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Minutes | Board Technical Committee (BTC) Meeting

Board Member and Liaison Attendees: Harald Alvestrand, Avri Doria, Rafael Lito Ibarra, Merike Kaeo, Akinori Maemura (Chair), Kaveh Ranjbar, and Tripti Sinha.

Other Board Members in Attendance: Danko Jevtovic, León Sanchez and Matthew Shears.

ICANN Organization Attendees: Adiel Akplogan (Vice President for Technical Engagement), Susanna Bennett (SVP Chief Operating Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), David Conrad (Chief Technology Officer), John Crain (Chief Security Stability & Resiliency Officer), Linna Hsii (Counsel), Jana Juginovic (Senior Director, Communications & Content), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Director, Board Operations), Matt Larson (VP Research, Office of the CTO), Ashwin Rangan (SVP Engineering & Chief Information Officer), Erika Randall (Associate General Counsel), Carlos Reyes (Strategic Policy Planning Director) and Lisa Saulino (Board Operations Specialist).

Invited Guest: Jay Daley (only present for the NCAP discussion update).


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

  1. Name Collision Analysis Project (NCAP) Update – The Committee received an update on the two items that the NCAP discussion group is working on. First, the Request for Proposal (RFP) for Study 1 opened on 9 July 2019 and is expected to close on 23 August 2019. Barring any unexpected delays, the discussion group hopes to engage a contractor by late September. Second, the Committee was informed that the NCAP discussion group has reached consensus on the definition of name collision which is now up for public comment.

  2. Action Items Review – Following the NCAP update, the Chair established the agenda for the meeting, and the Committee reviewed the open action items and addressed the following:

    • Set up an informal meeting with the Board Risk Committee (BRC) to discuss how to harmonize the activities on Domain Name System (DNS) evolution and security project table with BRC activities – this item has been completed.
    • Work with Security Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) to finalize the agenda of the joint meeting during ICANN65 – this item has been completed.
    • ICANN org to plan for a demo of the Information Transparency Initiative (ITI) platform during the upcoming Committee meeting – this item will be addressed in today's meeting.
    • ICANN org to search and identify candidates for the Technical Coordinator position for NCAP – this item will be handled by ICANN org.
    • Inform the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) group of the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) proposal as information in case they want to consider it in Phase 2 of their work – this is ongoing and being considered by the Committee.
  3. BTC Priorities from FY20 Board Priorities – The Committee received an update on the six items listed in the Committee priority list: 1) the L-root strategy is on track and nothing has been changed; 2) the root server crisis communication plan was discussed by the root servers operators group during the last Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meeting in Montreal and is in its final steps of approval; 3) the Domain Name System (DNS) evolution and security action plan is still in progress and has yet to be presented to the Board; 4) the DNS security incident coordinating center (a new priority) is underway and should have another update by the next Committee meeting; 5) the preliminary results of the public consultation regarding the root server governance implementation plan will be discussed in a separate agenda item; and 6) the NCAP update has already been discussed as noted above.

  4. Demo of the Current Version of Information Transparency Initiative (ITI) – The ITI team performed a demonstration of the new interface. The team noted that currently, all the content on icann.org is unstructured. The goal of ITI is to improve the ease and findability of ICANN org's content to the community and external stakeholders and, create an easy authoring experience for staff to enforce content governance. As part of the demonstration, the ITI team showed Committee members how the existing Board content would be able to be filtered, searched, collapsed and expanded. The ITI team then performed a similar demonstration with the registry agreements, showing how one can search by Top-Level Domain (TLD), Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) and agreement type. The ITI team also showed the Committee the new authoring system which allows staff to create and author content. The current plan is to have a soft launch of ITI in April 2020 which will incorporate a large number of content types and new structures. The ITI team plans to have a more thorough update regarding the logistics at the next Committee meeting.

  5. DNS Ecosystem Security Risk Assessment – The Committee reviewed the most updated version of the risk register and briefly discussed whether the risk register should be made available publicly taking into consideration the need for transparency while acknowledging the potential for abuse. It was also noted that the new priority 2.1.3 (Clarify ICANN ORG's role in security issues) from the Board is to be considered as the next step for the risk assessment matrix.

    • Action Item:

      • The Committee intends to continue the risk register discussion in the Committee mailing list.

  6. RSSAC037/RSSAC038 Implementation Process Update – The Committee received an update from the Strategic Policy Planning Director on the public comment proceeding for the Evolution of the Root Server System. The public comment period ended on 9 August 2019. In total, ICANN org received nine comments, six from the ICANN community and three from outside the community. Overall, there was support for the application of RSSAC037 model and concept paper. The comments received were categorized in four major themes. The first theme is clarifying the definition of who the stakeholders are. Some comments suggested there would be value in specifically calling out end users as one stakeholder group to be involved. The second theme that emerged from the comments was a request for clarification about some of the structures being proposed and the governance models in the concept paper. The third theme was related to funding for the eventual final model, namely, where the funding would be sourced and how the funding model would remain stable. The last theme was related to how the Governance Working Group should operate. The next steps will be to prepare and publish a summary report of the comments to the Committee and the Board.

  7. Upcoming Technical Experts Group (TEG)/Technical Liaison Group (TLG) Meeting with the Committee – The Committee received a brief overview of the proposed coordination structure between the Committee, the TLG and the TEG. First, the proposed means of interaction would start with the Board making requests to the TLG; the TLG could then use the available expertise within the TEG to review the request and provide findings and recommendations to the Committee for further assessment and analysis. The second part of the proposal is to have a public proceeding labeled as a joint Committee, TEG and TLG meeting. The Committee can utilize this opportunity to update the community and the TLG on its work and also interact publicly with external parties. The Committee engaged in a brief discussion regarding the proposed coordination structures and agenda setting for the public joint meetings and decided to continue discussions over the Committee mailing list.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 9 September 2019

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."