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Board Governance Committee (BGC) Meeting Minutes

BGC Attendees: Cherine Chalaby, Chris Disspain, Mike Silber, and Bruce Tonkin – Chair.

Staff Attendees: John Jeffrey – General Counsel and Secretary, Megan Bishop, Samantha Eisner, Elizabeth Le, and Amy Stathos

BGC Apologies: Bertrand de La Chapelle, Ram Mohan, and Ray Plzak


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

  1. Minutes – The BGC approved the minutes of the 1 August 2013, 25 September 2013, and 26 September 2013 meetings.
  2. Reconsideration Request 13-11 – Staff briefed the BGC regarding Reconsideration Request 13-11 ("Request") submitted by the Noncommercial User Noncommercial Users Stakeholders Group ("NCSG"). The Request asks the Board to reconsider staff's response to the NCSG's Documentary Information Disclosure Policy (DIDP) Request. The NCSG suggested that staff violated the DIDP by failing to provide the NCSG with documents not already public. Staff briefed the BGC on the DIDP, the Defined Conditions for Nondisclosure, and the process undertaken by staff to respond to the DIDP Request. The BGC noted that the NCSG failed to state proper grounds for reconsideration as there is no indication that ICANN violated any policy or process. The BGC further noted that following receipt of Request 13-11, to enhance transparency staff posted a document that describes the process staff uses in responding to DIDP requests. The BGC then discussed that Article IV, Section 2, Paragraph 15 of the Bylaws provides that the BGC is delegated with authority by the Board to make a final determination and recommendation for all Reconsideration Requests brought regarding staff action or inaction and that the BGC's determination on such matters is final. The BGC has the discretion, but is not required, to recommend the matter to the Board for consideration and action, as the BGC deems necessary. In accordance with Article IV, Section 2.15 of the Bylaws, the BGC concluded that its determination on Request 13-11 is sufficient and that no further consideration by the Board is warranted.

    • Action: Staff to distribute the BGC Determination to the Committee for final review, post the Determination and notify the requester.
  3. Reconsideration Request 13-12 – Bruce Tonkin noted that he was abstaining from consideration of this matter due to a potential perceived conflict of interest because Melbourne IT provided some advice to the requester in 2012. Staff briefed the BGC about Reconsideration Request 13-12 ("Request 13-12") submitted by Tencent Holdings Limited ("Tencent") seeking reconsideration of the Expert Determination sustaining Sina Corporation's objection to Tencent's applications for .微博 (translated to English as "microblogging") and .WEIBO. The BGC concluded that that Tencent has not stated proper grounds for reconsideration and that the Request should be denied without further consideration. Specifically, the BGC determined that Tencent did not suggest that the dispute resolution procedures set out in the Applicant Guidebook, or the New gTLD Dispute Resolution Procedure, were not followed. Tencent failed to identify an established policy or procedure that was violated by the Expert Panel in making its Determination or ICANN in accepting it. The BGC approved a recommendation to the New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) that Request 13-12 be denied.

    • Action: Staff to submit the proposed recommendation to the NGPC for consideration.

Published on 6 December 2013

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."