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Adopted Board Resolutions | Regular Meeting of the ICANN Board

  1. Consent Agenda:
    1. Approval of Board Meeting Minutes
    2. Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) Member Appointments
    3. Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) Member Reappointments
    4. Appointment of D-, E-, G-, and H-Root Server Operator Representatives to the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC)
    5. Investment of Auction Proceeds
    6. ICANN Delegation of Authority Guidelines
    7. Renewal of .TEL Registry Agreement
    8. Thank You to Community Members
    9. Thank You to Local Host of ICANN 57 Meeting
    10. Thank You to Sponsors of ICANN 57 Meeting
    11. Thank You to Interpreters, Staff, Event and Hotel Teams of ICANN 57 Meeting
  2. Main Agenda:
    1. Two-Character Domain Names in the New gTLD Namespace
    2. Consideration of the Corn Lake, LLC v. ICANN Independent Review Process Final Declaration
    3. Thank You to the Global Multistakeholder Community
    4. Thank You to Bruno Lanvin for his service to the ICANN Board
    5. Thank You to Erika Mann for her service to the ICANN Board
    6. Thank You to Kuo-Wei Wu for his service to the ICANN Board
    7. Thank You to Suzanne Woolf for her service to the ICANN Board
    8. Thank You to Bruce Tonkin for his service to the ICANN Board
  1. Consent Agenda:

    1. Approval of Board Meeting Minutes

      Resolved (2016.11.08.01), the Board approves the minutes of the 9 August, 15 August, 17 September and 30 September 2016 meetings of the ICANN Board.

    2. Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) Member Appointments

      Whereas, the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) reviews its membership and makes adjustments from time-to-time.

      Whereas, the SSAC Membership Committee, on behalf of the SSAC, requests that the Board should appoint Jacques Latour and Tara Whalen to the SSAC for three-year terms beginning immediately upon approval of the Board and ending on 31 December 2019.

      Resolved (2016.11.08.02), that the Board appoints Jacques Latour and Tara Whalen to the SSAC for three-year terms beginning immediately upon approval of the Board and ending on 31 December 2019.

      Rationale for Resolution 2016.11.08.02

      The SSAC is a diverse group of individuals whose expertise in specific subject matters enables the SSAC to fulfill its charter and execute its mission.  Since its inception, the SSAC has invited individuals with deep knowledge and experience in technical and security areas that are critical to the security and stability of the Internet’s naming and address allocation systems.

      The SSAC’s continued operation as a competent body is dependent on the accrual of talented subject matter experts who have consented to volunteer their time and energies to the execution of the SSAC mission.  Jacques Latour is currently the CTO at CIRA, the Canadian Internet Registry Authority for .CA, a position he has held for the past 6 years. He also is an active member of the ccNSO community and the IETF DNS community. Jacques has extensive country code registry experience and all of the related technologies. He has been an active member of the SSAC’s DNSSEC Workshop Program Committee for several years.

      Tara Whalen has a PhD in Computer Science followed by a Masters in Law with a concentration in Law and Technology. She has over 20 years of experience in security and privacy, including working in the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, as a Privacy and Security Standards Engineer at Apple, and is currently a Staff Privacy Analyst at Google. She has been active in the IETF (intrusion detection working group) and is currently active in the W3C (Privacy Interest Group). She is generally engaged in an operational role around the nexus of security and privacy.

      The SSAC believes Jacques Latour and Tara Whalen would be significant contributing members of the SSAC.

    3. Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) Member Reappointments

      Whereas, Article 12, Section 12.2(b) of the Bylaws governs the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC).

      Whereas, the Board, at Resolution 2010.08.05.07 approved Bylaws revisions that created three-year terms for SSAC members, required staggering of terms, and obligated the SSAC Chair to recommend the reappointment of all current SSAC members to full or partial terms to implement the Bylaws revisions.

      Whereas, the Board, at Resolution 2010.08.05.08 appointed SSAC members to terms of one, two, and three years beginning on 01 January 2011 and ending on 31 December 2011, 31 December 2012, and 31 December 2013.

      Whereas, in January 2016 the SSAC Membership Committee initiated an annual review of SSAC members whose terms are ending 31 December 2016 and submitted to the SSAC its recommendations for reappointments in September 2016.

      Whereas, on 21 September 2016, the SSAC members approved the reappointments.

      Whereas, the SSAC recommends that the Board reappoint the following SSAC members to three-year terms: Jeff Bedser, Ben Butler, Merike Kaeo, Warren Kumari, Xiaodong Lee, Carlos Martinez, and Danny McPherson.

      Resolved (2016.11.08.03), the Board accepts the recommendation of the SSAC and reappoints the following SSAC members to three-year terms beginning 01 January 2017 and ending 31 December 2019: Jeff Bedser, Ben Butler, Merike Kaeo, Warren Kumari, Xiaodong Lee, Carlos Martinez, and Danny McPherson.

      Rationale for Resolution 2016.11.08.03

      The SSAC is a diverse group of individuals whose expertise in specific subject matters enables the SSAC to fulfill its charter and execute its mission.  Since its inception, the SSAC has invited individuals with deep knowledge and experience in technical and security areas that are critical to the security and stability of the Internet’s naming and address allocation systems.  The above-mentioned individuals provide the SSAC with the expertise and experience required for the Committee to fulfill its charter and execute its mission.

    4. Appointment of D-, E-, G-, and H-Root Server Operator Representatives to the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC)

      Whereas, the ICANN Bylaws call for the establishment of a Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) with the role to advise the ICANN community and ICANN Board of Directors on matters relating to the operation, administration, security, and integrity of the Internet’s Root Server System.

      Whereas, the ICANN Bylaws call for the ICANN Board of Directors to appoint one RSSAC member from each Root Server operator organization, based on recommendations from the RSSAC Co-Chairs.

      Whereas, the RSSAC Co-Chairs have recommended for ICANN Board of Directors consideration the appointment of representatives from the D-, E-, G, and H-root server operators to the RSSAC.

      Resolved (2016.11.08.04), the Board appoints to the RSSAC the following representatives from the D-, E-, G-, and H-root server operators: Tripti Sinha, Kevin Jones, Kevin Wright, and Howard Kash, respectively, through 31 December 2019.

      Rationale for Resolution 2016.11.08.04

      In May 2013, the root server operators (RSO) agreed to an initial membership of RSO representatives for RSSAC, and each RSO nominated an individual. The ICANN Board of Directors approved the initial membership of RSSAC in July 2013 with staggered terms.

      The representatives from the D-, E-, G-, and H-root server operators were appointed to an initial three-year term, which expires on 31 December 2016. These appointments are for full, three-year terms.

      The appointment of these RSSAC members is not anticipated to have any fiscal impact on ICANN, though there are budgeted resources necessary for ongoing support of the RSSAC.

      This resolution is an organizational administrative function for which no public comment is required. The appointment of RSSAC members contributes to ICANN’s commitment to strengthening the security, stability, and resiliency of the DNS.

    5. Investment of Auction Proceeds

      Whereas, to date ICANN has collected US$233 million of auction proceeds.

      Whereas, the Board Finance Committee has determined that auction proceeds need to be invested in a manner that preserves capital and keeps these funds readily available.

      Whereas, the Board Finance Committee recommends that auction proceeds be distributed across three different investment managers, and invested in safe and liquid financial instruments.

      Resolved (2016.11.08.05), the Board authorizes the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to take all actions necessary to distribute the auction proceeds across three different investment managers, which will be tasked with investing those proceeds in safe and liquid financial instruments.

      Rationale for Resolution 2016.11.08.05

      To date ICANN has collected auction proceeds totaling US$233 million. ICANN continuously mitigates the risk of custody by distributing investments across more than one investment management firm. Considering the amount of auction proceeds collected to date, the number of firms used to manage these funds need to be increased from the one firm currently used, to three firms. Through an RFP conducted in 2013 for the New gTLD Program, ICANN has already qualified three investment management firms. The auction funds will be distributed across these three firms, in separate and distinct accounts holding exclusively auction proceeds. In addition, considering the intended usage of these funds in the near future, as per the ongoing community process, the BFC has recommended that the managers hold these funds in safe and liquid financial instruments.

      As a result, the organization recommends that the auction proceeds be invested at three different investment managers to reduce the risk of custody, and be invested in safe and liquid financial instruments.

      This action is not expected to have any fiscal impact, or any impact on the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system.

      This is an Organizational Administrative Function that does not require public comment.

    6. ICANN Delegation of Authority Guidelines

      Whereas, ICANN Bylaws Article 2 establishes that with certain exceptions, the powers of ICANN shall be exercised by, and its property controlled and its business and affairs conducted by or under the direction of, the Board.

      Whereas, ICANN Bylaws Article 15 establishes officers of ICANN, and designates the President to be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ICANN in charge of all of its activities and business. All other officers and staff shall report to the President or his or her delegate, unless stated otherwise in the Bylaws.

      Whereas, the Board desires to set out a clear line of delegation of authority between the role of the Board and the roles of CEO and management.

      Resolved (2016.11.08.06), the Board hereby adopts the “ICANN Delegation of Authority Guidelines” to provide clear guidance and clarification of roles between the ICANN Board and the ICANN CEO/Management (“Guidelines”).  The Guidelines shall be reviewed regularly and amended from time to time by resolution of the Board.

      Rationale for Resolution 2016.11.08.06

      The Board is taking action at this time to adopt a set of guidelines to provide greater clarity of roles between the Board and CEO/Management. These guidelines, titled “ICANN Delegation of Authority Guidelines,” identify the respective key roles of the Board, key roles of CEO/Management, and the key interdependencies in those relationships. As outlined in the Guidelines, a primary source of the Board’s powers come directly from the ICANN Bylaws, as well as internal policies. Among others, these key powers include: (1) acting collectively by voting at meetings to authorize and direct management to take action on behalf of the ICANN organization, (2) interacting with the ICANN community to ensure that ICANN is serving the global public interest within ICANN’s mission, and (3) considering policy recommendations arising out of Supporting Organizations, including participating in consultation processes if necessary.

      The ICANN CEO is authorized to act within the authority delegated by the Board. The CEO may designate key management to assist in carrying out these responsibilities. The CEO’s responsibilities, include, but are not limited to: (1) interacting with the ICANN community to ensure that ICANN is serving the global public interest within ICANN’s mission, (2) maintaining open lines of communication with the Board, (3) interacting with governments within the scope of ICANN’s mission and Board’s directives, and (4) leading and overseeing ICANN’s day-to-day operations.

      By adopting these Guidelines, the Board intends to ensure that the Board and CEO/Management continue to operate within the scope of its mission. The Board’s approval of the Guidelines will have positive impact on the community as provides additional transparency and clarity about the roles and responsibilities of key members in the ICANN organization. Additionally, it provides additional accountability to the community by clearly defining the roles and responsibilities.

      There is no anticipated fiscal impact of the Board taking this action, and there are no expected security, stability, or resiliency issues related to the DNS associated with the Board’s approval of the Guidelines.

      This decision is an Organizational Administrative Function that does not require public comment.

    7. Renewal of .TEL Registry Agreement

      Whereas, ICANN commenced a public comment period from 04 August 2016 to 13 September 2016 on a proposed Renewal Registry Agreement for the .TEL TLD.

      Whereas, the proposed .TEL Renewal Registry Agreement includes modified provisions to bring the .TEL Registry Agreement into line with the form of the New gTLD Registry Agreement.

      Whereas, the public comment forum on the proposed Renewal Registry Agreement closed on 13 September 2016, with ICANN receiving twenty-seven (27) comments, both by individuals and organizations/groups. A summary and analysis of the comments were provided to the Board. ICANN modified the proposed Renewal Registry Agreement to correct typographical errors and to incorporate additional clarifying language in response to the public comments related to the RPM language proposed in Section 1 of Specification 7 regarding applicability and implementation of applicable rights protection mechanisms.

      Whereas, ICANN conducted a review of Telnic’s recent performance under the current .TEL Registry Agreement and found that Telnic substantially met its contractual requirements.

      Resolved (2016.11.08.07), the .TEL Renewal Registry Agreement, as revised, is approved and the President and CEO, or his designee(s), is authorized to take such actions as appropriate to finalize and execute the Agreement.

      Rationale for Resolution 2016.11.08.07

      Why the Board is addressing the issue now?

      ICANN and Telnic Limited (the “Registry Operator”) entered into a Registry Agreement on 30 May 2006 for operation of the .TEL top-level domain. The current .TEL Registry Agreement expires on 01 March 2017. The proposed Renewal Registry Agreement was posted for public comment between 04 August 2016 and 13 September 2016. At this time, the Board is approving the Renewal Registry Agreement for the continued operation of the .TEL TLD by the Registry Operator.

      What is the proposal being considered?

      The revised Renewal Registry Agreement approved by the Board includes modified provisions to bring the Agreement into line with the form of the New gTLD Registry Agreement. The modifications include: updating technical specifications; adding Public Interest Commitments including the obligation to only use registrars under the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement; and requiring the implementation of additional Rights Protection Mechanisms, namely the Uniform Rapid Suspension and the Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure.

      Specifically, all approved registry services in the current .TEL Registry Agreement carry over to the revised Renewal Registry Agreement. Such services include Bulk Transfer After Partial Portfolio Acquisition, Registry Controlled DNS Records Service, Domain data change notifications, Whois private contact information opt-out for Individuals, Special Access Service, Additional RDDS Data Fields and Internationalized Domain Names.

      With regard to the Schedule of Reserved Names, the revised Renewal Registry Agreement includes existing provisions permitting the Registry Operator to allocate previously reserved one and two-character names through ICANN-accredited registrars via a Phased Allocation Program. However, all single-character numerical labels continue to be reserved at the second level. 

      As part of the adaptation needed to carry over the Sponsored TLD Charter of .TEL to the revised Renewal Registry Agreement, Specification 12 incorporates the language of the original Sponsorship Charter - Appendix S in the current .TEL TLD Agreement, with modifications to remove the requirement that the Registry control the name servers of delegated domain names, and the restriction that registrants cannot define the contents of the zone for their domain names. As .TEL was originally approved under this premise, the change will transform the .TEL TLD into a gTLD with a limited set of community parameters. These parameters will become optional rather than required.

      Which stakeholders or others were consulted?

      ICANN conducted a public comment period on the proposed .TEL Renewal Registry Agreement from 04 August 2016 through 13 September 2016, following which time the comments were summarized and analyzed. Additionally, ICANN engaged in bilateral negotiations with the Registry Operator to agree to the package of terms to be included in the proposed Renewal Registry Agreement that was posted for public comment.

      What concerns or issues were raised by the community?

      The proposed Renewal Registry Agreement was posted for public comment. Commenters expressed their views in three key areas during the public comment period:

      • Extension of .TEL Registry Agreement: Some of the commenters expressed support for the extension of .TEL Registry Agreement, while others suggested that improvements should be implemented for .TEL domain names if the .TEL Registry Agreement is to be extended.
      • Proposed Renewal Registry Agreement for .TEL: Three key issue areas were raised on the specific text of the renewal:
      • General Views – Some commenters positively noted there are technical and operational advantages to the New gTLD Registry Agreement form that serve as a benefit to registrants and the Internet community over earlier versions of the legacy Agreement. Additionally, there was support for ICANN’s efforts at bilateral negotiations with legacy TLD registries in order to transition to the New gTLD Registry Agreement and the procedural benefit of consistency that will come with ICANN’s bilaterally negotiating for transition to provisions of the New gTLD Registry Agreement not only with .TEL but with other legacy TLDs like .JOBS, .CAT, .PRO, and .TRAVEL.
      • Rights Protection Mechanisms – One commenter sought clarity over the language proposed in Section 1 of Specification 7 regarding applicability and implementation of rights protection mechanisms.
        • Registration Data Directory Service (Whois) – Some commenters raised concerns with continuing the unique Registration Data Directory Service that ICANN’s Board approved in 2007 for the .TEL TLD.
      • The continued operation of .TEL by Telnic Limited: Concerns were expressed over Telnic Limited continuing to be the Registry Operator of .TEL, claiming, among other things that Telnic has violated ICANN’s requirements several times and Telnic no longer has stable financials to continue the operation of .TEL.

      What significant materials did the Board review?

      As part of its deliberations, the Board reviewed various materials, including, but not limited to, the following materials and documents:

      What factors has the Board found to be significant?

      The Board carefully considered the public comments received for the Renewal Registry Agreement, along with the summary and analysis of those comments. The Board also considered the terms agreed to by the Registry Operator as part of the bilateral negotiations with ICANN. The Board acknowledges the concerns expressed by some community members regarding suggested improvements that should be implemented for .TEL domain names if the .TEL Registry Agreement is to be extended. However, the terms of the .TEL Registry Agreement set forth the contractual obligations that must be fulfilled by Telnic Limited in its operation of the .TEL registry but do not prescribe or proscribe the Registry Operators’ business model. Additionally, the Staff Report of Public Comment Proceeding encouraged those commenters that desire to see changes in the business model of the .TEL registry to contact Telnic Limited to discuss these matters.

      The Board acknowledges the request for clarity over the RPM language proposed in Section 1 of Specification 7 regarding applicability and implementation of applicable rights protection mechanisms. While the revisions to Specification 7 were consistent with prior legacies, a modification was made to the language of the Renewal Registry Agreement for .TEL to address the comment. The revision is now reflected in Section 1 of Specification 7 of the revised Renewal Registry Agreement to read “Registry Operator will include all RPMs required by this Specification and any additional RPMs developed and implemented by Registry Operator in the registry-registrar agreement entered into by ICANN-accredited registrars authorized to register names in the TLD.”

      The Board acknowledges the concerns raised with continuing the unique Registration Data Directory Service that the Board approved in 2007 for the .TEL TLD. The Board notes the 18 December 2007 Board Resolution that approved changes to .TEL’s Registration Data Directory Service (Whois) requirements was based on unique business and legal circumstances stating, “…the Board concludes that the requested modifications are justified by the unique business and legal circumstances of the .TEL top-level domain…” After conferring with Telnic Limited, ICANN has confirmed that, to the knowledge of the Registry Operator, the legal circumstances related to Registration Data Directory Service (Whois) have not changed. Therefore, the Registration Data Directory Service (Whois) requirements which were ultimately replicated from the prior agreement between ICANN and Telnic Limited will be retained in the Renewal Registry Agreement.

      Additionally, the Board has considered comments regarding the continued operation of .TEL by Telnic Limited, including concerns that Telnic has violated ICANN’s requirements several times and Telnic no longer has stable financials to continue the operation of .TEL. As part of the renewal process ICANN conducts a review of contractual compliance under the .TEL Registry Agreement. Telnic Limited was found to be in substantial compliance with their contractual requirements. Also, during the past 10 years of operation, ICANN has no knowledge of Telnic Limited experiencing financial or other operational impediments that have caused a failure of registry operations or security and stability concerns. If Telnic Limited were to experience financial problems that resulted in the Registry Operator failing to comply with its obligations under the Registry Agreement, ICANN can take action to protect registrants and ensure continuity of registry operations.

      Finally, the Board notes that existing Registry Agreement calls for presumptive renewal of the Agreement at its expiration so long as certain requirements are met. These provisions are intended to promote stability and security of the registry by encouraging long-term investment in TLD operations, which benefits the community in the form of reliable operation of registry infrastructure. The Renewal Registry Agreement is subject to the negotiation of renewal terms reasonably acceptable to ICANN and the Registry Operator. The renewal terms approved by the Board are the result of the bilateral negotiations called for in the current Registry Agreement.

      Are there positive or negative community impacts?

      The Board’s approval of the Renewal Registry Agreement also offers positive technical and operational benefits. Pursuant to the Renewal Registry Agreement, in the event that any of the emergency thresholds for registry functions is reached, Registry Operator agrees that ICANN may designate an emergency interim Registry Operator of the registry for the TLD, which would mitigate the risks to the stability and security of the Domain Name System. Also, technical onboarding of the Registry Operator to comply with the provisions in the New gTLD Agreement will allow the registry to use uniform and automated processes, which will facilitate operation of the TLD.

      There will also be positive impacts on registrars and registrants. The transition to the New gTLD Registry Agreement will provide consistency across all registries leading to a more predictable environment for end-users and also the fact that the proposed Renewal Registry Agreement requires that the Registry Operator uses ICANN accredited registrars that are party to the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) only will provide more benefits to registrars and registrants.

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

      There is no significant fiscal impact expected if ICANN approves the proposed .TEL Renewal Registry Agreement. It should be noted however that as a result of approval of the Renewal Registry Agreement, projected annual registry fees to ICANN will result in a minimal negative fiscal impact. This change has been considered in ICANN’s budget.

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

      There are no expected security, stability, or resiliency issues related to the DNS if ICANN approves the proposed .TEL Renewal Registry Agreement. The proposed Renewal Registry Agreement in fact includes terms intended to allow for swifter action in the event of certain threats to the security or stability of the DNS. As part of ICANN’s organizational administrative function, ICANN posted the draft Renewal Registry Agreement for public comment on 04 August 2016.

    8. 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 acknowledge and thank members of the community when their terms of service end on the Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees and Nominating Committee. 

      Whereas, the following members of the Address Supporting Organization are concluding their terms of service:

      • Dmitry Kohmanyuk, Address Supporting Organization Address Council Member
      • John Sweeting, Address Supporting Organization Address Council Member

      Resolved (2016.11.08.08), Dmitry Kohmanyuk and John Sweeting 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 County Code Names Supporting Organization are concluding their terms of service:

      • Becky Burr, County Code Names Supporting Organization Council Member
      • Celia Lerman Friedman, County Code Names Supporting Organization Council Member
      • Vika Mpisane, County Code Names Supporting Organization Council Member
      • Ron Sherwood, County Code Names Supporting Organization Liaison to the At-Large Advisory Committee

      Resolved (2016.11.08.09), Becky Burr, Celia Lerman Friedman, Vika Mpisane, and Ron Sherwood 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 Generic Names Supporting Organization are concluding their terms of service:

      • David Cake, Generic Names Supporting Organization Councilor
      • Mason Cole, Generic Names Supporting Organization Liaison to the Governmental Advisory Committee
      • Jennifer Gore, Generic Names Supporting Organization Councilor
      • Volker Greimann, Generic Names Supporting Organization Councilor
      • Carlos Raúl Gutiérrez, Councilor
      • Michele Neylon, Registrar Stakeholder Group Chair
      • Darcy Southwell, Registrar Stakeholder Group Vice Chair
      • Rudi Vansnick, Not-for-Profit Operational Concerns Constituency Chair

      Resolved (2016.11.08.10), David Cake, Mason Cole, Jennifer Gore, Volker Greimann, Carlos Raúl Gutiérrez, Michele Neylon, Darcy Southwell, and Rudi Vansnick 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 At-Large community are concluding their terms of service:

      • Satish Babu, Asian, Australasian and Pacific Islands Regional At-Large Organization Vice Chair
      • Humberto Carrasco, Latin American and Caribbean Islands Regional At-Large Organization Secretariat
      • Olivier Crépin-Leblond, At-Large Advisory Committee Liaison to the Generic Names Supporting Organization
      • Timothy Denton, At-Large Advisory Committee Member
      • Sandra Hoferichter, At-Large Advisory Committee Member
      • Barrack Otieno, African Regional At-Large Organization Secretariat
      • Vanda Scartezini, At-Large Advisory Committee Member
      • Jimmy Schulz, At-Large Advisory Committee Member
      • Alberto Soto, Latin American and Caribbean Islands Regional At-Large Organization Chair
      • Siranush Vardanyan, Asian, Australasian and Pacific Islands Regional At-Large Organization Chair

      Resolved (2016.11.08.11), Satish Babu, Humberto Carrasco, Olivier Crépin-Leblond, Timothy Denton, Sandra Hoferichter, Barrack Otieno, Vanda Scartezini, Jimmy Schulz, Alberto Soto, and Siranush Vardanyan 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:

      • Jim Cassell, Member
      • Ashley Heineman, National Telecommunications and Information Administration Liaison to the Root Server System Advisory Committee
      • Lars-Johan Liman, Co-Chair
      • Jim Martin, Member

      Resolved (2016.11.08.12), Jim Cassell, Ashley Heineman, Lars-Johan Liman, and Jim Martin 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 Security and Stability Advisory Committee is concluding his term of service:

      • Shinta Sato, Member

      Resolved (2016.11.08.13), Shinta Sato has earned the deep appreciation of the ICANN Board of Directors for his terms of service, and the ICANN Board of Directors wishes him well in their future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.

      Whereas, the following members of the Nominating Committee are concluding their terms of service:

      • Stephen Coates, Member
      • Sylvia Herlein Leite, Member
      • Hans Petter Holen, Chair-Elect
      • Zahid Jamil, Member
      • Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Associate Chair
      • Yrjö Länsipuro, Member
      • Stéphane Van Gelder, Chair

      Resolved (2016.11.08.14), Stephen Coates, Sylvia Herlein Leite, Hans Petter Holen, Zahid Jamil, Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Yrjö Länsipuro, and Stéphane Van Gelder 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.

    9. Thank You to Local Host of ICANN 57 Meeting

      The Board wishes to extend its thanks to the local host organizer, Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and the Government of India including Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of External Affairs, National Security Council Secretariat, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of Telangana and National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI).

    10. Thank You to Sponsors of ICANN 57 Meeting

      The Board wishes to thank the following sponsors:  CentralNic, Knipp Median und Communication GmbH, Afilias plc, Public Interest Registry, China Internet Network Information Center, Nominet, Web Werks India Pvt. Ltd., Radix FZC, Verisign, .blog, Directi Web Technology Private Limited, BNSL, Tata Tele Services, Atria Convergence Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (ACT) and GMR.

    11. Thank You to Interpreters, Staff, Event and Hotel Teams of ICANN 57 Meeting

      The Board expresses its deepest appreciation to the scribes, interpreters, audiovisual team, technical teams, and the entire ICANN staff for their efforts in facilitating the smooth operation of the meeting.

      The Board would also like to thank the management and staff of the Hyderabad International Convention Center for providing a wonderful facility to hold this event. Special thanks are extended to Vijay Ramnath Ugale, Event Manager; Varun Mehrotra, Director of Sales - Meetings & Events; Gorav Arora, Director of Sales and Marketing; Shyam Sunder, Director of Convention; Ravindra Reddy, Assistant Manager of Client Services; Johnet Pereira, Manager of Client Services; Rambabu Talluri, IT Manager; Anand Prakash Ravi, Operational Manager; Ramu Dasari, Asst. Manager of Client Services; Mr. Ranjan Alu, Asst. Manager F&B; Executive Chef Amanaraju; and Gilbert Yeo from Pryde Live.

  2. Main Agenda:

    1. Two-Character Domain Names in the New gTLD Namespace

      Whereas, Specification 5, Section 2 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement requires registry operators to reserve two-character ASCII labels within the TLD at the second level. The reserved two-character labels “may be released to the extent that Registry Operator reaches agreement with the related government and country-code manager of the string as specified in the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 standard.  The Registry Operator may also propose the release of these reservations based on its implementation of measures to avoid confusion with the corresponding country codes, subject to approval by ICANN.”

      Whereas, the GAC has issued advice to the Board in various communiqués on two-character domains. The Los Angeles Communiqué (15 October 2014) stated, “The GAC recognized that two-character second level domain names are in wide use across existing TLDs, and have not been the cause of any security, stability, technical or competition concerns. The GAC is not in a position to offer consensus advice on the use of two-character second level domains names in new gTLD registry operations, including those combinations of letters that are also on the ISO 3166-1 alpha 2 list.”  The GAC also issued advice in the Singapore Communiqué (11 February 2015) and the Dublin Communiqué (21 October 2015).

      Whereas, on 16 October 2014, the Board directed ICANN to develop and implement an efficient procedure for the release of two-character domains currently required to be reserved in the New gTLD Registry Agreement, taking into account the GAC’s advice in the Los Angeles Communiqué on the matter. ICANN launched this procedure (the “Authorization Process”) on 1 December 2014.

      Whereas, as part of the Authorization Process, ICANN launched a community consultation process to help develop a standard set of proposed measures to avoid confusion with country codes. The measures were intended to be mandatory for new gTLD registries seeking to release reserved letter/letter two-character labels.

      Whereas, in the GAC’s Helsinki Communiqué (30 June 2016), the GAC advised the Board to “urge the relevant Registry or the Registrar to engage with the relevant GAC members when a risk is identified in order to come to an agreement on how to manage it or to have a third-party assessment of the situation if the name is already registered.”  The advice was incorporated in the proposed measures to avoid confusion.

      Whereas, on 8 July 2016, ICANN published for public comment the Proposed Measures for Letter/Letter Two-Character ASCII Labels to Avoid Confusion with Corresponding Country Codes, which listed measures registry operators could adopt to avoid confusion with corresponding country codes. The measures incorporated the GAC’s advice issued in the Helsinki Communiqué. Forty-three comments were submitted by individuals, governments and groups/organizations.

      Whereas, the Board considered the public comments, the staff summary and analysis report of public comments, and GAC advice. The proposed measures were updated to take into account the public comments and GAC advice relating to the proposed measures and two-character labels.

      Resolved (2016.11.08.15), the Measures for Letter/Letter Two-Character ASCII Labels to Avoid Confusion with Corresponding Country Codes as revised are approved, and the President and CEO, or his designee(s), is authorized to take such actions as appropriate to authorize registry operators to release at the second level the reserved letter/letter two-character ASCII labels not otherwise reserved pursuant to Specification 5, Section 6 of the Registry Agreement, subject to these measures.

      Rationale for Resolution 2016.11.08.15

      Why the Board is addressing the issue?

      On 16 October 2014, the Board adopted a resolution directing staff to develop and implement an efficient procedure for the release of two-character domains currently required to be reserved in the New gTLD Registry Agreement, taking into account the GAC’s advice in the Los Angeles Communiqué on the matter.

      For nearly two and a half years, ICANN has been developing and implementing a procedure as directed by the Board. On 1 December 2014, ICANN launched the first phase of the procedure, an Authorization Process for Release of Two-Character ASCII Labels. The finalization of this procedure is the implementation of a framework containing standardized measures registry operators can implement to avoid confusion, in accordance with the Registry Agreement, and allow for the release of all letter/letter two-character ASCII labels corresponding with country codes not otherwise reserved pursuant to Specification 5, Section 6 of the Registry Agreement.

      The GAC has issued advice on this topic in various communiqués over the past two years including, most recently, the Helsinki Communiqué. Per Article XI, Section 2.1 of the ICANN Bylaws, the GAC may "put issues to the Board directly, either by way of comment or prior advice, or by way of specifically recommending action or new policy development or revision to existing policies." The ICANN Bylaws require the Board to take into account the GAC's advice on public policy matters in the formulation and adoption of the policies.

      What is the proposal being considered?

      The proposal is to address requests from registry operators to release reserved letter/letter two-character ASCII labels and the advice from the GAC on reserved letter/letter labels. The Board is taking action to approve the Measures for Letter/Letter Two-Character ASCII Labels to Avoid Confusion with Corresponding Country Codes, as revised. By approving the revised measures, the Board is authorizing ICANN to issue a blanket authorization that allows new gTLD registry operators who implement the required measures to release all reserved letter/letter two-character ASCII labels not otherwise reserved pursuant to Specification 5, Section 6 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement. The current authorization process, whereby a registry operator submits an individual request subject to 60-day comment period and ICANN’s review of comments, will be retired.

      Which stakeholders or others were consulted?

      ICANN initiated multiple public comment periods and consulted with various stakeholders on this matter over a period of nearly two and a half years.

      From June through September 2014, ICANN staff initiated five public comment forums to obtain feedback from the community on the amendments that resulted from various RSEPs to implement the proposed new registry service of releasing from reservation two-character ASCII labels1 for 203 TLDs. Various members of the community submitted comments, including the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), gTLD registry operators, the Brand Registry Group (BRG), INTA Internet Committee (INTA), the Business Constituency (BC), the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) and a registrar.

      Since 1 December 2014 at the launch of the Authorization Process for Release from Two-Character ASCII Labels, all authorization requests for letter/letter two-character ACII labels were subject to a comment period. Over 646 requests have been received under this process.

      Throughout the nearly two and a half years, ICANN notified 1) the GAC for amendments posted from June through September 2014 and 2) governments for requests under the Authorization Process since December 2014, when two-character requests from registry operators were posted for comment. The GAC had not submitted comments under the Public Comment Periods for the amendments to release two-character labels. Under the Authorization Process, the GAC had not submitted comments, but various individual governments submitted comments on requests.

      On 6 October 2015, ICANN corresponded with governments who previously submitted comments requesting that clarification of their comments be provided via a new comment form within 60 days; new comments were required to be submitted via the new comment form.

      On 25 February 2016, ICANN corresponded with registry operators requesting they provide proposed measures to avoid confusion with corresponding country codes in order to respond to governments’ confusion concerns within 60 days.

      On 8 July 2016, taking into consideration the inputs from governments and registry operators, ICANN published for public comment the Proposed Measures for Letter/Letter Two-Character ASCII Labels to Avoid Confusion with Corresponding Country Codes, which listed measures registry operators could adopt to avoid confusion with corresponding country codes and which incorporated the GAC’s advice issued in its Helsinki Communiqué. As part of the proposal, registry operators who adopt the measures would be authorized to release all letter/letter two-character ASCII labels not otherwise reserved in other sections of the Registry Agreement, and the current process would be retired. Forty-three comments were received, including comments from the RySG, the BRG, the IPC, the NCSG, LACTLD, various governments, ccTLD registry operators and gTLD registry operators.

      What concerns or issues were raised by the community?

      From the five public comment periods from 2014 on registry agreement amendments that resulted from RSEPs, the majority of the comments received were in favor of the release of two-character domain names.

      The arguments made in favor of the release of the two-character domain names included:

      • The introduction of two-character domain names would increase competition since the current restrictions hinder competition, in particular for the new gTLDs, which are competing with legacy TLDs that are allowed to offer such registrations. The current restrictions to the new gTLD registry operators create a discriminatory situation, which is contrary to the ICANN Bylaws Article II, Section 3 that provide for Non-Discriminatory Treatment of ICANN stakeholders.
      • The introduction of two-character domain names poses a limited risk of confusion, or no risk at all, as demonstrated by prior use of two-character domain names in existing TLDs.
      • The release of two-character domain names would provide opportunities for companies and brands to have tailored segmented domain names to connect with the public as well as provide localized content, thus expanding consumer choice and driving economic growth, in particular in developing countries.
      • There is uniform precedent regarding the release of two-character domain names in the history of relevant RSEP requests.
      • The release of country codes and names is allowed by the Applicant Guidebook.

      The arguments made in opposition to the release of the two-character domain names expressed two general concerns: the first concern is related to the general recognition and associated use of the two character domain names leading to user confusion or abuse; the second concern is how to specifically protect ccTLDs when country and territory names are newly formed.

      From the public comment forum for the Proposed Measures for Letter/Letter Two-Character ASCII Labels to Avoid Confusion with Corresponding Country Codes, which established a standard set of registry operator requirements to avoid confusion, comments indicated support for the release of two-character labels reserved pursuant to Specification 5, Section 2 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement overall, including comments of support from the NCSG, IPC and RySG among others. Comments noted that the Registry Agreement allows for two paths by which registry operators may release two-character labels: one path of agreement with the government and country-code manager, and a second path of ICANN approval.

      There was moderate support for the Proposed Measures to the extent the Proposed Measures allows for the release of two-character labels, including comments of support from the RySG and BRG among others. Comments that seem to generally support the Proposed Measures made specific suggestions about how the framework could be improved, such as noting that two of the three proposed measures (registration policy and post-registration investigation) pertained to confusion and suggesting one measure (exclusive availability pre-registration period) be made voluntary.

      Some commenters took the position that governments do not have special rights to two-character labels that correspond with country codes, and that the labels should be released as soon as possible. Conversely, some governments and ccTLD operators commented with objections to the release of two-character labels that correspond with country codes and took the position that government and/or ccTLD operator approval is required.

      Over the past two years, the GAC has issued advice through various communiqués and formal correspondence to ICANN. Members of the GAC have varying views on the topic. In the Los Angeles Communiqué (15 October 2014), the GAC stated, “The GAC recognized that two-character second level domain names are in wide use across existing TLDs, and have not been the cause of any security, stability, technical or competition concerns. The GAC is not in a position to offer consensus advice on the use of two-character second level domains names in new gTLD registry operations, including those combinations of letters that are also on the ISO 3166-1 alpha 2 list.” In the Helsinki Communiqué (30 June 2016), the GAC stated, “Some countries and territories have stated they require no notification for the release of their 2 letter codes for use at the second level. The GAC considers that, in the event that no preference has been stated, a lack of response should not be considered consent. Some other countries and territories require that an applicant obtains explicit agreement of the country/territory whose 2-letter code is to be used at the second level.”

      The Singapore Communiqué (11 February 2015) and Dublin Communiqué (21 October 2015) advised improvements to the process such as extending the comment period from 30 days to 60 days and working with the GAC Secretariat to address technical issues on the comment form. In both communiqués, the GAC advised that comments from relevant governments should be fully considered. In its Helsinki Communiqué, the GAC also advised the Board to “urge the relevant Registry or the Registrar to engage with the relevant GAC members when a risk is identified in order to come to an agreement on how to manage it or to have a third-party assessment of the situation if the name is already registered.”

      What significant materials did the Board review? What factors did the Board find to be significant?

      The Board reviewed several materials and also considered several significant factors during its deliberations about whether or not to approve the request. The significant materials and factors that the Board considered as part of its deliberations, included, but not limited to the following:

      Are there positive or negative community impacts? Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN (strategic plan, operating plan, budget); the community; and/or the public? Are there any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS?

      The overall impact on the community is anticipated to be positive as new opportunities for diversification, competition and targeted content creation in the gTLD namespace are created, while minimal risk of user confusion has been identified.

      It is not expected that there will be any significant fiscal impact on ICANN.

      In December 2006, the Registry Services Technical Evaluation Panel (RSTEP) issued a report regarding the release of two-character labels and found that “taken in the context of our overall understanding, none of the observations point to the proposed release of two-character Second Level Domain having a material security or stability impact on the Internet.”  Additionally, these names are not reserved in many legacy TLDs, which have not caused apparent security, stability or resiliency issues in relation to the DNS.

      It is expected that the release of these names in new gTLDs will not cause security, stability or resiliency issues.

      Is this either a defined policy process within ICANN’s Supporting Organizations or ICANN’s Organizational Administrative Function decision requiring public comment or not requiring public comment?

      This is an Organizational Administrative Function for which public comments were received.

    2. Consideration of the Corn Lake, LLC v. ICANN Independent Review Process Final Declaration

      Whereas, on 19 October 2016, ICANN received the Independent Review Process (IRP) Final Declaration in the IRP filed by Corn Lake, LLC (Corn Lake) against ICANN (Final Declaration).

      Whereas, the IRP Panel declared that:  (i) Corn Lake’s challenges to the determination rendered by an expert panelist sustaining the Independent Objector’s (IO’s) Community Objection against Corn Lake’s application for .CHARITY (Expert Determination) and the Board Governance Committee’s (BGC’s) denial of Corn Lake’s Reconsideration Request 14-3 challenging the Expert Determination were time-barred; (ii) “the Board acted without conflict [of interest]”; and (iii) “the Board members exercised independent judgment, believed to be in the best interests of the community.”  (See Final Declaration, ¶¶ 7.14, 8.70, 8.74, https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/irp-corn-lake-final-declaration-17oct16-en.pdf.)

      Whereas, the Panel further declared that “the [Board] action of omitting .CHARITY from the [the review mechanism to address perceived inconsistent or unreasonable string confusion objection determinations (Final Review Procedure)] was inconsistent with the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.”  (Final Declaration at ¶ 11.1(b).)

      Whereas, the Panel further declared that “Claimant, Corn Lake, is the prevailing party” and that “no costs shall be allocated to the prevailing party.”  (Final Declaration at ¶¶ 11.1(a), (e).)

      Whereas, the Panel recommended that: (1) “the Board extend the [Final Review Procedure] to include review of Corn Lake’s .CHARITY Expert Determination”; and (2) “the Board continue to stay any action or decision in relation to [Spring Registry Limited’s] .CHARITY application until such time as the Board reviews and acts upon the opinion of the IRP Panel.”  (Final Declaration at ¶¶ 11.1(c)-(d).)

      Whereas, in accordance with Article IV, section 3.21 of ICANN’s Bylaws, the Board has considered the Final Declaration.

      Resolved (2016.11.08.16), the Board accepts the following findings of the Final Declaration:  (i) Corn Lake is the prevailing party in the Corn Lake, LLC v. ICANN IRP; (ii) Corn Lake’s challenges to the Expert Determination and the BGC’s denial of Corn Lake’s Reconsideration Request 14-3 were time-barred; (iii) the Board acted without conflict of interest; (iv) “the Board members exercised independent judgment, believed to be in the best interests of the community”; (v) “the [Board] action of omitting .CHARITY from the [Final Review Procedure] was inconsistent with the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws”; and (vi) the parties shall each bear their own costs.

      Resolved (2016.11.08.17), the Board directs the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to take all steps necessary to implement the Panel’s recommendation that “the Board extend the [Final Review Procedure] to include review of Corn Lake’s .CHARITY Expert Determination.”

      Resolved (2016.11.08.18), the Board directs the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to refrain from taking any further action or decision in relation to Spring Registry Limited’s .CHARITY application until after the results of the Final Review Procedure are known, and then to proceed pursuant to established processes with the processing of both Corn Lake’s and Spring Registry Limited’s applications in accordance with the results of Final Review Procedure.

      Rationale for Resolutions 2016.11.08.16 – 2016.11.08.18

      Corn Lake, LLC (Corn Lake) initiated Independent Review Process (IRP) proceedings challenging:  (1) the determination rendered by an expert panelist sustaining the Independent Objector’s (IO’s) community objection against Corn Lake’s application for .CHARITY (Expert Determination); (2) the Board Governance Committee’s (BGC’s) denial of Corn Lake’s Reconsideration Request 14-3 challenging the Expert Determination; and (3) the Board’s decision to not include the Expert Determination in the review mechanism to address perceived inconsistent or unreasonable string confusion objection determinations (Final Review Procedure). 

      Corn Lake applied to ICANN for the opportunity to operate the .CHARITY new gTLD.  Spring Registry Limited (“SRL”) also submitted an application for .CHARITY, and Excellent First Limited (Excellent First) submitted an application for .慈善 (the Chinese translation of “charity”).  ICANN’s Independent Objector (IO) filed Community Objections against the two .CHARITY applications, as well as the application for .慈善, meaning charity.  The IO was concerned that, among other things, the lack of any policy restricting registrations in these gTLDs to charitable or not-for-profit organizations created a likelihood of detriment to the rights or legitimate interests of the charity community, to users, and to the general public.  (See IO’s Community Objection at Para. 46, pgs. 16-17, http://www.independent-objector-newgtlds.org/home/the-independent-objector-s-objections/charity-cty-corn-lake-llc/).

      The International Centre for Expertise of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) expert panel evaluating the IO’s Community Objection to Corn Lake’s application rendered a determination (Expert Determination) in favor of the IO, finding that, because Corn Lake’s .CHARITY application did not include registration restrictions to charitable organizations, “there is a likelihood of material detriment to the charity sector community were the Application to proceed.”  The same ICC expert panel also evaluated the IO’s Community Objections to SRL’s application and Excellent First’s application, rendering determinations in favor of SRL and Excellent First Limited.  Specifically, the expert panel found that SRL’s and Excellent First’s commitments set out in their applications to restrict registrations in the applied-for string to charitable organizations was sufficient to negate any concern of material detriment to the targeted community.

      On 24 January 2014, Corn Lake filed Reconsideration Request 14-3 (Request 14-3) seeking reversal of the Expert Determination.  On 27 February 2014, the Board Governance Committee (BGC) denied Request 14-3, finding no evidence that the expert panel violated any process or policy in reaching its determination. 

      Separately, in April 2013, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) recommended in the Beijing Communiqué that the Board adopt eligibility restrictions for “sensitive strings,” including .CHARITY.  (See Beijing Communiqué at https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/correspondence/gac-to-board-11apr13-en.pdf.)  The New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) adopted the GAC’s recommendation by a 5 February 2014 resolution (see https://www.icann.org/resources/board-material/resolutions-new-gtld-2014-02-05-en), which, according to the Panel, effectively required that whichever applicant ultimately operated the .CHARITY gTLD would need to restrict registrations to charitable organizations.  Also at that 5 February 2014 meeting, the NGPC adopted a resolution that authorized the ICANN President and CEO to initiate a public comment period with respect to a proposed review mechanism to address perceived inconsistent string confusion objection determinations (Final Review Procedure).  At its creation, the Final Review Procedure was limited to the review of certain string confusion expert determinations for .CAR/.CARS, .CAM/.COM, and .SHOP/.ONLINESHOPPING (in Japanese characters).  In March 2014, via the public comment process, Corn Lake’s parent company (Donuts, Inc.) asked the Board to extend the Final Review Procedure to perceived inconsistent determinations of community objection, such as that concerning .CHARITY.  The Board did not do so when the procedure was implemented in a 12 October 2014 Board resolution (“12 October 2014 Resolution”). (See https://www.icann.org/resources/board-material/resolutions-new-gtld-2014-10-12-en.)

      Corn Lake’s IRP Request, submitted on 24 March 2015, sought a declaration that the ICANN Board’s decision not to include the .CHARITY determination in the 12 October 2014 Resolution violates ICANN’s Articles and Bylaws, and also asked the Panel to review the Expert Determination and the BGC’s denial of Request 14-3.

      On 17 October 2016, the three-member IRP Panel (Panel) issued its Final Declaration, which was circulated to the parties on 19 October 2016.  After consideration and discussion, pursuant to Article IV, Section 3.21 of the ICANN Bylaws, the Board adopts the findings of the Panel, which are summarized below, and can be found in full at https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/irp-corn-lake-final-declaration-17oct16-en.pdf.

      The Panel held that the IRP request was denied in part and granted in part, and determined Corn Lake to be the prevailing party.  (Final Declaration at ¶¶ 7.14, 8.96, 11.1(a).)  As a threshold issue, the Panel declared that Corn Lake’s challenges to the Expert Determination and the BGC’s denial of Request 14-3 were “out of time” and therefore time-barred from consideration in this IRP.  (Final Declaration at ¶¶ 7.14, 8.34.) 

      The Panel also declared that:  (i) with respect to setting filing deadlines, “ICANN is entitled and indeed required to establish reasonable procedural rules in its Bylaws, including in respect of filing deadline, in order to provide for orderly management of its review processes” (id. at ¶ 7.9); (ii) “it is now well established that: ‘…the IRP Panel is charged with ‘objectively’ determining whether or not the Board’s actions are in fact consistent with the Articles, Bylaws and Guidebook, which the Panel understands as requiring that the Board’s conduct be appraised independently, and without any presumption of correctness’” (id. at ¶ 8.18); (iii) “[t]here is no suggestion that the Board had a conflict of interest, and the IRP Panel finds that the Board acted without conflict.” (id. at ¶ 8.70); and (iv) “[t]here is no indication that the Board members were acting in any way other than in good faith and exercising independent judgment, with the subjective belief that they were acting in the best interests of the community.  The IRP Panel finds that the Board members exercised independent judgment, believed to be in the best interests of the community” (id. at ¶ 8.74).  The Panel further stated:  “[t]his IRP Panel does not suggest that ICANN lacks discretion to make decisions regarding its review processes as set out in the Applicant Guidebook, which may well require it to draw nuanced distinctions between different applications or categories of applications.  Its ability to do so must be preserved as being in the best interest of the Internet community as a whole.”  (Id. at ¶ 8.98).

      The Panel stated that “[t]he sole issue before this Panel is whether the Board properly or improperly excluded the .Charity Expert Determinations from the [Final Review Procedure] in the first place.”  (Final Declaration at ¶ 8.97, fn. 246.)  In considering this issue, the Panel noted that the Expert Determination was largely based on the fact that Corn Lake’s application originally had not made clear that it would restrict registrations to charitable organizations.  The Panel felt that the NGPC’s acceptance of the Beijing Communiqué created a “leveling effect,” effectively requiring that whichever .CHARITY applicant prevailed, it would be required to implement restricted registration policies.  The Panel noted:  “We make no finding that the Board’s failure to consider the impact of its adoption of the Beijing Communiqué recommendations was malicious or intentional.  We find simply that the leveling effect on the eligibility requirements in the pending applications of the new PIC requirement was a material fact that should have been considered, and apparently it was not.”  (Final Declaration at ¶ 8.73.)  The Panel therefore declared that that “the action of omitting .CHARITY from the [Final Review Procedure] was inconsistent with the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.”  (Final Declaration at ¶ 11.1(b).)  The Panel noted that its finding “is further supported by the ICANN Board’s [later] decision to include the .HOSPITAL Expert Determinations [in the Final Review Procedure], despite those Determinations appearing to have been less clearly within the criteria tha[n] the .CHARITY Determinations.”  (Final Declaration at ¶ 8.101.)  The Panel further noted that “this is a unique situation and peculiar to its own unique and unprecedented facts[; and t]his unique set of circumstances created what was doubtless a difficult situation for ICANN to consider in establishing the scope of the new review process[.]”  (Final Declaration at ¶ 8.97.)

      The Panel further declared that “these IRP proceedings involve extraordinary circumstances,” and therefore “no costs shall be allocated to the Claimant as the prevailing party,” “each Party shall bear its own costs in respect of this IRP Panel proceeding.”  (Final Declaration at ¶¶ 9.3-9.5.)

      In addition, the Panel recommended that: (1) “the Board extend the [Final Review Procedure] to include review of Corn Lake’s .CHARITY Expert Determination”; and (2) “the Board continue to stay any action or decision in relation to [Spring Registry’s] .CHARITY application until such time as the Board reviews and acts upon the opinion of the IRP Panel.”  (Final Declaration at ¶¶ 11.1(c)-(d).)  Subsequent to the issuance of the Final Declaration, the Board received a letter on 28 October 2016 (dated 27 October) from Corn Lake’s counsel “urg[ing] the Board to reinstate its .CHARITY application without” “[g]oing through the motions of such review[, which] will cost money to ICANN and Corn Lake, and unnecessary time for all .CHARITY applicants.”  Corn Lake requests that the Board “reinstat[e] Corn Lake’s .CHARITY application and allow[] it to compete for the domain without going through the additional time and expense [of the Final Review Procedure].”  (See https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/correspondence/genga-to-icann-board-27oct16-en.pdf.)  The Board had the opportunity to review Corn Lake’s correspondence and has taken it into consideration in reaching its Resolution regarding the Panel’s recommendation.

      As required, the Board has considered the Final Declaration.  As this Board has previously indicated, the Board takes very seriously the results of one of ICANN’s long-standing accountability mechanisms.  Accordingly, and for the reasons set forth in this Resolution and Rationale, the Board has accepted the Panel’s Final Declaration as indicated above. 

      Adopting the Panel’s Final Declaration and implementing the Panel’s recommendation will have a direct financial impact on the organization, but that impact will not impact the underlying budget for FY17.  Adopting the Panel’s Final Declaration will not have any direct impact on the security, stability or resiliency of the domain name system. 

      This is an Organizational Administrative function that does not require public comment.

    3. Thank You to the Global Multistakeholder Community

      Whereas, on 14 March 2014, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the United States Department of Commerce announced its intention to transition the stewardship of the IANA Functions to the global multistakeholder community.

      Whereas, NTIA asked ICANN to convene global stakeholders to develop a proposal to transition the current role, played by NTIA, in the coordination of the Internet's domain name system (DNS). NTIA required that the proposal for transition must have broad community support and uphold the following principles:

      • Support and enhance the multistakeholder model;
      • Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS;
      • Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services; and,
      • Maintain the openness of the Internet.

      NTIA also stated it would not accept a proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or an inter-governmental organization solution.

      Whereas, in the Board resolutions 2016.03.10.12-15 the ICANN Board resolved to accept the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group’s (ICG) IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal, reflecting he proposals developed by CRISP, IANA Plan and the CWG-Stewardship, and approve the transmittal of the Proposal to NTIA of the United States Department of Commerce in response to NTIA's 14 March 2014 announcement.

      Whereas, the Board further resolved that the President and CEO, or his designee, was directed to plan for the implementation of the Proposal so that ICANN is operationally ready to implement in the event NTIA approves of the Proposal and the IANA Functions Contract expires.

      Whereas, in its Board resolutions 2016.03.10.16-19, the ICANN Board resolved to accept the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) Work Stream 1 Report ("Report"), and approve the transmittal of the Report to NTIA to accompany the IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal developed by the ICG.

      Whereas, the Board further resolved that the President and CEO, or his designee, is directed to plan for the implementation of the Report so that ICANN is operationally ready to implement in the event NTIA approves of the IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal and the IANA Functions Contract expires.

      Whereas, on 27 May, the Board adopted resolution 2016.05.27.01-04, resolving that the New ICANN Bylaws will be deemed effective upon the expiration the IANA Functions Contract between ICANN and NTIA,   and directed the President and CEO, or his designee, to plan for the implementation of the Bylaws so that ICANN is operationally ready to    meet its obligations in the event NTIA approves of the IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal and the IANA Functions Contract expires.

      Whereas, on 9 June NTIA informed ICANN that NTIA had completed its review of the IANA Stewardship Proposal along with the other US agencies, and determined that the proposal meets the criteria set out by NTIA in March 2014 when it announced its intent to transition NTIA”s stewardship of key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community. NTIA noted and outlined in their report that there was still some work to be done before the IANA functions stewardship transition could occur, and requested that ICANN provide NTIA with an implementation planning status report by August 12, 2016.

      Whereas, on 12 August, ICANN provided NTIA with the implementation planning status report noting that: “ICANN, working   with the multistakeholder community, confirms that all required IANA   functions stewardship transition tasks specified in NTIA’s June 9, 2016 letter are complete, and all other tasks in support of the IANA    stewardship transition are either in a final review stage or awaiting      approval, which will be complete in advance of September 30, 2016 to allow the IANA functions contract to expire.”

      Whereas, on 1 October, the NTIA advised ICANN and the global     multistakeholder community that the IANA Functions contract had   expired.

      Resolved (2016.11.08.19), the Board expresses its deep appreciation for the tireless efforts of the global multistakeholder community, including the leadership of the various community-led groups contributing to the Proposals. The development of the coordinated      Proposals across the global community, that met the criteria set out    by NTIA, and the work to achieve implementation to allow for the    contract to lapse on 30 September 2016, is unprecedented and serves as an historical record of the success of the work of the community to achieve a longstanding goal.

      Resolved (2016.11.08.20), the Board expresses its deep appreciation to the US Department of Commerce, for standing by the long-standing commitment to end the IANA Functions contract, and for its   dedication, and tireless efforts as a partner with ICANN and the community to achieving this historic goal.

    4. Thank You to Bruno Lanvin for his service to the ICANN Board

      Whereas, Bruno Lanvin was appointed by the Nominating Committee to serve as a member of the ICANN Board on 21 November 2013.

      Whereas, Bruno Lanvin concluded his term on the ICANN Board on 8 November 2016. 

      Whereas, Bruno served as a member of the following Committees:

      • Audit Committee
      • Finance Committee
      • New gTLD Program Committee
      • Organizational Effectiveness Committee [formerly the Structural Improvements Committee]

      Resolved (2016.11.08.21), Bruno Lanvin 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.

    5. Thank You to Erika Mann for her service to the ICANN Board

      Whereas, Erika Mann was appointed to serve by the Nominating Committee as a member of the ICANN Board on 10 December 2010. 

      Whereas, Erika concludes her term on the ICANN Board on 8 November 2016.

      Whereas, Erika has served as a member of the following Committees and Working Groups:

      • Audit Committee
      • Compensation Committee
      • Global Relationships Committee
      • Governance Committee
      • New gTLD Program Committee
      • Board-GAC Recommendation Implementation Working Group
      • Board Working Group on Internet Governance (BWG-IG)
      • Board Working Group on Registration Data Directory Services (BWG-RDS)
      • ICANN Board Liaison to the Charter Drafting Team for the Cross Community Working Group on New gTLD Auction Proceeds

      Resolved (2016.11.08.22), Erika Mann has earned the deep appreciation of the Board for her term of service, and the Board wishes her well in her future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.

    6. Thank You to Kuo-Wei Wu for his service to the ICANN Board

      Whereas, Kuo-Wei Wu was appointed by the Address Supporting Organization (AS0) to serve as a member of the ICANN Board on 22 April 2010.

      Whereas, Kuo-Wei concluded his term on the ICANN Board on 8 November 2016. 

      Whereas, Kuo-Wei served as a member of the following ICANN Board Committees and Working Groups:

      • Global Relationships Committee
      • IANA Committee
      • New gTLD Program Committee
      • Organizational Effectiveness Committee [formerly the Structural Improvements Committee]
      • Public Participation Committee
      • Risk Committee
      • IDN Variants Working Group

      Resolved (2016.11.08.23), Kuo-Wei Wu 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.

    7. Thank You to Suzanne Woolf for her service to the ICANN Board

      Whereas, Suzanne Woolf was appointed to serve by the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) as a member of the ICANN Board on 5 December 2004.

      Whereas, Suzanne concludes her term on the ICANN Board on 8 November 2016.

      Whereas, Suzanne has served as a member of the following Committees and Working Groups:

      • Governance Committee
      • Risk Committee
      • IANA Committee
      • IDN Variants Working Group

      Resolved (2016.11.08.24), Suzanne Woolf has earned the deep appreciation of the Board for her term of service, and the Board wishes her well in her future endeavors within the ICANN community and beyond.

    8. Thank You to Bruce Tonkin for his service to the ICANN Board

      Whereas, Bruce Tonkin was appointed by the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) to serve as a member of the ICANN Board on 29 June 2007.

      Whereas, Bruce Tonkin concluded his term on the ICANN Board on 8 November 2016. 

      Whereas, Bruce served as a member of the following Committees:

      • Governance Committee
      • Compensation Committee
      • Executive Committee
      • Risk Committee
      • Board Working Group on Registration Data Directory Services (BWG-RDS)
      • ICANN Board Liaison to the Cross Community Working Group (CCWG) on Enhancing ICANN Accountability

      Resolved (2016.11.08.25), Bruce Tonkin 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.


1 12 June 2014 <https://www.icann.org/public-comments/two-char-new-gtld-2014-06-12-en>; 8 July 2014 <https://www.icann.org/public-comments/two-char-new-gtld-2014-07-08-en>; 23 July 2014 <https://www.icann.org/public-comments/two-char-new-gtld-2014-07-23-en>; 19 August 2014 <https://www.icann.org/public-comments/two-char-new-gtld-2014-08-19-en>; and 12 September 2014 <https://www.icann.org/public-comments/two-char-new-gtld-2014-09-12-en>

Published on 8 November 2016

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."