Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content

Minutes of the GNSO Council Meeting 5 September 2013

Last Updated:


Agenda and Documents

The meeting started at 15:02 UTC.

Meeting Times 15:00 UTC

List of attendees: NCA – Non Voting – Jennifer Wolfe
Contracted Parties House
Registrar Stakeholder Group: Mason Cole, Volker Greimann Yoav Keren,
 gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group: Jeff Neuman, Jonathan Robinson, Ching Chiao
Nominating Committee Appointee (NCA): Thomas Rickert
Non-Contracted Parties House
Commercial Stakeholder Group (CSG): Wolf-Ulrich Knoben, Zahid Jamil, John Berard, Osvaldo Novoa, Brian Winterfeldt, Petter Rindforth
Non Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG): Maria Farrell, Joy Liddicoat, Magaly Pazello absent apologies, Wolfgang Kleinwächter, David Cake, Wendy Seltzer – absent, apologies
Nominating Committee Appointee (NCA): Lanre Ajayi

GNSO Council Liaisons/Observers:
Alan Greenberg – ALAC Liaison – absent – apologies
Patrick Myles – ccNSO Observer

David Olive – VP Policy Development 
Marika Konings – Senior Policy Director
Rob Hoggarth – Senior Policy Director
Mary Wong – Senior Policy Director
Julie Hedlund – Policy Director
Berry Cobb – Policy consultant
Lars Hoffmann – Policy Analyst
Glen de Saint Géry – GNSO Secretariat

MP3 Recording
Adobe chat transcript

Item 1: Administrative matters (5 minutes)

1.1 Roll Call
1.2 Statement of interest updates
Thomas Rickert noted that his statement of interest was updated.
1.3 Review/amend agenda

Jeff Neuman requested additions under Any Other Business:

  • The Policy and Implementation working group's request for ICANN Board members to attend their meetings.
  • Council approval for the 2 vice chairs selected by the Policy and Implementation working group, namely Olivier Kouami NPOC and Michael Graham, (IPC)

1.4. Note the status of minutes for the previous Council meeting per the GNSO Operating Procedures:

Minutes of the GNSO Council meeting 17 July 2013 posted as approved on 19 August 2013
Minutes of the GNSO Council meeting 1 August 2013 to be approved on 6 September 2013

Item 2: Opening Remarks from Chair

Jonathan Robinson commented that a significant portion of the Action List will be dealt with in the agenda.

With regard to the IDN variant TLDs the ccNSO Council will provide feedback after their meeting which will put the Council in a position to move forward.

Action Items:

  • Review action list to ensure all are still current / relevant
  • With regard to the BGC Recommendation on Reconsideration Request 13-3, Jonathan Robinson will pursue the item on the mailing list as to what further action is necessary
  • Jonathan Robinson will review the Projects List and identify projects ready for closure and place these on the consent agenda for the next Council meeting.

Item 3: Consent agenda

3.1 – The Council approved the recommendations report be sent to the ICANN Board on the Locking of a Domain Name subject to UDRP Proceedings

3.2 – The GNSO Council approved J. Scott Evans (BC) and Chuck Gomes as co-chairs and Michael Graham, (IPC) and Olivier Kouami as vice co-chairs (NPOC) for the Policy & Implementation Working Group.

The discussion highlighted that the Working Group Guidelines define the role of the chair but working groups can decide to elect co-chairs or vice chairs and it is up to the working group to define these roles. A strong diverse leadership team will be of advantage to a large group like the Policy and Implementation Working Group.

Jeff Neuman brought to the Council's attention that the Policy and Implementation issue which relates to a number of ongoing efforts has generated important discussion in the ICANN community. Consequently the Policy and Implementation Working Group has suggested inviting Board members to participate in the working group sessions and requests the Council's approval as well as a procedure for inviting the Board members. Reference was made to the method that the International Governmental Organisations (IGO) working group used where the GNSO Council chair requested the Government Advisory Committee (GAC ) chair to facilitate members of the GAC to participate. There was broad support from the Council to accept this request from the working group to invite Board members to participate should they so wish and for them to manage their own potential conflicts or issues.

Action Items:

  • Staff to finalize GNSO Recommendations Report on the Locking of a Domain Name subject to UDRP Proceedings for submission to the ICANN Board
  • Jeff Neuman to communicate to the Policy and Implementation Working Group the approval of the co-chairs, J. Scott Evans (BC) and Chuck Gomes (RySG) ,and the co-vice chairs Michael Graham (IPC) and Olevie Kouamie (NPOC)
  • Jeff Neuman to communicate to the Policy and Implementation Working Group that the Council agrees with the WG proposal to invite Board members to participate.
  • The Council agreed that an invitation to Board members to participate in Working Groups should come from the Council leadership and the invitation should include that the initiative comes from the Working Group.
  • Jonathan Robinson to send the invitation to the ICANN Board.

Item 4: DRAFT MOTION – To approve Whois Survey Working Group (WSWG)

The draft motion was reviewed in preparation for voting to approve the Final Report it at the next Council meeting.

Motion to approve Whois Survey Working Group (WSWG) Final Report and Recommendations:


  1. On 07 May 2009, the GNSO Council resolved that Policy Staff, with the assistance of technical staff and GNSO Council members as required, should collect and organize a comprehensive set of requirements for the Whois service policy tools;

  2. On 29 July 2010, Staff published the Inventory of Whois Service Requirements – Final Report;

  3. In July 2011, volunteers drafted a proposed charter for a Whois Survey "Working Group", preferring the term "Working Group" to "Drafting Team" in this case;;

  4. On 30 May 2012, the WSWG published a draft of the Whois Service Requirements Survey for public comment,;

  5. On 13 September 2012, the WSWG released the final Whois Service Requirements Survey to solicit input from community members on the possible technical requirements of a future Whois system,;

  6. On 13 September 2012, ICANN staff compiled and consolidated the survey results and the WSWG completed the WSWG Final Report, (


  1. That the GNSO Council thanks the Whois Survey Working Group (WSWG) and ICANN staff for their efforts in conducting the survey and compiling survey results of possible technical requirements of a future Whois system;

  2. The GNSO Council further approves the recommendations, as defined in the Final Report (, to send the survey results to other applicable efforts regarding Whois and Domain Name Registration Data for their consideration.

Action Item

  • Council members to review the motion in view of a formal motion being proposed at the next Council meeting on 10 October 2013 at 18:00 UTC

Item 5: INPUT & DISCUSSION – Prospective improvements to the Policy Development Process

Marika Konings provided the Council with a summary of the paper prepared by ICANN staff on potential improvements to the PDP process.

Highlights from the discussion:
Concern was expressed at incorporating the charter in the issues report. It could be perceived as handing over some of the responsibility of the GNSO policymaking process to ICANN staff.
It was suggested that it may be preferable to involve the GNSO community in the Issue Report drafting which could then combine the Charter and Issues Report and so achieve efficiency and enhance GNSO community involvement in the policy making.

Other discussion considered that Working Group/drafting team meetings that last for longer than one hour could lead to a loss of volunteers simply because they cannot commit to so much time.
Also that training for working group chairs is imperative but caution was expressed about bringing in facilitators to the group.

It was agreed that a table to summarise the proposals will be helpful, indicating which proposals would be acceptable to streamline the process while further discussion is encouraged on the Council mailing list and amongst the constituency/stakeholder groups.

Action Item:

  • Staff to tabulate the proposed improvements taking into account feedback received during Council meeting for further review and discussion.
  • Council members requested to encourage their groups to review the proposed improvements and consider which suggestions can be supported and implemented.

Item 6: UPDATE & DISCUSSION – A PDP for relevant policies on issues not dealt with during the course of developing the 2013 RAA

Margie Milam provided Council with a summary of the outcomes of the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) negotiations in order to set the scene for subsequent, relevant policy development work to be managed by the Council.

The intention when drafting the agenda was that the Staff paper would be available for the meeting, however there were some minor delays and the full report is imminent. Discussion indicated that the intention of the Board resolution should be reviewed and that possible next steps would be for the GNSO Council to convene a drafting team and a working group to commence this work bearing in mind that at the moment in the RAA there is an interim specification, which has a deadline, that deals with the privacy and proxy issue. In addition Council was reminded that the findings of the Whois Study on privacy and proxy that will be submitted for public comment shortly will be useful to the Working Group. Suggestions were made to expedite the work swiftly, namely; several Policy development processes (PDP's) could be undertaken at the same time, or within a single PDP form different sub-teams to deal with specific issues.
Council has been made aware of the issue which is to follow and when the Staff paper is available, discussion should commence on the Council list before the next Council meeting on 10 October 2013.

Action Item:

  • GNSO Council to further consider this issue following publication of staff paper.

Item 7: DISCUSSION – Policy issues surrounding string confusion

Jeff Neuman, noted that Akram Attalah, ICANN's Generic Domain Name Division President, in a recent interview on string confusion decisions intimated that if there were conflicting decisions, it would be for the GNSO community to assist and thus provided the Council with an update on the issue.

The initial question is how will the Council deal with the issue of inconsistencies with previous GNSO recommendations in the application of string confusion decisions bearing in mind time is of essence?

Discussion highlights:

The Council expressed strong views that the GNSO has a role in upholding its policy recommendations regarding the new gTLD program without interfering with the third party expert panels.

Suggestions for ways to deal with this were expressed as follows:
– set up a working group to work relatively quickly to examine the principles rather than the substance of confusingly similar. An example of a low hanging fruit principle is that the evaluation selection procedure for new gTLD registries should respect the principles of fairness, transparency and nondiscrimination. A Consistent approach should be adopted rather than examining the merits of one string against another.
– form an ad hoc team to oversee that the implementation is in line with the original policy recommendations. For example, one of the outcomes of this team could be to prescribe that objections relating to the same contention set should be dealt with by one panel and not by different panelists to avoid diverging decisions.

A view was expressed that it is within the purview of the Council to review or to initiate an issues report, on instances where actions and or decisions by ICANN, are at odds with each other.
A point for consideration is how should one deal with the fact that the applicants and the objectors have paid their fees in a process that was described as final and they expect that process to be upheld without infringing on the rights of anyone who has participated in this process.
It was suggested that the GNSO Chair inform the ICANN Board of the GNSO's intentions.

Action Items:

  • Jonathan Robinson to send letter to the ICANN Board / new gTLD Committee that the GNSO Council has noted inconsistencies with previous GNSO recommendations in the application of string confusion decisions and will be exploring this issue further.
  • Councillors are to encourage Stakeholder Groups/Constituencies to consider / discuss how to move forward on this issue (e.g. Form a task force, drafting team) and Council members are to share the feedback on the Council mailing list

Item 8: UPDATE & DISCUSSION – Metrics and Reporting Working Group

Berry Cobb provided Council with an update on the options for consideration as alternate ways forward for this non Policy Development Process working group for addressing the recommendations that were approved at the May Council meeting regarding the Uniformity of Reporting.

Discussion indicated that all effort should be made to encourage community participation rather than a staff driven approach and thus the Council is strongly encouraged to go back to stakeholder groups and constituencies with a renewed call for participation. The question was posed at what point a lack of participation should be equated with lack of interest.

Action Item:

  • Staff to recirculate calls for volunteers to attract additional members to this project. Councillors to encourage their members to volunteer. Should there still not be sufficient volunteers, the GNSO Council will examine the reasons for the lack of support and reconsider how to move forward on this project.

Item 9: DISCUSSION – Role and scope of the Standing Committee on GNSO Improvements Implementation

Wolf-Ulrich Knoben provided the Council with a summary of the role and scope of the Standing Committee on GNSO Improvements Implementation (SCI) and noted the three outstanding questions:

  • Should the SCI continue as a standing committee?
  • The type of decision making methodology?
  • Who should undertake the chartering process?

There was strong support for the SCI to continue. There should be ongoing discussion on the issue of full consensus versus consensus. This cannot be resolved immediately therefore the status quo should remain, which is full consensus. The SCI should be given the responsibility to redo the charter and maintain full consensus. However, a view was expressed that the work of the SCI could still be useful, even it did not reach full consensus.

Action Items:

  • Jonathan Robinson to confirm outcome to the SCI that:
    • the charter should be modified to confirm it is a standing committee and
    • that it would like the SCI to undertake the work to propose any other changes it deems necessary and then to submit these to the Council
    • it should not propose to modify the decision making methodology (away from full consensus) as the GNSO Council will consider that issue further.
      N.B. If this change (away from full consensus) or a variation of it is to be made, this will be handled by the Council
  • With regard to the decision making methodology, Council members are encouraged to continue conversations on this issue on the mailing list on whether full consensus should be maintained or not.

Item 10: DISCUSSION – GAC Engagement / Working with the Board Global Relations Committee (BGRC) WG

In the interest of time, this item was skipped over. An update to be provided on the mailing list (or next call)

Item 11: DISCUSSION – Forthcoming review of the GNSO

Rob Hogarth mentioned that the public comment forum was currently open on the potential postponement of the GNSO Review. Comments to date indicate that the review should not be delayed. The next step is for the Review staff to produce a summary report of the comments and provide that to the SIC which is scheduled to meet at the end of this month when the ICANN Board meets at their Los Angeles Board Workshop.

Rob Hoggarth noted the GNSO review discussion in Durban about plans for forming a small work team to coordinate and provide potential ideas or concepts as to how the Council might approach the review effort and that Jennifer Wolfe volunteered to lead this effort.

Action Items:

  • Jen Wolfe is available to lead the formation of a group to prepare for / address issues that may arise in relation to the GNSO Review
  • Question for the Council: Does this group have a role to play in the event that the Board decides to postpone the GNSO review?
  • Councillors are encouraged to provide comments from the groups / constituencies they represent see:

Item 12: UPDATE & DISCUSSION – Planning for Buenos Aires

Wolf-Ulrich Knoben provided a rough outline of the proposed meeting schedule.

Wolf-Ulrich noted that he would contact the senior staff first to confirm their participation and then fit in the other meetings around these taking into consideration the feedback from the GNSO Council wrap-up session in Durban which indicates a different formula for meeting with stakeholder groups and constituencies prior to the Buenos Aires Council meeting.

Action Items:

  • Provide input on possible meeting topics for Buenos Aires meetings.
  • Plan for attendance at GNSO Council Development Session that will take place all day and on the evening of Friday 22 November 2013.

Item 13: Any Other Business

Jonathan Robinson adjourned the GNSO Council meeting and thanked everyone for their participation.

The meeting was adjourned at 18:09 UTC.

The next GNSO Council meeting will take place on Thursday, 10 October 2013 at 18:00 UTC.
See: Calendar