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Minutes | Board Governance Committee (BGC) Meeting

BGC Attendees: Cherine Chalaby, Chris Disspain, Olga Madruga-Forti, Ray Plzak, Mike Silber, Ram Mohan, and Bruce Tonkin – Chair

Other Board Member Attendees: Steve Crocker

Executive and Staff Attendees:, John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary), Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel), Samantha Eisner (Senior Counsel), Megan Bishop (Board Support Coordinator) and Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Board Support Content Manager)


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

  1. Minutes – The BGC approved the minutes from the meeting on 12 June 2014.

  2. Reconsideration Request 14-1 – Ram Mohan abstained from participation in this matter noting conflicts. Staff briefed the BGC regarding Medistry, LLC’s (“Medistry’s” or “Requester’s”) request seeking reconsideration of the Expert Determination, and ICANN’s acceptance of that Determination, upholding the Independent Objector’s (“IO’s”) Community Objection to Medistry’s application for .MED. The Requester and three other applicants applied for .MED. The IO filed a Community Objection to the Requester’s application and won. The Requester contends that the IO and ICANN staff acted contrary to ICANN process that prohibits the IO from filing an objection unless there was at least one public comment opposing the particular application. In support of its Request, Medistry presented letters from the organizations that had previously made public comments regarding or relating to .MED (upon which the Community Objection was premised); those letters clarified that the comments were intended to be advisory in nature and not in direct opposition to the Requester’s application. On 22 March 2014, the BGC granted the Request in order to provide sufficient time to further evaluate whether the public statements made regarding or relating to .MED were in opposition to the Requester’s application; the BGC asked staff to confer with the IO in an effort to evaluate and determine the circumstances under which the IO elected to file the Community Objection against Medistry’s application for .MED. On 30 May 2014, the IO responded to questions posed to him regarding his Objection. After discussion and consideration of the Request, the BGC concluded that there is substantial and relevant evidence indicating that the Objection was inconsistent with ICANN procedures, despite the diligence and best efforts of the IO and staff. The Requester has provided the BGC with uncontroverted information demonstrating that the public comments on which the Objection was based were not, in fact, in opposition to the Requester’s application. Accordingly, the BGC concluded that ICANN not consider the Expert Determination at issue and the Requester’s application for .Med is permitted to proceed to the next stage of process in the New gTLD Program. The Bylaws authorize the BGC to make a final determination on Reconsideration Requests brought regarding staff action or inaction and the BGC concluded that its determination on Request 14-1 is final; no consideration by the NGPC is warranted.

  3. Reconsideration Request 14-10 – Ram Mohan abstained from participation in this matter noting conflicts. Staff briefed the BGC regarding dot Sport Limited’s (“dotSport’s” or “Requester’s”) request seeking reconsideration of: (i) the Expert Determination, and ICANN’s acceptance of that Determination, upholding SportAccord’s Community Objection to the Requester’s application for .SPORTS; (ii) the ICC’s designation of the Expert Panelist who presided over the underlying objection; and (iii) the BGC’s Determination denying Reconsideration Request 13-16. The Requester and SportAccord both applied for .SPORTS and are in the same contention set. SportAccord objected to the Requester’s application and won. The Requester filed Reconsideration Request 13-16, claiming that the Expert allegedly violated established policy or process by failing to disclose material information relevant to his appointment. On 8 January 2014, the BGC denied Request 13-16, the first Reconsideration Request on this matter. In Request 14-10, the Requester’s second Reconsideration Request for the same matter, the Requester claims that it later discovered information showing that the Expert had a conflict of interest. After discussion and consideration of the Request, the BGC concluded that Reconsideration Request 14-10 is untimely and that the allegedly newly discovered information relating to a purported conflict of interest does not support reconsideration. The BGC approved a motion recommending that the NGPC deny Reconsideration Request 14-10.

    • Action: Staff to prepare a proposed resolution for consideration by the NGPC.

  4. Reconsideration Request 14-27 – Ram Mohan and Bruce Tonkin abstained from participation in this matter noting conflicts; Bruce indicated that his employer uses Amazon as a supplier and, while not material to this particular decision, he would abstain to prevent any perception of bias. Staff briefed the BGC regarding Amazon EU S.a.r.l.’s (“Amazon’s” or “Requester’s”) request seeking reconsideration of the NGPC’s 14 May 2014 resolution (Resolution 2014.05.14.NG03) accepting the GAC advice and directing that the applications for .AMAZON and related IDNs in Japanese and Chinese filed by Amazon (collectively, the “Amazon Applications”) should not proceed. The Requester asserted that the NGPC failed to take into consideration material information; relied on false or inaccurate information; failed to take material action; and took actions in clear violation of ICANN’s obligations under its Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Affirmation of Commitments and established policies. The Requester asked ICANN to review Resolution 2014.05.14.NG03, to direct the NGPC to reject the GAC advice, and to direct that the Amazon Applications should proceed. After discussion and consideration of the request and the information submitted in support of the request, the BGC decided to evaluate whether additional information or clarification from the Requester is necessary in order to complete the BGC’s due diligence on this matter and to reach a determination on this Reconsideration Request.

    • Action: Staff to provide report to the BGC regarding potential additional information needed from Requester.

  5. Update on Expressions of Interest for Nominating Committee 2015 Leadership – Staff briefed the BGC regarding the timing and status of current Expressions of Interest (“EOIs”) for Nominating Committee (“NomCom”) Leadership. The BGC will be appointing a Chair and a Chair-Elect position for the NomCom. After discussion and consideration of the timing for submission of EOIs for NomCom Leadership, the BGC decided to extend the time permitted for potential applicants to submit substantive EOIs in order to allow for overlap with an ICANN public meeting and to allow for the conclusion of a 360-degree review of the 2014 NomCom Leadership. The BGC concluded that applicants will be permitted to submit EOIs until mid-July; candidate interviews will be conducted in August; and recommendations will be submitted to the Board for consideration in September.

  6. ATRT2 Recommendations – The BGC agreed to recommend that the Board accept all the recommendations from ATRT2 that have been assigned to the BGC. The BGC discussed that staff will develop a detailed implementation plan for each of the subcategories of the recommendations and provide that to the BGC for review. Staff will then post the implementation plan and identify timelines and milestones (as established by the community working groups).

    • Action: Staff to develop an implantation plan for each of the subcategories of the ATRT2 recommendations assigned to the BGC and present the plans to the BGC for review.

  7. Board Evaluation – The BGC discussed conducting a 360-degree Board evaluation, the need for a comprehensive survey questionnaire, and potential timing for development of the questionnaire and issuance of the questionnaire.

Published 25 July 2014

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."