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Message from Ken Stubbs to Vint Cerf

Subject: Response to Letter Issued by Executive Committee of the BC
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003
From: Ken Stubbs
To: Vint Cerf, Alejandro Pisanty, Louis Touton, Stuart Lynn
CC: GNSO Council, Joe Sims, Rita Rodin, gTLD Registrars Constituency

Mr. Chairman and members of the ICANN board….

I am personally responding here to a letter you have received from Executive Committee of the Commercial and Business Users Constituency indicating that it was "their understanding" that the weighted voting provided for in the new ICANN Bylaws does not apply to the selection of the two directors to be chosen from the GNSO and alluding that had they known of the recent interpretation of the Bylaws from the General Counsel, they may not have supported the weighted voting.

The BC Executive Committee also argues that ICANN should revert to its previous method of voting, "one constituency one vote", for these directors, because “elections do not occur too often”…. (Whatever that means!)

I feel quite strongly that these 11th hour arguments have no merit. I am also quite concerned that they only tend to confuse & obfuscate the ICANN reform effort and all the hard work and compromise from all sides that it represents.

I support the General Counsel's interpretation of the Bylaws with respect to weighted voting and believe that it is the accurate interpretation as to how the GNSO is to select its two ICANN Board of Directors.

From the inception of the ICANN Reform effort, the Registrar Constituency acknowledged that reform was needed both of the ICANN Policy Process as well as the methodology used in selecting ICANN Board Directors. The Board, (in it's wisdom) acknowledged that not all stakeholders are equally affected by the policies recommended and passed by the ICANN Board of Directors. They recognized that, not only are the Contracted service providers the principal source for funding that ICANN receives, but they, unlike any other stakeholders, are contractually bound to comply with any ICANN consensus policies.

It would be inconsistent, to say the least, to have an equalized voting structure that recognizes the need, as the Board has, for weighted voting in the policy process, but not in the selection of ICANN Board Directors within the GNSO, who may be called upon to make such decisions.

For if the GNSO voted for its ICANN Board Directors, as the Business Constituency argues, "one constituency, one vote", one can easily see that such a vote would be susceptible to capture by those that are not under contract with ICANN. I believe that we can safely assume that the number of non-contracting constituencies will increase over the next couple of years (adding a small business constituency, an academics constituency, an individuals constituency, etc. as was hinted at during the reform process) as compared with two contracting parties.

We need to have the comfort of knowing that the ICANN Board Directors selected from the GNSO are truly representative of the TOTAL GNSO community, which includes not only user constituencies, but also contracting parties.

The Registrar community is confident that this process will work if the safeguards proposed by the ERC and adopted by the ICANN Board in Shanghai are kept in place as we move forward with a reformed ICANN.

Due to the late hour in which the issue has been raised by the Executive Committee of the BC, it was impossible to fully consult with my Constituency prior to composing this letter, but based on the Registrar Constituency support given to the ERC and their efforts in drafting the by-laws, I am confident that this document represent the feelings of our members.

Thanking you in advance for your consideration in this matter.

Ken Stubbs

Names Council Representative

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"""" is not an IDN."