ICANN Publication Practices
ICANN and its constituent bodies operate to the maximum extent feasible in an open and transparent manner and consistent with procedures designed to ensure fairness. In furtherance of this transparency value, ICANN's general publication practices are intended to ensure that information contained in documents concerning ICANN's operational activities, and within ICANN's possession, custody, or control, is made available to the public unless there is a compelling reason for redaction or non-disclosure.
There are exceptions to this general practice and, if redaction is required or there are grounds for non-disclosure, the smallest amount of material necessary will be redacted or withheld. A summary of the standards and the basis for which materials may be redacted or withheld from publication are outlined below. ICANN periodically will update these publication practices as needed to reflect changes to the ICANN Bylaws or other transparency processes that may be developed in the future. For example, consistent with the Board's May 2016 action on enhancing openness and transparency of Board deliberations, ICANN is in the process of preparing a plan for the publication of transcripts and/or recordings of Board deliberative sessions. It is anticipated that these publication practices will be updated to account for this new plan.
Board Resolutions, Preliminary Reports, and Minutes
ICANN Board resolutions, Board meeting preliminary reports, and Board meeting minutes are made publicly available on ICANN's website as a matter of course. (See https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/documents-2014-03-24-en.) Publication of these materials is subject to the following: any actions relating to personnel or employment matters, legal matters (to the extent the Board determines it is necessary or appropriate to protect the interests of ICANN), matters that ICANN is prohibited by law or contract from disclosing publicly, and other matters that the Board determines, by a three-quarters (3/4) vote of Directors present at the meeting and voting, are not appropriate for public distribution, shall not be included in the resolutions, preliminary reports, or minutes made publicly available. For any matters that the Board determines not to disclose in the preliminary reports and/or minutes, the Board shall describe in general terms in the relevant preliminary report or minutes the reason for such nondisclosure. (See ICANN Bylaws, Art. III, Section 5)
Board Meeting Materials
In preparation for and in the conduct of Board Meetings, various documents are created and reviewed by the Board, some of which factor into the Board's decisions, some of which do not.
"Board Decision-Making Materials" are documents or records created for or during the Board's internal decision-making process that factor into a substantive action proposed in a meeting, and may include, but are not limited to the following types of materials:
- Agendas outlining the topics to be addressed during a meeting.
- Board Papers, which provide an overview of the matter to be considered by the Board, recommendations from staff and/or the Board Committee proposing a particular course of action, and draft resolutions and rationale supporting the recommended course of action.
- Reference Materials, which provide additional supporting documentation or more detailed information concerning the topics discussed in the Board Papers.
Board Decision-Making Materials generally do not include the following:
- Slide presentations used during Board meetings to assist the speaker in presenting information provided in the Board Papers.
- Documents compiling (for ease of use) all resolutions presented to the Board during a meeting.
- Agenda tables.
- Items removed from the agenda or otherwise not considered during a meeting.
In publishing Board Decision-Making Materials, ICANN has identified certain limited grounds for the nondisclosure or redaction of such Board Decision-Making Materials. Those grounds and associated codes used to identify the non-disclosure or redaction include:
Grounds for Redaction or Nondisclosure Redaction Code Personally Identifying Contact Information Board call information/Director phone numbers and other personal identifier information. Contact Information Redacted Sensitive Personnel Information Personnel, medical, contractual, remuneration, and similar records relating to an individual's personal information, when the disclosure of such information would or likely would constitute an invasion of personal privacy, as well as proceedings of internal appeal mechanisms and investigations. Confidential Employment Matter Identities of persons considered for and not receiving appointment, including discussion of reasons why appointment was not recommended. Board Materials; Resolutions and Rationales Proposed resolutions, when the Board approves a modified or different resolution. Resolution Text Superseded Proposed rationale statements, when the Board approves a modified or different rationale statement. Rationale Text Superseded Items removed from a Board agenda or not discussed. Item Removed From Agenda; Resolution Not Considered; Rationale Not Considered Drafts of correspondence, reports, documents, agreements, contracts, emails, or any other forms of communication. Draft Delegation Information ccTLD Delegation and Redelegation request assessments. Sensitive Delegation Information IANA Delegation reports not published at the time the Board Materials are published, or modified prior to publication. Strategic Negotiations and Analysis or Business Information Strategic relationship information, such as identification of proposed strategic partners. Confidential Negotiation Information or Confidential Business Information Descriptions of external proposals and bids under consideration, including proposals for ICANN meeting locations, particularly those not selected. Information that relates in any way to the assessment of internal or external security issues or risk analyses. Privileged and Confidential Information Information subject to the attorney–client privilege, attorney work product doctrine, or any other applicable privilege, or disclosure of which might prejudice any internal, governmental, or legal investigation. Privileged and Confidential
Documentary Information Disclosure Policy – Defined Conditions for Nondisclosure
ICANN's Documentary Information Disclosure Policy (DIDP) is intended to ensure that information contained in documents concerning ICANN's operational activities, and within ICANN's possession, custody, or control, is made available to the public unless there is a compelling reason for confidentiality. The DIDP identifies the following set of conditions for the nondisclosure of information:
- Information provided by or to a government or international organization, or any form of recitation of such information, in the expectation that the information will be kept confidential and/or would or likely would materially prejudice ICANN's relationship with that party.
- Internal information that, if disclosed, would or would be likely to compromise the integrity of ICANN's deliberative and decision-making process by inhibiting the candid exchange of ideas and communications, including internal documents, memoranda, and other similar communications to or from ICANN Directors, ICANN Directors' Advisors, ICANN staff, ICANN consultants, ICANN contractors, and ICANN agents.
- Information exchanged, prepared for, or derived from the deliberative and decision-making process between ICANN, its constituents, and/or other entities with which ICANN cooperates that, if disclosed, would or would be likely to compromise the integrity of the deliberative and decision-making process between and among ICANN, its constituents, and/or other entities with which ICANN cooperates by inhibiting the candid exchange of ideas and communications.
- Personnel, medical, contractual, remuneration, and similar records relating to an individual's personal information, when the disclosure of such information would or likely would constitute an invasion of personal privacy, as well as proceedings of internal appeal mechanisms and investigations.
- Information provided to ICANN by a party that, if disclosed, would or would be likely to materially prejudice the commercial interests, financial interests, and/or competitive position of such party or was provided to ICANN pursuant to a nondisclosure agreement or nondisclosure provision within an agreement.
- Confidential business information and/or internal policies and procedures.
- Information that, if disclosed, would or would be likely to endanger the life, health, or safety of any individual or materially prejudice the administration of justice.
- Information subject to the attorney–client, attorney work product privilege, or any other applicable privilege, or disclosure of which might prejudice any internal, governmental, or legal investigation.
- Drafts of all correspondence, reports, documents, agreements, contracts, emails, or any other forms of communication.
- Information that relates in any way to the security and stability of the Internet, including the operation of the L Root or any changes, modifications, or additions to the root zone.
- Trade secrets and commercial and financial information not publicly disclosed by ICANN.
- Information requests: (i) which are not reasonable; (ii) which are excessive or overly burdensome; (iii) complying with which is not feasible; or (iv) are made with an abusive or vexatious purpose or by a vexatious or querulous individual.
Information that falls within any of the conditions set forth above may still be made public if ICANN determines, under the particular circumstances, that the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the harm that may be caused by such disclosure. Further, ICANN reserves the right to deny disclosure of information under conditions not designated above if ICANN determines that the harm in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
Independent Review Process Materials
Certain documents produced between the parties during Independent Review Process (IRP) proceedings, either at the request of the Panel, the claimant, third parties, or ICANN, may be designated as confidential for various reasons. Once confidentiality is agreed upon, the parties are required to maintain the confidentiality of such documents, including to the extent they are made part of any filings submitted to the IRP panel or are referenced in any transcribed hearing or final IRP declaration.
The following sets forth ICANN's procedures for addressing redacted materials, including such documents that are submitted as exhibits to formal papers filed with an IRP panel, and the IRP panel's reference to such documents in a final IRP declaration.
Materials Submitted During Cooperative Engagement Process
Prior to initiating a request for independent review, the complainant is urged to enter into a period of cooperative engagement with ICANN for the purpose of resolving or narrowing the issues that are contemplated to be brought to the IRP. All matters discussed during the cooperative engagement and conciliation phases are to remain confidential and not subject to discovery or as evidence for any purpose within the IRP, and are without prejudice to either party. (See ICANN Bylaws, Art. IV, Section 3)
Materials Submitted Prior to the Issuance of the Final IRP Declaration
Once documents are produced under a confidentiality order or agreement during the pendency of an IRP, ICANN will make every effort to work with the entity that requested the confidential designation in order to: (i) remove the designation; or (ii) redact only those portions of the documents that are particularly confidential (e.g., addresses, telephone numbers and other personal information). This is particularly important for any documents that are attached as exhibits or otherwise referenced in the parties' papers filed in the IRP proceedings.
IRP Hearing Transcripts
Most IRPs are resolved without the creation of a hearing transcript. In the event a transcript is created, documents that are produced under a confidentiality order or agreement will be redacted in the initial transcript. ICANN will then make every effort to work with the entity that requested the confidential designation in order to: (i) remove the designation; or (ii) redact only those portions of the documents that are particularly confidential (e.g., addresses, telephone numbers and other personal information).
IRP Final Declarations
ICANN's goal (and general practice) is to post the final IRP declaration within 24 hours of receipt. ICANN will continue that practice and will redact the declaration as necessary to conform to the IRP panel's requirements and the confidentiality requests of the relevant parties. ICANN will note at the top of the first page of the declaration, if applicable, that the declaration has been redacted and will note, where possible at the site of each redaction, what party requested the individual redactions, and the basis for the redactions.
Immediately upon posting the redacted version of the final declaration after its receipt, ICANN will work with all parties that continued to request redactions in order to remove as many of the redactions as possible. No later than fifteen days following the initial posting of the final declaration, if it is determined that some redactions can be removed, ICANN will post another version of the final declaration, again noting at the top of the first page if the declaration has any redactions and noting, where possible at the site of each redaction, what party requested the individual redactions, and the basis for the redactions.
ICANN intends to begin publishing transparency metrics and reports on its Publication Practices on the ICANN website consistent with Recommendation 9.4 of the second Accountability and Transparency Reviews (ATRT2). (See https://community.icann.org/display/atrt/Rec+%239).