The secretariat took a roll call.

Then Stephanie Duchesneau ran through administrative items for the council. The modified Stakeholder Council Quarterly Report was provided to the Department of Commerce and published on the Council website on Friday, January 30, 2015.

Next Ms. Duchesneau gave an overview of the status of the Stakeholder Council Work Plan and Operating Procedures. At the close of both comment periods on January 14, 2015, no comments were received on either document. The documents were to be provided to the Department of Commerce for review and approval by February 11, 2015. Scott Blake Harris asked the Council whether any further revisions should be made to the documents before they were provided to the Council. Karen Rose suggested that the date for the .US Public Stakeholder Town Hall be modified from April 12, to reflect the agreed-upon change to April 22; Ms. Rose also suggested that the procedures for public participation be updated to reflect the output of the last discussion regarding how to structure participation. Becky Burr asked whether a formal structure had been determined for how third parties could participate in Stakeholder Council discussions. Bryan Britt rearticulated the discussion around structured participation, with opportunities for third party commentary in between agenda items or at the end of the call. Ms. Duchesneau suggested that to maintain flexibility in the Operating Procedures, that general language regarding structured participation be inserted, with a separate guidelines document referenced in the Operating Procedures that could be published and provided to third parties, and updated as needed with greater flexibility. Mr. Harris also raised the point that third parties should be required to identify themselves on the Stakeholder Council calls and suggested that this be included in the Operating Procedures. The secretariat agreed to make the requested changes and recirculate the Operating Procedures to the Council.

Mr. Harris asked whether, given the seven-day turnaround, the Council was supportive of approving the Final Operating Procedures via electronic vote. With no objections, the secretariat agreed to facilitate an electronic vote using Survey Monkey or Google Forms once the Work Plan had been agreed to.

Mr. Harris provided a recommendation coming out the chair’s meeting: that calls feature regular presentations by Councilors about expertise areas such as presentations by registrar members, a discussion about the legacy locality space, or suggestions for business engagement. Ms. Duchesneau added that presentation topics could be raised by the secretariat or Chair, but also that Councilors should feel free to propose topics to the secretariat that they would be interested in presenting on. Several councilors supported the suggested and stated their willingness to present downstream.

Mr. Harris described the purpose of the Policy Survey that had been circulated to Councilors the week prior, which was to provide a formal means of input on policy priorities for agenda-setting going forward and opened up the floor for any questions. James Bladel asked whether it would be appropriate to circulate the survey to other members of GoDaddy’s product team. Mr. Britt added that he planned to raise the survey questions with a close contact who was a major web developer with several .US names. Mr. Harris responded that because the survey was informational and not meant as a vote, circulation should be welcomed. Ms. Duchesneau suggested that other parties should simply clearly identify their name and affiliation, in line with the procedures for open participation and supported the suggestion of opening up the survey to additional respondents.

Ms. Rose suggested that while the existing survey could be appropriate for well-informed respondents that a version for broader consumption could also be prepared to facilitate wider input into the Public Stakeholder Town Hall. Ms. Duchesneau suggested that this document could accompany the background materials being prepared, and asked whether any of the councilors had suggestions for how this type of document could be focused. Ms. Rose suggested that the survey could raise questions, such as what opportunities users saw in the space, what needs were not being addressed, and how to increase reach and visibility. Tom Barrett added that the survey could raise perception-questions, such as what people regarded the .US brand to be versus how they thought that it should be marketed. Mr. Britt supported this suggestion and added that a possible target for these materials could be the web developer community. Ms. Burr supported these suggestions. Shane Tews suggested that there was a possible opportunity to reengage the public around .US as the new gTLD program rolled out and people became more comfortable with domain extensions other than .COM.

Ms. Rose suggested the unique relationship with the Department of Commerce in light of focus on the IANA transition and ICANN as a possible topic of interest to a particular community, as well as the question of whether the existing Nexus policy was properly serving registrars and registrants.

Ms. Duchesneau raised the topic of what time the call should be scheduled for, suggesting 1:00 p.m. ET to facilitate participation by both coasts. Mr. Harris asked how long the call should be. Ms. Duchesneau suggested two-hours. Bryan Britt believed this time frame to be too short when roll call and other procedural items were accounted for and considering that Councilors could come and go. Doug Robinson said that he participated on Advisory Councils whose meetings would last a whole day, with a substantive agenda of lasting several hours. Ms. Burr expressed concerns about fatiguing participants due to the broader participation aimed for on this call. Ms. Duchesneau suggested publishing an agenda with assigned times to all flexibility to participation. Mr. Britt added that time should be left at the end for open questions. Mr. Harris suggested coordinating with the team that manages Neustar’s shareholder calls to find a solution for taking attendance that minimizes time spent on administrative matters. Ms. Duchesneau said that she would research this possibility.

The Council discussed whether to have a few long-topics or several short presentations. There was general support for having shorter topics of fifteen or so minutes apiece provided that enough time was given to “open floor” discussion at the end of the call. Ms. Burr and Ms. Rose both emphasized that a key part of the success of the town hall would be to be able to identify clear ways that interested parties could continue the conversation after its conclusion, and that the Council should be prepared to answer how that could take place.

Mr. Harris asked the secretariat whether the draft promotional blog had been circulated. Ms. Duchesneau said that it was finalized and could be circulated shortly after the call; she added that the goal was to provide a template with key information that councilors could feel free to modify to put in their voice or tailor to their particular communities.

Mr. Harris asked whether Mr. Bladel or Michele Neylon would be able to provide updates on the call. Mr. Bladel stated that he could do a quick overview but that Mr. Neylon was not available. Mr. Bladel identified three key items from discussion with his internal teams:

  1. Continuing to develop partnerships and promotional activities that aligned with business needs of registries and registrars alike, and strengthening the registry-registrar channel;
  2. Exploring issues related to the Nexus Policy and Privacy and Proxy Policy; and
  3. Looking at Nominet’s experience in launching .UK and rebranding around that, and whether there were similar initiatives that could be undertaken, such as applying for .USA, a more easily-identifiable label for some Americans.

Mr. Harris echoed the concerns raised regarding Privacy and Proxy, adding that he thought exploring these policies should be on the top of the council agenda. Mr. Bladel said that in the 2012 Round these prohibitions were a pass-fail issue. Ms. Burr provided context that while the policy was initially intended to help with Nexus and WHOIS Accuracy requirements that the market had significantly evolved since 2004; Mr. Harris added that there should not be opportunities to verify identity while addressing concerns around privacy of registration data.

Action Items

  • Councilors to complete Policy Survey by February 20
  • Councilors to circulate promotional blog to relevant communities
  • Secretariat to follow up regarding outstanding Statements of Interest
  • Secretariat to circulate draft promotional blog for councilors
  • Secretariat to draft public-facing background document and survey for input for usTLD Public Stakeholder Town Hall
  • Secretariat to update language in Work Plan and Operating Procedures to reflect updated Town Hall Date, process for modifying contract dates, and processes for public participation
  • Secretariat to circulate reminder to complete Policy Survey in advance of February 20 deadline

Attendees

Councilors:

  • Karen Rose, Internet Society
  • Bryan Britt, Beltane Web Services
  • Tom Barrett, Encirca
  • Elisa Cooper, MarkMonitor
  • Doug Robinson, National Association of State Chief Information Officers
  • Phil Corwin, Virtulaw LLC
  • James Bladel, GoDaddy
  • Shane Tews, American Enterprise Institute

Neustar Participants:

  • Becky Burr
  • Stephanie Duchesneau
  • Terri Claffey
  • Cory Lancaster

Department of Commerce Participants

  • Elizabeth Bacon