, the demonstration that the process was followed is part of the evaluation of criteria that support a judgment. This discussion can occur later.

      Ray Plzak supported Bertrand's request.

      The Chair requested that this item be taken up for further discussion with staff.

      The Board then took the following action:

      Resolved (2013.02.28.03), ICANN has reviewed and evaluated the request, and the documentation demonstrates the redelegation process was followed and is in the interests of the local and global Internet communities.

      Fourteen members of the Board voted in favor of Resolution 2013.02.28.03. Erika Mann and Judith Vazquez were unavailable to vote on the Resolution. The Resolution carried.

      Rationale for Resolution 2013.02.28.03

      As part of the IANA Functions, ICANN receives request to delegate and redelegate country-code top-level domains. ICANN Staff has reviewed and evaluated a redelegation request for this domain and has provided a report to the ICANN Board that proper procedures were followed in that evaluation. The Board's oversight of the process helps ensure ICANN is properly executing its responsibilities relating to the stable and secure operation of critical unique identifier systems on the Internet and pursuant to the IANA Functions Contract. Ensuring that the process is followed adds to the accountability of ICANN. This action will have no fiscal impact on ICAN or the community, and will have a positive impact on the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system.

      This is an Organizational Administrative Function not requiring public comment.

    3. Delegation of the .укр domain representing Ukraine

      After the Chair introduced the Resolution for consideration, Elise Gerich provided a brief presentation on the proposed delegation of the ccTLD to Ukraine. Elise confirmed that the request met the requirements of the Fast Track Process and the process was followed.

      Kuo-Wei Wu then moved and Bill Graham seconded the proposed Resolution.

      The Board then took the following action:

      Resolved (2013.02.28.04), ICANN has reviewed and evaluated the request, and the documentation demonstrates the delegation process was followed and is in the interests of the local and global Internet communities.

      Fourteen members of the Board voted in favor of Resolution 2013.02.28.04. Erika Mann and Judith Vazquez were unavailable to vote on the Resolution. The Resolution carried.

      Rationale for Resolution 2013.02.28.04

      As part of the IANA Functions, ICANN receives request to delegate and redelegate country-code top-level domains. ICANN Staff has reviewed and evaluated a delegation request for this domain and has provided a report to the ICANN Board that proper procedures were followed in that evaluation. The Board's oversight of the process helps ensure ICANN is properly executing its responsibilities relating to the stable and secure operation of critical unique identifier systems on the Internet and pursuant to the IANA Functions Contract. Ensuring that the process is followed adds to the accountability of ICANN. This action will have no fiscal impact on ICANN or the community, and will have a positive impact on the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system.

      This is an Organizational Administrative Function not requiring public comment.

    4. New Approach to Process for ccTLD Delegation & Redelegations

      The Board and staff engaged in a discussion concerning the new approach to the process for Board consideration of ccTLD delegation and redelegation requests under the new IANA Functions Contract.

      Bertrand de La Chapelle reiterated his request for a change of language of the Board uses when approving a ccTLD delegation or redelegation to make it clearer that the Board has an oversight role under the IANA Functions Contract, as opposed to making any substantive judgments in these matters.

      Chris Disspain noted that the ccNSO's work on the Framework of Interpretation will take into consideration changes under the IANA Functions Contract. The FoI work could ultimately have an effect on how ICANN considers the criteria for ccTLD delegations and redelegations, but no changes in wording are currently required based on the FoI work.

      Ray Plzak noted that the proposed changes to the wording of future resolutions represent an important movement of the Board into an oversight role. This takes the Board out of the position of making qualitative judgments on matters and makes the Board less of the legislative body that it has become. This is not a release of responsibility to make sure that things are done correctly; rather, it strengthens the Board's position in assuring that processes are followed.

      Chris agreed with Ray, noting that the fact that the Board is not having a policy-based discussion on an item does not mean that the Board's responsibility has been diminished in any way. The Board can focus on governance.

      The Chair noted that further discussions could be had on this issue as necessary.

    5. Beijing Meeting Information Update

      Geoff Bickers and Jeff Moss made a brief presentation to the Board on the logistical security preparations for staff and Board for the Beijing meeting.

      The Chair directed staff to schedule a more in-depth informational call with the Board on the security issues in advance of Beijing.

    6. Any Other Business

      Bertrand de La Chapelle gave a brief overview of the recent WSIS meeting at UNESCO in Paris.

      The CEO and President provided a brief update on his meetings and travels over the prior weeks and thanked the Board members for helping to set up key meetings in their local jurisdictions.

Published on 12 April 2013

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."