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Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO)

Mission

The mission of the OCTO is to constantly improve knowledge about the identifiers ICANN helps coordinate; to disseminate this information to the Internet community; to improve the technical operation of the Internet's system of unique identifiers; and to improve ICANN's technological stature.

Approach

  • Researching issues related to the Internet's system of unique identifiers (domain names, IP addresses/AS numbers, protocol parameters, etc.)
  • Supporting improving the Security, Stability, and Resiliency of those identifiers
  • Providing internal to ICANN and external to the Internet community "Internet Technology Resources"
  • Training, data, research, information, etc.

OCTO Research [and Analytics]

Led by V.P. Matt Larson, the overall goal of Research [and Analytics] is to provide trusted and verifiable information to the Internet community regarding the Internet's system of unique identifiers. The OCTO research and analytics projects can be more fully explored at the OCTO-Research resource page.

  • Engage actively with the DNS technology communities to identify issues that fall within ICANN's remit and will benefit from the focused attention our researchers can bring to bear on the issue
  • Facilitate or participate with these same communities in preparedness activities to protect against or mitigate threats to DNS ecosystem.
  • Perform studies or analyze data to better understand the health and well-being of the DNS ecosystem.

OCTO Identifier Systems Security, Stability and Resiliency (OCTO-SSR)

John Crain and Dave Piscitello are the core of the OCTO-SSR team. The team strives to be trusted partners in multi-stakeholder, collaborative efforts to ensure the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet's global identifier systems. They use a variety of avenues to address these concerns. There is a resource page for IS-SSR that provides more information on OCTO-SSR activities.

  • Prevention through threat awareness and preparedness, collaboration and information sharing.
  • Mitigation through information sharing and coordinated response
  • Adoption of best practices through collaboration and capability building.
  • Understanding through analysis of unique identifiers data, domain registration service data and other data associated with identifier systems.
  • Security awareness through training activities.
  • Establishment of trustworthiness through transparency, communication and reliable execution.

Technical Engagement

Veteran Internet technology expert Adiel Akplogan, as VP for Technical Engagement with the Office of the CTO conducts and facilitates technical engagement and outreach. His goals are to coordinate, develop and sustain ICANN's engagement with the global technical community in line with ICANN's 5 year Strategic Plan, and to ensure ICANN constituencies are continuously exposed and aware of relevant activities happening within the extended technical community. Much of his work with OCTO is focused on optimizing the multiple ways ICANN staff participate in the many independent organization and stakeholder groups that form the DNS ecosystem.

Office of the Chief Technology Officer Staff

David Conrad is ICANN's CTO. David is a long-time and active participant in Internet infrastructure, development, and operations. He has performed a number of roles at ICANN, including General Manager of the IANA, Vice President of IT and currently, CTO. David leads a team of 14 subject matter experts.

David Conrad
Chief Technology Officer
Office of the CTO

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."