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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.

ICANN Organization Attendees: Michelle Bright (Board Content Coordination Director), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), James Caufield (VP, Risk Management), David Conrad (Chief Technology Officer), John Crain (Chief Security, Stability & Resiliency Officer), Kim Davies (VP, IANA Services and President), Dan Halloran (Deputy General Counsel), Linna Hsii (Counsel), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Senior Director, Board Operations), Matt Larson (VP, Research), Erika Randall (Associate General Counsel) and Carlos Reyes (Strategic Policy Planning Director).

Invited Guests: James Galvin and Matthew Thomas (SSAC NCAP WP co-chairs and only present for agenda item 1. Name Collision Analysis Project (NCAP) update.)


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

  1. Name Collision Analysis Project (NCAP) Update – The Committee was introduced to the new NCAP Working Group (WG) Co-Chair Matthew Thomas and received an update from the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) on the progress of Study 1. The first draft of Study 1 was published for public comment from mid-February to the end of March. ICANN org received four comments and plans on publishing the staff report of the comments in due course. The next step is to revise the study based on the comments and make it available for a second round of public comments. The proposed timeline for the second public comment period will be from mid-April to the end of June. OCTO expects to deliver a final report of Study 1 to the Committee by 30 June 2020. Following the NCAP update, James Galvin and Matthew Thomas left the meeting.
  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:
    • Merike Käo to liaise with the Board Finance Committee (BFC) on the budgetary aspects of NCAP studies, if it continues – this item is in progress.
    • Review of the summary of the public comments received on the proposal for the future root zone rollover – this item is in progress and will be presented to the Committee at the next Committee meeting.
    • Publication of the high-level summary of the ICANN Managed Root Server (IMRS) strategy – this item is in progress and an updated will be provided during the Committee meeting.
    • The Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) team to develop a methodological study on how to place IMRS singles – this item is in progress.
    • The Committee Chair to liaise with the Technical Liaison Group (TLG) to find a way to improve it – this item is open and ongoing.
    • The Chief Information Officer (CIO) to engage with the Board to see what their needs are in relation to the existing collaboration tools – this item is in progress.
    • The Committee to work on messaging to the Technical Experts Group (TEG) – this item is in progress.
  3. Update on RSSAC037/RSSAC038 Implementation Process – The Strategic Policy Planning Director provided the Committee with an implementation update on RSSAC037 and RSSAC038. The newly elected Root Server System Governance Working Group (RSS GWG) Chair, Ted Hardie, recently presided over his first RSS GWG teleconference in this role. The RSS GWG Chair wants to ensure the group is familiar with the RSSAC037 governance model and concept paper. The RSS GWG Chair expects to be proactive, not only with the public comment process, but also when reporting to the Board and community.

    • Action Item:

      • The Strategic Policy Planning Director and the RSS GWG Chair will work on a structure and format to deliver RSSAC037 and RSSAC038 implementation updates to the Committee.
  4. DNS Security Facilitation Initiative (DSFI) Update – The Chief Security, Stability & Resiliency Officer informed the Committee that Merike Käo will lead the Technical Study Group and that a series of meetings have already been scheduled.
  5. Update on Root Zone Management (RZM) Evolution Project – The OCTO Team provided the Committee with an update on the Request for Proposal (RFP) process to engage a contractor to perform the Root Zone Update Process Study. The study is expected to begin around July 2020 and take approximately 6 months to complete.
  6. Update on ICANN Managed Root Server (IMRS) Strategy – The OCTO Team discussed the three deliverables for the IMRS Strategy. The first deliverable is a high-level summary of the IMRS Strategy which will be published in due course. The second deliverable is to conduct a study on how to locate IMRS singles. The project is currently yielding good results and OCTO expects to publish a draft of the study by June 2020. The third deliverable is to run a public comment on the hyperlocal deployment plans planned for later this year.
  7. Update from SSAC and RSSAC Relevant Activity – The Committee received an update on a number of Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) and Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) activities including the Security, Stability and Resiliency Review 2 (SSR2) comment period, the Board Advice Tracker which ICANN org has made continual improvements, the DNS Abuse Working Party which is progressing well, the SSAC DNS ecosystem threat scan which is starting to pick up again and working through conducting an SSAC virtual meeting.

    The Committee also received an update about RSSAC's statement on joining the Empowered Community. With the changes anticipated in RSSAC037 combined with the recommendations in RSSAC038, RSSAC foresees its future as a part of the Empowered Community. The Committee engaged in a discussion about the possibility of this transition.

  8. AOB – The VP, IANA Services provided the Committee with an update on the Root Key Signing Key (KSK) ceremony and indicated that the restrictions on international travel and guidance to limit gatherings of people because of COVID-19 challenges ICANN org's ability to perform the key ceremonies according to policy. Therefore, ICANN org is developing contingencies around holding a key ceremony without the full complement of external parties that would typically be present at a KSK ceremony.

    The VP, IANA Services outlined various options that were developed to hold the KSK ceremony in light of the current conditions. One potential option entails holding a KSK ceremony with the minimal amount of ICANN staff that is necessary to hold a successful ceremony. There would be no Trusted Community Representatives (TCRs) or independent auditor in the ceremony, but instead, remote participation would be enhanced to allow TCRs to have the ability to interject into the ceremony proceedings if they have questions, concerns, or comments.

    The Committee was also briefed on the efforts undertaken by ICANN org to carry out the options outlined in contingency plans. These efforts include working with the KSK facility operator and the TCRs to make sure all preparations are in place, and engaging with the community through industry mailing lists, the Root Zone Evolution Review Committee and other forums to seek feedback for how best to conduct the ceremony. One of the changes that resulted from community feedback is the signing of nine months of key materials rather than six months. This will ensure a balance between not signing too far ahead while still being conservative about the timeline of the current pandemic.

    Another concern raised by community members focused on how to involve non-US based participants in the ceremony. To address this, ICANN org has focused on using enhanced remote participation tools to ensure broader participation and inclusion.

    As part of the briefing to the Committee, it was noted that the ICANN DNSSEC Policy Management Authority was convened to approve changes to the DNSSEC Practice Statement to account for the contingency plans. The next step is present the contingency plans to the Board for approval. After some discussion, the Committee decided to recommend to the Board for approval the contingency plans for holding the KSK ceremony.

    The Committee also received an update on Internet Engineering Task Force 107 (IETF 107) which was a virtual meeting much like ICANN67. The Adaptive DNS Discovery (ADD) session was of particular interest as it showed that the discussion of DNS over TLS (DoH) and DNS over HTTPs (DoT) has largely moved away from the protocols.

    The OCTO team members reported that they have initiated a new research project to track New IP, which appears to be primarily a Huawei-driven initiative. As OCTO continues to gather new information from organizations like Huawei and the European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI), OCTO will provide the Committee with updates.

    • Action Items:

      • The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to share briefing notes regarding New IP with the Committee.
      • The CTO to continue researching New IP and provide the Committee with periodic updates.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 08 June 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."