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Board Governance Committee (BGC) Meeting Minutes

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

Other Board Member Attendees: Francisco da Silva

Staff Attendees: Susanna Bennett – Chief Operating Officer, John Jeffrey – General Counsel and Secretary; Megan Bishop, Michelle Bright, Elizabeth Le, and Amy Stathos


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

  1. Minutes: The BGC approved the minutes of the last two meetings.
  2. Recommended Appointment of new IETF Liaison to Board Committees – The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has appointed Jonne Soininen to replace the outgoing IETF Liaison to the Board, Thomas Narten. The BGC recommended that the Board appoint Jonne Soininen as a non-voting Liaison to the following ICANN Board Committees on which Mr. Narten sat: the IANA Committee, the New gTLD Program Committee, the Public and Stakeholder Engagement Committee, and the Risk Committee.
  3. Reconsideration Request 13-4 – Mike Silber noted that he was abstaining from consideration of this matter. The BGC received a briefing from Staff regarding Reconsideration Request 13-4 (the "Request 13-4" or the "Request")), submitted by DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA Trust).. The Request asked that the ICANN Board action (through the NGPC) of 4 June 2013 regarding DCA Trust's new gTLD application for .AFRICA be reconsidered. DCA Trust claims that the NGPC should have consulted with independent experts before acting on advice from the Governmental Advisory Committee ("GAC") regarding DCA Trust's new gTLD application. DCA Trust seeks a reversal of the Board's action of 4 June 2013 and that NGPC be directed to consult with independent experts prior to taking further action on DCA Trust's application. The BGC reviewed the three basis for reconsideration and determined that the only claimed ground was whether "one or more actions or inactions of the ICANN Board that have been taken or refused to be taken without consideration of material information, except where the party submitting the request could have submitted, but did not submit, the information for the Board's consideration at the time of action or refusal to act." The BGC identified the information that was reviewed by the NGPC related to DCA Trust's application and that was documented in the rationale of the 4 June 2013 NGPC action. The material information reviewed by the NGPC included the GAC Beijing Communiqué, the applicant responses to the GAC advice, the Applicant Guidebook Module 3, and the "NGPC scorecard 1As regarding non-safeguard advice in the GAC Beijing Communiqué." The BGC further considered whether the NGPC should have obtained additional expert advice and concluded that there was sufficient material information available for the NGPC to make its decision and that no other materials information was not considered. The BGC further noted that the reconsideration process provides the option for the complainant to provide new material information that was not available for the Board to make its decision, and that DCA Trust has failed to submit any new material.
    • Action:
      • Revisions to Recommendation on Request 13-4 to be made and provided for BGC consideration at the next BGC meeting.
  4. Board Procedure Improvements – The BGC discussed forming a working group for a six-month period to focus on Board procedural improvements. The BGC agreed that the working group should be comprised of approximately three members of the Board.
  5. Expressions of Interest for NomCom Chair and Chair Elect – The BGC discussed the received expressions of interest for the NomCom Chair and Chair-Elect positions for 2014. The BGC also discussed conducting interviews of the current candidates.
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."