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Minutes | Board Governance Committee (BGC) Meeting

BGC Attendees: Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Cherine Chalaby, Chris Disspain (Chair), and Bruce Tonkin

BGC Member Apologies: Erika Mann, Mike Silber, and Suzanne Woolf

Other Board member Attendees: Steve Crocker, and Göran Marby

ICANN Executive and Staff Attendees: Akram Atallah (President, Global Domains Division), Michelle Bright (Board Operations Content Manager), John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary), Melissa King (VP, Board Operations), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Board Operations Content Manager), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Specialist), Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel), and Christine Willett (VP of gTLD Operations)


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

  1. Consideration of Presentation Request Regarding Reconsideration Request 16-11 – At the BGC’s request, it was provided an overview of Reconsideration Request 16-11 (Request 16-11), which seeks reconsideration of Board Resolutions 2016.08.09.14 – 2016.08.0-9.15 (determining that cancellation of Hotel Top-Level Domain S.a.r.l’s (HTLD’s) application for .HOTEL was not warranted, and directing that HTLD’s application for .HOTEL move forward). Request 16-11 also raises issues relating to alleged discrepancies between the Dot Registry IRP Panel Declaration and the Despegar (.HOTEL) IRP Panel Declaration. The BGC discussed that the Requesters have asked for the opportunity to make a presentation to the BGC regarding the Board Resolutions at issue in Request 16-11. The BGC noted that previous presentations allowed related to the New gTLD Program have been presented by applicants that have failed to prevail in Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) and focused on the CPE report at issue. The BGC also discussed setting parameters and expectations regarding such presentations, both for the presenters and the BGC. The BGC discussed the request and agreed to allow the Requesters to make a presentation to the BGC regarding Request 16-11. The BGC asked that the Requesters be notified that the BGC has accepted their presentation request and explain that the presentation should be limited to the claims set forth in Request 16-11 and the reconsideration criteria. The BGC also asked for an overview of Request 16-11 and BGC response options in advance of the presentation, so that the BGC is able to review the materials in advance and ask any necessary questions during the presentation.
    • Actions:
      • Notify the Requesters that the BGC has accepted their presentation request and explain that the presentation should be limited to the claims set forth in Request 16-11 and the reconsideration criteria.
      • Provide the BGC with overview of Request 16-11 and BGC response options in advance of the presentation.
  2. Next Steps Regarding Review of CPE Results (.GAY, Dot Registry Applications, Reconsideration Request Standard) – The BGC discussed potential next steps regarding review of certain CPE results. The BGC noted that several complainants have alleged that certain of the CPE criteria have been applied inconsistently or unfairly across the various CPE reports. In addition, from a transparency standpoint, certain complainants have requested production of the evidence that the CPE panels used to form their decisions and, in particular, the independent research that the panels conducted. In evaluating the pending Reconsideration Requests, the BGC discussed ensuring that the results of the CPEs currently under review are reported respecting the principle of transparency. The BGC decided to request from the CPE provider the materials and research relied upon by the CPE panels in making their determinations with respect to certain pending CPE reports so that the BGC will be in a position to make determinations regarding certain recommendations or pending Reconsiderations Requests related to CPE (see https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/accountability/reconsideration-en.)
    • Action:
      • Request from the CPE provider the materials and research relied upon by the CPE panels in making their determinations with respect to the pending CPE reports.
  3. Board Committee Activity Reports – The BGC discussed methods for handling the Board Committee Activity Reports that are submitted by the Board Committees twice per year. The BGC decided to recommend to the Board that the Board Committee Activity Reports be publicly posted.
    • Action:
      • Prepare Board paper recommending that the Board Committee Activity Reports be publicly posted.
  4. Board Member Exit Questionnaire – The BGC discussed methods for handling the Board member exit questionnaires and ways in which to use the information provided to improve Board work and operations. The BGC decided that, along with the exit questionnaires, departing Board members would be informed that their responses will be summarized and anonymously submitted to the Board for consideration.
  5. Committee Slating Update – The Chair provided an update on Committee slating and indicated that the questionnaires seeking input from Committee members regarding the current Committee Chairs are nearly complete. The information in the questionnaires will be summarized and sent to the BGC for consideration in recommending a slate of Committee leadership for Board approval. The BGC also discussed options for determining Chair recommendations for each of the Board Committees, and decided to seek input from the individual Committees regarding the Chair recommendations.
  6. Any Other Business – The BGC discussed aspects of the Reconsideration process under the new Bylaws and whether a separate Board Committee should be established to consider Reconsideration Requests. The BGC decided to continue the discussion at a later meeting and asked that a report be prepared regarding the Reconsideration process under the new Bylaws.
    • Action:
      • Prepare report regarding the Reconsideration process under the new Bylaws for BGC’s consideration
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."