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GNSO Council Teleconference Minutes

Last Updated:

12 May 2005

Proposed agenda and related documents

List of attendees:
Philip Sheppard - Commercial & Business Users C. absent, apologies- proxy to Grant Forsyth/Marilyn Cade
Marilyn Cade - Commercial & Business Users C.
Grant Forsyth - Commercial & Business Users C
Greg Ruth - ISCPC
Antonio Harris - ISCPC
Tony Holmes - ISCPC
Thomas Keller- Registrars - absent - apologies - proxy to Ross Rader/Bruce Tonkin
Ross Rader - Registrars
Bruce Tonkin - Registrars
Ken Stubbs - gTLD registries
Philip Colebrook - gTLD registries
Cary Karp - gTLD registries
Lucy Nichols - Intellectual Property Interests C
Niklas Lagergren - Intellectual Property Interests C
Kiyoshi Tsuru - Intellectual Property Interests C. - absent - apologies - proxy to Niklas Lagergren
Robin Gross - Non Commercial Users C.
Marc Schneiders - Non Commercial Users C. - absent - apologies - proxy Robin Gross/Norbert Klein/Tom Keller/Ross Rader/Bruce Tonkin
Norbert Klein - Non Commercial Users C.
Alick Wilson
Maureen Cubberley - absent - apologies - proxy to Alick Wilson/ Bruce Tonkin

15 Council Members

Paul Verhoef - Vice President, Policy Development Support
Kurt Pritz - Vice President, Business Operations
Olof Nordling - Manager, Policy Development Coordination
Tina Dam - Chief gTLD Registry Liaison
Maria Farrell - ICANN GNSO Policy Support Officer
Glen de Saint G�ry - GNSO Secretariat

GNSO Council Liaisons
Bret Fausett - acting ALAC Liaison
Suzanne Sene - GAC Liaison - absent - apologies

Michael Palage - ICANN Board member

Invited guest
Jordyn Buchanan - Whois task force 1/2/3 chair

MP3 Recording

Quorum present at 14:07 CET.

Bruce Tonkin chaired this teleconference.

Item 1: Approval of the Agenda
Marilyn Cade requested that .net be discussed under Item 9 AOB
Bruce Tonkin proposed starting the meeting with
Item 7: Update on ICANN strategic and operational planning process

Agenda approved

Item 2: Approval of the
Minutes of 6 April 2005

Ken Stubbs moved the adoption of the minutes of 6 April 2005
Motion approved. One abstention from Kiyoshi Tsuru whose proxy was given to Niklas Lagergren

Decision 1: The minutes of 6 April 2005 were adopted

Item 2: Update on ICANN strategic and operational planning process
Bruce Tonkin commented on three areas that emerged from the Mar del Plata meeting:
1. Strategic plan
2.Input on the operational plan
3. Discussion on how both documents would be developed in future.
Kurt Pritz reported that there had been consultative meeting with significant participation on the strategic plan 3 categories of comments were received :
A few comments that required no change to the strategic plan but were included to complete the record.
Comments pointing to straightforward changes such as omission or errors in the strategic plan document
Changes that needed reflection, study and probably more community consultation. These were deferred to the next planning cycle.
Changes that could be made in a relatively short time were completed and presented to the Board with the recommendation to repost the strategic plan for comment
The forward going planning process will start with the strategic plan and commence officially in Luxembourg.
ICANN Staff flow charted and time lined the plan offered by Chuck Gomes, Grant Forsyth, Marilyn Cade and Maureen Cubberley with the intention to open more time for the planning process and insert independent studies.
Paul Twomey has requested Patrick Sharry to focus on ways for soliciting feed back in an effective manner. At the Mar del Plata meeting it was realized that the meeting format did not encourage good communication and it is intended to construct meetings where feedback can be provided in 6 different languages.
The methodology and a revised timeline explaining the strategic planning process will be published shortly for review.
The operational plan has been changed, based on comments from the Mar del Plata meeting, communications with Dr. Paul Twomey and senior ICANN executives and reviewed and accepted by the finance committee for publication. It will be augmented in 2 ways:
1. Fleshed out with the staffing plan matching the goals that are indicated in the budget.
2. ICANN Staff Managers were asked to set milestones and dates in order to achieve those goals.
An indication of how each goal will be measured will be published along with the ICANN budget.
The ICANN budget ,recently reviewed by the finance committee would go to the Budget advisory group and be published as a preliminary or proposed budget with the operational plan as part of it.
The operational plan will be published on May 17, 2005 for public comment and for the Board to vote on in July 2005.
Kurt Pritz clarified that the Budget Advisory committee was composed of representatives from the Regional Internet Registries, the gTLD Registries, Registrars, and the ccNSO.
Marilyn Cade commented hat the public comment period on the revised strategic plan was very short, that it was not clear how that consultation would take place and what the activity level would be in those areas until that consultation was concluded.
Kurt Pritz responded that it would be undertaken case by case, and that money would not be spent without Board authorization as provided for in the bylaws.
A redlined version of the Strategic Plan was available and the Board, at its meeting, had decided to publish it for public comment.

Bruce Tonkin proposed discussing the process for coordinating between the GNSO council and the ICANN staff.
Bruce Tonkin suggested a weekly call with a few interested council members to follow administrative issues and that once a month Paul Verhoef could post a report on the staff activities in preparation for the Council meeting.

Paul Verhoef reported work on a number of activities:
1. Maria Farrell's posting on the Council list which consisted of:
a). a table outlining the GNSO Council independent review and the Council's self-review  which summarized the two sets of recommendations and included staff responses and suggestions
b). a short list of current GNSO-related issues being worked on by ICANN staff
2. the new gTLD policy was receiving much attention and following extensive discussions in the Board, a number of fundamental issues need to be looked at before any policy development could be undertaken.
A plan was being developed internally and a brief discussion with the Board was foreseen to approve the way the staff was moving forward. The gNSO, ccNSO, and ALAC all had roles to play.
3. New registry services were up for discussion
4. The Operations staff were working on issues that would be discussed later on the call.

Marilyn Cade suggested that a discussion on how the staff and council collaborated on generating the work topics, refinements or any additions.
Bruce Tonkin proposed having a project status report to measure the progress that matches up resources with projects and added that the council at its meeting on January 13, 2005 requested an issues report on the contention for domain names at gTLD registries.
Paul Verhoef suggested a rolling status report with an overall indication of what resources would be available, and in consultation with the Council prioritise work items.

Item 3: Process for use by ICANN in considering requests for consent and
related contractual amendments to allow changes in the architecture
operation of a gTLD registry.
- review revised preliminary report for publication for public comment

Bruce Tonkin reported that he had revised the preliminary report on the Process for use by ICANN in considering requests for consent and related contractual amendments to allow changes in the architecture
operation of a gTLD registry
, to take into account work done by staff in Cape Town where a review and a case study of processes in the past had been done, and take into account the definitions of terms such as security and stability that had been defined in the draft .net agreement. Bruce proposed getting further input from the GNSO constituencies and then publish the document for formal public comment.
Philip Colebrook commented that the registry constituency raised concerns about the broad scope of the process in terms that any kind of change the registry wished to make would have to go thought this process.
Ken Stubbs commented that if there were any changes in the agreement once it was negotiated, the Council should look at them in the light of moving forward as parity was needed.
Bruce Tonkin agreed with the principle and stated that Olof Nordling would track the issue.
Marilyn Cade expressed caution in the process that ICANN should not be put in the position of making policy by writing contracts.

Bruce Tonkin proposed a procedural motion:
If there were no substantial comments from the consultation process within the GNSO constituencies on the revised preliminary report on the Process for use by ICANN in considering requests for consent and related contractual amendments to allow changes in the architecture operation of a gTLD registry, within 14 days, it will be published for public comment, for a period of 20 days as specified in the policy development process.

The Council unanimously agreed.

Decision 2. If there were no substantial comments from the consultation process within the GNSO constituencies on the revised preliminary report on the Process for use by ICANN in considering requests for consent and related contractual amendments to allow changes in the architecture operation of a gTLD registry, within 14 days, it will be published for public comment, for a period of 20 days as specified in the policy development process.

Item 4: Approval of new terms of reference for combined WHOIS task
, and approval of membership and voting rules

Bruce Tonkin referred to the new draft terms of reference for the combined Whois task force and mentioned that Ross Rader and Robin Gross had provided feedback.
Bruce Tonkin stated that the draft terms of reference were looking forward on work to be done and the intent was not to replace any work currently under way, namely the two recommendations:
1. Recommendation relating to improving notification and consent for the use of contact data in the Whois system
2. Recommendation for procedure for conflicts, when there are conflicts between a registrar's or registry's legal obligations under local privacy laws and their contractual obligations to ICANN
but to incorporate it in the terms of reference which Jordyn Buchanan and the task force should review before the council voted on them.
Bruce Tonkin read Jordyn Buchahan's comments, as task force chair, to the council:
"1) The task force requests that the council clearly specify whether the terms of reference are considered to be a new set of terms of reference or merely modifications to the existing terms of reference. The task force also requests that the council specify whether the intent is to apply the terms of reference to a new task force, or is re chartering the existing task force."
Bruce Tonkin clarified that the new terms of reference applied to the existing combined task force and the re charter was intended to take the existing terms of reference and focus on the work as discussed in Mar del Plata.

"(2) The task force requests that the council clearly indicate whether policy development should continue in each of the areas in which the task force currently has work items. In the event that the council directs the task force not to continue to develop policy in one or more areas, we request that the council make appropriate provisions to conclude work and make necessary factual reports to council."
Ross Rader commented that Council should give specific guidance and adopt the terms of reference as soon as possible so that the task force could move forward.
Marilyn Cade commented that under the current chairmanship and with the adequate staff support, the task force could focus on the current work items while waiting for the council to adopt the new terms of reference.
Bruce Tonkin summarized that in respect to the draft terms of reference the task force chair and staff should incorporate any current work that needs to be added into the terms of reference and the council should consider the terms of reference over the next couple of weeks and provide any suggested changes.
The 3 areas that the task force was currently working on:
1. Recommendation 1 which final report would be presented to the council shortly.
2. Recommendation 2 where it should be decided whether the task force wanted to put it out as consensus policy, that is publish it for public comment or whether council would forward it to the ICANN staff as advice.
3. Tiered access discussion which is consistent with revised terms of reference.

Jordyn Buchanan who joined the call, added the topic of accuracy.
Ross Rader did not believe that there was a unified view of the value of the accuracy work in the combined task force if it was not included in the revised terms of reference and questioned whether it was productive to continue to work on it in the absence of consensus on the new terms of reference.

Brett Fausett and Robin Gross supported Ross Rader .

Nicklas Lagergren disagreed with moving accuracy aside because only one meeting had taken place since the December meeting in Cape Town and the Mar del Plata meeting in April as did Tony Harris who questioned what tiered access would be provided to if there was no accurate data.

Bruce Tonkin stressed that it was important to look at the overall solution that addressed the terms of reference, what was the purpose of the Whois, how could its effectiveness be improved and both access issues and accuracy of information needed consideration. Council had to finalize the terms of reference and the combined task force 1/2/3 was required to do the work specified in those terms of reference.
Council members and Jordyn Buchanan, the task force chair, expressed an urgency to move forward quickly.
Bruce Tonkin encouraged council members to submit comments to the mailing lists to refine the terms of reference for the next council meeting on June 2, 2005.

Item 5: Transfer policy report
- discuss staff report, and provide guidance for the 6 monthly review

Bruce Tonkin introduced the topic stating that the 6 monthly review was due and asked council to consider issues and questions that the ICANN staff should examine in the 6 monthly review and how they should be handled. The gTLD registry constituency suggested setting up an operational working group to consider the experience gained so far and determine whether any changes should be recommended which might lead to commencing a policy development process.
There was general agreement that a process, reflecting appropriately the input of the users, was needed at the council level to regularly examine the implementation and impacts of any new policy and react to data staff provided. No transfer policy change was advocated.

Ross Rader volunteered to lead the working group and ICANN staff were willing to give assistance.

Bruce Tonkin proposed a procedural motion:
To form a working group with a representative group of volunteers from the GNSO to review the staff Transfers report in order to seek clarification, further information and provide guidance for the 6 monthly review and to report back to the Council at its meeting on June 2, 2005.

The council unanimously agreed.

Decision 3:To form a working group with a representative group of volunteers from the GNSO to review the staff Transfers report in order to seek clarification, further information and provide guidance for the 6 month review and to report back to the Council at its meeting on June 2, 2005.

Item 6: new gTLDs
- discuss next steps for staff to begin to develop issues reports

Bruce Tonkin summarized the council decisions since the Council meeting on 29 October 2003 when Milton Mueller, from the Non Commercial Users constituency, proposed asking for an issues report. The request was put on hold, as ICANN staff informed the council that a strategy for new gTLDs was being produced. In Mar del Plata there were discussions on new gTLDs in the context of the strategic plan and the GNSO council identified new gTLDs as one of top 3 issues of importance in its work schedule. The council needed to take back control of the process and indicate what the GNSO believed staff should be focusing on to create consensus policies in the area.

Olof Nordling gave a summary of the current work saying that the strategy: Introduction of new top level domains was posted and the current phase was implementation.
Five areas had been identified, more internal consultation was required, as well as approval from the ICANN Board and the GNSO Council.
The issues included:
- advantages and drawbacks of introducing new gTLDs.
- how many, gTLDS per year
- two ways of expanding the address space: new TLDs or levels in existing TLDs
- acceptability of TLD strings
- distinctions between sponsored/unsponsored /restricted/unrestricted TLDs
Staff plans to provide background documents, possibly for the council meeting on June 2, 2005, so that the work could continue and be prioritised.
Bruce Tonkin commented that it was a core GNSO area where ICANN staff and the council should work closely together .
Tony Harris asked whether there would be no new round of gTLDS until some policy work was complete and approved, to which Olof Nordling answered that a test auction was being investigated to gain experience.

Olof Nordling committed to producing a paper that briefly identified issues for the next Council meeting on June 2, 2005.

Item 7: Internationalized Domain Names
- follow up on discussion in Mar del Plata initiated by Board members with respect to the perceived need for policy action in this area
- discuss next steps for staff to begin to develop issues report

Bruce Tonkin commented that Internationalized Domain Names were brought up by one of the liaisons to the ICANN Board in Mar del Plata, John Klensen representing the IETF.
There were 2 levels: .
Introducing Internationalized Domain Names to the root and
introducing Internationalized Domain Names within existing gTLDs, such as .com .info .
A working group within ICANN, to which the gTLD registry constituency had responded, had looked at deceptively similar names.
The council needed a background paper from ICANN staff, to identify and take action on issues within ICANN's purview.

Item 8: Planning for ICANN Luxembourg meeting
- appoint member of GNSO to liaise with ICANN planning staff

Marilyn Cade was appointed as the GNSO Council liaison with ICANN planning staff for the Luxembourg meeting.

Item 9: Any other business
- dot net

It was agreed to post the Council discussion on dot Net to the ICANN public comment forum.

Marilyn Cade emphasized that it was a council discussion and not a decision, and encouraged all council members to make comments, regardless of a relationship with any of the bidders, stating that when regulatory agencies engage in anti-trust investigations in general, at times of mergers or acquisitions, they invited the opinion of affected parties including competitors to the companies planning to merge.

In disclosure statements Ross Rader stated that Tucows had a contracting relationship with one of the bidders and Ken Stubbs stated that he was a director of Afilias, one of bidders on the .net re delegation.

Grant Forsyth spoke to Philip Sheppard's posting to the dot net re-delegation public comments.

" The previous recommendation of council was that the major term of relative difference between bidding parties was competition. The Telcordia report appears to have interpreted it as competition between registrars in the registrar market as opposed to competition in the registry market. It should be noted that there is a major disconnect between the recommendations in Council's report and its implementation in the evaluation of the RFP and suggest this has led to the outcome that has resulted. Note that Telcordia in its report states that while it was left to determine the specific evaluation criteria, the criteria that it developed was signed off by ICANN. The Business constituency representatives feel that because of this disconnect between the intent of the GNSO Council's recommendation and its interpretation in the evaluation of the bid, if the ICANN Board is not of a mind to revert to the original policy intent, then Phillip Sheppard has made useful suggestions in his posting as to how the policy intent of competition can be remediated to a certain extent through suggestions that would have to be applied to the successful bidder. "

Ken Stubbs in an individual capacity, not representing the views of the registry constituency, commented that a significant majority of the proposals presented to ICANN reflected concerns consistent with Philip Sheppard's comments.

Alick Wilson agreed with the concerns raised by Philip Sheppard and took the position that ICANN should foster competition. Clearly the criteria that had been applied in the Telcordia report had discounted the competitive aspect to an unacceptable level. Philip Sheppard had proposed a mitigation should the Board go ahead and re-award dot net to Verisign. Alick Wilson questioned whether the mitigation Philip Sheppard proposed was sufficient and suggested that there should be a review of the criteria applied against the GNSO Council report as it appeared that the Telecordia assessment of did not address the issue of the weightings which should themselves should be looked into.
Alick Wilson further suggested that the Council develop a resolution to the ICANN Board and that no action be taken on the approval until the resolution was received by the Board. Marilyn Cade disagreed with that recommendation, noting that the proper area to post concerns is to the .net public comment process. She noted that the process of developing such a resolution within the Council was not practical, since many would have to recuse themselves from a vote. She stated that the Board needs to take a decision on .net more quickly, taking into account any proper transition impact. Therefore, she suggested that Council have an informational discussion and provide the information about the discussion to the public process. Everyone can post and that is more appropriate than a resolution.

Bruce Tonkin declared the GNSO meeting closed and thanked everybody for participating.
The meeting ended: 16: 34 CET.

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