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Minutes 156th Executive Board Meeting

Author: Daniella Coutinho
Date: 2022/03/18
Status: Draft

Attendees:

  • Christian Kaufmann (CK), Chairman
  • Ondřej Filip (OF), Treasurer
  • Raymond Jetten (RJ), Member
  • Maria Häll (MH), Member
  • Remco van Mook (RvM), Member
  • Job Snijders (JS), Member
  • Piotr Strzyżewski (PS), Secretary
  • Mirjam Kühne (MK), RIPE Chair
  • Daniella Coutinho (DC), Executive Assistant, RIPE NCC
  • Fergal Cunningham (FC), Head of Membership Engagement, RIPE NCC (topic 3-13)
  • Athina Fragkouli (AF), Chief Legal Officer, RIPE NCC
  • Simon-Jan Haytink (SJH), Finance Manager, RIPE NCC (topic 3-13)
  • Hans Petter Holen (HPH), Managing Director, RIPE NCC
  • Hisham Ibrahim (HI), Chief Community Officer, RIPE NCC
  • Kaveh Ranjbar (KR), Chief Information Officer, RIPE NCC (topic 3-13)
  • Felipe Victolla Silveira (FVS), Chief Operations Officer, RIPE NCC (topic 3-13)
  • Carolien Vos (CV), HR Director, RIPE NCC (topic 3-13)

Guests

  • Marco Hogewoning, External Relations Manager Public Policy & Internet Governance (topic 10.1)
  • Suzanne Taylor, Public Policy and Internet Governance Officer (topic 10.1)

 

Day 14 March 2022

08:30-13:00 (UTC+1) 

1. Welcome and agenda

The Chairman opened the meeting at 08:32 and welcomed everyone.

1.1 Apologies, new agenda points

The Chairman noted all members of the RIPE NCC Executive Board (the Board) were present. Two additional agenda items were added to the agenda under AOB, topic 6, the agenda for the GM and procedures for Board meetings.

1.2 Approval of minutes

The Board asked to move the approval of minutes of previous meetings to AOB on the second day, in order to have more time for review.

1.3 Dates of next meetings

  • 15 May 2022 (ahead of RIPE 84)
  • 18-20 May 2022, RIPE NCC General Meeting
  • 20 May 2022 (distribution of tasks after election)
  • 30 June-1 July 2022, tbc
  • 14-15 September 2022, tbc
  • 26-28 October 2022, RIPE NCC General Meeting
  • 14-15 December 2022 

1.4 Action list review

Closed action items

Action EBD427 / 23/09/2021 / SJH
To form the group to select a professional party for portfolio management and make a recommendation to the Board on management of the treasury.
Status 29-10-2021: Project group is formed (CK, OF, HPH, SJH). SJH to contact parties and schedule meetings.
Status 15-12-2021: First meetings took place. SJH to work on comparative overview for the next board meeting.
Status 14-03-2022: Closed. Due to the unstable situation and uncertainties for the future, the Board decided to postpone moving to a managed portfolio for treasury.

Action EBD433 / 15/12/2021 / FVS
To improve integration of tickets in the LIR Portal and display limited ticket history in Q1 2022. After delivery, check with members if this mitigates their concerns.
Status 15-03-2022: Done. Improvements have been made and members have been informed via the ncc-announce mailing list on 1 February 2022. The Board will be updated at topic 12.3 of EB#156.

Action EBD434 / 16/12/2021 / FC
To organise another Open House for members in January 2022 regarding the possible Charging Scheme models.
Status 14-03-2022: Closed. Due to the current state of affairs, the Board considered the timing not appropriate to discuss a change in fee structure with the members. The Charging Scheme will be discussed at topic 4.5 of EB#156.

Action EBD435 / 16/12/2021 / HPH
To investigate possible voting models other than preferential voting.
Status 14-03-2022: Done. The investigation of other voting models will be discussed at topic 9.1 of EB#156.

Action EBD436 / 16/12/2021 / FC
To issue a call for members of the Code of Conduct Team for the upcoming Executive Board elections in May 2022. The Code of Conduct Team needs to be in place before the election process starts.
Status 14-03-2022: Done. The call for members of the Code of Conduct team was sent to the ncc-announce mailing list on 14 February 2022.

2. 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

Hans Petter Holen informed the Board that he set up a Crisis Management Team to deal with the effects of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine on the RIPE NCC. The objectives are the safety of staff and their families, the stable operation of our core services and the global internet, and maintaining the RIPE NCC’s reputation. Outcomes of the daily meetings were shared and the Board and staff will be informed on the developments.

The Board discussed whether they represent the RIPE NCC when they sign initiatives with their own name. Positions should be left out when signing - the neutrality of the RIPE NCC needs to be safeguarded. In case the RIPE NCC wants to participate in initiatives, the Board asked to be notified beforehand so they can decide if the initiative is appropriate.

3. Risk

3.1 Integrated Risk Management

Hans Petter shared the risk report of the last period. It was clear from the report that the invasion of Ukraine caused risks to rise. The risk framework will soon be aligned with best practices by the new Chief Information Security Officer and Risk and Compliance manager that are being recruited.

3.2 Liability insurance

Hans Petter made the Board aware that the liability insurance does not cover claims in Iran, Syria and Crimea and it is not possible to insure the risks in another way. This is affecting the risk appetite and needs to be addressed by accumulating a bigger reserve or by a restructuring of the organisation.

4. Finance

4.1 Financial Report 2021

Simon-Jan Haytink gave an update of the situation of the different banks of the RIPE NCC. Afterwards he presented the draft Financial Report for 2021. The RIPE NCC remains in a stable financial position for 2022. The income of last year was 5M over budget, due to more new LIR applications than foreseen. The costs were 4M under budget, mainly due to Covid-19 restricting physical meetings. As a result, 13.3M will be redistributed in full to the members.

4.2 Auditors Report 2021

Simon-Jan shared the highlights of the audit of the draft Financial Report 2021. The audit findings are positive. The auditors looked at main items like revenue recognition, indications of management override and postponed payment obligations for high-risk countries. The Board appreciated both the positive report of the auditors and the Financial Report for 2021.

Resolution EB#156-R-01:
The RIPE NCC Executive Board approves the submission of the audited RIPE NCC Financial Report 2021 to the upcoming RIPE NCC General Meeting for its adoption.
The RIPE NCC Executive Board unanimously adopted the resolution.

4.3 Financial Report February 2022

Simon-Jan informed the Board about the first two months of the new financial year 2022, with more members than expected and costs being under budget. The forecast is that the RIPE NCC will spend as planned in the Budget 2022.

4.4 Status treasury portfolio management

Last year a project was started to look into a managed portfolio for the treasury. The Board considered the current unstable circumstances in the service region and felt more comfortable with having more cash available to be prepared for unforeseen events. The project for portfolio management will be parked until the situation becomes calmer. The Board asked Simon-Jan to evaluate the current treasury statute and propose a new version with more flexible options to invest.

Action EBD437 / 14/03/2021 / SJH
To evaluate the current treasury statute and propose a new version with more flexible options to invest by the Board meeting in June.

4.5 Charging Scheme

Due to the uncertainty of the upcoming period, the Board did not find it appropriate to currently discuss different charging schemes with changes in fee structure with the members. The Board considered if a possible lower income should be balanced with the reserves or if the membership fee should be increased. There is a possibility that Russian and Ukrainian members will not be able to pay their invoice this year due to sanctions or other reasons. Around 10% of our members come from Russia and 2% from Ukraine. The majority of the Board is in favour of increasing the fee and asked the RIPE NCC to work out a few suggestions next week, taking the forecast into account.
The Board can then agree via email on the Charging Scheme for 2023, to be on time for the General Meeting in May.

Action EBD438 / 14/03/2021 / SJH
To calculate the effects of possible changes to the membership fee and communicate this with the Board next week so they can decide on a draft Charging Scheme for 2023.

5. Annual Report 2021

Fergal Cunningham presented the draft RIPE NCC Annual Report 2021. Following the format of last year, there are five sections: Membership Overview, the Registry, Information Services, Community and Engagement and Inside the RIPE NCC. One new section is added that is following up on the commitments made in the 2021 Activity Plan. It was the aim to include a section on sustainability, but it was too difficult to get meaningful numbers with the current priorities.
The Board stated they are satisfied with the Annual Report 2021 and approved the document for publication.

Resolution EB#156-R-02:
The RIPE NCC Executive Board approves the RIPE NCC Annual Report 2021 and the publication of the document.
The RIPE NCC Executive Board unanimously adopted the resolution.

6. NRO EC Strategy Workshop

Hans Petter reported on the outcome of the NRO Strategy Workshop with the NRO Executive Council that took place in February in Dubai. It is good to see the commitment of all RIRs to engage is increasing and cooperation is getting closer. The report with commendations from the facilitator will be signed off later this month.

7. AOB

  • Agenda General Meeting May 2022
    The agenda of the General Meeting May 2022 will be discussed on Day 2 of this EB#156 meeting. The Board asked to include an agenda point about the invasion of Ukraine and discuss neutrality of the registry and have an open mic session.
  • Procedure of approving resolutions and minutes from Board meetings
    Athina Fragkouli asked the Board to clarify how approval of minutes and resolutions are approved in case real-time meetings with absent members continue on the mailing list.
    The Board agreed that with real-time meetings, the attendees are expected to approve minutes and resolutions. If discussions take place on the mailing list, possibly after a real-time meeting, all Board members are obliged to approve minutes and resolutions, which makes it possible to approve resolutions unanimously. If a Board member was not present at the real-time meeting, he or she can reach out to other members to be informed of the discussion and form an opinion. An exception can be made in case a Board member is not available for a specific reason.


The Chairman adjourned the meeting at 12:50 (UTC+1)


Day 2: 15 March 2022

08:30-14:30 (UTC +1)

8. RIPE

RIPE Chair Mirjam Kühne shared her report with the Board.
Preparations for the hybrid RIPE 84 Meeting are well underway. Registration for the meeting is open and makes a distinction between onsite and online attendance. The unstable situation in the service region will be considered during the meeting, with some targeted presentations and social events will be less festive than usual. RIPE remains a home for our community and everyone in our service region and beyond. The Board asked about safety and security for onsite attendees and themselves. The RIPE NCC will look into providing a safe environment for everyone.
Mirjam also said she would like to review the meeting plan after RIPE 84, including the start date of the GM.

9. Corporate governance

9.1 Voting procedure

At its previous meeting, the Board requested an analysis of the voting system and alternatives that might prove to be simpler or more appropriate for the election of Board members.

Fergal shared an analysis of the current method Instant Run-Off Voting (IRV) and two alternative methods: First-Past-the-Post Voting (FPTP) and Approval Voting.

The Board carefully reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of the different models, and agreed that the current IRV method is the best option, as it closely replicates the system that was in place before electronic voting, it allows the election of multiple candidates in one ballot and it ensures broad support for all elected candidates. It was noted that IRV should be explained well to the members.

9.2 Agenda General Meeting

Fergal presented the draft agenda for the General Meeting May 2022. As per request of the Board, an additional topic ‘Provision of undisrupted Services to Members and Community’ was added, with a presentation from the Chairman on the statements and decisions since 24 February 2022 and an ‘open mic’ for questions and feedback from the members on this topic. For the open mic, members will be encouraged to send in questions in advance, like always.

9.3 Summary IPv4 run-out and multiple LIRS

The ability of members to create ‘local registries’ was included in early RIPE Documents. ‘Local registries’ gradually became ‘Local Internet Registries’ (LIRs) in formal documents. With the run-out of IPv4 addresses, it became attractive to set-up multiple LIRs. Currently the RIPE NCC has around 20,000 members holding around 23,200 LIR accounts. Fergal explained that the legal framework for the RIPE NCC as a membership organisation needs to refer to members, but the RIPE community’s policies refer to LIRs. This is creating contradictions that need to be resolved. The Board agreed this should be considered in the future. At the moment it is not a good time to ask for members’ engagement on topics like this.

9.4 Unilateral indemnification agreement

The Legal Team reviewed if the RIPE NCC could accept an unilateral indemnification statement in cases of Internet number resource transfers where both parties exist. Considering possible disputes over registration of resources, Athina Fragkouli advised to maintain the current procedures and request that both parties sign necessary documentation for transfer requests. She also noted that it could be beneficial to have an external body evaluating documentation and validating signatures.

10 Community & Engagement - CCO

10.1 PPIG-EB Report

Marco Hogewoning shared the Public Policy and Internet Governance report for the Executive Board (PPIG-EB). There are many geopolitical influences that are playing out across our service region and in different venues, from the IGF to the ITU to other UN-based bodies. Next to that, governments are executing changes that need to be understood and require engagement. Marco reported on various efforts that have been undertaken, like organising the Roundtable meetings for different regions.
The Board asked for speaking points to get the right message out when talking to governments and media. The Board is not actively reaching out but gets approached and any support to make the standpoint of the RIPE NCC clear is useful.

10.2 Community Development and Engagement update

Hisham Ibrahim reported on discussions around ENOG. Some community members asked the Board to terminate ENOG but it is a matter for the community to decide. Hisham shared this on the ENOG mailing list, along with information on local and regional events and suggestions on where the RIPE NCC could provide support.

11 Information Services - CCO

11.1 K-Root

The RIPE NCC is a Root Server Operator (RSO) running K-Root. This started when Internet Service Providers needed a stable server in Europe and is still valid to provide good Internet service for the members. Kaveh Ranjbar gave an update on the evolution of the Root Servers. The Root Server System Governance Working Group (RSS GWG) is leading the community-driven process to develop a governance model for the RSS. Since 2018 sets of advice have been written and different models are being discussed. The RSOs raised concern about the approach taken by GWG and advised on suggestions, as the governance should be robust and ready for the future. The work is ongoing and expected to take some time.

12 Registry - COO

12.1 Securing the RIPE NCC HSM / Trust Anchor

Felipe Victolla Silveira presented how a secure RPKI infrastructure can be ensured. The RIPE NCC uses Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) to safeguard and handle digital keys. The Offline HSM has been migrated. It was necessary to keep the environment up-to-date by moving away from old hardware to a newer, supported model. Now the Offline HSM is migrated, the next step is to migrate the Online HSM later this year. This will be more challenging due to the fact that they live in the data centres and contain our member’s certificates and keys. The Board noted it could be useful to engage with industry experts on how keycard distribution can be done in a good way. Further, when there is a process to appoint community members, a system to discharge these members should be in place.

12.2 IPv4 Transfer Market

Due to the growth of the Internet and slow implementation of IPv6, the IPv4 transfer
market continues to grow. Transfer requests have tripled over the last five years. At an earlier meeting, the Board asked to be updated about developments in the IPv4 transfer market. The RIPE NCC has no involvement in the pricing of the resources but created a report based on public information. The Board appreciated the report and it was agreed to provide a short version of the information quarterly.

12.3 Update on Ticketing System improvements

In January 2022, changes in the LIR Portal were deployed, following complaints from members about the ticketing system of the RIPE NCC. Felipe shared the details of the amendments. It is now possible to see detailed ticket information and closed tickets up to 120 days in the Portal and one can respond to a ticket directly from the Portal. A RIPE Labs article has been published to explain the changes and an email was sent to the NCC Services WG asking for input. So far no input or comments have been given. The Board asked to email once more before the silence can be considered as consensus.

13 Legal Structure of the RIPE NCC

The RIPE NCC is observing the development of regulatory restrictions that affect its operations (e.g. the ability to provide services to all its members or collect fees from all its members, ability to comply with conflicting national legislation, etc). The RIPE NCC and Board agreed to explore a possible structure of the organisation that would be robust enough for such challenges. A consulting firm is asked to support this exploration.

The task is to identify possible corporate structures that would allow the RIPE NCC to decentralise the provision of its services. This can include the establishment of multiple organisations within the service region. The possible structure should adhere to the following criteria:

  • Compliance with legislation that does not exclude members (e.g. sanctions)
  • Compliance with legislation that is not excessive or conflicting (e.g. Russian DP law)
  • Compliance with tax legislation that does not lead to double taxation for staff
  • Compliance with banking rules
  • Mitigation of the risk of disproportional orders by law enforcement authorities from a single jurisdiction
  • Practical and cost-efficient implementation of proposed solutions

The Board discussed an initial proposal and asked to identify how this interplays with the problem statement and the priorities it sets.

Action EBD439 / 15/03/2021 / AF
To identify how the initial proposal of a legal structure interplays with the problem statement and the priorities it sets.

14 AOB

  • Approval of minutes
    Resolution EB#156-R-03
    The RIPE NCC Executive Board approves the minutes of EB#150, EB#151, EB#152, EB#153, EB#154 and EB#155.
    The RIPE NCC Executive Board unanimously adopted the resolution.
  • Board briefings
    The Board agreed on a list of Briefings that will be complied ahead of RIPE 84

The Chairman closed the meeting at 13:15 (UTC+1)


Resolutions

Resolution EB#156-R-01:
The RIPE NCC Executive Board approves the submission of the audited RIPE NCC Financial Report 2021 to the upcoming RIPE NCC General Meeting for its adoption.
The RIPE NCC Executive Board unanimously adopted the resolution.

Resolution EB#156-R-02:
The RIPE NCC Executive Board approves the RIPE NCC Annual Report 2021 and the publication of the document.
The RIPE NCC Executive Board unanimously adopted the resolution.

Resolution EB#156-R-03
The RIPE NCC Executive Board approves the minutes of EB#150, EB#151, EB#152, EB#153, EB#154 and EB#155.
The RIPE NCC Executive Board unanimously adopted the resolution.

 

Action items

New action items

Action EBD437 / 14/03/2021 / SJH
To evaluate the current treasury statute and propose a new version with more flexible options to invest by the Board meeting in June.

Action EBD438 / 14/03/2021 / SJH
To calculate the effects of possible changes to the membership fee and communicate this with the Board next week so they can decide on a draft Charging Scheme for 2023.

Action EBD439 / 15/03/2021 / AF
To identify how the initial proposal of a legal structure interplays with the problem statement and the priorities it sets.

Closed action items

Action EBD427 / 23/09/2021 / SJH
To form the group to select a professional party for portfolio management and make a recommendation to the Board on management of the treasury.
Status 29-10-2021: Project group is formed (CK, OF, HPH, SJH). SJH to contact parties and schedule meetings.
Status 15-12-2021: First meetings took place. SJH to work on comparative overview for the next board meeting.
Status 14-03-2022: Closed. Due to the unstable situation and uncertainties for the future, the Board decided to postpone moving to a managed portfolio for treasury.

Action EBD433 / 15/12/2021 / FVS
To improve integration of tickets in the LIR Portal and display limited ticket history in Q1 2022. After delivery, check with members if this mitigates their concerns.
Status 15-03-2022: Done. Improvements have been made and members have been informed via the ncc-announce mailing list on 1 February 2022. The Board will be updated at topic 12.3 of EB#156.

Action EBD434 / 16/12/2021 / FC
To organise another Open House for members in January 2022 regarding the possible Charging Scheme models.
Status 14-03-2022: Closed. Due to the current state of affairs, the Board considered the timing not appropriate to discuss a change in fee structure with the members. The Charging Scheme will be discussed at topic 4.5 of EB#156.

Action EBD435 / 16/12/2021 / HPH
To investigate possible voting models other than preferential voting.
Status 14-03-2022: Done. The investigation of other voting models will be discussed at topic 9.1 of EB#156.

Action EBD436 / 16/12/2021 / FC
To issue a call for members of the Code of Conduct Team for the upcoming Executive Board elections in May 2022. The Code of Conduct Team needs to be in place before the election process starts.
Status 14-03-2022: Done. The call for members of the Code of Conduct team was sent to the ncc-announce mailing list on 14 February 2022