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Minutes | Board Technical Committee (BTC) Meeting

Board Member and Liaison Attendees: Harald Alvestrand, Alan Barrett, Edmon Chung, James Galvin, Akinori Maemura, Kaveh Ranjbar (Chair), Patricio Poblete, and Katrina Sataki

Other Board Members Present: Göran Marby (President and Chief Executive Officer) and Tripti Sinha

ICANN Organization Attendees: Adiel Akplogan (Vice President for Technical Engagement), Jennifer Bryce (Project Manager), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), Steve Conte (Director, IROS Operations), John Crain (SVP and Chief Technology Officer), Kim Davies (VP, IANA Services), Matt Larson (VP, Research), Andrew McConachie (Policy Development and Technology Director), David Olive (SVP, Policy Development Support and Managing Director), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Senior Manager), Erika Randall (Associate General Counsel), Carlos Reyes (Strategic Policy Planning Director - RSSAC & ASO Support), Steve Sheng (Senior Director, Policy Development Support & Technical Community Relations), and Sarah Zagha (Counsel)

Invited Guest: 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: Progress on Study 2 – The Committee received an update on the NCAP work from Matt Thomas, one of the co-chairs of the NCAP discussion group. He noted that Study 2 is progressing well. The case study for .CORP, .HOME, .MAIL, .LAND, .LOCAL, and .INTERNAL is in the process of being released to the community for public comment. In addition, a document formerly known as the data sensitivity analysis, which has been renamed to a prospective study of name collision data, will be released for public comment.

    Matt Thomas also reported that in parallel, research for the root cause analysis for the name collision reports ICANN received is being conducted. As well, the Discussion Group continues to work on responding to the Board's questions outlined in Board Resolution 2017.11.02.30, and to how to proceed on providing advice for risk assessments for name collisions going forward. The work product for Study 2, which will contain responses to the Board's questions, is on target for June 2022. It was clarified that the proposal for the work to be done in Study 3 will be conducted while the final product for Study 2 is out for public comment.

    The Committee also discussed whether the final outputs of the NCAP studies would be issued as SSAC advice or from the Board. The President and CEO urged that the SSAC issue formal advice as there is a clear process and mechanism for the Board to consider advice from the SSAC, and there's a defined role in the Bylaws for the SSAC to issue advice to the Board. The SSAC Liaison to the Board explained the process the SSAC intends to undertake to review the work of the NCAP Discussion Group, and noted the goal is for the SSAC to produce a cover note to the Board expressing its advice/views on the recommendations in the NCAP final reports.

    Matthew Thomas left the meeting following the NCAP update.

  2. Approval of Pending Committee Minutes - A member of the Board Operations team noted that an updated version of the minutes from the Committee's 23 November 2021 meeting had been circulated for online approval.
  3. Action Items Review – The Committee Chair established the agenda for the meeting. Updates to two open action items were given as noted below.

      • The action item regarding circulating the revised RZERC-003 paper to the Committee is completed.
      • The action item regarding the timing of Committee meetings in 2022 is in progress and was further discussed during the Any Other Business (AOB) portion of the meeting.
  4. Discussion with the CEO on SAC113 - Private-use TLDs – ICANN org's President and CEO and members of the Policy Support Team briefed the Committee about SAC113: SSAC Advisory on Private-Use TLDs. The briefing consisted of a discussion of what private use TLDs are, the issues they create (e.g. leaking queries), and SSAC's recommendations in SAC113. Also, the briefing included a recommendation from ICANN org about a possible four-step approach for addressing the SSAC's advice. The four steps discussed were: (1) providing a public comment period on the proceed approach, (2) instructing IANA to choose a string that meets the criteria outlined in SAC113, (3) providing a public comment period on the proposed string to ensure it adheres to the criteria in SAC113, and (4) reserving the proposed string in a Board Resolution.

    Committee members expressed their views about the proposed approach to address SAC113. Some Committee members expressed general support for the proposal, while also noting that the recommendations in SAC113 will not solve all name collision-related issues. Committee members also asked whether IANA would be expected to consult on options for candidate strings, and whether there would be an RFC or other method to document the reserved string, including in the Applicant Guidebook for subsequent rounds of the New gTLD Program. ICANN org members indicated that the decision on a candidate string would not be made in a silo, but would leverage input and all the thought that has gone into this issue over the years. It was also noted that there could be other steps taken to document the reserved name, including possibly in an RFC, but that is an additional step that could be discussed at a later point.

    A few Committee members expressed a concern about whether ICANN is the proper entity/organization to take the action to reserve a string as outlined in SAC113, or whether it should be the IETF. The President and CEO reported that there was specific outreach to the IAB and IETF, which indicated this decision is for ICANN. After further discussion, the Committee agreed that prior to taking this proposal to the full ICANN Board, this proposal be presented to the IAB, and if needed, the IETF for additional input, if any.

    • Action Item: ICANN org members to work with Harald Alvestrand to reach out to the IAB and IETF (as needed) regarding the proposed approach to addressing SAC113.
  5. RZERC-003 Implementation by IANA - Board Paper/Resolution – The Committee was provided with an update on RZERC-003 and implementing ZONEMD as a technology in the DNS root zone by the VP of IANA Services. The Committee was informed that a draft Board paper for the adoption of RZERC-003 was prepared and shared with the Committee in order to recommend it to the full ICANN Board for voting. The Committee agreed to recommend IANA's recommendations concerning RZERC-003 to the full ICANN Board.
  6. Study on Public Ledger Based Name Service – The Committee had an open discussion regarding public ledger-based name services led by the Chair. The Chair sought input as to the Committee's course of action regarding this issue. The Chair suggested allocating the next one or two Committee meetings to ensure the Committee is up to date with, and informed on, this issue, and suggested that the Committee subsequently have a discussion as to what next steps it will propose to the ICANN Board. It was noted that the issues of name collisions and distributed trust should be included in the Committee's discussion regarding public ledger-based name services. A Committee member also recommended that the full ICANN Board be invited to the briefing on alternate naming systems.

    • Action Item: The Chair to work with OCTO to create a briefing/presentation for the Committee (and ICANN Board) on Public Ledger Based Name Services/ alternate name spaces.
  7. Priority Project Updates – The Committee received an update on the following projects:

    • Root Zone Management Study: ICANN org members reported that the draft study was completed recently. It will be reviewed and is on target for public comment by Q2.
    • IMRS Strategy: ICANN org members reported that OCTO continues to revise the IMRS strategy, OCTO-16. Submission of the draft to the Committee is targeted for Q1.
    • 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. RSSAC058 has been published and the ICANN Board adopted Recommendations 1 and 2. The RSS GWG adopted the document as well in December 2021, and is currently reviewing the success criteria to incorporate those points into its proposal. Work is underway to develop a response to the 17 January 2022 from the RSS GWG Chair requesting that the Board reconsider the membership of the GWG, its working methods, and to adjust the timeline for the work plan. Lastly, ICANN org is finalizing the supporting organization model and is preparing to present that to the RSOs.
  8. Updates from Technical Liaisons – The Committee received an update from the following Board Technical Liaisons:

    • SSAC (James Galvin): The Committee was informed that SSAC will commence a work party to look at the space of DNSSEC key management. Specifically, the Work Party will look at the ability of users using DNS providers that are not the registrar to be able to maintain their keys for DNSSEC signing.
    • RSSAC (Kaveh Ranjbar): No significant updates to report.
    • Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) (Harald Alvestrand): The Committee was provided with an update about the IETF meeting scheduled from the 19-24 of March 2022, which is scheduled to have an in-person component.
  9. Any Other Business The Committee Chair suggested that the timing of the Committee's next six meetings be rotated between three time zones to ensure that individuals have the opportunity to join the meeting during their working hours at least once.

    • Action Item: The Chair to continue to work with the Board Operations Specialist on the proposed rotation schedule.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 3 March 2022

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."