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Minutes | Special Meeting of the ICANN Board

A Special Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors was held telephonically on 19 April 2017 at 14:00 UTC.

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, Maarten Botterman, Becky Burr, Cherine Chalaby (Vice Chair), Ron da Silva, Asha Hemrajani, Rafael Lito Ibarra, Markus Kummer, Akinori Maemura, Göran Marby (President and CEO), George Sadowsky, Mike Silber, and Lousewies van der Laan.

The following Directors sent their apologies: Chris Disspain and Khaled Koubaa.

The following Board Liaisons participated in all or part of the meeting: Ram Mohan (SSAC Liaison) and Jonne Soininen (IETF Liaison).

The following Board Liaisons sent their apologies: Kaveh Ranjbar (RSSAC Liaison) and Thomas Schneider (GAC Liaison).

Observing: León Sanchez

Secretary: John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary).

The following ICANN Executives and Staff participated in all or part of the meeting: Akram Atallah (President, Global Domains Division), Susanna Bennett (Chief Operating Officer), Duncan Burns (Senior Vice President, Global Communications), Michelle Bright (Board Operations Content Manager), Xavier Calvez (Chief Financial Officer), David Conrad (Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer), Samantha Eisner (Deputy General Counsel), Jamie Hedlund (Senior Vice President, Contractual Compliance & Consumer Safeguards), Rob Hoggarth (vice President, Policy Development & Community Services), John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary), Melissa King (Vice President, Board Operations), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Board Operations Content Manager), Becky Nash (Vice President, Finance), David Olive (Senior Vice President, Policy Development Support & Managing Director – Istanbul Office), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Specialist), Lisa Saulino (Board Operations Senior Coordinator), Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel), and Theresa Swinehart (Sr. Advisor to the President on Strategy.

  1. Consent Agenda:
    1. Initiating the Second Review of the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC)
    2. SO/AC FY18 Additional Budget Requests Approval
    3. AOB


  1. Consent Agenda:

    The Chair provided a brief overview of the items on the Consent Agenda, and asked whether any Board member wanted to move an item from the Consent Agenda to the Main Agenda for discussion. The Board then took the following action:

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

    1. Initiating the Second Review of the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC)

      Whereas, the ICANN Bylaws state that the ICANN Board 'shall cause a periodic review of the performance and operation of each Supporting Organization, each Supporting Organization Council, each Advisory Committee (other than the Governmental Advisory Committee), and the Nominating Committee (as defined in Section 8.1) by an entity or entities independent of the organization under review';

      Whereas, as part of the first Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) Review, the RSSAC Review Working Group submitted its Final Report to the ICANN Board on 5 August 2010;

      Whereas, on 28 July 2015 the Board resolved to defer the second RSSAC Review until 2017.

      Resolved (2017.04.19.01), that the Board initiates the second RSSAC Review and directs ICANN organization to post a Request for Proposal to procure an independent examiner to begin the review as soon as practically feasible.

      Resolved (2017.04.19.02), that the Board encourages the RSSAC to prepare for the second RSSAC review by organizing a Review Working Party to serve as a liaison during the review and to conduct a self-assessment of effectiveness of implementation of recommendations from the first review.

      Rationale for Resolution 2017.04.19.01 – 2017.04.19.02

      Why is the Board addressing the issue?

      This action is taken to provide a clear and consistent approach towards complying with ICANN Bylaws' mandate to conduct reviews. Moreover, the Board is addressing this issue because the Bylaws stipulate organizational reviews take place every five years. The ICANN Board had deferred the RSSAC Review in 2015 to commence in 2017. After the RSSAC declined the offer to defer the review by another 12 months, the Board is now initiating the second Review of the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC).

      Which stakeholders or others were consulted?

      The Board Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) reached out to the RSSAC leadership to confirm their support to initiate the second RSSAC Review in 2017.

      Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN (strategic plan, operating plan, and budget); the community; and/or the public?

      Timely conduct of organizational reviews is consistent with ICANN's strategic and operating plans. The budget for the second RSSAC Review has been approved as part of ICANN's annual budget cycle and the funds allocated to the RSSAC Review are managed by the ICANN organization team responsible for these reviews. No additional budgetary requirements are foreseen at this time and separate consideration will be given to the budget impact of the implementation of recommendations that may result from the review.

      Are there any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS?

      There are no security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS as the result of this action.

    2. SO/AC FY18 Additional Budget Requests Approval

      Whereas, prior discussions between community members and ICANN Organization identified the need for an earlier decision on the funding of additional budget requests from ICANN's Supporting Organizations (SO) and Advisory Committees (AC).

      Whereas, ICANN Organization created an SO/AC additional budget requests process, to collect, review and submit for Board approval funding requests from the SOs and ACs.

      Whereas, requests were submitted by the ICANN Community by the set deadline, and were reviewed by a panel of staff members representing the Policy, Stakeholders Engagement and Finance personnel.

      Whereas, the review panel recommended the approval of requests representing $646,800 for approval.

      Whereas, the Board Finance Committee reviewed the process followed and ICANN Organization's proposal, and has recommended that the Board approve ICANN Organization's recommendation.

      Resolved (2017.04.19.03), the Board approves committing $646,800 during Fiscal Year 2018 to cover the costs associated with the adopted SO/AC additional budget requests.

      Rationale for Resolution 2017.04.19.03

      The budget approval earlier in the year is a reasonable accommodation of the established budget approval process and timeline, that facilitate the work of the ICANN community and of the ICANN Organization, and does not create additional expenses. The amount of the committed expenses resulting from this resolution is considered sufficiently small to not require that funding resources are specifically identified and approved by the Board.

      There is no anticipated impact from this decision on the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system as a result of this decision.

      The approval process is an Organizational Administrative process that has already been subject to significant input from the community.

      All members of the Board present voted in favor of Resolutions 2017.04.19.01 – 2017.04.19.02 and 2017.04.19.03. Chris Disspain, Göran Marby and Khaled Koubaa were unavailable to vote on the Resolutions. The Resolutions carried.

    3. AOB

      The Chair asked whether Board members wanted to discuss any other business. Cherine Chalaby requested that the Board discuss scheduling its next meeting. He provided a brief overview of the proposed items for the next Board agenda, and suggested that it may be possible to schedule a meeting while Board members are in Geneva for the Board workshop. Mike Silber highlighted possible scheduling conflicts, and Ram Mohan proposed that the Board consider having a telephonic meeting after the workshop. After discussion, the Chair requested that ICANN Org work to find a suitable time for a meeting in May.

      The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 19 May 2017

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."