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Preliminary Report of Special Board Meeting

[Formal Minutes are still to be approved by the ICANN Board]

Note: This has not been approved by the Board and does not constitute minutes but does provide a preliminary attempt setting forth the unapproved reporting of the resolutions from that meeting. Details on voting and abstentions will be provided in the Board's Minutes, when approved by the board at a future meeting.

A Special Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors was held via teleconference 4 February 2010 @ 03.00 UTC. Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush promptly called the meeting to order.

In addition to Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush the following Directors participated in all or part of the meeting: Rod Beckstrom (President and CEO), Dennis Jennings (Vice Chairman), Harald Tveit Alvestrand, Steve Crocker, Gonzalo Navarro, Rita Rodin Johnston, Raymond A. Plzak, George Sadowsky, Mike Silber, Jean-Jacques Subrenat, Bruce Tonkin, and Katim Touray.

The following Board Liaisons participated in all or part of the meeting: Janis Karklins, GAC Liaison; Thomas Narten, IETF Liaison; Jonne Soininen, TLG Liaison; and Vanda Scartezini, ALAC Liaison.

Raimundo Beca; Ram Mohan, SSAC Liaison; Rajasekhar Ramaraj; and Suzanne Woolf, RSSAC Liaison sent apologies.

This is a preliminary report of the approved resolutions resulting from the Special Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors, which took place on 4 January 2010.

  1. Consent Agenda
    1. Minutes of 9 December 2009 Meeting

RESOLVED (2010.02.04.01) the Board hereby approves the minutes of the 9 December 2009 Board Meeting.

    1. Minutes of 22 January 2010 Meeting

RESOLVED (2010.02.04.02) the Board hereby approves the minutes of the 22 January 2010 Board Meeting.

    1. puntCAT Contract Amendment re One and Two Character Names

Whereas, Fundacio puntCAT has submitted a request pursuant to ICANN’s Registry Services Evaluation Policy to amend the .CAT Registry Agreements to allocate one and two-character domain names via a request for proposals process to members of the Catalan cultural and linguistic community.

Whereas, the proposed release of single and two-character domain names in .CAT would be consistent with the recommendations of the GNSO Reserved Names Working Group and other approvals to permit the release of one and two-character domain names.

Whereas, ICANN has evaluated the proposed amendment to the .CAT Registry Agreement as new registry services pursuant to the Registry Services Evaluation Policy and has posted amendments for public comment and Board approval (http://www.icann.org/registries/rsep/).

It is hereby RESOLVED (2010.02.04.03) that the .CAT amendment is approved, and the President and General Counsel are authorized to take such actions as appropriate to implement the amendments.

    1. Recommendation from Finance Committee regarding FY10 Budget

Whereas, in accordance with its commitments made at the time of adoption of the FY10 budget, the BFC has reviewed the results of financial operations for ICANN through December 2009, as well as the forecasts for FY10;

Whereas the extra pressures on the FY10 budget are acknowledged and based upon reasonable underlying causes;

Whereas the BFC directed staff to develop a plan for widespread and extra cost containment efforts, and has reviewed that plan;

Whereas the BFC has indicated the cost containment efforts should not include the cutting back on essential ICANN services;

Whereas the risks of FY10 budget overrun have been assessed and acknowledged ;

It is hereby RESOLVED (2004.02.04.04) that the Board authorizes the CEO and his designated staff to approve the release of the $1.5 million from the existing FY10 budget contingency line item for FY10 operating expenses;

It is hereby RESOLVED (2004.02.04.05) that the Board requests the CEO and his designated staff to closely monitor expenditures and forecasts for FY10, ensuring that ICANN essential services are not affected, and work with the BFC on plans and alternatives as required.

Resolutions 2009.02.04.01; 2009.02.04.02; 2009.02.04.03; 2009.02.04.04 and 2009.02.04.05 were approved in a single vote approving the consent agenda items. All Board Members present unanimously approved these resolutions.

  1. Main Board Meeting:
    1. .IN Redelegation Request

Whereas, .IN is the ISO 3166-1 two-letter country-code designated for India. Whereas, ICANN has received a request for redelegation of .IN to the National Internet Exchange of India.

Whereas, ICANN has reviewed the request, and has determined that the proposed redelegation would be in the interests of the local and global Internet communities.

It is hereby RESOLVED (2010.02.04.06), that the proposed redelegation of the .IN domain to the National Internet Exchange of India is approved.

All Board members present unanimously approved of this resolution.

    1. President’s Report

The Board received a report on from the President and CEO on staff activity since the Board’s meeting in December, including various outreach events attended by the President and CEO.

    1. Approval of Strategic Plan for 2010

The Board received an update from staff on the work to date on the ICANN Strategic Plan for 2010, including the incorporation of community and Board comments on prior versions. The Board discussed potential minor revisions to be included in the final version.

The Board then took the following action:

Whereas, ICANN's July 2010 through June 2013 Strategic Plan seeks to provide four areas of high level strategic focus for ICANN;

Whereas, ICANN’s July 2010 through June 2013 Strategic Plan identifies in addition to four areas of focus, enablers across all areas to reflect ICANN’s responsibilities towards a multi-stakeholder model, collaboration, and being international, transparent and accountable;

Whereas, ICANN’s July 2010 through June 2013 Strategic Plan captures strategic objectives and strategic projects, details of community work and staff work will be reflected in the operational plan;

Whereas, ICANN’s Strategic Plan is based on input from the ICANN Board of Directors, public consultations on ICANN’s website, presentations at ICANN Seoul meeting, and to constituency groups, and a survey with the community;

Whereas, the 2010-2013 Strategic Plan describes four strategic initiatives, and principal work areas under these initiatives;

Whereas, measurements and metrics will be addressed by staff in consultation with the community, as part of the operational planning process and further integration into the next Strategic Planning cycle;

Whereas, the Strategic Plan will form the framework around which the July 2010 through June 2011 Operational Plan and the associated budget are constructed.

Whereas, members of the community have been very generous with their time and the Board appreciates the work that they have done.

It is hereby RESOLVED (2010.02.04.07) the Board approves the July 2010-June 2013 Strategic Plan, and directs the President and staff to move forward with the community-based Operational planning process based on the strategic objectives as set forth in the plan.  Minor edits will be provided to staff by the Board before close of business on Monday 8 February 2010, final changes will be subject to the Chairman’s final approval.

All Board members present unanimously approved of this resolution.

    1. Adoption of Event Security Risk, Contracts and Cancellation Management Policy

The Board received an update from the President and CEO on the proposal to create a more formalized process for assessing security risks for ICANN events.

The Board discussed the proposal and then took the following action:

RESOLVED (2010.02.04.08), the ICANN Board directs the ICANN Staff (through the CEO) to monitor, review and regularly report to the community, where possible, the United Nations Security Plan Phase Designations, relating to all ICANN International Meetings.

RESOLVED (2010.02.04.09), the ICANN Board directs ICANN Staff (through the CEO) to consider the “Phase Two” or higher designation as a possible rationale for cancelling any ICANN International Meeting.  

RESOLVED (2010.02.04.10), the ICANN Board directs ICANN Staff (through the CEO) to consider the United Nations Security “Phase One” designation as a triggering event for review, along with other factors, of the safety and security of holding any ICANN International Meeting.

All Board members present unanimously approved of this resolution.

    1. New gTLDs
      1. Expressions of Interest in new gTLDs

The Board received an update from the staff on the work done in response to the Board’s 9 December 2009 resolution on Expressions of Interest.

The Board then discussed that additional community consultation may be of benefit, as noted in some of the comments received urging community dialog on the issue in Nairobi.

The Board then took the following action:

Whereas, deferring an ICANN Board decision on the proposed plan for obtaining Expressions of Interest in new gTLDs until the ICANN International Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya in March 2010 will only cause a three-week modification to the timeline proposed by staff.

It is RESOLVED (2010.02.04.11), ICANN Board adjourns with making a motion with respect to the approval of the Expressions of Interest in new gTLDs until the Board meeting at the ICANN International Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya in March 2010. The Board has a goal of making a decision on the Expressions of Interest at its Board meeting in Nairobi.

It is further RESOLVED (2010.02.04.12), the ICANN Board directs staff to produce a summary of the major issues identified in the public comment on the Expressions of Interest proposal, as well as an explanation of how those issues will be dealt with if ICANN proceeds with Expressions of Interest.

It is further RESOLVED (2010.02.04.13), the ICANN Board directs staff to schedule a forum at the ICANN International Meeting in Nairobi for the discussion of the Expressions of Interest proposal, including the receipt of community input.

One Board member abstained from voting on these resolutions. All other Board members in attendance approved of these resolutions.

      1. Relaxing 3-Character Requirement for gTLDs

The Board received an update from staff regarding the posting of the Final Report on the three-character requirement for gTLDs.

    1. Update on ICANN Proposed Security Initiatives in Response to Affirmation and IANA Contract Requirements

The Board received an update from staff on the ongoing work within the IANA functions department on proposed security initiatives.

    1. Recommendation from Board Governance Committee for Consideration of Board Chairman Remuneration

The Chair ceded the leadership of this discussion to the Vice Chair of the Board, and removed himself from deliberation on this item.

The Board discussed the need to receive more information to allow for full consideration of the remuneration matter, and addressed the feasibility of separating the discussion of remuneration of the Board Chairman from the discussion of remuneration of the Board as a whole.

Whereas, significant discussion and analysis has been conducted relating to whether remuneration of the Board Chairman should be considered;

Whereas, the Board has discussed the idea and has determined that it shall further consider whether Board Chairman remuneration is appropriate and later consider whether full Board remuneration is appropriate;

Whereas, additional work, research and analysis should be commissioned to inform the Board’s consideration of Board Chairman remuneration, including an updated discussion of the associated risks;

It is hereby RESOLVED (2010.02.04.14) that remuneration of the Board Chairman is worthy of further consideration.

It is hereby further RESOLVED (2010.02.04.15) that the Board Governance Committee develop a plan and request that the CEO direct the General Counsel to commission additional work, research and analysis of the issue of Board Chairman remuneration, including an updated discussion of associated risks, for consideration by the BGC and then presentation to the Board for further consideration.

One Board member opposed these resolutions. Two Board members abstained from voting on these resolutions. All other members of the Board in attendance approved of these resolutions, and the resolutions were carried.

    1. ICANN Media Relations Report

The Board received a short update from the President and CEO on ICANN’s media relations planning. The President and CEO noted that communications outside of the United States is an important focus of this work.

    1. Recommendations of Ombudsman File 09-58

The Board discussed the Ombudsman File 09-58, the conduct of the investigation, and the focus on civility within ICANN, and the need for awareness of cultural and gender issues to provide for better opportunities for participation.

The Board then took the following action:

Whereas, the Board thanks the Ombudsman for his report on File 09-58 addressing civility issues within ICANN related meetings and discussions;

Whereas, the Board notes that there is ongoing work within ICANN to enhance civility among ICANN participants, and that this topic is of high value to the ICANN community;

Whereas, the Board responds to the Ombudsman Report as follows:

It is hereby RESOLVED (2010.02.04.16) that the Board affirms that all participants in ICANN are expected to adhere to the Expected Standards of Behavior as published in the ICANN Accountability & Transparency: Frameworks and Principles, found at: http://www.icann.org/en/transparency/acct-trans-frameworks-principles-10jan08.pdf.

It is further RESOLVED (2010.02.04.17) that the Board requests that the CEO direct ICANN Staff to provide at least annual reminders of the Expected Standards of Behavior to the membership of ICANN’s supporting organizations and advisory committees, and to consider the other proposals by the Ombudsman to enhance civility.

One Board member abstained from voting on these resolutions. All other Board members in attendance voted in favor of these resolutions.

    1. Update on IDNs

The Board received an update from staff on the progress of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track requests and the recent announcement of four requestors successfully completing the string evaluation stage.

    1. New gTLDs: Vertical Integration

Prior to any discussion on this matter, the Chair identified Board members and liaisons with conflicts of interest on this issue. The non-conflicted Board members approved a motion to request that two directors, and four liaisons withdraw from participation in the discussion due to their conflicts of interest. After confirmation of removal, the Board proceeded with discussion on the matter.

The Board received an update from staff, including a draft of an economic model from economists contracted by ICANN relating to the on the ongoing community work, study and review of the registry/registrar separation requirement and the ongoing expert economist work on the issue. Staff presented a draft economic model to the board and recommended that it be posted for public comment. The Board discussed some of the economic theories and assumptions behind the economist’s work, and there was a discussion of additional work that might need to be done on this matter, as well as a sense of the Board that the model should not be published yet, pending further review and consideration. The CEO and Chairman agreed to convene on a review of the model and what additional steps could be taken. Staff advised the Board that a delay of Board consideration of this issue might delay the timeline of the new gTLD program. Following on from various board member comments, the CEO requested that any assumptions or market theories (or comments on the assumptions and market theories), that had not been considered or were within the draft model, should be provided to the CEO and Chair to enable additional work on the model.

After the close of discussion, all Board members and liaisons were invited back into the meeting.

    1. Any Other Business

The Board requested an update from staff on the status of the reviews called for within the Affirmation of Commitments, and that public comments are still being received on the proposed methodology for the reviews. The Chair requested that all Board members and liaisons encourage applications for the volunteer review panel positions.

Meeting was adjourned at 0640 UTC.

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."