Skip to main content
Resources

Preliminary Report | Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee

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

Formal Minutes are still to be approved by the New gTLD Program Committee. This has not been approved by the New gTLD Program Committee 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 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 New gTLD Program Committee's actions is presented under the associated Resolution. A draft Rationale is not final until approved with the minutes of the New gTLD Program Committee meeting.

A Regular Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee of the ICANN Board of Directors was held in Singapore on 5 February 2015 at 15:00 local time.

Committee Chairman Cherine Chalaby promptly called the meeting to order.

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

Erika Mann, Gonzalo Navarro, and Thomas Schneider (GAC Liaison) sent apologies.

Secretary: John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary).

ICANN Executives and Staff in attendance for all or part of the meeting: Akram Atallah (President, Global Domains Division); Megan Bishop (Board Support Coordinator); Samantha Eisner (Associate General Counsel); Allen Grogan (Chief Contract Compliance Officer); Jamie Hedlund (Vice President, Strategic Programs – Global Domains Division); Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Board Support Content Manager); Cyrus Namazi (Vice President, DNS Industry Engagement); David Olive (Vice President, Policy Development); Erika Randall (Senior Counsel); Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel); and Christine Willett (Vice President, Operations – Global Domains Division).

This is a Preliminary Report of the Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee, which took place on 5 February 2015.

  1. Consent Agenda:
    1. Approval of Minutes
  2. Main Agenda:
    1. Update on NGPC/GAC discussion regarding new gTLD GAC advice
    2. Update on NGPC/ALAC discussion regarding ALAC statement on Public Interest Commitments
    3. GAC Advice: Updates and Actions

 

  1. Consent Agenda:

    1. Approval of Minutes

      The Chair introduced for approval the Minutes of the 11 December 2014 meeting. The Committee took the following action:

      Resolved (2015.02.05.NG01), the Board New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) approves the minutes of its 11 December 2014 meeting.

      All members of the Committee present voted in favor of Resolution 2015.02.05.NG01. Two members of the Committee were unavailable to vote on the Resolution. The Resolution carried.

  2. Main Agenda:

    1. Update on NGPC/GAC discussion regarding new gTLD GAC advice

      The Chair provided an overview of the agenda, and reminded the Committee that during January, a sub-group of the Committee met with members of the GAC to discuss the GAC's advice in the Los Angeles Communiqué and its 9 December 2014 letter about safeguards for new gTLDs.

      Staff provided a summary of the conference call held with the GAC, noting that the discussion focused on WHOIS-related safeguards; security risks safeguards; verification and validation of credentials for Category 1 strings associated with highly-regulated sectors or sectors with closed-entry requirements; the Public Interest Commitment Dispute Resolution Process (PICDRP); and Category 2 safeguards regarding non-discriminatory registration policies for restricted strings.

      Staff noted that the discussion on WHOIS-related safeguards and security risks safeguards was primarily informational. Staff also noted that following the January 13 conference call, the Committee sent the GAC a letter with additional background information requested regarding the PICDRP. Additionally, the Committee responded to some of the advice in the Los Angeles Communiqué regarding the WHOIS roadmap.

      The Committee spent time discussing the GAC's continued view that a potential registrants' credentials, licenses, or authorizations should be verified and validated as a precondition to registering domain names in Category 1 strings associated with highly-regulated sectors or sectors with closed-entry requirements. The Committee also considered the concerns raised by the ALAC and other community members on the topic.

      Committee members expressed a variety of views regarding verification and validation of credentials for Category 1 strings. Some members noted the possible tension between the ability of registry operators to implement their business plans, and the expectation that Internet users may have about the semantic implications of a TLD. Other Committee members commented on how the public interest should be considered as part of the discussion and any potential solutions to address the concern. Some members noted that the Committee should be mindful of ICANN's role and analyze whether certain possible solutions may be seen to expand ICANN's role beyond its stated goals and remit.

      Some members made note of the experience with ccTLD managers and legacy TLDs with verifying and validating credentials as a precondition to registering domain names, and the Committee considered this data as part of its discussion.

      Members of the Committee suggested possible solutions to address the concerns about verification and validation, which included contacting registry operators and encouraging them to implement verification and validation, recommending development of GNSO consensus policy, and improving the quality of the information that is available in the marketplace about the safeguards that each Category 1 TLD implements.

      The Committee discussed the importance of communicating to the community the various viewpoints of the Committee and the options being considered by the Committee. The Committee agreed to continue its discussion at a subsequent meeting, and to continue to engage with the community on the topic during ICANN Meeting in Singapore.

    2. Update on NGPC/ALAC discussion regarding ALAC statement on Public Interest Commitments

      The Committee received an overview of the discussion held in January between sub-groups of the Committee and the ALAC. The focus of the discussion was to understand the remaining concerns about the Public Interest Commitments (PICs) included in the New gTLD Registry Agreement, and enforcement of those PICs. The ALAC expressed that they would like ICANN to make a clear, public statement expressing ICANN's commitment to take action when legitimate third parties, including for example, government agencies and consumer protection authorities, file complaints concerning non-compliance with the PICs.

      The conference call also focused on verification and validation of potential registrants' credentials, licenses, or authorizations as a precondition to registering domain names in Category 1 strings associated with highly-regulated sectors or sectors with closed-entry requirements. The Committee discussed the points raised by the ALAC during its general discussion about Category 1 safeguards. Please refer to Section 2.b. for a summary of the discussion.

    3. GAC Advice: Updates and Actions

      The Committee decided to discuss remaining open items of GAC advice at a subsequent meeting.

      The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 16 February 2015

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."