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Minutes | Board Governance Committee (BGC) Meeting

Published 14 January 2016

BGC Attendees: Chris Disspain – Chair, Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Mike Silber, Bruce Tonkin, and Suzanne Woolf

BGC Member Apologies: Cherine Chalaby and Erika Mann

Other Board Member Attendees: Steve Crocker, Ron da Silva and Lousewies Van der Laan

Executive and Staff Attendees: Akram Atallah (President, Global Domains Division), Megan Bishop (Board Operations Coordinator), Michelle Bright (Board Operations Content Manager), John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary), Melissa King (Vice President of Board Operations), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Board Operations Content Manager), Elizabeth Le (Senior Counsel) and Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel)


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

  1. Minutes – The BGC approved the minutes from the meeting on 18 October 2015.
  2. Reconsideration Request 15-14 – Suzanne Woolf abstained from participation in this matter noting a potential conflict of interest. Staff briefed the BGC regarding the request submitted by Foggy Sunset, LLC seeking reconsideration of the Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) panel's report (CPE Report), and ICANN's acceptance of the CPE Report, finding that Asia Spa and Wellness Promotion Council Limited's (ASWPC's) application for .SPA prevailed in CPE. In light of the CPE results, the contention set for .SPA has been resolved and only ASWPC's application will proceed. Specifically, the Requester claims that the CPE panel evaluating ASWPC's application (CPE Panel) violated established policy or procedure by considering letters of support for ASWPC's application that were submitted more than 14 days after the application was invited to CPE. After discussion, the BGC found that the Requester's claims do not support reconsideration. The BGC noted that while a CPE panel is not required to consider letters of support or opposition submitted more than 14 days after an application is invited to CPE, there is no established policy or procedure preventing a CPE panel from doing so. In fact, established policy provides that CPE panels regularly monitor ICANN's correspondence page for correspondence relevant to ongoing CPEs.  Therefore, the Requester has not stated a basis for reconsideration with respect to the CPE Panel's consideration of the letters of support for ASWPC's application that were submitted after 17 February 2015. The BGC therefore denies Request 15-14. 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 15-14 is final; no consideration by the Board is warranted.
  3. Reconsideration Request 15-15 – Staff briefed the BGC regarding the request submitted by the Centre for Internet & Society seeking reconsideration of ICANN staff's response to two requests submitted by the Requester pursuant to ICANN's Document Information Disclosure Policy (DIDP) for: (a) documents which represent ICANN's "efforts to implement the NETmundial Principles within its working"; and (b) the "raw data" underlying ICANN's income statements from 1999-2011. Specifically, the Requester suggests that ICANN staff improperly determined that some of the documents sought by the Requester were beyond the scope of the DIDP, or were subject to the DIDP's Defined Conditions for Nondisclosure. After discussion, the BGC found that the Requester's claims do not support Reconsideration. The Requester does not identify any misapplication of policy or procedure by ICANN staff. Rather, the Requester simply disagrees with the substance of the DIDP Responses. The BGC noted that substantive disagreements with a DIDP response are not proper bases for reconsideration and, therefore, denies Request 15-15. 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 15-15 is final; no consideration by the Board is warranted.
  4. .HOSPITAL Limited Public Interest Expert Determination– Staff provided the BGC with an overview of the confidential Cooperative Engagement Process (CEP) invoked by Ruby Pike, LLC (Ruby Pike) regarding the Expert Determination upholding the limited public interest (LPI) objection to its application for .HOSPITAL (.HOSPITAL Determination). Following a detailed discussion of the uniqueness of the circumstances surrounding the .HOSPITAL Determination, particularly in light of the eight other health-related LPI expert determinations, the BGC agreed to recommend that the Board consider whether the .HOSPITAL LPI objection should be heard by another expert panel.
    • Action:
      • Staff to prepare a Board paper to submit the BGC's recommendations for Board consideration.
  5. Any Other Business – Bruce Tonkin abstained from participation in this matter noting a potential conflict of interest. Staff provided the BGC with a status update on Reconsideration Requests 15-16 and 15-17, which respectively seek reconsideration of the Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) panels' reports regarding CPA Australia Limited's application for .CPA, and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' (AICPA's) application for .CPA. Staff reported that the AICPA has formally asked for the opportunity to make an oral presentation to the BGC before the BGC issues its determination on Request 15-17. The BGC discussed the precedent for such a request and the potential procedure for such a presentation. The BGC then agreed to have staff reach out to the Requester and ask that it provide a rationale for its request to make an oral presentation to the BGC, and agreed to postpone its consideration of Reconsideration Request 15-17 until it has the opportunity to review and evaluate the AICPA's rationale.  In addition, the BGC has also postponed its consideration of Reconsideration Request 15-16 as it is based upon substantially similar grounds and the string as Reconsideration Request 15-17.
    • Action:
      • Staff to reach out to the AICPA and ask that it submit a rationale for its request to make an oral presentation to the BGC regarding Reconsideration Requests 15-17.
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."