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Chairman’s Blog: The Montevideo Workshop Wrap-Up

The ICANN Board just finished our workshop in beautiful Montevideo, Uruguay and I wanted to share some updates with you. It was good to be joined by our incoming Board members León Sanchez, Matthew Shears, Avri Doria and Sarah Deutsch, who will be seated to the Board in Abu Dhabi. We covered a wide range of topics, as always, with a busy and productive workshop. A few things we discussed include:

  • The need to establish long term financial planning during the upcoming strategic plan development process. The Board requested the ICANN organization develop an approach for long term financial planning, including how to engage and inform the community.
  • The details of the work the ICANN organization is undertaking with the Community, and in its own internal assessments, related to the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • An update to the Board on the background of .HOME, .CORP and .MAIL applications, where the organization shared the current status of the applications, followed by a discussion of the possible options available to the Board given the requests of the applicants to move the applications forward.
  • A presentation by the Executive team on opportunities and priorities they see for the year ahead, including discussion on some challenges the organization is facing. This included topics ranging from resource demands vs. funding through to the implementation of the Thick Whois policy vs the implications of the GDPR and data privacy law changes globally.
  • A discussion on FY18 Board Priorities, what they are and how to measure and track them.
  • Final review of the Board resolution addressing the GAC Advice from the ICANN59 GAC Johannesburg Communiqué [PDF, 469 KB]. The Board agreed on a draft proposal put forward by the Board-GAC Review Implementations (BGRI) working group Co-Chairs on clarifying the definition of GAC Advice, and the Board reviewed all GAC Communiques from ICANN46 to ICANN59, including responses or actions to address GAC Advice.
  • A briefing and discussion about the Root Zone and related issues and developments.
  • An update about the Root Zone Key Signing Key (KSK) roll, resulting in direction from the Board to the ICANN organization to roll the DNS root KSK as soon as is practical, so long as there are no significant observed effects on the security, stability, or resiliency of the DNS as a whole.

In addition to these topics, the Board began planning for the election of the Board’s leadership positions [PDF, 44 KB], in advance of the Annual Meeting at ICANN60 in Abu Dhabi, where the formal election will take place. Following the outlined procedures, the ICANN Board as a whole discussed and considered the succession of the Board's leadership. The Board took this action to support transparency and to demonstrate its commitment to a well-supported transfer of responsibilities in leading the Board. Because I have been in this role for six years, our advance planning for the transfer of those responsibilities will help support continuity in ICANN's service of its mission.

All continuing and incoming members of the Board had an opportunity to participate in the discussion of the Board's future leadership, and have indicated unanimous support for the future election of Cherine Chalaby as the next Chair of the ICANN Board. I am proud and excited to welcome Cherine as my successor, and look forward to supporting him and working with him for a smooth and orderly transition of responsibilities.

The Board has also indicated its support for the future election of Chris Disspain as the next Vice-Chair. Many congratulations to Chris as he transitions into this important role.

The Board also held a full Board Meeting as we usually do. For more details on the workshop, including minutes from the public Board Meeting, please see the Board Page.

Thank you to the Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC), who were hosting their annual meeting while we were in Montevideo. We were able to spend time with the LACNIC Board and the LACNIC community, which was a rewarding addition to our workshop.

See you all in Abu Dhabi!

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    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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."