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Board Risk Committee (RC) – Minutes

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

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

Invited attendee: Thomas Roessler

Staff Attendees: Akram Atallah – Chief Operating Officer; John Jeffrey – General Counsel and Secretary; Jeff Moss – Chief Security Officer; Geoff Bickers, David Closson, Samantha Eisner, Patrick Jones, Scott Pinzon, and Alina Syunkova

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

  1. Key Program Update: Redesign of ICANN.org: The RC received a report from staff on the work on the redesign of ICANN.org, including the risk mitigation and security work involved in the design.  The Board discussed the separation of the icann.org network from the application system for new gTLDs, and received further information about the security precautions under way for the TLD Application System (TAS), as well as other separation that already exists for the ongoing systems within ICANN.

  2. Key Program Update: DNSSEC: The RC received an update on the tracking of risks associated with the DNSSEC program, including the publication of a certified SysTrust audit, and a report of the seven key signing ceremonies since the last report to the RC.  The report also included updates on the educational awareness efforts regarding adoption of DNNSEC and promoting adoption.  The RC noted the need for adoption at the software, application, and ISP level to help encourage broader adoption.  There was also discussion about the assessment of the number of trusted community representatives needed for the Key Signing Ceremonies, as well as the potential of practicing a key rollover.

    • Action:

      • Staff to provide further information to the RC regarding planning exercises for key rollover.

  3. Enterprise Risk Assessment: The RC engaged in an updated discussion on the enterprise risk assessment work and the updating of the model and framework for performing that assessment.  The RC focused conversation on issues of access and threats from within, and the work to put in internal control systems, including access logs and other tools, to increase accountability and monitoring of systems and the information contained within those systems.  The RC also discussed potential refinements to the framework, including better identification of severity of impact.  The RC also began discussion regarding the creation of a framework for public posting, to allow the community and ICANN to have the same terminology when addressing risk issues.
    • Action:

      • Staff to refine the framework and move forward with an updated enterprise risk assessment.

  4. Workplan: Staff presented a proposed workplan for 2012, including proposed key program reviews and presentations of the enterprise risk assessment work.  The RC agreed that an update on the risk identification and mitigation work for the New gTLD Program should be discussed at the December 2011 meeting.
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."