Network Working Group                                         S. Bradner
Request for Comments: 2691                            Harvard University
Category: Informational                                   September 1999

               A Memorandum of Understanding for an 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.


   This is the text of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was
   signed by ICANN, the IETF, the ITU-T, W3C and ETSI on July 14, 1999
   in Oslo. This MoU creates the Protocol Support Organization (PSO)
   within the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
   (ICANN).  This MoU was developed by representatives of the IETF, ITU,
   W3C, ETSI, and ICANN with the help of Jorge Contreras of Hale and

                        MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

                               July 14, 1999

                  ICANN Protocol Supporting Organization

   (1) Purpose and Scope

       (a) The Protocol Support Organization (PSO) will be a consensus-
           based  advisory body within the ICANN framework.

       (b) The PSO will establish a "Protocol Council" and host an
           annual open  meeting (the "General Assembly").

       (c) The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to
           establish a set of principles that ICANN and the Standards
           Development Organizations who have signed below (the Signing
           SDOs) will  use in forming and operating the PSO

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RFC 2691                  MoU for an ICANN PSO            September 1999

   (2) Composition and Action of Protocol Council

       (a) Size.  Each Signing SDO will appoint two (2) members to the
           Protocol Council, each such member to serve for a time period
           determined by such Signing SDO.

       (b) Each Signing SDO shall be responsible for choosing its
           members of the Protocol Council in a manner of its own
           choosing, and in accordance with its own open procedures.
           Each Signing SDO may remove or replace one or both of its
           members on the Protocol Council in its discretion.  Each
           Signing SDO must notify the Protocol Council Secretary and
           ICANN when it changes its members and, in addition, must
           ratify its choices at least annually.

       (c) Selection and Appointment.  Concurrently with the posting of
           notice of the date of the annual meeting of the PSO General
           Assembly on the PSO Web Site, ICANN and the Protocol Council
           shall make an open call for nominations to any potential
           vacancies on the Protocol Council.  Any nominations received
           will be forwarded to the Signing SDOs eligible to appoint
           members (i.e., they do not already have two members on the
           Protocol Council) for their consideration.

       (d) Action by Protocol Council.  Unless otherwise specified in
           this MOU, all actions of the Protocol Council shall be taken
           by majority vote of the total number of members.  Action may
           be taken at any meeting of the Protocol Council, which may be
           by telephone conference in which all participants can hear
           the others.  Meetings of the Protocol Council may be called
           by request of any three members of the Protocol Council, with
           at least 45 days for physical meetings or fifteen (15) days
           for telephonic or other electronic meetings prior written
           notice to each of the other members.  In order to conduct
           business at any meeting of the Protocol Council, at least a
           quorum of members must be present; a quorum shall be present
           when at least majority of the members of the Protocol Council
           are present, and when such members represent at least 3/4ths
           of the Signing SDOs.

       (e) Web Site.  The Protocol Council will arrange for the
           establishment and maintenance of a Web site devoted to PSO
           activities and news.

       (f) Secretary.  The Protocol Council will have a Secretary to
           coordinate administrative matters relating to the PSO and
           Protocol Council.  The Secretary's term of office shall be
           one year.  The position of Secretary will rotate among the

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RFC 2691                  MoU for an ICANN PSO            September 1999

           Signing SDOs, with the initial Secretary to be selected by
           the IETF, and subsequent Secretaries to be appointed by a
           randomly selected Signing SDO that has not appointed  the
           Secretary in the current rotation.

       (g) No Compensation.  Neither the Secretary, nor any Protocol
           Council member or designated ICANN Board member shall be
           entitled to any compensation or reimbursement of expenses
           from the PSO.  The PSO shall not be required to obtain
           insurance coverage for, or to indemnify, the members of the
           Protocol Council or persons acting in any other capacity by
           or for the PSO.

   (3) ICANN Directors

       (a) The Protocol Council will appoint Directors to the ICANN
           Board of  Directors in accordance with the By-laws of ICANN,
           for such terms as  are specified by such By-laws.  ICANN will
           notify the Protocol Council of any vacancies on the ICANN
           Board which may be filled by the Protocol Council.

       (b) The Protocol Council will conduct an open call for
           nominations for any open PSO seats on the ICANN Board.  Each
           Signing SDO is entitled to nominate candidates by procedures
           of its own choosing. Additionally, nominations from the
           public at large will 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.  ICANN Directors selected by the Protocol Council
           may, but need not, be members of the Protocol Council or any

       (c) No more than 2 PSO-nominated Directors may be residents of
           the same Geographic Region (as defined in the ICANN By-laws).

       (d) The ICANN Directors appointed by the Protocol Council will
           not represent the PSO on the ICANN Board, but will function
           as full Directors of ICANN.

   (4) Duties of Protocol Council

       (a) Advisory Role.  The Protocol Council will advise the ICANN
           Board on matters referred to the Protocol Council by the
           ICANN Board relating to the assignment of parameters for
           Internet protocols.

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       (b) Policy Development

           (i)   In the tradition of the Internet, standards development
                 policies and conflict resolution mechanisms should be
                 created and utilized by those institutions most
                 directly involved, without undue interference from
                 centralized bodies.

           (ii)  The ICANN By-laws vest in the PSO the primary
                 responsibility for developing and recommending
                 substantive policies in the area of protocol parameter

           (iii) The PSO is committed to the proposition that policies
                 for parameter assignments for particular protocols are
                 the responsibility of the individual Signing SDO that
                 developed the protocol.

           (iv)  The Protocol Council, and, when requested, ICANN, will
                 be available as needed by the Signing SDOs to develop
                 policies and procedures for conflict resolution between
                 Signing SDOs.

           (v)   Any such policies and procedures will be adopted only
                 with the agreement of all SDOs.

   (5) Annual Open Meeting

       (a) The Protocol Council will periodically convene an open
           meeting  ("General Assembly") for promoting discussion and
           receiving input  regarding the work of the PSO.
       (b) A General Assembly  will be held at least once per year, and
           will permit open participation by all interested individuals.
       (c) Each annual General Assembly will be hosted by a Signing SDO
           in  conjunction with one of its major meetings, as determined
           by the  Protocol Council (with an effort to hold no 2
           consecutive General  Assemblies in the same Geographic
       (d) It is expected that the major organizations within the
           Internet  protocol standards development community will
           provide the  constituency of the General Assembly.

   (6) Open Proceedings and Documents

       (a) Communications between ICANN and the Protocol Council.  All
           official communications between ICANN and the Protocol
           Council will be made public on the PSO web site.  In the
           event that ICANN requests that a communication be kept

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RFC 2691                  MoU for an ICANN PSO            September 1999

           confidential, the Protocol Council will honor this request
           for a fixed period of time not to exceed one year, and then
           make the communication public.

       (b) Protocol Council Proceedings.  All meetings of the Protocol
           Council and official discussions of Protocol Council business
           will be conducted or reported on a publicly-archived mailing
           list accessible through the PSO web site.

       (c) Meeting Announcements.  The schedule and agenda for the PSO
           General Assembly will be posted on the PSO Web Site at least
           90 days in advance of the meeting date.  Notice of Protocol
           Council meetings will be posted on the PSO Web at least 45
           days before each physical meeting or fifteen (15) days before
           any telephonic or other electronic meeting, or such shorter
           time period agreed upon by each of the Signing SDOs.  The
           minutes from all PSO meetings will be publicly posted on the
           PSO web site within 30 days of the meeting.

   (7) Review and Modification of MOU.  ICANN and the Signing SDOs will
       periodically review the results and consequences of their
       cooperation under this 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.  Any modification to the MOU must be
       approved by all signatories.

   (8) Standards Development Organizations

       (a) The initial signatories to this MOU shall include ICANN and
           the Signing SDOs who have signed below.  Each Signing SDO
           must be an international, Internet-related standards
           development organization that establishes that it meets the
           criteria for SDOs set forth below.

           (i)  SDOs must be open, international, voluntary technical
                 standard and technical specification development
                 organizations which:

                 (A) Develop standards and/or specifications for use
                     over the public Internet.

                 (B) Can demonstrate active membership in the IP-related
                     standards and/or specification development process
                     of more than 800 individuals, if individual
                     memberships are used by the organization, or 80
                     companies, if corporate memberships are used by the

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RFC 2691                  MoU for an ICANN PSO            September 1999

                 (C) Has been in operation for 3 or more years at the
                     time of their application.

                 (D) Can demonstrate that there is significant
                     deployment of its standards on the Internet.

                 (E) The significant protocols controlled by the
                     organization can be implemented without paying a
                     licensing fee to the organization.

           (ii)  Open, international, voluntary standards organizations
                 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.  An organization shall
                 be considered voluntary if it makes no claim to compel
                 use of its standards and specifications.  Additionally,
                 to be considered 'international', an organization's
                 voting (or other "full") membership must include
                 individuals or companies primarily located in at least
                 three different Geographic Regions and at least two
                 different countries within each of those Geographic

       (b) New Signatories

           (i)   Any organization that believes it satisfies the SDO
                 qualifications set forth above may apply in writing to
                 the  Protocol Council to become a party to this MOU.
                 In order for an organization to become a party to this
                 MOU, all then-existing MOU signatories must agree that
                 such organization qualifies as  an SDO.

           (ii)  Rejected applicants can appeal to the ICANN Board,
                 which may override such a rejection if the ICANN Board
                 finds, by at least a two-thirds vote, that the
                 organization meets the SDO criteria set forth above.

           (iii) Any organization that is accepted as an SDO under this
                 MOU  must execute a copy of this MOU, and agree to be
                 bound by all of its terms and conditions, upon which it
                 shall be considered  a Signing SDO for all purposes
                 under this MOU.

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RFC 2691                  MoU for an ICANN PSO            September 1999

       (9) General.  This MOU does not constitute any of the parties as
           a partner, joint venture, agent, principal or franchisee of
           any other party. The waiver of any provision of this MOU on
           any occasion shall not constitute a waiver for purposes of
           any other occasion.  No party may transfer or assign any
           interest, right or obligation arising under this MOU without
           the prior written consent of each other party to this MOU.

       IN WITNESS WHEREOF, this Memorandum of Understanding is executed
       this 14 day of July 1999 by the undersigned, acting through their
       duly authorized representatives:

         By: (signature)
         Name: Michael W. Roberts
         Title: Interim President / CEO

         By: (signature)
         Name: Fredrick J.  Baker
         Title: Chair, IETF

         By: (signature)
         Name: Houlin Zhao, on behalf of Secretary-General of ITU
         Title: Director, TSB

         By: (signature)
         Name: Henrik Frystyk Nielsen
         Title: HTTP Activity Lead

         By: (signature)
         Name: Bridget Cosgrave
         Title: Deputy Director General

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RFC 2691                  MoU for an ICANN PSO            September 1999

Security Considerations

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

Editor's Address

   Scott Bradner
   Harvard University
   1350 Mass Ave, rm 876
   Cambridge, MA

   Phone: +1 617 495 3864

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RFC 2691                  MoU for an ICANN PSO            September 1999

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.

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