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Board Governance Committee (BGC) Meeting Minutes

BGC Attendees: Cherine Chalaby, Bill Graham, Ram Mohan, Ray Plzak, Mike Silber, and Bruce Tonkin – Chair

Apologies: R. Ramaraj

Other Board Member Attendees: Judith Vazquez, Steve Crocker, Chris Disspain

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

Invited Observer: Fadi Chehadé


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

  1. Minutes – The BGC approved the minutes of its prior meetings in May and June 2012.
  2. Board Chair and Vice-Chair Selection Timetable – The BGC discussed the proposed timetable for running the process for the Board Chair and Vice-Chair selection, including consideration of nominees at the upcoming Board workshop in Los Angeles, with the selection process to conclude at the ICANN meeting in Toronto in October 2012.
    • Action:
      • Staff to re-circulate process memo to Board members.
  3. NomCom Chair Elect – The BGC discussed the status of the Call for Expressions of Interest, with an identification of the candidates and the process for selection of NomCom Chair and Chair-Elect. The BGC also discussed the possibility for requiring the NomCom participants to provide a commitment to declare any potential conflicts of interests in regards to the candidates under consideration, as well as further ideas of transparency and consistency in the process across all Nominating Committees. In addition, the BGC discussed a request for a meeting between the current NomCom Chair-Elect and the BGC Subcommittee on Ethics and Conflicts of Interest to discuss the process for management of conflicts.
    • Action:
      • Staff to draft a Board Procedure Memo regarding the selection of the NomCom Chair and Chair-Elect.
      • Staff to announce extension of call for expressions of interest for two weeks.
      • Staff to coordinate meeting with current NomCom Chair-Elect.
  4. Update on Ethics/Conflicts Work – The BGC discussed the work of the expert committee, including the proposal of a creating a summary document that collects and restates the key missions, core values and code of ethics that the Board is required to follow, for ease of community and Board reference. The BGC also discussed the scope of procedural items in the ICANN Bylaws and the potential for future work to simplify the Bylaws.
    • Actions:
      • Staff to work with outside counsel to draft a summary document based on existing obligations.
      • BGC member to draft a short note regarding the proposal to simplify Bylaws and separate procedures from the governance items.
  5. ATRT Recommendations – The BGC discussed the ongoing work to implement the ATRT recommendations, with a focus on continued work to identify experts to review ICANN's accountability mechanisms.
    • Actions:
      • Staff to provide recommendations of candidates to review accountability mechanisms for BGC consideration at its next regular meeting.
      • BGC to discuss its work to address Recommendation 6 at its next regular meeting.
  6. Additional Business – Due to time constraints, the BGC only briefly identified the additional items on its agenda. The BGC held a short discussion about aligning all Board members terms, so long as it does not jeopardize an informed decision by the NomCom relating to geographic diversity. Further, the BGC discussed the challenges with having sufficient time to review the IPC's Reconsideration Request 12-2 and all related material in light of the Board members' schedules in Prague.
    • Actions:
      • BGC Member to draft paper on the alignment of Board member terms for BGC discussion.
      • BGC to reach out to the relevant parties regarding a brief extension of time for the BGC to determine whether to reconsider the matter set forth in Reconsideration Request 12-2.
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."