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Board Global Relationships Committee (BGRC) Minutes

BGRC Attendees: Chris Disspain, Bertrand de La Chapelle, Gonzalo Navarro – Chair, George Sadowsky, and Kuo-Wei Wu

Other Board Attendees: Steve Crocker, Bill Graham and Mike Silber

BGRC Apologies: Erika Mann

Staff Attendees: Rodrigo de La Parra – VP, Latin America, Elise Gerich – VP, IANA, Jamie Hedlund – VP, Government Affairs – Americas, David Olive – Vice President, Policy Support, Rob Hogarth, Diane Schroeder and Amy Stathos


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

  1. Minutes – The BGRC approved the minutes of the previous meeting.

  2. Update on Costa Rica – Staff provided an update on the planning and activities scheduled in Costa Rica, including an update on the high level Ministerial meeting that the host government is organizing. ICANN, LACNIC, LACTLD and ISOC from the region have all been asked to participate in the Ministerial meeting. Staff also reported that the President of Costa Rica issued a published declaration that the ICANN meeting was considered of national import and acknowledged that ICANN is global authority for Internet policy.
  3. Internationalization – The committee chair provided an update on drafting a survey, the final draft of which will be distributed and will provide input into the Board's workshop on May. The committee discussed the timing and method of distributing the survey to the community. The committee also discussed the development of metrics relating to internationalization, as well as the difficulty of measuring such things; the metrics will be discussed at the Board May workshop. The committee also indicated that it is important to get the feedback from the survey prior to finalizing a list of topics to measure.
    • Actions:
      • Staff to distribute survey to Board members for final review and prepare notice to community from Board.
      • Staff to distribute survey to community once review is final.
  4. Stakeholder Outreach – Staff provided an update to the Committee, both about the opportunities and the breadth of the concept of outreach. This particular outreach process is an attempt to provide a model for stakeholders that want to conduct outreach. It is meant to provide a roadmap to community members as to how the outreach activities they want to conduct can be properly defined so they can be funded through the ICANN budget and in line with ICANN strategic plans. The Framework attempts to help groups provide a description of objectives for outreach efforts, including trying to get new people involved in ICANN processes and participating in the ICANN model (observers, contributors and leaders). Framework should help coordinate and evaluate all proposed outreach activities.
  5. Geographic Regions Review Working Group – Staff provided some background and an update on this working group's work. Staff noted that ICANN has an obligation to regularly review the existing geographic region framework, which led to a 2009 board-initiated community-wide working group review effort. The working group (populated by representatives from nearly all the ICANN SOs and ACs) was asked to study and review the current geographic regions framework and to provide advice or proposals on how the use or structure of the current framework could/should change in the future. The group produced an initial report and then a second interim report outlining how geographic regions are currently used and applied within ICANN. The group developed a draft final report in late 2011, with a series of preliminary recommendations that were shared with the community for informal comment. Once the group processes the community comments, it will issue a Final Report and distribute that to all SOs and AC for formal comments. Once those comments are received, the working group will compile them and present a final report to the Board for consideration. Formal Board consideration of this matter is not likely before late this year.
  6. Other Business – Staff reported on status of various outstanding issues that are to be discussed further during the meeting in Costa Rica.
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."