ICANN - Paris/Board meeting

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ICANN Board of Directors Meeting
ICANN Meeting - Paris
Thursday, 26 June 08

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PETER DENGATE THRUSH Well, let's begin. I can declare the board meeting at this 32nd ICANN meeting here in Paris open, and welcome board members and welcome the audience.
We begin with the question of the minutes of the previous meeting, and I am going to move that the minutes of the board meeting of the 29th of May, 2008 are approved.
Is there a seconder for that motion?
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Mr. Goldstein. It's been moved and seconded that the minutes be approved. Is there any discussion about the resolution? In which case I will put the motion, all those in favor of approving the minutes as a true and correct record of the meeting, please raise your hands.
(hands raised).
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Any opposed? Abstentions?
Now the second item is the -- deals with the GNSO recommendation in relation to a policy for creating new gTLDs. This is a result of two years' work, at least, in the GNSO, resulting in a policy which was presented to us last year.
And there is now a substantive resolution on that. And it gives me great pleasure to call on Bruce Tonkin, a former chair of the GNSO and who has been very helpful to the board in understanding all the work that went on at the GNSO, to introduce that resolution.
BRUCE TONKIN Thank you, Peter. This will be a fairly long resolution, and I will try and read it slowly so that it can be transcribed.
Whereas, the GNSO initiated a policy development process on the introduction of new gTLDs in December of 2005.
Whereas, the GNSO committee on the introduction of new gTLDs addressed a range of difficult technical, operational, legal, economic, and policy questions, and facilitated widespread participation and public comment throughout the process.
Whereas, the GNSO successfully completed its policy development process on the introduction of new gTLDs, and on the 7th of September of 2007, achieved a supermajority vote on its 19 policy recommendations.
Whereas, the board instructed staff to review the GNSO recommendations and determine whether they were capable of implementation.
Whereas, staff has engaged international technical, operational, and legal expertise to provide counsel on details to support the implementation of the policy recommendations, and as a result, ICANN cross-functional teams have developed implementation details in support of the GNSO's policy recommendations and have concluded that the recommendations are capable of implementation.
Whereas, staff has provided regular updates to the community and the board on the implementation plan.
Whereas, consultation with the DNS technical community has led to the conclusion that there is not currently any evidence to support establishing a limit to how many TLDs can be inserted in the root based on technical stability concerns.
Whereas, the board recognizes that the process will need to be resilient to unforeseen circumstances.
Whereas, the board has listened to the concerns about the recommendations that have been raised by the community, and will continue to take into account the advice of ICANN's supporting organizations and advisory committees in the implementation plan.
It is therefore resolved, based on both the support of the community for new gTLDs and the advice of staff, that the introduction of new gTLDs is capable of implementation. The board adopts the GNSO policy recommendations for the introduction of new gTLDs.
It is also resolved that the board directs staff to continue to further develop and complete its detailed implementation plan, continue communication with the community on such work, and provide the board with a final version of the implementation proposals for the board and community to approve before the new gTLD introduction process is launched.
Is there a seconder for that resolution?
Any discussion about the resolution to adopt the GNSO proposals?
Dave Wodelet.

DAVE WODELET Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I just think it's important for the public record to make some comments about adding new gTLDs to the root. While conceptually I agree and see the benefit to the community with adding more TLDs to the root, there are still some concerns about how scalable in the long term this will be.
How many can we truly support? Well, from the best guess we have, and I do stress the word "guess," somewhere around 5,000 or so TLDs seem to be realistic.
But how high can we actually go? We really don't know.
There are both technical and administrative issue limits to the scaling. And it looks like the administrative issues may be more limiting than the technical ones.
Certainly, what we do now administratively will certainly need to change to support even the 5,000 or so that I mentioned earlier.
So how many will we have to support? Well, if we just look at the number of place names, there seems to be somewhere between 5 and 6 million place names in the world. And if every one of these wanted a TLD, that might not be possible.
And the 5 to 6 million place names doesn't include the number of commercial TLDs businesses may want, and this 5 to 6 million doesn't include the vanity names people may want as well, nor does this 5 to 6 million include what we may need in the future for names of planets, planetary colonies, which may, indeed, happen within the life of our Internet.
So I am a bit concerned about spending our TLD name inheritance for future generations of Internet users. As we know, everything has limits, like IPv4. We all know that has a limit, and that's why we're looking at IPv6.
Like fossil fuel, which we all know will be used up in a very narrow slice in human history.
I certainly don't want future generations to look back at us with disdain for not being good stewards of this limited TLD resource. But today, at this point in time in the Internet, can we support more TLDs in the root? Most certainly.
Is there a benefit to the Internet community by adding more TLDs? Yes, I believe there is.
So that's why I'm supporting this proposal.
But as I mentioned earlier, I feel it's important to highlight some of the possible limits we may find as we go forward. I think it's important to let everyone know this is something we are going to have to monitor carefully as we slowly move forward in adding new gTLDs.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Any other comments?
JANIS KARKLINS Thank you, Chair.
Since there was not possibility to read the GAC communiqu? this time, I think that this is appropriate to make a statement on behalf of the GAC in relation with this topic.
The GAC welcomed the extensive efforts by the GNSO to respect and incorporate provisions of the GAC principles regarding new gTLDs in their approach.
During its discussion in Paris, however, the GAC expressed concern to the GNSO and to the ICANN board that the GNSO proposal not include provisions reflecting important elements of the GAC principles; in particular, section 2.2, 2.6 and 2.7. The GAC feels these are particularly important provisions that need to be incorporated into any ICANN policy for introducing new gTLDs.
In particular, given the existing levels of concentration in the gTLD market, the GAC reiterates that ICANN needs to adopt an implementation procedure that further facilitates new entrants to the registry, registry services, and registrar markets, and avoid unduly favoring those existing registries and registrars involved directly in the policy development process.
Thank you, Chair.
I have a speaking order with Wendy and Susan, followed by Rita, on it.
WENDY SELTZER Thank you, Peter.
So the at-large, as registrants and as users of domain names, supports the introduction of new gTLDs. Has no interest in delaying that process, but does wish to express its concern about two of the recommendations in the GNSO recommendation set. Specifically, the morality and public order objection and the objection based on community objections.
And ALAC and its RALOs, in discussion during this meeting, put together a statement, which I won't read in its entirety, but expressed concern that putting these criteria into the gTLD approval process, even as opportunities for objection, injects ICANN into the business of making morality and public order decisions, or injects that into ICANN's processes in a way that, as ALAC put it, debases the ICANN process. And at-large does not want to see ICANN put into the business of adjudicating or even delegating the adjudication of morality or public order or community support.
And so we hope that in implementation, these criteria can be kept sufficiently narrow so that they are both administrable and understandable and so that they do not involve ICANN, the organization, in making, or allowing to be made, determinations about any claim to generally accepted morality principles.
Thank you.
[ Applause ]
SUSAN CRAWFORD Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I have mixed feelings on this day. I have long supported the entry of new gTLDs into the root. It has seemed to me that it's inappropriate for ICANN to use its monopoly position over giving advice about the existence of new TLDs to create artificial scarcity in TLDs, where there is no natural scarcity, in my view.
And that has led to a great deal of pent-up demand for the creation of new TLDs for various reasons, for communities, for new identities, all over the world.
And in particular, it is urgent that we create IDN gTLDs for the many language communities around the world that would prefer to have those.
The question presented to the board today is a little strange.
What we're being asked to respond to is whether the recommendations, the policy recommendations from the GNSO are implementable. And then staff will go on, and if we decide they are, theoretically, implementable, will draft the implementation guidelines for the recommendations made by the GNSO council.
There is a lot of important effort to go into those implementation details. And I am signing up to these recommendations on the condition that the implementation work will proceed as planned, and that the board and the community will have an opportunity to comment in detail on that implementation work.
In particular, I want to applaud and underline what Wendy Seltzer just said about the morality and public order recommendation, recommendation number 6.
Way back when ICANN was formed, that original MOU, which we're now talking about as the JPA, talked of transitioning the management of the Domain Name System to the private sector.
And the idea was to figure out whether the private sector had the capability and resources to assume the important responsibilities related to the technical management of the DNS. So that was the question.
And so the creation of ICANN, and the question before all of us, was whether this entity would be a good vessel for allowing the private sector to take the lead in the management of the Domain Name System.
And, in fact, the white paper in 1998 said that while international organizations may provide specific expertise or act as advisors to the new corporation, the U.S. continues to believe, as do most commenters, that neither national governments acting as sovereigns nor intergovernmental organizations acting as representatives of governments should participate in management of Internet names and addresses.
Of course, national governments now have, and will continue to have, authority to manage or establish policy for their own ccTLDs.
This wasn't done out of enthusiasm for the free market alone. The idea was also to avoid having sovereigns use the Domain Name System for their own content, control, desires. To avoid having the Domain Name System used as a choke point for content.
Recommendation 6, which is the morality and public order recommendation, represents quite a sea change in this approach, because the recommendation is that strings must not be contrary to generally acceptable legal norms relating to morality and public order that are recognized under international principles of law. That's the language of the recommendation.
Now, if this is broadly implemented, this recommendation would allow for any government to effectively veto a string that made it uncomfortable.
Having a government veto strings is not allowing the private sector to lead. It's allowing sovereigns to censor.
Particularly in the absence of straightforward clear limits on what morality and public order means, people will be unwilling to propose even controversial strings and we'll end up with a plain vanilla list of TLDs.
So I am unhappy about this recommendation. I am willing to vote for it on the strength of the board's discussion and the staff's undertakings that the standards for this recommendation will be narrowly stated.
And on my expectation that the board and the community will have an opportunity to review and approve, or not, the details of those standards.
We do have some global norms of morality and public policy. They are very view. One of them is incitement to violent, lawless action. Nobody wants that around the world.
A second might be incitement to or promotion of discrimination based on race, color, gender, ethnicity, religion, or national origin.
And the third might be incitement to or promotion of child pornography or other sexual abuse of children.
Otherwise, the question of morality and public order varies dramatically around the world. It's a diverse, complicated world out there. And it may not be -- it should not be possible to state that there is a single standard of morality and public order around the world.
So I am asking that staff come back with an express standard that's constrained to stated norms, like the three I just listed, found and expressly in their national treaties. We need clear lines of adjudication. And I would be content with that kind of implementation.
Another concern of mine is with -- with this list of recommendations is recommendation 20 which says, "An application will be rejected if an expert panel determines that there is substantial opposition to it from a significant portion of the community to which the string may be explicitly or implicitly targeted."
It's quite unclear how it's all going to work out, whether any generic applicant could ever win over a community, could ever succeed in contention for a string over a community that says it's a community. And I look forward to many more details on this recommendation as well.
And finally -- and I'm sorry to speak at such length but I think it's an important moment. Finally, I'm not happy with the idea that there will be auctions on strings for which there is more than one applicant. And I note that the GNSO's own recommendations on this subject don't mention auctions. And I hope the board will not adopt this approach.
My bottom line is I will vote for this set of recommendations, and I hope that the implementation will be sensible.
Thank you.
[ Applause ]
RITA RODIN I guess I have a little bit of a different sentiment. I share Susan's notion that I am thrilled that we are finally doing this today. It's certainly been a long time coming. But I actually think this new gTLD approval is indication that the bottom-up community-based approach actually works.
You can see a little bit in the resolution language here what the board's thoughts were, but I wanted to highlight a couple of things for the audience.
First, one of the things that the board talked about today was, and you heard from Dave Wodelet as well, was that technically, there's no reason at this point that we should limit the number of new gTLDs in the root.
We also have a report from the GNSO that was approved by a supermajority. So two-thirds of that council said, from a commercial and -- perspective, we want to have more gTLDs.
But I think you have heard from some board members that there are concerns of varying types about this process.
And so we have had everything from trademark owners. We heard someone yesterday from a small business saying that they were concerned about protecting their brand. We have heard people talk about morality and public order now and what does that mean. We had a public comment today that said does that mean we are going to have everything go to the most restrictive standard, and is that something that's advisable for this process?
There are a lot of practical things we still need to talk about. How do we deal with rolling out potentially 5,000 new TLDs in the root? How are people going to get them? Susan mentioned auctions.
So I think there's still a lot of work to do.
I think this principle has been adopted by the board, and we should all be happy about that. But there's lots of issues, lots of detail that needs to be determined. And I hope that the community continues to provide input and continues to work constructively with the board and with each other to ensure that we have a fair, straightforward, and successful new gTLD launch.
Thank you.
Paul Twomey.
PAUL TWOMEY Thank you, Chairman.
I will say on behalf of myself and the staff that this particular policy proposal is, indeed, if people in Paris will forgive me, this is both the best of times and the worst of times, to quote a certain book about this city, in that this is an extremely exciting time and an extremely exciting proposition in front of the board to move forward with the liberalization of the regime for new gTLDs. But if ever there was an incident where the phrase "the devil is in the detail" were to apply, it is in this particular circumstance.
In some respects, I think what we are now considering is a global equivalent of people moving to liberalized telecommunications markets or electricity markets or any type of market. All of the dynamics that we have seen in those sorts of markets and more so, we can expect to foresee will take place within this changing industry structure that will emerge from this recommendation.
The challenge that you, Chairman, and other board members have put before the staff at previous meetings was to ask us to consider is it possible -- the question you put to us is, are the recommendations from the GNSO council implementable?
We have spent -- I think it's nearly nine months, and I would say 20, 25 members of staff and at least $10 million working through implementation analysis to date for us to be able to say to you, as the resolution says, that it is our judgment that the recommendations are implementable.
What we have not been able to do is present to you a detailed implementation plan.
So the next stage that is now before us, if you are to proceed and the board does vote for this resolution, is that we shall have to sit down and do, in great detail, the actual implementation planning for the related implementation and -- which will be reflected in requests for proposal documentation and draft contracts for the gTLDs.
We must not underestimate how much more work there needs to be done.
And if I can just, quite specifically, pick up some of the points that have already been raised. To the points made by Susan, Wendy and others relating to some of the objections, objection criteria.
We have had the chance to speak to major international, experienced arbitration organizations, and we have had the chance to take -- we have had lawyers in well over a dozen jurisdictions doing work for us, working through these issues, and we have been able to come to the conclusion about that it is implementable. What we will now need to do is go back and further advance that as to what specifically would be required to actually operate a process for implementation.
This is very similar, if you like to think of it at the initiation. Uniform dispute resolution procedures. And one of my colleagues shared with us earlier today, and I thanked them for the idea so let me share it further. If you go back prior to the UDRP, there was no global intellectual property regime. There was intellectual property regimes reflected in national jurisdictions. There was law related to it, there were treaties, but it's reflected in national jurisdictions.
The UDRP process has built a de facto form of -- over its period of time, a de facto form or place for a global approach to intellectual property as it applies to domain names.
We will be confronted with establishing the same sort of framework and evolutionary process for development and the foregrounds of headings going into the future.
So we need to think through, A, very carefully, what are those procedures and criteria that we shall come back, but also, importantly, the role that the arbitrators have played in the UDRP I think is key.
They have built up over a period of time from their experience a body of precedent which now has sway and real effect in the international Internet environment.
We should expect to see and we are looking for that level of experience of arbitrators to bring similar sorts of capability to this development work, and we are very conscious as staff of the advice we have received from the board and board members on some of these policies. They are not at all easy.
So that will be one of the things that we shall be coming back, reporting. We will be making available for public comment and we will be making available for board approval in the months ahead.
A second one is some of the points that the chair of the Governmental Advisory Committee has put forward. Quite a number of the recommendations from the GAC principles have been incorporated so far in the implementation planning.
But we have not had the opportunity to fully take all of the issues and take them to the next level of detail. And it is certainly our intent. Specifically, issues around geographical terms is clearly something that we will have to consider and write up an implementation terms and bring back for consideration with the board and the community.
So I just wish to make the point to the members of the GAC is that the communiqu?s that are put forward, principles for consideration, are certainly being listened to in great detail, or being observed in great detail by staff preparing thinking on implementation. But it's happening in layers as we deal with levels of detail in this task.
Another very important area that we have yet to do to put forward for implementation is the key issue of what is the -- what is an analysis of the industry structural separation of registries and registrars in the generic top-level domain space.
The original ICANN compact, the basis upon which ICANN was first brought together, was on the basis of a separation of registry and registrar. Indeed, it was a concept by the international ad hoc committee prior to the formation of ICANN, or at least it was discussed in that format.
So the concept of a separation of registry and registrar in the industry circumstances as of 1998 was embedded within agreements, within legacy agreements in the generic top-level domains, the legacy agreements.
Clearly, the market continues to evolve.
This issue of how do you think about, in the long term, the benefits to the consumers of whether you should or should not have industry structural separation and what should the rules that apply to that is a key question. As we have already indicated at the Los Angeles meeting and since to members of the community, we have commissioned outside international computational economists, people with experience on these issues, to prepare reports on this specific point.
We have not yet received a report. This report will be made available for comment and will be a key basis of consideration for what may well be terms in the draft contract on that particular issue.
Similarly, the pricing of application fees, as has been pointed out by board members, the application fee process, the council's recommendation is that this process should be cost-neutral. And you will have heard from the chief operating officer that ICANN's budgeting has quite separately been structured -- or by the chair of the finance committee, in particular -- has been structured so that ongoing operational costs and expenditure is structured one way and that there will be separate reporting on the new TLD process and the costs and revenues associated with that.
The recommendation from the council has been that the second part needs to be cost-neutral. In other words, it is cost recovery.
I can inform you that we have so far spent about $10 million, and we -- I expect that in the total, we will spend somewhere between 10 and $20 million. And it will be fully accounted to the community, and full details will be made available.
We will, of course, have to make decisions about which of those costs are appropriately applied. May I give you an example.
The cost of the GNSO Council's work itself in developing the policy, I think that's something like around $2 million. The question is whether that's an appropriate figure that should be included or not.
We shall have to have that as a discussion.
The other part, of course, is over what period of time do you immortalize that expensive, over how many applicants, and what sort of risk premium do you need to bring in, considering inevitably that there shall be lawsuits.
So there's, you know -- part of life.
So there's a series of things we have to work through before we have the pricing. I know I'm taking a lot of time, so I'll try to make more quickly.
I think I can summarize the rest of my points in saying that we are taking a lot of care in thinking about ensuring the stability of the mechanisms for introduction and for the ability for review, and, importantly, to ensure that there is some form of scaled measure of enforcement of undertakings by the new gTLDs.
So I want to give the community some detail of the issues that have not yet been brought to the board for consideration and that we, as a community, will need to work on over the next five, six months.
Thank you, Chairman.
Unless there is any -- Raimundo.
RAIMUNDO BECA Thanks, Peter.
Today, we are confronted to a discussion of principles. And tomorrow, we will discuss about the implementation and the RFPs.
The wording we have today, I feel comfortable with it, just because it is -- it's sufficiently broad and it leaves the room to find a way to implement it.
Many people in the community, and even in this board, think that a broad definition is not implementable. No doubt, it's not easy to implement broad principles like those. But at least myself, I am persuaded that the converse is even less implementable. If we tried to make a definition and the definition of all these principles, we are going to be spending for many years and will not have consensus. We'll never achieve consensus.
I had the privilege many years ago, 25 years ago exactly, to be at the table discussing the guidelines of the OECD on privacy. And I can tell you how difficult, how difficult privacy of data is to achieve consensus between a European culture and an American culture. Almost impossible. And the fact is that the guidelines of the OECD have been used and not used according to the culture of different -- of the members of the organization.
Finally, I would like to underline that the root has to have two characteristics.
Number one, it has to be global. And not every string in the world is global.
And, number two, it has to be not scalable.
Why so?
Because of the billions of domains that we are going to have, not all of them, not all of the names are going to be -- we are able to put it in the root. The root will always be scarce.
And many times, the value of a string becomes not of the value of the name itself, but of the place, of the place where it is. As soon as we go from the right to the left in the spelling of a string, the names are getting lower and lower value. And, finally, a string which is in the fourth level within a company has no value at all.
So we have to have, in the preparation of the -- of these RFPs, a strong sense of saying, well, let's keep it global, and let's keep it not scalable.
In particular, I have said that before, and I will continue to say to this board, I have a big concern about vanity names. There's (inaudible) in the world that would like only for vanity, to have their name in the root. And they have the capital to invest and to be there.
We have to downscale that. If not, we are going to have millions, millions of vanity names in the root.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Raimundo, and Dennis.
DENNIS JENNINGS Thank you, Chairman.
Just very briefly, I'd like to assure the audience here and online that we are aware of all the concerns of many of the people in the various stakeholder organizations, and we have considered them very carefully. And that, on balance, the board feels that adopting this resolution is in the best interests of the Internet and the public at large that we move forward the process of introducing IDN and ASCII gTLDs.
Well, thank you for those contributions from various board members. I think we have covered a wide range of topics, including the origins and the historic importance of this particular decision.
But I think sufficient time has now been given for board members to contribute, and I'm going to put the question to the vote.
So it's moved and -- was it seconded? Rita seconded.
I think we all understand the consequences. So I'll put the vote. All those in favor, please raise your hands.
All those opposed.
Any abstentions?
Well, I'm pleased to record that's carried unanimously.
Well done.
[ Applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Bruce, was there a further question?
BRUCE TONKIN Yeah, I didn't have a question, but I just think it's important to record for the minutes -- and I guess I'll express this personally -- but, really, the thanks to Paul Twomey and the staff, especially Kurt Pritz, and just the effort that they have undertaken so far. It's difficult when you're dealing with recommendations. And you've heard on the board, there's several in particular that have been contentious from day one. But I think the staff have done a superb job of trying to just focus on taking them at face value, seeing if they are implementable, and testing it from every possible angle to try and actually provide a plan for the community.
So I'd just like to commend the work that the staff have done.
[ Applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Perhaps the minutes could record that the board joined in the acclamation for that recognition of the staff effort.
Can we move, then, to the next item, which is in relation to IDN and the IDN fast track. I'm going to call upon Demi Getschko to introduce this resolution.
DEMI GETSCHKO Thank you, Peter.
Whereas the ICANN board recognizes that IDNC Working Group developed after extensive community comment a final report on feasible matters for timely fast-track introduction of limited number of IDN ccTLDs associated with the ISO 3166-1 two-letter codes, while an overall long-term IDN ccTLD policy is under development by the ccNSO.
Whereas the IDNC Working Group has concluded its work and has submitted recommendations for the selection and delegation of the fast-track IDN ccTLDs and pursuant to its charter, has taken into account and was guided by consideration of the requirements to
Preserve the security and stability of the DNS, comply with IDNA protocols, take input and advice from technical community with respect to the implementation of IDNs, and build on and maintain the current practices for delegation of ccTLDs, which include the current IANA practices.
Whereas the IDNC Working Group's high-level recommendations require implementation planning.
Whereas, ICANN is looking closely at interaction with the final IDN ccTLD PDP process and potential risks, and intends to implement IDN ccTLDs using a procedure that will be resilient to unforeseen circumstances.
Whereas, staff will consider the full range of implementation issues related to the introduction of IDN ccTLDs associated with the ISO 3166-1 list, including means of promoting adherence to technical standards and mechanisms to cover the costs associated with IDN ccTLDs.
Whereas, the board intends that the timing of the process for introduction of IDN ccTLDs should be aligned with the process for the introduction of new gTLDs.
Resolved, the board thanks the members of the IDNC Working Group for completing their chartered tasks in a timely manner.
Resolved, the board directed staff to, one, post the IDNC Working Group final report for public comments. Two, commence work on implementation issues in consultation with relevant stakeholder. And, three, submit a detailed implementation report, including a list of any outstanding issues, to the board in advance of the ICANN Cairo meeting in November 2008.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Demi. Is there a seconder for that resolution?
Thank you, Dennis.
Any discussion about this resolution? It takes the same general pattern as we did with the policy for new gTLDs. It's to post the recommendations, commence investigative work on implementation, with a fairly tight reporting-back at Cairo.
JANIS KARKLINS Thank you, Chair.
I would like to say that the GAC welcomes the results of the IDNC Working Group towards development of the fast-track methodology to allow on exceptional basis the introduction of a limited number of country codes -- country code IDNs in top-level domains.
The GAC believes that IDNC Working Group report and the recommendations contained therein provide the basis for the development of an implementation plan and encourages board to initiate this process.
The GAC looks forward to continuing this implementation -- to contributing to these implementation proposals.
The GAC also recalls that in its agreement in New Delhi, that the substantive public policy provisions set out in the -- set out by the GAC in the principles and guidelines for the delegation and administration of the country code top-level domain which were approved by the GAC in 2005 are equally relevant to the introduction of IDN ccTLDs, in particular, the principle of delegation and redelegation.
In this respect, the GAC emphasized that it is primarily for the local Internet community, including the relevant governmental or public authority, to determine the manner in which a string should be selected, the manner in which a registry operator should be selected, and the registry policy that should apply for the selected IDN ccTLD.
The GAC believes that it is appropriate for an applicant to provide authentication of the meaning of the selected string from an internationally recognized organization. UNESCO could be one such organization. And the GAC is willing to contribute further to the process of developing IDN ccTLD general policy, which will replace the fast track in due course.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I have a speaking order, beginning with Susan, then Raimundo, then Roberto.
So beginning Susan.
SUSAN CRAWFORD Thank you very much, chairman. Just three comments.
At a very high level, there's no theoretical distinction between IDN ccTLDs associated with the ISO 3166-1 list and new gTLDs. They are all TLDs that will enter into the root in the future. And there's a very high interest in IDNs generally. They've been a long time coming. We've been working on this, on the technical procedures here, for a long time.
So with that brief preamble, just three comments.
First, that I understand the reference to a fast track to mean that it's -- this track is faster than an ordinary ccTLD policy process would be, and that it is our intention, as the resolution says, to align the timing of the new gTLD IDN process and the process for the introduction of these IDN ccTLDs associated with the 3166 list.
So we've tried to be quite precise about that language and helpful to both communities.
Second, it's comforting to me that in the working group paper, the applicants for these new things will have to represent that what they're providing is a meaningful representation of a country name, and that as Janis has said, this will be looked at carefully by a third party.
So what we're talking about here, really, are country names.
And then, third, that there -- there are remaining some crucial open issues. And we talked about some of them in the public forum earlier today. The nature of an agreement between the operator and ICANN, and any technical issues that need to be harmonized between the gTLD work and the ccTLD work.
Thank you very much.
RAIMUNDO BECA Thanks, Peter.
I will speak in Spanish.
Since we are talking about country codes, I have decided to speak in the language of my region. That's why I'm speaking in Spanish.
I just wanted to highlight that as the other documents clearly outlined the president's strategic committee on this issue, ICANN has a legitimacy problem, which is getting resolved as time goes by. This legitimacy problem is in terms of its attributions, largely, in terms of its relations with the government of the United States, and, in particular, even though the delegation and redelegation rules are clearly used. This has nothing to do with what we've been discussing. In other words, these functions stem from what has been invested in the IANA functions.
Country codes have been subjected to this contractual relationship. Thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Next, the microphone to Roberto.
ROBERTO GAETANO Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I think that with the moment that I have joined this -- the process of ICANN, that was even before ICANN, it was -- the whole thing was about the introduction of new TLDs. So for what was the previous resolution, I can only express joy for the fact that we are going forward, although it has taken a little bit more time than what I thought when I joined.
But in this case, now that we are talking about IDN TLDs, I would like to express even further satisfaction, because this was something that we at any time take into account in the early days and that has been a very welcome development over the years, as we have discovered that enlarging the ICANN community, it was essential for the inclusiveness that is one of the major principles of ICANN.
It is important to give to a large part of the world that is not familiar with Latin characters the ability to fully explore the Internet.
And I think that what we are doing here when we consider IDN TLDs -- now in this specific resolution, we are talking about IDN ccTLDs -- but generally what we are doing with IDNs is opening up the possibility of a large part of the world that has been partly neglected up to now to fully benefit of the Internet with -- using their own scripts.
And I would like to underline the difference that we have in expanding the gTLD market in ASCII and the TLD market in ASCII, and the introduction of IDNs.
There is a substantial difference. Whereas the introduction of further TLD in ASCII is surely welcome, because it improves the possibility of choice of the users. With the IDNs, we are opening completely a different world. And I think that this cannot be -- cannot be underestimated.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Roberto.
REINHARD SCHOLL Thank you, Peter.
I'd like to make just a small addition to what the chairman of the GAC said. The communiqu? also mentioned a welcomed presentation by UNESCO and ITU representatives regarding a proposed collaboration between their organizations and ICANN to advance multilingualism on the Internet.
Thank you.
Any further contributions?
I note that it's been moved, Demi. Seconded by Dennis. I think the process we've adopted is clear and understood. So I'll put the resolution. All those in favor please raise your hands.
Any opposed?
Any abstentions?
Carried unanimously.
Thank you.
[ Applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH And I company to the issue of domain tasting and I call on Dave Wodelet to lead us through the resolution. Dave.
DAVE WODELET Thank you, Mr. Chairman, before I start reading the resolution, I just wanted to relate that I was asked earlier today just exactly what a domain name tasted like.
And I had to admit, I didn't really know. So now I feel a bit inadequate for reading this resolution at all. But I just wanted to put it out there, the big Internet, that if anyone actually does know what a domain name tastes like, if you could provide me that feedback, I'd like to know. And judging by the response, I suspect I -- I suspect it wasn't a very good pun, but.... The best I could do.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH I confirm they're serving them in the hall every morning.
DAVE WODELET So let me read. Whereas, ICANN community stakeholders are increasingly concerned about domain name tasting, which is the practice of using the add grace period to register domain names in bulk in order to test their profitability.
Whereas, on 17th of April, 2008, the GNSO Council approved, by a supermajority vote, a motion to prohibit any gTLD operator that has implemented an add grace period from offering a refund for any domain name deleted during the add grace period that exceeds 10% of its net new registrations in that month, or 50 domain names, whichever is greater.
Whereas on the 25th of April, 2008, the GNSO Council forwarded its formal "report to the ICANN board - recommendation for domain tasting," which outlines the full text of the motion and the full context and procedural history of this proceeding.
Whereas, the board is also considering the proposed fiscal 2009 operating plan and budget, which includes, at the encouragement of the GNSO Council, a proposal similar to the GNSO policy recommendation to expand the applicability of the ICANN transaction fee in order to limit domain name tasting.
It's resolved the board adopt the GNSO policy recommendation on domain name tasting and direct staff to implement the policy, following appropriate comment and notice periods on the implementation documents.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Dave. Is there a seconder for this resolution?
I see Jean-Jacques.
Any discussion?
I think the intent is reasonably clear.
WENDY SELTZER I want to thank the board on behalf of the At-Large Advisory Committee. It was ALAC who initially brought this motion up to the GNSO, out of registrants and Internet users' concerns about the churn in the domain name market introduced by domain name tasting and the decreased availability of names to individual registrants. So we're pleased to see this process concluding and pleased with the conclusion that it has come to.
Thank you.
[ Applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Wendy. Is there any further comment? Dennis Jennings. Dennis.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Wendy. Is there any further comment? Dennis Jennings.
DENNIS JENNINGS Thank you, Chairman. As a new member to the board quite recently, I only found out about domain tasting a about six months ago, and I was truly horrified. And I am very pleased that we have moved, at least from my perspective, rapidly to address this problem.
JEAN-JACQUES SUBRENAT Just as a relief at this late hour, I would encourage very strongly domain tasting, but of wines, whilst you are in France.
[ Applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Well, we have finally put an end to the awful puns. I think I better put this resolution so we can move on. Is there any other contribution from the board?
In that case, I am going to put the resolution.
All those in favor, please raise your hands.
(Hands raised).
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Any opposed? Abstentions? Carried.
[ Applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH We come, then, to an important item in terms of the business of the business of ICANN, and that is the approval of the operating plan and the budget. And I call upon Raimundo Beca, the chairman of the board's finance committee, to introduce the resolution.
RAIMUNDO BECA I will first make a strong introduction in French, and then I will read -- I will read the resolution.
It's my pleasure and honor to present the operating plan and budget for ICANN. For three reasons, at least, this is a historical operational plan and budget.
First of all, by reason of the process that has been followed, a process which is perfectly in line in terms of harmonizing the operating plan, the strategic plan and the budget, it is also historic because of the consultation process which took place and which involved several steps in Delhi, talking about the budget, in Paris, and also in discussions on the Web site.
Secondly, it is historic because of the amount of money involved. The amount I think is justified at the end of the day, and I believe that the board will approve it today.
The amount I believe is fully justified.
Thirdly and finally, it is historic because there is a separation between the normal ICANN budget and the (inaudible) and gTLD budgets. And that is important. The choice to separate these two budgets is an important one because it will not put at risk the functioning of something that is working.
A process which is very important and risky will not jeopardize what is already functioning smoothly.
Before I read the resolution, I would also like to add that it is my duty to express the gratitude of the finance committee and my own gratitude towards the staff, and particularly Kevin Wilson and (saying name) for the work that they have done.
Now I will switch to English.
The resolution reads like this. Whereas ICANN approved an update to the strategic plan in December 2007.
Whereas the initial operating plan and budget framework for fiscal year 2009 was presented at the New Delhi ICANN meeting and was posted in February 2008 for community consultation.
Whereas, community consultations were held to discuss and obtain feedback on the initial framework.
Whereas, the draft fiscal year '09 operating plan and budget was posted for public comment in accordance with the bylaws on 17th May, 2008, based upon the initial framework, community consultation, and consultations with the Board Finance Committee. A slightly revised version was posted on 23 May 2008.
Whereas, ICANN has actively solicited community feedback and consultation with ICANN's constituencies.
Whereas, the ICANN Board Finance Committee has discussed and guided staff on the fiscal year '09 operating plan and budget at each of its regularly scheduled monthly meetings.
Whereas the final fiscal year '09 operating plan and budget was posted on 26 June 2008.
Whereas, the ICANN Board Finance Committee met in Paris on 22 June 2008 to discuss the fiscal year '09 operating plan and budget, and recommended that the board adopt the fiscal year '09 operating plan and budget.
Whereas, the president has advised that the fiscal year '09 operating plan and budget reflects the work of staff and community to identify the plan of activities, the expected revenue, and resources necessary to be spent in fiscal year ending 30 June 2009.
Whereas, continuing consultation on the budget has been conducted at ICANN's meeting in Paris, at constituency meetings, and during the public forum.
Resolved, the board adopts the fiscal year 2008-2009 operating plan and budget.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Raimundo. Is there a seconder for that one? Thank you, Demi.
Any discussion about adopting the plan and the budget?
Steve Goldstein.
STEVE GOLDSTEIN Thank you, Chair. I have a green light -- Okay, now I have got it.
I had heard that, not too many years ago, a former board member actually had to sue the corporation to get access to budget details.
When I joined the board about a year and a half ago, our current accounting system or financial management system was such that it was extremely difficult just to produce pie charts showing the major sources of our income and our expenditures.
Now, not only we on the board but the community at large, gets to see all the details of our budget, not only with tables of figures but, what I like, nice graphical displays and pie charts and so forth, quite expertly done by a staff that I understand has been working well into the night and weekends for the past two months to get things done.
The tax form that has to be filed with the Internal Revenue Service and the similar one with the State of California, in the past, sometimes had been filed late, and certainly were not disclosed easily. They are now on the Web site.
So I just want to express my pride in this organization for how far it has come in such a short time, and to express my gratitude to our financial staff for all the hard work that they are doing.
Thank you.
I have Janis, Dennis.
JANIS KARKLINS Thank you, Chair.
I just wanted to place on the record during the meeting with the board, the GAC expressed its wish to receive further assistance from organization in organizing its meetings. And namely, the GAC would enormously benefit from translation of GAC considerations in other language than English, as well as a translation of documentation.
Equally in the framework of the review of travel support policy, we would like to see whether it will be possible to give some assistance to GAC members coming from developing and least developed countries. And it would be good if this consideration would be given already in this budgetary year.
Thank you.
Can I just confirm receipt, if you like, on behalf of the board, of that request. And note that the staff are also aware of it and there will be steps taken to see what can be done to meet the needs of the GAC.
DENNIS JENNINGS Thank you, Chairman.
I would like to echo Steve Goldstein's words of congratulations to the management and staff for the improvements that have been achieved.
But I would also like to highlight to the community that there is more work to be done, and that more work is being done, and more work will be done, so that the budget and reporting against the budget will become increasingly open and transparent and clear to everybody.
People will be able to look at the reporting and ask simple questions, like what are we doing and how much are we spending on it, and get simple and straightforward answers at least at the high level, and at some level of detail.
That's an enormous job, but I can say that already, work has started on that internally, and that next year, I am very confident, I hope that I will be expressing my pleasure next year, very confident that we will have even more significant improvements in the presentation of the budget and the plan and the reporting against those next year.
Thank you, Chairman.
RAJASEKHAR RAMARAJ I think just taking off from what Dennis was saying about some more information and clarity of that information, I thought I would draw the attention of the board and community to some feedback and concern about the substantial increase in budget for the year 2008 and 2009.
So taking that feedback, Kevin and his staff have done an exercise to do exactly what Dennis was saying, which is to categorize the various spends that have been planned.
You will actually find it very reassuring to know that the baseline budget, that is the amount being spent in the normal day-to-day running of ICANN, is going to be almost the same next year as it has been this year. So to date, there has been no real increase.
And all the increase is really coming on new initiatives that flows from the strategy plan that's been approved by the community.
So thank you.
Any further contributions? If not, I would like, as Chair, to extend my personal thanks to Raimundo as chairman of the Board Finance Committee and to all the rest of the members of the Board Finance Committee for the work that they have done in producing this plan. And then also to the chief operating officer, Doug Brent, and the chief financial officer, Kevin Wilson, for the enormous effort that has gone into producing this. And to note that not only is it a large budget but includes the operating plan at an earlier stage in the strategic planning cycle. And I welcome the increasing sophistication of our business processes and congratulate everybody associated with it.
[ Applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH So I'm going to put the resolution. All those in favor, please raise your hands.
[ Applause ]
Any opposed?
Well, the CEO will be delighted that I can report that we have a budget.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH And we have a plan.
[ Applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Now, the next item on the agenda is an update for the board on amendments or draft amendments to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement, and I'm going to ask Kurt Pritz if you could just take us through some of it. Kurt, I see you are ready to go.
KURT PRITZ Hello. Thanks.
The purpose of this agenda item is to report that 15 draft amendments are posted for community review. Those amendments are to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement.
They were prompted by increased interest in the CEO's call to attention to this issue, as well as interest in protecting registrants and updating contracts that haven't been updated in some years.
The amendments, as formulated, are based on fairly intensive community consultations that included significant input from the ALAC, the At-Large Advisory Committee, and also the intellectual property constituency, among others, and then an extended dialogue with registrars to arrive at this set of amendments that's now posted.
It's posted for a period of 45 days. It can be found on ICANN's announcement page. It was posted on June 18th.
The posting includes a summary of the amendments, a red-line agreement and then a side-by-side comparison of the language.
There are four categories of change described in the amendments. One is enforcement tools, such as graduated sanctions, a provision for audits, and group liability for families of registrars. Another category on registrant would be called registrant protections with a focus on issues around data escrow, and that is the data underlying the -- the privacy data underlying proxy registrations and also reseller compliance.
There's also a set of amendments promoting stable and competitive registrar marketplace, and it includes registrar operating training and addressing the issue of accreditation by purchase.
And there's also various housekeeping things that I would categorize as agreement modernization.
The amendments, I think represent some significant improvements in these four areas and as far as protection for registrants. They may not go as far as some would like, and may be not even as far as I would prefer. But these amendments as written -- consideration of these amendments as written probably represent the most -- the path for those timely change, timely implementation to these changes.
So what could be a path for incorporation into the RAA? Well, as I said, we started with this community dialogue to formulate a set of draft amendments, and then a dialogue with registrars.
The draft amendments are now posted for community review. That community review has already started.
At this meeting, there were presentations made to and questions taken from the intellectual property constituency and ALAC. There was a workshop dedicated to protection of registrants that reviewed this set of amendments. Now, that's just the starting point. We don't think those consultations, even with those two constituency groups are over.
Depending on the comment we receive on the set of amendments, the GNSO council and the board may decide to approve the whole set. It's for the community and the GNSO council and the board to balance whether these amendments should be adopted as a set in order to incorporate them into the RAA in the most timely manner.
As far as incorporating them, according to the RAA, these amendments would be incorporated into each agreement as they expire, or registrars may individually elect to adopt them. And we may look at ways to incent registrars to adopt them.
That essentially is a summary of what's posted, why it was posted, and what the next steps are.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Just be ready to answer a question, if there is any.
PAUL TWOMEY Well, thank you, Kurt. And I appreciate the observation you made that, potentially, there are proposals here that may not go as far as you yourself personally may think is appropriate, but that that's a product of, if you like, a common view that emerged in a discussion.
But I would like to again recommend to the community that this is being posted for consultation and for feedback, public feedback. Everybody, everybody in ICANN is affected. Every constituency is affected by the RAA. It is one of the hearts on which registrants' interests are protected. And so we want to ensure that people understand that this is up for consultation.
I very much want to put on the record my appreciation to the leadership of Jon Nevett and other members of the registrar constituency who have responded to a call that I made, after the RegisterFly issue, to review this and they have done so in good faith, and I appreciate that and would particularly like to thank Jon. But let's be clear. Even though this is the product of two groups talking to each other, it is now out for all to give us comment before it can proceed.
Is there comment or question from the board?
I think we do appreciate the significance, Paul, as you said, and appreciate the efforts that have gone into getting it this far.
If not, thank you, Kurt.
We'll move to the next agenda item, which is a request by PIR to implementation DNSsec. And I'll ask Steve Crocker to take us through this one.
STEPHEN CROCKER Thank you, Peter.
PIR submitted a request to add DNSsec capability in its registry service. And that has been reviewed by the ICANN staff, been sent out for processing and evaluation by the RSTEP process.
And the staff now forwards and requests approval of the following resolution.
Whereas, Public Interest Registry has submitted a proposal to implement DNS security extensions, known as DNSsec, in dot org.
And whereas, staff has evaluated the dot org DNSsec proposal as a new registry service via the registry services evaluation policy, and has -- and the proposal included a requested amendment to section 3.1, subsection (c), subsubsection (i) of the dot org registry agreement which was posted for public comment along with the PIR proposal. And there are URLs associated with each of those.
Whereas, the evaluation under the threshold test of the registry services evaluation policy found a likelihood of security and stability issues associated with the proposed implementation.
The RSTEP review team considered the proposal and found there was a risk of meaningful adverse effect on security and stability which could be effectively mitigated by policies, decisions, and actions to which PIR has expressly committed in its proposal, or could be reasonably required to commit.
Whereas, the chair of SSAC, that's me, has advised that RSTEP's thorough investigation of every issue that has been raised concerning the security and stability effects of DNSsec deployment concludes that effective measures to deal with all of them can, indeed, be taken by PIR, and that this conclusion after exhaustive review greatly increases the confidence with which DNSsec deployment in dot org can be undertaken.
Whereas PIR intends to implement DNSsec only after extended testing and consultation.
Resolved, that PIR's proposal to implement DNSsec in dot org is approved, with the understanding that PIR will continue to cooperate and consult with ICANN on details of the implementation.
The president and the general counsel are authorized to enter the associated amendment to the dot org registry agreement, and to take other actions as appropriate to enable the deployment of DNSsec in dot org.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Steve. Is there a seconder for this resolution?
Thank you, Bruce.
Any discussion?
No? Just when I thought we were able to move on.
SUSAN CRAWFORD It's one of the most beautifully written resolutions that actually provides every piece of information we need. And we already discuss it had and it looks terrific to me.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Let's move forward. It's been moved and seconded. All those in favor of the resolution, please raise your hands.
Any opposed? Abstentions? Carried unanimously.
Now, the next item relates to the introduction of a Code of Conduct, which is a process that began some time ago, was not resolved satisfactorily, was placed on hold. But more recently, Steve Goldstein has taken upon himself to get into this and has done an excellent job.
So Steve, would you take us through the resolution on the directors' Code of Conduct.
STEVE GOLDSTEIN Thank you, Chair. It's my pleasure and honor to do so.
Modern day boards are being asked to have Codes of Conduct for their board members.
And, in fact, at a recent instructional seminar I attended at the National Association of Corporate Directors, one of the early questions they ask you is, "Does your board have a Code of Conduct?"
Well, with your approval, as we posted, we are about to have a Code of Conduct.
And while I don't want to emphasize the negative, toward the end of this document, which is a little over four pages, we talk about enforcement, breaches of this code, whether intentional or unintentional, shall be reviewed by such committee as designated by the board, which may make recommendations to the full board for corrective action if deemed necessary. Serious breaches of the code may be cause for dismissal of the person or persons committing the infraction.
All board members shall read this code at least annually and shall certify in writing that they have done so, and that they understand the code.
And finally, a review or sunset clause. This code will be reviewed annually by such committee as designated by the board which shall make recommendations to the full board regarding changes to or rescinding of the code.
So I am grateful to my colleagues on the Board Governance Committee and the board for agreeing to offer this for public comment.
And the resolution reads
Whereas, the members of ICANN's Board of Directors are committed to maintaining a high standard of ethical conduct.
Whereas, the Board Governance Committee has developed a Code of Conduct to provide the board with guiding principles for conducting themselves in an ethical manner.
Resolved, that the board directs staff to post the newly proposed ICANN Board of Directors' Code of Conduct for public comment, for consideration by the board as soon as feasible.
Thank you, Chair.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Steve. Is there a seconder? Roberto.
Any comments on the code?
Jean-Jacques and Roberto.
I just wanted to commend very strongly Steve for having taken this initiative, for having done the drafting and for having inspired us and brought our attention to the importance of disposing of a Code of Conduct.
Thank you very much, Steve.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Jean-Jacques.
ROBERTO GAETANO That's pretty much what I wanted to say. But I would like to add that it has been a great help for me as a chair of the BGC to have somebody who was reminding me all the time that this was an item on the agenda. And I think that without somebody pushing me, I -- my laziness would have taken over.
DENNIS JENNINGS Thank you, Peter.
I'm delighted that this is before us. I've taken the opportunity of reading it carefully during the meeting. And it's excellent.
But I do note that in the preamble, there is a restatement of our mission and our core values, which come from other documents.
And I just note that our core values do not explicitly identify the -- taking the public interest into account as a core value, taking the interests of consumers and citizens in the globe as Internet users. And not that I'm objecting to the code of conduct, but I think there is an issue there that I would like just to flag that we might come back to in our discussions of the board about, making that a core value for ICANN.
[ Applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Excellent point, Dennis, and I can see a number of opportunities as we review, for example, the steps taken in relation to the President's Strategy Committee about reviewing accountability and strengthening accountability. There's also the accountability principles. So there are a number of places where that very important point can be carefully reviewed.
Any other comments?
RAIMUNDO BECA Thank you, Peter.
I haven't had yet the opportunity to look to this code of conduct. But, however, I would like to underline that the -- ICANN has a framework on accountability and transparency. This framework on accountability and transparency has incorporated in itself a code of conduct. And I would like that this exercise of a new code of conduct should not undermine what is included in the framework.
This framework was the object of very long consultations. It took about a year between the first draft and the second draft. And the committee gave a lot of input to this document. So everything which goes to strengthen the framework, I would support it. But everything which is -- would undermine it, I would not support it.
Any further comment?
No. In that case, I'll put this resolution.
All those in favor, please raise their hands.
Any opposed?
Which leads us, while we're talking about the board, to the next resolution, which is to ratify the selection of consultation who are conducting the independent review of the board.
The board, like all other entities in ICANN, is subject to periodic three-year review. And we have a resolution on that, which I'll ask Susan Crawford to introduce.
Thank you, Susan.
SUSAN CRAWFORD Thank you, Peter. This resolution focuses on ratifying the retention of the Boston Consulting Group to work with us on an independent review of the board. And we've been privileged to have the consultants observing us this week. And one of them said to me, "You know, a lot of boards say they're unique, but you guys really are unique." And we need some review, I'm sure.
All right. And also, listen carefully if you're slowing down here, because there's a marriage of acronyms in this particular resolution.
Whereas, the Board Governance Committee has recommended that Boston Consulting Group be selected as the consultant to perform the independent review of the ICANN board.
Whereas, the BGC's recommendation to retain BCG was approved by the Executive Committee during its meeting on 12 June, 2008.
Resolved, the board ratifies the Executive Committee's approval of the Board Governance Committee's recommendation to select Boston Consulting Group as the consultant to perform the independent review of the ICANN board.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH I hesitate to throw this one open.
Is there a seconder for this resolution? Not somebody whose name begins with a "B," a "G," or a "C," I hope.
I think I saw Ramaraj first. Thanks, ram.
Just a report to the community in case they weren't aware, the consultants are actually present. They observed the board in its five-and-a-half-hour workshop. And they've begun their work.
Any other discussion about that? No, I'll put the resolution to a point.
The -- whatever they are.
The Boston Consulting Group. Thank you.
All those in favor, please raise their hands.
Any opposed?
Abstentions? Carried.
We then come to the appointment of our own review groups which we have supervising some of the other reviews that are going on.
And I'll ask Njeri to introduce this resolution.
NJERI RIONGE Thank you, Chairman. Whereas the Board Governance Committee has recommended that several working groups should be formed to coordinate pending independent reviews of ICANN structures, it was resolved the board establishes the following independent review working groups as follows
ICANN board independent review working group, with the members Amadeu, Roberto, Stephen, Thomas, Ramaraj, Rita, and Jean-Jacques.
All these are members of the current board.
And then the DNS Root Server System Advisory Committee, with independent review working group, with Harald, Steve, and Bruce Tonkin.
And then the Security and Stability Advisory Committee independent review working group with Robert, Dennis, and Reinhard and Suzanne Woolf.
Thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you. Is there a seconder for that? Roberto.
Any discussion about the formation of those?
ROBERTO GAETANO Just one thing, because -- one -- whoops.
There are a couple of people that are not currently board members. So Robert is, in fact, in the Security and Stability Advisory Committee, is, in reality, Rob Blokzijl should not be confused with myself.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Roberto, is it worth perhaps explaining the principle behind these working groups? I know there's an understanding, there seems to be a belief, that it's a good thing to get on to one of these working groups because you'll be able to influence the outcome.
Perhaps you'd like to comment on the purpose of these groups and where they're selected from.
I'll do that with pleasure.
The origin of the working group was in fact, when we realized that having an external contractor doing the job and presenting the point of view as an independent consultant, without specific knowledge of ICANN and of the functioning of ICANN, was a good thing in itself. But sometimes some of the recommendations were not immediately workable because what has not been taken into account were some constraints or some specificity that an external contractor was not always able to identify in the short term that he had to perform the job.
And, on the other hand, we didn't want to let the contractor go through an intensive learning of all the different links that we have and of the complexity of the environment, because, otherwise, it would have lost to a certain extent the ability to look at things from the outside.
So this decision -- the decision of creating working groups was taken in relationship to how to manage a further phase after the delivery of the London School of Economics' reports on the GNSO independent review. And we have retained this methodology for further work.
We have been trying as reviews were starting to anticipate as much as possible the moment of the formation of the working group so that they could also assist the contractor, ensure the completeness of the scope, and be able to support them when they needed some indications on how to proceed.
I would like to underline the fact that the working group is not doing the work, but is providing in the first phase guidance to the contractor, actually, is participating also to the selection of the contractor if it's put in place before the selection time comes. And will be available for explanations to the contractor and generally support.
Then, in a second phase, once the contractor has delivered the draft of the report, then they will take over, and they will manage the process of letting the draft report go through a public comment period. And then they are in charge of, I would say, compiling the comments that come from the community and produce the final draft that goes for approval to the BGC and then from the BGC is passed to the board for final ratification.
The composition of the working group is board members or liaison or former board members or liaison. The reason for this is to somehow limit the choice of the people and to have a kind of a homogeneous set of people that can do this task.
I would like also to mention that the board has internally discussed the feasibility and the scalability of this model the moment that the reviews are becoming of a certain number. And so we are going to revise this process later on in the year.
But this is the situation as such. And so we are continuing with this model for the time being.
Steve Crocker.
STEVE CROCKER There may be some slight misunderstanding about the status of Rob Blokzijl. He was a valued member of SSAC for a good period of time, but rotated off of the committee last fall, I think, or perhaps earlier. But he's not -- is not and has not been a member of the committee for a while.
There may be other kinds of issues here. We're all sort of feeling our way how to get the best talent and available cycles, because we're all sort of overcommitted, to help manage these processes along.
Can I put that resolution, then? That's appoint the working groups for these various reviews. All those in favor, please raise your hands.
Any opposed?
Now, ladies and gentlemen, I will, with your permission, skip the next agenda on the agenda, which was a further update from Denise Michel on independent reviews. In the interest of time, I think we have to move on. We have had a full report from Denise at this meeting.
So move then to the next item, which is the board committee assignment revisions. And Roberto is chairman of the Board Governance Committee that's responsible for assigning board members to committees.
Could you take us through this, please. Thank you.
ROBERTO GAETANO Thank you, Peter.
Please allow me to say a couple of words to explain what and when we are doing these things.
A major rearrangement and overhaul of the committees happens every year at the annual general meeting.
Due to the fact that at that date, we change chairmen, but we re-elect a chairman and vice chairman, and we have new members that come from the NomCom process, and we allocate them to committees to replace the members that are leaving the board.
So why do we have -- and this is -- why do we have an update of the committees in the middle of the year? Well, this was something that we decided as BGC at the annual general meeting last time in Los Angeles. And we thought that for two reasons. One reason is the fact that we could have had new members coming from the supporting organizations, new directors appointed by the supporting organizations. Although this didn't happen, because the ccNSO and the GNSO reappointed for the further term the outgoing members.
And secondly, to allow a rotation of the board members, especially for chairman position, as the work is pretty intense. And we have 15 people on the board -- because chairmanship of the committees is limited to the voting members -- and that are all capable. And some sort of rotation seems to be a good way to ensure that people are not burned out and that we can get the maximum from everybody.
So this time, this rearrangement of the committees has touched three committees The audit committee, the finance committee, and Reconsideration Committee.
Let's start with the audit committee.
The audit committee, in particular, had an excellent chair, has an excellent chair, until the board will approve the resolution, if it does. And that was Njeri Rionge.
She has done an excellent job. And we are now trying to pass the knowledge in the last months that she is still on the board, because her term ends at the end of the year. We have this opportunity to have a new chair that will learn from the past chair and in order to ensure a smooth transition.
The second committee that has had some change is the finance committee. We have just heard the excellent work that Raimundo Beca has done for the committee. He is remaining in the committee and will help Ramaraj to go up to speed, who was already a member of this committee, so that we can have a transition that is smooth and Ramaraj can inherent some of the knowledge of Raimundo in his experience of chair.
The last one that is touched is the Reconsideration Committee, where the former chair was Rita. And since she has moved to take over responsibility of the audit committee, we are appointing a different chair, that is Susan Crawford. And the same applies, the same considerations apply to the Reconsideration Committee. I think that Rita as well in this task has done an excellent job.
So without further time -- consumption of time, I will go to read the resolution.
Whereas, the Board Governance Committee has recommended that the membership of several board committees should be revised and that all other committees should remain unchanged until the 2008 annual meeting, resolved, the membership of the audit, finance, and reconsideration committees are revised as follows
Audit committee Raimundo Beca, Demi Getschko, Dennis Jennings, Njeri Rionge, and Rita Rodin as chair.
Finance committee Raimundo Beca, Peter Dengate Thrush, Steve Goldstein, Dennis Jennings, Rajashekar Ramaraj as chair, and Bruce Tonkin as observer.
Reconsideration Committee Susan Crawford as chair, Demi Getschko, Dennis Jennings, Rita Rodin, and Jean-Jacques Subrenat.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Roberto. Is there a seconder for that resolution?
Any discussion?
RAIMUNDO BECA I would like, Peter, if the vote, at least on the finance committee, could be separated from the other one. Because I would like to make a comment at that moment.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH I can't separate them, because we could, actually, vote on them serially, but they're all consequential. If we start one and we -- 'cause the way the committee assignments work, they're done as a batch. And if we take one here and don't do another one, then we're not going to be able to put someone onto the right place. So I think I'd rather keep them as a single resolution.
Do you want to make a comment?
RAIMUNDO BECA Well, I would like to make a comment in the moment of the voting.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Are there any comments on the committee reassignments?
If not, I'll put that resolution moved by Roberto, seconded by Susan.
All those in favor of the resolution, please raise your hands.
Any abstentions -- any opposed?
Any abstentions?
I'll declare the resolution carried.
And would you like to make a comment?
RAIMUNDO BECA The reason I abstained relates only to the finance committee.
Even if my family and clients would highly appreciate the fact of this rotation, personally, I would have preferred two things. Number one, to be informed clearly when I was nominated for this year that I was going to be serve only for half of the year. And, number two, I think that I haven't -- I would have liked to end my job on the separate budget. The separate budget for the IDNs and gTLDs is something new in the organization. And it's a particular challenge in which I have invested a lot, and I would have liked to continue until the end of that.
But, well, it was decided in another way.
Anyhow, I would like to clarify that this does not mean in nothing that I don't approve the nomination of Ramaraj, which is a member of the finance committee and has been for one year and a half has been there. He has been very contributive and also respecting in this committee we have people in all the four seasons, days of the year, hours of the day, so we have always very complicated, very complicated timelines. And he has been very contributive also.
Thank you very much.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Raimundo. I just would like to repeat the thanks to you that I made earlier as we adopted the most significant budget that we have done, which has been put together under your leadership of the board finance committee, and to note with some pleasure and relief that you will remain on the finance committee so that we're not losing your expertise in that particular area.
Steve Goldstein.
STEVE GOLDSTEIN Chair, just a quick one. I notice on the screen, and I think -- and I think the scribes accurately put down what I heard Raimundo say, but I don't think he meant to say it quite that way.
What I heard was that he -- "I don't approve the selection of Ramaraj as chair." And I think he meant to say "I don't disapprove the selection of Ramaraj as chair." So perhaps the record can be corrected.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH I see Raimundo is nodding and saying absolutely. So we can take that as read.
All right. Well, I'll put that resolution -- oh, we've put that resolution, haven't we? We've done it. We can move on to the next item, which is the decisions on the Board Governance Committee's recommendations on GNSO improvements.
Rita, will you take us through this one.
RITA RODIN Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Just when you all thought the board was just up to their administrative items, and then a thank you, we have another substantive recommendation that has been the subject of much debate during this week.
Just a quick note. This is, to say what Susan said before, a little bittersweet for me. The GNSO improvement process and study has been going on for quite a while. We have a number of documents. We have an LSE report that calls for some change. We have people in the community, even in the GNSO, that talk about things that work well and that don't work well.
And I think the working group convened by the Board Governance Committee also thought that some changes should be made.
We have proposals on the table from this board working group and from others in the community that are fairly far apart. So after listening to the comments in the community, especially this week, and having a discussion amongst ourselves, the board wants to take one more opportunity to try to give the community one last chance to become a little bit closer and try to resolve some of their differences.
So now I'll read the resolution.
Whereas, article IV, section 4 of ICANN's bylaws calls for periodic reviews of the performance and operation of ICANN's structures by an entity or entities independent of the organization under review.
Whereas, the board created the Board Governance Committee GNSO Review Working Group to consider the independent review of the GNSO and other relevant input, and recommend to the Board Governance Committee a comprehensive proposal to improve the effectiveness of the GNSO, including its policy activities, structure, operations, and communications.
Whereas, the working group engaged in extensive public consultation and discussions, considered all input, and developed a final report containing a comprehensive and exhaustive list of proposed recommendations on GNSO improvements.
Whereas the Board Governance Committee determined that the GNSO improvements working group had fulfilled its charter and forwarded the final report to the board for consideration. Whereas a public comment forum was held open for 60 days to receive, consider, and summarize public comments on the final report.
Whereas, the GNSO Council and staff have worked diligently over the past few months to develop a top-level plan for approaching the implementation of the improvement recommendations, as requested by the board at its New Delhi meeting.
Whereas, ICANN has a continuing need for a strong structure for developing policies that reflect to the extent possible a consensus of all stakeholders in the community, including ICANN's contracted parties.
It is resolved that the board endorses the recommendations of the Board Governance Committee's GNSO Review Working Group, other than on GNSO Council restructuring, and requests that the GNSO convene a small working group on council restructuring, including one representative from the current NomCom appointees, one member from each constituency, and one member from each liaison-appointing advisory committee, if that advisory committee so desires, and that this group should reach consensus and submit a consensus recommendation on council restructuring by no later than July 25, 2008, for consideration by the ICANN board as soon as possible, but no later than the board's meeting in August 2008.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Rita. Is there a seconder for that resolution? I see Ramaraj -- sorry, Jacques.
Now, discussion of this. Susan and then Bruce.
SUSAN CRAWFORD Thank you, chair. I am sorely disappointed in this resolution. It's an echo of too many earlier ICANN decisions, somewhat delayed, ad hoc, potentially confusing, and the board has been subject to fierce -- if charming -- lobbying this week from the business constituency.
I wish the board had acted at this meeting.
This has been a very long process. We had, from the London School of Economics, a substantial report in September 2006. This whole issue of GNSO reform did not spring upon the world in the last few months. We've been discussing restructuring for a long time with lots of consultation, and the vast bulk of the working group's report -- and I was a member of the working group -- was focused on moving to a working group format, so that far fewer things would happen through voting, and that we would work towards deliberation on policy issues, and that the role of the council would be much less legislative but more managerial in function.
There would be voting on the council, but to focus on -- at the council level -- whether adequate issues had been considered and not to reopen the substance of policy.
So -- but some votes are needed on the council structure, and so the report suggests that there would be four large stakeholder groups, that we would retain the parity between contracted and non-contracted parties that has been in place since the evolution of the reform process in 2003, and there was no question in the working group but that that parity should stay in place between contracted and non-contracted parties.
This is a remarkable entity, ICANN. We have private parties with contracts with ICANN who have agreed in advance to have policies imposed on them that are binding, provided they're the subject of consensus acknowledgment or adoption through this process, and so parity between contracted and non-contracted parties is essential to make sure that everybody comes to the party -- to the table and deliberates and can't just force everything into voting at the council level.
So the principle of parity was in place in the report, and also parity between commercial and noncommercial users on one-half of the council.
Again, because parity as a principle has more going for it than the status quo. And that we really need to develop the noncommercial part of the GNSO. And giving votes on the council might encourage the development of that noncommercial portion.
So if the board today adopts this resolution, which comes with a sunset, a very crisply defined sunset -- thanks to my colleagues -- I hope we give no extensions. There's enormous work on GNSO improvements that is pending the resolution of this last question. And I firmly -- it is my firm desire that if a proposal comes back to the board that is the subject of consensus from the GNSO, that it comes no later than July 25th, and that the board will act in August, absent such a proposal. Thanks.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Susan, I want to respond to a couple of things that you've said. I think I agree mostly. Just a comment that the board is, of course, acting on this resolution on the working group's report at this meeting. It has endorsed everything else in the report except the issue of council voting, so there's 95% of the work is accepted and approved and I hope we can see implementation steps on all the other things which were in that very good report. And just what's left is this issue of the structure and the voting.
Let me go on from that to say I hope there is absolutely no misunderstanding about this in the community. This, amongst other things, is a real test of the self-regulatory model, and if the groups involved cannot regulate themselves on this issue, then this is going to be a significant failure of much more than just the GNSO voting patterns.
Nor should there be any misunderstanding about the time line that's provided. Nor about what is being requested.
A very -- this is -- we are not just waiting for something to come to us. We are directing the formation of a very specific group to get together with a very specific job to be completed within a very specific time.
There will be no extensions of that time.
Dennis? I'm sorry. Was it -- Raimundo.
RAIMUNDO BECA Okay. I would like to ratify what Susan said in the sense that in the working group, we -- there was unanimity, in the sense that there should be a parity between the contracted and non-contracted parties, and that this parity was based on the fact that this proposal was not changing the existence, and the existence of the -- actually, there is parity between the contracted and non-contracted parties, and the fact is that the parity is obtained by the way of the weighted vote, but anyone who has worked really in bottom-up policies knows that a weighted vote is the position absolutely of the bottom-up procedure. A consensus cannot be obtained if in the table of people that vote with a weight more important than the others, so the cost -- the cost of having the suppression of the weighted vote was to have the existence of a parity of 4-4 and 4-4 -- and 4-4. But there was not UNANIMITY in the 4-4 in the side of the users. In the side of the users, there were two resolutions, two minority votes in the working group. One was in favor of 4-4, 5-3 and the other which I presented myself was in the favor of asking the GNSO Council, asking the GNSO Council to propose an alternative. Only -- only in the users side.
And surprisingly now, we have come back exactly -- almost exactly to the same situation I proposed and it was not accepted in January, and so we have lost all the time from January to now exactly on the same thing. I hope that now it will be definite.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH I'm not sure what you're saying. Are you going to vote in favor of this or not?
RAIMUNDO BECA Oh, yes. I was in favor.
ROBERTO GAETANO Yes. I will not talk to the merit of the resolution. I only have two short comments.
The first one, I would like to express my apologies to the community. I have been in charge of the working group and I have been in charge of the Board Governance Committee during all this process, and although I have tried to push it through, it has taken much longer than what was in the expectation of everybody.
We had a rapid consensus on several points and we had some other things that remained to be discussed because the community had different opinions, and while I have been unable to come to a resolution in the short times.
So I was pessimistic at the beginning of this week because I knew that we had to come to a closure and we were going to take the risk of having a closure with a divided community.
My second comment is that in the last couple of days, I have seen a lot of activity in the corridors, in the bar, in the public forum, and I think that the community has had the feeling -- had my same feeling that we're going to go to a closure and that there were two proposals that were opposing each other, to a certain sense, and we are going to get out from this process in an unhealthy situation of having a winner and a loser.
And so I really saw -- and I heard and I have been contacted by different parties in the last couple of days, and I heard finally comments of the type, "Do you think that this type of thing can work if we compromise on that, if we do this, if you do that?"
I'm extremely happy, although I have to admit that we have a situation in which the community has to step in to overcome the shortcomings of a chair, but in any case, what is important is the result. So I think that by giving this additional time, that I was not really dramatically happy in the beginning of the week as a possibility, but giving this time in which the community can get together and really work together with the perspective of having, at the end of this process, not a winner and a loser, but to have a consensus that although it's not going to be perfect for anybody, like every consensus, is something that is at least acceptable to everybody.
And I think that this is -- will be a great achievement if, at the end of this week we can come with this solution that comes from the community and avoid the extreme possibility, the last resort, which will be that the board has to make a decision and that at that point the decision will leave somebody less happy than others.
So I'm really inviting the community, now that -- after the end of this meeting, to start -- to continue the collaboration that has started in this last hours, I would say, so that we can close this.
And in any case, guys, in two years we are going to have another review. We are going to restart this process. This process of the GNSO review has taken longer than the gap between two successive reviews, so I don't think that we can get to a situation in which we have the GNSO that is in a permanent review mode.
So let's find a solution, let's find a solution that will be valid for the next few months until the next review, and then we'll see and we will learn from the experience and we will do further adjustment down the road. Thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Roberto. I've got Harald and then Bruce. Harald?
HARALD TVEIT ALVESTRAND One thing about principles and purposes. I don't regard parity as a purpose or principle. I regard it as a tool.
The principle is that there are certain groups that should not be able to force other groups into something without getting agreement with them. And I encourage the community to look at the -- look at the principle and find the right tool for the job.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Harald. Bruce?
BRUCE TONKIN Yeah. I'm going to support both what Roberto said and Harald said.
From my point of view from a process, this is, I guess, the first major review of -- which is conducted at both the council level and then there's a second review of the whole GNSO, and as an organization we need to get better at doing these reviews.
From my perspective, an independent report identified some problems in the GNSO, and then proposed a solution. This solution did not have widespread support in the GNSO. The Board Governance Committee had attempted doing better, and the Board Governance Committee had a solution as well, and that didn't receive, let's say, consensus support of the GNSO.
I think what -- what's changed a lot this week is that we have got the elements of the GNSO talking to each other, and I think we got lobbied just about every day this week on this topic, but it was pleasing to see that people were starting to move their positions.
My view is that the best outcome is when the people that are affected by the decision that really know the problems because they live it every day can propose the best solution, and should work together, and let me leave you with this last thought.
Be very afraid of what the board might do.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Isn't there supposed to be scary music when you --
PETER DENGATE THRUSH -- say that, Bruce? Demi Getschko. Thank you.
DEMI GETSCHKO Thank you, Peter.
I support what Harald said and others said also, and I don't want to see drawing a fence between -- to any groups in the GNSO constituency. I suppose we have to strive for balance, for equilibrium, but I don't see this parity as so hard a thing between two sides, contrary groups inside the constituency. I don't see this as a healthy way to make the things, to put a fence between two groups, and I hope that the community can bring us some very wise solution to the comfort of ICANN. Thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Demi. Are there any further contributions with -- we've had the discussion? All right. Let's put that resolution. That will be accepting all of the recommendations of the working group except in relation to the council and voting. And directing the formation of the small group to get on and come back to us by the 25th of July with a solution or else. Laugh.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH All those in favor please put their hands up.
[Show of hands]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Any opposed? Any abstentions? Thanks very much. That's carried.
There's a fairly clear message in that to the various participants in that process.
Let's come into the report of the President's Strategy Committee. The president's strategy committee has produced some documents and there was a seminar on those here, and Jean-Jacques is a member of that committee, so I'll ask Jean-Jacques to introduce the resolution. Jean-Jacques?
JEAN-JACQUES SUBRENAT Thank you, Peter. A few moments, Rita, introducing the previous item, said, "You may be expecting housekeeping items. That's not the case." So here's another substantial issue.
I will make a few remarks in French before reading the draft resolution.
Is that working?
Three comments. Firstly, on the transition and the context of the transition, then the challenges and then the project itself.
Firstly the context. We have to bear in mind that for nearly 10 years we have been working in ICANN. The agreement that links ICANN to the United States will come to an end in September 2009.
We will then enter a new Internet era, which will be characterized, no doubt, by considerable globalization, diversification and nationalization of the Internet. Also in terms of the users and the use made of the Internet.
Secondly, the challenges.
I think, above all, ICANN must have the tools necessary for managing these new challenges that we face tomorrow for the benefit of all.
Thirdly, the project that has been tabled. I remind you that it is only a draft. Whether you decide to accept it, the three documents that you have in front of you have to be borne in mind and the director strongly encourages all the components of the Internet as well as the individual users to contribute to this process. As was said by Eric Besson at the inauguration of this meeting here in Paris you are the Internet, so I encourage you to actively participate in this review because you are also the future of the Internet. Whereas, the chairman of the board requested that the President's Strategy Committee undertake a process on how to strengthen and complete the ICANN multistakeholder model.
Whereas, the PSC has developed three papers that outline key areas and possible responses to address them "Transition Action Plan," "Improving Institutional Confidence in ICANN," and "Frequently Asked Questions."
Whereas these documents and the proposals contained in them have been discussed at ICANN's meeting in Paris.
Whereas, a dedicated Web page has been launched to provide the community with information, including regular updates.
Resolved, the board thanks the President's Strategy Committee for its work to date and an instructs ICANN staff to undertake the public consultation recommended in the action plan, and strongly encourages the entire ICANN community to participate in the continuing consultations on the future of ICANN by reviewing and submitting comments to the PSC by 31st of July, 2008.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Jean-Jacques. Is there a seconder for this resolution?
Janis. Okay. Sorry. Bruce. Sorry.
Now, is there somebody that wants to speak to the resolution? Janis? Thank you.
JANIS KARKLINS Sorry. I was looking for this moment.
Chairman, the GAC appreciates the effort of the President's Strategy Committee in preparing the recently published report outlining key areas that need to be developed in order to complete ICANN's transition process.
The GAC notes that the report covers the wide range of issues and constitutes a useful basis for discussion at this time. While it is open to individual governments to provide comments, the GAC will aim to formulate a contribution, including on the role of the GAC in the context of this report by the Cairo meeting. Thank you, chair.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Janis. Any other comments?
In which case it's been moved and seconded. I'll put the resolution.
All those in favor please raise your hands.
[Show of hands]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Any opposed? Abstentions? Carried.
Well, we come into the resolution concerning the selection of a site for our meeting scheduled for March of 2009, and I'll call upon our CEO and president, Dr. Paul Twomey, to take us into this one. Paul?
PAUL TWOMEY Thank you, Chairman. I'll read the resolution.
Whereas, ICANN intends to hold its first meeting for calendar year 2009 in the Latin America region.
Whereas, the Mexican Internet association (AMIPCI) has agreed to host the meeting.
It is resolved the board accepts the AMIPCI proposal to host ICANN's 34th global meeting in Mexico City in March 2009.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Is there a seconder for that proposal? Roberto.
Perhaps the board Finance Committee can confirm this is after a budget has been proposed and adopted by the board Finance Committee. It's not recorded in the resolution, but you have been through this and done a full costing and accept the finance proposal, the finances behind the proposal.
Thank you.
Are there any other comments on the resolution to have the meeting in Mexico City in March 2009? Paul?
PAUL TWOMEY Thank you, Chairman. Two observations, I think.
One is that obviously I think this is a fair reflection of the participation of the Mexican community and the ICANN community and so it's a very pleasing decision.
The second one, of course, Chairman, is to reflect on observations you made in the last meetings. We will be coming up at the end of this year, to the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the founding of ICANN, and because of the specifics of the date and various preparations for those celebrations, it is likely that likely that the actual celebrationary process will take place in Mexico City, so the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of ICANN will carry over to the Mexico City meeting.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH All that is likely to it a very interesting meeting to attend. Raimundo.
RAIMUNDO BECA Not only in -- to confirm that the affirmatively that the Finance Committee approved the budget for the meeting, but I would like their board to turn their face to our Mexican friends which are there with the T-shirt of the Mexican football team.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Raimundo. And thank you. I see there are more of you around the room.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you very much.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH That's a testament to the continuing success of ICANN that people are willing to offer to host the meetings and to go through the processes and submit the bid and subject themselves to the inquiry and then eventually the work of hosting a meeting.
So thank you very much. Steve Goldstein.
STEVE GOLDSTEIN Seen those beautiful green shirts, I guess they're trying to tell us that they're going to give each of us a beautiful green shirt when we get to Mexico City, right?
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Okay. Any other comments about the proposal? If not, I'll put the resolution.
All those in favor, please raise your hands.
[Show of hands]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Any opposed? Abstentions? Carried. Thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH And the next topic is a board review informally, just orally now, of meetings, and suggestion is that we have Paul Levins, who is in charge of meetings -- Paul, could you come to the -- just take us through a couple of quick -- we have only about five minutes for this but I think if you could highlight some of the major changes of this meeting --
Sorry for the interruption.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH I have to take advice from general counsel about accepting gifts in public.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Gifts in private is fine but...
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Paul, can you just take us through, perhaps, some of the things that we've tried at this meeting and then just get some quick feedback from board members about whether they're the sort of things we want to carry on with? Thanks.
PAUL LEVINS Sure. Thanks, Peter. Firstly, I'll just rattle through a few of the things that were different, if you like. New and different at this meeting. We had the scribe feed, as we explained, has been operating pretty well, real-time text feed. We've had type and share initiative, which is something that we operated in association with ICANN wiki. The first time we had a by lingual site, which is quite an achievement and thanks to our French hosts who assisted us with that.
The first time we had a business access agenda, and a number of people were there to be thanked in relation to that, but that was, I think, early steps, but very successful.
Early posting of the agenda for this meeting. There was a comment made in the forum yesterday about the need for us to get even better at this, but we posted this agenda about 2 and a half months ahead. We've had more sponsors than ever before -- about 41, in fact -- and before anyone says I can only count 29 that I think is on that poster, it's because we now have a very clearly delineated sponsorship category, and under the conditions of some of those categories, you are allowed a display of your logo on ICANN signage.
Registrations were the most we've ever had at an ICANN meeting. 1672 registrations.
166 countries represented. Just to give you a very small window into the registration figures and the representation, we had 345 people from the United States, 264 from France, and in what could have been a rugby score 36 from Australia and 18 from New Zealand.
PAUL LEVINS Sorry. It was there to be said.
PAUL LEVINS Moving right along...
PAUL TWOMEY That would be a rare result but a satisfying one.
PAUL LEVINS Video posting, as we've never had before. We had four or five -- a regular stream of videos which involved live capture, obviously, of events here and then posting of them on the ICANN site where they're archived.
We've opened the registration for Cairo at this meeting, and we've announced the first meeting for 2009 as approved by the board just moments ago, and that means that we're six months -- now six months out in terms of meeting announcement. We have a target to try and be 12 months out from January of next year.
Very briefly, chair, I'll wind up. We heard commentary yesterday about the 4 to 5 days -- I'm sorry, the 5- to 4-day shift. Some very brief statistics about what we managed to achieve in that time frame as well.
We had about 5 hours of public forum. We had the -- about 13, I think it is, or 14 workshops in that period of time. And we also had probably more so than any other meeting a series of reviews which made it an extremely busy process for all a participants, NomCom, ALAC and of course the board review.
We got that feedback about the different opinions about whether or not 4 or 5 days was a meritorious thing.
So I'll leave it at that. Peter.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Paul. That's really an impressive list of things and so well done to your team for all of those, and there will be time later for that.
Could I just get some feedback from the board and Bruce you're first away about some of the reactions about some of the things that have gone on at the Paris meeting. Bruce.
BRUCE TONKIN I really just wanted to repeat one of the surveys that I did.
BRUCE TONKIN I really just wanted to repeat one of the surveys I did the other day, but one of the significant changes this meeting from previous meetings was moving the board meeting from Friday morning to, obviously, here late Thursday afternoon.
I wonder from a show of hands of the regular attendees whether you prefer that or do you like the way that we've changed from Friday to Thursday afternoon, if you could raise your hand.
Conversely, how many people prefer to keep it on Friday morning?
[ Laughter ]
ROBERTO GAETANO How many people don't want that at all?
[ Laughter ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH I have say that it's been a significant burden today. It was a burden for staff to get materials really 24 hours earlier than previously, and we have also lost some face time with the community, because the board has been locked away in workshop all day today.
So there are consequences. But it seems as if at this stage, at least, there's some community support for it. Any other comments from board members? Susan, I know Steve Crocker wants to say something.
SUSAN CRAWFORD Very briefly, Peter, that having the live feed available from the scribes is an enormous advance and makes remote participation much easier. And I'm very glad to see that having happened. And thanks to everybody.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Steve, you want to comment, I think, on the same thing.
STEVE CROCKER Yes, indeed.
And to echo that, it is a big deal. And there's a lot of more underneath the surface than is apparent. We put quite a bit of energy into this, starting some time ago. And the staff and the support contractors, VeriLan, and the scribes, working with our team, really pulled off something that deserves a lot more attention, and I hope that we get this documented. This is the first test run of it, and I think it's worked pretty well, as best I can tell.
Feedback, I think, would be very welcome.
One of the very key things that really has a big impact on remote participation is, this is now running the text through a low-bandwidth stream instead of a picture of the transcription from the screen as a video. That makes it possible to distribute this all over the world to places that do not have high-quality or high-bandwidth connections and should be able to make our meetings a great deal more accessible.
So it's the subtle stuff underneath the surface and it's a big deal.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Steve. Paragraph Jean-Jacques, and while you're getting ready to speak, they're trying to put it up on the screen, for those people who are wondering.
JEAN-JACQUES SUBRENAT As a board member who's been here -- sorry, a member of the board. I'm not bored. I'm wide awake. I hope you are.
But for only seven months, I think there has been huge progress in several areas, coming online in this way is tremendous.
The other aspect, I think, where we need to do more efforts is, of course, languages. That takes a lot of effort, but also expense.
And that will be the next step.
One little point for Paul Levins.
May I suggest that instead of the term "scribe feed," I'm not at a zoo. I would suggest "scribe line," if that is all right with the scribes.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Well, all talking about feeding the scribes aside, I'm sure they do need feeding.
I've got Dennis and then Paul and then Wendy. Dennis.
DENNIS JENNINGS Thank you, Peter.
I think we've made tremendous progress, but I certainly felt this meeting was both long and rushed. And I'm not quite sure how to address that. But certainly I was locked away in meetings for long amount of time and didn't have enough time to walk the floors and meet people. I felt -- we started very early, and things went on for a long time. We sometimes curtail things because of fixed time points.
So I think we need to organize ourselves somewhat better and give more time for people to meet together, whether it's between constituencies or between SOs or between constituencies and the board and advisory groups and so on.
I think we need to do something about the fact that it's always the same faces who come up to the microphone. And I presume they've been saying the same thing at constituency level and at council level, and now at public forum level. And maybe we can somehow make that a better way of representing those views, rather than having them restated again and again.
And I think maybe some of the presentation and updates which were given, I seem to think a number of times I saw updates on the same topic, maybe that's just my mind getting terribly tired. Anyway, I think there's improvement. But the key thing, I think, is to have more time for people to talk to one another, whether at constituencies or support organizations, between those and with the board.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Dennis, for those comments.
PAUL TWOMEY Thank you, Chairman.
I would, first of all, like to express my gratitude to Paul Levins, Diane Schroeder, and other members of the meetings team who, I think, Chairman, took the request of the board very seriously and tried at this meeting to cause a fairly fundamental restructuring to try to bring the meeting back, effectively, one calendar day.
So that's my first observation.
Having said that, I think it would be -- I'd have to report similar to what my colleague from Ireland has. For some of the executives, at least, this has been, I think, a very stressful meeting. It may just be because of the degree of content. But I would also endorse, if we're going to follow this format, we need to build cartilage between the bones. We need to have gaps between some of the things, and we also need to think, at least people like myself, need to think whether we almost need to have a "the doctor is in" day, so that people who want to meet, may be they have to come early or something, come a day earlier or something. Because I have found a number of executives who have found themselves in meeting rooms from, you know, dawn to midnight each day.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you. I think the point about the content is a good one. This has been -- we've had some very detailed discussions, thinking of the GNSO restructuring, adopting the gTLD policy, and the IDN CC fast track, just to mention three.
I've got Wendy and Janis.
Just want to be very quick to thank Kieren, among others, for the hard work in getting the remote participation and chats and scribe text is very helpful to, especially, the at-large distributed members.
Want to note a few early concerns with telephonic links. But I think some of those got resolved as the meeting went forward. And so thanks to everyone who helped to make at-large participants able to participate.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thanks, Wendy. Janis.
JANIS KARKLINS Thank you, Peter.
Just to tell everybody that in the GAC meeting, there was a discussion on further improvements of the meetings.
And we came up with an idea to call for a cross-constituency informal working group to reflect how better organize interaction of different constituencies during the ICANN meeting.
And this -- Bertrand will animate this group from our side. We will send out information and will call on other constituencies to participate. And certainly the results will be shared with the whole community.
Thank you.
Anyone else want to contribute? We obviously will unpack all of this and digest it as we go. But this is the time when it's perhaps the freshest, even if we're not personally as fresh as we were at 7:00, when we started.
Okay, thank you for that. And thank you, Paul, for leading that discussion.
We come, then, to the last item of substantive business before we get into some of the more pleasurable and final items.
We received a suggestion in New Delhi that the at-large community would like to have a summit meeting. We put some money conditionally aside in the budget and asked for a proposal. And we now have a resolution about that. And I'll call upon the at-large liaison to the board, Wendy, to talk to us about that.
WENDY SELTZER Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Want to thank the board for considering this. The At-Large Summit proposal represents real bottom-up work of the at-large community. It has been coordinated from members of the at-large regional organizations and at-large structures from around the Internet user groups represented in the at large, represented a lot of hard work in defining both the logistic and policy areas that the summit will cover, involved outreach to the groups, involved to get their feedback on issues they'd like to define for them and developed at a summit. The plan at the summit is to engage these user groups in substantive policy discussion so that when ICANN asks for policy recommendations or advice on ICANN policies from the at-large community, that groups who represent consumers and Internet users of all stripes are better equipped to participate in those discussions and to offer ICANN the viewpoints of the individual Internet users.
The vast majority of people who use the Internet, of course, are not registrars or registries or involved in the domain name industry, but are computer users who connect to the Internet and expect things to work and have interests around the use of domain names and the use of the Internet resources that ICANN coordinates.
So this summit is an opportunity for those involved in the at-large structures to get together to get a better sense of how ICANN works and how they can contribute to those policy discussions. And in the process, I think our summit working group will be reaching out to members of other constituencies to engage with members at the summit to strengthen cross-group communications.
So I'm pleased to present the proposal here for an ICANN at-large summit.
Whereas, at the ICANN meeting in New Delhi in February 2008, the board resolved to direct staff to work with the ALAC to finalize a proposal to fund an ICANN At-Large Summit for consideration as part of 9 2008/2009 operating plan and budget process. Whereas potential funding for such a summit has been identified in the fiscal year 2009 budget. Whereas a proposal for the summit was completed and submitted shortly before the ICANN meeting in Paris.
Resolved, the board approves the proposal to hold an ICANN At-Large Summit as a one-time special event and requests that the ALAC work with ICANN staff to implement the summit in a manner that achieves efficiency, including considering the Mexico meeting as the venue.
Resolved, with the maturation of at-large and the proposal of the at-large summit's objectives set out, the board expects the ALAC to look to more self-funding for at-large travel in fiscal year 2010 plan, consistent with the travel policies of other constituencies.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Wendy. Is this a seconder for that proposal? Jean-Jacques.
Any discussion about the at-large summit proposal?
Steve Goldstein.
STEVE GOLDSTEIN Okay. There we go. Thank you, Chair.
One of our dear departed senators once said, "A million here, a million there, and the next thing you know, you're talking real money."
We're looking at a half-a-million-dollar request for this. Our budget keeps growing. I believe it's incumbent upon us to exercise fiscal restraint. And in my estimation, spending this sum is frivolous. So I will vote no.
ROBERTO GAETANO I think that we have been discussing this initiative for quite a while. I think that -- well, maybe I have a better understanding of what the situation in the ALAC is, because I'm coming from that part of the organization.
I found it an excellent initiative that in a moment especially in which we are doing an effort in order to bring the voice of the users in the picture that has been not as strong as other parts of the community, I think that this -- an initiative like this will have a beneficial consequence in the organization in terms of more user participation. And the money that we are going to spend in this should be seen as an investment in order to broaden the -- our participation.
Thank you.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Roberto.
[ Applause ]
DENNIS JENNINGS Thank you, Chairman.
I mentioned earlier the -- my belief that a core value of ICANN is to ultimately to look after the interests of the citizens of the world and the Internet users, and to take cognizance of those interests.
ICANN, as I understand it -- and certainly when I was involved in the early days -- has had great difficulty in finding meaningful ways to have representation from the citizens of the world in its discussions and policy development. And I believe that this ALAC development, which is a structured approach of representative bodies, has the possibility to be much more successful than any previous attempt. And then I don't -- so, therefore, I do not think this is a frivolous expenditure of money. I think it's a very serious attempt to develop the ALAC into an organ that will bring that perspective to the policy development activities in ICANN. And I would very strongly urge us to move with this with all reasonable speed and to have the summit, if possible, in Cairo, but probably for budget reasons, better in Mexico.
Thank you.
[ Applause ]
Bruce, I have you next in the queue. No?
Anyone else want to comment?
In that case, I'll put the resolution. It's been moved and seconded, it will result in funding of the At-Large Summit.
All those in favor, please raise their hands.
Those opposed?
Note Steve Goldstein opposing.
Any abstentions?
So the motion is carried.
[ Applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH I'm forced to conclude that there must be some at-large members and supporters in the room.
Good luck with the summit.
We come, then, to an item of staff, and in this case, it seems most appropriate to hand this resolution to the head of the staff, Paul Twomey.
PAUL TWOMEY Thank you, Chairman.
Chairman, it's not a usual practice for me to bring to the board or to -- especially a public board meeting -- a celebration of a staff member furthering career and transiting out of ICANN employment. But I do think some people, you know, we really should take note of. And, in particular, a point that has been very close to my heart, which is to celebrate the careers of staff members who have been the early contributors to the ICANN process from '98 onwards.
We have had a small handful of staff, some of whom, of course, came across with Jon, but there's been, you know, in the history of ICANN that we're now celebrating, some people have played an amazing role in helping a very small startup on borrowed money turn into the sort of organization that's able to make the decisions that we have this afternoon.
One of those people who I have always both celebrated for his commitment and consider strongly as a friend is Steve Conte. So let me read the following resolution.
Whereas, Steve Conte has served as an employee of ICANN for over five years.
Whereas, Steve has served ICANN in a number of roles, currently as ICANN's chief security officer, but also as a vital support to the board and its work at meetings.
Whereas, Steve has given notice to ICANN that he has accepted a new position with the Internet Society and that his employment with ICANN will conclude at the end of this meeting.
Whereas, Steve is of a gentle nature, possessed of endless patience, a love of music, a love of Internet and of those who love the Internet.
Whereas ICANN board wishes to recognize Steve for his service to ICANN and the global Internet community. In particular, Steve has tirelessly and with good nature supported the past 19 ICANN meetings and his extraordinary efforts have been most appreciated.
Resolved, the IGO board formally thanks Steve Conte and for his service to ICANN, and expresses its good wishes to Steve for his work with ISOC and all his future endeavors.
[ Applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Ladies and gentlemen, did I offer Steve a chance to respond, but such is the measure of the man that he was very touched by your response, and unable to.
Steve, thanks very much for all your hard work.
We come, then, to more thanks. And it's my pleasure now to thank the sponsors. And with your approval, I won't read them all out, because they're read into the record. But then that have we confirm how significant their sponsorship is to us and how much we appreciate it.
We've had 1672 people here at these meetings at no charge. And when you think of the services and the support and the provisions, not to mention the feeding, which Jean-Jacques raised, it's an extraordinary amount. And without the sponsors, these meetings just simply could not occur.
So the board extends thanks to all sponsors of the meeting. And I'd ask the board to show their appreciation for the sponsors by joining me in a round of applause.
[ Applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH I'm relatively sure the sponsors feel they've had good value for their money and I invite them to approach the representatives of the Mexican community while they're here to keep up the good work.
We also thank a number of other people who are very important, and we begin with thanks to the local host organizer, AGIFEM, its President Daniel Dardailler, Vice-President Pierre Bonis, and CEO Sebastien Bachollet, as well as Board Members from AFNIC, Amen, as well as Domaine.fr, Eurodns, INDOM, Internet Society France, Internet fr, Namebay, Renater, and W3C.
The board would also like to thank Eric Besson, the Minister for Forward Planning, Assessment of Public Policies and Development of the Digital Economy for his participation in the Welcome Ceremony and the Welcome Cocktails.
The board also thanks Francis Bouvier, and Directeur, Philippe Nieuwbourg, and Bertrand Delano?, Mare de Paris, and Jean-Louise Missika, adjoint au Maire de Paris.
The board expresses its appreciation to the scribes, Laura Brewer, Teri Darrenougue, Jennifer Schuck, and Charles Motter and to the entire ICANN staff for their efforts in facilitating the smooth operation of the meeting.
ICANN would particularly like to acknowledge the many efforts of Michael Evans for his assistance in organizing the past 18 public board meetings and many other smaller events for the ICANN community.
The board also wishes to express its appreciation to VeriLan Events Services, Inc., for technical support, Auvitec and Prosn for audio/visual support, Callipe Interpreters France for interpretation, and France Telecom for bandwith.
Additional thanks are given to Le Meridien Montparnasse for this fine facility and to the event's facilities and support. The board also wishes to thank all those who worked to introduce a business access agenda for the first time at this meeting, Ayesha Hassan of the International Chamber of Commerce, Marilyn Cade, and ICANN staff. The members of the board wish to especially thank their fellow board member, Jean-Jacques Subrenat for his assistance in making the arrangements for this meeting in Paris, France.
Could I ask Jean-Jacques and Sebastien to come forward? Oh, and Daniel. Is Daniel Dardailler here?
PAUL TWOMEY While we're all coming up to the -- I just thought I'd like to really congratulate the community all on what I think has been a magnificent meeting and I'd like to share with you something that maybe we'll put into the LORE. It's what we call inside the staff "the Conte principle" which emerged once in a staff meeting about 18 months ago when somebody said -- asked the question, you know, "Why do you work here," and Steve responded just like this, with the following phrase: "It's cool, it's global, it's important, it's noble." And we thought of making a T-shirt for it but I think that's a good summary of what we've been able to achieve together this meeting.
JEAN-JACQUES SUBRENAT While accepting this -- these words of thanks, I think that it's all about the real organizers. I happen to be French. I happen to be on the board. Maybe I helped occasionally here and there, but that's not the point. The real point is not the few days of work, it's the months of devotion of selflessness of the organizers, on both sides of the ICANN side, on the side of the promoters, the initiators of this meeting, and I think that the success of this meeting is largely due to them.
So thank you to them.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Jean-Jacques. Sebastien?
A small token of our thanks which we've expressed previously but I want to say now how sincerely we appreciate all the enormous effort that's gone into making this meeting. Those of us who have been associated with these meetings know that the work began at least a year ago, and your wife will be very glad to get you back. It's an extraordinary effort. Thank you very, very much for your work.
SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET If you'll allow me, perhaps for the last time today will take the floor in French.
This is only been done in part but I would like to thank Daniel Dardailler and Pierre Bonis who were very helpful in organizing this event and I would like to thank several people. They may be present here in the room or they may not be, but they have been of tremendous assistance and when I say they have helped us, I mean the French organizers and the ICANN organizers.
I will start by thanking ICANN staff because this meeting would not have been possible, had we not been able to work together, teams here in Paris and the teams in Marina del Rey.
I would like to thank Diane. She is here. She has done tremendous work. She is not very visible, but if she were not here, we would not be here either. Thank you, Diane.
SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET Michael as well as other members of the staff have been very helpful and carried out tremendous work.
They together have many skills, and I'd like to thank (saying name). You may have seen him in the corridors, moving boxes around so the sponsors were able to set up properly, and that the recording was taking place in good conditions, and organized the rooms. (saying name) and the students from the communications school who came here as interns, so to speak, helping -- welcoming participants. And I'd also like to thank my own son, who is 15 years old, who spent two weeks helping us and spent two days here helping us with recording. Thank you, Olivier.
SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET There are two people who have been particularly helpful in organizing this meeting. I don't know if they're here right now. (saying name), if she is here, I wish to thank her, and Pierre Bonis. I'm mentioning his name a second time. He has been very helpful.
SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET In closing, it has been said the city hall of France, and I would like to add the caterers who have been responsible for feeding everybody. There were 600 persons at dinner last night -- I'm sorry, over a thousand people were at the dinner last night that was hosted by city hall. This is truly a record, and the caterer should be thanked for all of his efforts.
Thank you. I hope you have worked very hard during the week and that you will now take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy Paris and France. We've been very happy to host you here, and I'm certain that ICANN will continue its work and move ahead. Thanks to all of you and enjoy your time in Paris.
PETER DENGATE THRUSH Thank you, Sebastien. We have a small token for your colleague, (saying name).
PETER DENGATE THRUSH So ladies and gentlemen, that brings us to the end of the board meeting. Thank you, members, for your attendance. Thank you, board members, to your service. A very long day. Particularly you guys, we count on your support and we look forward to seeing you in Cairo. Good evening.