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Minutes GNSO Council Meeting 12 April 2012

Last Updated:
08 June 2012

Agenda and Documents

The meeting started at 11:02 UTC.

List of attendees:
NCA – Non Voting - Carlos Dionisio Aguirre
Contracted Parties House
Registrar Stakeholder Group: Stéphane van Gelder, Mason Cole, Yoav Keren – absent, apologies, proxy to Stéphane van Gelder, 
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, John Berard, David Taylor, Zahid Jamil, Brian Winterfeldt , Osvaldo Novoa – absent, apologies proxy to Wolf Ulrich Knoben
Non Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG): Rafik Dammak, Mary Wong, Wendy Seltzer, Bill Drake, Joy Liddicoat, Wolfgang Kleinwächter – absent, apologies proxy to Bill Drake. Due to connectivity issues the proxy form arrived after the Council meeting
Nominating Committee Appointee (NCA): Lanre Ajayi

GNSO Council Liaisons/Observers
Alan Greenberg – ALAC Liaison
Han Chuan Lee – ccNSO Observer

David Olive - VP Policy Development
Rob Hoggarth - Senior Policy Director
Liz Gasster - Senior Policy Counselor
Julie Hedlund - Policy Director
Margie Milam - Senior Policy Counselor
Marika Konings - Senior Policy Director
Brian Peck - Policy Director
Berry Cobb – Policy consultant
Glen de Saint Géry - GNSO Secretariat
Alex Kulik - System Administrator

MP3 Recording
Adobe Chat Transcript

Item 1: Administrative matters

1.1 Roll Call

1.2 Statement of interest updates:

1.3 Review/amend agenda

No changes noted

1.4. The minutes of the GNSO Emergency Meeting 26 March 2012
were approved on 12 April 2012.

The draft minutes of the GNSO Public meeting 14 March 2012
will be approved on 19 April 2012.

1.5. GNSO Pending Projects List

Liz Gasster commented on two outstanding items:

1. Whois Access that arose from the Registration Abuse Policy's Final Report remaining recommendations is still an open item. It was rejected from the consent agenda on 16 February 2012 and is still awaiting feedback from the Internet Service Providers and Connectivity Providers constituency (ISPCP).

Action Item:
Request ISPCP to provide feedback on the Whois Access.

2. Internationalized Whois Registration Data Final Report
Staff will prepare a motion for the Council, in coordination with the SSAC, to consider at its next meeting to formally submit the SSAC and GNSO Final report on Internationalized Whois Registration Data to the ICANN Board.

Item 2: Consent agenda

There were no items on the consent agenda.

Item 3: Thick Whois Policy Development Process (PDP)

The motion provides for a delay of the Policy Development Process (PDP) that the GNSO Council initiated at its meeting on 14 March 2012, However, considering other circumstances, the GNSO Council is of the view that the next steps in this PDP (formation of a drafting team to develop a charter) is not timely and that it may be preferable to delay until the .COM negotiations have been completed.

There is no specific threshold for a motion to delay a Policy Development Process (PDP) in the current GNSO Operating Procedures. The leadership team in consultation with the General Counsel decided to apply the standard simple majority threshold and to raise this issue in the Standing Committee on GNSO Implementation Improvements (SCI), so that the rules can either be adapted to reflect that no provision is made for delaying a PDP and confirm that under these circumstances the simple majority threshold applies, or propose a specific threshold for delaying a PDP.

According to the ICANN Bylaws and the Policy Development Process Manual initiating a PDP sets in motion specific steps and timelines and to delay this process requires an affirmative motion rather than a decision at the GNSO Wrap-up meeting on 15 March 2012.

In the discussion of the motion, the following points were highlighted:

  • The reference to the .COM agreement should be removed
  • There should be a specific date mentioned as to when the PDP is delayed
  • A reference should be made to the availability of 'both' ICANN Staff and GNSO resources

Stéphane van Gelder, seconded by Yoav Keren and as amended by Jonathan Robinson and John Berard proposed a motion to delay the 'thick' Whois Policy Development Process

Whereas the GNSO Council requested an Issue Report on 'thick' Whois at its meeting on 22 September 2011 (see;

Whereas a Preliminary Issue Report on 'thick' Whois was prepared by staff and posted on 21 November 2011 for public comment (see;

Whereas a Final Issue Report on 'thick' Whois was published on 2 February 2012 (see;

Whereas the Final Issue Report recommends that the GNSO Council proceed with a Policy Development Process limited to consideration of the issues discussed in this report, and the General Counsel of ICANN has indicated the topic is properly within the scope of the ICANN policy process and within the scope of the GNSO;

Whereas the GNSO Council initiated a Policy Development Process at its meeting of 14 March 2012 (see;

Whereas at its wrap up session on 15 March, taking into account the current workload of the GNSO community, the GNSO Council voiced support for a delay in the start of the PDP until both ICANN staff and GNSO resources are available to deal with this.

Resolved, the next step (creating a drafting team to develop a charter) of the 'thick' Whois PDP will be delayed until the first GNSO Council meeting after 30 November 2012.

The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

Item 4: Request an Issue Report on the protection of names and acronyms of IGOs

Thomas Rickert withdrew his motion (2 ) and made the following statement:

He reminded Council of the statement he made in defense of the allegations, in Costa Rica, that the GNSO was not following the bottom-up process in the protections to International Olympic Committee and Red Cross /Red Crescent  (IOC/RC)  names, that in his view the IOC/RCRC issue for the top level for the first round was an implementation detail that followed the Board resolution but that everything exceeding that would require a proper bottom-up process.

Furthermore he stated that he would ask for an Issues Report to initiate a Policy Development Process (PDP) to establish the eligibility criteria for organizations requesting protections. Thus his proposed motion was intended as  a 'catch-all' not only reflecting the current discussions about protections for the IOC and RCRC names at the second level but a response in preparation for other third parties requests. In his view the GNSO needs to have clear procedures in place with regard to the protection of names.

However, after proposing the motion, comments were made that it would be inadvisable to address International Intergovernmental Organization (IGOs) specifically and that the request would be circumvented if the GNSO takes up the subject directly. In addition, the 'whereas' clause should have included the original GNSO recommendations.  In consultation with Mary Wong, common grounds have been met.

Mary Wong, seconded by Thomas Rickert and as amended by Jeff Neuman proposed a motion to request an Issue Report on the protection of names and acronyms of International Intergovernmental Organization (IGOs)

Whereas on September 7, 2007 the GNSO Council approved by supermajority vote a PDP on new gTLDs with a number of recommendations, none of which afforded special protection to specific applicants;

Whereas the GNSO Council passed a resolution approving new protections for the first round of the new gTLD program as recommended by the GNSO's International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Red Cross/Red Crescent (RC) Drafting Team;

Whereas this resolution indicated that further discussions were required on associated policies relating to protections for certain international organizations at the second level, if any;

Whereas comments have been received coincident with the motion that included requests from international governmental organizations requesting the same protective rights as those for the IOC/RCRC for the current and future rounds of the new gTLD program;

And whereas various possible criteria for the grant of protective rights to such organizations was suggested at the ICANN meeting in Costa Rica.

Now therefore be it resolved,

The GNSO Council requests an issue report to precede the possibility of a PDP that covers the following issues:

- Definition of the type of organizations that should receive special protection at the top and second level, if any; and

- Policies required to protect such organizations at the top and second level.

The motion carried.

Note: Council approved Bill Drake being Wolfgang Kleinwächter's proxy noting the special circumstances which were connectivity problems for the people who were trying to submit the appropriate proxy form online.
(The proxy form was submitted after the meeting ended)

Voting results:

Contracted Parties House: 57.1% in favour (4 in favour) (3 against)
Non Contracted Parties House: 84.6% in favour (11 in favour) (2 against)

Staff clarified that the motion is intended to address new gTLDs only. 

In the interest of time for the presenters, Council agreed to move to Item 6: ahead of Item 5: GNSO Council comment on .COM contract renewal

Item 6: Uniformity of reporting

In its meeting on 6 October 2011, the GNSO Council resolved to request 'the ICANN Compliance Department to report on existing systems, to report and track violations and/or complaints; improvements / changes made since the RAPWG Report or foreseen in the near future, and: identify gaps and any improvements that might be desirable but not foreseen at this stage. Further consideration of this Meta Issue, including the recommendations and considerations of the RAP WG in this regard, is deferred pending receipt of such information from the ICANN Compliance Department'. On 18 March, ICANN's Compliance Department submitted its report (see The Council is expected to review the report and discuss possible next steps, including the recommendations and considerations of the RAP WG in this regard.

Maguy Serad, supported by Paul Redmond from the ICANN Compliance Department provided Council with an overview of the report on existing systems, to report and track violations and/or complaints; improvements / changes made since the RAPWG Report or foreseen in the near future, and: identify gaps and any improvements that might be desirable but not foreseen at this stage.

Marika Konings provided Council with a report on the next steps, including the recommendations and considerations of the Registration Abuse Policies Working Group (RAP WG) in this regard.

Item 5: GNSO Council comment on .COM contract renewal

In its announcement on the .COM contract renewal dated 27 March 2012 ( ICANN states that the question of transitioning a large existing registry to thick WHOIS has been recognised by the GNSO as raising operational and other issues that require further discussion and consideration (

So Council discussions are being cited as the rationale for the fact that the 2012 .COM contract contains no obligations on the registry operator to switch to a thick WHOIS format. Considering the debate that went on at Council level on this issue, the Council may deem this to be a misrepresentation of the truth. If so, the Council may then wish to draft a statement outlining this and direct the Chair to send it to the Board.

Jeff Neuman said the reason for requesting discussion on the topic arose from the concern about how GNSO Council decisions and actions are used by ICANN Staff in ways in which the Council may not have intended them to be used. Particular reference is made to a statement in the . COM Registry Agreement renewal, using the contract renewal process as a chance to get into contracts things that fall within the picket fence that a Registry operator does not want to voluntarily adopt.

"The Registries do not believe that that is an appropriate use of the contract renewal process, to do so, improperly uses ICANN's monopoly over this function to circumvent the process that was agreed upon in this industry as the way that our contracts should work."

Jeff Neuman quoting from the announcement, noted that it did not reflect the GNSO Council discussions:
"111 Background with respect to the Proposed 2012 .com Renewal Agreement

2. Moving to maintenance of a "thick" Whois database: The question of transitioning a large existing registry to "thick" Whois raises operational and other issues that require further discussion and consideration. This has been recognized by the GNSO, as that body recently agreed to undertake a formal Policy Development Process (PDP) in the matter (see, Such a change can be implemented separately from the renewal process. "

If GNSO decisions are used to justify an ICANN staff position, there should be caution and in some circumstances confirmation of the GNSO Council position.

In summary, Jeff Neuman agrees with ICANN Staff's position that moving to the maintenance of a "Thick" Whois database should be addressed by a Policy Development Process (PDP) as opposed to the contract negotiations process but disagrees with the way ICANN Staff used the GNSO Council decision as a means to justify that decision as opposed to merely stating that things within the picket fence that a Registry does not want to adopt should be handled through the Policy Development Process (PDP).

Further comments noted inaccuracies in the announcement, ... "has been recognized by the GNSO, as that body recently agreed to undertake a formal Policy Development Process (PDP) in the matter (see," while the resolution refers to forming a drafting team to draw up a charter and Council discussions note that it may be advantageous to wait until contract negotiations are completed.

Council expressed no strong desire to undertake any action on the issue.

Item 7: Update on RAA Final Issue Report and Status of Negotiations

Margie Milam provided a brief overview that was prepared for the Council meeting in Costa Rica and deferred because of time, of the Final Issue Report on the RAA Amendments and the Status Report on the RAA negotiations.

Item 8: Update on the new PDP

In the interest of time the Introduction to Revised Policy Development Process (PDP)
was deferred to the next Council meeting on 10 May 2012.

Item 9: Any Other Business

Rob Hoggarth provided the Council with a brief update of the new GNSO web site. The plan is for the new site to go live by the end of May 2012 and in the second week of May 2012, a ten (10) day review period will be announced. First, the new material will be reviewed internally by the ICANN staff then this will be followed by the GNSO Council, GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency leaders review of the new site before it goes live. The announcement will include the new data site link, a short presentation guide through the new site, particularly the new site design and provide a feedback channel for comments. Shortly after the review period concludes and the necessary corrections and modifications based on the feedback have been made, the new site will go live.

Rob Hoggarth expressed special thanks to Berry Cobb for his tremendous amount of leadership and work on the project.

Stéphane van Gelder adjourned the GNSO Council meeting and thanked everyone for their participation.

The meeting was adjourned at 14:02 UTC.

The next GNSO Council meeting will be on Thursday, 10 May 2012 at 15:00 UTC.
See: Calendar