ICANN Meetings in Lisbon Portugal
Transcript - ICANN Board of Directors Meeting
30 March 2007
Note: Although transcript output 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.
>>VINT CERF: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to call the board meeting to order.
Just to make sure everyone knows, Dr. Toure has been the number of a couple of flight cancellations. And I think there was a notice that went around to the ICANN community.
We hope that he arrived at the airport around 8:30, but we're not sure of that.
So if he is able to come in the day, we can take a break during our work and invite him to address us.
Otherwise, we'll regretfully have to set a meeting later in the day.
We have a considerable amount of work to do this morning. So I think we should get going.
The first item on the agenda is to approve the minutes of the last meeting.
I'm not going to read any of the minutes is. They've been posted and the board has had a chance to discuss them.
I would like to put a resolution on the table that approves the minutes of 13 March 2007. And I'd ask for a second.
I see Alex Pisanty seconds.
Is there any discussion of the minutes? If not, I'll call for a hand vote. All those in favor, please raise your hand.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12, 13 -- 14. We should have 15. Who's missing?
>>VINT CERF: Vanda. Okay.
One, two -- let's do that one more time.
One, two, three, four, five -- there we are -- we're all there. It's okay. I didn't see Demi's hand.
It's unanimous, Mr. Secretary.
The next item on the agenda has to do with the decision whether to adopt a top-level domain proposed by ICM called dot XXX.
I'd like to call on Alex Pisanty to introduce a resolution on the subject, after which I expect a discussion to ensue.
>>ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you, Vint.
Vint, board members, the resolution reads as follows:
Whereas, on 15 December, 2003, ICANN solicited proposals from potential sponsors to create new sponsored top-level domain sTLD registries, seeking applications that would, quote, "address the needs and interests of a clearly defined community, the sponsored TLD community, which can benefit from the establishment of a TLD operating in a policy formulation environment in which the community would participate, unquote.
Whereas, on 19 March, 2004, ICM Registry, LLC, referred to as "ICM," submitted an application for the delegation of a dot XXX TLD, sTLD, the "ICM application," which was evaluated according to ICANN's designated sTLD processes.
Whereas, on 1 June, 2005, the ICANN board voted 6 to 3, with two abstentions, to authorize the president and general counsel to enter into negotiations with ICM relating to proposed commercial and technical terms for the XXX sTLD.
Whereas, on 9 August, 2005, ICANN posted a draft proposed dot XXX sTLD registry agreement on the ICANN Web site.
Whereas, on 15 September, 2005, the board voted 11-0, with three abstentions, expressing concerns regarding issues relating to compliance with the proposed dot XXX TLD registry agreement, including possible proposals for codes of conduct and ongoing obligations regarding potential changes in ownership, and noting that the board had received extensive public comments, directed the ICANN president and general counsel to discuss possible additional contractual provisions or modifications for inclusion in the dot XXX registry agreement so as to ensure that there were effective provisions requiring development and implementation of policies consistent with the principles in the ICM application.
Whereas, on 18 April 2006, a revised draft proposed dot XXX sTLD registry agreement was posted by ICANN on its site, and ICANN requested and received extensive public comment on this agreement.
Whereas, on 10 May 2006, at the specific request of the applicant, the board reviewed the revised draft proposed dot XXX sTLD registry agreement, and the motion to adopt the proposed agreement failed by a vote of 9 to 5.
Whereas, on 19 May 2006, the applicant submitted a request for reconsideration -- there's a quote for a Web publication of this in the resolution. On 29 October 2006, ICM withdrew its reconsideration request and resumed negotiations in an attempt to agree to a new version of the proposed agreement for board consideration.
Whereas, on 5 January 2007, ICM negotiated a further revised draft dot XXX sTLD registry agreement, "revised agreement," which was posted by ICANN and received extensive public comment on the revised agreement.
Whereas, the board has received and analyzed unprecedented public comment, as well as advice from the GAC via communiques issued in Wellington and Lisbon, relating to ICM's application and the revised agreement.
Therefore, the board has determined that:
ICM's application and the revised agreement failed to meet, among other things, the sponsored community criteria of the RFP specification.
Based on the extensive public comment and from the GAC's communiques, that this agreement raises public policy issues.
Approval of the ICM application and revised agreement is not appropriate, as they do not resolve the issues raised in the GAC communiques, and ICM's response does not address the GAC's concern for offensive content and similarly avoids the GAC's concern for the protection of vulnerable members of the community. The board does not believe these public policy concerns can be credibly resolved with the mechanisms proposed by the applicant.
The ICM application raises significant law enforcement compliance issues because of countries' varying laws relating to content and practices that define the nature of the application, therefore obligating ICANN to acquire responsibility related to content and conduct.
The board agrees with the reference in the GAC communique from Lisbon that under the revised agreement, there are credible scenarios that lead to circumstances in which ICANN would be forced to assume an ongoing management and oversight role regarding Internet content, which is inconsistent with its technical mandate.
Accordingly, it is resolved, number to be determined, that the proposed agreement with ICM concerning the dot XXX sTLD is rejected and the application request for delegation of the dot XXX sTLD is hereby denied.
So moved, sir.
>>VINT CERF: I take it that's a motion.
Is there a second?
I'm sure that board members would like to have some discussion about this.
I can tell the general public that there has been enormous debate on this particular topic. Much input from many different sources.
And the board is not of one mind in this particular proposal.
I'd like to entertain some discussion about this particular proposal. And one way to do that, I think, would be to offer board members an opportunity to say a little bit about their view on this particular proposal. You might speak either for or against or simply make observations before we come to a vote.
Susan, let me call on you first.
>>SUSAN CRAWFORD: Mr. Chairman, I cannot vote in favor of this resolution. I'll have more to say when we vote. But in this discussion period, I wanted to note for my colleagues that I've looked back at the RFP and the proposed contract. In the request for proposals, we set forth a definition of the sponsored TLD community which said the proposed sTLD must address the needs and interests of a clearly defined community which can benefit from the establishment of a TLD operating in a policy formulation environment in which the community would participate.
And we asked applicants to demonstrate that the community is precisely defined so it can readily be determined which persons or entities make up that community, and also to state that the community was comprised of persons that have needs and interests in common, but which are differentiated from those of the general global Internet community.
We also asked applicants to provide evidence of support for their application from their sponsoring organization.
It seems to me that the applicant here has identified a sponsored community for dot XXX as a self-identified group of adult webmasters who wish to work together to implement industry best practices in a specific and easily identifiable marketplace. They propose to provide a forum for interaction and policy development. And they assert that these are needs that are not being met elsewhere, the needs of creating and enforcing industry best practices.
They have submitted letters of support to us from members of the adult entertainment community that they assert include supporters from many countries and major providers of adult entertainment. They have also told us that since the first of June of 2006, more than 76,000 strings from at least 1,000 unique registrants have been prereserved in triple X, with instructions from ICM that only qualified applicants should request such preregistrations.
ICM has told us that these prereservations have come from prospective registrants in triple X who are operating bona fide adult sites in other TLDs whose existing sites are providing adult entertainment or services to the adult entertainment industry, and whose existing site was registered prior to May 2006, the date the board rejected a proposed triple X contract.
I've also looked back at the GAC communique conveyed to us in Wellington, and I have compared it to the revised agreement, appendix S. And I do think the GAC's concerns have been adequately addressed.
This has been a very difficult topic for us as a board. We've had extensive discussion, reasonable board members can differ about these issues. But I wanted to make clear in this discussion period what my views are of the criteria here.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much, Susan.
Are there any other comments from other board members?
>>ROBERTO GAETANO: Thank you.
I would like to say two things that, in my opinion, make this debate very special.
One thing is the expectation of the community or of a large part of the community or groups and so on.
But, first of all, I would like to make clear that what I'm saying is not something that is -- has determined or will determine my vote. It's a consideration on why this issue is complex.
From what we have heard from the debate in the last months or years, there is at least one large group of people that think that the introduction of the dot XXX will multiple the amount of pornography, whatever the politically --
>>VINT CERF: Adult entertainment material.
>>ROBERTO GAETANO: -- adult entertainment material on the Net.
And, in my opinion, this is not going to happen.
Another large part of the community thinks that if we approve dot XXX, all that material that we said will magically move into dot XXX, and, therefore, children will be protected, because it will be easy to filter.
Also that, in my opinion, is not going to happen.
But, in fact, the irony of this is that besides the people who have followed more closely the debate, the ICANN community, the outside world, the press, the media, are really focusing on those two aspects. So if we approve them, if you approve the dot XXX, within a short period, the people will see that this is not going to happen. Obviously, you know, we can make a bet here. But guess who is going to be blamed.
On the other hand, if we reject the dot XXX, the same two communities will say, Ah, for instance, for the material, whatever, that the correct thing is, we still have that material, and it's not confined into dot XXX, because ICANN has rejected the creation of the TLD.
So I think that as a member of the ICANN community, as a director of this board, I think that whatever the final resolution is going to be, one thing we need to do -- and we need to make a clear statement to the media and to the outside world -- that we'll make it clear that it was being discussed here and what is going to be approved or rejected is the introduction of a TLD that is not going to, in any case, change substantially the situation.
The second consideration that I want to make is related to the idea that we have about the sponsored community.
We have -- we thought -- when, in Tunis, I think, that we started this process of the sponsored TLD, we thought that it was going to be easy to identify a community, to identify groups that would need a TLD in order to promote their business or their activities or whatever is keeping that group together, and therefore there's going to be a drive, a push to move in time -- because, of course, who has an established business is not going to relinquish their virtual identity with domain names that they already have and that are referenced in the Web -- but that there's going to be this process by which all the people who recognize themselves in that community will eventually have a presence in that Web, and the newcomers that don't have, therefore, legacy Web sites will easily go into that community.
For certain TLDs, this -- we see this happening.
I have a problem with this one in the sense that if I were a webmaster of a Web site with adult content, I would honestly be reluctant to have my site in the dot XXX, because that can be easily labeled, it can be easily identified, and it will have all the moral consequences that you have when you are declaring things open in the community instead of hiding behind.
So when ideally -- when I think that ideally this would be a good solution in an ideal world, because you qualify yourself and you are in that particular area, I think that this is not -- obviously not going to happen for a number of reasons. So, therefore, here we have debated very much how much was the support of the community. Do we have 50%, 70%, 30%? Were the meetings attended with standing room only or were there empty seats? All this in my judgment has little influence, I have to say.
The real problem that I have is that I'm wondering whether here we are trying to discuss the color of the uniform of an army that wants to act in disguise. Thank you.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Roberto. Vittorio, you had a note, and also Goldstein after that. Vittorio.
>>VITTORIO BERTOLA: Thank you. Well, I want to make it clear for the record that the At-Large Advisory Committee does not have a position on this. If you were here at the public forum, you might have heard from some members of our community that are strongly in favor, and there's a good number of them. There's also people in our community that are strongly against. And if I had to say, I think I've seen more or less the same divisions that I've seen in the general discussions. So of course the At-Large tends to reflect the division of opinions in the global community. And perhaps the thing that I would note as food for thought is that I've seen an interesting division by cultures. So I've seen that almost all the supporters of the creation of this domain come from the North American culture, from the U.S., or from countries that have a similar culture, and I've seen mostly the people from outside that culture being opposed, and when this is a factor into the vote --!
I mean, and I don't know whether this will be repeated, for example, in the vote of the board, but I think it interestingly showed that these kind of proposals would have the need to, I mean, take more into account than what happens outside of the United States.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you. Steve Goldstein.
>>STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As my colleagues on the board will certainly know, it was by no means an easy decision for me to decide on my vote. And I was perhaps one of the -- the last people to make a final decision, but my decision turned on one point and one point only, and that was the last point in our board's resolution, the proposed resolution, that under the revised agreement, there can be credible scenarios that lead to circumstances in which we -- ICANN -- would be forced to assume ongoing management and oversight role regarding the content, and that is inconsistent with ICANN's technical mandate.
I believe that we have to guard very carefully against ICANN ever becoming a regulator in that sense, and it's for that reason, and that reason alone, that I would cast my vote against the proposed agreement. Thank you.
>>VINT CERF: I have two other comments now. One from Demi Getschko, and one from Francisco. Demi?
>>DEMI GETSCHKO: Thank you, Steve. I have consistent problems with the definition of the sponsorship of this proposal. To separate this community from the general adult content community, the proposal uses an adjective "responsible." Then it seems that the "responsible" adult content will be defined by participating in this TLD. Then if you are a webmaster outside of this top-level domain, maybe you would be labeled as irresponsible. Then this is a very difficult way to set up as a criterion to make the right definition of the community. On the other hand, if we have to check for compliance on this kind of situation, we would be exactly in the middle of the fire of deciding about content, and it is not the mission of ICANN to be involved in content. I want to express my two views of problems identified in this proposal. Mainly because of the bad -- or the weak definition of the limits of the community and the fact that it puts us in the middle of something we don't!
want to be. Thank you.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Demi. Francisco, and then Raimundo.
>>FRANCISCO DA SILVA: Thank you, Vint. According to the bylaws of ICANN, I'm here as a liaison in representation of the technical liaison group and this year in the rotation ETSI is my constituency. Therefore, if I am here for an organization which has a technical mandate, which is ICANN and it is the reason why ETSI participates in the technical liaison group, I could not -- if I had to vote, I could not support it because of a thing that the decision would lead to an area that is outside the technicality and the technical issues and could become more -- could be -- enter in the regulation of content, and, therefore, I would not cope with my responsibilities towards my representation.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much, Francisco. Raimundo.
>>RAIMUNDO BECA: Thank you, Vint. Of course like for the rest of my colleagues, this is not a decision -- an easy decision for me. Mainly because when I see a community that is on the borders, it has been from the very beginning so split about this, then you are -- it's difficult to find a way to get a consensus, and obviously this is not a comfortable position for anybody. This is, in fact, the fourth time in this board that I am called to vote on this application.
In the three precedent occasions, opportunities, I voted against the adoption of the approval of this application, and in this fourth time, I will not modify my position.
In the three precedent opportunities, the reason why -- the rationale of my vote has always been the same. My appraisal has always been and continues to be that this application doesn't meet the support -- doesn't meet the request for proposal, mainly on the supporting community.
In particular, in September 15th, 2005, the board by 11 votes against zero voted in dissent of not adopting in that moment an agreement that was proposed, and the main reason why this -- and it's written in the resolution of that opportunity, the main reason is that the -- it should be guaranteed that there was really a commitment of the -- of the supporting community to the principles of the -- of the principle claimed by the applicant. And those principles were mainly that the -- this was a responsible adult entertainment industry that was supporting this application.
In May 10, 2006, by a vote which was more split than the one before, 9 against 5, the board didn't approve again the agreement that was proposed -- that was proposed in that opportunity. In my statement in that opportunity, I indicated that the reason why I was not voting in favor was that because the request made on September -- on September 15 was not met, which means that the -- there was no guarantee that there was a supporting organization -- supporting community that was committed in the sense of developing a responsible adult entertainment provision of services and goods.
In this fourth opportunity, my appraisal is that we are even farther than in May 10, 2006, than we were in that opportunity. Why -- this is my appraisal. Because in this opportunity, the community, the support organization, is defined as a self-identified one. And an organization which is self-identified is not committed -- is committed only for what they will decide in the moment. So they are committed to a book of rules, but the problem is that the book of rules is not written yet, and we don't know what is that, and that, in my opinion, means that we have no guarantee that there is really a commitment with the principle of a claim to develop a responsible adult entertainment industry. Thank you.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much, Raimundo. Are there any other comments from board members?
I'd like to just make a couple of observations. The record will show that at one point I voted in favor of proceeding to negotiate a contract. Part of the reason for that was to try to understand more deeply exactly how this proposal would be implemented, and seeing the contractual terms, it seemed to me, would put much more meat on the bones of the initial proposal.
I had been concerned about the definition of "responsible," as Raimundo was as well, and it seemed to me that part of that definition was behavioral and that it wasn't clear what behavior patterns one would anticipate of this community because they wouldn't be defined until the IFFOR structure was put in place and that rules would be adopted. So there's uncertainty in my mind about what behavioral patterns to expect.
There was a substantial disagreement within the adult content community to this proposal. One can argue over what does "substantial" mean, but here, setting aside a great deal of disagreement with the proposal from many parts of the community, my concern here is that over time, the two years that we've considered this, there has been a growing disagreement within the adult content community as to the advisability of this proposal.
As I looked at the contract -- and we did so several times in several different versions -- the mechanisms for assuring the behavior of the registrants in this top-level domain seemed, to me, uncertain. And I was persuaded, for example, that there were very credible scenarios in which the operation of IFFOR and ICM might still lead to ICANN being propelled into responding to complaints that some content on some of the registered dot xxx sites didn't somehow meet the expectations of the general public this would propel ICANN and its staff into making decisions or having to examine content to decide whether or not it met the IFFOR.
criteria. One could say, "Well, can't you just hand this off to IFFOR or to other entities constructed within the dot xxx framework?" And frankly, we've found that in other cases, our staff has still wound up having to respond to issues arising.
I would also point out that the GAC raised public policy concerns about this particular top-level domain. It's not the first time that the GAC has raised public policy concerns and I would remind everyone that this is their purpose. The Governmental Advisory Committee was created to alert the ICANN board and the community to issues of public policy character.
I recall that when we were working on dot info, there were issues associated with the registration of place names or geographical names, and the GAC provided us with guidance as to which names ought to be held in reserve and we followed that advice.
Some of you may not know that if we receive public policy advice from the GAC and we choose not to accept it and act on it, that we need to, in fact, explain to the GAC why we would not do that. This would be true, in this case, as well if we were to reject or ignore the advice of the GAC with regard to this proposal. We would be required under the bylaws to explain why that was the case.
I'd also like to remind people that in the processing of the dot travel top-level domain, we did not proceed to take action on that proposal because the -- a significant -- significant members of the general travel community objected and did not consider themselves to be part of the sponsoring community, and we did not take action until that problem was resolved and, in fact, the dissenting member ultimately joined.
So there is precedent for many of the negative actions that this particular resolution endorses.
So my vote is colored in substantial measure, not only by these matters but by the comments of my fellow board members. I'd like to also draw attention to the fact that while they do not vote on matters, that the liaisons have as much input into decision-making as the board members do with regard to discussion of various positions and issues arising, and I think that's a very important part of our whole process.
Let me ask if there are any other comments from any other board members. Vanda.
>>VANDA SCARTEZINI: Okay. I'd like to state also that I start considering the proposal a positive alternative, but going deeply into this proposal with the consideration committee, I became to change my mind and now I finally decide against that based especially with the last item of our resolution that ICANN would be forced to assume oversight intent content, which is totally against our bylaws. Thank you.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Vanda. Are there any other comments? Rita?
>>RITA RODIN: Thank you, Vint. I'm not going to repeat what other board members have said. This was a very difficult decision for us. Particularly for me. I wasn't present at a lot of the earlier discussions that the board had about triple X, so I looked back on a lot of materials and I've spoken to a bunch of people in the community and when I listened to the instructions of our general counsel that my obligation as a board member is to take a look at this application, this applicant, to look at the sponsorship criteria and the content that has been proposed, when I do that myself, I believe that I am compelled to vote no for this application.
As others have said, I don't believe that this is an appropriate sponsored community. I think it's inappropriate to allow an applicant in any sTLD to simply define out what could potentially be any people that are not in favor of a TLD, and particularly in this case where you define those that aren't in favor of this TLD that are part of the adult webmaster community as irresponsible.
I do think that this, as others have said, will be enforcement headache for -- an enforcement headache for ICANN. It's going to force the board and the community to rule on the appropriateness of content and other controls that may be implemented by this TLD. As others have said, I think that's way beyond the technical oversight role of ICANN's mandate.
And I just wanted to mention that I almost feel as though if there were an exclusive TLD in silo for adult content on the Internet, I might actually vote in favor, but since it's not -- right? -- there's porn all over the Internet and since there isn't a mechanism with this TLD to have it all exclusively within one string to actually effect some of the purposes of the TLD -- that is, to be responsible with respect to the distribution of pornography, to prevent child pornography on the Internet -- I think that this is too early a concept and, again, I will vote against.
I just want to make one final statement that the board has had very rigorous discussion on this, as everyone has said. It's been an extremely difficult decision, and I want to assure the community that this is not the result of some secret sort of behind-the-scenes government action or any other inadvertent pressure, but, indeed, a very robust and soul-searching debate among my fellow board members. Thank you.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Rita. Other comments?
I gather we're ready -- oh, I'm sorry, Peter.
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: I think it's probably better to say something now than at the time we vote. I think it's probably easier so I'll just say just a few things now and just vote when the voting comes.
I'm going to vote against this resolution and, in fact, I sought to move a motion in favor of adopting this applicant.
I've been concerned about three aspects of this application. One, the sponsorship community and the nature of that community; the enforceability of the contract; and the nature and applicability of GAC advice.
On the first, the issue of the sponsored community, I concluded that there is on the evidence a sufficiently identifiable, distinct community which the TLD could serve. It's the adult content providers wanting to differentiate themselves by voluntary adoption of this labeling system.
It's not affected in my view by the fact that that's a self-selecting community or anything about the nature of self-selection, nor as a subset of that issue, is it affected by the permanence or impermanence of that community. People may choose to be a part of it for a period and then leave. None of that affects the ability to identify members of the community at any time that's required. Nor am I affected by the withdrawal of some of the supporters of this application in recent months.
And I think it's a particularly thin argument that's been advanced that all of the rules for the application and operation of this community are not yet finalized. I think that's the nature of this process and they have to be given an opportunity to create their rules and to manage the system.
I was specifically concerned about active opposition from members of the adult content provider community who might have been members of that group. That's the first time in any of these sTLD applications we've had active opposition. And we have no metrics, either in our RFP or in any other kind of precedent, to establish what level of opposition by members of the potential community might have caused us concern.
In the end, I've concluded that the level of remuneration demonstrated by the surviving community, the number of preregistrations and their provenance is sufficient. I do not think that dissent by incumbents in a market objecting to the entrance -- the entry of a new player should be given much weight.
I think the resolution that I'm voting against today is particularly weak on this issue: On why the board thinks this community is not sufficiently identified. No fact or real rationale are provided in the resolution, and I think given the considerable importance that the board has placed on this in correspondence with the applicant and the cost and effort that the applicant has gone to to answer the board's concerns demonstrating the existence of a sponsored community, that this silence is disrespectful to the applicant and does a disservice to the community.
The contract. I've also been very concerned, as other board members have, about the scale of the obligations accepted by the applicant. I think to a certain extent, some of those have been forced on them by the process. But for whatever reason, I'm, in the end, satisfied that the compliance rules raise no new issues in kind from previous contracts.
And I say that if ICANN is going to raise this kind of objection, then it better think seriously about getting out of the business of introducing new TLDs.
It's the same issue in relation to all of the others and we either come to terms with what it means to be granting TLD contracts and the consequences that flow or we stop.
I do not think that this contract would make ICANN a content regulator. I would, like others, be very concerned if I thought that was a possibility. And I come then to the GAC advice.
I think issues were raised by the GAC as to matters of public policy concern to that committee, and I just want to record mine -- and I think the rest of the board's -- great appreciation of the value of GAC advice, and the respect required to be accorded to that. Given that it's the collective expression of will of governments here to support the ICANN mission in providing their specialist public policy advice. I think these particular concerns, however, were not well -- were not at all quantified or prioritized, but nevertheless, the applicant responded, in my view, sufficiently in relation to the concerns raised, proposing suitable mechanisms to deal with the matters raised by the GAC.
I have to also record how unhappy I and other members of the board are with the sTLD process. This applicant's been put to significant expense and suffered considerable delays for reasons largely outside its control. It's also had to suffer, as we've had, lots of mistaken assertions about adult content, much of which raises issues well outside the relatively narrow scope of the RFP and the issue which the applicant had to meet.
So in that regard, I welcome the developing work in the GNSO to install a regular, repeatable, hopefully contentiousless process for the introduction of new TLDs. So for those reasons, I vote against this resolution, and would prefer to have been voting in favor of an applicant -- of the application to adopt it.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much, Peter. Njeri?
>>NJERI RIONGE: I will not repeat what everybody else has said, because this has been a very, very challenging and very extensive debate at the board level. However, in addition to the reasons stated in the resolution, I vote no and for the following reasons:
That the ICM proposal does not take into account the global cultural issues and concerns that relate to the immediate introduction of this TLD onto the Internet; that the ICM proposal will not protect the relevant or interested community from the adult entertainment Web sites by a significant percentage; that the ICM proposal focuses on content management which is not in ICANN's technical mandate.
The ICM proposal conflicts with our recently consistent rebuttal with ITU during WSIS which is still a very fresh issue in our minds and in the minds of the community and we need to be consistent with the core mandate of ICANN.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Njeri. Are there any other comments?
I think it's time for us to proceed to a vote. I'm going to make this a roll call vote. Board members who wish to make any further statements in the course of casting their vote are free to do so. But you're not compelled to do so. So I'm going to start at this end of the table and work my way all the way around, calling on myself first.
Let me also remind you that if you vote yes on this proposal, you are rejecting the dot xxx proposal. If you vote no, you're voting against rejecting the dot xxx proposal. And I struggled very hard last night trying to figure out: Whom how am I going to say this without getting my shoe LACES tied together, so again, if you vote yes, you are voting to reject the dot xxx proposal. If you vote no, you are voting not to reject it. It does not mean that you accept it; it just means you didn't reject it. Okay.
So Vint Cerf votes yes, I am rejecting the dot xxx proposal. And I call on Roberto to cast his vote.
>>ROBERTO GAETANO: I vote in favor of the motion, which I understand is rejecting the dot xxx proposal.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Roberto. Goldstein.
>>STEVE GOLDSTEIN: I vote yes.
>>VINT CERF: Susan.
>>SUSAN CRAWFORD: I must dissent from this resolution, which is not only weak but unprincipled. I'm troubled by the path the board has followed on this issue since I joined the board in December of 2005. I'd like to make two points.
First, ICANN only creates problems for itself when it acts in an ad hoc fashion in response to political pressures. Second, ICANN should take itself seriously, as a private governanced institution with a limited mandate and should resist efforts by governments to veto what it does.
I'd like to talk about the role of the board.
This decision whether to admit a particular non-confusing legal string into the root is put before the ICANN board because, first, we purport to speak on behalf of the global Internet community. And second, the U.S. Department of Commerce defers to the judgments of that community when deciding what to tell its contractor to add to the authoritative root zone file.
As a board, we cannot speak as elected representatives of the global Internet community because we have not allowed elections for board members. This application does not present any difficult technical questions, and even if it did, we do not, as a group, claim to have special technical expertise.
So this is not a technical stability and security question.
It seems to me that the only plausible basis on which the board can answer the question in the negative -- so could say a group of people may not operate and use a lawful string of letters as a top-level domain -- is to say that the people affected by this decision have a broadly-shared agreement that the admission of this string to the root would amount to unjustifiable wrongdoing.
Otherwise, in the absence of technical considerations, the board has no basis for rejecting this application.
Let me explain.
The most fundamental value of the global Internet community is that people who propose to use the Internet protocols and infrastructures for otherwise lawful purposes, without threatening the operational stability or security of the Internet, should be presumed to be entitled to do so. In a nutshell, everything not prohibited is permitted.
This understanding, this value, has led directly to the striking success of the Internet around the world.
ICANN's role in gTLD policy development is to seek to assess and articulate the broadly-shared values of the Internet community. We have very limited authority. And we can only speak on behalf of that community. I am personally not aware that any global consensus against the creation of a triple X domain exists.
In the absence of such a prohibition, and given our mandate to create TLD competition, we have no authority to block the addition of this TLD to the root. It is very clear that we do not have a global shared set of values about content on-line, save for the global norm against child pornography. But the global Internet community clearly does share the core value that no centralized authority should set itself up as the arbiter of what people may do together on line, absent a demonstration that most of those affected by the proposed activity agree that it should be banned.
I'd like to speak about the process of this application.
More than three years ago, before I joined the board, ICANN began a process for new sponsored top-level domains. As I've said on many occasions, I think the idea of sponsorship is an empty one. All generic TLDs should be considered sponsored, in that they should be able to create policies for themselves that are not dictated by ICANN. The only exceptions to this freedom for every TLD should be, of course, the very few global consensus policies that are created through the ICANN forum. This freedom is shared by the country code TLDs.
Notwithstanding my personal views on the vacuity of the sponsorship idea, the fact is that ICANN evaluated the strength of the sponsorship of triple X, the relationship between the applicant and the community behind the TLD, and, in my personal view, concluded that this criteria had been met as of June 2005. ICANN then went on to negotiate specific contractual terms with the applicant.
Since then, real and AstroTurf comments -- that's an Americanism meaning filed comments claiming to be grass-roots opposition that have actually been generated by organized campaigns -- have come into ICANN that reflect opposition to this application.
I do not find these recent comments sufficient to warrant revisiting the question of the sponsorship strength of this TLD, which I personally believe to be closed.
No applicant for any sponsored TLD could ever demonstrate unanimous, cheering approval for its application. We have no metric against which to measure this opposition. We have no idea how significant it is. We should not be in the business of judging the level of market or community support for a new TLD before the fact. We will only get in the way of useful innovation if we take the view that every new TLD must prove itself to us before it can be added to the root.
It seems to me that what is meant by sponsorship -- a notion that I hope we abandon in the next round -- is to show that there is enough interest in a particular TLD that it will be viable. We also have the idea that registrants should participate in and be bound by the creation of policies for a particular string. Both of these requirements have been met by this applicant. There is clearly enough interest, including more than 70,000 preregistrations from a thousand or more unique registrants who are members of the adult industry, and the applicant has undertaken to us that it will require adherence to its self-regulatory policies by all of its registrants.
To the extent some of my colleagues on the board believe that ICANN should be in the business of deciding whether a particular TLD makes a valuable contribution to the namespace, I differ with them. I do not think ICANN is capable of making such a determination. Indeed, this argument is very much like those made by the pre-divestiture AT&T in America, when it claimed that no foreign attachments to its network -- like answering machines -- should be allowed. In part, because AT&T asserted at the time that there was no public demand for them.
The rise of the Internet was arguably made possible by allowing many foreign attachments to the Internet called modems. We established a process for sTLDs some time ago. We have taken this applicant through this process. We now appear to be changing the process. We should not act in this fashion.
I would like to spend a couple of moments talking about the politics of this situation. Many of my fellow board members are undoubtedly uncomfortable with the subject of adult entertainment material. Discomfort with this application may have been sparked anew by first the letter from individual GAC members Janis Karklins and Sharil Tarmizi, to which Ambassador Karklins has told us the GAC exceeded as a whole by its silence, and, second, the letter from the Australian government.
But the entire point of ICANN'S creation was to avoid the operation of chokepoint content control over the domain name system by individual or collective governments. The idea was that the U.S. would serve as a good steward for other governmental concerns by staying in the background and overseeing ICANN's activities, but not engaging in content-related control.
Australia's letter and concerns expressed in the past by Brazil and other countries about triple X are explicitly content based and, thus, inappropriate in my view.
If after creation of a triple X TLD certain governments of the world want to ensure that their citizens do not see triple X content, it is within their prerogative as sovereigns to instruct Internet access providers physically located within their territory to block such content. Also, if certain governments want to ensure that all adult content providers with a physical presence in their country register exclusively within triple X, that is their prerogative as well.
I note as a side point that such a requirement in the U.S. would violate the first amendment to our Constitution.
But this content-related censorship should not be ICANN's concern and ICANN should not allow itself to be used as a private lever for government chokepoint content control.
>>VINT CERF: Susan --
>>SUSAN CRAWFORD: I am almost done.
>>VINT CERF: No, no, no. I was asking you to slow down. The scribes are not able to keep up with you. I think you want this to be on the record.
>>SUSAN CRAWFORD: I do, and I will give it to them also in typed form.
ICANN should not allow itself to be used as a private lever for government chokepoint content control by making up reasons to avoid the creation of such a TLD in the first place.
To the extent there are public policy concerns with this TLD, they can be dealt with through local laws.
Registration in or visitation of domains in this TLD is purely voluntary. If ICANN were to base its decisions on the views of the Australian or U.S. or Brazilian government, ICANN would have compromised away its very reason for existence as a private non-governmental governance institution.
So in conclusion, I continue to be dissatisfied with elements of the proposed triple X contract, including but not limited to the rapid take-down provision of Appendix S, which is manifestly designed to placate trademark owners and ignores the many of the due process concerns that have been expressed about the existing UDRP.
I am confident that if I had a staff or enough time, I could find many things to carp about in this draft contract. I'm equally certain if I complained about these terms, my concerns would be used to justify derailing this application for political reasons.
I plan, therefore, as my colleague Peter Dengate Thrush has said, to turn my attention to the new gTLD process that was promised for January 2007, a promise that has not been kept, in hopes that we will some day have a standard contract and objective process that can help ICANN avoid engaging in unjustifiable ad hoc actions.
We should be examining generic TLD applicants on the basis of their technical and financial strength. We should avoid dealing with content concerns to the maximum extent possible. We should be opening up new TLDs. I hope we will find a way to achieve such a sound process in short order. Thank you.
[ applause ]
>>VINT CERF: Since we are in a voting phase, Susan, you also need to cast your vote.
>>SUSAN CRAWFORD: I began my statement, Mr. Chairman, by casting my vote.
>>VINT CERF: Which was no? Okay, thank you.
Njeri Rionge how, do you vote?
>>NJERI RIONGE: I vote yes.
>>VINT CERF: Raimundo?
>>RAIMUNDO BECA: As an elected member of the board, under no pressure of no government of the world, under no pressure of any association, but knowing my responsibilities as a member of the board, I vote -- I vote in favor of this resolution. And I will make no comment -- additional comment from what I made before.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Raimundo.
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: No.
>>VINT CERF: Rita?
>>RITA RODIN: I vote yes.
>>VINT CERF: Vanda?
>>VANDA SCARTEZINI: I vote yes, but I would like to state there is no pressure. I'm not under pressure of my government or any government.
>>VINT CERF: Dave Wodelet?
>>DAVE WODELET: Yes. I would like to say first, Vint, that we've already had a lot of discussion on this subject and I certainly see no need to repeat some of my colleagues, so I will limit my comments and be brief to just a couple of things.
This decision certainly has been a difficult one resulting in protracted discussions both within and outside of the board. This decision is a decision that has deserved a lot of thought and deliberation, learning input from a lot of disparate or different groups.
This decision has clearly been emotionally charged and has certainly a lot of emotional baggage. And as a result, I believe some objectivity has suffered during the process.
While I believe that the content of TLDs sponsored or not is not in the scope of ICANN, I also believe that we have to and must evaluate this application on its technical merits alone.
In doing so, I believe the conditions and objections the board had with the previous application have now been met and resolved. So as such, I must vote no and I cannot support this resolution.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, David. Joichi?
>>JOICHI ITO: I vote no against the resolution, and I would like to comment briefly. I think Peter, Susan and David have articulated most of the points. I would also like to point out that the discussions and arguments about how we would end up by default becoming entangled in the content aspect of this is not sufficient reason for me to vote in favor of this resolution. It is a reason to look at again, as Susan says, the whole process of gTLDs but maybe even at a higher level the raison d'etre and the existence of ICANN and how it should progress.
I don't think this particular vote, particularly in the context of a process that has been followed, and, to me, the fact they have met the technical requirements of the RFP is not the appropriate place to determine whether ICANN should or shouldn't be involved in content. It shouldn't. But that's not where I would be placing this issue.
I think that this -- what this should alert us to is that we have a much higher, bigger problem that we need to be discussing, and I hope that conversation doesn't end here.
And so I think different board members have taken different approaches to how to deal with this issue that's been thrown in our laps. But for me in particular, I think that consistency of the process and to me, as David says, the technical merits of the RFP are very important. And it is also very important for me personally to be very clear that the arguments that are being made about the content and the political issues have no bearing on my -- on the vote that I am casting.
>>VINT CERF: Demi Getschko?
>>DEMI GETSCHKO: I vote in favor of the resolution, and I would like to say that I am a Brazilian citizen. I am an elected board member from the CC community. I don't make any considerations about the reasons the people on the board voted yes or no. I have to declare very strongly that I am voting on my own decision without any kind of pressure, and it seems to me it would be outrageous to try to say that maybe we have voting in some elections because of some kind of pressures. Thank you.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Demi.
>>RAJASEKHAR RAMARAJ: I don't want to repeat what the others have said, so all I would like to say is with all that I have seen, heard and reviewed, I feel that it is appropriate that the board should actually approve the agreement with the ICM Registry and, hence, I vote no.
>>VINT CERF: Alex?
>>ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you, Vint. I will vote in favor of the resolution that says no. I vote yes to no.
I have to distance myself energetically, and I see that other board members have already done so from the characterization made by Ms. Susan Crawford. Rhetoric aside, the picture she paints is plainly wrong. I do not consider that the board has been swayed by political pressure of any kind. It has acted to the best of its knowledge and capacity within a very vigorous discussion within the board and within the community.
Within the strict limits set by ICANN's mandate and for these TLD, within the procedural and substantial rules set by the board's resolution and the RFP itself. ICANN has acted carefully and strictly within the rules.
Further, I have never seen a discussion colored by such implications as discomfort with adult content in this board or any issues related thereto.
The ICANN board has taken into account what one of the things that Ms. Crawford mentions, that there is no universal set of values regarding adult content other than those related to child pornography and the resolution voted is based precisely on that view, not on any view of the content itself. And I repeat, it's based on the view that there is no universal set of values agreed explicitly regarding this.
The fiduciary duty of care that we're obliged to as board members has taken those who vote in favor of the resolution to find that the proposed contract cannot scalably or credibly fulfill the measures required by the RFP. A global TLD needs to scale to a global application, to a global community, to a global response of foreseeable, predictable response from the global community and not work only in one country, as I find Ms. Crawford's statement to be much more concentrated into the realities of one jurisdiction.
The resolution is not based on the judgment of the community support for the application other than noting that this community support has been divided and not consistent a long time.
It is not based on considerations that would interfere with freedom of speech or any other human rights and values adopted generally and specifically by ICANN.
The proposed contract fails to extricate ICANN from contents and conduct-related issues. In fact, it does the opposite. To the best of our understanding, this cannot be remedied, and that in our global, international multistakeholder environment, is what counts.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Alex. Paul Twomey, how do you vote?
>>PAUL TWOMEY: Chairman, I abstain.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Paul. My count says that there are eight votes yes, which means that the proposal is rejected. There are five votes no, and one abstention.
It's nine. I'm sorry, there are nine yeses. Nine, five and one abstention. So the proposal is effectively rejected, and it is my understanding that as a consequence of this vote, we will not accept any further proposals on this particular TLD in this particular cycle of sponsored TLD consideration.
Well, thank you very much for all of the comments that have been made. I'm glad that we can put the matter to rest for a while, anyway.
I agree with Susan, that we desperately need to have a new TLD process and we've had some very fruitful discussions during the course of this week which I hope will lead us closer to agreeing on that.
I would like to move on now to the next item of discussion, specifically having to do with registrar accreditation. Many of you will know that we recently have been through a period of complex difficulty because a registrar, RegisterFly.com has, in fact, failed in many respects to fulfill its duties under the agreement with ICANN and has, in fact, been disaccredited. Paul, I would like to ask you to introduce this discussion.
I'm sorry, did I miss something?
>>STEVE CROCKER: Slower.
>>VINT CERF: Slower. Thank you, Steve. I call on Paul Twomey.
>>PAUL TWOMEY: Thank you, Steve. Chairman, throughout the last -- well, months and weeks, the issue of performance and compliance by registrars and one registrar in particular with registrar accreditation agreement and the appropriate protection of registrants has been a major item both of work and of comment.
Related to that is the -- two issues, I think. One has been raised which is issues around ICANN's compliance program and also the actual specifics of this agreement of this particular registrar.
And I'm going to ask Kurt Pritz to take us through a presentation briefly on that particular set.
Chairman, there is a process going forward of that discussion and consensus building amongst the community about what are the new -- what are the new things that should be done in response, not just in the case of RegisterFly but more broadly about both the registrar accreditation agreement, other actions outside that agreement which could also improve performance of the protection of registrants and related to that a clear -- as Steve Crocker himself has made the case several times this week, a clear understanding of what is the parameters of which we are trying to solve and what is the appropriate model that we need to have and what is the appropriate boundaries or actions that should take place to support registrants and clearly understand which parts may not be within ICANN's scope or even the registrar's scope.
So I will ask -- if you would like a second discussion that's already started this week in the workshop, the board may have views about what they would like to see out of that discussion going forward.
But before we hear those, I would ask Kurt to just take us through where we are on compliance on the registrar accreditation agreement, both in a historical sense but also where are we in the case of the registry RegisterFly.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you.
Kurt, if you will take the lectern.
>>KURT PRITZ: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
>>VINT CERF: Microphone, please?
>>KURT PRITZ: Is that okay? Thank you. Sorry. I think a discussion of this sort starts with ICANN's existing compliance program and the existing registrar accreditation agreement, registry agreements and other agreements with which -- for which ICANN has compliance responsibility. There is significant action and work that can be taken in the current environment while we seek to improve the tools we have and improve the contractual conditions that will further protect registrants.
Very briefly the existing compliance program, you can see it at icann.org/compliance, includes basically handling consumer complaints and then having procedures in place for escalating those complaints when they become serious, numerous or potential breaches of the registrar accreditation agreement, registry agreement or other agreement.
And then a sense or practice of perseverance on these issues to see them through to completion, that's where the registrant will -- will see relief or be protected. And then there is a proactive part to the compliance program, too, rather than receiving complaints and reacting to them. And that is a proactive audit schedule and that schedule is also published, so the activity would be the execution of that.
So the first -- the first part of that is responding to consumer complaints, and this is not necessarily always within ICANN's mission and the customer service levels provided by registrars.
We receive complaints through several ICANN mailboxes and a lot of phone calls, the primary source of these inquiries is the registrar info mailbox where we receive with about 650 or 700 complaints a month. Each complaint is sorted and then sent to the responsible registrar or registry as indicated in the mailbox in the case of -- sorry about that -- in the case of the registrar mailbox, it is the registrar.
Statistics described in the complaints are on the Web site. This is kind of an eye chart. I apologize for that in advance, but you can see that there's several, several issues that are the subject of these complaints. The biggest by far has to do with transfers and then the next has to do with WHOIS-type complaints, whether WHOIS data has been changed or is inaccurate and cannot be changed. That's a sort on the complaints in the year 2006 that ICANN received. Like I said, it's posted.
The other activities are more pointed to ICANN's mission and that is to follow up on compliance concerns and issues. Obviously we have an internal escalation process so that we can determine those issues that should be prosecuted, particularly by the ICANN staff. Maybe when there's a number -- complaints are numerous or they're serious.
So for an example in the last 20 working days, ICANN has followed up on 40 cases that have been escalated personally with registrars and interceded on registrants behalf to some sort of resolution. So that 90 active compliance actions in one month of working days is fairly typical. It has been fairly constant. I think last month it was higher than that.
The 90 complaints just for information were about 42 different registrars and there were four significant reasons for complaints that could be RAA related. One is failure to transfer according to the transfer process. That's the largest. The others are problems with WHOIS information, customer service and particularly problems with a reseller of an ICANN accredited registrar.
The last part of the compliance program is the audit process. There is audit schedules posted for both registries and registrars. Recently, we completed a registry WHOIS audit within the past fiscal year. Also, there is audits of registrars as they go through the RAA renewal process to bring them into compliance, and presently there is a registrar WHOIS Web site program going on.
So with a backdrop of that existing compliance program, here came RegisterFly and its behavior.
RegisterFly, this is just some background. It has always been a reseller, and then having not gained an accreditation through the ICANN process obtained one through purchase. There were continued complaints about RegisterFly, mostly about customer service levels. A lot of complaints, questionable whether they were violations of the agreement.
Nonetheless, ICANN undertook an audit and requested a lot of information and got involved with RegisterFly in mid 2006 and the number of complaints dropped. But then they rose again and included chargebacks that occur when customers don't get what they pay for, unauthorized WHOIS changes, underfunded registry accounts and transfer policy violations.
Now we're going through -- as everyone knows, a deaccreditation process that's clearly defined in the RAA. Through the process, we have been doing a few things with the big ICANN community, registrars, registries are facilitating transfers. There is a lot of ICANN involvement on a personal basis on hundreds and hundreds -- to facilitate hundreds and hundreds of transfers. And registrars are providing advice and technical support to RegisterFly to help them make transfers and help registrants.
There has also been a coordinated effort among registries to prevent deletions of names during this time so that the rights of registrants can be preserved until the situation sorts itself out, and we're also working to escrow timely data, including proxy data, that data that underlies the privacy registrations.
And finally, we are working with registrars and registries to develop a coherent predictable method so that registrants can transfer their name away from RegisterFly in the event of termination.
So one of these issues was escrow of data. A case study always teaches you more and this is a very fact-specific situation, but I think every registrar and potential registrar failure will be a very fact-specific situation.
We've learned that escrow data is very important, and we have a program in place to complete that program and implement it, but there's other issues that are very important, too. And, that is, the whole issue of proxy data. So if we have escrow data, the people who have registered privacy registrations really don't have their data escrowed anywhere and they are not protected in the event of failure. Should proxy data be escrowed or should registrants be using a proxy service to take on a higher level of risk?
And then there is -- once you have the data, what do you do with it? And how can you use it? At one point in a termination process or a breach process can ICANN use the data and act in a way to protect registrants? All the parties have rights. The registrants, the registrars and so under what circumstances can the data be used or transferred?
I just want to talk a bit about the data escrow program. This is a program to implement data escrow pursuant to the ICANN registrar accreditation agreement. So there's -- the implementation plan really has five steps and that is to write a technical specification and a draft of that is done. It is going to be submitted to registrars and others in the community for technical review. And then to secure the surfaces of a he is -- services of an escrow provider. Or in the case of registrars that want to secure their own data escrow, a process for approving third-party providers. And then the last two parts of the implementation will be a development of the audit procedures and a test. So those are pretty straightforward. That program plan is going to be prosecuted within with the community.
At this meeting, in a meeting with registrars, the registrars -- the gTLD registrars appointed a team or task force -- I don't know what you call it, but a bunch of good people to work with ICANN to accelerate the implementation of a data escrow program. We're also redefining the project to include these issues that have been raised -- that have been raised due to this set of circumstances. And we've also agreed to accelerate the plan significantly, and we're going to publish the final schedule next month.
So Mr. Chairman, I'm just going to take a couple more minutes, if it's permissible, to review the discussion we've had with registrars here at this meeting and show progress and then I'll be done. But these are the issues that Paul Twomey raised in his posting to the community regarding improvements that can be made in the relationship between registrars and their -- and the community, their registrants, and potential changes for the RAA.
The discussion with registrars first went to, you know, some of these things can be done right away and we can discuss them right away, and some of them require a change to the agreement. So I've italicized the items here that require some change to the RAA, and so that change would be on the critical path to actually getting some of this stuff done.
I've also -- I've already talked about data escrow and I think there's a -- there's a clear plan and I'm going to refer to my notes here, to make sure I've captured the gist of what was said in the meeting, but I think I've clearly stated what we're -- the path forward on data escrow.
The problems associated with proxy registrations were discussed again, and, you know, we discussed a proxy registering service that can be certified. One that could take the privacy data and actually store it at a third party and release it, then, under certain circumstances. So that idea is being pursued.
There's extensive discussion about the rating of registrars. It's something that can be done, but something that's done that's accurate, meaningful, and available to registrants might be problematic. It's an area where resources could be expended without real benefit, so there's enthusiasm for discussion of it, and moving forward with it in a way that would be beneficial.
ICANN's looking at the system of affiliated registrars and group ownerships. Affiliated registrars have common ownership or control over -- you know, among many registrars, and currently ICANN requires a separation of affiliated registrars when they apply for accreditation in a way that might inhibit this. So ICANN has an action to take up with its general counsel's office to determine how this can be best pursued.
Stronger or additional compliance enforcement tools were discussed in detail. There are some that could be invoked or implemented without a change to the RAA, such as publication of breaches or publications of bad behavior. Others, such as escalated sanctions, one might be suspension of ability to register names for a period of time would require a change to the agreement. There are brief discussions -- and I'll tell you why -- about changes to the transfer policy, and that is that that effort's already ongoing. ICANN staff had furnished a report to the GNSO Council on experiences with the --
>>VINT CERF: Kurt, I'm sorry. Can you slow down a little bit, please?
>>KURT PRITZ: I'm going to try. So -- it's not my nature. I'm sorry.
>>KURT PRITZ: So ICANN has turned a report to the GNSO Council suggesting reporting experiences and suggesting changes to the transfer policy, and as -- since that report, furnished clarifications and a list of policy issues. That's a draft document, and so we want to energize those discussions and when I say "energize," I mean provide staff support for those discussions to continue on discussion about the transfer policy.
We discussed the idea of registrar certification of staff. This seems to be a straightforward thing to do but again, to do it in a meaningful way that's just not an administrative burden to registrars is important, so that discussion will continue.
There is an opinion that accreditation by purchase is difficult to prevent at first examination, given the M&A process and the M&A environment, and -- but we did discuss several measures to prevent problems due to transfer of ownership. Such as higher levels of scrutiny by ICANN in the case of a change in contact information or a change in entity. So that -- that part of the discussion is ongoing, and then how the accreditation by purchase might be prevented is a deeper legal discussion.
And then we discussed reseller liability under the RAA, and each registrar went around the table and took complete ownership of the behavior of resellers, and so that was -- that was -- that was essentially the extent of that discussion. Registrars committed that issues regarding resellers and reseller compliance would receive sufficient resources and attention to assure better accountability by resellers to registrars. To registrants, rather.
And then there was quite a bit of discussion about the process for amending the RAA and we'll have to -- there's more of an investigation that has to occur there. It has to be according to the agreement in some consensus based process, so I think that provides quite a bit of opportunity for moving forward on a rapid basis.
So Mr. Chairman, that was quite a bit of material, and I'm sorry for taking up so much time and talking fast but I wanted to provide some background for the discussion here and then after we leave here, too.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much, Kurt. I would suggest when you have a lot of material, that it should not cause you to speak at 900 words per minute. In deference to the hard work of our scribes.
I'd like to make an observation about what Kurt has just reported. The first one is that the ICANN staff have actually been very much involved in compliance in various ways over the course of some years, so the RegisterFly matter, although it is by far one of the most visible of the problems arising is not, by any means, the only one. And for many people who might not have known, staff has been actually quite engaged in dealing with problems of this sort, trying to respond to registrant protection through the compliance mechanisms. I'd like to suggest to you, though, that the board has an obligation to discuss -- if not here, then at another time -- the extent of the obligations that we have to registrants. I mean, my belief is that in general, our whole role is to assure that the registrants are able to register in their chosen domain names and that the system will continue to serve them. To the extent that we can assure that through contractual means, through complia!
nce and the like, I think that's very important, but we should have a fundamental discussion about how far we can go.
For example, if a registry fails, are we responsible for turning into receivers to operate it? If a registrar fails, how far do we go to reconstitute the operation?
The data that is needed may not be sufficient to reconstitute operation precisely in the same way that a particular registrar has been functioning. I'm thinking that the -- the databases and the user interfaces and the like for each registrar may be quite different.
So we need to find some guidelines for the degree to which we are able to offer various protections for -- for registrants.
So I think we should have that fundamental discussion. I don't know how to make the metric, but clearly it has to be feasible, it has to be affordable, it has to be scalable, as more and more registrars and more registries are created.
So I put that on the table as a potential discussion, if not now, then later during the course of 2007, as we try to lay out what our responsibilities are.
I would suggest that we will have similar kinds of discussions with regard to new TLDs, again, trying to identify the limits of our responsibilities in order to permit additional TLDs to be created.
Are there any questions and comments? Peter?
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Thank you, Vint. First of all, I'd just like to thank Kurt for the presentation, and I and I think other members of the board are probably very grateful to know that that work is going on in compliance. Mostly invisible to me, I'm sure to many other members of the community. So thank you for exposing all of that good work that's going on. Secondly, I'd like to support Vint's call that we do need to have a fundamental policy discussion about the extent of all of those issues. We're talking about a delicate balancing in a fairly contested commercial climate of the rights of registries with registrars and registrants, and that is something that we may find from time to time that we change the balance as conditions move. So we need to keep up with that.
The other thing that we do need to do is complete the obligations in the contracts for preparing an escrow compliance -- an escrow program, but at the same time we recognize the message that came to us from the registrar community that even full escrow would not necessarily solve the RegisterFly situation. Obviously, it's an important step to have in our compliance and backup program.
So I think really Kurt and Paul, it's a call for an appropriate timetable for completing that escrow obligation in the contracts and get that done in a timely but complete sort of way.
And then run, Vint, your requirement for a full policy discussion about all the other things that we need to have to complete that picture.
So I don't know how we -- those seem to be the two things that we need to set up. One is reasonably rapid to be honest with you effective completion of the escrow issue and a full policy debate on all the other issues that are required.
>>VINT CERF: Any other comments? Yes, Vittorio.
>>VITTORIO BERTOLA: Yes. Well, the first thing that I want to say is that this is a really important matter for the at-large and for registrants in general. I think much more important than dot xxx or any other issues that -- on which we have been spending a lot of time. The At-Large Advisory Committee has released a statement. It was presented briefly yesterday at the public forum. But basically, we agreed that it is important to enforce the current contracts, and escrow specifically, but I think that -- I mean, I agree with you that we need a discussion on where ICANN needs to stay into this environment, and especially what kind of provisions it has to add to the contracts to protect the registrants. And there's a number of situations where this is actually necessary. Maybe not many of them, so I'm not thinking that this should become a heavily regulated market, but for the market to be a market, there needs to be a basic level of competition. And so as a minimum!
, registrants must be actually free to move from one registrar to the other.
So, for example, we have suggested that there are some provisions in the contracts that require registrars to supply an easy way for transferring domains away. Compatibly with security, of course.
So in general, I think we need to have that discussion. Maybe other things could be obtained by nonbinding measures, so I think -- I really think that most of it could be a discussion between the registrars and the registrants, the at-large, and anyone else about practices. Perhaps there's the need to write down some things. I mean, one of the most usual complaints I see is people registering a domain name and then discovering that it's -- I mean, in the WHOIS system, the registrant is actually the reseller, not them, so they cannot get back their domain if they want to change their Web hosting company, for example. And this is clearly outside of the purview of ICANN directly, but at the same time, I don't think that there's any documents stating anywhere that in the DNS it should be you that gets the ownership of the domain and not the reseller. So maybe just by agreeing on some best practices like this, we can provide some registrants a way to show that they have a r!
ight when they have to discuss with their suppliers. So I basically look forward to this discussion. I don't know how to do it. Maybe it's just as in -- the registrants just have to arrange it separately, but I think it's something that we really need to have.
>>VINT CERF: Just a reminder, Vittorio, that was very rapid-fire delivery. A reminder to board members, please slow down.
>>STEVE CROCKER: Thank you, Vint. I just want to add from the perspective of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee, equal emphasis and shared purpose in exactly the focus of protecting registrants. This is a general topic that we have spent time on before. I think we have shared purpose across different segments of the community here. We stand ready to work cooperatively with at-large or with any other portion of the community, and in particular, our view of security and stability necessarily includes the entire system that is involved, not just narrow operating components of a particular service, for example.
So I would like very much to see and applaud the efforts that Kurt has described and the staff's attention to using the mechanisms that exist and exercising them to full measure. And at the same time, a broader discussion about what our objectives are, what our values are in this area at the board level, and at the community level, and then eventually translating those thoughts and decisions into perhaps new mechanisms or additional mechanisms that make the whole system work quite effectively. I think we all subscribe to the general notion of a free and open market. That is a nice embracing concept. There is no market that operates completely unfettered by some sort of constraints. Those that do rapidly -- often, anyway, rapidly run into -- off the deep end somewhere where they're totally captured or they have some other flaw in them. So I don't see it inconsistent with our general mandate to have a vibrant, free, open marketplace with equally a set of carefully selec!
ted and well-crafted protections built into the marketplace in order to make that marketplace continue to function vibrantly. Thank you.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Steve. I'd just like to make one other observation about all of this.
We have perhaps -- or could have an overly simple model of this market. The connection between a registrant and these things we call registrars and registries can sometimes be quite distant. If you wanted to get a Web site, you might go to a hosting company which will undertake to register a domain name for you, to provide you with host services and so on. That party might go to a reseller in order to perform the registration. There are a variety of linkages that connect or potentially connect a registrant to the system with which we actually have contracts.
The result is that trying to protect a registrant is going to be, if not a distant goal, at least a complex one, and I think under all circumstances, we will be unable to provide the protections that Vittorio, the at-large community, might expect simply because of the variety of ways in which registration can occur.
I don't say this as a way of trying to inhibit ICANN from trying to do the right thing, but I would say we should be conscious of the fact that our only tool for compliance today is contract, and that we don't actually have contracts with every component of this complex marketplace. So we should not be surprised if there are some cases that don't work. The comment that in the case of RegisterFly, perfect data might still not have solved the problem, because we couldn't get our hands on it or the party wasn't cooperative or there was a dispute within the company as to who was in charge of it and who could make agreements, those are all the kinds of real-world physics that get in the way of the virtual models that I wish that we could actually work with.
As a mathematician and a computer scientist, "virtual" is very cool, but as a pragmatist, I understand that sometimes it doesn't apply.
Are there other comments on this particular topic? I got one from Janis. I'm sorry. Did I see Susan? No. Janis, and anyone else? No. Janis?
>>JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you. And I think the issue you raised concerning consumer protection or registrant protection from Government Advisory Committee perspective is a very valid one. That is a public policy concern, and I would like to agree that implementation of that principle may be difficult, but the absence of the provision in the contract which obliges registrars ensure that customers do not suffer as a result of some kind of collisions. That is not acceptable. The provisions should be there, and I think that this is the minimum ICANN can do in order to follow this the principle of consumer protection.
>>VINT CERF: So this term "customer" introduces a potential hazard here. Because the customer of a registrar might be a reseller. The customer of a registrar might be a hosting service. We would have to, in our further deliberations about where our responsibilities lie, we might, for example, have to insist that the ultimate registrant has to be exhibited in the data tables. I don't know what the ramifications of that are, and I don't suggest that we have the debate now, but I'm fond of observing that Einstein once said that "things should be as simple as possible but no simpler," and that is to say, let's be careful that we don't try to design and build a system of compliance around a model which is, in fact, inadequate to reflect the real world.
If there are no other -- there are two. One from Susan and then one from Peter.
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Thank you but I've just been drafting an easy resolution, but if Susan has another comment, I can defer.
>>SUSAN CRAWFORD: Oh, just very briefly. We have a lot of soft power here that we can use, informational -- getting news out to registrants and other actors about what it means to register a domain name and what their rights and obligations and who to call. We can do a better job at that, I think. Also, I think it might be helpful to rapidly convene a group that amends this contract to include these lesser-included things that we need to protect registrants. You know, ultimately this is a matter of customer service, in a sense. Our service to the Internet community and the registrars' service to their registrants. And if we can help with building in escalation procedures short of de-accreditation, I think we have an opportunity now to seize this moment and amend the contract and get registrars working together with all of us to make this a better situation for registrants. But I wouldn't discount the communication/education function that ICANN can serve in this rega!
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Susan. I see Peter's hand and then Paul's. Peter, if you're about to introduce a resolution, normally my practice is not to do resolutions on the fly, but I think we should hear what you have in mind to do, so please go ahead.
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Thanks, Vint. I'm just trying to be helpful, going forward. I suggest that we direct the president to report to the board in San Juan on progress with developing a program for escrow as provided in the RAA, and on stimulating a policy debate to create policies for the appropriate protection of registries, registrars, and registrants. Reporting in San Juan on those two issues. One, escrow; and two, a policy debate. Which hopefully would lead to Susan's and JANIS' issue about amending the contracts.
>>VINT CERF: A procedural suggestion might be to record a sense of the board with these two things are designed, as opposed to a formal resolution. I'm not trying to rule out that at all. I would like to get some comment from Paul on this, since he had his hand up anyway, and Alex after that, and we'll come back, Peter, to the proposal.
>>PAUL TWOMEY: Yeah. Thank you, Vint. I'd like to support what Susan said a hundred percent. I think she's right on the money. And I think to come to what Peter suggested, I think there's -- there's potentially four options, four avenues we have here. One is, we should report back on the existing obligations on, for instance, the escrow policy. So that's the first item.
The second one is: There are -- I think Susan is absolutely right. There are a series of actions that we could encourage registrars to do and which ICANN itself could creatively do which do not require a change to the RAA and which could improve some of these -- some of these aspects. So I think we should report back on that.
Thirdly, on -- when it comes to the accreditation agreement itself, very importantly, the wording of the agreement for its amendment, it calls for consensus, not for consensus policy. And as we know, that issue is fairly significant, because we could well, for the speed of time, convene the sort of working groups, the cross-constituency working groups and feels if the board that is a consensus approach by Sao Paulo -- San Juan, should I say, for amendment to the contract. If there are specific things that then need or require consensus policy -- in other words, they have to go through a PDP through the GNSO -- then they could be identified as well. So it's not to exclude out things that would go through the -- the GNSO PDP, but it may not necessarily -- it may not be -- for the sort of amendments I'm hearing the registrars now just talking about, we may be able to implement those amendments without necessarily having to have the PDP.
>>VINT CERF: I was signaling you to slow down, Paul. Did you -- have you finished?
>>PAUL TWOMEY: That's it.
>>VINT CERF: All right. Let me get Alex and then we'll come back to Peter's proposal.
>>ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Vint, I share with many the concern that registrants, individual small business owners or nonprofit organizations are left hanging by things like the RegisterFly and many other potentially occurring failures now or in the future. I would urge this board and the community not to get carried away before studying also what the consumer protection role is.
Consumer protection is something that varies widely among countries. There are countries which have very strong organizations which are mostly grass-roots citizens organizations which have been well-organized and funded and can put up a lot of pressure on providers who fail consumers. There are countries where this is a government function. There are countries where this is basically a wild west or a jungle. And one could try to -- one should be very careful and get information and advice from the GAC as to how to better implement a consumer protection function that scales globally, that scales cross -- across jurisdictions, judiciary traditions and so forth, and that doesn't put ICANN again in a nontechnical coordination role. I am baffled and surprised and I would like to look in more detail to make sure it's not exactly the same people who make claims against ICANN overstepping its technical coordination role, that as soon as they see a flap occurring in the market,!
some outreach -- some outrage, sorry, to make my pronunciation specific for the scribes -- that immediately are turning ICANN into something that also exceeds the technical coordination mandate which would be sort of the consumer protection agency of cyberspace.
This is a dangerous path, and I would insist in first studying the implications. I think that the call by JANIS and several other of the people present here, board members and liaisons, are valuable. Careful study is required. And I insist we should not get carried away and suddenly saddle ICANN with an unmeetable function.
>>VINT CERF: Okay. Thank you, Alex. Let me suggest, Kurt, that it's okay for you to stand down now. I'm sorry that I left you standing up there. And thank you, again, for that report.
There are several people who have asked to speak. Rita had her hand up. Let me ask you, Rita: Do you want to speak to something which would have an influence on Peter's proposal or can I proceed with that first? What's your -- what is the topic that you'd like to cover.
>>RITA RODIN: Vint, I'm sorry, I don't remember Peter's proposal. It's just a quick comment on something that Alex said.
>>VINT CERF: Go ahead.
>>RITA RODIN: All right. I just wanted to echo something that Alex said. I think it is important, as everyone has discussed, to deal with the protection of registrants in a situation of registrar failure, because it is important to keep the Web running. But I do want to echo what Alex said, that there shouldn't be this notion that anyone -- you know, as a U.S. lawyer, I know that it's impossible to draft a perfect contract to protect someone, and I do want us to just be temperate in terms of looking at contracts and dealing with too many burdens on registrars and trying to think that there will never be any issues that will come up in the space.
>>VINT CERF: Peter is trying very hard to get something done. Alex, I hope a brief comment?
>>ALEJANDRO PISANTY: It will be a footnote to Rita's comment saying it's not only the Web. There's 65 535 ports out there. Not just port 80. This is the Internet, not the Web, the Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Alex. Peter, let's come back -- Rita, the proposal that Peter made was to ask the board -- I'm sorry, ask the staff for a report on where we stand with regard to compliance and to engage in substantive discussions about the compliance questions and our role in it. Peter, would you like to repeat the proposal?
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Thank you, Vint.
Directing the president to report to the board in San Juan on progress with developing a program for escrow, as provided in the RAA, and on stimulating a policy debate on policies for appropriate protection for registries, registrars, and registrants. If I can just speak to that, I put that on a slightly wider context at the end than simply registrants' rights in the case of registrar failure, which is the particular event which has stimulated this. It seems to me that we are at a nexus, and we can't tweak -- we can't pull one part of this without having regard to what that does to the rest of the balance, and that the debate really needs to take that all into account. The trouble with that, I recognize, is that it opens it up to a much wider scope, so depending on the urgency, we may -- we may choose to limit it, and deal with it in chunks.
>>VINT CERF: I think those issues, though, don't necessarily influence the basic request that you're making. Paul?
>>PAUL TWOMEY: Thank you, chairman. I think this is a good thrust. May I suggest, just for good housekeeping, that we just take the wording on notice and perhaps we could move to the next item and come back to the wording, just to allow Peter to consult with the normal people we do consult in resolutions, the general counsel and others, just to make certain the wording is fine. It might just be an opportune thing to do.
>>VINT CERF: Peter, is that an acceptable path?
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Yes.
>>VINT CERF: All right. So we will ask counsel to work on the actual wording of this proposal and move on to the next topic, as Paul suggests. And this has to do with spending money, and our chairman of finance is Raimundo Beca who is our chairman, who is going to introduce this resolution.
>>RAIMUNDO BECA: Well, certainly I don't like to spend so much money on lawyers, but I know --
>>RAIMUNDO BECA: -- I know as the chairman of the Finance Committee, I have to move this resolution. The resolution reads as this: Whereas, ICANN has had significant needs for legal services during the months of October, November, December 2006 and January and --
>>VINT CERF: Slowly, slowly, slowly.
>>RAIMUNDO BECA: This is the first time.
-- and January and February 2007. Whereas, Jones Day has provided extensive legal services to meet these needs and ICANN has received invoices from Jones Day in connection with these services totaling $108,135.45 for October 2006, and $79,902.98 for November 2006, $26,642.87 for December 2006, $27,427.22 for January 2007, and $46,506.57 for February 2007.
Whereas the general counsel and the acting CFO have reviewed the invoices and determined that they are for proper and should be paid.
Resolved, the president is authorized to make payments to Jones Day in the amount of $288,615.09 for legal services provided for ICANN during October, November and December 2006, and January and February 2007.
>>VINT CERF: So I take that as a motion. Is there a second? I see a second from Goldstein.
Paul, I'd like to ask you to not spend a lot of time on this, but just to emphasize that these funds are payment for a very broad range of legal advice. Not all litigation, for example. We do many things that require outside legal talent beyond that. Could you just, in some brief way, characterize the range of expenses or the nature of the expenses?
>>PAUL TWOMEY: Thank you, Vint. There are ranges of things here. There are work on compliance issues, so assistance on work on compliance issues. There is assistance here for further evolution of work -- for the institution's evolution, so background work on the various committees or work on the RALOs being presented, just sort of background consideration on that sort of stuff.
There is also support for analysis of decisions the board has to make, so there has just been a range -- really a range of things.
>>VINT CERF: That's fine. Thank you very much, Paul.
Are there any other comments or questions on this resolution? If not, I will ask for a vote with a show of hands. All those in favor, please raise your hand.
5-0. Thank you very much. The motion passes.
The next topic has to do with the President's Strategy Committee report, which was received this week. And I would like to ask Peter Dengate Thrush to introduce a motion on this subject.
Peter is disappearing in the direction of the lectern.
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Thank you.
>>VINT CERF: Your microphone doesn't appear to be on. Try again.
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Thank you. How's that? Thanks, Vint. I thought it would be easier to come here to talk about this because I need to see Dan over your shoulder because Dan is going to put up some sections on the screen of the report.
Let me begin by saying what an honor it has been to be a co-chair of the President's Strategy Committee since its formation in Vancouver at the end of 2005. And while we're thinking historically, it is now ten years since the late-night conversations that some of us were having with Ira Magaziner, the development of ICANN, the development of bylaws, green papers and white papers. What this committee has been doing is looking at the next phase of the development of ICANN, from the corporation from the Newco, proposed in the white paper, and then developed and then reformed and then maintained and sustained by the board and then all of you in the room.
What I would like to do is to ask Dan to put up some sections of the report. While he is doing that, let me just remind you, because many of you were in the room when the committee reported in the public forum, that there are three sets of recommendations.
The two that I'm not going to talk about, the contribution to capacity development, part of that is going to be covered in a later resolution as the board adopts resolutions, developing relations and developing capacity.
And, third, the other one I am not going to talk about is the role of participation of stakeholders and some of that is dealt with in a coming resolution from the Board Governance Committee on review of the internal structure of ICANN and stakeholders.
What I am going to talk about is the first one, with which is really the legal status of ICANN. Now, I can't see -- I can see Dan, but now I can't see the screen.
What I would like to have you look at is part of this report. One of the key recommendations on this aspect is this encouragement by the committee to the board to explore with the U.S. government, other governments and the ICANN community whether there are advantages and appropriate mechanisms for moving ICANN's legal identity to that of a private international organization based in the U.S.
This is a major step forward from Newco, taking it from a U.S. corporation to a private international organization developed -- registered or based in the United States.
If we can move to the second part of that, because I think this is important as well. Committee considered such developments could contribute to the further improvement of stability and encourages the board to explore the private international organization model as part of its review and then to operationalize whatever outcomes result.
Not up on the screen but part of the report was a very clear statement by the committee that we were not suggesting a treaty organization or an intergovernmental organization. And the part that is up on the screen I hope now says this commitment to really the fundamental essence of ICANN, what makes ICANN so historically different, so exciting and hopefully so successful in the end, is this private sector-based multistakeholder model with, of course, bottom-up processes, transparency of process, consultation with those affected by our outcomes, et cetera. There is absolutely no intention of departing from there and every intention of incorporating all of the essence of ICANN as it currently stands as we have built it over the last ten years into the new organization in this new format.
And then there's a further recommendation that the board should consider this, and this portion ensuring that the accountability and review mechanisms are established and including international arbitration panels.
The last one I want to go to, then, is the long quote that deals with suggested mechanisms for changing the current arrangement of U.S. Department of Commerce oversight. And there are two suggestions. It is accepted that there may be others, but these are the two that the committee thought had some merit: An order contracted by the U.S Department of Commerce to undertake the checking function or changes to the root and contracting of a third-party order to be taken over by ICANN, if ICANN proves sustainable.
It was always the original intention that this kind of authority would transition to ICANN once it met the conditions originally of the MOU and now we have the joint partnership arrangement.
So those are the key recommendations. Quite a challenge, I think, for the community and the board.
>>VINT CERF: Sorry, Peter. I am not able to time share when I've got 17 different people -- I'm sorry. What was it you asked?
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: I was just coming now to the discussion that I want -- the committee would like the board to have and I think the board was asking for to review this part of the report, the concept of moving ICANN to a private international organization.
>>VINT CERF: And I saw Alex's hand go up. Alex?
>>ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Sorry, Vint. This is just somewhat presumptuous from a non-native English speaker, but "complementary" is probably too falsely self-conceding and it could be very actually replaced by "complimentary" and maybe it would even make a lot more sense.
>>VINT CERF: I noted the same thing at the same time and sent a note to the general counsel that that was a misspelling. It is very funny that the non-english speaker caught it. Are there any other substantive comments.
>>SUSAN CRAWFORD: Moving beyond spelling for the moment, this is potentially an extraordinarily important transformative time for ICANN to be considering this question. And I hope that we will have very serious deliberation of this question at the board level.
This report sets up a bunch of issues for us to talk about in a very concise and helpful fashion. It doesn't give us very much detail about implementation.
And as I said at the public forum on this subject, as we float away potentially from oversight by either the forces of litigation or the U.S. government to the extent it has provided oversight in this context, it becomes increasingly important to focus on accountability, to whom is ICANN accountable not just inwardly but is there a way to reverse decisions of the board? To check what the GNSO is doing? Can we look outside ourselves for mechanisms of accountability?
And the report helpfully suggests that the board should ensure that appropriate full accountability and review mechanisms are established.
I hope that as a board we can charge this committee with continuing to work to help us with those mechanisms, to gather expert advice about the kinds of accountability we could put in place outside ICANN. I think that this is going to be very interesting from a sort of biological petri dish of governance point of view.
I think ICANN -- if we go down this path -- will be a really unique forum of private international organization. So we will need to be creative about these mechanisms, and I hope we will have the advice of this very well-constituted committee to work on these questions before the board has to move forward with any concrete steps. Thanks.
>>VINT CERF: It strikes me that the resolution text does get to some of what you're asking for because the resolution would engage in analyzing much of the proposals to try to understand more deeply what their implications are.
I can't resist using your biological petri dish simile or metaphor to hope that ICANN won't become an incurable disease.
I saw a hand go up over there. It was Vanda.
>>VANDA SCARTEZINI: Just a few considerations, that I believe this movement to an international institution is not only the desire of the community but I believe have been discussing this with IGF, and WSIS and other forums. It is the desire of the whole world. I believe that is one step forward that this committee should really reach, and I hope to have this for comments in the board as soon as possible. Thank you.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Vanda.
Other comments? Steve Goldstein?
>>STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. There is, indeed, some importance to looking at the institutional structure and looking at change. But I think of equal or even at this particular point, greater importance is that we look inward in ourselves and our procedures and how we deal with things and straighten those out.
And I think once we straighten out our own house, relocating the house to another city or putting new covering on the roof or outside the house or new windows will come a lot easier and be a lot more meaningful. Thank you.
>>VINT CERF: So, Steve, you're actually alluding to something that is going on, as I'm sure you know. There are a whole series of evaluations of different parts of ICANN's internal operation which the Board Governance Committee is overseeing.
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: The other point I would respond to that, Mr. Chairman, in agreeing with the need for that is just to say that kind of self-improvement is a continuing one. It is a journey, really, rather than an arrival. And I don't think there will ever be a time we could say we have our house in order, it is time to move it.
I'm not sure you are suggesting, Steve, that we wait until we give ourselves ticks in every box, but certainly we have to be on that journey continuously.
>>STEVE GOLDSTEIN: What I am saying is I don't want to see us involve ourselves in a lot -- expending a lot of work and energy just to change the organizational structure without changing the organization and the way it works inside as well.
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Vint, if there aren't any other contributions, the way I would like to move this forward is just reply to a couple of things. First of all, in relation to the detail of implementation. The committee deliberately did not go down an implementation tract until we had time to review the very high level concept level. There seems to be support for concept level so the memorandum that I am going to move in a moment is going to be suggesting that we proceed.
The other issue really is that we have to go and get legal advice, so Raimundo will be passing another resolution paying lawyers against his better judgment in future because the issues of constitutional and international law in this area, as Susan has identified, this is going to be an unique organization and there isn't an easy off-the-shelf precedent for us to use.
So, perhaps, I could then move to the resolution. It doesn't actually include anything about petri dishes or Penicillin.
It is that "whereas" ICANN's mission is to coordinate at the overall level the global Internet's systems of you evening identify fearers and in particular to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems;
Whereas, that the ICANN board noted in 2005 that the ICANN community could benefit from the advice of a group responsible for making observations and recommendations concerning strategy issues facing ICANN and resolved in 2005 to direct the president to appoint the President's Strategy Committee;
Whereas, the President's Strategy Committee conducted its work and consulted with the community on input to its proposed recommendations;
Whereas, the President's Strategy Committee recommendations addressing ICANN's status and continued improved responsiveness to an evolving global environment, contributing to capacity development and participation and a role of stakeholders have been presented to the ICANN board and community.
Resolved, to recognize the President's Strategy Committee recommendations and request that the committee provide further detail on aspects arising from the recommendations and conduct in consultation with the community an evaluation and analysis of their implementation and related implications.
That's the resolution.
>>VINT CERF: So moved. Thank you, Peter. Is there a second? Vanda seconds.
Is there any further discussion of this resolution?
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Vint, can I just say something about the "whereas" about the consultation with the community. We said this in the presentation, but I'd just like to personally repeat the thanks for the input at considerable expense in terms of time and contribution from the ICANN community where we received substantive input from thought leaders in the ICANN community and very valuable contributions from outside ICANN.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Peter.
It's been moved and seconded. If no further comments, I will call for a vote. All those in favor of the resolution please raise your hand. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. Thank you. Mr. Secretary, the motion passes.
Thank you, Peter.
The next item on the agenda -- by the way, I intend to press on. So if there are people here who have other pressing matters to attend to, you should take care of them personally and privately.
I would like to ask Ramaraj to introduce -- director Ramaraj to introduce the motion on cooperative agreements with international and regional organizations. Before you do that, let me just mention we had a significant ceremony yesterday that was photographed heavily. The photographs are available in the foyer. Much activity has taken place to cement international relationships.
Rag, please go ahead.
>>RAJASEKHAR RAMARAJ: Whereas, ICANN has developed a collaborative program with private and intergovernmental parties to conduct outreach to governments and local Internet communities;
Whereas, ICANN staff has engaged with respective organizations both globally and regionally;
Whereas, organizations have expressed an interest to enter into non-binding cooperative agreement MOUs with ICANN to highlight cooperation and partnerships;
Whereas, these cooperative agreement MOUs seek to enable cooperation and partnership on areas consistent with ICANN's bylaws and strategy and operating plan.
Moved that it be resolved that these cooperative agreement MOUs are a positive step in enhancing cooperation and working in partnership with respective organizations and the president is authorized to enter into agreements such as the cooperative agreement MOUs with the African Telecommunications Union, ATU, Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association, PITA and the U.N. economic and social commission for western Asia, UN-ESCWA.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much, Raj.
Is there a second for this motion? I see Paul Twomey raising his hands.
Before we vote, I would like to make the observation that this is the kind of activity that ICANN needs to engage in, in order to reach out to communities that have not necessarily been able to participate in the ICANN process. So I'm really pleased to see these kinds of actions on the table.
Paul, did you have a comment?
>>PAUL TWOMEY: Yes, Vint. I would like to echo what you say and, perhaps, even spell the word "complimentary "correctly this time. That this is the sort of activity which ensures that we're not being duplicative, which I know has been a major concern of the community. And that where we are involved in outreach and engagement throughout the global Internet community, we try to do that as efficiently as possible and working with these sorts of organizations gives us an opportunity to remain truly ICANN but at the same time be efficient in the way we use our resources.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, are there any other comments on this resolution?
If not, I will call for a vote. If you vote in favor, we will be authorizing and accepting these agreements. All those in favor please raise your hand. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.
Thank you, Peter.
>>SUSAN CRAWFORD: I did not raise my hand.
>>VINT CERF: I beg your pardon. I miscounted. I beg your pardon. So that's 14 in favor. Are there any opposed? Are there any abstentions?
Do you care to say why?
>>SUSAN CRAWFORD: No. I would prefer not to say why. I have had a very busy week. I wanted to study the text of these agreements carefully, and I just haven't had time.
>>VINT CERF: Okay, thank you, Susan. I apologize for counting too fast.
Next item on the agenda has to do with the Regional At-Large Organization which has shown a substantial dynamic in the last 12 months, rapid growth of ALSs and RALOs. One of our board members has been long associated with the at-large community and I would like to ask Roberto to introduce this motion.
>>ROBERTO GAETANO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In fact, it is true that I have been associated with the at-large community, and I would like to make a comment before I read the motion, if I'm allowed.
I think some of you remember the statement of Pedro related to the football, that the GAC football team has waited for him not to play once to win the tournament.
And I feel ALAC community has done this to me as well. They have waited until I moved out, and then -- you know, and then they went ahead.
But since I still feel part of this at-large community, although I don't have mandate from the at-large community, I am really very happy to see this happening and I'm glad that I've been given the honor of presenting this motion.
So I will go on and read the motion. With whereas -- I suppose I can speed up a little bit because you have the text, right?
Whereas, the ICANN bylaws, article XI, section 2, part 4 provide a process that allows individual Internet users to participate meaningfully in the work of ICANN, as the community known as "at-large," and; Whereas, groups representing individual Internet users throughout the world have made outstanding progress in their work together, resulting in three regions concluding their negotiations on creating memoranda of understanding with ICANN to create their Regional At-Large Organizations, RALOs, and;
Whereas, the three regions are the Asia/Australia/Pacific, the African and the European regions, an achievement which represents a considerable milestone in the development of the multistakeholder process which is so fundamental to the work of ICANN, and;
Whereas, the ICANN board wishes to recognize and applaud the at-large community worldwide and especially in the African, Asia/Australia/Pacific and European regions for the achievement of this milestone in their development, and;
Whereas the board is pleased to highlight the fact that with the creation of these three RALOs, the At-Large Advisory Committee is now composed of eight elected members and five Nominating Committee members with only two remaining board-appointed members, and;
Whereas, the general counsel's office have reviewed the draft MOUs and determined they meet the requirements in the ICANN bylaws establish for the formation of a RALO and advised that a 21-day public comment period should be observed, and;
Whereas, the African and European user groups have met as a part of the ICANN Lisbon meeting and elected their representatives to the At-Large Advisory Committee as a part of their work, allowing for the diverse communities engaged in ICANN to be present to recognize this achievement, and;
Whereas, the Asia/Australia/Pacific region are in the process of formally providing written confirmation of their consent to be bound by the terms of their MOU with ICANN and shall formally sign the MOU in a public ceremony at the October 2007 ICANN international meeting to be held in the Asia/Australia/Pacific region, and;
Whereas, the parties to the African and European MOUs composed of ICANN and representatives of the at-large structures in the African and European regions, signed it at a public ceremony on Thursday 29th March, 2007 at the Lisbon ICANN meeting, the execution of the agreement on ICANN's part contingent upon final approval by the ICANN board following completion of the public comment period, and;
Whereas, the public comment periods for the African and Asia/Australia/Pacific concluded on the 28th March, 2007 and the public comment period on the Latin America and the Caribbean region concluded that on 4th January, 2007. Resolved, the board ratifies the memorandum of understanding with the European at-large structures on the same basis under which it was signed, and;
Resolved, the board gives its final approval to the memorandum of understanding between the at-large Latin America and Caribbean region and ICANN and, resolved the board gives its final approval to the memorandum of understanding between the at-large African region and ICANN, and;
Resolved, the board gives its final approval to the memorandum of understanding between the at-large Asia/Australia/Pacific region and ICANN.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much, Roberto. Is there a second for this motion? I see a second from Vanda. I'm sure that if Vittorio were a voting board member, he would be eager to second this as well.
Is there any further discussion of the motion? I'll ask for a vote -- oh, I'm sorry. Njeri.
>>NJERI RIONGE: I just want to, you know, sort of congratulate all those people who are involved in this process, because we now have an African RALO which is actually going to help to bring people together and I expect to and look forward to seeing more business constituency participation within the African community.
>>VINT CERF: Alex, I saw your hand up and Peter also.
>>ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you. Vint, I think that if one looks at the organizations which were actually participating in the signing or in the announcements yesterday -- or in the announcements, because Asia-Pacific will still be signed in a few months, it's remarkable and has to go down on the record the diversity of types of organizations that are coming together. The principles and the social functions of these organizations are very different, yet they are coming together because they find it important to represent the general user of the Internet in matters that are general to ICANN. Mostly concerned of course we know related to domain names but the stability of the Internet, first of all, and also IP addresses and all other aspects of ICANN's work are attracting this interest.
I would further underline that many of the organizations coming together in the at-large structures are chapters of the Internet Society. This underlines, first, that there's an ongoing, growing level of cooperation and shared interest with the society and the field which ICANN covers. The goodwill that's coming together here is extremely important at all levels, from the individuals to the chapters to the general working of our groups, and it's continuing to validate so now we will also be able to test the concept on which we have built the at-large representation which is this Web of trust.
There's an enormous number of similarities between the way the at-large chapters are recognized and come together and, for example, the ways in which ISOC chapters are created and recognized. It's very much based on someone knowing someone having concrete positive or negative provable references of the good work being done by some of these organizations and people, and this Web of trust concept is the one that gives me, as it has proven -- it gives me much encouragement to assist in continuing this specific form of the at-large effort. It has taken time. We can all complain that it has taken much time to finally get these organizations built up and signing the MOUs, but that's also coming from the concept itself and the ones it has got up some speed, as it is now, it's sure that we can responsibly make sure that we address the concerns of these communities that we -- as ICANN, as a board, and from staff go ask not only for them to express themselves but go ask and consul!
t explicitly on specific things, craft a specific program of work that's geared to our better and better planning which includes now the planning with the GAC, and which validates further -- and apologies for the reiteration here -- the work that we've been doing in the joint working group, the work that's being done in the ALAC and so forth. It's really this WSIS [non-English word] ALAC character of ICANN that is also extremely important and that should be underlined. The resolutions that we've taken today, which are some of the most momentous ones in the -- in the history of ICANN are very well-grounded in this multistakeholder approach. Every part of the community has expressed itself repeatedly in a structured way, in it a way that has made sure that their voice gets incorporated into the final resolutions, and the growth of this ALAC part is very well connected to that aspect.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much, Alex. Any other comments? I see Peter and then Francisco. Peter?
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: I just wanted to add my congratulations to all of those who have worked so hard over the last few years to bring that to fruition, and it was a pleasure to be on stage with a glass of champagne yesterday at the time of the signing. I think a most appropriate ceremony. Well done.
>>VINT CERF: Francisco.
>>FRANCISCO DA SILVA: So thank you very much. I see that from Sao Paulo to Lisbon, good progress was achieved in this area, and I am very content and glad with it. The only thing that I'd note, that we have three speaking -- Portuguese speaking in this board and we have no organization in this from any Portuguese speaking country in any region, so I -- this is only to stimulate those of the Internet community that are Portuguese speaking to adhere to this movement that is in the beginning and I have already yesterday spoken with someone from Africa, from Tanzania, that they are taking -- paying attention to this, and if we can help, I think I can speak on behalf -- I have not spoken with my fellow Portuguese speaking, Vanda and Demi, but I think we are open to helping and supporting what is needed. Thank you. And anyhow, congratulations and I hope this is only a first step to a more rich -- a richer environment concerning the at-large.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much, Francisco. I see one more comment from Vittorio. Yes.
>>VITTORIO BERTOLA: Very briefly, I just wanted to thank all the board members for the support. Yes, it was a long and painful process. It started over four years ago. It took a lot of time and effort by not so many but not so few people, actually, and so I'm really glad we are at this point. There's still a lot of open issues and things to be done and -- but perhaps the thing I'd like to point out is that when we started this, it was -- well, two years before the WSIS, I'd say, and we looked a bit insane of this idea with continuing to involve final users in so-called civil society, if you want, in ICANN, but time has proven that perhaps the need that we were feeling at that point in time was actually true, and in the end, I think it's been a great value for ICANN to have this part of its structure in place during the last years. So I think we -- we wanted to be one of the more forward-looking constituencies of ICANN and I think we can continue to provide that value !
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much. Are there any other comments before we go to a vote? If you vote in favor of the resolution, we will be approving or ratifying a collection of MOUs that are integrating the at-large structures into our organization.
So let me call for a vote. All those in favor, please raise your hand. I count one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve -- I see Susan -- thirteen, fourteen, fifteen. Thank you very much. Fifteen to zero, Mr. Secretary.
The next item on the agenda is to receive and acknowledge reports from the root zone advisory committee and the Security and Stability Advisory Committee and I'd like to ask Dave wood let to introduce this motion.
>>DAVE WODELET: Thanks, Vint. As many of you know, IPv6 has been a very important part of the discussions this week, as well as in the Internet as a whole. Rightly so with the looming exhaustion of IPv4, so as an appointed member of the ASO, and the IP number registries organized through the NRO, I'm very pleased to be able to introduce this resolution. So let me read the resolution.
Whereas, on 23rd of March 2007, ICANN's Root-Server System Advisory Committee, the RSSAC, and the Security and Stability Advisory Committee, SSAC, jointly published a report on accommodating IP Version 6 address resource records for the root of the Domain Name System.
Whereas, the report includes a roadmap the community -- sorry, let me try again. Whereas, the report includes a roadmap the community can follow to assure that the inclusion of Quad A records in the root hints file and DNS priming responses from the root name servers has minimum impact and maximum benefit.
Resolved, the board hereby accepts the report and thanks the members of the SSAC and the RSSAC, and all their contributors for their efforts in the creation of this report.
Resolved, the board forwards the report to the IANA staff to consider and implement the report's recommendations as appropriate.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, David. Is there a second? I see one from Demi. Are there comments on this particular resolution. Susan? Suzanne.
>>SUZANNE WOOLF: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'd just like to mention briefly, I think this undertaking shows how careful we have to be when we change the Internet infrastructure. It's a significant undertaking to change the fundamental functioning of how the DNS and the Internet functions. Yet it's critically important that we do it and we do it well. I'm especially happy to see this report delivered to the board, in light of recent discussion about the future of address space management for both IPv4 and IPv6 now occurring in the RIRs and elsewhere. I think this is a small, but important step towards the future of a reliable and scalable Internet and I'm very pleased to see it finished and presented to the board.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Suzanne. I see Peter's hand up and then Steve Crocker. Paul -- I'm sorry. It's Paul's hand up and then Steve Crocker.
>>PAUL TWOMEY: You don't know how dangerous it is to confuse an Australian with a New Zealander.
>>VINT CERF: Should I excuse myself now...
>>PAUL TWOMEY: The -- I would just like to say how pleased I am with this resolution and fully support it. I'd also just like to remind the board of the dialogue we had yesterday with Ray Plzak when he reported, I think just as -- both to the ASO executive council and as chair of the -- I'm sorry, chairman, I'll have to come back to you.
>>VINT CERF: Let's go back to Steve Crocker, then, and we'll return to Paul in a moment. Steve?
>>STEVE CROCKER: Alex? Alex?
>>VINT CERF: Alex, could you --
>>STEVE CROCKER: We did it. We did it. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just want to echo Suzanne's comments and add that two positive things in addition is that this is one of the -- unfortunately -- somewhat rare instances in which we've actually been able to get ahead of the game and lay the foundation for something prior to it becoming an urgent or -- matter or a crisis. This is one important -- small, but important -- piece of laying the foundation for an IPv6 network in advance of the time that pure IPv6 operation is actually in existence.
The other very positive thing that I am personally quite pleased about and want to convey is that this was genuinely a joint effort between the Root-Server System Advisory Committee and the committee I chair, the Security and Stability Advisory Committee, and I think -- I hope it becomes a precedent for other cooperative efforts, not only involving either of our committees but, in general, across the ICANN community. Thank you.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Steve. In Paul's absence, since this is -- this action item is primarily to accept the report and convey, I think that we can press ahead anyway.
We'll just be one short on the vote. Are there any other comments? In that case, in Paul's absence, I will call for this vote. All those in favor of the resolution, please raise your hand.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, third thirteen, fourteen.
>>ROBERTO GAETANO: Paul is away. He's not voting.
>>VINT CERF: Yes. So we only have fourteen votes. Thank you. Put your hand now, Joichi, unless you wanted to say something. No. So Mr. Secretary, that vote passed by 14 to zero.
The next item on the agenda -- well, actually, Steve I wonder if you're prepared to speak to the DNSsec matter.
>>STEVE CROCKER: I am. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We also had an opportunity this week to hear from representatives from the Swedish registry and a number of their colleagues, and from the Bulgarian registry on their progress in signing the root -- signing their zones, the SE and BG zones. This is the deployment -- implementation of the DNS security protocol, what we call DNSsec, and it's a major step forward. Already, we have been able to see instances in which others have taken note and begun learning from it, so I -- and I'm especially appreciative that the representatives from those two communities took the time to come here and make presentations for the benefit of the community.
I'd like to suggest a very brief moment of recognition or -- that the board take recognition and let me suggest the following wording:
The board recognizes the importance of the steps the Swedish registry -- SE -- and the Bulgarian registry -- BG -- have taken to sign their zones and thereby lead the way in adding security to the domain name system. The board expresses its appreciation to the representatives of those registries and their colleagues for taking the time to come to Lisbon and share their experiences with the community. Thank you.
>>VINT CERF: Steve, did you intend that to be a resolution of the board or simply something that's read into the proceedings?
>>STEVE CROCKER: If it's possible for it to be a resolution or a sense of the board, I think that would be appropriate and helpful.
>>VINT CERF: It seems to me that that's clear enough wording that unless counsel tells us otherwise, we could take that as a motion. Counsel? Counsel says that this is not a problem. So I take that as a motion and ask for a motion.
>>VINT CERF: I see several of them.
>>ALEJANDRO PISANTY: And it passes by acclamation.
>>VINT CERF: I'm sorry. Alex, second, and then I see a hand up.
>>ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Passes by acclamation. I would agree with that. All those in favor, please clap.
>>VINT CERF: So we've -- to make an obscure reference, it's nice that we can go to resolution by acclamation as opposed to resolution by quacking and there are a lot of people who probably don't remember where that came from.
All right. Let's move ahead. Thank you, Steve. Let's move ahead now to a rather interesting development in the dot museum top-level domain. This is a resolution which authorizes some modification to the way in which dot museum deals with registrations and with wildcard treatment, and so I'd like to ask Goldstein to introduce this particular resolution. Steve?
>>STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Thank you, chair. It occurs to me that those of you who are sitting out there patiently, really patiently and hearing all these resolutions, you hear all the preambles, all the declarations up front, and you don't know when the resolutions are coming. So the resolution here is: We really haven't had enough time to work out the details, okay? That's going to be the punch line. So here's the resolution:
Whereas, ICANN has been engaged in negotiations with the sponsored TLD registry sponsor MuseDoma regarding renewal terms for their registry contract.
And whereas, these negotiations are intended to result in a revised new registry agreement for this sponsored TLD, including revised terms to come into line with other recently approved sponsored TLD registry agreements.
And whereas, it may be beneficial for all parties involved to allow for an extension of the deadline of the existing agreement so that ICANN and the registry sponsor will have adequate time to address public comments raised by the proposed renewal agreement and the subsequent discussion in the 27 March 2007 registrar constituency meeting that led to the proposed path of extension of the current agreement.
Resolved, the president and the general counsel are authorized to continue negotiations with MuseDoma in accordance with existing contractual terms, and are authorized to extend the relevant renewal process deadline as necessary and appropriate for up to six full months, while discussions continue.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Steve. Is there a second for this motion? I see one from Susan. The intention here is to allow time for considerable discussion about the specifics of handling second-level registrations in this top-level domain and particularly to help parties who have not yet registered to be visible in this -- in this system.
So let me ask if there are any other comments on the resolution? It's simply to extend the time to allow this discussion to reach fruition.
I see none, so I'll call for a vote. All those in favor, please raise your hand.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen. Thank you. Mr. Secretary, the resolution passes.
The next item on the agenda is a board governance committee recommendation on independent reviews and I'll call on Roberto, the chair of the board governance committee to introduce this resolution.
>>ROBERTO GAETANO: Yes. Since there was intense debate and there was a public forum on this in the last days, I think that there's no need to explain what happened and I will go ahead in reading the resolution.
>>VINT CERF: You might even, if you wish, get away with -- since it's on the screen there, you could say insert all the "whereas" preambles by -- request that it be inserted into the record, and then you didn't have to read all of them and you could go straight to the specific resolution. Would you like to do that?
>>ROBERTO GAETANO: I'm -- what is the exact formula for --
>>VINT CERF: Well, you could say that you would request that all the "whereas" clauses be incorporated into the record by reference and that you read aloud only the resolutions that are the action of this proposal.
>>ROBERTO GAETANO: Thank you. I will make good use of this also in other times. For this time it has taken longer to give me the explanation, so...
>>ROBERTO GAETANO: May I ask to have the "whereas" clauses incorporated, and -- as they appear on the screen, and I will pass to read the resolution.
Resolved, the ICANN board directs staff to post the proposed terms of reference for the At-Large Advisory Committee review for public comment and further consideration.
Resolved, the ICANN board approves the board governance committee's proposal to create a BGC GNSO review working group and a BGC NomCom review working group, and appoints the following individuals, while noting that additional individuals may be appointed:
For the BGC GNSO review working group, Roberto Gaetano, Rita Rodin, Vanda Scartezini, Tricia Drakes, Raimundo Beca, Susan Crawford, and Vittorio Bertola; and.
For the BGC NomCom review working group, Alejandro Pisanty, Peter Dengate Thrush, Njeri Rionge, Mouhamet Diop, Jonathan Cohen and Steve Goldstein. Resolved, the ICANN board approves the recommended charters for these two working groups that include the objectives, tasks and processes to be undertaken by these groups and directs staff to support the creation and work of these groups.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much. Is there a second? I see one from Njeri. Are there any comments on this resolution? One from Steve Goldstein.
>>STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Yes. What this designates or -- is that one of the committees of the board is recognizing that there is so much work before the board that it can't do everything all by itself and is now beginning the process of streamlining some of our activities so that we can call on working groups to help get some of the work done and advise back, and I highly commend this action.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Steve. I would note that the additional members of the working groups are drawn from former board members, and that's a resource which we probably could make increasing use of, to the degree that those former members are willing to contribute. Are there any other comments on the resolution? Peter?
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Thanks, Vint, I wanted to thank those former board members for agreeing to serve in what are going to be onerous positions, and also just to comment in a kind of self-serving way, I suppose, that we are catching up with the -- with this very important part of the obligations under the bylaws. And I think it's just a further confirmation of the importance that the board places on this essential review of all of these -- of the -- of the organs of ICANN. So we're back on track.
>>VINT CERF: Another biological metaphor. I'm keeping track, Peter.
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: I thought that was a musical one.
>>SUSAN CRAWFORD: Promotive, perhaps.
>>VINT CERF: Well, fair enough.
All right. Are there any other comments on this resolution? If not, I'll call for a vote. All those in favor, please raise your hand.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen. Thank you. Fifteen to zero. Mr. Secretary, the motion passes.
I understand that we have text now for the resolution that Peter asked for earlier, which requests the staff to prepare reports to us in Puerto Rico, so Peter, I'll turn it over to you to introduce the motion.
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Thank you, Chairman. I'm going to require, then, for the words to come up on the screen, and all ours are -- ah. They were all totally blank.
The board --
>>PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Right. Thank you. So we've been drafting this in the board checkroom, and I think we've got reasonable agreement amongst the board and general counsel that this will meet the objectives. The board requests that the president provide a report on the status of escrow compliance relating to ICANN's current agreements at or before ICANN's meeting in San Juan. The report should also propose a process for a public discussion on creation of a policy for appropriate protections for generic registries, registrars, and registrants.
>>VINT CERF: I take it that's a motion. Is there a second? I see several of them. Raimundo should be on the record to second. Is there any further discussion of this motion? I'll call for the vote. All those in favor, please raise your hand.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen. Thank you very much. The motion passes. We move on now to another very important responsibility of the board, and particularly the Audit Committee, and that is to appoint auditors to review our financial status and I'll turn to the chair of the Audit Committee, Vanda Scartezini, to introduce this resolution. And Vanda, once again, I would advise that with the lengthy preamble clauses, you could ask to incorporate them by reference and go straight to the resolution. Vanda?
>>VANDA SCARTEZINI: Okay. Thank you. I guess it's a good idea. We have a lot of things to read, and since you have all those statements in the screen, I pass straight to the resolution.
Resolved, the president and chief operating officer are authorized and directed to enter into the engagement letter and professional services agreement of 9 March 2007 with Moss Adams LLP to provide the outside audit for fiscal year 2006-2007.
For the record, I would like to thank specially to Doug Brent, John Jeffrey, and Amy Stathos for the very productive joint work they -- this committee has had with the staff.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much, Vanda. Is there a second for this motion? I see one from Goldstein.
Let me -- before we vote, let me just say that the proposals have been on the table before the board, the text and so on have been available for us to review, so we're not putting them up here on the screen for now. Any other comments? In that case, all those in favor, please raise your hand.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen -- I'm sorry, I've lost track. Rita, are you voting on this? Okay. Fifteen. Thank you.
All right. So now, the last items on the agenda are easy ones. They have to do with saying thank you. And so I would like to ask Sharil Tarmizi to come and join us on the stage, if he's here. Sharil. There he is hiding in the back, hoping to be invisible, but it didn't work. Let me embarrass you by asking you to stand in the center of the stage.
>>SHARIL TARMIZI: I feel like I am on detention.
>>VINT CERF: This is a formal motion which I will put on the table for vote by acclamation. Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi joined the GAC in Yokohama, Japan in July 2000 as the representative for Malaysia, led GAC's internal IDN working group as early as June 2001, became one of the three inaugural vice chairs of the GAC in September 2001 in Uruguay to the end of 2002 in Shanghai.
He was appointed to ICANN's first IDN committee led by Masanobu Katoh in September 2001 at Montevideo.
He was unanimously elected as the second chairman of the GAC succeeding Dr. Paul Twomey in January 2003 and chaired his first GAC meeting in Rio de Janeiro in March 2003.
He became the first GAC liaison to the ICANN board when the position was first established.
He chaired the organizing committee of the ICANN meeting in Kuala Lumpur in June 2004.
He returned unopposed for a second and final term in Mar del Plata in March 2005. And, finally, stepped down in Lisbon, Portugal in March 2007. I was going to say "finally escaped in Lisbon" but I think perhaps that would be inappropriate.
Whereas, Sharil Tarmizi has served the GAC, board, ICANN and Internet community with energy, distinction, panache and an unique and self-deprecating sense of humor. Whereas he has contributed in countless ways to the successes of ICANN with his unique, blend of technical and diplomatic and collaborative skills. Now, therefore, it is resolved that the ICANN board offers its sincere and heartfelt gratitude for his long and diligent service and conveys its best wishes for success in his new investment advisory business, more time with his family, and opportunity for global contact with the world through his ham radio hobby.
I ask that you pass this resolution by acclamation.
[ applause ]
>>VINT CERF: This is a small token of our esteem. I have to confess a certain envy here to his successful escape. Sharil, you might wish to address the assembled crowd?
>>SHARIL TARMIZI: Thank you, Vint. It is not ticking, so I guess it is safe.
Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, friends in ICANN, it is almost -- well, it is about seven years from when I started and joined the fray in ICANN. And I must admit, during those first day in Yokohama, Japan, I could not understand what the heck was happening. All I thought was I was looking at a completely disorganized organization that was trying to find its way somewhere along the way.
The more I got involved in it, the more I realized that what kept the organization together was the wonderful people that kept coming to the organization despite not agreeing what it was doing at that time, kept coming because they believed in the cause.
Now, I'm deeply humbled and enriched by the experience I've had in the last seven years with the ICANN process. We have now gone from a fairly young organization to an organization which has matured considerably.
The challenges that face ICANN going forward, I think, will become more complex and, indeed, could even be trying.
But I'm confident with the people that I see on the board, the people that I see in the community, I'm confident that the organization will see it through. So with that, I thank you very much for all your support. If there are any mistakes I made in the past, I would seek your forgiveness. Any action as which I may have done which may have not suited you, I apologize.
And last but not least, Vint, I wish you all, all the best. Thank you very much.
[ applause ]
And if any of you are ever coming to Malaysia, look me up.
>>VINT CERF: You may get what you ask for, be careful. Actually, we have one other presentation to make to you, Sharil. This is on behalf of the GAC. So I would like to ask the succeeding GAC chair, Janis Karklins, to make one other presentation. Jan Janis, let me offer this to you.
>>JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you, Vint.
The GAC already, in its session, thanked Sharil withstanding ovations for his loyal, tireless service to the GAC for so long. And I -- maybe I will not repeat what I said to Sharil, not to prolong the ceremony. But one thing I can say here in the presence of the chairman of NomCom, I just admitted when Vint read out the resolution that Sharil now qualifies to be presented as a candidate for the board, because he has --
[ Laughter ]
-- changed the camp. Now, the question is whether he wants to serve on the board or become a candidate. Just consider that.
>>ROBERTO GAETANO: I second.
>>JANIS KARKLINS: Sharil, thank you very much, indeed, on behalf of the GAC and on behalf of all of us, for your service.
[ applause ]
>>SHARIL TARMIZI: No need to say anything to what he said.
>>VINT CERF: Please watch out for the wires.
>>ROBERTO GAETANO: We will all come to Malaysia, don't worry.
[ Laughter ]
>>VINT CERF: The next item on the agenda is to thank our very generous and tireless sponsors, staff, scribes and event teams. And so I would like to ask Raimundo to introduce this resolution which I will ask you to pass, again, by acclamation.
>>RAIMUNDO BECA: Thank you very much. This is the other side of the coin of the resolution to pay the lawyers.
[ Laughter ]
This is the good side of the coin.
>>VINT CERF: Ahh.
>>RAIMUNDO BECA: The resolution reads like this: The board extends its thanks to all sponsors of the meeting including Arsys, Portugal Telecom, VeriSign, Afilias, PIR, Microsoft, DENIC, Amen World, Anacom, dotMobi, puntCat, InterNetX, EURid, LogicBoxes, Skenzo, and ICANNWiki. The board would also like to thank Camara Municipal de Lisboa, Turismo de Lisboa and Anubis Networks for their support.
The board expresses its appreciation to the scribes, Laura Brewer, Teri Darrenougue, Jennifer Schuck and Charles Motter, to ICANN staff present here in Lisbon, and to the rest of the ICANN staff for their efforts in facilitating the smooth operation of this meeting.
The board also wishes to express its appreciation to all the FCCN staff for the overall event management including IPv4 and IPv6 networking, iWayTrade for technical support of all the remaining technical infrastructure, Abreu for all touristic and event management services, Hospital da Cruz Vermelha and Bombeiros Lisbonenses for medical services and Empatia for the stage and booth design. Additional thanks are given to Hotel Corinthia for this fine facility and to their event facilities and support.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you. I ask that you pass this by acclamation.
[ applause ]
>>VINT CERF: Thank you. Finally, we would like to thank our local hosts who have been extraordinary in their generosity and care for all of us in this wonderful city. And I would like to ask Vanda to put this resolution on the table.
>>VANDA SCARTEZINI: Thank you, Mr. Chair. A special consideration with our host, I will read this thank first in Portuguese.
(Speaking in Portuguese).
Thanks to the local hosts. The board wishes to extend its thanks to Fundacao para a Computacao Cientifica Nacional-FCCN and the following members of the local organizing committee: Pedro Veiga, Marta Moreira Dias, Luisa Gueifao and all the volunteering for hosting the ICANN meeting. The board would also like to thank Jose Mariano Gago, minister of science technology and higher education for supporting the March 2007 Lisboa meeting.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much, Vanda. I ask that we pass this resolution by acclamation.
[ applause ]
>>VINT CERF: Pedro, would you kindly join me on the stage. Wait a minute, you are not supposed to bring your own present, that doesn't make sense.
[ Laughter ]
>>VINT CERF: I don't know how to say this, Pedro. Considering --
>>PEDRO VEIGA: (inaudible).
>>VINT CERF: Well, your team has just done a stunning job here. We have done so much constructive work this week and it is largely thanks to your planning and energy and all of the work that you and your team have put into making us feel hospitably received and also well served.
I understand in the midst of all of this you have your own complexities in your own business to deal with, so that makes it doubly impressive. We would like to leave you with a small momento of our invasion of Lisbon.
>>PEDRO VEIGA: Thank you, Vint. This is not a resolution but I have written a few words. I need my glasses. I am aging and one of the components of that is the degradation of my eyes.
Good morning, the organization of this event was a joint cooperative effort between FCCN and ICANN. I want to thank the chairman of ICANN, the C.E.O. of ICANN and all the staff for the wonderful cooperation.
Now that the event finally is coming to an end, I am very happy with the way how everything ran very smoothly.
I also want to thank to the staff of FCCN, some of them are there, others are hiding. This includes all those present here in Hotel Corinthia but also those that stayed in the background doing part of the work or with some overload because of the presence of the ones staying here.
I also want to thank my friends from Brazil, the organizers of the Rio and Sao Paulo meetings. They gave us very helpful hints about all of the relevant organizations, the challenges that we were going to face so we could prepare ourselves for last-minute problems.
Especially, I would like to thank two of the Brazilian friends not present here, Caroline. She stayed here during the months of January telling us about all of the details. And we are missing Glaser, he had an accident a few days ago. He was very sorry because it's the first ICANN meeting that he is missing and it's in Portugal. And I personally also miss his presence.
I would like to mention a few names. It is always very difficult to isolate a few names but doing that, I also am naming the people of the teams they are coordinating. So from ICANN, I would like to thank Diane and Michael Evans for all the good cooperation in a lot occasions. From FCCN,Marta, Luis, and Jerome. They are there and have been greeted; from Abreu, El Sa, Isabelle and (saying name).
I also want to thank obvious sponsors, they have been named in the resolution. And now I am going to offer two bottles of port wine, one to Vint Cerf and another one to Paul Twomey. As a symbol of our appreciation of the excellent cooperation that happened between FCCN and ICANN.
>>VINT CERF: Wow. Oh my gosh. Look at this! Look at the vintage. 1998! Perfect.
>>PEDRO VEIGA: Okay. So with this symbolic gesture, I want to remember when you have a friendship, you want to commemorate that, drink port wine. So good-bye, in Portuguese we say Adio. Good-bye. I hope to see you soon. Have a nice travel back home and visit Portugal in the future. So thank you, Vint. Thank you, board.
[ applause ]
>>PAUL TWOMEY: Pedro, can I just say on behalf of the staff, thank you to you and your colleagues. It has been a wonderfully smooth operating meeting, since the very first time we arrived. It is one of those classic examples if it all works, you don't notice. And it all worked marvelously well and we really do appreciate it.
I can tell you that the small ICANN staff party that will take place later today will have a -- enjoy the wine. Thank you.
[ applause ]
>>VINT CERF: Ladies and gentlemen, we are nearly done. But Paul Twomey apparently has one or two other additional items. So, Paul, I will turn this over to you.
>>PAUL TWOMEY: Thank you, Vint. I would first like to give two comments. First of all, unfortunately I have to report to the community that air traffic between Switzerland and Portugal has been particularly poor last night and this morning. And the next flight that was likely to arrive here from Geneva is at 4:00 p.m. So unfortunately for reasons beyond our control Hamadoun Toure is not attending. He rang me last night from Geneva airport where he had been sitting for some time with a boarding pass in his hand. His plane had been delayed twice and then it was canceled. He then tried again for this morning.
So I'm afraid that hasn't proceeded. My apologies to the community. It is just an unfortunate circumstance, I think. We look forward an opportunity to talk further with him at various times.
Secondly, we have received communications this week as of the 30th of March from Edouard Dayan, the deputy -- the director general, sorry, of the Universal Postal Union. And he has in this communication indicated to me that he was pleased in the interest to move the negotiations to conclusion of the dot post TLD. He goes on to say how important the postal sector sees the dot post TLD in their capabilities in what they are trying to move forward, and also extends an invitation to myself to speak at their high-level conference coming up in at Berne in late June. This will be posted to our Web site. But I just wanted the board and the community to understand the significance of the communication.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much, Paul. Steve, did you have your hand up?
>>STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Thank you, Vint. I have been scanning the audience to see if I could find -- see the face of our immediate past director Hualin Qian. I know he's here because I saw him yesterday. In Sao Paulo we had a chance to thank him as an outgoing director. But it was by a telephone contact. We never had a chance to give him a, you know, round of applause in person. But I don't know if he's here now. If he is, I hope he could at least stand up so we could say hello. If he isn't here in the audience and you see him, could you please extend our felicitations to him.
>>VINT CERF: We can acknowledge that with a round of applause, Steve.
[ applause ]
>>VINT CERF: Yes, Raimundo. I'm sorry. Alex?
>>ALEJANDRO PISANTY: We had the same situation with Veni Markovski. Do I remember well? He was by phone taking care of a 1-year-old baby or so?
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: 1-day-old.
>> That's right.
>>VINT CERF: If that's the case, do you care to have a round of applause for Veni?
[ applause ]
>>VINT CERF: Raimundo, you had your hand up, too.
>>RAIMUNDO BECA: This is not so good news for getting applause, but I cannot -- not speak about that. I was particularly upset by the comments made by Susan Crawford when she spoke justifying her vote.
I didn't answer at the moment because it was not in the scope of what we were discussing. We were discussing on the vote the reason why I vote in favor or against but not to judge how, why, other people voted in a different way.
I speak for myself. I am sure what I am saying also, also concerns all the board members that voted in favor of the resolution and also the behavior of all the board members in this vote and in many other votes before.
I just got from Susan her statement, so I don't know if I am quoting exactly the words she put, but the first comment I would like to make is she says that ICANN acts against itself when it acts in ad hoc, responding to political pressure.
I don't know if she was meaning that in this particular case, ICANN was acting under pressure. She didn't say that. But if -- I think if it says that ICANN has acted in some occasion under pressure, she should indicate in which cases ICANN has acted under pressure.
Number two, she said, we cannot speak as representatives of the global community. She says we cannot speak. She is speaking.
The fact is that this is a board of a multistakeholder organization. We have defended that with very great success at the WSIS and we are continuing the work defending the same concept.
And I think we are lacking to the representatives of this board and this organization if we don't recognize that this board is representative of a community and has members who are about one half of them elected and another half selected which is another form of election.
So I think that I have to say that we, all of this board, including herself were acting as a representative of a truly multistakeholder.
Well, one can doubt that perhaps there will be a different structure, less selected. That's a different term. But what the organization decided is to choose its vote in this way.
Third, she spoke about something called the Astroturf. I don't know exactly what that means, but personally I am not being sensible to any Astroturf. I have been studying all the pages. There was about 1,000-pages. We have been about two years in this, a lot of time consumed and, I think, completely insulted when I say that some colleagues have been sensitive to the Astroturf.
Finally, she says she has no staff and she had not had the time to follow all the details of this agreement. Well, I don't have staff. And I have gone through all the details of this agreement, and I think that if I wouldn't have had the time, I wouldn't have voted.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you, Raimundo. If there are no -- I'm sorry. Roberto, you have a comment?
>>ROBERTO GAETANO: Yes, I have a comment because I hate to end a very successful meeting in which a lot was achieved on a note -- or on a -- or in a dispute between or among board members.
I think the lessons that we can draw from this and the evidence that we are giving to the Internet community is that really this board is made of a lot of different individuals who have different points of view and it is very difficult to bring this point of view to a common decision and that those board members are also human beings that have feelings and that maybe sometimes put their wording in a way that it might sound offensive or may be beyond what the diplomacy of other places where decisions have been taken is used.
But I think that personally I considered this an added value. I don't consider this a problem. I think that it may happen that in presenting a subject, in presenting your own ideas -- because we're all involved emotionally in this. It might happen that maybe one word too much is being expressed or maybe something -- maybe a sentence that we may regret half an hour later. But I think my personal experience in this board as a liaison where I was not allowed to vote and so I was looking at things in a more detached way is that every director of this board is -- brings an added value and is honestly dealing with the matter on the table.
And I think that this is something that if I go back to the criticism that was given to this board many years ago, I'm thinking about the early days, '98, '99 where the board was accused to have prechewed solutions and only coming here on stage to formally -- to make like a theater for things that have been already arranged in advance, I think there is -- that can be considered an incident.
What happens today is, in fact, the manifestation of the richness of this organization and this manifestation that the board has of the (inaudible) debate, also involving deeply not only our rational part but also our emotional part. And I think that the only thing that we can do is acknowledge this and try to overcome this and be, I would say, better in the future. But in no case, I think that we can disassociate our rational thinking from our emotions because that's part of the game and that's part of the richness of this board. Thank you.
[ applause ]
>>VINT CERF: Well, let me close by making an observation that in this board it's all right for Susan to make statements and it's all right for Raimundo to make statements and it is all right for Roberto to make statements. This board talks to each other. We do so sometimes with some emotion but, in fact, there is a discussion and I want this record to show that this is not a non-unusual discussion, that the board dives deeply into every issue that it is confronted with. And it does so in the spirit of real dialogue.
So let me thank the board members, the participating audience, all of our support staff and the local hosts for another very successful meeting of ICANN. We look forward to seeing all of you in Puerto Rico. I will call this meeting to a close. Thank you.
[ applause ]