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Minutes | Board Technical Committee (BTC) Meeting

Board Member and Liaison Attendees: Harald Alvestrand, Avri Doria, Rafael Lito Ibarra, Merike Käo, Akinori Maemura (Chair), Mandla Msimang, Patricio Poblete, Kaveh Ranjbar, Nigel Roberts and Tripti Sinha.

Other Board Members and Liaisons in Attendance: Manal Ismail.

ICANN Organization Attendees: Adiel Akplogan (Vice President for Technical Engagement), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), David Conrad (Chief Technology Officer), John Crain (Chief Security, Stability, and Resiliency Officer), Kinga Kowalcyzk (OCTO Administrative Assistant), Matt Larson (VP, Research), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Senior Manager), Erika Randall (Associate General Counsel), Ashwin Rangan (SVP, Engineering and Chief Information Officer), Carlos Reyes (Strategic Policy Planning Director).

Invited Guests: James Galvin and Matthew Thomas (Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) Name Collision Analysis Project (NCAP) Working Party (WP) co-chairs) – only present for agenda item no. 1.


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

  1. BTC Session with the Name Collision Analysis Project (NCAP) Co-Chairs – The Committee received an update on the NCAP work from James Galvin, one of the co-chairs of the NCAP discussion group. He noted that the group has broken down its work into five tasks: (i) developing responses to the questions outlined in the Board's November 2017 resolution, (ii) root cause analysis, (iii) case study analysis of CORP, HOME, and MAIL, (iv) data collection from the root zone and global resolvers, and (v) analysis of outputs from items (i) – (iv) to produce the final work product for the Board. He also reported that the work continues to be on target for completion in June 2022.

    James Galvin and Matthew Thomas left the meeting following the NCAP update.

  2. Action Items Review – The Committee Chair established the agenda for the meeting and reviewed the open action items. OCTO team members noted that the only open action item concerned a joint blog between OCTO and the Committee, which was scheduled for publication in advance of ICANN71.
  3. DNS Ecosystem Risk Matrix – The SSAC Liaison to the Board provided the Committee with an update about the SSAC's work to share a risk matrix of the DNS ecosystem to the Board and/or relevant Board Committees, taking into account the sensitivity of the information. The Committee discussed the possibility of having a discussion with the Board Risk Committee to understand if there are risks identified in the SSAC's assessment that should also be captured as part of ICANN's risk register.

    Committee members also engaged in a discussion about the scope of the risks addressed in the SSAC's risk matrix. The SSAC Liaison to the Board noted that the SSAC's work took a broad view of the DNS ecosystem, and as a result, there may be threats and risks identified in the SSAC assessment where ICANN has no role. The Committee also discussed the possibility of including the topic of the risk matrix on the agenda for the joint meeting between the upcoming meeting between the SSAC and the Committee.

    • Action Item:

      • Harald Alvestrand to work with the OCTO team on comparison of SSAC risk matrix to ICANN org's risk assessment, including identifying areas that are within ICANN's remit.
  4. Priority Project Updates – The Committee received an update on the following projects:

    • Root Server System Governance Working Group (RSS-GWG):  The RSS-GWG is largely on hold while consultations with root server operators are underway. ICANN org team members continue to support weekly calls with the root server operators, and the root server operators are reviewing the GWG documents and providing feedback. There are a series of joint meetings scheduled during June to gather feedback on the current state of the GWG proposal, including between the GWG and the Committee, as well as the GWG and the root server operators.

      The Committee members shepherding the work of the GWG reiterated that the documents being produced by the GWG are still works and progress, and the GWG wants to get more input from the root server operators before getting closer to a final version of its proposal.

    • Root Zone Management (RZM) Evolution Project: The project is progressing as planned and is still scheduled to be completed in late 2021 or early 2022.
    • Domain Name System Security Facilitation Initiative (DSFI) Technical Study Group: The DSFI Technical Study Group has finished discussing all of the various attack vectors and also mitigations that are in place to address the identified attack vectors. The Study Group has also identified possible gaps in mitigation and are working to settle on a final set of recommendations to present to the ICANN President and CEO. The Study Group is looking to have a draft ready in August and is working to identify community members/ groups to include as part of a targeted technical-focused consultation period.
  5. Updates from Technical Liaisons – The Committee received an update from the following Board Technical Liaisons:

    • SSAC (Merike Käo): The SSAC is looking forward to reviewing community and Board input on SAC114: SSAC Comments on the GNSO New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Draft Final Report. The SSAC is also looking forward to a joint meeting with the Committee in the coming weeks to discuss DNS abuse, SAC115, and the risk matrix of the DNS ecosystem.
    • RSSAC (Kaveh Ranjbar): Updates provided as part of the discussion of Agenda Item #4 – Root Server System Governance Working Group.
    • Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) (Harald Alvestrand): No significant updates to report.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 02 August 2021

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."