ICANN Board Meeting in Accra Real-Time Captioning
14 March 2002 - Afternoon Session
Note: The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the afternoon session of the ICANN Board meeting held 14 March 2002 in Accra, Ghana. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
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ICANN Board Meeting
Thursday, 14 March 2002
Vinton Cerf: Ladies and gentlemen, we are just waiting for the arrival of a few more of the directors.
The next topic is dot org, and I don't want to start that without having the rest of the directors at the table.
So we will just wait for a few more minutes.
Vinton Cerf: Gentlemen of the board, I'd like to reconvene the meeting now.
We are missing two board members.
We do have Karl and Linda both on the line.
John Crain: Only Karl.
Vinton Cerf: And one Board member coming up the aisle now and I think it's a sufficient quorum that we can begin.
The topic now on the table is dot org reassignment.
And I would invite yes, Amadeu.
Nothing is on the table yet.
I was going to invite the introduction of this resolution.
Would you like to do that?
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Reading the resolution?
No, sir, I cannot.
Vinton Cerf: Then I'll take it that I'll take it that we can introduce this resolution, which I will read for the benefit of the people in the audience who have requested it.
Whereas the May 2001 dot org registry agreement between VeriSign, inc., and ICANN provides that VeriSign will cease being the registry operator for dot org top-level domain as of 31 December 2002;
Whereas at its meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, on 4 June 2001, the ICANN Board referred to the ICANN domain name supporting organization, DNSO, the issues raised by the scheduled transition of the operation of the dot org top-level domain from VeriSign to a new entity;
Whereas in response, the DNSO created a task force which prepared a report that makes several recommendations, which was adopted by the DNSO Names Council on 17 January 2002;
Whereas the report was posted on the ICANN web site on 26 February 2002;
Whereas public comment on the report was received by a web-based forum and at the ICANN public form held in Accra, Ghana on 13 March 2002.
Resolved that the President is directed to cause a request for proposals for the reassignment of the dot org top-level domain to be prepared in consultation with the members of the Board, and issued, with at least 30 days allowed for applications by those proposing to become the successor operator of the dot org top-level domain;
Resolved that the applications when received will be posted on the ICANN web site with a mechanism allowing public comment;
Resolved that the President is directed to cause the applications to be evaluated and a report to be posted and provided to the Board in advance of the ICANN Bucharest meeting in June 2002;
And resolved that the President is requested to prepare and present to the Board a proposal for application fee levels based on ICANN's likely costs in connection with soliciting and reviewing the applications, making the selections, and any related costs.
Therein is the reading of the dot org reassignment resolution.
I call upon any willing Board member to put this resolution on the table.
Vinton Cerf: Amadeu.
Is there a second?
Is there any discussion of this resolution on the table?
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Yes, some discussion.
The item I wanted to discuss here is relationship with the recommendations regard from the DNSO Names Council.
Yesterday they made some questions and it was (inaudible) and the members were not here to answer.
In any case, we have some recommendations, and here we don't say anything clear about what we're doing with the recommendations.
And we are supposed to, somehow.
And I would explain why I oppose some of the recommendations, and I think we should oppose or at least how we should interpret those recommendations.
First of all, I think that the DNSO report, which is a very good piece of work, is too weak on the technical requirements for the registry, but this can be solved.
It's nothing that would be in contradiction with.
It's just that it's simply lacking with recommendation.
Secondly, and more important, the assumption made in the recommendation is that the registry could be, and it seems also to support that, a registry that uses (surplus funds for different activities.
I oppose that for a series of reasons.
I don't think it's practical.
We have the experience with the famous intellectual infrastructure out of the dot com working registry that we had more problems than at any time.
I don't think the DNS should be the mechanism for funding other alternative initiatives regardless of how well-intentioned they are.
And also thoroughly, I think it was Alex who earlier pointed it out, this is not bringing in any sense more money from parts of the world to the noncommercial goals.
It's simply taking money from the noncommercial registrants to fund what the management of that registry believes are adequate political issues to fight for.
And I don't think that the DNS should be a money-making mill for any political-oriented, in any sense, activity.
I don't think this is the goal of a registry.
And I think we will comment on that, but I think we should make that very explicit, this charge very explicit.
We want a registry that runs the dot org on the benefit of the dot org registrants; that is, the noncommercial, in the large sense, users of the DNS that choose to use that concrete top-level domain.
And the other question that I have regarding the recommendations with which I disagree, and I would like that we make that more explicit, that it says somehow that the basic activity of this registry should be the marketing of the dot org difference, if you want.
Frankly, I am surprised that the registry for noncommercial activities needs to have as its principal activity marketing.
I think it's some contradiction.
Secondly, I repeat, I think the main activity has to be to run the registry on a cost basis, efficient, technically stable situation, wholly for the benefit of the DNS and dot org registrants, most especially.
So I wanted only to make clear the point at which I disagree with the recommendations.
Not all of them; just the three points.
And I think the Board should make it clear that in the request we will direct the staff to go in that direction or simply follow the whole of the recommendation by the Names Council.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Amadeu.
I think we can find a way to make clear our intent.
Robert Blokzijl: Yeah, I want not so much to comment on the proposed text.
I want to make clear that the Board and staff understand the fact that this is different from creating a new top-level domain.
So we don't have much freedom.
I'm talking from a technical point of view.
Whoever is going to run dot org in the near future inherits an existing user base of about 3 million people and organizations, some of them individual persons, some of them large organizations that are really dependent upon the proper operation of dot org. Just to name one, the international red cross today could not do its work without the registry dot org.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: ICANN
Robert Blokzijl: ICANN, maybe.
There is always icann.nl.
Which is reserved for ICANN, by the way.
So there are not many organizations that have a demonstrated experience in running a registry with 3 million registered names.
A registry which has about 10, 12 servers scattered around the world on crucial spots of the Internet.
This is a little bit more than running a country code top-level domain, for instance.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Rob.
Karl Auerbach asked to be given a chance to speak to this resolution, so Karl, you now have the floor.
Karl Auerbach: Okay.
I hope this new phone bridge is working.
The resolution as I read it seems to avoid dealing with the questions that were so fought over, or not fought over but so much discussed in the DNSO as to who could be in dot org.
In particular, whether it would be open only to noncommercials or whether it would be open, as it traditionally has been, to everyone.
And as I understand it, the DNSO and the Names Council did adopt several principles regarding the use of dot org.
And I think it's quite appropriate to incorporate those principles into the resolution itself to make it clear that we are adopting the work of the DNSO.
And I don't want to read it here on the phone.
It would take a little while.
But there have been some very specific points that the DNSO has put forward, and probably the most important one being that there would be no eligibility requirements.
The dot org would continue to be operated without eligibility requirement.
Essentially, anybody could be in it without demonstrating that they're non-profit.
And I'd like to discuss that, but I'd also like to amend the resolution to incorporate the statement of the DNSO.
I don't have any specific language, however.
Vinton Cerf: Okay.
Thank you, Karl.
I think the way we might approach this is to try to identify key issues that we think should be expressed in this particular resolution, if we feel there's need for more guidance to the President and the staff.
A potential alternative would be to capture the sense of this conversation that we are going to have and try to assure that the President takes that into account in his preparation for the RFP.
But I'm not Karl, I'm not trying to divert away from the possibility of amending this resolution to achieve some of what you're suggesting.
Let me take Stuart and Rob before we come back around to this question of editing the text.
Stuart Lynn: Thank you very much.
Yes, guidance from the Board would be very helpful.
One way we could do this is I can try and divine what I sense is how the Board feels, ensure that the staff incorporates that in the RFP, bring that back to the Board to make sure that I haven't misinterpreted the wisdom of the Board.
The other way is for the Board to be a little more precise in its guidance.
And I'm not sure which it is.
I hear (inaudible) is present.
I'm very sympathetic to what Amadeu was saying about the purpose of the registry should be to serve the registrants of the registry and not be in the business of what's effectively trying to develop funds for other purposes.
But I'm not sure how the Board feels about that.
I disagree with Amadeu, as I understood it, his notion about marketing.
Not for profits always engage in marketing.
Universities market for students and they sell football tickets, too, in the United States, and whatever sports you like in perhaps other parts of the world.
So marketing doesn't worry me personally, but the other part does.
So in summary, I feel a little bit at sea in interpreting the wisdom of the Board but I'm happy to punt and bring it back to the Board for more specificity.
Vinton Cerf: In the interest of not prolonging your ability to get the RFP out, I think we can try for a little more precision.
Rob, you have the floor.
Robert Blokzijl: A word from the past.
Dot org was created at the same time as dot com.
Dot com was for commercial entities and dot org for noncommercial organizations, not-for-profit organizations.
And we should have learned from the fact that in an Internet space that was incredibly more simple ten years ago than it is today, even then it was not possible to draw a clear line.
And the current state of affairs is that there are about close to 30 million registrations in the dot com and about 3 million under dot org.
Under dot com you will find, I'm sure, if you do an analysis, a lot more commercial activities than under dot org, but you will find non-profits under dot com and you will find profits under dot org.
The second point is I think in any individual country in the world, it is very difficult to give a proper definition of what is a not-for-profit organization.
So doing this on the international level, it's an impossible task.
So less rules are better than more rules, I would say.
Vinton Cerf: Let me try to take up this point, and Karl, I hope I will be able to address some of your concerns with this suggestion.
I think that there are at least three very specific points that the Board might wish to make to the President.
One of them is that the nature of the organization that undertakes to run dot org does not have to be not for profit or for profit.
I think we should be neutral on this point.
For clarification, the offer made by VeriSign of the $5 million assistance is only applicable in the event that the selected organization is a not-for-profit organization; essentially, a noncompetitor.
However, there is no constraint, in my view, on adopting, awarding this particular organization to a for-profit; it's just they would not have the benefit of that additional funding from VeriSign.
I see your hand, Amadeu, but I have two more points I'd like to make.
I think that we should explicitly recommend against any special provision for support of activities that are not specifically relevant to operating the dot org domain.
Any notion that some part of the funding should be diverted for good works I think merely complicates the job of the organization in some very dramatic way.
So I would say that we should make no provision for such special activity.
I would point out to you that any organization is free, for profit or not, to execute good works.
We don't need to direct that.
And finally, I would take Rob's point that we should explicitly recommend that there be no restrictions or constraints on the registrants in dot org, primarily just given past history and the current state of that top-level domain.
So I would propose to either capture this simply as a sense of the Board in the minutes or perhaps even to render those three points, assuming the Board is agreeable to them, within the text of the resolution.
Amadeu had his hand up, then Stuart, then Alex.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Use different language for different points and the first one said we have no constraints, which is true.
The second, I think that we should explicitly address, which addresses your opinion.
And the third one is regarding the nature of the registry operator, or the registry to make it short.
No, we don't have any legal constraint, but we have some recommendations and then we also have our opinions.
And I think that I personally, as director, would like to recommend to staff to show preference for a not-for-profit registry, or (inaudible) I would like a dot org registry to function on a cost-basis analysis of the price.
Which is not necessarily the same as being a not-for-profit organization, but it is more important to me.
Vinton Cerf: Stuart Lynn.
Stuart Lynn: In addition to your three points, Mr. Chairman, there was a fourth point, I believe, that essentially Rob Blokzijl was raising, that the preference is given to organizations who either directly or indirectly that is, through subcontracting can demonstrate experience in operating a registry of scale.
Vinton Cerf: Point is well taken.
Alejandro Pisanty: I think it's important to keep in mind, as Amadeu has said, as part of the framework for analyzing the reassignment of dot org, the recommendations of the DNSO, but there's definitely, in much of what has been said already, the possibility that much better service to a noncommercial community can be afforded by an efficient registry.
I take the words of James Love, who has been discussing this intensively, from a consumer point of view.
Also looking for, first of all, excellent service, excellent pricing.
And if this is compatible with the other criterias expressed by the DNSO, then I think that we should do that.
The Board should we should get the sense of the Board on whether the foremost requirement will be the stability, efficiency, good operation of the registry as expressed by Rob Blokzijl, pricing and consumer service requirements, and only then consider, I mean, if things were still equal, consider the supervening political structure that the DNSO requirements would recommend, the governments of the organization that takes care of the dot org itself.
Vinton Cerf: In order to not prolong this discussion over much, I'm going to suggest several first I'm going to suggest that we convey our views to the President by way of a sense of the Board rather than editing the contents of this resolution.
Second, I would propose to you that we take these specific points that have been mentioned so far and find out what our whether we have agreement on them or not in order to make very concrete our sense to the President.
So I'd like to begin with the point that Alex Pisanty first said.
Would there be any objection among the Board to conveying to the President that a well-functioning dot org is paramount, and that that should be a major criterion for the selection, since we have 3 million users who will be affected by any poor-quality performance?
So evidence of ability to perform should be a very high highly critical criterion in the selection.
May I ask if there's any disagreement with that?
I don't know whether Karl or Linda have anything to say about that.
Karl Auerbach: Yeah, I'd like to jump in here for a second.
Vinton Cerf: Go ahead, Karl.
Karl Auerbach: It's hard to tell on the phone whether I've got a spot or not.
I'm not disagreeing with you here.
I just wanted to, in part of the discussion that's going on, I've noticed what I think is some confusion or ambiguity with respect to the person or entity to whom the operational contract would be awarded versus the concept of who would be appropriate registrants within that TLD.
And I think we have to be very clear to distinguish between these two cases.
Like, for example, I don't really care whether it's a non-profit or for-profit operator.
To me, it doesn't make any difference as long as they do good-quality work.
But on the other hand, looking at the DNSO's output, I think they're clearly expressing the point that the people who register within dot org should be able to self-select and not be subjected to criteria, externally applied criteria, as to whether or not they are appropriate registrants in that field.
I just wanted to point out that we need to distinguish between these two different things.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, Karl. I believe that the Board here present is making that distinction. And I will come to that particular question in just a moment.
In fact, the next item I was going to bring up is whether there should be any restrictions on the registrants who are permitted to register in dot org.
And my recommendation for the sense of the Board is that there are no such restrictions and that it is an open, public registration, unrestricted registration.
I might point out that by doing this, we eliminate an enormous problem for the operator who would otherwise have to make very complicated decisions about the nature of the registrant.
Is there any disagreement from the Board with that recommendation to the President? Amadeu.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: It's a partial disagreement.
I think there are two different things. One things are whether the one thing is whether the registry is restricted or not in its access, that is, if the eligible registrants have to prove something before. It's impossible to prove they are not-for-profit, but this is irrelevant. It's impossible to prove that you are using or you will be using the dot org domain name for any given purpose. That's only an ex post to be made.
So we all I think we all agree, and this is consistent also with the DNSO recommendation, that it should not be prior examination of conditions.
A different thing is that I believe it is possible I'm not saying that it is necessary, but I think it is perfectly possible, and not contradictory with your requirements, that a declaration regarding the noncommercial use of the domain name is being made as part of the registration agreement, and that this, then, is specifically used in subsequent disputes regarding the domain name. That is, that there is a commitment of a certain type of use of this domain name, and that this ex post may serve in case that someone disputes that they have the domain name.
I am not saying I am favoring that. I am saying this is very different, and that's much more easily feasible.
Vinton Cerf: I have two people who would like to speak, I hope, on this point, Alex and then Rob.
Alejandro Pisanty: While I understand doctor I mean, at the end of his statement, Amadeu says that this type of verification of noncommercial use of the registration would come only in case of disputes, I would underline that it is something that goes into the content of whatever is registered and not into the domain name.
Vinton Cerf: And
Alejandro Pisanty: In (inaudible) context.
Vinton Cerf: And Rob.
Robert Blokzijl: Yeah, I understand the concerns. But, again, look at the history.
There are about 30 million dot com names and about 3 million dot orgs.
So the vast majority of the commercial world is not interested in protecting their name under dot org. So other people can use names which otherwise might be contested.
This is how I interpret the vast difference in numbers of registrations.
Vinton Cerf: In order in the order I want to give Amadeu the opportunity to find out whether the rest of the Board would want to pursue such a mechanism that would allow a complaint or a dispute to be lodged.
I will point out to the Board that that mechanism still opens up substantial complexity for the operator of dot org. Mechanisms for those disputes have to be in place, and it just makes things harder.
I also wanted to point out for those who are unaware, that the agreement with VeriSign to engage in this divestiture of dot org is timed to a timetable which comes to a close on the 1st of January, 2003, or the 31st of December, 2002.
And there is little latitude for us to change that short of reopening the entire agreement with VeriSign, which I would recommend to you is not a very wise idea.
So we're trying to accomplish this transition in a very expeditious way, and simplifying the task of that operator seems to me an important criterion for our own recommendations.
So, Amadeu, in order to discover how the Board feels about this, let me ask whether there is take a straw poll here.
If you vote "yes" on my question, you will be adopting Amadeu's idea, which is to have a declaration of nonprofit use for purposes of later dispute.
If you reject Amadeu's proposition, then we will be back to the open and unconstrained registration.
So let me ask now for a sense of the Board show of hands.
How many people would support Amadeu's idea?
Amadeu and Andy.
May I hear from Linda and Karl?
Linda Wilson: I do not support it.
Karl Auerbach: Neither do i.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. I won't ask for a show of well, we might have a million abstentions. Is there anyone who wishes to abstain from this straw poll?
Jonathan Cohen: I didn't hear the beginning.
Vinton Cerf: I see. All right. I think that by this, we discover that the Board's sense is that we should keep an open registration.
The next point has to do with the DNSO's or Names Council's recommendation that we could choose a path that involves explicitly authorizing the operation to divert any excess funds to good works. My recommendation to the Board is to convey the sense to the President that we not do that in any explicit way, and that the organization be focused on making the operation safe, secure, efficient, and as inexpensive as possible.
If I do I hear any disagreement with that recommendation?
And, finally, the last item is whether there is any reason to show preferential to show preference for the operator of dot org, whether we should preferentially choose a not-for-profit organization or whether we should be neutral on the point. And before we find out what the sense of the Board is, I would point out that any for-profit organization is capable of setting up a not-for-profit organization. So this distinction may be almost illusory.
Alejandro Pisanty: I would be very concerned about the honesty of any of these proposals.
Vinton Cerf: He said he would be concerned about the honesty of a proposal which claimed to be a not-for-profit but which might have a hidden for-profit activity in it.
So may I ask once again for the sense of the Board. May I see if anyone would object to conveying to the President that we are neutral on the nature of the organization that offers this service? Amadeu, you would object?
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Yes.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you. Karl and Linda, would you respond to this, please.
Linda Wilson: I'd like to leave it open to either kind.
Karl Auerbach: Yeah, I'd like to leave it open as well.
Vinton Cerf: Rob Blokzijl?
Robert Blokzijl: I would leave it open.
Vinton Cerf: You would leave it open?
Robert Blokzijl: Yeah. I am more interested in good services.
Vinton Cerf: I believe the sense of the Board is that we should leave it open.
Members of the Board, we have conveyed in the minutes some very specific guidance to the President.
Does any member of the Board believe that we need to convey any additional guidance at this time, bearing in mind that we will have consultative opportunities with the President over the course of his preparation for the RFP?
Amadeu Abril i Abril: The only thing I wanted to mention was this last point was specifically addressed by the DNSO in its position recommending that initial operator be a not-for-profit organization. I only wanted to raise the question to the Board that we are, in this case, giving different advice, which is not a bad thing, necessarily, but should be noted.
Vinton Cerf: I would point out that advice is advice, and the Board is making the decisions. Nii Quaynor.
Nii Quaynor: Just a quick comment.
It's true that we have to recommend an operator that is capable of handling the scale. But we should not push it so far to the extreme that we lose out or it narrows down the potential operators to something that I think would be too restrictive.
The priority should be stability of the net and operation and quality of the service provided.
We should also be reasonably open to one who is able to demonstrate in some way that he is able to scale to that level, so that we are acting to expand the net of good operators.
Vinton Cerf: I think that's not an unreasonable sentiment to express, as long as we take into account that demonstration of capability is paramount.
Are there any other desires on the Board to convey specific guidance to the President?
In that case, ladies and gentlemen, I would I'm sorry, gentlemen ladies. Yes, we have a lady on the Board whom I cannot see, Linda.
So, ladies and gentlemen, I now call on your vote on this resolution. All those in favor of this resolution, please raise your hand.
Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12, 13, 14 here. 15. Did I miscount? 15 here.
Karl and Linda?
Linda Wilson: I favor.
Karl Auerbach: And I'm in favor as well.
Vinton Cerf: It is unanimous. Thank you very much for that efficient agreement.
Vinton Cerf: The next resolution on the table is the dot pro agreement. So if we can have that on the screen, please.
Now, essentially, the no, that's dot org. Scroll up one. Thank you.
The discussion is with dot pro, the organization that's going to be operating dot pro has proceeded quite far now with the staff. And we recognize this in the preamble.
Whereas, in resolutions 00.89 and 00.90, the Board selected seven new TLD proposals for negotiations toward appropriate agreements between ICANN and the proposing registry operators and sponsoring organizations and authorized the President and General Counsel to conduct those negotiations on behalf of ICANN;
Whereas one of the selected proposals was by registrypro for an unsponsored dot pro TLD;
Whereas negotiations of the dot pro agreement were concluded and posting of the resulting draft agreement and appendices on the ICANN web site was completed on 6 March 2002;
Whereas a web-based forum was made available for public comment, and the issue was discussed at the ICANN public forum on 13 March 2002;
Whereas after hearing community views, the Board concludes that entry of the negotiated agreement would be in the interest of the Internet community;
Resolved that the President is authorized to enter the dot pro registry agreement, with any minor corrections as the President determines are consistent with the intention of the agreement as posted; and
Further resolved that the President is authorized to implement the agreement once it is signed, including by accrediting registrars for the dot pro top-level domain, in that regard, registrars already accredited and in good standing for dot aero, dot biz, dot com, dot info, dot name, dot net, or dot org, may be accredited for dot pro without additional qualifying procedures upon entering an accreditation agreement that the President determines is consistent with the existing accreditation agreement for dot aero, dot biz, dot com, dot info, dot name, dot net, and dot org.
A very simple and straightforward resolution.
May I ask that this be put on the table by motion.
Mr. President puts that on the table.
Is there a second?
Is there any discussion of this particular resolution? Amadeu.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Well, yesterday, I raised some small concerns regarding the nature of some of some specific clauses here. And I don't know how we'll proceed here.
Indeed, I was shooting live the questions and was not able to find the policy level for ICANN is the clause 2-6, appendix g, that somehow the door is open. And open door stands to raise expectations about future change in the nature of the TLD in which the proposal to structure top-level domain pro, with equivalent semantic levels, such as dot law, dot net, with avocatto and others, besides being able to open that on some functional levels, which nobody discussed, was in the original proposal, or new levels needed to add because of the semantic problems that weren't realized at the very beginning, now there is a third possibility that wasn't in the original proposal and that raises a policy question about the possibility of having in the future names registered at the second level instead of at the third level, and having a combined utility in which sometimes names are in the second, sometimes the third, as the same for a functional TLD.
I think it somehow breaches the logic of a top-level domain that was whole different boxes for different professions, having them all under dot pro directly. I don't think it's a good idea for the domain itself.
But my problem is that, very often, when we discuss domain name policy here, we are discussing among experts. And we think everything is easy to understand. But, you know, the domains we haven't really sent to the market. In my own observation, have created a lot of confusion because of the vast differences in policies, times, (inaudible) claims, whatever. It's something like VeriSign and the seven dwarfs. And if you can remember which is sleepy and which one is chief and which one is the red one.
But some of these dwarfs are really strange and bizarre.
At the same time, sublevels or not, I think would only increase confusion and would not serve any good purpose for the public trust function that these domains should be created. And then there's the assumption that it tries to differentiate professions. If there are no labels, there are no subdomains, you cannot differentiate. So I don't know whether we should do something on that or not. I have a clear opinion, and I raise that to the Board.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much for that careful observation.
Karl Auerbach now has the floor.
Karl Auerbach: A question.
(inaudible) I wasn't part of the selection of this, but I heard various statements that the substance of the contract now is rather at variance with what was submitted when they applied back whenever it was. And I just would like to get a little precise of what those are.
Linda Wilson: Karl, that's been posted on the web.
Karl Auerbach: Those are?
Linda Wilson: We posted something that showed what the variances were in the preamble to the dot pro agreement.
Karl Auerbach: Okay. Linda talking to me here and giving me the answer.
Vinton Cerf: I hope that the two of you can hear each other better than we are able to hear the two of you.
Karl Auerbach: Oh, I can hear her great.
Vinton Cerf: That's good.
I think, Karl, that it is Linda is correct that we did post those differences. Nonetheless, the issue raised by Amadeu is worth a little bit more examination.
Jonathan Cohen: Well, I'm afraid I certainly appreciate Amadeu's remarks, and I think they have now been conveyed to the President, who is supposedly authorized by this motion to make such amendments as are needed in the spirit of it. And I think the (inaudible) of a sublevel here was our speed in getting this done. So unless you feel there's a lot more need for discussion, I am ready to call for a vote.
Vinton Cerf: Let me at least take Stuart Lynn's comments, who is next on the agenda. Stuart.
Stuart Lynn: Yeah. I just wanted to point out what's posted up there with regard to Amadeu's question.
As I I understand Amadeu's concern, these subdomains, second-level domains, can only be implemented with ICANN's approval.
I don't know whether that gives you enough comfort. But I just wanted to make sure you were aware of that.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: I recognize. I was talking about, you know, somehow creating expectations about, you know, yes, we will come back. But usually this these proposals come here with discussion, not much, and it goes. And I would like to convey that I personally think this (inaudible) has been a (inaudible) idea. And I don't see the need for this sort of these sort of restraints and/or the future changing of the TLD. The partial changing of the TLD is even more strange.
Vinton Cerf: If I realize, jonathan, that you'd like to quickly come to closure on this. I appreciate that.
I want to point out what is really going on.
If one were to take literally the proposal that any second-level string could be registered, not just those that identify a certain kind of professional organization, you could imagine this dot pro looking like dot org and dot com and so on.
The agreement that we make is that the operator will restrict registrations to organizations of a professional character, or individuals with some professional authority or certification.
So I can understand syntactically why this might lead to concern. But I think at the same time, I think it might be sufficient to be alert to such confusions by observing that section 2.6 gives the staff the opportunity to examine and, if necessary, raise to the Board level the question about improper use of the second level.
So my recommendation would be to allow this agreement to proceed.
Robert Blokzijl: I think we are getting into too much detail of how dot pro should be run. I personally think it's a stupid idea. It's not workable. It's a laudable idea, but it's not workable on an international scale. But let them find out. It's part of the experiment that we should not do micromanagement of any particular new top-level domain.
Vinton Cerf: All right.
In jonathan's point was that we have discussed this sufficiently. So unless I see other
Nii Quaynor: What is a profession, anyway?
Vinton Cerf: Well, I can start with the oldest one and we can go on from there.
Robert Blokzijl: The national union of witch doctors. Will that be a recognized standing
Vinton Cerf: Only in only if there is an organization set up to request and accredit witch doctors.
Robert Blokzijl: I'm sure there are such.
Vinton Cerf: I'm sure there are.
I don't see any other, I'm not hearing any other requests to discuss this resolution further.
So, all those in favor of the resolution as it now stands, please raise your hand.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 here.
Linda and Karl, how do you vote?
Linda Wilson: Favor.
Karl Auerbach: I'm abstaining.
Vinton Cerf: One abstention. Otherwise unanimous.
Thank you very much. More progress being made.
Stuart Lynn: Mr. Chairman, if I might note, when this agreement is signed, this completes the seven new gTLD agreements which the Board embarked on this journey somewhere close to 18 months ago.
I would like to thank the patience of all of those who we have worked with during the negotiations of this, the seven registries themselves, but also thank the staff, Louis Touton in particular, and the outside counsel, who have been very supportive and working through some very difficult issues to come to this point.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
I suppose that it might be taken to mean that now that you've completed those seven, we should get busy on some more.
However, now we have another
Karl wants to say something.
Karl Auerbach: I just wanted to ask a question. Now that the seven are done, does this mean we have expended are expending money on the new TLDs? Or is there going to be further expenditure?
Basically, the point of all this is, when we have some amount that's unused after this project is done, what are we going to do with the money?
Vinton Cerf: The President Karl, the President has a few specific things he as already advised the Board he needs to do with some of those funds.
Linda Wilson: That's relevant
Stuart Lynn: Yes, Karl. Unfortunately, you weren't able to be with us yesterday on the open forum. But I reported that we project that there will be $323,000 left, which is going to be barely enough, if it is enough, to cover the costs of any evaluation and to certainly to defend against any litigation that may ensue.
Vinton Cerf: I thought I heard Linda say something.
Linda, did you want to
Linda Wilson: This is a topic that the Finance Committee pays very close attention to.
Karl Auerbach: Okay.
Vinton Cerf: Okay. Thank you, Linda.
Vinton Cerf: The next item on the agenda is the matter of geographic and geopolitical names in the dot info top-level domain.
And if the Board and the attendees will permit, I will waive a reading of all of the "whereases" and go straight to the resolutions.
If you vote in favor of this resolution, you will, first of all, thank the ICNG, that is to say, the info country names discussion group, for its work. Second, you will adopt the ICNG recommendation that the 329 country names that were reserved under resolution 01.92 should be made available for registration by the governments and public authorities of the areas associated with the names and directs the General Counsel to cause those names to be made available to those governments and public authorities according to procedures established by the GAC.
Second, you will resolve, in view of the second recommendation in the ICNG report, the Board invites the GAC to investigate the level of interest by governments and distinct economies for such I think this is not worded well.
Louis, there's a wording problem in the second resolution. It reads it makes reference to "such a TLD," and there is no reference to that. The intention is for a TLD to be used internationally for official purposes. So I would strike "such" and "a" if no one objects.
And if established, what criteria and ground rules are necessary for such a TLD.
Suggested that the complexities of trying to amend assignments in the dot info by retroactively making constraints was very complicated and led to all kinds of dispute resolution problems, and an alternative would be for governments, who wish to have a safe, top-level domain, in which they have very specific ground rules for how the registrations are committed, might work a lot better because it would start out at ground zero and specific restrictions with specific restrictions and constraints.
And so the suggestion to the GAC is to explore whether such a top-level domain would be of interest to the governments represented there.
So I need now to have a Board member put this resolution on the table. Jonathan Cohen. May I have a second? Hans Kraaijenbrink seconds.
Is there any discussion of this resolution?
Is there anyone Linda and Karl, do you have anything you want to bring up on this resolution?
Linda Wilson: No. I'm ready for the question.
Vinton Cerf: So is everyone else in the room.
All right. All of those in favor of this resolution, please raise your hand.
One, two, three Amadeu, are you not raising your hand? I'm having trouble seeing.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: No. Just smiling.
Vinton Cerf: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12 13 here.
Linda and Karl?
Linda Wilson: I'm in favor.
Karl Auerbach: And I'm opposed to it.
Vinton Cerf: All right. So one opposed. And now are there any opposed here in the room? Are there any abstentions in the room?
Amadeu and Andy.
Mr. General Counsel, do you have the results?
I believe that means that this resolution is passed. We're getting closer.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: May I make a short commentary on that?
Vinton Cerf: As long as it's short.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: It's short.
Is for our educational process about ICANN for the Board and the audience, we may discuss a lot about the role of governments and the weight of governments here and there. But we all have to work with reality. And reality is that the vast majority of the Board thought that this idea of reserving second-level domains matching iso 3661 codes for countries was a really bad idea. But the governments really want that? Well, we readapt ourselves. We should keep that in mind when we talk about increased or decreased role of governments within ICANN. They are here. We have imperfect means for communicating. But sometimes we get the message, even when we, you know, vote and say, well, what the hell, I am voting here.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you very much, Amadeu.
Vinton Cerf: The next item had a great deal of positive reaction during the course of the public meeting. So I think we can dispose of this pretty quickly.
This is called the redemption grace period. It has to do with the fact that when a domain name expires, unless there is some period of time when it's in a kind of stasis, it could potentially be reassigned and cause all kinds of difficulties for the original holder of that registration.
So the recommendation that was made is to provide a period of time after the expiration would have occurred to hold that in stasis, typically, after a payment was due, to hold that domain name in stasis and make it not work, in fact, so as to draw attention to the fact that it is beyond its renewal date.
So the specific resolution says that the President is authorized to convene a technical steering group, including knowledgeable registry and registrar personnel to develop a concrete proposal implementing the redemption grace period proposal to be considered by the Board at a later meeting after posting on the ICANN web site and an opportunity for public comment.
So we are only authorizing the process of detailed recommendations for how that redemption grace period would be implemented.
I need to have someone put that on the table.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Yes.
Vinton Cerf: Is there any further discussion of this proposal?
Amadeu Abril i Abril: Something that I wanted to add some language to the recommendation, but I think it's not needed.
I only want that to be recorded in the minutes.
I know it's the case but I want to make that explicit here.
This is not a purely technical problem.
The goal of that, and the goal that the staff tries to preserve and will keep trying to preserve here are the fans of the legitimate interest of the registrants.
So when we call the registrars to implement this, we not only have a business problem, we have a technical problem because we have instances in which registrants are out of, you know, lack of any valuable solution for having their domains alive.
And this is a driving area for this redemption period, the safety net.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you.
Karl asked to speak on this as well.
Karl, you had a question?
Karl Auerbach: Yeah, just a question.
I think the general thing is a really good idea.
The question I have is why are we authorizing the President to convene the committee?
Why aren't we handing it to the DNSO?
What's the rationale?
Vinton Cerf: That's a good question.
Mr. President, do you have
Stuart Lynn: I was going to say I thought that was a very good question.
I have no enormous desire to hanker over the organizing.
Is there any reason, Louis?
Vinton Cerf: This is the ultimate cry, "why me?"
Louis Touton: It's mainly a timing issue.
This issue is most important in com, net, and org.
In order to be implementable by September, it would have to be into the software release plan by May.
The DNSO would be unable to do that in all likelihood.
It is there are anecdotal evidence, there are 3,000 names this happens to.
There's lots of damage happening.
We're getting lots of threats of lawsuits.
Registrars are getting lots of threats of lawsuits.
It's a problem.
It should be fixed quickly.
Vinton Cerf: May I make a suggestion?
I think Karl's point is still well taken.
There's nothing if we approve this resolution, there's nothing that stops the President from immediately alerting the DNSO to the need for rapid response on this point.
And if they can respond within deadlines that are needed, then they should, in fact, become part of the process.
There's nothing that stops you from including them in the committee.
Alejandro Pisanty: In fact, the DNSO chair, the Names Council chair, has today posted a very aggressive schedule of meetings for structure and other issues, and could possibly count on the possibility of including this issue and getting timely input.
I would not prejudge it.
Vinton Cerf: So the middle way here is to proceed with the resolution as it reads with the sense of the Board, or at least some of the Board, that the President engage with the DNSO on as rapid a sequence as possible.
Is there any other comment on this resolution?
Linda Wilson: Could I speak?
This is Linda.
Vinton Cerf: All right.
Are we ready for the question?
Linda would like to say something.
Linda Wilson: It seems to me we might want to incorporate into the resolution the encouragement of the President to engage quickly with the DNSO on this, as you were just saying, so that it's clear for posterity and the community now that we're recognizing the important role of the DNSO in this.
Vinton Cerf: Perhaps the fastest way to do this would be to look at the about the first line of the "resolved" component.
It says "convene a technical steering group, including knowledgeable registry and registrar personnel, to develop a concrete proposal."
Linda Wilson: That would be fine.
Stuart Lynn: Testimony be in two weeks.
To alert the DNSO, it would have to be within two weeks, whatever they have to do.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: And this is a technical steering group.
I would like something like in here, but probably the intellectual property lawyers (inaudible) couldn't for the technical solutions in doing that.
The other things, we need the evaluation the final implementation by the DNSO.
But perhaps not the inclusion of each constituency in the technical committee now being convened.
Vinton Cerf: What we don't necessarily know is whether there may be other aspects of this particular proposal that we haven't thought of that might be brought to our attention by DNSO consideration.
So I think that it's a reasonable proposition.
Are we ready?
I think that we need to take Linda's recommendation into account now.
Is there disagreement with adding language to refer to the DNSO within the resolution?
I don't see any disagreement.
So Mr. Scribe, I think you should in the parenthetical comment that says "including knowledgeable registry and registrar personnel," and the DNSO.
Consultation with the DNSO.
Are there any other comments or questions?
Are we ready?
All those in favor, please raise your hand.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 here.
Linda and Karl?
Linda Wilson: In favor.
Karl Auerbach: In favor.
Vinton Cerf: It's unanimous.
Vinton Cerf: Now we have one last incredibly difficult I saved this really, really hard one now for the last, and that is the decision to retain auditors.
I'm sorry, what did I leave out?
Oh, the independent review.
I beg your pardon.
I got two pieces of paper inverted.
This resolution concerning the independent review panel basically says that we authorized the creation of an independent review nominating committee, but the committee has not been able to present a slate of nine nominees in the ten months since the call for nominations.
The General Counsel presented to the Board a description of the various difficulties that have confronted the nominating committee, and he has recommended that the Board thanks the committee members for their efforts and immediately begin a review of the independent review policies with the goal of providing a more workable independent review mechanism.
Particularly in view of the ongoing discussions of the need for broader ICANN reforms, the Board believes that the present independent review policy should be reviewed and evaluated in the larger context of ICANN reform.
Whereas in resolution 01.132 the Board established a committee on restructuring to monitor and provide reports to the Board on restructuring issues, it is resolved that the members of the independent review nominating committee are thanked for their service in attempting to carry out the extremely challenging task presented to them, and the committee is excused from further service.
Further resolve that the issues concerning an independent review mechanism are referred to the committee on restructuring or the now renamed committee.
I don't know which way you want to deal with that.
Has it been redone?
Yes, the ICANN Evolution and Reform committee on ICANN revolution Evolution and Reform, that was an interesting slip, for its consideration in the context of its ultimate recommendations on ICANN evolution and reform.
So first, may I have a motion to put this on the table.
Hans puts the motion.
I see a second from Helmut.
Is there any discussion on this?
Alejandro Pisanty: I think that, in my opinion, it need be recognized that the standards set for the constitution of the IRP are too high.
They prove to be unrealistically high, and it's not like this, to be read only as blaming the nominating committee for not being able to come up with retired judges, high standing in the law community who understand the workings of the Internet well.
Amadeu Abril i Abril: I support that.
Vinton Cerf: It's possible that that's a set whose membership is zero at this point.
Karl had a comment.
Karl Auerbach: Yeah.
More a question.
When I read Louis's summary, the impression I got was that the nominating group of six people had three people who were awake and alive and three people who essentially showed no vital signs.
Was there something deeper than that going on?
Vinton Cerf: Karl, this is vint.
No, I don't think so.
I think it was hard to populate the nominating committee, and it was hard for the nominating committee to populate the independent review panel.
So I think it was a strong attempt to make this work and it didn't.
So it's time to go back and learn from what apparently was not a good proposition to begin with.
Karl Auerbach: I just want to finish up on the thought here, and that was that it seems like the problem occurred in the nominating committee just being partially (inaudible) and it doesn't have any impact on the IRP concept itself.
Linda Wilson: John, could I get in a comment?
Vinton Cerf: Yes, go ahead, Linda.
Linda Wilson: I chaired that independent review panel committee a couple of years ago, and we tried to wrestle our way through this.
And at the time, we in trying to design it, we found it an exceedingly difficult thing to find a way to achieve the goal, which was rather narrow but required a level of competence and diligence that we were worried about as we put forward the recommendation; that particularly in order to get something that was really very independent of ICANN and yet not have it fall afoul of the fiduciary duties that ICANN has under the laws that led to establish a corporation.
We thought it was worth a good, hard try, and we tried very hard to find a proposal that would work.
As time has gone on, it has run into difficulties all along the way, and I think while I'm disappointed that we were not smart enough to create something workable out of the hard work that we put into it, I've come to believe that what we proposed was not workable, could not expect volunteers to take on the tasks that were assigned to it and meet all of the criteria that the community and the enabling bylaws required.
So I think the difficulties that the nominating committee ran into were not unforeseen difficulties, and I'm sorry that they materialized, but I think we need to go back to the drawing Boards.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, Linda.
Are there any other further comments on this resolution?
Helmut Schink: I would like to share one observation. If I have a look at the list of nominees that were put on the table by the nomination committee, six out of the nine nominees come from the u.s. and the other one from canada.
So there is a very strong north american dominance here, that might contribute to the fact that we should ask the committee on restructuring to take care that they that we have kind of a regional diversity in the process.
And especially in the for the legal aspects involved.
We need some means to go forward in this area.
Vinton Cerf: I certainly would agree with that.
And it strikes me that we might turn to international organizations who deal with the legal profession and who might know qualified candidates and be willing to make them known to us, if we are to pursue some variation of this idea in the future.
If we're ready to vote on this, all those in favor I'm sorry?
Is there a problem?
All those in favor of this resolution, please raise your hand.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12.
I'm sorry, Helmut were you raising your hand?
Helmut Schink: I abstain.
Vinton Cerf: Were you not voting.
Helmut Schink: I abstain.
Vinton Cerf: Karl and Linda, how do you vote on this resolution?
Linda Wilson: I favor it.
Karl Auerbach: We're going to split again.
I'm against it.
Vinton Cerf: Okay.
I see one abstention.
Were there any other abstentions?
Stuart Lynn: Rob Blokzijl is out of the room.
Vinton Cerf: Yes, and I think we'll just record he's out of the room.
Are there any other abstentions?
Sang-Hyon Kyong: Helmut abstains.
Vinton Cerf: Yes, I got two abstentions.
Vinton Cerf: Now, I'm sorry, we get to this complicated one about deciding who is going to audit ICANN.
I'm relieved to see that the proposed auditor is not Arthur Andersen.
Whereas, the Audit Committee has recommended that ICANN seek to retain KPMG, LLP, to conduct an audit of ICANN's financial reports for the 2001-2002 fiscal year;
Resolved that the President is authorized to negotiate, in consultation with the Audit Committee, with KPMG, LLP, regarding the terms of its engagement to audit ICANN's financial reports for the 2001-2002 fiscal year;
Resolved that the Audit Committee is delegated authority to authorize, upon recommendation of the President, entry of an agreement with KPMG, LLP, under which the audit for the 2001-2002 fiscal year will be conducted.
Fairly straightforward proposal.
May I have a motion to put this on the table?
No, you don't want to?
Phil Davidson put it in.
I see a second from Rob Blokzijl.
Andy Mueller-Maguhn: I have the question, who controlled KPMG?
We had Andersen making the audits with problems.
I think it would be a good idea for how long, is my question, do we have KPMG, and what period? Are we thinking about changing our auditors regularly to not fall into problems?
Vinton Cerf: Stuart.
Stuart Lynn: I'd like to defer to Phil on that in a moment, but I think it's a good idea to change your auditor periodically.
I don't think this is the time right now.
It's also very difficult to find a major auditing company willing to audit ICANN because it requires so much preparation work to understand our particular nature.
So I believe, Phil, you might want to comment on that.
Andy Mueller-Maguhn: Excuse me, that was not an answer to my question.
I wanted to find out how long does KPMG do this for us.
Stuart Lynn: I don't go back far enough.
I think this will be the fourth year third year.
Vinton Cerf: Second year.
Stuart Lynn: They have been our auditors as long as I've been your President, which is this will be their third year.
Vinton Cerf: Phil, did you have anything else you wanted to say?
Philip Davidson: Just to say that we did discuss this in the Audit Committee.
: Speak louder please.
Philip Davidson: And we were very much of the opinion there was significant value to ICANN in retaining people who had expertise in knowing the organization.
We get a much better audit because they knew us rather than having to come in and learn again and occupy a lot of our time of us teaching them what we are, why we are, and who we are.
So that's why we recommended them for another year.
Vinton Cerf: Karl I think also had a question or a comment.
Karl Auerbach: This is an observation in response to Andy, is I've had some exchanges with the KPMG folks, off-line conversations, and I haven't found them to be particularly capable, unique, or otherwise desirable.
In fact, I consider them relatively awful in terms of auditors.
Vinton Cerf: Thank you, Karl.
And on that happy note, are there any other comments or questions on this resolution?
Andy Mueller-Maguhn: I still just think it would be helpful to have there's two possibilities, and one is that the Board says that we do change our auditors every so many years, even if we lose process of people knowing the company, or we have someone double or cross-checking this, which is an idea that came up after this Andersen story in the United States, and at least in Europe, this is widely being discussed about auditors.
Vinton Cerf: I would suggest to Andy that we remand questions of that kind to the audit committee which is in fact responsible for making this recommendation and let it decide on the basis of its various criteria whether it's appropriate to change.
Alex you had your hand up?
Alejandro Pisanty: It's fine.
Vinton Cerf: Any other comment on this resolution?
All right, all those in favor of this resolution naming KPMG our auditor for 2001-2002, please raise your hand.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12.
Amadeu, I didn't see your hand.
What about Karl and Linda?
Linda Wilson: I favor it.
Karl Auerbach: (inaudible).
Vinton Cerf: I didn't hear what that vote was, Karl.
Karl Auerbach: I'm opposed to the resolution.
Vinton Cerf: You're opposed.
Is there anyone else who is opposed?
Are there any abstentions?
The motion passes.
I think that completes our agenda.
I want to mention one other thing to the Board; that there is some desire to convene another Board retreat sometime between now and the meeting in Bucharest.
We've struggled with dates, and I've already discovered that the ones that had been proposed are already a conflict for enough Board members that we should take this off-line.
We will seek to find a time and a place where we could meet once again for a day or two in order to continue our discussions about ICANN's state and direction.
So I believe yes, Jon.
Jonathan Cohen: The meetings committee, right after this meeting, downstairs staff room.
Vinton Cerf: Okay.
Thank you for that administrative observation.
I'm going to take one more moment of your time to once again reiterate the thanks of the Board and all the attendees to NCS, to (inaudible) and all those here locally who made this possible, and our translators in the back of the room and most especially the staff and also our real-time translators or real-time captioners who have made a phenomenal difference to people here and elsewhere.
We thank you both.
Vinton Cerf: Ladies and gentlemen, I declare this meeting adjourned