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Minutes | Special Meeting of the ICANN Board

A Special Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors was held in Brussels, Belgium on 17 September 2016 at 09:15 local time. Each Director waived notice of holding the meeting.

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

In addition to the Chair, the following Directors participated in all or part of the meeting: Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Cherine Chalaby (Vice Chair), Ron da Silva, Chris Disspain, Asha Hemrajani, Bruno Lanvin, Rafael Lito Ibarra, Markus Kummer, Erika Mann, Göran Marby (President and CEO), George Sadowsky, Mike Silber, Bruce Tonkin, and Lousewies van der Laan.

The following Directors sent their apologies: Kuo-Wei Wu.

The following Board Liaisons participated in all or part of the meeting: Jonne Soininen (IETF Liaison), and Suzanne Woolf (RSSAC Liaison).

The following Board Liaisons sent their apologies: Ram Mohan (SSAC Liaison) and Thomas Schneider (GAC Liaison).

Observing: Becky Burr, Khaled Koubaa, and Akinori Maemura.

Secretary: John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary).

The following ICANN Executives and Staff participated in all or part of the meeting: Susanna Bennett (Chief Operating Officer); Xavier Calvez (Chief Financial Officer); Sally Costerton (Senior Advisor to the President and Senior Vice President, Global Stakeholder Engagement); Samantha Eisner (Associate General Counsel); Tarek Kamel (Senior Advisor to the President and Senior Vice President, Government and IGOs Engagement); Melissa King (VP, Board Operations); David Olive (Senior Vice President, Policy Development Support and General Manager, ICANN Regional Headquarters – Istanbul); Wendy Profit (Board Operations Specialist); Ashwin Rangan (SVP Engineering & Chief Information Officer); Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel); Theresa Swinehart (Sr. Advisor to the President on Strategy).

These are the Minutes of the Special Meeting of the ICANN Board, which took place on 17 September 2016.

  1. Main Agenda:
    1. President and CEO Review of New gTLD Community Priority Evaluation Report Procedures
  1. Main Agenda:

    1. President and CEO Review of New gTLD Community Priority Evaluation Report Procedures

      Chris Disspain introduced the agenda item. He stated that the proposed resolution before the Board for approval directs the President and CEO to undertake an independent review of the process by which staff interacted with the service provider of the New gTLD Program Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) process, both generally and specifically with respect to the CPE reports issued by the CPE provider. He noted that the proposed resolution intended to capture the Board’s discussions regarding some of the recent concerns raised about CPE in the Final Declaration from the Independent Review Process proceeding initiated by Dot Registry LLC.

      The Board took the following action:

      Whereas, the Board has discussed various aspects of the Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) process, including some issues that were identified in the Final Declaration from the Independent Review Process (IRP) proceeding initiated by Dot Registry LLC.

      Whereas, the Board would like to have some additional information related to how ICANN staff members interact with the CPE provider, and in particular with respect to the CPE provider’s CPE reports.

      Resolved (2016.09.17.01), the Board hereby directs the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to undertake an independent review of the process by which ICANN staff interacted with the CPE provider, both generally and specifically with respect to the CPE reports issued by the CPE Provider.

      All members of the Board present voted in favor of Resolution 2016.09.17.01. Kuo-Wei Wu was unavailable to vote on the Resolution. The Resolution carried.

      Rationale for Resolution 2016.09.17.01

      Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) is a method to resolve string contention for New gTLD applications. It occurs if a community application is both in contention and elects to pursue CPE. The evaluation is an independent analysis conducted by a panel from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). As part of its process, the CPE provider reviews and scores a community applicant that has elected CPE against the following four criteria: Community Establishment; Nexus between Proposed String and Community; Registration Policies, and Community Endorsement. An application must score at least 14 points to prevail in a community priority evaluation.

      At various points in the implementation of the New gTLD Program, the Board (and the Board New gTLD Program Committee) have discussed various aspects of CPE. Recently, the Board has discussed some issues with the CPE process, including certain issues that were identified in the Final Declaration from the Independent Review Process (IRP) proceeding initiated by Dot Registry LLC. The Board is taking action at this time to direct the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to undertake a review of the process by which ICANN staff interacts with the CPE provider in issuing its CPE reports.

      The review should include an overall evaluation of staff’s interaction with the CPE provider, as well as any interaction staff may have with respect to the CPE provider preparing its CPE reports. The Board’s action to initiate this review is intended to have a positive impact on the community as it will help to provide greater transparency into the CPE evaluation process. Additionally, by undertaking additional due diligence in the administration of the CPE process, the Board intends this review to help gather additional facts and information that may be helpful in addressing uncertainty about staff interaction with the CPE provider.

      As part of its deliberations, the Board reviewed various materials, including, but not limited to, the following materials and documents:

      There may be some minor fiscal impact depending on the method of review that the President and CEO chooses to undertake, but none that would be outside of the current budget for administering the New gTLD Program.

      Initiating a review of the process by which ICANN staff interacts with the CPE provider is not anticipated to have any impact on the security, stability or resiliency of the DNS.

      This is an Organizational Administrative Function that does not require public comment.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 10 November 2016.

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."