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Chair's Blog: ICANN70 Virtual Community Forum

19 April 2021

On behalf of the Board, I want to thank everyone who contributed and participated during ICANN70, our second virtual Community Forum. From the seamless interpretation services to the high quality of the discussions taking place within each Zoom room, I am impressed with the progress we've made in strengthening ICANN's virtual Public Meetings.

As previously announced, ICANN71 will also be held virtually, and I look forward to seeing what additional improvements we can make together as we continue to build on the lessons learned from previous virtual meetings.

Board Workshop

Ahead of ICANN70, the Board held its three-day virtual workshop, which provided us with an opportunity to discuss some of the most pressing topics in advance of the meeting.

Before every Public Meeting, members of ICANN's Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees (SO/ACs) submit questions to the Board. Our first session of the workshop is dedicated to discussing and deliberating on these questions so that the Board is prepared to have informed, meaningful interactions with the community. I would like to extend my thanks to the ICANN org Policy Development Support team for the detailed, thorough reporting provided in advance of each meeting which ensures that the Board fully understands the community's perspective on these complicated issues. I also want to thank ICANN's community leaders for continuously exploring how we can best make use of our time together.

Following this session, the Board held its Strategic Outlook Trend Identification Session, in which we brainstormed evolving and new trends, as well as their potential impact on ICANN and its strategic plan. The Board appreciates the interactive format of these important ICANN-wide sessions and looks forward to seeing the aggregated results.

The other workshop sessions were focused on single topics, including the recommendations outlined in the final report of the Second Security, Stability, and Resiliency Review team (SSR2). The Board appreciates the diversity of viewpoints and looks forward to the ICANN org's report of the Public Comment proceeding, which recently concluded. Given the scope of the final recommendations, we're keen on better understanding what is and isn't feasible within the current timeframe. The Board is committed to keeping the community informed throughout this process.

The Board also spent time discussing the proposed System for Standardized Access/Disclosure (SSAD) to nonpublic generic top-level domain (gTLD) registration data. It's critical that the Board makes a decision that considers ICANN's Bylaws, compliance with the law, the Board's fiduciary duties, and the costs associated with its initial implementation and subsequent operation. We're confident that initiating an Operational Design Phase (ODP) will provide us with the necessary information in a transparent, accountable way. This discussion ultimately culminated in the following Board resolutions, which are highlighted below.

Board Resolutions

On the final day of the meeting, the Board held a regular meeting, during which several resolutions were passed. Below are the highlights:

  • Accepted the Second Organizational Review of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC2) Final Implementation Report
    • This marks the completion of this organizational review in accordance with the ICANN Bylaws. The Board encourages the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) to continue monitoring the implementation of the recommendations from the second SSAC Review as part of its continuous improvement process.
  • Approved the three recommendations outlined in RSSAC028: "Advisory on Technical Analysis of the Naming Scheme Used for Individual Root Servers."
    • In this report, the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC), through its Caucus Root Server Naming Work Party, considered the consequences of making changes to the naming scheme used for individual root servers. It recommended no immediate changes, but that there may be a benefit to adopting one of the schemes described in RSSAC028 after more in-depth research.
  • Directed the Name Collision Analysis Project (NCAP) Discussion Group to proceed with Study 2 as redesigned to take into account the issues raised by NCAP Study 1.
    • The Board thanks the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) for its work on responding to the Board's 2017 resolutions asking a series of questions about name collisions and developing an initial proposal for the NCAP.
    • The Board also thanks the NCAP Discussion Group for its contributions to NCAP Study 1.
  • Directed the ICANN org President and CEO to proceed with the ODP for the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council-approved recommendations from the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) Phase 2 Final Report on the SSAD. The ODP is not just a chance to further explore what the Board needs to know about an SSAD before its decision to build it, but also a process that enhances transparency around how we get to that decision.

The ICANN community continues to demonstrate its resilience and ability to get work done no matter the limitations. ICANN70 was a success because of your dedication and commitment to participate and contribute. The Board thanks each and every one of you for your role in fulfilling ICANN's responsibilities. I look forward to seeing you all again virtually during ICANN71!


Maarten Botterman

Maarten Botterman

ICANN Board Member