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SSR2 Review Team Re-Starts, On-Boards New Members, Updates Terms of Reference

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The ICANN Security, Stability, and Resiliency of the Domain Name System Review Team (SSR2) reconvened after being paused since October 2017 and held an in-person meeting from 22-24 August. The review team has on-boarded new members, selected leadership, reviewed completed work to date, and updated its scope/terms of reference. We also are refreshing our workplan and outreach plan, and moving forward with our substantive work.

The review team welcomes input on all of its activities via email to (publicly archived list). As the review team continues its fact-finding phase and develops initial findings and recommendations, we encourage community input on our work. We plan to meet at ICANN63 in Barcelona, Spain, in October, and we look forward to discussions with community members there.

Our August Meeting Objectives

The primary objectives of the meeting were to onboard new members, select review team leadership, agree on means of working together productively to reach consensus, and agree on a scope of work/terms of reference for the review. A complete list of meeting objectives can be viewed here [DOCX, 55 KB], and a record of the meeting can be found here. The review team believes that it has successfully met all of these objectives and looks forward to tackling the work ahead and engaging with the ICANN community.

The meeting was facilitated by Phil Khoury from Cameron. Ralph. Khoury Consulting Services, and supported by ICANN Staff. The review team thanks them all for their contributions to what was a productive meeting.

Our New Members and Leadership

Five new volunteers were appointed to the review team—Kimberly (KC) Claffy, Russ Housley, Scott McCormick, Rao Naveed bin Rais, and Laurin Weissinger. That brings the review team membership to 15. The full team membership list can be found here. All were in attendance at our August meeting held in Washington, D.C; 13 attended the meeting in-person, 2 attended remotely. The new members were successfully brought up to speed on the work of the review team to date.

The review team decided on the following leadership structure: The Chair will be Russ Housley, and the Vice Chairs will be Denise Michel, Eric Osterweil, and Laurin Weissinger.

Our Work

The review team approved an updated scope/terms of reference, reviewed work to date, and is working on an updated workplan and communications/outreach plan. These all will be publicly posted on the Review Team's wiki, as well as sent to the ICANN Board and Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees.

Our scope/terms of reference describe the focus of the review team's work, which is guided by ICANN's Bylaws, and includes a timeline of the review milestones, leadership and membership responsibilities, how we make decisions and conduct our work, and other guidelines. The review team intends to continue regular outreach and communications to keep the ICANN community apprised of progress towards milestones.

How can people get involved in the SSR2 Review?

Visit the Review Team's wiki for the latest news, updates, and opportunities to participate, including how to become a review team observer; share your expertise on SSR2 issues; and subscribe to the SSR2 mailing list for calendar invites, agendas, and "read only" access to mailing list exchanges.

The Review Team will continue to reach out to the community at every key step, and we will soon provide more details in our updated outreach and communications plan. Here's our current timeline:

  • By ICANN63: Workplan, Communications Plan, gathering & assessing facts
  • During ICANN63 (Barcelona): Face-to-face (F2F) meeting, engagement with community
  • By ICANN64: Gathering & assessing facts, creation of draft report
  • During ICANN64 (Kobe): F2F meeting, presentation of draft report and engagement with community
  • By ICANN65: Public comment period (40 days), comment resolution
  • During ICANN65 (Marrakesh): Presentation of final report, engagement with community and final delivery of it to board


    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."