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Minutes | Board Technical Committee (BTC) Meeting

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

Board Member with Apologies: Merike Käo.

Other Board Members in Attendance: Avri Doria and Matthew Shears.

ICANN Organization Attendees: Adiel Akplogan (Vice President for Technical Engagement), Susanna Bennett (SVP Chief Operating Officer), Mike Brennan (Meetings Technical Services Project Manager), David Conrad (Chief Technology Officer), John Crain (Chief Security, Stability & Resiliency Officer), Samantha Eisner (Deputy General Counsel), Linna Hsii (Counsel), Aaron Jimenez (Board Operations Senior Coordinator), Jana Juginovic (Senior Director, Communications & Content), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Senior Director, Board Operations), Cyrus Namazi (SVP Global Domains Division), Ashwin Rangan (SVP Engineering & Chief Information Officer) and Mike Takahashi (Web Strategy & Content Senior Manager).


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

  1. Approval of Minutes – The Committee approved the Minutes of the 4 December 2019 meeting.

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

    • Board Operations to work with the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to develop a draft schedule of Committee meetings for 2020 – this has been completed.
    • Committee members to engage with peer organizations within the Technical Liaison Group (TLG) to find a way to improve it – this item is in progress.
    • Committee members to identify areas within the existing Board collaboration tools that do not meet their needs – this item is in progress.
  3. Review and Approval of the Recommendations for the Technical Utilization of Root Zone Label Generation Rules by the Board IDN-UA WG – The Committee Chair presented a Board briefing paper and a draft Board resolution regarding the technical utilization of root zone label generation rules for the Committee's review. The Committee reviewed the draft materials and approved them to be submitted to the Board for consideration.

  4. Update on the DNS Facilitation Function – The Chief Security, Stability & Resiliency Officer provided the Committee with an update on ICANN org's work to improve the DNS ecosystem security, which is an integral part of the FY21-25 Strategic Plan, as well the CEO's goals for Fiscal Year 2020. To help guide the project, a Steering Group made up of Board members (Harald Alvestrand, Danko Jevtovic and Merike Käo) and senior ICANN org staff (David Conrad, Göran Marby and Ashwin Rangan) has been formed. The Chief Security, Stability & Resiliency Officer reported that he has been tasked to lead the project along with a project manager and a technical writer, which the team is in the process of hiring. The Steering Group had its initial meeting at the beginning of the year and decided to form a Technical Study Group (TSG) to help facilitate discussions.

    The decision to form a TSG was based on the understanding that this project is not purely a technical project, but also an external-facing operational project. The structure of the TSG would allow ICANN org to bring in expertise from the broader community while allowing for a level of transparency and interactions with both the ICANN community and other affected communities. A project documentation process has also been developed for the TSG, along with a draft TSG Charter and project plan that will be presented to the Steering Group for input. There have also been some discussions around costing and looking to previous TSGs for information.

  5. Update on Information Transparency Initiative (ITI) – The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) provided the Committee with an overview of the various milestones the ITI has reached to date along with a list of the soft launch deliverables for April 2020. The CTO summarized some of the issues that the team has encountered, including issues related to the migration work streams and the need to develop an authoring system on top of the existing document management system.

    The Senior Director of Communications and Content provided the Committee with a demonstration on some of the improvements made within the ITI interface. Among other things, the demonstration included an overview of the new authoring system and some of the improvements made to the public comment process that were developed in reponse to feedback from the ICANN community.

  6. AOB – The Committee took note of a written update from the Strategic Policy Planning Director on the onboarding process for the Root Server Governance Working Group (GWG). The goal is to convene a first call of the GWG in late January/early February.

    The Committee Chair also received an update on Study 1 of the Name Collision Analysis Project (NCAP). The CTO noted that his team has received a first draft of the report, and the NCAP discussion group has reviewed and provided comments on the draft. The CTO expects to receive a completed draft of Study 1 by end of January with the intent of initiating a public comment period in February.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 01 April 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."