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Minutes | Board Technical Committee (BTC) Meeting

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

Other Board Members in Attendance: Avri Doria.

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), Linna Hsii (Counsel), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Senior Director, Board Operations), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Senior Manager), Erika Randall (Associate General Counsel), and Carlos Reyes (Strategic Policy Planning Director).


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 Committee to work with Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) to prepare a draft response to the GNSO Council by 25 October 2019 in response to their letter to the Board requesting guidance related to dependencies, if any, between the Name Collision Analysis Project (NCAP) and the ongoing policy work of the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process (Sub Pro PDP) – this has been completed and sent to the GNSO Council.
    • The Committee members to identify areas within the existing Board collaboration tools that do not meet their needs – this item is in progress.
  2. BTC Workplan for 2020 – The Vice President for Technical Engagement presented the Committee with a draft work plan for 2020 which outlines a list of activities including priorities for the coming year. The Committee members reviewed the activities and engaged in a discussion regarding the frequency at which they would like to discuss each of these activities in the coming year. For example, one Committee member suggested receiving the DNS security threats facilitation function updates on a quarterly basis. More generally, the Committee discussed the cadence and frequency of the Committee meetings and suggested a bi-monthly approach in addition to the public meetings and Board workshops.

    • Action Item:

      • Board Operations to work with OCTO to put together a draft schedule of Committee meetings for 2020.
  3. Update from Community Technical Advisory Committees – The Committee received an update from the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) liaison regarding RSSAC's elections for the new vice-chair. Previously, RSSAC was the only constituency that had a co-chair leadership structure. With the recent changes to the ICANN Bylaws, the RSSAC now has a chair and vice-chair, and on RSSAC's most recent call, the RSSAC unanimously accepted Brad Verd as the RSSAC vice-chair. The RSSAC liaison to the Board also noted that the Root Server System Governance Working Group (GWG) has started its recruitment process by sending out the call to a few committees.

    The Committee also received an update from the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) liaison to the Board. The SSAC liaison noted that Jay Daley will be stepping down as the NCAP administrative chair and from the SSAC after assuming his new role as the CEO of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The SSAC is starting its face-to-face meeting in Los Angeles to discuss its work for the fiscal year 2020. Additionally, the SSAC will be sending comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on quantum cryptography algorithms to raise awareness about certain algorithms with longer key size signatures. These comments address DNSSEC related concerns that the SSAC wanted NIST to take into consideration when choosing their candidate algorithms for standardization.

    The IETF liaison to the Board reported that the IETF meeting took place in Singapore in November and the meetings on DNS over HTTPS (DoH) resulted in the formation of the Application Behavior Considering DNS (ABCD) working group.

  4. Follow-up on the BTC/TEG/TLG Joint Meeting at ICANN66 – The Committee continued previous discussions during ICANN66 about the continued purpose for the various technical groups. The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) provided the Committee with an overview of the history and genesis of the Technical Liaison Group (TLG) and the Technical Experts Group (TEG). The TLG was formed and defined by the ICANN Bylaws consisting of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the International Telecommunications Union's Telecommunications Standardization Sector (ITU-T), and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). The TEG, which was created under the leadership of the previous ICANN Board Chair, is not defined within the ICANN Bylaws. The TEG is comprised of technical experts, including members of the TLG as well as other generic DNS and addressing experts including individuals from the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), registries, registrars and etc. When the Board Technical Committee was formed, it was decided that in addition to regular Committee meetings, the Committee should have open meetings that anyone could participate, with an intent of merging the Board Technical Committee open meeting with the TEG meetings.

    Following the CTO's historical overview, the Committee members offered their opinions on how to move forward with the TEG and TLG. One Committee member suggested combining the groups but noted that there might be an issue considering one group is defined within the ICANN Bylaws, while the other is not. Another Committee member didn't favor having either group defined within the ICANN Bylaws, but preferred something more open and flexible like the existing TEG.

    • Action Item:

      • The Committee members to engage with peer organizations within the TLG to find a way to improve it.
  5. AOB – The Committee Chair noted that following Board approval of the resolution to initiate the Root Server System Governance Working Group (GWG) at ICANN66, the Board will appoint two liaisons to the GWG, one serving as primary and one serving as secondary. An expression of interest will be circulated and the Board Governance Committee (BGC) will make the appointments.

    The Committee Chair also noted Committee member Nigel Robert's intention to step down from the Committee which has been accepted by the Committee without objection.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 21 January 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."