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Board Governance Committee (BGC) Meeting - Minutes

BGC Attendees: Cherine Chalaby, Bill Graham, Ram Mohan, Ray Plzak, R. Ramaraj and Bruce Tonkin – Chair

Other Board Attendees: Rod Beckstrom, Steve Crocker, Bertrand de La Chapelle and Chris Disspain

Invited Attendee: Judith Duavit Vazquez

Staff Attendees: John Jeffrey – General Counsel and Secretary; Diane Schroeder, and Amy Stathos


The following is a summary of discussion, actions taken and actions identified:

  1. Minutes – The Committee approved the Minutes from the last BGC meeting

  2. DNS Security Framework Working Group – Committee members discussed the status of reaching out to proposed members of the working group and reported on the status of the draft charter.

    • Actions:

      • Committee members to complete reach-out to  proposed membership, and complete drafting charter, in time for Dakar.

      • Staff to add to BGC meeting agenda in Dakar.

  3. Ethics and Conflicts of Interest – The Committee held a long and detailed discussion about the nature of conflicts of interest, including the requirements relating to disclosure of existing, future or potential future conflicts of interest, as well as abstention from voting in particular circumstances. The Committee also discussed in detail how ethics guidelines compliment a Conflicts of Interest Policy, and the need for ICANN to establish a formal Ethics regime. The BGC approved a motion leading to the following actions:

    • Actions:

      • The CEO and the General Counsel are to review and propose revisions to the Conflicts of Interest Policy to clarify issues, including disclosure and abstention requirements, surrounding future interests or potential future interests.

      • The CEO and the General Counsel are to engage an external firm with expertise in advising on ethical issues, to advise and help develop an ICANN Ethics Regime or set of Guidelines for the Board, the staff and the community.

      • A work party of Cherine Chalaby, Bill Graham and Ray Plzak as current members of the BGC to review and guide staff efforts to revise the Conflicts of Interest Policy and development of the Ethics Regime or set of Guidelines.

      • Staff to provide BGC with progress report, and BGC to further discuss process and timeline in Dakar.

  4. Slating of Committee Membership and Leadership, and Board Leadership – The BGC Chair made a proposal for assisting the BGC in fulfilling its duty to develop a slate of committee memberships and leadership for Board approval. The BGC currently asks Board members to express interest in serving on particular Board Committees, and the suggestion is to expand that to a call for formal candidates for those interested in chairing particular committees. The BGC also discussed the need to follow the approved process for identifying and then recommending a slate for Board Chair and Vice Chair in Dakar.

    • Actions:

      • BGC chair to distribute to the Board a list of required skills for chairing particular committees and ask for expressions of interest from Board members to chair particular committees.

      • BGC Chair to identify a window during which the BGC will receive expressions of interest for Committee Chairs, as well as for Board Chair and Vice Chair.

      • BGC to propose a slate for Committee membership and leadership, as well as Board leadership, to the Board for approval in Dakar.

  5. Board Member Skill Sets – The BGC discussed the need to identify skill sets to inform the Nominating Committee (NomCom) when making candidate selections.

    • Actions:

      • Committee members to discuss and draft proposed skill sets, which will inform a full Board discussion on the issue.

      • Board to develop in Dakar a formal statement to be provided to the NomCom regarding the skill sets the Board has identified for NomCom consideration during the 2012 NomCom selection process.

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."