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Minutes of the GNSO Council Meeting 23 January 2014

Last Updated:

Agenda and Documents

The meeting started at 18:00 UTC.

List of attendees: NCA – Non Voting – Jennifer Wolfe
Contracted Parties House
Registrar Stakeholder Group: James Bladel, Volker Greimann, Yoav Keren gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group: Jonathan Robinson, Ching Chiao, Bret Fausett
Nominating Committee Appointee (NCA): Thomas Rickert
Non-Contracted Parties House
Commercial Stakeholder Group (CSG): Mikey O'Connor, Osvaldo Novoa, Gabriella Szlak, John Berard, Brian Winterfeldt, Petter Rindforth
Non Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG): Klaus Stoll, Maria Farrell, David Cake, Avri Doria, Amr Elsadr, Magaly Pazello – absent, apologies proxy to Amr Elsadr
Nominating Committee Appointee (NCA): Daniel Reed

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

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
Cory Schruth – Systems Engineer

MP3 Recording
Adobe Chat Transcript

Item 1: Administrative matters (5 minutes)

1.1 Roll Call

1.2 Statement of interest updates

Bret Fausett
Maria Farrell noted that she is employed by Oxford University but this does not affect her position on the Council.

1.3 Review/amend agenda

The agenda was approved.

1.4. The Minutes of the GNSO Council meetings 20 November 2013 part 1 and part 2 as well as the Minutes of the Council meeting 12 December 2013 have been posted as approved on 23 January 2014.

Item 2: Opening Remarks / Review of Projects & Action List

Review focus areas and provide updates on specific key themes / topics

Include review of Projects List and

Action Items arising from the Action List.

WHOIS Survey WG Final Report & Recommendations
Jonathan Robinson to send draft letter to the Expert Working Group (EWG) about the Whois Survey Working Group (WSWG) Final Report that contains the compiled survey results of potential technical requirements on a future WHOIS system.

Cross Community Working Groups (CWG) Drafting Team
Along with John Berard, Becky Burr – from the ccNSO has been appointed as co-chair.
Mary Wong to circulate the renewed call for volunteers the Council list (;
Council members are requested to update their group's representatives in the new Drafting Team.

Item 3: Consent agenda

3.1 Council  Approved sending the Council Recommendations Report on protection of IGO-INGO names and acronyms to the ICANN Board.

Action Item:

Notify the Working Group

3.2 Council Confirmed the Chair and and Vice-Chairs of the Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues PDP working group namely Don Blumenthal (RySG) as Chair as well as Steve Metalitz (IPC) and Graeme Bunton (RrSG) as Vice-Chairs.

Action Item:

Notify the Chair and vice chairs.

3.3 Council Confirmed Chairs of the Translation and Transliteration of Contact Information PDP Working Group namely Chris Dillon (NCSG) and Rudi Vansnick (NPOC) as co-Chairs.

Action Item:

Notify the Chairs

Item 4: MOTION – Metrics and Reporting Working Group Charter

Mikey O'Connor, seconded by James Bladel, proposed a motion to approve the Charter for the GNSO Metrics and Reporting (non-Policy Development Process (PDP) Working Group (WG)

The GNSO Council requested an Issue Report on metrics and reporting at its meeting on 17 Oct 2012

On 16 May 2013 the GNSO Council deliberated a recommendation on the Uniformity of Reporting from the Registration Abuse Policies Working Group (RAPWG) and approved a non-PDP Working Group to consider metrics and reporting;

"The GNSO Council further approves the creation of a drafting team to develop a charter for a non- PDP Working Group to consider additional methods for collecting necessary metrics and reporting from Contracted Parties and other external resources to aid the investigation."

Following a call for volunteers, a Drafting Team was formed and its members have developed a draft charter for consideration by the GNSO Council;

The GNSO Council has reviewed the draft charter submitted by the Drafting Team.


The GNSO Council approves the following charter for the GNSO Metrics & Reporting non-PDP WG and appoints Mikey O'Connor as the GNSO Council Liaison to the GNSO Metrics & Reporting non-PDP WG

The GNSO Council further directs that the work of the GNSO Metrics & Reporting non-PDP WG be initiated as soon as possible after an adequate duration to conduct a call for volunteers has occurred.

Until formation of the WG, the GNSO Council Liaison shall act as interim chair.

The Working Group shall, to the extent that it is practical, follow the rules outlined in the GNSO Working Group Guidelines

The motion carried unanimously. All Councillors present voted in favour.

Highlights from the discussion:

Mikey O'Connor clarified the text of the motion by pointing out that essentially reference was being made to a non-Policy Development Process (PDP) working group that is not going to create new policy, but is aimed at building best practices. However during the course of the work, if some issues should be considered as policy, then a recommendation should be made be to launch a PDP but that is as far as the group can go. It is not mandated as a Policy Development Process (PDP) working group and indeed the group was encouraged to look at what could be considered policy issues and to make the appropriate recommendations.

The 2010 Registration Abuse Policies Working Group (RAPWG) identified an issue relating to Uniformity of Reporting which it described as "need for more uniformity in the mechanisms to initiate, track, and analyze policy-violation reports." The RAPWG recommended in its Final Report that "the GNSO and the larger ICANN community in general, create and support uniform [problem-] reporting [and report-tracking] processes."

The proposed title is both obscure and misleading and it was recommended that the title should be changed before the call for volunteers is launched.

Action Item:

Mikey O'Connor, as liaison to the newly formed Working Group, volunteered to work with a small group to revise the name "Metrics and Reporting Working Group" to better describe the work of the group prior to calling for volunteers.

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

Council has discussed and revised the of table of prospective PDP Improvements. All the improvements seek to make the existing Policy development Process PDP more efficient. Council accepts the current document and agrees that a group be formed to start work on Items 3 and 5 in particular.

It was noted that the Newcomers webinar, one of the recommendations that has been put into practice, was a success.

Action Item:

Formation of a group to take forward key areas of items 3 and 5 in the table in particular, but not exclusively.
Ensure that this topic is reviewed at future face to face meetings, though it is premature to specify at which ones.

Item 6: GAC Engagement – the work of the Joint GAC / GNSO Consultation Group

Jonathan Robinson provided Council with a brief update on the status of the group and reminded Council that the first Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT) recommended that the GAC find mechanisms to engage early in the process with GNSO policy development work.

The primary focus of the consultation group, which has formed in a positive atmosphere, is to get volunteers together to try and work through how the GAC might better be engaged early in the GNSO's policy work, despite concerns that this may slow the work of the GNSO and sensitivities around the impact of such engagement. The members of the group include the GNSO chair and two vice chairs, and overall, an approximately equal number of Council and GAC members. The group is in the process of agreeing on a charter and intends to concentrate on two work-streams namely 1) points of interaction with the policy development process and 2) a regular GNSO GAC liaison. The foreseen time lines are an initial report in Singapore, then another one in London and ideally by the October /November ICANN annual meeting the work of the group will be concluded.

There is a mailing list and all recordings and transcripts of the meetings are published on the GNSO calendar page.

Item 7: Update – Forthcoming review of the GNSO

Jennifer Wolfe provided the Council with a status update. Ray Plazk, chair of the Structural Improvements Committee (SIC), the body that commissions such reviews, and Staff are developing a charter for a community advisory group that will consist of 5-10 people selected by the SIC to oversee the process from the community perspective and to ensure that there is transparency and accountability throughout the process. Jennifer stated that she was providing input through this process.

This group would be mainly responsible for developing the scope of the questions and in depth surveys that would be used in the audit and completed by the Advisory Committees and the Supporting Organisations. The SIC will select and hire a third party objective auditor who will then review both quantitative and qualitative information. Once the charter is developed, it will be submitted for public comment. The next steps for the Council will thus be formally reviewing, commenting and providing feedback on the charter before it is finalized. After the charter is approved the actual surveys and audits will start. There is no definite time line yet but by Singapore the charter may be ready for comment.

Highlights from the discussion.

During the last review there was no Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) and the Council was the driver for Review's terms of reference while currently the SIC appears to be initiating the charter.

The intended GNSO review is a Board-initiated, bylaw-driven review whereby periodic reviews of the Supporting Organizations are undertaken in a sequence in which the GNSO happens to comes up first.

Early on, during the Beijing meeting, Bruce Tonkin one of the GNSO representatives on the Board and a previous Council chair suggested that the Council undertake a self-review and what is being attempted now is to track closely the intention of the SIC and, to the extent that it is appropriate, influence the thinking of the SIC on what is proposed or planned so as to be well prepared for the review emanating from the Board.

The view is held that the GNSO Council is not the GNSO as a whole, so to the extent that any review is undertaken of the GNSO's work over and above the work of the Council, it is the Council's role to make sure that all parts of the GNSO is informed through the work of the Council in this regard.

Avri Doria noted for the record that while she "acknowledges that the Council is not the entire GNSO, it is the Council of the GNSO. There is no other Council of the GNSO. And so I see the point responsibility for the GNSO being in the hands of the Council. I know that there are people outside the Council that disagree with that and that may indeed be one of the issues that will be discussed in this review. But at this point that division is one I find quite problematic so I want to flag that."

Further it was noted that there is a delicate balance between the stakeholder groups and constituencies having their own chairs and leadership and some of them that feel very strongly that stakeholder group and constituency leaders need to have a voice in addition to that of their councilors and the work of the Council.

Item 8: DISCUSSION – International Internet Governance Issues

Jonathan Robinson drew attention to two themes:

  • A meta-theme, that seems to be 'sucking up an enormous amount of energy' at all levels, Board, executive staff, ICANN staff, At Large, the ccNSO and the community with the concern that no other work can get done.
  • Understanding the relationship between the International Internet Governance issues and the role and remit of the Council.

Highlights from the discussion indicated strong support for regular updates from staff or appropriate people involved in Internet Governance issues to understand how the different work products coming out of these different groups and efforts are expected to fit together into a cohesive approach either from ICANN or from the ICANN community or from ICANN the organization into some of these upcoming events.

Action Items:

  • David Olive undertook to invite Theresa Swinehart, or Sally Costerton, to brief the Council on International Internet Governance issues at the next Council meeting on 27 February at 11:00 UTC.
  • Staff to make available links to the cross community working group Wiki where some summary documents, timetables and events occurring including the Brazil meeting can be found.
  • Avri Doria volunteered to provide the Council with a synopsis of International Internet Governance issues and have that as a briefing for the Council.

Item 9: UPDATE & DISCUSSION – Planning for Singapore

Highlights from the discussion:

Participation from the chairs and vice chairs of Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies was very important for the weekend sessions.

Working group updates provide an opportunity to have face to face interaction about the broad work within the GNSO that the Council manages, however the form could be improved and the reports condensed.

Interaction with particularly the ICANN Board and the Chief Executive Officer, Fadi Chehadé is important and needs planning:

Suggested topics:

Internet Governance issue, the impact on the ICANN model and future developments.

Meeting with the GAC which will be driven by the agenda from the consultation group.

It is currently planned that there will be a Supporting Organisation and Advisory Committee SO/AC high-level interest panel at the beginning of the ICANN meeting as there was in Buenos Aires

It was suggested that we review the ideas brought up at the new Councillors induction and Council development session in Buenos Aires and introduce or develop some of those topics.

Rearranging the set-up of the meeting room so that Supporting Organisation and Advisory Committee SO/AC group leaders and others could feel more of an equal role.

Suggested topic for discussion is how the GNSO identifies policy issues that may warrant a Policy Development Process PDP before an Issues Report is requested.

Action Item

Provide input on Council list for agenda items and topics for discussion particularly for meetings with the ICANN Board, ccNSO, and GAC.

Item 10: Any Other Business (10 mins)

10.1 Proposal to review SSAC reports and determine whether or not any recommendations impact on GNSO Consensus Policy.

Action Items:

Mikey O'Connor suggested and volunteered to spearhead a mailing list sponsored by the Council and open to anybody with an Security, Stability and Resiliency (SSR) interest in the community.

Create mailing list. Suggested name for mailing list

Avri Doria is the GNSO Council liaison to the Standing Committee on GNSO Improvements Implementation Committee (SCI). Cintra Sooknanan from NPOC and the NCSG has been chosen as the SCI vice chair.

Maria Farrell is GNSO Council liaison and no longer interim chair to the Whois Privacy and Proxy Accreditation Working Group.

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

The meeting was adjourned at 20:00 UTC.

The next GNSO Council meeting will take place on Thursday, 27 February 2014 at 11:00 UTC.

See: Calendar

Appendix 1: GNSO Council Voting Thresholds (ICANN Bylaws, Article X, Section 3)
9. Except as otherwise specified in these Bylaws, Annex A hereto, or the GNSO Operating Procedures, the default threshold to pass a GNSO Council motion or other voting action requires a simple majority vote of each House. The voting thresholds described below shall apply to the following GNSO actions:

a. Create an Issues Report: requires an affirmative vote of more than one-fourth (1/4) vote of each House or majority of one House.

b. Initiate a Policy Development Process ("PDP") Within Scope (as described in Annex A): requires an affirmative vote of more than one-third (1/3) of each House or more than two-thirds (2/3) of one House.

c. Initiate a PDP Not Within Scope: requires an affirmative vote of GNSO Supermajority.

d. Approve a PDP Team Charter for a PDP Within Scope: requires an affirmative vote of more than one-third (1/3) of each House or more than two-thirds (2/3) of one House.

e. Approve a PDP Team Charter for a PDP Not Within Scope: requires an affirmative vote of a GNSO Supermajority.

f. Changes to an Approved PDP Team Charter: For any PDP Team Charter approved under d. or e. above, the GNSO Council may approve an amendment to the Charter through a simple majority vote of each House.

g. Terminate a PDP: Once initiated, and prior to the publication of a Final Report, the GNSO Council may terminate a PDP only for significant cause, upon a motion that passes with a GNSO Supermajority Vote in favor of termination.

h. Approve a PDP Recommendation Without a GNSO Supermajority: requires an affirmative vote of a majority of each House and further requires that one GNSO Council member representative of at least 3 of the 4 Stakeholder Groups supports the Recommendation.

i. Approve a PDP Recommendation With a GNSO Supermajority: requires an affirmative vote of a GNSO Supermajority,

j. Approve a PDP Recommendation Imposing New Obligations on Certain Contracting Parties: where an ICANN contract provision specifies that "a two-thirds vote of the council" demonstrates the presence of a consensus, the GNSO Supermajority vote threshold will have to be met or exceeded.

k. Modification of Approved PDP Recommendation: Prior to Final Approval by the ICANN Board, an Approved PDP Recommendation may be modified or amended by the GNSO Council with a GNSO Supermajority vote.

l. A "GNSO Supermajority" shall mean: (a) two-thirds (2/3) of the Council members of each House, or (b) three-fourths (3/4) of one House and a majority of the other House."

Appendix 2: Absentee Voting Procedures (GNSO Operating Procedures 4.4)
4.4.1 Applicability
Absentee voting is permitted for the following limited number of Council motions or measures.
a. Initiate a Policy Development Process (PDP);
b. Approve a PDP recommendation;
c. Recommend amendments to the GNSO Operating Procedures (GOP) or ICANN Bylaws;
d. Fill a Council position open for election.

4.4.2 Absentee ballots, when permitted, must be submitted within the announced time limit, which shall be 72 hours from the meeting's adjournment. In exceptional circumstances, announced at the time of the vote, the Chair may reduce this time to 24 hours or extend the time to 7 calendar days, provided such amendment is verbally confirmed by all Vice-Chairs present.

4.4.3 The GNSO Secretariat will administer, record, and tabulate absentee votes according to these procedures and will provide reasonable means for transmitting and authenticating absentee ballots, which could include voting by telephone, e- mail, web-based interface, or other technologies as may become available.
4.4.4 Absentee balloting does not affect quorum requirements. (There must be a quorum for the meeting in which the vote is initiated.)
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