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Minutes of the GNSO Council Meeting 27 February 2014

Last Updated:

Agenda and Documents

The meeting started at 11:00 UTC.

List of attendees

NCA – Non Voting – Jennifer Wolfe

Contracted Parties House

Registrar Stakeholder Group: James Bladel absent, proxy to Volker Greimann, Volker Greimann, Yoav Keren

gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group: Jonathan Robinson, Ching Chiao, Bret Fausett - absent

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, joined for part of the meeting, proxy given to Maria Farrell, Amr Elsadr, Magaly Pazello

Nominating Committee Appointee (NCA): Daniel Reed - absent

GNSO Council Liaisons/Observers

Alan Greenberg – ALAC Liaison
Patrick Myles - ccNSO Observer


David Olive - VP Policy Development - Absent, apologies
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


Sally Costerton - Senior Advisor to the President — Global Stakeholder Engagement

Chris Dillon & Rudi Vansnick – co-chairs Translation & Transliteration of Contact Information Working Group

MP3 Recording
Adobe Chat Transcript

Item 1: Administrative matters

1.1 Roll Call

1.2 Statement of interest updates
Maria Farrell

1.3 Review/amend agenda
The agenda was approved.

1.4. The Minutes of the GNSO Council meetings 23 January 2014 have been posted as approved on 17 February 2014.

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

Council members are encouraged to review the Projects List and Action List before each Council meeting.

Item 3: Consent agenda

No items on the consent agenda

Item 4: UPDATE & DISCUSSION – International Internet Governance Issues

Jonathan Robinson noted that international Internet Governance issues are attracting a great deal of attention in ICANN and related groups and encouraged discussion about how this impacts the role and work of the Council being mindful of the scope and remit of the Council, and what action the Council should or could be taking.

Sally Costerton provided Council with a status update pointing out the three streams involved:

  • 1net initiative
  • High Level Panel (previously referred to as the Fifth Panel and the Fifth Panel is a strategy panel)
  • NETmundial the Brazil meeting in the third week of April 2014

By way of background, at the Buenos Aires meeting it became clear that the profile of Internet Governance was increasing and this has been triggered by the intense amounts of coverage that ICANN has been exposed to as well as the revelations around the Snowden issues. In fact Internet Governance has always been close to the heart of ICANN, but the rest of the world woke up and this resurfaced WICT issues around the polarization between different government positions about how the Internet is to be managed in the future.

There is a full Internet Governance calendar of events this year, 2014, consisting of different meetings in different fora and different parts of the world. They will all be examining the question from slightly different perspectives but all focusing on similar issues such as, what kind of frameworks, what kind of principles should the community look at for the future in terms of how to deal with current issues as well as those for which we seem unable, around the world, to find any way of solution and which are sometimes referred to as 'orphan issues'.

There is a growing sense of frustration over how difficult it is to resolve Internet issues.

Another issue in the background is the United Nations agenda and the march towards the October meeting in South Korea. The existential question is whether the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will redesign its mandate and seek to take control of some or all of the resources that make up the governance of the Internet as opposed to the current mandate which is telco-focused. The view is that if the ICANN community does not collectively engage in this debate then others may do it for them with less desirable results.

Post Buenos Aires

The 1net initiative, the partner for NETmundial, that started in Argentina and goes beyond the ICANN community though involving many ICANN participants, has become a discussion forum where detailed debates are taking place on frameworks and principles trying to consolidate some of the thinking. The group has a steering committee and meets regularly, the website is up and discussions can be followed by topics.

The ICANN community has formed a Cross Community working group meeting weekly, co-chaired by Rafik Dammak and Olivier Crépin-LeBlond to collect input to these processes, and is preparing a submission to NETmundial. NETmundial, taking place in Sao Paulo in April, is being hosted under the auspices of the Brazilian government and has four co-chairs from different geographic regions and representing the different stakeholder groups.

There are two main committees:

  • the Executive Multi-stakeholder Committee which is an operational group in charge of the organisation
  • the High Level Committee, which is an oversight group made up of high level government representatives and also some participants, that reaches into governments and makes their communities aware of the need to register for the event.
  • Key dates:
    • registration of interest to attend the event 28 February 2014, register at, there is a capacity limitation of 900.
    • deadline for submissions March 8, 2014
    • final agenda published early April 2014

The High Level Panel has had three face to face meetings and their purpose is to look at principles and frameworks to make submissions to the Brazil meeting but their remit will extend beyond that.

The purpose of the Brazil meeting is not to fix spam or cyber security issues but to look at ways in which the world can come together to agree on a framework and principles of how these issues might get looked at in the future.
Sally encouraged the participants on the call to raise awareness in their communities, submit ideas for principles and frameworks, and be prepared to answer any questions about scope.

Sally went on to point to key events in Singapore such as the NCUC meeting on Friday 21 March and the Supporting Organisation/Advisory Group session on the Cross Community Working Group on Monday 24 March where these topics would be discussed.

Highlights from the discussion

  • There is a comprehensive remote participation process and NETmundial organizers encourage all participation, so if a community like the ccTLDs feel left out, they should certainly make their voices heard via these means.
  • The Snowden revelations have provided excellent cover for political intent what is Fadi's position on this? ICANN does not have a particular view on this, but there is a realization within the US Government that structures may need to change.
  • Concern was expressed with the Board's resolution regarding globalization and the continuation of ad hoc CEO-appointed panels, the lack of community consultation and the concern about the Council's role in this ad hoc series of actions by administration. Sally referred to a letter from Steve Crocker and with her engagement hat on, encouraged groups to facilitate the discussion particularly in Singapore where there will be opportunities for this and reach out and encourage the communities to register for, and participate remotely at the NETmundial.
  • Ching Chiao congratulated Sally Costerton on the ASIAPAC engagement saying that the AsiaPAC members would like to be more engaged with the actual meetings, not just talking to people in the region, but bringing people to the meeting table to actually make contributions.

It was noted that Avri Doria would have liked to participate in this item but was not able to due to meeting conflicts but will be providing information on the mailing list.

Action Item:

Secretariat to provide the link to the report by Boston Consulting Group commissioned by ICANN

as well the link to the blog on detailing the role of the Board groups

Item 5: UPDATE – PDP Working Group on Translation & Transliteration of Contact Information

The GNSO Council recently initiated a Policy Development Process (PDP) on the Translation and Transliteration of Contact Information. As part of its efforts to obtain broad input from the ICANN Community at an early stage of its deliberations, the Working Group has requested input from the Supporting Organizations (including the GNSO) and Advisory Committees on several questions relating to the issues identified in the PDP Final Issue Report. Ching Chiao informed Council that the group had its last face to face meeting in Buenos Aires.

Chris Dillon and Rudi Vansnick, co-chairs of the working group, joined the call to provide an update on the Translation and Transliteration of Contact Information working group.

Chris Dillon presented a brief update.

Action Item:

Councillors are encouraged, through their respective groups, to provide input to the working group.

Item 6: UPDATE & DISCUSSION – GNSO Engagement with the work of the ICANN Strategy Panels

Jonathan Robinson provided a brief overview of his discussions with the Strategy Panels and drew attention to the public comment period that is open on the output of the strategy panels and the 16 proposals.

Fadi Chehadé and David Olive provide updates to Advisory Committee/Supporting Organisation (AC/SO) chairs on the role of the panels and their role in the strategy process. During the meeting concern was expressed about the top-down nature of the work and the lack of ability to have influenced the inception of these groups .

As directed by the Council, Jonathan Robinson reached out to engage with the Multi-stakeholder Innovation Panel. After a slow start there have been two meetings with Beth Novak, who chairs that panel, and a couple of members of her team.

The content of those meetings can be divided into two components.

The first meeting, where there was a little flag-waving along the lines of, "we're the GNSO Council, we're also an integral part of the GNSO and the work of the panels appears to overlap with the GNSO remit within the ICANN multi-stakeholder model. Therefore we are attuned to, and very sensitive to the work that you are doing."

The output resulted in a proposed interaction, an interview between Beth Novak and Jonathan, but Jonathan was not completely comfortable with this and it did not go through.

At the second meeting, it appeared as though no commitment had been made and that there was a good chance to meet up in Singapore with members of Beth Novak's team from the Governance Lab that did the underlying work. The engagement that they have offered is to home in on some of the recommendations, not all 16, that are more closely related to the work of the GNSO.

The "top down" concern expressed by some Councilors is considered a possible discussion to be had with Fadi Chehadé and Theresa Swinehart rather than with the Strategy panel.

Highlights of the discussion

  • It was emphasized that it is difficult for volunteers to stay above the raging waters and the more that can be done to foster discussion at the broadest level of the community is really a noble purpose at this point.
  • The commissioning of the panels is very top down but eventually changes will have to go through the processes that are in place in the GNSO, so no reason to be so concerned.
  • There was positive support for the Council to provide a written response which could be a reaction to the work of the panel and work being undertaken in the GNSO pointing to the existing procedures. There was also positive support for the Council to engage directly with the groups, the ICANN Board and Fadi Chehadé and make them aware of their limits and alert them to overlaps. There is an impression that comments seem to disappear in a black hole.
  • A substantial portion of volunteer's work is going to Internet Governance. The overload is also felt by the contracted parties, especially the smaller registries and registrars who are struggling to keep up with implementation requirements in addition to policy making and Internet Governance discussions.
  • Concern was expressed that ICANN is trying to represent all stakeholders with one voice, rather than letting each group speak for itself.
  • The subject matter of the strategy panels is worthwhile. ICANN needs reform, needs to evolve, needs to adapt and needs to look at where it can change. It is helpful to have an outside voice but this should have come via a multi-stakeholder bottom-up process, rather than a CEO initiative.
  • Council needs to assert its role and the advice it gives should be comparable to the GAC advice rather than comments through a public forum.
  • Bear in mind that the Multi-stakeholder Strategic Panel was put in place to make suggestions about the 'whole multi-stakeholder model' and not just the GNSO, so the remit is broader but this has happened in an uninformed way so perhaps suggest alternatives without appearing defensive.

Action Item:

Jonathan Robinson to follow up with Theresa Swinehart on how best to interact with the panels.

Item 7: UPDATE & DISCUSSION –Governement Advisory Committee (GAC) Engagement – the work of the Joint GAC / GNSO Consultation Group

Amr Elsadr provided Council with a brief update on the GAC GNSO Consultation group. The group formed directly following the Buenos Aires meeting and consists of six councilors and six members of the GAC.

The charter is finalized and basically spells out the issue of GAC engagement with the GNSO policy, why it is a problem and how it could be a problem for gTLD policy and ICANN in general and what steps the consultation group has agreed to take in order to address these issues and encourage earlier engagement in the Policy Development Process (PDP) by the GAC.

Two documents resulted:

  1. Policy Development Process map indicating possible GAC involvement.
  2. Day to day operations and interaction between the GNSO and the GAC which are:
    • GNSO liaison to the GAC
    • regular monthly calls between GAC chair and GNSO chair
    • topic leads buddy systems where you have two leads, one from the GAC and one from the GNSO identified for each GNSO PDP
    • rethinking the actual substance of the joint GAC GNSO meetings
    • further develop and expand early awareness and notifications
    • a group of existing PDP liaisons interacting with GAC having a joint mailing list between the liaisons of the Council to the different PDP working groups and making sure the GAC has access to them and they have access to the GAC.

A request has been submitted for funding a liaison.

There will be a presentation by the Consultation Group in Singapore.

Item 8: UPDATE & DISCUSSION – Forthcoming review of the GNSO

Jennifer Wolfe reported that there has been no further update and cannot say when the next update is expected.

Item 9: UPDATE & DISCUSSION – Planning for Singapore

David Cake presented Council with a very rough draft and explained some sessions still had to be confirmed.
He encouraged Council input and comments on the draft as well as topics for discussion with the Board and ccNSO.

Item 10: Any Other Business

10.1 Community budget requests:

Requests have been made for

1. A Council Development Session at the end of the year similar to the one held in Argentina in November 2013,
2. Face-to-face Policy Development Process meetings (potential for facilitation),
3. GAC GNSO reverse liaison

10.2 ICANN Board Seat 14 – NCPH - additional Council meeting Thursday, 10 April 2014 at 14:00 UTC - this is a placeholder for that meeting

Action Item

Glen de Saint Géry to follow up on the Council mailing list with the rationale for meeting.

10.3 Note the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) presence in Singapore

Programme details will be sent out to the groups

10.4 GNSO Council to consider whether to prepare a comment for submission to Meeting Strategy Working Group Recommendations

Action Item

Groups are encouraged to provide comments
Council to consider providing comments

Amr Elsadr asked for clarification as to whether the final report of the gTLD Registration Services Expert Working Group (EWG) would be an Issues Report.

Marika Konings explained that it was important to separate the two. Once the EWG recommendations in their Final Report are approved by the Board they will go back to the GNSO Council and feed into a preliminary Issue Report that has been prepared by the Council and published some time back.

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

The meeting was adjourned at 13:08 UTC.

The next GNSO Council meeting will take place on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 at 13:00 local time Singapore. (05:00 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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