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Board Risk Committee (RC) – Minutes

RC Attendees: Steve Crocker (Chair), R. Ramaraj, Mike Silber, and Bruce Tonkin

RC Apologies: Suzanne Woolf

Other Board attendees: Sébastien Bachollet, Cherine Chalaby, Bertrand de La Chapelle, Erika Mann and Thomas Narten

Invited Attendees: Judith Vasquez

Staff Attendees: Akram Atallah – Chief Operating Officer; Xavier Calvez – Interim Chief Operating Officer; Elise Gerich – Vice President, IANA; John Jeffrey – General Counsel and Secretary; Jeff Moss – Chief Security Officer; Samantha Eisner, Patrick Jones, Amy Stathos, and Alina Syunkova


The following is a summary of discussions, actions taken and actions identified:

  1. Software Development Process: Staff provided a briefing to the RC regarding the risk analysis and mitigation efforts for internal software development work, and the RC discussed prioritization of reviews and security testing based upon the business critical nature of programs and systems. Staff noted that security work is ongoing regarding the TLD Application System (TAS) for the new gTLD program. The RC noted that having a framework around software development or acquisition that includes risk review and mitigation would be an important step, as well as identification of audit standards.

    • Action:

      • Staff to provide initial draft of identification of business critical systems and associated risks and mitigation efforts, for RC review. This would serve as a baseline for future work.

  2. New gTLD Program Risk Assessment: The RC noted that there were upcoming Board presentations on operational readiness for new gTLDs that may identify further items for coordination from a risk perspective.

  3. ICANN Meeting Location Risk Assessment: Staff provided an update that the UN security phasing will no longer be available, and noted that staff was beginning to work on a new risk framework for evaluation of meeting locations.

    • Action:

      • Staff to provide update to the RC at one of the next two RC meetings.

  4. IDN Program: The RC carried on an earlier discussion related to risk management within the IDN Variant Project and discussed more broadly some risk identification work for IDNs in general.

  5. RC Workplan: The RC briefly discussed its upcoming work. Formal planning will be discussed at the RC meeting in Dakar, as well as a program presentation on the rollout of the improved icann.org website.

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."