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Minutes | Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee

Note: On 10 April 2012, the Board established the New gTLD Program Committee, comprised of all voting members of the Board that are not conflicted with respect to the New gTLD Program. The Committee was granted all of the powers of the Board (subject to the limitations set forth by law, the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws or ICANN's Conflicts of Interest Policy) to exercise Board-level authority for any and all issues that may arise relating to the New gTLD Program. The full scope of the Committee's authority is set forth in its charter at http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/new-gTLD.

A Regular Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee of the ICANN Board of Directors was held in Los Angeles, California on 25 April 2015 at 15:00 local time.

Committee Chairman Cherine Chalaby promptly called the meeting to order.

In addition to the Chair the following Directors participated in all or part of the meeting: Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Fadi Chehadé (President and CEO, ICANN), Steve Crocker (Board Chairman), Chris Disspain, Asha Hemrajani, Markus Kummer, Bruno Lanvin, Erika Mann, Gonzalo Navarro, Ray Plzak, George Sadowsky, Mike Silber, and Kuo-Wei Wu.

Thomas Schneider (GAC Liaison) was in attendance as a non-voting liaison to the Committee.

Secretary: John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary).

ICANN Executives and Staff in attendance for all or part of the meeting: Akram Atallah (President, Global Domains Division); Megan Bishop (Board Support Coordinator); Michelle Bright (Board Support Content Manager); David Conrad (Chief Technology Officer); Sally Costerton (Senior Advisor to the President – GSE); Samantha Eisner (Associate General Counsel); Dan Halloran (Deputy General Counsel); Jamie Hedlund (Vice President, Strategic Programs – Global Domains Division); Tarek Kamel (Senior Advisor to the President - Government Engagement); Elizabeth Le (Senior Counsel); Cyrus Namazi (Vice President, DNS Industry Engagement); Erika Randall (Senior Counsel); Ashwin Rangan (Chief Innovation and Information Officer); Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel); Theresa Swinehart (Senior Advisor to the President On Strategy); and Christine Willett (Vice President, Operations – Global Domains Division).

These are the Minutes of the Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee, which took place on 25 April 2015.

  1. Consent Agenda:
    1. Approval of Minutes
  2. Main Agenda:
    1. GAC Category 2.1 Safeguards, non-discrimination
    2. GAC Category 2.2 Safeguards, exclusive access
    3. Update on Intellectual Property Constituency Letter regarding .SUCKS
    4. Response to Outstanding GAC Advice
    5. Any Other Business

 

  1. Consent Agenda:

    1. Approval of Minutes

      The Committee noted edits to the draft Minutes from the 5 February 2015 meeting, and took the following action by acclamation:

      Resolved (2015.04.25.NG01), the Board New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) approves the minutes of its 5 February 2015 and 12 February 2015 meetings.

      All members of the Committee voted in favor of Resolution 2015.04.25.NG01. The resolution carried.

  2. Main Agenda:

    1. GAC Category 2.1 Safeguards, non-discrimination

      The Committee asked staff to prepare additional briefing materials on this matter for further discussion at its next meeting.

    2. GAC Category 2.2 Safeguards, exclusive access

      The Committee asked staff to prepare additional briefing materials on this matter for further discussion at its next meeting.

    3. Update on Intellectual Property Constituency Letter regarding .SUCKS

      Akram Atallah provided an update on the steps taken to address points raised in a 27 March 2015 letter from the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) concerning the .SUCKS TLD. The letter requested that ICANN halt the rollout of the .SUCKS Trademark Clearinghouse Sunrise Period to allow time for the community to examine the validity of the registry operator's plans for the TLD.

      As previously discussed with the Committee, Akram reported that a formal letter was sent to the Honorable Edith Ramirez (Chairwoman, United States Federal Trade Commission), and the Honorable John Knubley (Deputy Minister, Canada's Office of Consumer Affairs), forwarding a copy of the IPC letter, and requesting that the United States' Federal Trade Commission and Canada's Office of Consumer Affairs consider assessing and determining whether the .SUCKS registry operator is violating any laws or regulations enforced by the respective offices.

      Staff also noted that it was evaluating other remedies that may be available to ICANN under the Registry Agreement. As part of the discussion, George Sadowsky suggested that discussions about future rounds of the New gTLD Program should consider whether additional protections need to be included in the Registry Agreement to address some of the concerns highlighted in the IPC letter.

      George also asked about the nature of the additional fee provisions in the .SUCKS Registry Agreement, and Akram clarified the purpose of the "registry access fee" and "registry administration fee". Akram noted that Momentous, the majority owner of the .SUCKS Registry Operator, had been involved with other companies which had previously defaulted on substantial payments to ICANN. Based on this experience, the registry access fee and registry administration fee contract provisions were negotiated into the Registry Agreement to provide additional financial assurances. John Jeffrey also noted that the registry operator went through every financial test that every other applicant went through, which was conducted by independent parties.

      The Committee requested an update on the matter at its next meeting.

    4. Response to Outstanding GAC Advice

      The Chair provided an overview of a proposed response to some of the outstanding items from the GAC's Los Angeles and Singapore Communiqués. Jamie Hedlund explained that the draft response addresses requests from the GAC to examine the feasibility of implementing an appeal mechanism for decisions by the Community Priority Evaluation Panel; to publicly recognize verification and validation commitments by registries of highly-regulated strings; and to consider refining the Public Interest Commitments Dispute Resolution Process and/or to consider developing a "fast track" process for regulatory authorities, government agencies, and law enforcement.

      After discussion, the Committee decided to send its response to the GAC. The Committee also requested additional briefing concerning ongoing discussions in the community about how to publicly recognize registries of highly-regulated strings that have committed to verify and validate a potential registrants' licenses or credentials.

    5. Any Other Business

      The Committee received an update from staff regarding the data exposure issue in the New gTLD Applicant and Global Domains Division portals previously reported by ICANN at the end of February and early March 2015.

      Christine Willett gave the Committee an overview of how the portals are used and when they were implemented. Christine and Akram Atallah reported on the steps taken to implement a solution to bring the portals back online, as well as the steps taken to investigate whether any data was exposed to an unauthorized user. Christine provided statistics on the results revealed by the investigation concerning the number of applicants and registry operators affected.

      The Committee asked questions about the information reported, and about the timing and nature of communications to affected parties. Sally Costerton outlined the plan for communications, and John Jeffrey reported that the parties whose data was viewed would be informed shortly, and such communication would include what portion of their data was seen and when it was seen. Akram also noted that as part of the investigation, ICANN would contact users who appear to have viewed information that was not their own and require that the users provide an explanation of their activity. (Note: these notices were sent as described in an 30 April 2015 announcement available at: https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2015-04-30-en.)

      The Committee sought clarity on the actions being undertaken to assess ICANN's information technologies portfolio of assets, and Ray Plzak asked whether there were any plans to undertake security audits. The Committee asked for additional updates on the matter at its next meeting.

      The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 22 June 2015

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."