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Network Working Group S. Bradner Request for Comments: 2690 Harvard University Category: Informational September 1999

  A Proposal for an MOU-Based ICANN Protocol Support Organization

Status of this Memo

 This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
 not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
 memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

 Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.

1. Abstract

 This is a copy of the proposal for an MOU-based Protocol Supporting
 Organization that was submitted to ICANN on April 23, 1999.

2. Cover Letter

 This is a copy of the cover letter that was used to submit the draft
 to ICANN.
 Dear Esther,
         Enclosed please find a description of a proposed Protocol
 Support Organization (PSO) for ICANN's consideration.  This
 description is purposefully informal as it is meant to be a basis for
 discussion and not a final formal legal document.
         This proposal was developed primarily by using the open
 Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) poisson working group mailing
 list to discuss successive versions of the proposal.  In addition the
 proposal has benefited from extensive discussion within the IETF's
 Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) and Internet Architecture
 Board (IAB).  The proposal also benefited from extended discussions
 with representatives of the International Telecommunication Union
 (ITU) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
         I look forward to ICANN's evaluation of this proposal and am
 also looking forward to the MOU development meeting  noted in section
 1.c of the proposal.

Bradner Informational [Page 1] RFC 2690 ICANN PSO Proposal September 1999


3. Proposal for a MOU-based PSO

                   ICANN Protocol Supporting Organization
 1. Definition of the PSO.
    a. Purpose.
       The Protocol Support Organization (PSO) will be a consensus-
       based advisory body within the ICANN framework.
    b. Components.
       The PSO will establish a "Protocol Council" and host an annual
       open meeting (known as the "General Assembly" (described
    c. Creation through a Memorandum of Understanding.
       Arrangements regarding the PSO are to be reflected in a
       Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among ICANN and a group of
       open international Internet related standards development
       organizations (SDOs). SDOs must satisfy a set of objective
       criteria before they can be considered for membership. (see
       Appendix A) After ICANN has accepted a proposal for an ICANN
       PSO, including the SDO criteria, a meeting, open to all SDOs
       that believe they meet the criteria, will be held to develop
       the MOU.
       All existing MOU signatories must agree to the admission of new
       signatories. Rejected applicants can appeal to the ICANN Board
       where a 2/3rds majority can override such a rejection if the
       board finds the SDO meets the criteria.
 2. The Protocol Council
    a. Members
       The Protocol Council will have up to [12] individual members
       selected by the SDO signatories of the MOU. (see below)

Bradner Informational [Page 2] RFC 2690 ICANN PSO Proposal September 1999

    b. Term
       The term of Protocol Council members will be 2 years. Removal
       will be pursuant to procedures established through the MOU.
       (Initial terms will be 1 and 2 years to provide initial
       conditions for staggered terms.)
    c. Powers/Duties of the Protocol Council
       i   Appointment of ICANN Directors
           The Protocol Council will nominate 3 Directors to the ICANN
           Board (By-laws, Art. V, Sec. 4(iii)). The initial directors
           would have terms of 1, 2 and 3 years (By-laws, Art. V, Sec.
           The Protocol Council will conduct an open call for
           nominations for any open PSO seats on the ICANN board. Each
           SDO signatory to the MOU is entitled to nominate candidates
           by procedures of its own choosing. Additionally,
           nominations from the public at large should be allowed
           under conditions to be defined by the Protocol Council.
           The Protocol Council will select the PSO nominees to the
           ICANN board from among these nominees by a means of its own
       ii  Qualifications of ICANN Directors
           No more than 2 PSO-nominated Directors may come from the
           same geographic region.
       iii Role of ICANN Directors
           The Directors appointed by the Protocol Council will not
           represent the PSO on the Board, but will function as full
           Directors of ICANN.  (By-laws, Art. V, Sec. 8)
       iv  Advisory Role
           The Protocol Council will advise the Board of ICANN on
           matters referred to the Protocol Council by the ICANN
           Board. As per the ICANN By-laws, only matters relating to
           the assignment of parameters for Internet protocols would
           be so referred.

Bradner Informational [Page 3] RFC 2690 ICANN PSO Proposal September 1999

    d. Policy Development
       In the tradition of the Internet, standards development
       policies and conflict resolution mechanisms should be created
       by those institutions most directly involved, without undue
       interference from centralized bodies.
       The ICANN By-laws vest in the PSO the primary responsibility
       for developing and recommending substantive policies in the
       area of protocol parameter assignment.  The PSO is committed to
       the proposition that policies for parameter assignments for
       particular protocols are the responsibility of the individual
       SDO that developed the protocol. The Protocol Council will be
       available as needed by the SDOs to develop policies and
       procedures for conflict resolution between SDOs. (By-laws, New
       Art. VI, Sec. 2(b)). Any policies must be adopted by consensus
       of all SDOs.  The ICANN Board of Directors will take no
       addition action regarding disputes between SDOs related to
       protocol assignment or registration.
 3. Annual Open Meeting (General Assembly)
    a. Hosting an open meeting
       The Protocol Council will periodically host an open meeting
       ("General Assembly") for promoting discussion and receiving
       input regarding the work of the PSO. A General Assembly meeting
       will be held at least once per year, and will permit open
       participation by all interested individuals.
       The annual open meeting will be held in conjunction with a
       major meeting of one of the SDOs that have signed the MOU.
       (with an effort to hold no 2 consecutive meetings in the same
       geographic region.
       It is expected that the major SDOs within the Internet protocol
       standards development community will provide the constituency
       of the General Assembly.
    b. Selection of Protocol Council Members
       Prior to the annual open meeting, the Protocol Council shall
       make an open call for nominations to the upcoming vacancies in
       the Protocol Council. Each SDO signatory to the PSO MOU will be
       entitled to make nominations for some or all of the vacant
       seats by a procedure of its own choosing. In the event that
       there are more nominees than vacancies, an election will be
       held in which each SDO signatory to the PSO MOU has equal votes.

Bradner Informational [Page 4] RFC 2690 ICANN PSO Proposal September 1999

       Protocol Council Members should fairly represent, to the extent
       reasonable, all constituencies within the member SDOs,
       including the major technical areas and geographical regions.
 4. Open Proceedings and Documents
    a. Communications between ICANN and the PSO
       All communications between ICANN and the PSO will be made
       public on the PSO web site. In the event that ICANN requests
       that a communication be kept confidential, the PSO will honor
       this request for a fixed period of time not to exceed one year,
       and then make the communication public.
    b. PSO Proceedings
       All discussions of PSO business will be conducted on a
       publicly-archived mailing list accessible through the PSO web
       site. The schedule for the PSO meetings will be posted 90 days
       in advance of the meeting date. The agenda for the Protocol
       Council and annual open meetings will be posted on the PSO web
       site at least 30 days before the meetings.  The minutes from
       all PSO meetings will be publicly posted on the PSO web site
       within 30 days of the meeting.
 5. Review of MOU
    The MOU signatories will periodically review the results and
    consequences of their cooperation under the MOU. When appropriate,
    the signatories will consider the need for improvements in the MOU
    and make suitable proposals for modifying and updating the
    arrangements and scope of the MOU.
 6. Recognition
    ICANN will officially recognize the PSO described in this memo as
    the PSO under the ICANN By-laws Art. 6, Sec. 3.

Bradner Informational [Page 5] RFC 2690 ICANN PSO Proposal September 1999

Appendix A - requirements for consideration as a PSO-qualified SDO

    SDOs must be open, international, voluntary technical standard and
    technical specification development organizations which:
    1) Develop standards and/or specifications for use over the public
    2) Can demonstrate active membership in the IP-related standards
       and/or specification development process of more than 1000
       individuals, if individual memberships are used by the
       organization, or 100 companies, if corporate memberships are
       used by the organization.
    3) Has been in operation for 3 or more years at the time of their
    4) Can demonstrate that there is significant deployment of its
       standards on the Internet.
    5) The significant protocols controlled by the organization can be
       implemented without paying a licensing fee to the organization
    Open international voluntary standards bodies are defined as
    international organizations that plan, develop or establish
    voluntary standards.
    An organization shall be considered open and international if its
    standards and/or specifications development process is open to any
    person or organization of any nationality on equitable terms. It
    shall be considered voluntary if it makes no claim to compel use
    of its standards and specifications.
    In either case, to be considered as 'international', the voting
    (or other "full") membership must include individuals or companies
    primarily located in at least three different regions and at least
    two different countries within each of those regions.

Bradner Informational [Page 6] RFC 2690 ICANN PSO Proposal September 1999

4. Security Considerations

 This type of non-protocol document does not directly effect the
 security of the Internet.

5. Editor's Address

 Scott Bradner
 Harvard University
 1350 Mass Ave, rm 876
 Cambridge, MA
 Phone: +1 617 495 3864

Bradner Informational [Page 7] RFC 2690 ICANN PSO Proposal September 1999

6. Full Copyright Statement

 Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.
 This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
 others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
 or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
 and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
 kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
 included on all such copies and derivative works.  However, this
 document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
 the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
 Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
 developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
 copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
 followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than
 The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
 revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.
 This document and the information contained herein is provided on an


 Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
 Internet Society.

Bradner Informational [Page 8]

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