ASO AC Teleconference
Wednesday, 07 September 2016
Minutes

Attendees:
AFRINIC
Fiona Asonga, FA
Mark Elkins, ME

APNIC
Tomohiro Fujisaki, TF
Aftab Siddiqui, AS

ARIN
Louie Lee, Chair
Kevin Blumberg, KB
Jason Schiller, JS

LACNIC
Jorge Villa, JV

RIPE NCC
Nurani Nimpuno, NN
Filiz Yilmaz, FY

Secretariat:
Sean Hopkins, SHo – Scribe
German Valdez, GV – NRO Executive Secretary

Observers:

AFRINIC:
Omo Oaiya, OO
Ernest Byaruhanga, EB

ARIN:
Nate Davis, ND
Einar Bohlin, EBo

LACNIC:
Gianina Pelsky, GP

ICANN:
Ron da Silva, RdS
Maemura Akinori, MA
Carlos Reyes, CR

Apologies:

Douglas Onyango, DO
Ajay Kumar, AK
Hartmut Glaser HG
Ricardo Patara, RP (Vice Chair)
Wilfried Woeber, WW

Agenda:
0. Welcome.
1. Agenda Review.
2. Review of Open Action Items.
3. Approval of August Minutes.
4. Operational Procedures Update.
Voting System
5. SSRT2 Appointment.
6. ICANN 57 Preparations.
7. Reports.
CCWG
Any Other Reports
8. Any Other Business.
9. Adjournment.

Minutes:

0. Welcome.

The Chair called the meeting to order at 12:07 p.m. UTC. The presence of quorum was noted.

1. Agenda Review.

The Chair reviewed the agenda with the Council and called for comments.

2. Review of Open Action Items.

Action Item 20151209-03: (Tabled) GV to work with JS on consolidating the ASO AC’s Operating Procedures into one document.

Chair noted that this item was tabled because the Council was looking to adjust these procedures further on this call, and as such this Action Item would remain tabled.

Action Item 20160630-01: Chair to request direct updates to the ASO AC from AK regarding progress of the new gTLD drafting team.

Chair noted that he had sent this request to AK, but as AK was not present on the call, this Action Item will remain open.

Action Item 20160630-04: Chair to recommend to the NRO EC that Work Stream 2’s work be completed before ATRT3 begins, and share the EC’s response with ASO AC.

Chair noted that he still needs to send this out, and as such this Action Item remains open.

Action Item 20160630-06: GV and Secretariat to develop a comprehensive ASO slide template for future public session use.

Chair called for comment. GV stated he was working with ARIN’s graphic designer to develop options for a template, in hopes that it will be ready by the Hyderabad ICANN meeting. This Action Item remains open.

Chair thanked ME for introducing OO in the chat window and invited OO to comment or ask any questions during the call.

Action Item 20160803-01: GV to post the ASO AC Minutes of June 30, 2016 as final.

Chair stated that this has been completed. GV confirmed. This Action Item is CLOSED.

Action Item 20160803-02: JS to come up with a summary, and pros and cons list email for the different voting methods.

Chair stated that this has been completed and has initiated active list discussion. This Action Item is CLOSED.

Chair indicated at 8:17 that he was experiencing audio issues and asked FY to assume Chair duties in the meantime.

Action Item 20160803-03: GV to send a Doodle Poll to the AC on 27 August 2016, asking if they choose to move forward with a ranked ballot system or not.

FY stated that this Action Item is waiting for something. GV agreed, saying that this was awaiting the answers to some open questions that may be addressed during this call. FY stated that this Action Item will remain open and may become moot by the end of the call, but otherwise would receive a new date. This Action Item remains open.

Action Item 20160803-04: ASO AC to review JS’ summary email before completing the Doodle Poll GV is to send out.

FY stated that this Action Item is awaiting the conclusion of list discussions, and asked the Council to review JS’ summary email. This Action Item remains open.

Action Item 20160803-05: JS and GV to work on conducting a ‘mock election’ with all of the AC in participation.

FY asked for a status update. GV stated that this Action Item is also awaiting the conclusion of Council discussion on voting procedures, as they may impact the look and feel of a mock election. This Action Item remains open.

Action Item 20160803-05: FY to send summary of issues sent to the NRO EC, to be sent to the ASO AC for their information.

FY stated that this has been done. GV agreed. FY asked the Council that if anyone had not received the email, to let her know. This Action Item remains open.

Action Item 20160803-06: GV to gather the names of the AC attendees to ICANN 57.

FY asked GV for a status update. GV stated that this was nearly done, and he will summarize who is attending and who is not, and send it to the list. This Action Item remains open.

3. Approval of August Minutes.

TF noted that he had read the minutes and pointed out minor changes, but had no further adjustments to make.

It was moved by TF, and seconded by NN, that:

“The ASO AC approves the Minutes of 03 August 2016, as written.”

FY noted that the approval of the Minutes is contingent on the incorporation of TF’s suggested edits. GV confirmed

The motion carried with no objections. KB abstained as he was not a member of the Council during the meeting for which Minutes were being approved.

Chair resumed chairmanship of the call at 8:24.

4. Operational Procedures Update.

Voting System

Chair thanked JS for his email on this topic, and noted that NN and others had responded but the Council was not ready for a vote. Chair called for update from JS. JS noted that the Council previously discussed election types, and he provided a summary of them to the list, with responses from both NN and FY. Concerns exist with tiebreak procedures based on vote receipt timing, as it might be unfair to voters in earlier time zones, and there was a question of how the procedure would differ if only voting for one candidate for a single seat. JS stated that he was following the requirement that it would be a ranked list of names, and the Council could move through the entire list should one or more candidates exit or fail due diligence, and would employ multiple rounds of voting in the case of a tiebreak. JS noted that another question is how to approach the possibility of having to move on to a candidate who had received zero votes. The Council does not appear to want such a candidate to be installed in an open seat. JS stated that some wording cleanup may need to occur to reduce confusion regarding tiebreaks. JS asked that, given ranked ballots have weaknesses and deficiencies, should the Council move forward with utilizing one.

FY stated that she was in favor.

NN thanked JS for the update, and agreed with the proposal of using a ranked system, but is concerned with finding a good way to handle a tie, which is a detail that can be dealt with once the Council agrees to move forward. Chair thanked JS and NN, called for any other comments. FY stated that JS’ proposal captures the needs of the Council, but working on a better tiebreak system would be helpful. FY suggested that if there is a tie, only voters who voted for candidates other than the tied candidates receive an opportunity to cast another vote, and that vote would be limited to the tied candidates. FY stated that these votes should remain anonymous, and only the Secretariat and the voters involved should be aware of the tiebreak, and all should be bound by confidentiality agreement. This would strengthen the system and avoid outside pressure. If that does not work and there is still a tie, a coin toss could be a useful tiebreaker, as going by time of vote casting may be biased toward later time zones.

JS stated that FY was suggesting that those who registered a vote of 0 or blank for the tied candidates would, in the event of a tie, be asked to vote for the tied candidates, and if that fails, or if the first round of voting only resulted in votes for the tied candidates, a coin toss would be utilized. He stated that he initially avoided a coin toss method because it would be hard to verify. FY stated that trust was being instilled in the Secretariat, and that should extend to a coin toss or other random method. JS stated that system would be acceptable if the Council agrees to use it.

KB stated that the random selection method is a good thing, but finding a system that doesn’t require or lean on the trust given to the Secretariat, that would be a better option. KB asked how often ties like this occur, and if the emphasis remains on ensuring that the Council has had enough discussion before the voting occurs.

NN stated that while ties do not occur very often historically but a clear process should be documented. She liked FY’s idea about second rounds of voting, but it would need to be fully confidential, and regardless of how the Council randomly selects a winner, the process needs to be easily explainable.

FY agreed with NN, as long as the system is random, but had a concern with using the earliest vote timestamp on votes.

JS stated that in May GV sent an email to the Council with voting results including vote receipts, and asked if the Council would be open to using the lowest receipt number alphabetically by ASCII standards as a tiebreaking mechanism.

FY suggested that a script be written to determine the voter that breaks the tie, as the Secretariat may not be comfortable selecting the lowest-valued token.

JS agreed, so long as the script could be verified as truly random.

FY suggested that the Council agree to move forward with JS’ suggestion and simply note that the final tiebreak should be random.

JS agreed, so long as the Council finalizes the details and mechanism(s) of random selection before they could be put to use.

NN agreed.

JS asked for any other concerns with the details of the voting procedures, stating that if not, the Council can move forward with the current proposal that notes the need for a randomized tiebreak procedure that includes double counting one particular voter.

The Chair called for any other comments. None were received.

JS asked for any objections.

ME suggested utilizing a math formula of “number of votes divided by three plus one” could be used to determine the extra vote, but agreed with the proposal otherwise.

The Chair thanked ME, noting the importance of procedures being clear and reproducible. The Chair called for any other concerns.

JS asked if the number reached through ME’s suggested formula would be applied to a ranked list of voters based on time, and how that system would account for a voter not having a preference among the tied candidates.

ME stated that if the tied candidates are not impacted by the extra vote, his suggestion would be to implement a supermajority method of starting the tiebreak method over.

FY stated that the randomization method has not been defined but if it was to be truly random it would not solely be based on tokens or vote timing.

ME asked if the math formula could be employed as a method for selecting a token, rather than starting with the earliest vote.

FY stated that the truly random method previously suggested was the most favorable.

ME asked if FY’s concern with using vote timing was strictly a timezone issue.

FY stated that the Council had agreed not to base tiebreaks on vote timing.

JS clarified ME’s suggestion to start at a random point in the list of votes, and utilizing a math formula to get there, and FY’s concern with placing an improper onus on the Secretariat in a time-based system.

FY agreed, and mentioned that approach would make the randomness very complicated

JS asked if the Council would like to proceed with using a random voter to place an extra vote with, rather than ME’s math-based suggestion.

NN agreed, so long as the randomization method is explainable, which ME’s suggestion would be.

KB stated that the benefit of what ME said is that it’s easier to explain than a randomization script, because it’s based on a simple math formula He asked if the Council could move on by saying simply that the tiebreak will be random, and selecting a randomization method later.

JS agreed, noting that those details could be finalized later.

AS asked that the Council keep in mind that tiebreak scenarios are a highly unlikely case.

JS mentioned Alan Barret’s email to the Council stating that ties can occur elsewhere in the election and that should be accounted for.

FY asked if the aforementioned randomization would cover the scenarios that Alan eluded to.

JS stated that it would, as it could be applied to ties of all kinds.

Chair asked for other comments.

FY asked that the following Action Items be closed as a result of the discussion:

Action Item 20160803-03: GV to send a Doodle Poll to the AC on 27 August 2016, asking if they choose to move forward with a ranked ballot system or not.

Action Item 20160803-04: ASO AC to review JS’ summary email before completing the Doodle Poll GV is to send out.

FY asked if the following Action Item was still necessary:

Action Item 20160803-05: JS and GV to work on conducting a ‘mock election’ with all of the AC in participation.

JS stated that a mock election could still be beneficial, using a proxy mechanism for tiebreaks and revealing how votes were cast and how the election was decided upon afterward.

NN asked that the Council not base the decision of how to conduct the real election based on how a single mock election goes, and suggested that the Council decide whether or not to move forward with JS’ proposal, without finalizing details with regard to randomization, before the mock election.

FY agreed.

FY left the call at 9:07.

FA joined the call at 9:07

The Chair called for comments.

JS asked if he was to write up procedures, modifying the tiebreak section to include random selection and send it to the Council mailing list.

NN suggested that the Council try to move forward with approving JS’ proposal on the call without waiting for mailing list comments.

JS suggested that the Council vote to adopt his procedural change pending randomization details being finalized, at which time he will provide the Council with a written version and give Council members seven days to vote, after which it would be considered adopted if there are no objections.

The Chair agreed.

NN agreed.

JS stated that after that time he would incorporate the changes into the in-progress unified procedures document he was working on, noting that there were two versions of that document, one from before the Council’s face-to-face meeting in Helsinki and one including changes made during that meeting to ICANN Board selection procedures as well as other ASO AC procedures.

The Chair asked that JS include edits made in Helsinki and summarize changes when posting the unified procedures document to the Council’s mailing list.

JS stated he would send voting procedures to the Council, and after seven days, if there were no objections, he would incorporate those procedures into the unified procedures document that includes edits made in Helsinki and summarize the overall changes to that document since before Helsinki. He asked if at that time the Council should vote on whether or not to adopt the unified procedures document before submitting it to the NRO EC.

The Chair stated that the other changes made in Helsinki are largely cleanup, they could be proposed to the NRO EC without a second vote.

JS stated that he would post a new version of the ICANN voting procedures to the Council’s mailing list, and if there are no objections after seven days, he would then integrate it into the unified procedures document, summarize the overall changes to that document since before Helsinki for the Council, and provide it to the NRO EC for approval.

The Chair asked if edits made in Helsinki to ICANN Board voting procedures would be incorporated before or after the Council voted on the first set of changes.

JS stated that those changes would be incorporated after the vote, and that such a vote could not be held on the call due to it requiring majority. He stated that he would clean up the position selection and tiebreaking text and send it to the Council’s mailing list, at which time an electronic vote for adoption. He asked if majority had been reached on changes made in Helsinki.

The Chair stated that he believes majority had been reached.

JS stated that once the Council votes to successfully approve the voting procedure edits, he would submit the consolidated unified procedures document to the Council’s mailing list for seven more days and hold a second electronic vote.

It was moved by JS, and seconded by ME, that:

“JS will modify the ASO AC voting procedures for ICANN Board selection to clean up language about selection in the stack ranking to be clear that it is not selection for the seat, and change the tiebreaking to be random, let that sit on the mailing list for seven days, and next Thursday open an e-vote to adopt or reject those changes. If those changes are adopted, JS will then roll those changes into the consolidated procedures with the Helsinki changes and the Chair forward that along to the NRO EC for adoption.”

The motion carried with no objections or abstentions.

5. SSRT2 Appointment.

The Chair noted that ICANN is working with the Department of Commerce to regularly review areas with ICANN, one being security and stability. ICANN is seeking endorsements from any ACs. The ASO AC can recommend that the NRO EC endorse a candidate. The only applicant asking for endorsement from the ASO is Cathy Handley. The Chair asked if the Council can recommend to the NRO EC that they endorse Cathy for SSRT2.

NN asked if this recommendation is within the scope of the Council?

The Chair stated that the endorsement is coming from the ASO as a whole, but the NRO EC would be interested in the Council’s opinion as to whether or not to endorse a candidate.

NN stated that given discussion in Helsinki about the ASO AC’s role, this recommendation seems out of scope.

AS stated that it would be odd for the Council to make a recommendation if the ASO/NRO is going to make the decision.

NN stated that it appears to be a grey area, but would like other Council members’ opinions.

JS stated that the Council could contact the NRO EC stating that they would like to meet regarding better coordination between bodies, and add a note that they have no objections to Cathy being endorsed.

NN agreed.

AS asked what would be done if the Council had an objection to a candidate.

JS stated that any reservations would be passed to the NRO EC.

The Chair noted that ICANN is not asking for an appointment, but rather calling for general recommendations.

AS stated that he would prefer to abstain from any endorsement.

JS asked NN to restate her question.

NN stated that she liked JS’ suggestion but that more Council member opinions would be needed, and requested guidance from Chair.

Chair asked AS to clarify why he wanted to abstain.

AS stated that the Council’s recommendation would makes little difference in the ASO’s final decision, and if ICANN had issued an open call, there was no requirement for the Council to recommend anyone.

NN agreed.

The Chair agreed that the Council is under no obligation to endorse anyone, but if there is a consensus of opinion, the ASO would like to hear it. The Chair entertained a motion to submit a recommendation to the NRO EC.

JS clarified that the Council would be stating their lack of objections, not specifically recommending anyone.

NN agreed, noting that if the Council would like to move forward constructively, they should take JS’ recommended approach.

Chair called for a motion. No motion was made.

6. ICANN 57 Preparations.

Chair asked GV for status

GV stated that there are some outstanding answers but the list of attendees is nearly done. He noted the meeting is long, 3-9 November 2016 according to the schedule provided by CR. A workroom has been made available and some sessions to be confirmed, including a meeting with the ICANN Board and an NRO/ASO presentation.

The Chair noted that he was not aware of any plans for a workshop. He stated that these workshops would typically include updates from ASO AC members, including RIR policy activity updates. The Chair noted that FY has driven workshops in the past but will not attend the upcoming ICANN meeting in Hyderabad, but he would be happy to run one. The Chair called for questions. None were received. The Chair asked that any Council members who had not responded to GV do so.

7. Reports.

CCWG Report.

Chair called for an update.

JV stated that the NRO EC is seeking liaisons for the CCWG and has selected Athina Gragkouli, and Michael Abejuela as backup thus far. The CCWG is moving forward with Work Stream 2 with some subgroup activity, include ASO AC accountability and jurisdiction. A current hot topic is whether not the ASO AC should increase its accountability to regional membership. This is under discussion with diverse opinions, and the NRO EC has been asked to provide an answer, which is pending but should align with Helsinki discussions. Another topic of discussion is the overlap between Work Stream 2 and ATRT3 work. JV stated that he had provided slides to the Council that cover the current status for Work Stream 2, and work will continue at the next ICANN meeting in Hyderabad.

The Chair asked what the CCWG’s next steps are.

JV stated that the subgroups will advance their work and provide reports in Hyderabad, after which time they will begin to advance as a group, because Work Stream 2 should finish around June 2017.

FA stated that the CCWG is looking at ATRT3 and Work Stream 2 work, as it appears that Work Stream 2 will overlap and be based on ATRT3 recommendations in some areas, meaning ATRT3 mandates cannot be as effective as is should be until ATRT2 work is completed. By Hyderabad there should be a report for the ICANN community to provide feedback on proposals and provide guidance on how to move forward as a group.

The Chair thanked FA and JV for the update, and called for further questions. None were received.

Any Other Reports

Chair called for any other reports. None were given.

8. Any Other Business.

The Chair called for any other business. No comments were received.

9. Adjournment.

The Chair entertained a motion to adjourn at 9:56 a.m. UTC. NN moved to adjourn, seconded by ME. The meeting was adjourned with no objections.