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Board Risk Committee (RC) – Minutes

RC Attendees:  Steve Crocker, Ray Plzak, R. Ramaraj, Thomas Roessler, Mike Silber, Bruce Tonkin, and Suzanne Woolf

Apologies: Judith Vasquez

Staff Attendees: Akram Atallah – Chief Operating Officer; John Jeffrey – General Counsel and Secretary; Jeff Moss – Chief Security Officer; Samantha Eisner, Amy Stathos, and Alina Syunkova


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

  1. Key Program Update: New gTLD Program: The RC received an update from staff on the identification of risks and mitigation work in the New gTLD Program, including updates to the risk matrix to reflect the status of the program and the opening of the application window.

    • Action:
      • Update risk matrix in line with the RC comments.
  2. ICANN Litigation Readiness: Received update regarding steps undertaken to maintain ICANN litigation readiness, including continual assessment work and implementation of mitigation measures.
  3. New gTLD Application Process: The RC discussed risks specific to the New gTLD Application Process and consideration of applications, including the ongoing work in the BGC to identify a specific committee of the perceived non-conflicted Directors that will be authorized to take decisions related to the New gTLD Program.  The RC also discussed potential measures to allow ICANN to be ready for quick action if necessary.
  4. Security Update: The RC received an update of ongoing coordination related to security issues, including the threat to the root systems and the need for budgeting requests to deal with the threats, as well as continued review of process and incident response planning.
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."