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Standing Room Only at ICANN51 Tech Day

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LA CTO Peter Marx (above)

The recent ICANN 51 meeting in Los Angeles brought together technical community participants for the 25th Tech Day as part of the collaboration with the DNS Operations Analysis and Research Center Annual Meeting.

We had a full room, "standing room only" for much of the day, estimating around 200 people in the room and higher online participation than previous ICANN meetings.

Paul Mockapetris provided a kick-off keynote on "Disruption and the DNS". Peter Marx, CTO of City of Los Angeles, gave a fascinating presentation on the ways in which the City of Los Angeles is using the Internet and technology to deliver advanced services. The post-lunch talks by Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan and Yahoo Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos focused on responses to Internet surveillance and increasing attacks. Both generated lively discussions with the capacity audience.

Alex Stamos from and Joe Sullivan from Facebook on Tech Day at ICANN51

Yahoo's Alex Stamos and Facebook's Joe Sullivan

There were additional presentations from Patrik Fältström on IDNA 2008 and Unicode, from Microsoft on the data analysis features of their DNS Server, and from NIC.CL on their work to develop a low-cost HSM solution for ccTLDs which would help lower the barriers to entry by small and developing world TLD operators to adopt DNSSEC. AFNIC gave a talk on a recent disturbance in the DNS involving .wf, while Verisign Labs presented research on .onion leakage in the DNS and presented the DNSViz tool.

The afternoon featured a "DNS Bake Off" moderated by CIRA's Jacques Latour among various name server providers, including KnotDNS, NSD, Yadifa, BIND, Nominum, PowerDNS and Microsoft. Each provider had an opportunity to discuss their approaches to performance and functionality, features aimed for large and small TLD operators and compliance management. Digicert provided an update on RPKI.

A number of attendees said this was both the most "technical" Tech Day track of previous ICANN meetings but also the most accessible and practical. Many of the Newcomers from the Fellowship program attended. People asked good questions and engaged in the discussions. This was a good example of how our technical, business and research communities share information in ICANN meetings.

Tech Day built from Sunday's DNS-OARC meeting, where there were a number of presentations from research and operational experts, including experts from universities such as USC, Boston University, MIT, as well as ICANN Technical staff on name collision, APNIC's Geoff Huston and experts from TLD operators Nominet, CIRA, CZNIC and others.

The DNS-OARC Meeeting at ICANN51

DNS-OARC meeting (photo courtesy Mehmet Akcin)

Over the years Tech Day has grown from its formation in the country code Names Supporting Organization as a one or two day session to a full schedule aimed at any technical or tech-interested ICANN meeting attendee. The Tech Day Working Group continues to think about how to better promote Tech Day within the community and highlight the various technical sessions more easily on the ICANN meeting schedule.


    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."