The Evolution and Reform Committee has posted a Fourth Supplemental Implementation Report, including proposed revisions to the transition article and proposed revisions to the new bylaws. The changes look like they address a number of concerns raised in the past, so this is good news.
The bad news is that this report is about fine-tuning in a number of areas -- there are (almost) no news on the future ccTLD and address supporting organizations in this report or the proposed changes.
Here's an unofficial agenda of the ICANN meetings next week-end, including the DNSO and ALOC sessions.
The public forum at ICANN's Asmterdam meetings is being webcast.
Alejandro Pisanty presenting at the public forum. Brief status report: Case for reform, ERC, public consultation, structured dialogues, new bylaws, assistance groups. Now: Transition article. Process going on on ccNSO, ASO. Transition article first published on November 24, amendments on December 8. Substance of the article: Transition board will be in place while new board members designated. Continue terms of board members willing to serve. Only those who state they want to participate in the transition process will remain. Transition board would be in (missing parts of the presentation since Chris Ambler is talking to me) place until first meeting with 2/3 of the new board. ccNSO: board seats will remain vacant until creation of ccNSO. But: Don't want to have nomcom positions vacant, board will determine that member in consultation with ccTLDs. DNSO will go into the GNSO, with some transition provisions (like number of NC members per constituency). PSO to be discontinued. Board committees and advisory committees will be continued. ALAC to be seated. Taking into account community feedback on reconsideration process: Don't treat losing, but legitimate reconsideration requests like frivolous ones. Reimbursement provisions taken out of the bylaws, leave this to budget rprocess. Revision of GNSO PDP schedule not taken up, but there is a review opportunity. "Public policy" specification proposal from the Shanghai board session: Not taken up, see December 8 report. Voting vs. non-voting president? Refer to corporate governance committee. Supermajority rules for nominating committee votes. ccNSO: ERC will receive input with public comments from ccNSO assistance group before Rio de Janeiro meeting. RIRs: Meeting in Mexico City about a month ago, people joining by teleconference, further e-mail exchanges, telephone conferences etc. Have been shuffling issues around. Sharing priorities for issues. "Fair assessment": Sitting together to develop a framework for the establishment of a global addressing policy development process. Stay together, stick together, go as far as possible in the shared goal of icann and the rirs and the users of the addressing process and so forth for a stable, predictable environment for making addressing policy. End of presentation; microphone open on transition plan.
No questions from the public. Another opportunity in open microphone later. No questions from board members, except Amadeu. Amadeu at the lecturer's desk, fighting with cabling his laptop: "Do you have insurance?" Cerf: "How many engineers does it take to get a powerpoint presentation running?" Unvoluntary pause. Now, Amadeu talking quickly as usually, capturing this will be hard.
Goal: "credible" board of directors. Lots of factors to credibility. Need diversity in the board. Need independence from any given group, company, etc. Going through some bullet points: Independence. Old board: SOs, at-large equilibrium. Now: 18 + 3 people putting lots of individuals to the board (showing one of Alexander's pictures). Amadeu: No single group, person, interest, function, fraction should ever elect in any way more than half the board. Should be a requirement. Diversity: Most of the nomcom is composed of people and organizations already having a vote through SO in electing other board members. Where is diversity of interest here? Efficiency: Size is a driving factor. Taken the lesson for the Names Council, but not for the board? Now, 21 people plus advisors in a teleconference. Too much. Reduce number of nomcom elected directors from 8 to 5 or 6. 5 or 6 depends on voting status of CEO. Role of already-voting groups once again through nomcom, advisory groups.
Esther Dyson, from the floor: Tremendously important who is put into positions. New CEO? Not too much from the inside!
Jonathan Cohen: Maybe stickw ith process, but have 6 board members from nominating committee and 6 from the SOs, two or three from other sources. Maybe board itself.
Alejandro: ERC has discussed nomcom extensively, until Shanghai. Continuing tension from community. On the one side: board keeps getting too large, people worry about its efficiency, lots of politics, horse trading etc. On the other hand, bottom-up processes for wide representation, geographical and functional diversity. Not coming back to community and slapping them for being contradictory -- both concerns are legitimate. Have to find balance. (...) Would never set anything around ICANN as cast in stone. Believes to have stricken a reasonable balance.
Wolfgang Kleinwächter stepping up to the microphone, on the ALOC meeting in the morning. Similar question discussed. Need clear guidelines for nomcom. Whom to select? Also, when board makes yes-no decision, it doesn't have to explain this (exception: overriding GAC advice). Similar approach should apply elsewhere for better communication. Cerf: Advice that one might take, whether or not it's put into the bylaws.
Hans Kraaijenbrink: Article 7 of the new bylaws, section 4. Selection of nominating committee delegates. Similar set of criteria will be found on the nominating committee for directors. ERC discussed this.
Vint: On Amadeu's concept of the NomCom controlling the board. Board not as controllable as Amadeu is describing. Important to recognize that whoever is selected to serve on the board should be undertaking to serve the entire community, not just constituency.
Esther, from the floor: Selection vs. control. Experience that the board can't be controlled. Amadeu: Question not whether the board is controllable. Question si whether we have a process that gives everybody the impression that increases legitimacy. Seats on nominating committee important because you will end up controlling the majority of the board. This will destroy legitimacy.
Linda Wilson: Article 6, section 7 of the bylaws -- duty to act for community. Comment from Ripe-NCC.
Lots of discussion after Lynn's presentation on the action plan, just a few remarks: Quite some criticism on the number of three new gTLDs to be added soon; some statements on the future policy to be followed, including the question of a "taxonomy" of TLDs (which is identified as a mis-nomer by Carey "Mr. Museum" Karp). Some discussion on possible criteria with Noss, Campos. Elliott Noss points to Bret's principles. Much objection against the idea of second-guessing business success. Minimum standards? Public interest? TLDs really just to be considered as businesses? Stability? Bret Fausett asks for data from testbed registries. Points to escrow plans.
The board just voted. 14 in favor, Andy against, Blokzijl abstaining "because it doesn't make sense for him to vote against".
The board has adopted the transition article; Andy against, Blokzijl abstaining.
Abril i Abril talking about the board's bad habits of "working, or lack thereof". Slightly earlier, he mentioned the frequent extensions of board terms. Vint is asking the at-large directors whether they want or don't want to serve on the transition board. Kraaijenbrink: "So I believe that I have a duty to the corporation to see that it that the transition is done in the right and proper way. So I'm willing to continue on the transition board and be, again, a board squatter." Fitzsimmons wishes to "transition off the board effective immediately." Vint: "You can't leave instantaneously. You have to stay until the close of this board meeting." Fitzsimmons: "Feel better already." Linda Wilson: "Board squatter" like Frank and Hans. Uncomfortable with that term. Feels deep sense of obligation to see the transition through, wishes to stay to work with the board until the new board is seated. Andy Müller-Maguhn: Directly elected. Election followed a little bit what he thought the original idea of ICANN was, balance between those affected by policies and those who run the infrastructure. Voted against acceptance of ERC outcome because wrong priorities, and abolishes the possibility for direct elections. Agrees to stay there, still tries to be constructive and follow process, try to point out the right priorities. Impact of intellectual property interest on the free flow of information. Privacy. ICANN has to be careful to watch what it calls its stakeholders, agreement with Blokzijl. Vint: Realize that everyone does a stump speech. Ivan Moura Campos briefly states that he's willing to stay. Nii Quaynor willing to stay. Katoh-san wants to stay because of original election; feels that he has an obligation to stay on to represent the people. Not only protection of intellectual property, but many other issues. Very obligated to support all those people who are supporting a stable internet. Cohen: Wants to thank the people who are willing to continue to serve. "Board squatter" particularly unkind and unfair. Appreciation for those who committed their time.
The ERC is continued until the earlier of sending a final report or end of 2003. Abril i Abril: Go beyond establishment of new board? Cerf: Would assume that ERC work will have been completed when new board is in place. Stuart points to CCNSO formation work which continues. Touton: Appropriate for new board to seat new members of the ERC. Abril i Abril. With new board being established any or all of the members of the evolution committee may not be members of the board. Chapin points to XX.2.7 of the new bylaws (transition article) on terms of committee members. Addresses Amadeu's concern. Accepted, with Kraaijenbrink and Pisanty abstaining.
Resolution to authorize the president to spend up to $ 325,000 to augment staff and pay for travel and other expenditures that are related to transition. Unanimously accepted.
Stuart explains the resolution. Introduction of new TLDs in an "appropriate, measured fashion." Three parts of the resolution: Authorize expenditures; request GNSO to provide recommendation "on whether to structure the evolution of the generic top level namespace". Don't impose deadline, "because we need the opportunity to discuss with the chair of the names council what's a reasonable schedule on which that work can be done." Hope it can be done in a reasonably timely fashion. Third part: Direct president to develop draft RFP for "soliciting proposals for a limited number of new sponsored gTLDs." Stuart: "With no prescription on whether or not this number be prime." Discussion. Abril i Abril on "limited number" language: Interprets this as meaning "at least 3". Stuart: There may be no proposals. But expect not to set a number in advance, so practically not less than 3. Unanimously approved. (Cohen absent during this discussion.)
Katoh-san reading the proposed IDN resolution. (IDN implementation committee; extending the committee's lifetime.) Amadeu wants experts in comparative linguistics added to implementation committee since that's where the real problems are. Agreement from Katoh-san. Unanimously approved.
To those at-large folks currently in Amsterdam: The board is about to finish early. We expect to meet at 09:00 in Saturn room, as opposed to at 13:00. (Update: The board just inserted a break, so 09:00 is too early. Still, expect that we will meet within the next hour or so.)
John Udell reports about voice indexing at infoworld (via Scripting News). Why I'm linking to this from here? Once this takes off and becomes available at a reasonable price, it'll be an invaluable tool for the telephone conference loving parts of the ICANN community. Right now, you either have mp3 files you don't have the time to listen to (and can't search), or you have transcripts which may frequently be (1) hard to comprehend and (2) unsearchable because the transcriber didn't get the important key words right.
The presentation I used for my WHOIS briefing during the at-large session in Amsterdam a week ago is available here.