Preliminary Report | Regular Meeting of the ICANN Board
Formal Minutes are still to be approved by the ICANN Board.
Note: This Preliminary Report has not been approved by the Board and does not constitute minutes. It does set forth the unapproved reporting of the resolutions from that meeting. Details on voting and abstentions will be provided in the Minutes, when approved 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 public Regular Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors was held telephonically on 22 October 2020 at 12:30 UTC.
Maarten Botterman, Chair, promptly called the meeting to order.
In addition to the Chair, the following Directors participated in all or part of the meeting: Becky Burr, Ron da Silva, Sarah Deutsch, Chris Disspain, Avri Doria, Rafael Lito Ibarra, Danko Jevtović, Göran Marby (President and CEO), Akinori Maemura, Mandla Msimang, Ihab Osman, Nigel Roberts, León Sánchez (Vice Chair), Matthew Shears, and Tripti Sinha.
The following Board Liaisons participated in all or part of the meeting: Harald Alvestrand (IETF Liaison), Manal Ismail (GAC Liaison), Merike Käo (SSAC Liaison), and Kaveh Ranjbar (RSSAC Liaison).
Patricio Poblete was in attendance as an invited observer.
Secretary: John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary).
This is a Preliminary Report of the public Regular Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors, which was held telephonically on 22 October 2020 at 12:30 UTC.
- Consent Agenda:
- Competition, Consumer Trust, Consumer Choice Review Team (CCT-RT) Pending Recommendations
- Protection for International Governmental Organization (IGO) and Red Cross Acronyms at the Second Level of the Domain Name System
- Thank You to Chris Disspain for his service to the ICANN Board
- Thank You to Sponsors of ICANN 69 Meeting
- Thank you to Interpreters and Staff of ICANN 69 Meeting
- Thank You to Community Members
The Chair opened the meeting and introduced the items on the Consent Agenda. The Chair called for a vote and the Board then took the following action:
Resolved, the following resolutions in this Consent Agenda are approved:
Approval of the 10 September 2020 Board Meeting Minutes
Resolved (2020.10.22.01), the Board approves the minutes of the 10 September 2020 Special Meeting of the ICANN Board.
Whereas, it is essential to ICANN's operations that ICANN offers competitive compensation packages for its personnel.
Whereas, independent market data provided by outside expert compensation consultants indicates that current and proposed increases to compensation amounts for the SVP, Policy Development Support, and the SVP, Engineering & Chief Information Officer are either below or within ICANN's target of the 50th to 75th percentile for total cash compensation based on comparable market data for the respective positions.
Whereas, the Compensation Committee has recommended that the Board approve the proposed Board resolutions set out below.
Whereas, each Board member has confirmed that they are not conflicted with respect to compensation packages for any of ICANN's Officers.
Resolved (2020.10.22.02), the Board grants the President and CEO discretion to adjust the compensation for FY21, effective 1 July 2020, of: (i) Ashwin Rangan, the SVP Engineering & Chief Information Officer; and (ii) David Olive, SVP, Policy Development Support; in accordance with the independent study on comparable compensation, subject to a limitation that their annual base salaries shall not increase by more than 3% for FY21 from their current rates.
Rationale for Resolution 2020.10.22.02
The goal of the organization's compensation program is to provide a competitive compensation package. The organization's general compensation philosophy is to pay base salaries within a range of the 50th – 75th percentile of the market for a particular position.
Each of the Officers at issue in this resolution resides in the United States, with one residing in the greater Los Angeles area and the other one in the District of Columbia. As of August 2020, the U.S. inflation rate was reported as 1.3%, while the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the commonly accepted metric for cost-of-living increases, increased in the greater Los Angeles area by 2% and increased in the District of Columbia by 1.6%.
Compensation survey data1 indicated that the general market 50th percentile of merit budget for 2020 is 3.0%. ICANN's FY21 (1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021) budget for all ICANN personnel Annual Compensation Merit Review was 3%. In addition, actual merit and salary increase results data shows that in general, companies and organizations have provided a 3% merit increase and overall 3.3% salary increase in 2020.
Based upon the above economic and compensation data, considering the quality performances of the Officers, and all of the activities and initiatives set out in the Five-Year Strategic and Operating plan calling for continued quality senior leadership, it is necessary for the Officers' compensation to be reviewed and aligned with the market.
ICANN's President and CEO has requested that he be granted the discretion to increase the FY21 base salaries of: (i) the SVP, Engineering & Chief Information Officer; and (ii) the SVP, Policy Development Support by up to 3% of their current base salaries. The President and CEO has also informed the Board that he intends to also exercise the same discretion with respect to the other members of ICANN's Executive Team who are not Officers (which does not require Board approval). As set forth in the comparable information provided by ICANN's expert compensation consultants, the requested increases for each of the Officers listed here fall slightly below or within or the established remuneration practices of the organization. The Board agrees with the President and CEO's Recommendations.
The salary adjustments provided under this resolution will assist these Officers and the organization in fulfilling its mission and in ensuring ICANN acts in the public interest.
There will be some fiscal impact to the organization, but that impact has been anticipated within the FY21 budget. This resolution will not have any direct impact on the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system.
This is an Organizational Administrative function that does not require public comment.
All members of the Board present voted in favor of Resolutions 2020.10.22.01 and 2020.10.22.02. The Resolutions carried.
Competition, Consumer Trust, Consumer Choice Review Team (CCT-RT) Pending Recommendations
Avri Doria, the Chair of the Organizational Effectiveness Committee, introduced the agenda item and summarized the proposed resolution. The Competition, Consumer Trust, Consumer Choice Review Team (CCT-RT) was formed in 2015 to "examine the extent to which the introduction or expansion of gTLDs has promoted competition, consumer trust and consumer choice, as well as effectiveness of (a) the application and evaluation process, and (b) safeguards put in place to mitigate issues involved in the introduction or expansion." The Board received and took actions the CCT-RT's Final Recommendations in March 2019. As part of its action in March 2019, the Board resolved to place 17 recommendations into pending status, and committed to take further action on these recommendations subsequent to the completion of intermediate steps. Eleven of the 17 pending recommendations are now ready for Board action.
Following discussion, the Chair called for a vote and the Board took the following action:
Whereas, ICANN was obligated under the Affirmation of Commitments to "organize a review that will examine the extent to which the introduction or expansion of gTLDs has promoted competition, consumer trust and consumer choice, as well as effectiveness of (a) the application and evaluation process, and (b) safeguards put in place to mitigate issues involved in the introduction or expansion." A community-led review team – the Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice Review Team (CCT-RT) – was announced on 23 December 2015 to fulfill that mandate. The Final Report of the Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice Review ("Final Report") contains 35 full consensus recommendations.
Whereas, on 1 March 2019, the ICANN Board took action on each of the 35 recommendations issued within the Final Report, as specified within the scorecard titled "Final CCT Recommendations: Board Action (1 March 2019)" (the "March 2019 Scorecard").
Whereas, also on 1 March 2019, the Board resolved to place 17 recommendations into pending status (in whole or in part), and committed to take further action on these recommendations subsequent to the completion of intermediate steps, as identified in the March 2019 Scorecard.
Whereas, since that time, ICANN org proceeded to work on all 17 pending recommendations, and the status of that work is reflected in the detailed assessment titled "Informing Board action on Competition, Consumer Trust, and Consumer Choice Review (CCT) Pending Recommendations" (the "Detailed Assessment"). Where available, the Detailed Assessment includes information pertaining to resources needed and deliverables envisioned to implement the CCT-RT's recommended improvements. As documented in the Detailed Assessment, 11 of the 17 pending recommendations are now ready for Board action.
Whereas, the CCT Board Caucus Group reviewed ICANN org's Detailed Assessment and recommended the Board to act on 11 pending recommendations as detailed therein. The CCT Board Caucus Group also engaged with the CCT Implementation Shepherds prior to recommending this action.
Resolved (2020.10.22.03), the Board takes action on each of the 11 recommendations specified within the scorecard titled "Competition, Consumer Trust, Consumer Choice Review Team (CCT-RT) Pending Recommendations: Board Action on 11 Recommendations" (the "October 2020 Scorecard"). The Board directs ICANN's President and CEO (or his designee(s)) to take all actions directed to the ICANN org within the October 2020 Scorecard.
Resolved (2020.10.22.04), for the six recommendations that remain in pending status, the Board directs the ICANN President and CEO, or his designee(s), to complete as promptly as possible the outstanding items needed to prepare the recommendations for further Board action. The Board also directs the ICANN President and CEO, or his designee(s), to provide regular updates to the Board, through the CCT Board Caucus Group, on the status of that work.
Resolved (2020.10.22.05), for the 11 recommendations the Board approves today, the Board directs the ICANN President and CEO, or his designee(s), to develop an implementation plan and to provide regular status and progress updates to the Board, through the CCT Board Caucus Group. Implementation work that is able to be included in existing work plans should begin as soon as possible. Any recommendations that require significant resources and plans to be implemented should be included into future operational planning and budgeting processes, allowing for appropriate community consideration and prioritization, as applicable, of planned work.
All members of the Board present voted in favor of Resolutions 2020.10.22.03, 2020.10.22.04 and 2020.10.22.05. The Resolutions carried.
Rationale for Resolutions 2020.10.22.03 – 2020.10.22.05
Why is the Board addressing this issue?
Reviews are important accountability measures that are critical to maintaining a healthy multistakeholder model and helping ICANN achieve its Mission. Reviews also contribute to ensuring that ICANN serves the public interest. The first Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice Review (CCT), initiated under the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC), is an important aspect of ICANN's commitment to continuous review and assessment of key areas.
On 1 March 2019, the ICANN Board took action on the Final Recommendations produced by the CCT-RT. Per the ICANN Bylaws, the ICANN Board considered how to best address each of the recommendations, and decided on three categories of action: accepted, pending, and passing through to different parts of the community, as documented in the March 2019 Scorecard.
As part of that resolution, the Board committed to take further action on the 17 recommendations placed into "pending" status, subsequent to the completion of intermediate steps as identified in the March 2019 Scorecard. These intermediate steps ranged from: ICANN org conducting analysis and identifying gaps in a particular area of work; to engaging a third party to conduct analysis on data types needed; or to providing a report on work done to date, among other things.
What is the proposal being considered?
The proposal is in furtherance of Board resolution 2019.03.01.04, which placed CCT recommendations 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 23, 24, 26 in pending status, in whole or in part.
Since 1 March 2019, the Board Caucus Group dedicated to the CCT effort (the CCT Board Caucus Group) has overseen ICANN org work in addressing the open actions related to the 17 pending recommendations. ICANN org has provided the Board with information to support further Board action to address 11 of the 17 pending recommendations (see Detailed Assessment). Where available, the Detailed Assessment includes information on resources needed to implement the CCT-RT recommendations, as well as information on implementation paths and associated deliverables.
Additional time is required to conclude actions pertaining to six pending recommendations, which, in some instances, are tied to community dependencies. For example, the Board is not in a position to consider how to move the contractual negotiation portions of recommendations 14 and 15 forward, which recommend amendments to existing agreements to help prevent DNS abuse, as there are still ongoing community discussions to reach a common community understanding of DNS abuse and related terms. The Board therefore notes the continued dependency on community conversations prior to any further Board action on these two recommendations. Status updates on progress made in addressing these six remaining pending recommendations are captured in the Detailed Assessment. The Board is committed to take action on the outstanding recommendations as soon as it has received information needed to make an informed decision, and directs ICANN org to provide progress updates on these six remaining recommendations in due course.
In assessing the CCT-RT Pending Recommendations, the CCT Board Caucus Group reached out to the CCT-RT Implementation Shepherds. Implementation Shepherds are review team members who volunteered to be a resource to provide the Board with clarifications as needed on the intent behind recommendations, the CCT-RT's rationale, facts leading to the CCT-RT's conclusions, its envisioned timeline, and/or the CCT's consideration of what successful measures of implementation could look like. The CCT Board Caucus Group and ICANN org have engaged with the CCT-RT Implementation Shepherds since the review team concluded its work as detailed on the dedicated wiki page.
Prioritization of community-issued recommendations needs to take place within the broader context of all ICANN work and must consider implications on community and ICANN org resources and bandwidth, as well as the availability of resources (including funds) whether required up-front only, or on an ongoing basis. It is essential to ensure that all parts of ICANN take part in the prioritization – ICANN community, ICANN Board and ICANN org. Any recommendations that require significant resources and plans, should be included into operational planning and budgeting processes, allowing for appropriate community consideration and prioritization, as applicable, of planned work.
Recommendations the Board Approves
Today the Board approves 11 of the 17 pending recommendations: 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 24 and 26. Each of these recommendations are consistent with ICANN's Mission, serve the public interest, and are within the Board's remit. The Board's action today only impacts the portions of each of these recommendations that are directed to the ICANN org or Board. The Board in its 1 March 2019 action passed through portions of recommendations directed to parts of the ICANN Community, and today's action does not impact or alter that prior "pass through" designation or any subsequent actions the ICANN Community has taken on those passed through recommendations.
In reviewing Recommendation 6, which calls for "partner[ing] with mechanisms and entities involved with the collection of TLD data" and "collect[ing] TLD registration number data per TLD and registrar at a country-by-country level", the Board considered the gap analysis and feasibility assessment received from ICANN org (see Detailed Assessment). The Board notes that the notion of partnering with entities to obtain necessary data aligns with feedback received on the CCT-RT Final Report. The Business Constituency (BC), for instance, encourages ICANN to "make use of voluntary data that can be obtained from contracted parties, the community, and users and registrants at large". Recognizing challenges identified in the ICANN org assessment (see Detailed Assessment): i.e., Registration Directory Service (RDS) data from ccTLDs and registrars at a country-by-country level may be difficult to obtain, and there may be certain regions where collection is limited, the Board approves the recommendation with a note that, ICANN org can make best efforts on a regional level to obtain TLD data, on a voluntary basis.
Recommendation 7 calls for collection of "domain usage data to better understand the implications of parked domains". The Board notes support for this recommendation in the public comments. For instance, the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) notes that "this would be helpful data, particularly as it relates to the implications of parked domains on intellectual property rights holders". Recognizing that the CCT-RT suggested a definition for 'parking' ('parked domains'), the Board notes that no universally agreed, or community vetted, definition of parking appears to exist within the domain name industry (see Detailed Assessment). For the purposes of collecting data on this recommendation, the Board calls for ICANN org to investigate existing definitions of parking, including the CCT-RT's definition and its data collection methodologies, and other potential data sources, in order to provide a definition of parking, for community review and a transparent methodology and process for data collection. With this caveat, the Board approves this recommendation.
With respect to recommendations 8 and 11, which suggest conducting periodic surveys of registrants as well as end-user consumer surveys, the Board refers to the additional questions identified by ICANN org in its gap analysis (see Detailed Assessment) and notes that implementation would require continuing portions of the registrant and consumer end-user surveys previously conducted for the CCT-RT, and incorporating additional questions and tools for tracking Internet user behavior to address new requirements from these recommendations. Based on initial discussions with potential vendors for this project, consumer attitudes towards the gTLD landscape tend to change slowly. The Board notes support in the public comment proceeding on the CCT-RT Final Report for Recommendations 8 and 11. For instance, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) "endorses recommendations in the final report that encourage the collection of data to better inform policy making before increasing the number of new gTLDs". The Board also recognizes concerns expressed relative to costs associated with data collection. For instance, the Registries Stakeholder Group (RysG) questions the perceived benefit of these recommendations, relative to costs. The Board notes ICANN org's recommendation (see Detailed Assessment) on frequency of this data collection effort. Accordingly, the Board approves recommendations 8 and 11 with a note that surveys ought to be conducted at regular intervals of at least three years to ensure baseline data for future analysis as well as to reduce response burden, given the survey length and the pace of behavioral change associated with the domain name marketplace.
Recommendation 13 calls for collection of data on the impact of restrictions. Informed by the ICANN org assessment (see Detailed Assessment), the Board notes that data collection concerning consumer awareness of registration restrictions (part 1) and consumer trust levels in TLDs with restrictions versus those without (part 2) can be incorporated into future surveys of consumer-end users and registrants (see recommendations 8 and 11). Determining a correlation between lower abuse rates and stricter registration policies (part 3) entails extending parts of the "Statistical Analysis of DNS Abuse in gTLDs" study. Implementation of part 4 entails seeking data to help future review teams assess the costs and benefits of registration restrictions to contracted parties and the public. The Board notes the clarification received from CCT-RT Implementation Shepherds in response to the CCT Board Caucus Group query on costs and benefits within the context of this recommendation, and the expected outcome of such a study. The Detailed Assessment indicates that this recommendation could be implemented by incorporating questions around costs and benefits in the voluntary data gathering collection efforts mentioned above, particularly in relation to recommendations 8 and 11. The Board also expects that these data sets will be provided to the future review team to conduct a cost/benefit analysis based on the data. The identification of how registration restrictions are enforced or challenged (part 5), however, is highly dependent on contracted parties' willingness to provide information on enforcement. With the caveat that obtaining meaningful data to analyze enforcement may be challenging, ICANN org could seek to obtain this data through a voluntary survey. The Board notes that this is in alignment with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) comment that "this data is important to capture, provided any such activity would be voluntary". The RySG adds that "If ICANN desires this information, it can obtain it through independent research or through requests for voluntary information". The Board considers that it is essential to ensure this collection effort be preceded by consultation with contracted parties on the approach and methods for a voluntary survey (or other means of contacting contracted parties), to ensure the most meaningful and useful data can be collected. Recognizing the existing workload challenges the community is facing, the Board calls for the survey to be conducted as a pilot survey to ensure resources are appropriately spent, given the voluntary nature of this data collection effort. As such, results and participation rates should be reviewed to determine whether the survey should be continued at regular intervals. With these caveats, the Board approves recommendation 13.
Recommendation 16 calls for "further studying of the relationship between specific registry operators, registrars, and DNS Security Abuse by commissioning ongoing data collection including but not limited to, ICANN Domain Abuse Activity Reporting (DAAR) initiatives". The Board notes support in the public comment proceeding for this recommendation. The IPC, for instance, comments that it: "strongly supports this recommendation and has long been interested in more in-depth and frequent collection and publication of such data and actionable responses to problems identified". The Board notes that ICANN org will continue to collect data and generate monthly reports on an ongoing basis. Moreover, the Board wishes to highlight that DAAR itself is not and cannot be a compliance/enforcement tool. Rather, it is a tool that monitors third party reputation lists to indicate possible concentration of DNS security threats. When outliers appear in DAAR data, it merely suggests further investigation is needed, not that compliance/enforcement is warranted. Based on this, the Board approves Recommendation 16.
Recommendation 18 calls for the gathering of data to inform the "WHOIS Review Team" on "whether additional steps are needed to improve WHOIS accuracy, and whether to proceed with the identity phase of the Accuracy Reporting System (ARS) project". As explained in the Detailed Assessment, the Board notes that this recommendation has already been fulfilled and that the request for anonymized WHOIS inaccuracy complaint data from "registrars, registry operators, ISPs, etc." appears to be the only element that was not made available to the Registration Directory Service Review Team (RDS-WHOIS2-RT). As reported in the Detailed Assessment, while ICANN org does not have this data, the RDS-WHOIS2-RT completed its work in September 2019 and did not request the data prior to issuing its Final Report. The Board notes should future RDS reviews request that data, ICANN org will provide the information to help inform work, as appropriate. The Board approves this recommendation and notes that no further action is required at this time.
On Recommendation 20, which suggests assessing "whether mechanisms to report and handle complaints have led to more focused efforts to combat abuse", the Board notes that, under the current terms of ICANN's agreements with contracted parties, ICANN org does not have the authority to demand information that registries are not required to collect or submit to ICANN org. This concern is echoed by the RySG, which calls the recommendation "inappropriate as it expands beyond Registry Operators' contractual obligations". ICANN org's analysis, as articulated in the Detailed Assessment, shows that this data could be obtained through a voluntary pilot survey. Similar to Recommendation 13 part 5, this collection effort should be preceded by consultation with contracted parties on the approach and methods for a voluntary survey (or other means of contacting contracted parties), and results and participation rates should be reviewed to determine whether the survey should be continued at regular intervals. With these caveats, the Board approves this recommendation.
On Recommendation 23, which calls for data gathering efforts on new gTLDs operating in highly-regulated sectors, the Board notes that ICANN org currently reports on volume and nature of complaints received regarding gTLDs operating in highly-regulated sectors. While the "review of a sample of domain websites" can be conducted by ICANN org, parts of the recommendation involving the following data points "steps registry operators are taking to establish working relationships with relevant government or industry bodies"; "the volume of complaints received by registrants from government and regulatory bodies and their standard practices to respond to those complaints"; and "data to compare rates of abuse between those highly-regulated gTLDs that have voluntarily agreed to verify and validate credentials to those highly-regulated gTLDs that have not" should be obtained through a voluntary survey. The use of a voluntary survey aligns with public comments received on the CCT-RT Final Report. For instance, the RySG "urges that any data collection efforts should be voluntary". Similar to Recommendations 13 (part 5) and 20, the voluntary survey should be completed as a pilot and community input sought on the approach and methods to collect data. The Board also notes that ICANN org does not have means to communicate with resellers. For the corresponding datapoint, this will need to be obtained through registrars, on a voluntary basis. With respect to the part of the recommendation to conduct "[a]n audit to assess whether restrictions regarding possessing necessary credentials are being enforced by auditing registrars and resellers offering the highly-regulated TLDs", the Board notes that ICANN org data shows insignificant volumes of complaints (see Detailed Assessment), indicating that this is a low-risk area. In consideration of ICANN org's limitation under the Registry Agreement to conduct only two audits per year, the Board believes it is important to ensure these limited resources are used to focus on obligations that have the largest potential impact to the safety, security and resiliency of the Internet's DNS. The Board directs ICANN org to continue to monitor complaint trends in this area, and to plan for an audit if any risk is identified.
Regarding Recommendation 24a., which states that ICANN org "report on a quarterly basis whether it has received complaints for a registry operator's failure to comply with either the safeguard related to gTLDs with inherent governmental functions or the safeguard related to cyberbullying", the Board notes that ICANN org currently reports this data on a monthly basis. Regarding Recommendation 24b., which states that registries be surveyed to determine "1) whether they receive complaints related to cyberbullying and misrepresenting a governmental affiliation; and 2) how they enforce these safeguards" the Board notes that, in alignment with recommendations 13 (part 5), 20 and 23, data gathering should be piloted through a voluntary survey: i.e., results and participation rates should be reviewed to determine whether the survey should be continued at regular intervals. With this note, the Board approves Recommendation 24.
With regards to Recommendation 26, which recommends repeating at regular intervals a study in order to ascertain the impact of the New gTLD Program on the costs required to protect trademarks in the expanded DNS , the Board notes that as suggested in the ICANN org assessment (see Detailed Assessment), there is an opportunity to collaborate with relevant partners, as appropriate, to gain a deeper insight into the effects of the New gTLD Program on trademark enforcement, using a combination of qualitative and quantitative research. This is in alignment with comments received from RySG in the public comment period on the CCT-RT Final Report that "going forward, ICANN should take steps to ensure that any studies conducted are optimized to solicit meaningful and statistically significant data from a representative sample of respondents." The Board approves this recommendation and encourages collaboration with relevant partners (as appropriate).
The Board is conscious that a number of recommendations rely on voluntary participation of community members (e.g. Recommendations 6, 8, 11 13, 20, 23, 24). Recognizing that this may have an impact on the community's workload and add complexity to existing bandwidth challenges, the Board stresses the need to ensure efficiency in data collection efforts to avoid creating burden. As such, ICANN org should identify synergies and streamline data collection efforts as called for in these approved recommendations in order to leverage resources and preserve community bandwidth.
Which stakeholders or other parties were consulted?
The CCT-RT Final Report was posted for public comment to inform Board action on the CCT-RT Final Recommendations. The public comment proceeding on the Final Report was opened on 8 October 2018, closed on 11 December 2018, and yielded a total of nine community contributions, which were carefully considered during the assessment of Final Recommendations that resulted in the 1 March 2019 Board action on the Final Report. The summary of input received on the CCT-RT Final Report highlighted that the community was of divergent opinion on the report.
No additional community consultation is required.
The Board also, through the CCT Board Caucus Group, consulted with the CCT-RT Implementation Shepherds to gain some clarification to help inform the Board action. Information on those interactions is available here.
The implementation of the CCT-RT recommendations that the Board has approved will have an impact on the organization's activities and expenses during implementation and on an on-going basis. It is expected that any recommendations that require incremental resources should be included into operational planning and budgeting processes, allowing for appropriate community consideration and prioritization, as applicable, of planned work.
Are there positive or negative community impacts?
Taking action on these recommendations will contribute to ensuring ICANN meets its commitments relative to addressing issues of competition and consumer protection pursuant to new gTLDS. Potential actions resulting from these recommendations could affect community bandwidth and resources, in addition to other ongoing work.
Are there any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS?
Is this action within ICANN's Mission? How does it relate to the global public interest?
This action is within ICANN's Mission and mandate and in the public interest as it is a fulfillment of a key commitment entered into in 2009 within the Affirmation of Commitments, now embodied in the ICANN Bylaws. ICANN's reviews are an important and essential part of how ICANN upholds its commitments. The scope of this review is inherently tied to ICANN's core values of introduction and promotion of competition in the registration of domain names.
Public comments were received on the CCT-RT Final Report.
Protection for International Governmental Organization (IGO) and Red Cross Acronyms at the Second Level of the Domain Name System
Chris Disspain introduced the agenda item and read portions of the resolution into the record. The Chair called for a vote and the Board took the following action:
Whereas, on 30 April 2014 the Board adopted those GNSO recommendations from the GNSO's IGO-INGO Protections in All gTLDs Policy Development Process (PDP) that were not inconsistent with GAC advice, requested more time to consider the remaining PDP recommendations, and planned to facilitate discussion among the relevant parties to reconcile the remaining differences.
Whereas, the GAC subsequently advised the Board to "pursue implementation of (i) a permanent system of notification to IGOs regarding second-level registration of strings that match their acronyms in up to two languages and (ii) a parallel system of notification to registrants for a more limited time period, in line with both previous GAC advice and GNSO recommendations".
Whereas, the GAC also advised the Board that "the same complementary cost neutral mechanisms to be worked out … for the protection of acronyms of IGOs be used to also protect the acronyms of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC/CICR) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC/FICR)" (subsequently noted in a GAC Communique following up on previous advice to also include the acronym MKKK).
Whereas, the GNSO's 2013 PDP recommendations called for the bulk addition of the following identifiers to the Trademark Clearinghouse: (i) the acronyms of the 192 IGOs on the IGO list prepared by the GAC and submitted to ICANN in March 2013 (in 2 languages); and (ii) the full names and the following acronyms associated with the international Red Cross movement (ICRC, CICR, CICV, MKKK, IFRC, FICR (in English, as well as in their respective national languages), ICRC and IFRC (in the 6 official languages of the United Nations)); such that the relevant IGOs and the Red Cross may participate in the mandatory 90-days Trademark Claims notification phase of each new gTLD launch.
Whereas, on 27 January 2019, the Board adopted consensus recommendations approved by the GNSO Council from the Reconvened IGO-INGO PDP Working Group relating to second level protections for the full names of the National Societies of the Red Cross, thus permanently resolving the issue of appropriate policy protections for these National Society names.
Whereas, on 18 April 2019 the GNSO Council approved 4 out of 5 consensus recommendations from the IGO-INGO Access to Curative Rights Mechanisms PDP and subsequently approved an amendment to the Review of All Rights Protection Mechanisms PDP, to include a new IGO Work Track on IGO jurisdictional immunity relating to existing curative rights mechanisms, to determine whether an appropriate policy solution can be developed that is generally consistent with the 4 approved Curative Rights PDP recommendations.
Whereas, the Board has reviewed the GAC advice and the remaining recommendations from the GNSO's 2013 PDP, and believes at this time that the most appropriate solution (not including any curative rights mechanisms) regarding second level protections for IGO and Red Cross acronyms that is in the best interests of the ICANN community and ICANN will be for the ICANN organization to implement, as an operational matter, an ongoing (i.e. permanent) post-registration notification mechanism that will notify an affected IGO or the Red Cross when a third party registers a second level domain matching that organization's acronym.
Whereas, the Board has identified items of GAC advice that are or may be inconsistent with the proposed action the Board is considering.
Whereas, the ICANN Bylaws require that "[i]n the event that the Board determines to take an action that is not consistent with Governmental Advisory Committee advice, it shall so inform the Governmental Advisory Committee and state the reasons why it decided not to follow that advice" and the Board and GAC are required to enter into a Bylaws Consultation process.
Whereas, the Board understands that the proposed action it is considering may also potentially be inconsistent with the remaining GNSO PDP recommendations from 2013 and that, if the Board votes not to adopt these recommendations by the requisite threshold, the Bylaws require the Board to engage with the GNSO Council after the Board vote.
Resolved (2020.10.22.06), the Board has determined that it may take an action that is not or may not be consistent with the GAC's advice on the scope of a permanent notification mechanism concerning third party registrations of second level domain names matching the acronyms of the IGOs on the GAC's list, and hereby initiates the required Board-GAC Bylaws Consultation Process required in such an event. The Board will provide written notice to the GAC to initiate the process as required by the Bylaws Consultation Process.
Resolved (2020.10.22.07), the Board defers action at this time on the remaining recommendations from the GNSO's 2013 PDP on IGO-INGO Protections in All gTLDs and on the four recommendations approved by the GNSO Council and sent to the Board from the GNSO's 2019 PDP on IGO-INGO Access to Curative Rights Mechanisms.
All members of the Board present voted in favor of Resolutions 2020.10.22.06 and 2020.10.22.07. The Resolutions carried.
Rationale for Resolutions 2020.10.22.06 – 2020.10.22.07
Why is the Board addressing the issue now?
The acronyms at issue (i.e. of the 192 IGOs on the GAC list from 2013 and the 5 acronyms associated with the international movement of the Red Cross for which the GAC have requested equivalent protection) have been required to be reserved by registry operators on an interim basis for approximately 6 years. Following a 2017 GAC-GNSO facilitated dialogue, the GAC supported providing IGOs and the Red Cross with permanent second level protection in the form of an ongoing notification service that will alert the relevant IGO or the Red Cross when a third party attempts to register a domain name matching a protected IGO or Red Cross acronym. The GAC advice also called for a pre-registration notification to the potential registrant, an opportunity for the IGO to object as well as binding third party determination to be included in the process.
Following its review of all relevant GAC advice received to date, the GNSO's policy recommendations and its discussions with the GAC and the GNSO Council, the Board believes at this time that the most appropriate path forward is to implement an ongoing mechanism that will notify an IGO on the GAC's list or the Red Cross, as applicable, after a third party registers a domain name matching that organization's protected acronym. As this approach will require that the Board not adopt certain aspects of GAC advice, the Board is hereby initiating the Bylaws-mandated consultation process with the GAC while deferring action on the GNSO's PDP recommendations.
What is the proposal being considered?
The Board is considering taking action that will result in partial acceptance of GAC advice and non-adoption of the GNSO's remaining 2013 policy recommendations. In initiating the Board-GAC Consultation Process that is mandated when the Board intends to take action contrary to GAC advice, the Board is also deferring action on the GNSO PDP recommendations at this time.
Which stakeholders or others were consulted?
Throughout its deliberations on this topic, the Board has held discussions with the GAC and the GNSO, including at multiple ICANN Public Meetings and through facilitating the GAC-GNSO dialogue on Red Cross and IGO protections that took place in Copenhagen in March 2017. The Board has also solicited public input through public comment proceedings on the original 2013 GNSO PDP as well as on the 2019 Curative Rights PDP. In addition, the Board has provided responses to GAC advice on the topic of IGO and Red Cross protections through the issuance of Board scorecards and tracking the status of GAC advice through a published Action Request Register.
What concerns or issues were raised by the community?
Community members have noted the need to distinguish between substantive trademark rights, which are the basis for the Sunrise and Trademark Claims services offered through the Trademark Clearinghouse for the 2012 New gTLD Program, and an appropriate legal basis and policy rationale for protecting IGO and Red Cross acronyms. While some acronyms may be protected by trademark law in some jurisdictions, this is not automatically or universally true for all IGO and Red Cross acronyms. A number of community members have also noted that there may be legitimate, good faith third-party uses for IGO acronyms such that a blanket system of protection (e.g. via a reserved names list) will be inappropriate as a matter of policy. For its part, the GAC has regularly emphasized that the need to protect IGO and Red Cross acronyms stem from the fact that these organizations perform important public interest missions. The Red Cross' identifiers are protected via international treaty (i.e. the Geneva Conventions) and multiple national laws. The GAC has also noted that IGOs are in an objectively different category of rights-holders, as compared to trademark owners, due to their being created by governments under international law.
What significant materials did the Board review?
The Board has reviewed the Final Reports (including minority statements, where appended, and reports of public comments) from the 2013 and 2019 GNSO PDPs, relevant GAC advice on the topic of IGO and Red Cross protections, and records of Board discussions with the GAC and the GNSO Council on this topic.
What factors did the Board find to be significant?
As raised in the community concerns, there may be situations where a party other than an IGO or the Red Cross may have a legitimate right or interest to register and use a domain name that matches the IGO's or the Red Cross' protected acronym. At the same time, the GAC has emphasized the unique nature of the Red Cross and IGOs as well as their public interest missions. The Board therefore seeks to resolve the differences between the GAC and the GNSO through a practical operational mechanism that can provide some protection to IGOs and the Red Cross while preserving legitimate third party rights. Further, in light of the time that has passed since the GNSO completed its first PDP on IGO and Red Cross protections and the conferring of interim protections for IGOs on the GAC list and the Red Cross (via temporarily withholding their acronyms from delegation), the Board believes that it will be beneficial to take steps to provide clarity as to the scope of non-curative protections for IGO and Red Cross acronyms, particularly in light of the need to prepare for a new gTLD expansion round.
Are there positive or negative community impacts?
The Board considers that the clarity which a final resolution of a longstanding policy question concerning IGO and Red Cross acronym protections will bring is a positive result for the community. Under the Bylaws, the Board is obliged to initiate the Board-GAC Consultation Process as a first step toward this resolution.
No additional fiscal impact is anticipated as a result of initiating the Board-GAC Consultation Process as required by the Bylaws.
Are there any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS?
There are no security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS as a result of this Board action.
Is this decision in the public interest and within ICANN's mission?
The Board believes that being able to take action to resolve a longstanding policy question relating to appropriate second level protections for IGO and Red Cross acronyms, following the conclusion of the Board-GAC Consultation Process, will be in the best interests of the ICANN community and ICANN. The decision to initiate this consultation process concerns GAC advice and GNSO PDP recommendations. As such, it is within the scope of ICANN's mission as described in the Bylaws.
All requisite public comment proceedings mandated by the ICANN Bylaws have been conducted.
Thank You to Chris Disspain for his service to the ICANN Board
The Chair introduced the agenda item and expressed thanks to Chris Disspain for his work on the Board and 20 years of service at ICANN. Other Board members also expressed their gratitude for Chris' service to the Board over the past 20 years.
Chris expressed his gratitude to the ICANN org members for their contributions to making his 20 years at ICANN a wonderful experience.
The Chair then called for a vote and the Board took the following action:
Whereas, Chris Disspain was appointed by the Country Code Names Supporting Organization to serve as a member of the ICANN Board on 24 June 2011.
Whereas, Chris Disspain was elected to serve as Vice-Chair of the ICANN Board on 2 November 2017 and served in that role until 7 November 2019.
Whereas, Chris Disspain concludes his term on the ICANN Board on 22 October 2020.
Whereas, Chris served as a member of the following Committees and Working Groups:
- Accountability Mechanisms Committee
- Audit Committee
- Compensation Committee
- Executive Committee
- Finance Committee
- Global Relationships Committee
- Governance Committee
- New gTLD Program Committee
- Public Participation Committee
- Board GAC Advice Group
- Board-GAC Recommendation Implementation Working Group
- Board Working Group on Registration Directory Services
- Board Anti-Harassment Working Group
- Board Internet Governance Working Group
- Board Strategic Planning Working Group
- Reserve Fund Working Group
- Trust Working Group
- Transition Coordination Team
- Board Caucus on Auction Proceeds
- Board Caucus on Budgeting and Prioritization of Community Recommendations
- Board Caucus on Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice (CCT) Review
- Board Caucus on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) / Expedited Policy Development Process (ePDP)
- Board Caucus on International Governmental Organization (IGO) Issues
- Board Caucus on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process (SubPro)
- Board Caucus on Registration Directory Services (RDS) Review
- Board Caucus on Security, Stability and Resiliency Review 2 (SSR2)
Resolved (2020.10.22.08), Chris Disspain has earned the deep appreciation of the Board for his term of service, and the Board wishes him well in his future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.
All members of the Board present voted in favor of Resolution 2020.10.22.08. The Resolution carried.
The Chair introduced the agenda items 2d, 2e, and 2f. The Board took the following action:
Thank You to Sponsors of ICANN 69 Meeting
The Board wishes to thank the following sponsors: Verisign Inc, Afilias Limited, iThreat, CORE Association, CentralNic Group PLC, eco - Association of the Internet Industry, DENIC eG and the City of Hamburg
Thank you to Interpreters and Staff of ICANN 69 Meeting
The Board expresses its deepest appreciation to the scribes, interpreters, technical teams, and the entire ICANN staff for their efforts in facilitating the smooth operation of ICANN69.
Thank You to Community Members
Whereas, ICANN wishes to acknowledge the considerable effort, skills, and time that members of the stakeholder community contribute to ICANN.
Whereas, in recognition of these contributions, ICANN wishes to express appreciation for and thank members of the community when their terms of service end in relation to our Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, the Public Technical Identifiers Board of Directors, and the Nominating Committee.
Whereas, the following members of the Address Supporting Organization are concluding their terms of service:
- Omo Oaiya, Address Supporting Organization Address Councilor
- Jason Schiller, Address Supporting Organization Address Councilor
Resolved (2020.10.22.09), Omo Oaiya and Jason Schiller have earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for their terms of service, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes them well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.
Whereas, the following members of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization are concluding their terms of service:
- Ajay Data, Country Code Names Supporting Organization Councilor
- Hiro Hotta, Country Code Names Supporting Organization Councilor
Resolved (2020.10.22.10), Ajay Data and Hiro Hotta have earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for their terms of service. The ICANN Board of Directors wishes them well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.
Whereas, the following members of the Generic Names Supporting Organization are concluding their terms of service:
- Donna Austin, Registries Stakeholder Group Chair
- Graeme Bunton, Registrar Stakeholder Group Chair
- Rafik Dammak, Generic Names Supporting Organization Council Vice Chair
- Samantha Demetriou, Registries Stakeholder Group Vice Chair
- Keith Drazek, Generic Names Supporting Organization Chair
- James Gannon, Generic Names Supporting Organization Councilor
- Johan Helsingius, Generic Names Supporting Organization Liaison to the Governmental Advisory Committee
- Joan Kerr, Not-for-Profit Operational Concerns Constituency Chair
- Erika Mann, Generic Names Supporting Organization Councilor
- Scott McCormick, Generic Names Supporting Organization Councilor
- Michele Neylon, Generic Names Supporting Organization Councilor
- Kristian Ørmen, Registrar Stakeholder Group Secretary
- Stephanie Perrin, Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group Chair
- Elsa Saade, Generic Names Supporting Organization Councilor
- Bruna Santos, Non-Commercial Users Constituency Chair
- Tobias Sattler, Registrar Stakeholder Group Vice Chair
- Martin Silva Valent, Generic Names Supporting Organization Councilor
- Darcy Southwell, Generic Names Supporting Organization Councilor
Resolved (2020.10.22.11), Donna Austin, Graeme Bunton, Rafik Dammak, Samantha Demetriou, Keith Drazek, James Gannon, Johan Helsingius, Joan Kerr, Erika Mann, Scott McCormick, Michele Neylon, Kristian Ørmen, Stephanie Perrin, Elsa Saade, Bruna Santos, Tobias Sattler, Martin Silva Valent, and Darcy Southwell have earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for their terms of service. The ICANN Board of Directors wishes them well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.
Whereas, the following members of the At-Large community are concluding their terms of service:
- Ali AlMeshal, Asian, Australasian, and the Pacific Islands Regional At-Large Organization Vice Chair
- Tijani Ben Jemaa, At-Large Advisory Committee Member
- Humberto Carrasco, At-Large Advisory Committee Member
- Bastiaan Goslings, At-Large Advisory Committee Member
- Sarah Kiden, African Regional At-Large Organization Secretary
- Javier Rúa Jovet, At-Large Advisory Committee Member
Resolved (2020.10.22.12), Ali AlMeshal, Tijani Ben Jemaa, Humberto Carrasco, Bastiaan Goslings, Sarah Kiden, and Javier Rúa-Jovet have earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for their terms of service, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes them well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.
Whereas, the following members of the Governmental Advisory Committee are concluding their terms of service:
- Pär Brumark, Governmental Advisory Committee Vice Chair
- Nigel Cassimire, Governmental Advisory Committee Liaison to the Customer Standing Committee
- Chérif Diallo, Governmental Advisory Committee Vice Chair
Resolved (2020.10.22.13), Pär Brumark, Nigel Cassimire, and Chérif Diallo have earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for their terms of service, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes them well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.
Whereas, the following members of the Root Server System Advisory Committee are concluding their terms of service:
- Keith Bluestein, Root Server System Advisory Committee Primary Representative
- Brad Verd, Root Server System Advisory Committee Liaison to the Root Zone Evolution Review Committee
- Matt Weinberg, Root Server System Advisory Committee Alternate Representative
Resolved (2020.10.22.14), Keith Bluestein, Brad Verd, and Matt Weinberg have earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for their terms of service, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes them well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.
Whereas, the following members of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee are concluding their terms of service:
- Andrew de la Haije, Security and Stability Advisory Committee Member
- Bobby Flaim, Security and Stability Advisory Committee Member
Resolved (2020.10.22.15), Andrew de la Haije and Bobby Flaim have earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for their terms of service, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes them well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.
Whereas, the following member of the Public Technical Identifiers Board of Directors is concluding his term of service:
- Wei Wang, Public Technical Identifiers Board of Directors Member
Resolved (2020.10.22.16), Wei Wang has earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for his term of service, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes him well in his future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.
Whereas, the following members of the Nominating Committee are concluding their terms of service:
- Damon Ashcraft, Nominating Committee Associate Chair
- Kristine Dorrain, Nominating Committee Member
- Caroline Greer, Nominating Committee Member
- Annebeth Lange, Nominating Committee Member
- Paul Mitchell, Nominating Committee Member
- Lawrence Olawale-Roberts, Nominating Committee Member
- Chris Roosenraad, Nominating Committee Member
- Erich Schweighofer, Nominating Committee Member
Resolved (2020.10.22.17), Damon Ashcraft, Kristine Dorrain, Caroline Greer, Annebeth Lange, Paul Mitchell, Lawrence Olawale-Roberts, Chris Roosenraad, and Erich Schweighofer have earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for their terms of service, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes them well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.
Whereas, Olivier Crépin-Leblond received the 2020 ICANN Community Excellence Award.
Resolved (2020.10.22.18), Olivier Crépin-Leblond has earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for his dedication to ICANN's multistakeholder model, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes him well in his future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.
Whereas, Ramanou Biaou received the 2020 Dr. Tarek Kamel Award for Capacity Building.
Resolved (2020.10.22.19), Ramanou Biaou has earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for his significant contributions to local and regional capacity-building programs in Africa, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes him well in his future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.
All members of the Board present voted in favor of Resolutions 2020.10.22.09, 2020.10.22.10, 2020.10.22.11, 2020.10.22.12, 2020.10.22.13, 2020.10.22.14, 2020.10.22.15, 2020.10.22.16, 2020.10.22.17, 2020.10.22.18, and 2020.10.22.19 by acclamation. The Resolutions carried.
Rationale for Resolutions 2020.10.22.09 – 2020.10.22.19
Community-driven work is at the core of ICANN's mission. Countless hours are spent in working groups across the Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, and other groups, including the Nominating Committee and the Public Technical Identifiers Board. Together, these community groups develop and refine policies that ensure the security, stability, and resiliency of the global Internet. The Board is grateful for the community's tireless efforts and cooperative spirit shown over the last year.
No resolutions taken.
The Chair then called the meeting to a close.
Published on 2 November 2020
1 Data source: Aon 2020 Salary Increase and Turnover Study- Global