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Minutes | Board Risk Committee (BRC) Meeting

BRC Attendees: Harald Alvestrand, Lito Ibarra (Chair), Merike Käo, Akinori Maemura, and Nigel Roberts

BRC Apologies: Kaveh Ranjbar and Matthew Shears

ICANN Org Attendees: Michelle Bright (Board Content Coordination Director), Xavier Calvez (SVP, Planning & Chief Financial Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), James Caulfield (VP, Risk Management), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Senior Director, Board Operations), Jennifer Scott (Senior Counsel), and Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel)


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

  1. Review of Updates to Risk Register – The BRC received and discussed an update from ICANN org on changes made to the top risks in the ICANN Risk Register since the last BRC meeting. ICANN org explained that it conducts quarterly and annual evaluations of the risk register as part of the risk identification process and the register is dynamic to account for changes identified as a result of those evaluations. The changes to the top risks in the ICANN Risk Register presented to the BRC at this meeting reflect the results of ICANN org's annual evaluation, which generally lead to the addition adding of new risks, refining previously identified risks, and changing the rating of previously identified risks.
  2. Review of Update on Existential Risks – The BRC received and discussed a presentation from ICANN org on its existential threat monitoring and the existential risks that have been included in the ICANN Risk Register. The Board had asked that existential threats that may impact ICANN's ability to ensure the security, stability, and resiliency of the domain name system and ICANN's governance, funding, and global relevance, be considered for ongoing strategic planning. The BRC is tasked with monitoring the threat landscape to identify such existential threats and, in support of that role, ICANN org's risk management function enhanced its risk identification procedure to identify existential threats in the ICANN Risk Register and add any additional existential risks as appropriate to the ICANN Risk Register.
  3. ICANN org's Risk Management Committee Charter – ICANN org informed the committee about updates to ICANN org's Risk Management Committee charter. The updates include reference to the streamlined membership for efficiency and effectiveness, and renaming the committee to the CEO Risk Management Committee to help distinguish it from the Bord Risk Committee. Org further reminded the BRC that the purpose of the CEO Risk Management Committee is to provide insight, feedback, and expertise that inform ICANN org risk management policies, activities and reporting, as well as making recommendations to the President and CEO on matters requiring his approval.
  4. Review of Proposed Role of BRC Regarding Strategic Objectives – The BRC reviewed and discussed information received from the Board Governance Committee proposing that certain of ICANN's Strategic Objectives from the ICANN Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025 be assigned to the BRC for oversight. In an effort to ensure there is Board oversight for all of the plan's strategic goals and objectives, the BGC is reviewing and proposing the relevant Board Committees, Working Groups and Caucuses for oversight and seeking their feedback on the proposals. The BRC would like to discuss their input with the BGC, as well as continue its review and discussion of the BGC's proposals.

    • Action: BRC Chair to discuss input with BGC on the BGC's proposals for the BRC's oversight of certain of the ICANN Strategic Objectives and continue its review and discussion of the proposals with the BRC.
  5. Discussion of recent ICANN org restructure – The BRC received information from ICANN org regarding recent changes in structure and responsibilities for certain Executives. ICANN org explained the changes and their rationale and impact to the BRC, including that there is no change to the lead staff member who supports the BRC.

Published on 22 September 2020

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."