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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 and Matthew Shears.

ICANN Organization Attendees: Adiel Akplogan (Vice President for Technical Engagement), Susanna Bennett (SVP Chief Operating Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), James Caufield (VP, Risk Management), David Conrad (Chief Technology Officer), Dan Halloran (Deputy General Counsel), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Director, Board Operations), Ashwin Rangan (SVP Engineering & Chief Information Officer), and Erika Randall (Associate General Counsel).


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

  1. Action Items Review – The Committee Chair established the agenda for the meeting, reviewed the open action items and addressed the following:

    • The preliminary report from the 13 August 2019 Committee meeting has been circulated for approval – the Committee approved unanimously.
    • The Committee to continue discussions on the risk register – this item will be addressed in today's meeting.
    • The Committee to continue discussing revisiting the interaction between the Committee, the Technical Liaison Group (TLG) and the Technical Experts Group (TEG) – this is ongoing.
  2. Information Transparency Initiative (ITI) Update – The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) provided the Committee with a general update on the scheduling, budgeting and maintenance of the ITI project. Currently, the ITI project is on schedule for its April 2020 soft launch. The planned launch will release materials as they become available on the new platform while still allowing end-users to have access to the materials that have not been moved over. With respect to budgeting, the ITI project is still within the budget authorized by the Board in 2017. The CTO provided the Committee with a detailed breakdown of the ultimate costs, taking into consideration both the cost of external contractors and internal full-time employees. The CTO also acknowledged the need to adjust resources due to the required changes within the architecture of the system and the implementation of the other, high priority projects, e.g., General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

    The CTO concluded the presentation by providing the Committee with a high-level roadmap of the plan to transition ITI to the next phase of the project, which is called the Information Transparency Platform (ITP). ITP is the platform on top of which ICANN org will move the SO/AC websites and the other sites that were not in scope for the original ITI project. As part of the presentation, the CTO engaged the Committee members in a discussion about the long-term maintenance of the platform moving forward, how each of the pieces are proposed to be migrated, and how resources needed for the project would begin to be integrated into the normal budgeting process. The Committee members then discussed looking into a collaboration-only tool that can live independently from the ITP for the use of Board operations. The Committee also discussed the language services policy and identifying the content that would be translated as part of ITI. To a question made, it was clarified that ITI is not related to the Open Data initiative.

    • Action Items:

      • The CTO to engage in further discussions with the Chief Information Officer (CIO) regarding a collaboration-only tool that can live independently from the ITP.

      • The CIO to start a dialogue amongst the Board members regarding what functionalities are missing within its existing suite of tools used for Board collaboration in an effort to bring more efficiency within the Board Committees and Working Groups.

  3. Status of DNS Ecosystem Security Risk Assessment – The Committee reviewed the most updated draft version of the DNS risk register and engaged in a discussion about two items related to the DNS Ecosystem Risk Matrix. The first is deciding on which portion of risk matrix would be appropriate to make available to the public, if any; and second, to clarify what ICANN's potential role is on each of the risks that were identified. The Committee also discussed the complementary work of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) to assess the overall DNS ecosystem vulnerabilities and risks. The Committee discussed the timing of the SSAC's work and considered whether it would be advisable to have a joint meeting with SSAC at ICANN66 where the Committee and SSAC could spend time discussing their respective views on the issues outlined in the risk matrix. After discussion, the Committee decided to give the Board a status update on the Committee's work on this issue, making note of the SSAC's work, and suggesting that further consideration may be needed after the SSAC's work product is available for review.

  4. Engineering and Information Technology Briefing – Due to limitations on timing, the Committee decided to postpone this discussion to a subsequent Committee meeting.

  5. AOB – At the Committee's request, the CTO provided the Committee with an update on creating an information sharing and analysis center, established with the intent to share DNS security and stability issues with relevant organizations. A key goal of this work is to identify ways in which ICANN org could help provide information, capacity building, training, and other mechanisms that would allow for a better response in case of DNS infrastructure attacks and other related DNS ecosystem security issues.

    The Chief Technology Officer also provided the Committee with an update on the Name Collision Analysis Project (NCAP) Request For Proposal (RFP), and noted that the team was in the process of engaging a project manager to help facilitate moving the project forward.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 03 October 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."