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Minutes | Regular Meeting of the ICANN Board

A Regular Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors was held telphonically on 12 March 2020 at 21:45 UTC.

Maarten Botterman, Chair, promptly called the meeting to order.

In addition to the Chair, the following Directors participated in all or part of the meeting: Becky Burr, Ron da Silva, Sarah Deutsch, Chris Disspain, Avri Doria, Rafael Lito Ibarra, Danko Jevtović, Akinori Maemura, Göran Marby (President and CEO), Mandla Msimang, Ihab Osman, Nigel Roberts, León Sánchez (Vice Chair), Matthew Shears, and Tripti Sinha.

The following Board Liaisons participated in all or part of the meeting: Harald Alvestrand (IETF Liaison), Manal Ismail (GAC Liaison), Merike Käo (SSAC Liaison), and Kaveh Ranjbar (RSSAC Liaison).

Secretary: John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary).

  1. Consent Agenda:
    1. Approval of Minutes
    2. Appointment of the Independent Auditors for FY20
    3. June 2022 ICANN Meeting Venue Contracting
  2. Main Agenda:
    1. Acceptance of the Second Organizational Review of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC2) Detailed Implementation Plan
    2. Acceptance of the Second Organizational Review of the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC2) Detailed Implementation Plan
    3. Thank You to Community and Org for ICANN67

 

  1. Consent Agenda:

    The Chair opened the meeting and introduced the items on the Consent Agenda. Becky Burr moved, and Danko Jevtović seconded the proposed resolution to approve the items on the consent agenda. After discussion, the Board took the following actions:

      The following items on the Consent Agenda are approved:

    1. Approval of Minutes

      Resolved (2020.03.12.01), the Board approves the minutes of the 26 January 2020 Regular Meeting of the ICANN Board, the 19 February 2020 Special Meeting of the ICANN Board, and the 25 February 2020 Special Meeting of the ICANN Board.

    2. Appointment of the Independent Auditors for FY20

      Section 22.2 of the ICANN Bylaws (http://www.icann.org/general/bylaws.htm) requires that after the end of the fiscal year, the books of ICANN must be audited by certified public accountants, which shall be appointed by the Board.

      Whereas, the Board Audit Committee has discussed the engagement of the independent auditor for the fiscal year ending 30 June 2020 and has recommended that the Board authorize the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to take all steps necessary to engage BDO LLP and BDO member firms.

      Resolved (2020.03.12.02), the Board authorizes the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to take all steps necessary to engage BDO LLP and BDO member firms as the auditors for the financial statements for the fiscal year ending 30 June 2020.

      Rationale for Resolution 2020.03.12.02

      The audit firm BDO LLP and BDO member firms have been ICANN's independent auditors since the audit of fiscal year 2014. In 2019, there was a partner rotation and a new partner was assigned to the ICANN engagement. Based on the report from the organization and the Audit Committee's evaluation of the work performed, the committee has recommended that the Board authorize the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to take all steps necessary to engage BDO LLP and BDO member firms as ICANN's annual independent auditor for fiscal year 2020 for any annual independent audit requirements in any jurisdiction.

      This furthers ICANN's accountability to its Bylaws and processes, and the results of the independent auditors' work will be publicly available. Taking this decision is both consistent with ICANN's Mission and in the public interest as the engagement of an independent auditor is in fulfilment of ICANN's obligations to undertake an audit of ICANN's financial statements and helps serve ICANN's stakeholders in a more accountable manner.

      This decision will have a fiscal impact on ICANN as is intended. This should not have any direct impact on the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system.

      This is an Organizational Administrative Function not requiring public comment.

    3. June 2022 ICANN Meeting Venue Contracting

      Whereas, ICANN intends to hold its second Public Meeting of 2022 in the Europe region.

      Whereas, ICANN organization has completed a thorough review of the available venues in the Europe region and finds the one in The Hague, Netherlands to be the most suitable.

      Resolved (2020.03.12.03), the Board authorizes the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to engage in and facilitate all necessary contracting and disbursements for the host venue for the June 2022 ICANN Public Meeting in The Hague, Netherlands, in an amount not to exceed [REDACTED - CONFIDENTIAL NEGOTIATION INFORMATION].

      Resolved (2020.03.12.04), specific items within this resolution shall remain confidential for negotiation purposes pursuant to Article 3, section 3.5(b) of the ICANN Bylaws until the President and CEO determines that the confidential information may be released.

      Rationale for Resolutions 2020.03.12.03 – 2020.03.12.04

      As part of ICANN's Public Meeting strategy, ICANN seeks to host a meeting in a different geographic region (as defined in the ICANN Bylaws) three times a year. ICANN74 is scheduled for 13-16 June 2022. Following a search and evaluation of available venues, the organization identified The Hague, Netherlands as a suitable location for the ICANN Public Meeting.

      The organization performed a thorough analysis of the available locations and prepared a paper to identify those that met the Meeting Location Selection Criteria (see http://meetings.icann.org/location-selection-criteria). Based on the proposals and analysis, ICANN has identified The Hague, Netherlands as the location for ICANN74. Selection of this Europe location adheres to the geographic rotation guidelines established by the Meeting Strategy Working Group. 

      The Board reviewed the organization's briefing for hosting the meeting in The Hague, Netherlands and the determination that the proposal met the significant factors of the Meeting Location Selection Criteria, as well as the related costs for the facilities selected, for the June 2022 ICANN Public Meeting. ICANN conducts Public Meetings in support of its mission to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems, and acts in the public interest by providing free and open access to anyone wishing to participate, either in person or remotely, in open, transparent and bottom-up, multistakeholder policy development processes.

      There will be a financial impact on ICANN in hosting the meeting and providing travel support as necessary, as well as on the community in incurring costs to travel to the meeting. But such impact would be faced regardless of the location and venue of the meeting. This action will have no impact on the security or the stability of the DNS.

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

      All members of the Board present voted in favor of Resolutions 2020.03.12.01, 2020.03.12.02, and 2020.03.12.03 – 2020.03.12.04. The Resolutions carried.

  2. Main Agenda:

    1. Acceptance of the Second Organizational Review of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC2) Detailed Implementation Plan

      Avri Doria, Chair of the Organizational Effectiveness Committee of the Board, introduced the agenda item. She explained that the proposed Board resolution stems from the organizational reviews required by the ICANN Bylaws, which call for a periodic review of performance and operation of advisory committees. As part of the second review of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC2 Review), an Implementation Work Party was created. The Work Party developed an implementation plan for how to address the recommendations from the SSAC2 Review Final Report.

      The Board considered the proposed resolution to approve the implementation plan developed by the Work Party. Merike Käo commented that for the SSAC, the review process and overall experience in creating a consensus-based implementation plan was very positive. She also thanked all parties involved in working to develop the implementation plan.

      Avri Doria moved and Matthew Shears seconded the proposed resolutions. After discussion, the Board took the following action:

      Whereas, ICANN Bylaws Article 4, Section 4.4 calls on the ICANN Board to "cause a periodic review of the performance and operation of each […] Advisory Committee […] by an entity or entities independent of the organization under review. The goal of the review, to be undertaken pursuant to such criteria and standards as the Board shall direct, shall be to determine (i) whether that organization has a continuing purpose in the ICANN structure, and (ii) if so, whether any change in structure or operations is desirable to improve its effectiveness."

      Whereas, the independent examiner of the second Security and Stability Advisory Committee ("SSAC2") Review produced a Final Report in January 2019. That report was received by the Board in May 2019, and at the same time the Board accepted the SSAC2 Review Work Party's Feasibility Assessment and Initial Implementation Plan.

      Whereas, in response to that May 2019 resolution, the SSAC2 Review Implementation Work Party was created. That Work Party developed and approved with full consensus the SSAC2 Review Detailed Implementation Plan on 22 December 2019.

      Resolved (2020.03.12.05), the Board acknowledges the SSAC2 Review Implementation Work Party's work and thanks the members of that group for their efforts.

      Resolved (2020.03.12.06), the Board accepts the SSAC2 Review Detailed Implementation Plan, including the implementation approach contained within.

      Resolved (2020.03.12.07), the Board directs the SSAC2 Review Implementation Work Party to continue implementation in accordance with the SSAC2 Review Detailed Implementation Plan and to provide updates to the Organizational Effectiveness Committee of the ICANN Board (OEC) through written implementation reports on progress every six months. Those progress reports should include, but not be limited to progress toward metrics and use of allocated budget. Where necessary, the updates shall include more details on the measurability of implementation progress including resource needs and budgetary implications. The update reports shall also cover all other relevant information pertaining to the SSAC's implementation planning and progress, including but not limited to timing, duration, dependencies and non-fiscal resources for all recommendations. The Board, through the OEC will review those detailed plans when released.

      Resolved (2020.03.12.08), that any budgetary implications of the second SSAC Review implementation, including those noted on the cover page of the SSAC Detailed Implementation Plan, shall be considered as part of the applicable annual budgeting processes.

      All members of the Board present voted in favor of Resolutions 2020.03.12.05 – 2020.03.12.08. The Resolutions carried.

      Rationale for Resolutions 2020.03.12.05 – 2020.03.12.08

      Why is the Board addressing the issue?

      To ensure ICANN's multistakeholder model remains transparent and accountable, and to improve its performance, the ICANN Bylaws mandate independent reviews of each Supporting Organization, each Supporting Organization Council, each Advisory Committee (other than the Governmental Advisory Committee), and the Nominating Committee, as detailed in Article IV, Section 4.4 of the ICANN Bylaws. The independent examiner conducting the SSAC2 Review produced a final report that was published in January 2019. Based on its detailed review of the independent examiner's findings and recommendations, the SSAC2 Review Work Party prepared a Feasibility Assessment and Initial Implementation Plan, adopted with full consensus on 13 May 2019. Subsequently, the SSAC2 Review Work Party drafted and submitted on 22 December 2019 the SSAC2 Review Detailed Implementation Plan (Plan).

      The SSAC2 Review recommendations have the potential to advance ICANN's and SSAC's effectiveness, transparency and accountability objectives and have been considered carefully by the Board's Organizational Effectiveness Committee as well as by the full Board.

      The Board resolution will have a positive impact on ICANN as it reinforces ICANN's commitment to maintaining and improving its accountability, transparency and organizational effectiveness throughout the implementation process.

      Why is the Board addressing the issue?

      This resolution moves the SSAC2 Review formally into the implementation phase. Following the assessment of the Plan and the feedback from the OEC, the Board is now in a position to consider the Plan, including the fact that the SSAC has already begun some of the implementation. The Board is now in a position to instruct the SSAC2 Review Implementation Work Party to continue the implementation process as set out in the Plan. This step is an important part of the Organizational Review process of checks and balances, to ensure that the Board-accepted recommendations will be implemented, while being mindful of all relevant resource constraints.

      What is the proposal being considered?

      The proposal the Board is considering is the Organizational Effectiveness Committee's recommendation of the adoption of the Plan, drafted by the SSAC2 Review Implementation Work Party and adopted by the SSAC.

      What significant materials did the Board review?

      The Board reviewed the Plan, as adopted by the SSAC. The Board had previously considered the relevant Bylaws provisions, the independent examiner's final report, the Feasibility Assessment and Initial Implementation Plan, and community feedback on the independent examiner's assessment report and draft final report, and took onboard the OEC's considerations in making this recommendation.

      Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN, the Community, and/or the Public (strategic plan, operating plan, or budget)?

      This Board action will have some fiscal implications and this resolution does not authorize any specific funding for those implementation efforts. As detailed in the Plan, implementation of some recommendations requires specific costs but only if yearly budget allocations are needed, or if a project is needed to execute, while some recommendations involve additional SSAC's ICANN staff support needed in support of the implementation work. All fiscal implications shall be considered as part of the applicable annual budgeting processes.

      How is this action within ICANN's mission and what is the public interest served in this action?

      The Board's action is consistent with ICANN's Mission and its commitment pursuant to Article 4, Section 4.4 of the Bylaws to ensure ICANN's multistakeholder model remains transparent and accountable, and to improve the performance of its supporting organizations and advisory committees.

      This action will serve the public interest by contributing to the fulfillment of ICANN's commitment to maintaining and improving its accountability and transparency.

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

      This Board action is not expected to have a direct effect on security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS.

      Is public comment required prior to Board action?

      The independent examiner's draft final report was published for public comment. No additional public comment prior to Board action is required.

    2. Acceptance of the Second Organizational Review of the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC2) Detailed Implementation Plan

      Avri Doria, Chair of the Organizational Effectiveness Committee of the Board, introduced the agenda item. She explained that similar to the previous Board action, this proposed Board resolution comes from the organizational reviews required by the ICANN Bylaws, which call for a periodic review of performance and operation of advisory committees.

      The Board considered the proposed resolution to approve the implementation plan developed by the Work Party to address the recommendations in the July 2018 Final Report of the second review of the Root Server System Advisory Committee. Kaveh Ranjbar noted that the RSSAC published RSSAC41, which provides feedback and recommended improvements to the review process.

      Avri Doria moved and Tripti Sinha seconded the proposed resolutions. After discussion, the Board took the following action:

      Whereas, ICANN Bylaws Article 4, Section 4.4 calls on the ICANN Board to "cause a periodic review of the performance and operation of each […] Advisory Committee […] by an entity or entities independent of the organization under review. The goal of the review, to be undertaken pursuant to such criteria and standards as the Board shall direct, shall be to determine (i) whether that organization has a continuing purpose in the ICANN structure, and (ii) if so, whether any change in structure or operations is desirable to improve its effectiveness."

      Whereas, the independent examiner of the second Root Server System Advisory Committee ("RSSAC2") Review produced a Final Report in July 2018. That report was received by the Board in May 2019, and at the same time the Board accepted the RSSAC2 Review Work Party's Feasibility Assessment and Initial Implementation Plan.

      Whereas, in response to that May 2019 resolution, the RSSAC2 Review Implementation Work Party was created. That Work Party developed and approved with full consensus the RSSAC2 Review Detailed Implementation Plan on 7 January 2020.

      Whereas, the RSSAC2 Review Implementation Work Party has already started with some implementation work, as reported in the RSSAC2 Review Detailed Implementation Plan.

      Resolved (2020.03.12.09), the Board acknowledges the RSSAC2 Review Implementation Work Party's work and thanks the members of that group for their efforts.

      Resolved (2020.03.12.10), the Board accepts the RSSAC2 Review Detailed Implementation Plan, including the implementation approach contained within.

      Resolved (2020.03.12.11), the Board directs the RSSAC2 Review Implementation Work Party to continue implementation in accordance with the RSSAC2 Review Detailed Implementation Plan, and to provide updates to the Organizational Effectiveness Committee of the ICANN Board (OEC) through written implementation reports on progress every six months. Those progress reports should include, but not be limited to, progress toward metrics and use of allocated budget. It is during these updates that the RSSAC2 Review Implementation Work Party shall provide, if necessary, more details on the measurability of implementation progress including resource needs and budgetary implications. The Board, through the OEC will review those detailed plans when released.

      Resolved (2020.03.12.12), that any budgetary implications of the second RSSAC Review implementation shall be considered as part of the applicable annual budgeting processes.

      Resolved (2020.03.12.13), the Board directs the RSSAC Review Implementation Work Party to provide updates in the implementation progress reports about development of the new governance model for the DNS root server system (RSSAC037 and RSSAC038), as they relate to the Review implementation efforts.

      All members of the Board present voted in favor of Resolutions 2020.03.12.09 – 2020.03.12.13. The Resolutions carried.

      Rationale for Resolutions 2020.03.12.09 – 2020.03.12.13

      Why is the Board addressing the issue?

      To ensure ICANN's multistakeholder model remains transparent and accountable, and to improve its performance, the ICANN Bylaws mandate independent reviews of each Supporting Organization, each Supporting Organization Council, each Advisory Committee (other than the Governmental Advisory Committee), and the Nominating Committee, as detailed in Article 4, Section 4.4 of the ICANN Bylaws. The independent examiner conducting the RSSAC2 Review produced a final report that was published in July 2018. Based on its detailed review of the independent examiner's findings and recommendations, the RSSAC2 Work Party prepared a Feasibility Assessment and Initial Implementation Plan, adopted with full consensus on 2 October 2018. Subsequently, the RSSAC2 Review Work Party drafted the Plan, which was adopted by the RSSAC and submitted to the OEC on 7 January.

      The RSSAC2 Review recommendations have the potential to advance ICANN's and RSSAC's effectiveness, transparency and accountability objectives and have been considered carefully by the Board's Organizational Effectiveness Committee as well as by the full Board.

      The Board resolution will have a positive impact on ICANN as it reinforces ICANN's commitment to maintaining and improving its accountability, transparency and organizational effectiveness throughout the implementation process.

      Why is the Board addressing the issue?

      This resolution moves the RSSAC2 Review formally into the implementation phase. Following the assessment of the Plan and the feedback from the OEC, the Board is now in a position to consider the Plan, including the fact that the RSSAC has already begun some of the implementation. The Board is now in a position to instruct the RSSAC2 Review Implementation Work Party to continue the implementation process as set out in the Plan. This step is an important part of the Organizational Review process of checks and balances, to ensure that the Board-accepted recommendations will be implemented, while being mindful of all relevant resources' constraints.

      What is the proposal being considered?

      The proposal the Board is considering is the Organizational Effectiveness Committee's recommendation of the adoption of the Plan, drafted and adopted by the RSSAC2 Review Implementation Work Party.

      What significant materials did the Board review?

      The Board reviewed the Plan, as adopted by the RSSAC2 Review Implementation Work Party. The Board had previously considered the relevant Bylaws provisions, the independent examiner's final report, the Feasibility Assessment and Initial Implementation Plan, and community feedback on the independent examiner's assessment report and draft final report, and took onboard the OEC's considerations in making this recommendation.

      Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN, the Community, and/or the Public (strategic plan, operating plan, or budget)?

      This Board action may have some fiscal implications and this resolution does not authorize any specific funding for those implementation efforts. As detailed in the Plan, implementation of some recommendations is already assumed in standard community support from the ICANN org Policy Development Support function, and the Plan outlines which recommendations are impacted.

      How is this action within ICANN's mission and what is the public interest served in this action?

      The Board's action is consistent with ICANN's Mission and its commitment pursuant to Article 4, Section 4.4 of the Bylaws to ensure ICANN's multistakeholder model remains transparent and accountable, and to improve the performance of its supporting organizations and advisory committees.

      This action will serve the public interest by contributing to the fulfillment of ICANN's commitment to maintaining and improving its accountability and transparency.

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

      This Board action is not expected to have a direct effect on security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS.

      Is public comment required prior to Board action?

      The independent examiner's draft final report was published for public comment. A status update on the work of the RSSAC2 review implementation working group was provided during a webinar prior to ICANN65. No additional public comment prior to Board action is required.

    3. Thank You to Community and Org for ICANN67

      The Chair introduced the proposed resolution to offer sincere thanks to the community and ICANN org for a successful ICANN67 as the first ever virtual meeting.

      León Sánchez moved and Ron da Silva seconded the proposed resolutions. The Board took the following action:

      Resolved (2020.03.12.14), the ICANN Board thanks everyone across the ICANN ecosystem for their efforts in making ICANN67 a successful virtual meeting.

      Resolved(2020.03.12.15), the ICANN Board sends it thanks to the ICANN Community for your flexibility and leadership in addressing the quick move to a virtual meeting. We understand that this posed technical and time zone issues to those accustomed to physically attending ICANN meetings, and disrupted travel and business plans. We acknowledge that for working groups, review teams and committees counting on face-to-face interactions to further their efforts, this meeting change poses challenges to how your work is furthered, and we note your work in quickly exploring alternatives. We also thank you for your coordination with the ICANN org in reorganizing the public meeting schedule. The Board notes that we too feel the loss of the hallway conversation and informal gatherings that is so much of our ICANN Community atmosphere, and look forward to joining all of you together as soon as we responsibly can.

      Resolved (2020.03.12.16), the Board thanks the ICANN org team for their efforts in executing this virtual meeting. From the technical work to support the move to virtual, to the coordination efforts on schedule planning, to the facilities team in Los Angeles keeping the site running, and more, we understand that each of you played a vital role in the success of ICANN67. We join the ICANN Community in thanking each of the ICANN org support teams that work with the Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, review teams, committees and other groups for all of your work in keeping agendas going and meetings running in this virtual mode.

      Resolved (2020.03.12.17), the ICANN Board thanks the scribes and interpreters for ICANN67 for your efforts that contributed to the success of the meeting.

      Resolved(2020.03.12.18), the ICANN Board once again thanks the local hosts and vendors that were hoping to welcome us to Cancún, Mexico for ICANN67, for your understanding and flexibility in the face of this global health pandemic. We look forward to joining you for ICANN70 as scheduled.

      All members of the Board present voted in favor of Resolutions 2020.03.12.14 – 2020.03.12.18. The Resolutions carried.

    4. The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 21 May 2020

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."