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Preliminary Report | Meeting of the ICANN Board

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 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.

NOTE ON ADDITIONAL INFORMATION INCLUDED WITHIN PRELIMINARY REPORT – ON RATIONALES -- Where available, a draft Rationale for each of the Board's actions is presented under the associated Resolution. A draft Rationale is not final until approved with the minutes of the Board meeting.

A Special Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors was held on 17 September 2011 in Santa Monica, California.

Chairman Steve Crocker promptly called the meeting to order.

In addition to the Chair the following Directors participated in all or part of the meeting: Sébastien Bachollet, Rod Beckstrom (CEO and President), Bertrand de La Chapelle, Chris Disspain, Bill Graham, Katim Touray and Kuo-Wei Wu.

The following Board Liaisons participated in all or part of the meeting: Heather Dryden, GAC Liaison, Ram Mohan, SSAC Liaison; Thomas Narten, IETF Liaison; and Reinhard Scholl, TLG Liaison.

Thomas Roessler, incoming TLG Liaison, attended at the Board’s invitation.

Cherine Chalaby, Erika Mann, Gonzalo Navarro, Ray Plzak, R. Ramaraj, Mike Silber and Bruce Tonkin 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 17 September 2011.

  1. Consent Agenda
  2. Approval of Delegation of .SX (Sint Maarten)
  3. New gTLD communications plan
  4. Update on IGF
  5. Approval of CEO Search Committee Membership
  6. Any Other Business
  1. Consent Agenda

    The Chair introduced the consent agenda. Board members requested that the .SX delegation item be moved off of the Consent Agenda.

    The Board then took the following action:

    Resolved, the following resolutions in this Consent Agenda are approved:

    1.1. Approval of Minutes of 25 August 2011 ICANN Board Meeting

    Resolved (2011.10.11.01), the Board approves the minutes of the 25 August 2011 ICANN Board Meeting.

    1.2. Approval of Minutes of 17 September 2011 ICANN Board Meeting

    Resolved (2011.10.11.02), the Board approves the minutes of the 17 September 2011 ICANN Board Meeting.

    1.3. Approval of Delegation of .CW (Curacao), Transitional Arrangements for Netherlands Antilles (.AN)

    Whereas, CW is the ISO 3166-1 two-letter country-code designated for Curaçao;

    Whereas, ICANN has received a request for delegation of .CW to the University of the Netherlands Antilles;

    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;

    Resolved (2011.10.11.03), the proposed delegation of the .CW top-level domain to the University of the Netherlands Antilles is approved.

    Whereas, the .AN top-level domain was delegated on the basis of its former listing as an ISO 3166-1 two-letter country code designated for the Netherlands Antilles;

    Whereas, the ISO 3166-1 standard has removed the "AN" code, and the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency recommends its use be discontinued;

    Whereas, ICANN is not responsible for deciding what is or is not a country, and adheres to the ISO 3166-1 standard for guidance on when to add, modify and remove country-code top-level domains;

    Whereas, the .AN top-level domain is still the primary domain used by parties in the countries and municipalities that comprised the former Netherlands Antilles;

    Whereas, there is a transition plan to move registrations from the .AN domain to new domains .CW and .SX, with the University of the Netherlands Antilles continuing to act as manager of the .AN domain until transition is complete,

    Resolved (2011.10.11.04), that the University of Netherlands Antilles be instructed to report their progress on decommissioning the .AN domain every six months to ICANN against a relevant set of metrics,

    Resolved (2011.10.11.05), that the University of Netherlands Antilles work to complete the transition of the .AN domain to the .CW domain, the .SX domain, and any other relevant domain; so that it may be removed from the DNS root zone no later than 31 October 2014.

    Resolved (2011.10.11.06), that the .AN domain be removed from the DNS root zone on 31 October 2014, if not requested earlier by the manager of the domain.

    Rationale for Resolutions 2011.10.11.03 – 2011.10.11.06

    Why the Board is addressing the issue now?

    Staff present delegation and redelegation requests for country-code domains to the Board for decision, once staff are satisfied the applicant has provided a sufficiently complete application that has a reasonable prospect of a positive Board decision. In line with ICANN's commitments to perform timely processing of requests relating to the IANA function, and the DNS root zone in particular, the ICANN Board seeks to evaluate such requests at its next scheduled Special Meeting.

    The matter of the timeline for the transition from the .AN domain to its successor domains is being addressed in conjunction with the evaluation of the delegation of the .CW and .SX domains, in order to give clarity to the communities involved the timeline upon which the transition will occur. This will allow the communities to prepare and plan appropriately for the transition.

    What is the proposal being considered?

    The proposal is to approve a request to IANA to change or designate the sponsoring organisation (also known as the manager or trustee) of a country-code top-level domain. In line with established practice, the ICANN Board is involved in making the decision to proceed with such requests as one step of this multi-step process.

    The proposal also considers a plan proposed the retire the .AN domain from service, after an appropriate transition period that will allow for existing registrants to migrate their services to appropriate new domains.

    Which stakeholders or others were consulted?

    In the course of evaluating a delegation application, ICANN staff consults with the applicant, the current operator (if applicable), and other directly connected parties. In line with ICANN's practice of keeping incomplete root zone change requests in confidence, ICANN has not performed open consultation on this matter.

    What concerns or issues were raised by the community?

    Any concerns or issues are raised within the public report that will be published in conjunction with this action. This report will be published on the IANA website at http://www.iana.org/ should the root zone change request has successfully completed final processing, usually 1-2 months after the Board's decision.

    What significant materials did the Board review?

    The Board is involved in assessing requests against a variety of public interest criteria. This criteria includes establishing the country-code is eligible (e.g. listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard); establishing the proposed manager is supported by the local Internet community; establishing the proposed operator is operationally and technically competent; establishing the proposed manager is based locally and bound under local law; establishing the proposed manager operates fairly and equitably; establishing that in cases there is a transfer of operations that an appropriate plan is in place to preserve ongoing stability of the domain; and establishing that the action is compatible with any applicable local laws and regulations. During the staff compilation process, the applicant is asked to provide a variety of materials in support of these various aspects. Pertinent information from these supplied materials and other staff research is provided to the Board, and published in a public report at the end of implementing an approved request.

    What factors the Board found to be significant?

    The Board considers factors described in the public report, in relation to the basic principles of country-code domain delegation described earlier.

    Are there positive or negative community impacts?

    The timely approval of country-code domain name managers that meet the various public interest criteria is positive toward ICANN's overall mission, and the local communities to which country-code top-level domains are designated to serve.

    Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN (strategic plan, operating plan, budget); the community; and/or the public?

    The administration of country-code delegations in the DNS root zone is part of the IANA functions, and the delegation action should not cause any significant variance on pre-planned expenditure. It is not the role of ICANN to assess the fiscal impact of the internal operations of country-code top-level domains within a country, other than ensuring the operator is based in country and has the appropriate mechanisms to allow the local Internet community to properly oversee the domain's ongoing operation.

    Are there any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS?

    For country-code top-level domain delegations, ICANN seeks to approve only such requests where reasonable concerns have been satisfactorily addressed, and the proposed new manager has demonstrated a sufficient level of operational and technical competency where such concerns should be minimal.

    Resolutions 2011.10.11.01, 2011.10.11.02, 2011.10.11.03, 2011.10.11.04, 2011.10.11.05, and 2011.10.11.06 were approved in a single vote approving the consent agenda items. All Board members present unanimously approved these resolutions. Seven Board members were not available to vote on the resolutions. The resolutions carried.

  2. Approval of Delegation of .SX (Sint Maarten)

    The Board received an update from staff on the on the request for delegation of the .SX ccTLD after the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles and the formation of the constituent country of Sint Maarten.

    The Board then engaged in a discussion regarding ICANN’s role in ccTLD registration policies, and the use of ISO-3166 codes for the two-letter country codes, and then requested that additional information be provided prior to Board decision.

  3. New gTLD communications plan

    The Board received an update that the Finance Committee was expected to make a recommendation to the Board on the Communications Plan budget for consideration in Dakar.

    The Board then engaged in a discussion with staff regarding the refinement of the messaging of the communications plan, ideas for additional audiences to target, and addressing the issue of support for needy applicants. The Board also discussed the difference between promotion of the program and raising awareness of the program.

  4. Update on IGF

    Staff provided an update to the Board on the recent IGF meeting, noting the high number of attendees and the use of remote participation, as well as topic such as ICANN’s sponsorship of scribing with ISOC, discussions regarding recommendations for Internet governance, and the session participation of ICANN staff and Board members.

  5. Approval of CEO Search Committee Membership

    The Board discussed the proposed composition of the CEO Search Committee and determined that the Board would also select a Chair. After an evaluation of the proposed membership, as well as discussions of the use of external consultants, the need to keep the full Board apprised of the work, and the issue of potential conflicts of interest if committee members would later seek the position, the Board took the following actions:

    Whereas, 16 August 2011, Rod Beckstrom announced that he will continue to fulfill his term as ICANN’s President and CEO, which will be completed on 1 July 2012.

    Whereas, the ICANN Board discussed CEO Succession planning at the Board meeting on 17 September 2011.

    Whereas, the ICANN Board directed the Board Governance Committee to recommend a slate of Board members to comprise a CEO Search Process Management Work Committee for the Board to consider at its next meeting.

    Whereas all members of the current Board and liaisons, including incoming, have all stated without reservation that they are not a candidate for the position of CEO and will not accept it if offered.

    Resolved (2011.10.11.07), no current or incoming member of the Board or liaisons may be considered as a candidate for the role of the CEO for the current CEO Selection process.

    Whereas, the following are the proposed members of the group, based upon Board Governance Committee recommendation and as refined by the Board:

    Steve Crocker

    George Sadowsky

    Bertrand de La Chapelle

    Erika Mann

    Chris Disspain

    Cherine Chalaby

    Ray Plzak

    R. Ramaraj

    Resolved (2011.10.11.08), the Board approves the recommended membership of the CEO Search Process Management Work Committee.

    Resolved (2011.10.11.09), the George Sadowsky will be the Chair of the CEO Search Committee.

    Resolutions 2011.10.11.07, 2011.10.11.08 and 2011.10.11.09 were each approved by separate voice votes. All voting members in attendance approved of the Resolutions. Seven Board members were unavailable to vote on the resolutions. The resolutions carried.

    Rationale for Resolutions 2011.10.11.07 – 2011.10.11.09

    The ICANN Board has begun planning for and developing the CEO succession process, to assist in transition of the leadership.  The establishment of a work committee will allow the Board to coordinate this process with regular reporting to the Board as a whole, as well as reviewing opportunities for community involvement in the process.  Timely succession of the ICANN CEO will assist the organization in maintaining its work in overseeing the security and the stability of the DNS.  The establishment of the work committee will not have a financial impact on ICANN, though resources are likely to be required at later points in the process.

  6. Any Other Business

    After a call for any other business, the Board discussed:

    • the creation of a subgroup of the Board to guide meaningful interactions between the Board and the NRO/ASO;
    • issues related to the work of the Joint Applicant Support working group, including the feasibility and timing of setting up a fund for contributions, work needed to create processes for the release of funds, and interactions between the Board and the JAS in Dakar, including the formation of a subgroup of the Board to identify some questions for clarification by the JAS; and
    • potential recognition ideas for TLDs in operation for over 25 years.

    The Chair called the meeting to a close.

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."