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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, and Tripti Sinha.

Board Member with Apologies: Nigel Roberts.

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), and Sarah Zagha (Counsel).

Invited Guests: James Galvin and Matthew Thomas (Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) Name Collision Analysis Project (NCAP) Working Party (WP) chair) – 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) DG Admin 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 is on track to complete the five major tasks previously discussed with the Committee: (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 reported that four of the tasks are being worked on in parallel, and contractors have been engaged where appropriate. He also reported that a case study on .CORP, .HOME, and .MAIL is actively in progress, and that a document will be distributed to the discussion group for broad review once completed. Regarding the task of developing responses to the questions posed by the Board, the group is actively working through those. 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. The action item regarding OCTO working with Harald Alvestrand to conduct an analysis of SSAC's work on security risks remains open, and will be kicked off sometime after 10 August 2021.
  3. Priority Project Updates – The Committee received an update on the following projects:

    • Root Server System Governance Working Group (RSS-GWG): ICANN org members supporting the RSS-GWG gave a high-level update on the status of the work. They reported that after the June 2021 exchange of letters between the ICANN Board Chair and the Chair of the RSS-GWG, the RSS-GWG has been largely on hold while consultations with root server operators are being conducted. It was noted that the root server operators are developing a set of criteria for Root Server System governance, which will serve as input for the RSS-GWG's proposal. ICANN org team members continue to support these consultations and providing briefings to the Board as needed. The work of the RSS-GWG is anticipated to resume in September.
    • Domain Name System Security Facilitation Initiative (DSFI) Technical Study Group: The DSFI Technical Study Group has finished its draft of the final set of recommendations to present to the ICANN President and CEO. It has also identified the community members who will be included as part of a targeted technical-focused consultation period. The recommendations will be sent to those identified for their comments before a final version of the report is created. The Study Group is looking to have a finalized report completed by the September Board meeting.
  4. Updates from Technical Liaisons – The Committee received an update from the following Board Technical Liaisons:

    • SSAC (Merike Käo): Update provided as part of the discussion of Agenda Item #1 - BTC Session with the Name Collision Analysis Project (NCAP) DG Admin Co-Chair. Additionally, the SSAC is looking forward to discussing the Board's recent action on the recommendations in the SSR2 Final Report.
    • RSSAC (Kaveh Ranjbar): No significant updates to report.
    • Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) (Harald Alvestrand): The Committee discussed the various threads of work in the community (including SSAC and the IETF) relating to reserved private use TLDs.

      • Action Item:
        • Harald Alvestrand to continue gathering input and updates from the IETF regarding the reserved private use TLDs work.
  5. Any Other Business – The Committee discussed the following other busines:

    • RZERC Oversight and Charter: Members of the OCTO team reported that the RZERC Charter needs to be reviewed, which will be managed by the Board. The Board's recommendation is that the Committee provide oversight for the RZERC Charter review. ICANN org members have begun internal discussions about the appropriate process for the review and will provide updates to the Committee for further discussion.
    • Overview for Alternative Roots: Committee members requested a briefing on various proposals for alternative roots. The CTO suggested that the Committee develop a scoping statement to help focus the topics to be included in the briefing.
      • Action Item:

        • Lito Ibarra to work on a scoping statement/document with Tripti Sinha and others who would like to be involved. The scoping statement/document will be used by the OCTO team to prepare a briefing about various proposals for alternative roots.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 27 September 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."