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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: León Sánchez.

ICANN Organization Attendees: Adiel Akplogan (Vice President for Technical Engagement), Michelle Bright (Board Content Coordination Director), James Caufield (VP, Risk Management), David Conrad (Chief Technology Officer), Steve Conte (Office of the CTO Programs Director), John Crain (Chief Security, Stability & Resiliency Officer), Linna Hsii (Counsel), Jana Juginovic (Senior Director, Communications and Content), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Senior Director, Board Operations), Matt Larson (VP, Research), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Senior Manager), Erika Randall (Associate General Counsel), Ashwin Rangan (SVP Engineering & Chief Information Officer), Carlos Reyes (Strategic Policy Planning Director), Lisa Saulino (Board Operations Specialist) and Mark Segall (Director, Community Collaboration Solutions Delivery).

Invited Guests: James Galvin (SSAC NCAP WP co-chair 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 – Matt Larson, the VP of Research and James Galvin, the co-chair of the SSAC NCAP working party, provided the Committee with an update on the status of NCAP Study 1 which has been made available for public comment. Following the close of the public comment period, ICANN org will prepare a staff report along with a finalized version of Study 1 to be delivered to the Committee by 30 June 2020. James Galvin left the meeting following the NCAP update.
  2. Action Items Review – The Committee reviewed the open action items and addressed the following:

    • The SVP of Engineering and CIO to continue discussions with the SO and AC leaders about how to support public Zoom sessions – this item is in progress and ongoing.
    • The CTO to send Committee member Tripti Sinha a short paragraph with updates on 1) the expansion of the IMRS clusters; and 2) projects associated with the IMRS strategy – this item is in progress.
    • ICANN org to provide the Committee with advice on next steps if Committee falls below the critical limit of quorum – this item is in progress.
    • The Chief Security, Stability & Resiliency Officer to provide responses to additional questions from Committee member Tripti Sinha and share with the rest of the Committee these discussions as necessary – this item has been completed.
    • 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 – this item has been completed and an update will be provided in today's meeting.
    • The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to share briefing notes regarding New IP with the Committee – this item is in progress.
    • The CTO to continue researching New IP and provide the Committee with periodic updates – this item is in progress.
  3. Strategic Plan Goals Oversight – The Committee reviewed the strategic plan goals and focused its attention on a few projects outlined in the goals and engaged in a discussion on the shared oversight of these projects with other Board committees.
  4. Project Updates – The Committee received an update on the following projects:

    • Root Server System Governance Working Group (GWG): The Strategic Policy Planning Director provided the Committee with an update on the GWG and shared with the Committee the GWG's first report. As part of the GWG Charter, the Strategic Policy Planning Director will continue to provide regular updates to the Committee on behalf of the GWG during each Committee meeting going forward.

      The GWG has been meeting every other week since its formation in February 2020. The first series of teleconferences focused on reviewing the source documents that have informed the current work. These documents include, but are not limited to RSSAC037: A Proposed Governance Model for the DNS Root Server System; RSSAC038: Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) Advisory on a Proposed Governance Model for the DNS Root Server System; the Concept Paper on a community-driven process to develop a final model based on RSSAC037; SSAC106, which is the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC's) input to the public comment proceeding; and RSSAC042, which is RSSAC's statement on the independence of the root server operators.

      As part of this review, the GWG has also received briefings from different functions within ICANN org. GWG's first decision was to adopt all the source documents, and the group is now focusing on financial matters. The GWG has agreed that depending on what the new model is, the current financial model does not need to be maintained. Instead, the discussion will focus on evolving the financial function. More immediately, the GWG is focused on creating the Strategy, Architecture and Policy Function (SAPF). Since the SAPF will be the main point of interaction for the root server operator community and the root server system stakeholders, the GWG will focus on it more closely in the coming weeks. The Strategic Policy Planning Director also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has not impacted the GWG's work and that the work plan is largely on track.

    • ICANN Managed Root Server (IMRS): the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) noted that the high-level IMRS strategy is in its final review and expects to publish it in due course.
    • Root Zone Update Process Study: the Root Zone Update Process Study was called for by the IANA transition proposal. The study is proposed to look at the process for the root zone management function and see if any changes are recommended. Currently, there is a Request for Proposal (RFP) open to select a contractor to conduct the work. Based on feedback from the bidders thus far, the timeline for the work may need to be reevaluated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  5. Information Transparency Initiative (ITI) Update and Demo – The Committee received a short refresher of the ITI project and was given a demo of a few new features from the ITI team.

    The ICANN website is in active development and not all features are currently available. The ITI team is working with community members to get their feedback on specific features and making periodic releases of these features as they become available. The feedback has been positive particularly around the new search feature. The ITI team provided a demo of new content and features focused on specific reviews, blogs, and multilingual navigation.

    The Committee also received an update on the new cadence for delivery of updates, which will occur every six weeks. The ITI team is also working on a roadmap that will leverage the six-week delivery cycles to determine the number of cycles needed to get to launch.

  6. Update from Technical Liaisons – The SSAC liaison to the Board, Merike Käo, provided the Committee with an update on SSAC's work, which includes moving ahead with the DNS work party as well as helping shepherd the Name Collision Analysis Project (NCAP) work. The SSAC is also trying to reprioritize to focus more on the DNS environmental scan work. The RSSAC liaison to the Board, Kaveh Ranjbar, provided the Committee with an update on the GWG and its progress as well as upcoming workshops about root server financials and the service level expectations.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 20 August 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."