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Public Participation Committee (PPC) Meeting Minutes

PPC Attendees: Sébastien Bachollet – Chair, Chris Disspain, Thomas Narten, and Kuo-Wei Wu

Other Board Attendees: Bertrand de La Chapelle, Gonzalo Navarro and Mike Silber

Staff Attendees: Nora Abusitta, Megan Bishop, Carole Cornell, Sally Costerton, Renate De Wulf, Samantha Eisner, Chris Gift, Rob Hoggarth, Tanzanica King, Denise Michel, Margie Milam, David Olive, Christina Rodriguez, Diane Schroeder, Nick Tomasso, and Brad White


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

  1. Welcome and Presentation of New Staff: The Chair welcomed the attendees and asked the staff attending for the first time to present themselves.
  2. Approval of the Minutes and Review of the Action Items: The Minutes having been approved prior to the meeting, the PPC reviewed open action items not scheduled for discussion for the meeting and agreed on status of work.
    • Actions:
      • Staff to send report for review on the proposals for modification of the Public Comment processes, for discussion at the PPC meeting in April 2013
      • Staff will publish by April 2013 a statement of ICANN's intent to support accessibility standards on myICANN.org.
  3. ICANN 46 (Beijing) Meeting Planning: The PPC received a report from staff regarding efforts to improve the meeting schedule at the upcoming public meeting, with an opened-up agenda to increase cross-stakeholder dialogue and encourage collaboration and true engagement. A modification to the format for the Public Forum was proposed, to make the session easier for the Chair to manage while not sacrificing the point and purpose of the Public Forum. The PPC also discussed some of the items of concern that had been raised relating to the meeting, including reports of the air quality in Beijing, and the potential impact of observance of the Chinese New Year on the ability to obtain or meet the visa requirements. Staff confirmed that they are working on an awareness campaign so that the community understands the visa requirements.
  4. Review of the PPC work plan and Meeting Schedule 2013: The Chair briefly described the documents and dates which had been circulated to PPC Members prior to the meeting. There were no comments.
  5. Meetings Strategy Working Group: The Chair presented the Charter for the Meetings Strategy Working Group (MSWG) which had been reviewed by the Members and which would be sent to the Board for approval. Staff requested clear guidance for the 2015 meeting schedule as soon as possible as meeting locations are on a schedule to be determined two years in advance and thus far, they are confirmed up to June 2014. The PPC noted that at least the first meeting in 2015 identified prior to the Annual General Meeting in November 2013 when the MSWG is expected to complete its work. Depending on the timing of the completion of the work of the MSWG, the first meeting of 2015 may have to be selected under the current strategy. The PPC approved making a recommendation to the Board to approve the MSWG Charter.
    • Action:
      • Staff to forward the PPC recommendation to the Board for approval.
  6. MyICANN.org Update: The PPC received a report on the vision of MyICANN.org to be the single place for stakeholders to interact and do their work with ICANN. The end result will be a unified experience that leverages new collaboration and productivity technologies to support ongoing improvements to ICANN's business, operational, and policy development processes, improving both the perception and the reality that ICANN is an organization that "works". For the Beijing meeting, there is intended to be some integration of reporting on the internal ICANN operational work, as well as visibility for the community by localizing the navigation in the six UN languages, as well as improving how public comment forums are represented. There are additional tools scheduled for roll out throughout the remainder of 2013. The PPC was presented with some usage statistics, and staff confirmed that there will soon be a tool for the public to access usage statistics. On the issue of standards and accessibility, the PPC agreed that it would determine after a public statement on accessibility is released prior to scheduling any further discussion.
    • Action:
      • Staff to identify a future PPC meeting to discuss the issue of standards development in the tools that ICANN is releasing for publication participation, in coordination with the statement being prepared for release.
  7. ICANN Academy/University: Staff talked about the ICANN University, a new initiative underway in the office of the CEO to present a platform for online training and education, though a proposal is not yet complete. The PPC also received a report on the ICANN Academy which would include face-to-face sessions for new appointees from the Nominating Committee to ICANN's SOs and ACs and making sure they have an orientation before they start. Staff has recently started exploring whether additional work can be done within the organization to facilitate training and orientation efforts across the organization. The PPC cautioned that any efforts among staff must be taken with awareness of a need of potential coordination among the community. Staff confirmed that to the extent there are parallel needs among the staff work and the community work, they will be coordinated and supported.

    The discussion then focused on the question of "reusability" of the content of any of the trainings, and raised a suggestion that training opportunities available online should be considered a first resource, prior to expending resources on face-to-face meetings.

  8. Language Services: Staff presented an assessment and recommendations on how to move forward to improve the ICANN's translation services as the current structure is no longer viable given the dramatic increase in services provided. Proposals are under consideration for the creation of a language services group that ultimately works as part of a full documentation department. The PPC engaged in a discussion about how to address the needs of more marginalized languages, or those communities that are willing to help perform translations. There has to be clarity on what we do and what we do not translate – the promises made have to be realistic. There followed discussions on control quality of translations, costs, and the legal liability of translated documents.
  9. Public Forum: The PPC received a report on the work underway to improve the public forum at the ICANN meetings. The topics include mechanisms to have public input on the agenda; how to improve the physical environment between the Board and the community, and not having the Board sitting on a stage above the audience; rotating the moderation of the forum among the Board members, potentially by subject matter experts; means to allow for additional voices to be heard by instituting a "two bites at the apple" process to eliminate the constant circling back into the queue; improvement of remote participation through social media; allow for a phone link into the room to ask questions; and the facilitation of a more conversational session on additional topics not on the agenda, with the emphasis to encourage new voices. The Beijing public forum will be a pilot for these improvements, though this may be an iterative process. The PPC expressed its support for the proposal.
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."