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Board Governance Committee (BGC) Meeting Minutes

BGC Attendees: Cherine Chalaby, Chris Disspain, Bertrand de La Chapelle, Ram Mohan, Ray Plzak, Mike Silber, and Bruce Tonkin – Chair

Other Board Member Attendees: Sébastien Bachollet, Steve Crocker, Bill Graham, George Sadowsky, and Kuo-Wei Wu

Staff Attendees: John Jeffrey – General Counsel and Secretary; Megan Bishop, Michelle Bright, Samantha Eisner, and Amy Stathos

Invited Attendee: Jonne Soininen


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

  1. Minutes: The BGC approved minutes of two prior meetings where Reconsideration Requests were discussed.

  2. New gTLD Program Reconsideration Subcommittee of the BGC: The BGC discussed the need to address the potential conflicts of interest that arise in the consideration of New gTLD Program-related reconsideration requests, where some of the members of the BGC are not members of the New gTLD Program Committee of the Board. The BGC discussed alternatives for dealing with the potential conflicts of interest. The BGC noted its past experience in creating a subcommittee to deal with ethics issues, and agreed to recommend to the Board the use of a subcommittee of the BGC to review reconsideration requests relating to the New gTLD Program. The BGC member who did not agree to the recommendation stated that this is better handled by allowing the BGC members to handle conflict of interest matters on a case-by-case basis.

    The BGC discussed the need to make new gTLD applicants aware of the accountability mechanisms. The BGC also discussed the feasibility of development of appeal mechanisms within the New gTLD Program.

    • Actions:

      • Staff to forward recommendation to the Board for consideration.

      • Staff to develop page for applicants regarding the accountability mechanisms available and the standards for use of each of those mechanisms.

      • BGC to discuss at its next meeting the issue of appeal structures within the New gTLD Program, to assist in formulation of the issue for broader Board discussion.

      • BGC Chair to inform the Board of the discussion regarding the existence of appeal mechanisms for future discussion.

  3. Call for Expressions of Interest for Nominating Committee Leadership: The BGC discussed how to format the call for expressions of interest for the leadership of the Nominating Committee. The BGC noted that last year, the call was for both the Chair and the Chair-Elect, and discussed that it is preferential for the call to remain for both roles, as the Board has the obligation to fill both roles.

    • Actions:

      • Staff to post call for expressions of interest for Chair and Chair-Elect of the Nominating Committee.

      • Chair to discuss process with current NomCom Chair and Chair-Elect.

  4. Reconsideration Request 13-3: The Chair and Bertrand de La Chapelle each noted that they were abstaining from consideration of this matter due to a potential conflict of interest as it relates to the New gTLD Program Committee and removed themselves from the conversation. Ram Mohan was not present for this part of the discussion. The BGC received an oral summary of the Request. The BGC then discussed the Request and proposed Recommendation. The BGC approved the recommendation for the New gTLD Program Committee. One member of the BGC abstained, noting that he believes that the BGC is interpreting the original policy recommendation on this item from the GNSO and that should require a broader discussion.

    • Action:

      • Staff to forward the recommendation to the New gTLD Program Committee and notify the requester.

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."