Skip to main content

Chair's Blog: A Preview of the Genval Board Workshop

From 14-16 September, the ICANN Board will be convening in Genval, Belgium, a town just south of Brussels, to hold our fifth workshop of calendar 2018.

Much like our Vancouver workshop and Panama City workshop, the Board will be covering quite a lot of ground within a rather short amount of time. We'll be discussing a wide range of key topics ICANN org and the community are tackling, such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the upcoming Root Zone Key Signing Key (KSK Rollover). We'll also be holding a public Board meeting, which I highly encourage you to join if you can. Information about how to dial-in to this listen-only session is available here.

During every Board workshop, we dedicate time to strategic thinking, which affords us an opportunity to discuss ICANN's long-term goals and priorities. On Friday, 14 September, Ram Mohan will start off the workshop with a three-hour strategy session. During that session, the Board will complete its analysis of the trends that could impact the future of ICANN; those trends are the ones that the community identified and prioritized during the Strategic Outlook and Trend sessions that were conducted by ICANN org in San Juan and Panama City. We'll then be holding consecutive sessions for three of the Board's committees – the Board Governance Committee (BGC), the Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC), and the Board Technical Committee (BTC) – followed by an engagement event held at ICANN's regional office in Brussels.

On Saturday morning, 15 September, we'll begin the day meeting with Göran Marby, ICANN President and CEO, for a dialogue regarding his key priorities for the organization. Göran will then be joined by Becky Burr for a GDPR-related discussion about the status of the current work to develop a possible unified access model, which will provide a process for how third parties will be able to access non-public WHOIS data. Chris Disspain and León Sanchez will follow with an update on the Generic Name Supporting Organization's (GNSO) Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data. Avri Doria will then take over to lead a session about curative rights in gTLDs and the outcomes of the GNSO's policy development process. It's important for the Board to be well versed on this issue before the GNSO votes on the final report and passes its recommendations to the Board.

On Saturday afternoon, we will commence with a status report on the Information Transparency Initiative and Domain Abuse Activity Reporting, followed by discussion, led by Göran, about how ICANN org should navigate incoming requests from contracted parties, when ongoing community work could result in a process change that might impact the request. After a short break, Akinori Maemura will be leading a session about the KSK Rollover, which will be aimed at assessing the various comments provided by the RSSAC, SSAC, and RZERC, reviewing the org's final recommendations, and understanding both the risks and rewards associated with the rollover. Ram will then be hosting a session where the Board will discuss the org's recommendations for the strategy to Reduce Effects of Attacks on the Root System. In our final session of the day, Akinori and Ron da Silva will be leading a review of the Board's response to concerns raised by the NRO and Regional Internet Registries about how to effectively participate in ICANN.

On Sunday morning, 16 September, which is the final day of the workshop, we'll be holding a public Board meeting, followed by a session led by Becky Burr aimed at reviewing the results of the Board's 360-degree review.

On Sunday afternoon, Maarten Botterman will start by leading a session where the Board will finalize its FY19 operational priorities, building on the progress made during our Panama City workshop. Becky will then join him to lead our ongoing discussion about disbursement mechanisms for auction proceeds, as well as providing an update on current community work and the planned initial report from the Cross-Community Working Group on Auction Proceeds. We'll finish off the workshop with a closed Board session, where Becky and myself will be shepherding a discussion regarding the Board's leadership roles, as well as the slates for the various committees and working groups, in preparation for the Annual General Meeting in Barcelona.

As I said, we have got quite a lot to cover and discuss, but I'm positive this will be yet another successful and fruitful Board workshop.


    Domain Name System
    Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."