Internet Architecture Board


IAB Minutes 2013-02-06

Home»Documents»Minutes»Minutes 2013»IAB Minutes 2013-02-06

Minutes of the 2013-02-06 IAB Teleconference (Tech Chat)

1. Attendance


  • Jari Arkko
  • Marc Blanchet
  • Ross Callon
  • Alissa Cooper
  • Lars Eggert (IRTF Chair)
  • Mat Ford (ISOC Liaison)
  • Joel Halpern
  • Russ Housley (IETF Chair)
  • David Kessens
  • Stephanie McCammon (AMS, scribe)
  • Danny McPherson
  • Jon Peterson
  • Dave Thaler
  • Hannes Tschofenig


  • Thomas Narten


  • Bernard Aboba (IAB Chair)
  • Mary Barnes (IAB Executive Director)
  • Spencer Dawkins
  • Heather Flanagan (RFC Editor Liaison)
  • Cindy Morgan (IAB Executive Assistant)
  • Robert Sparks (IESG Liaison)

2. Tech Chat: ICANN Update – Thomas Narten

Thomas Narten, the IETF Liaison to ICANN Board of Directors, led the board in a discussion about the current state of ICANN.

The IAB discussed the perception of ICANN’s role in numbering policy development; in reality, policy creation is delegated to the regional Internet registries and ICANN has no authority.

With IPv4 depleted and large IPv6 blocks assigned to the registries, there is now less interaction between IANA and the registries. This may become an issue later on if the registries request additional address blocks and there is no record of how the existing blocks were used.

The IAB discussed past IETF issues with ICANN’s handling of the IANA function, but noted that things have been running smoothly now for a while. That said, there is still a portion of the Internet community that supports the idea of moving things out of ICANN. Lawrence Strickling of NTIA has been supportive of the multi-stakeholder model for IANA while noting areas where ICANN can improve.

Thomas Narten explained how board seats work in ICANN, noting that IETF has a non-voting liaison seat. Dave Thaler pointed out that the ICANN Technical Liaison Group (TLG) web page <> lists the IAB representative as “TBA,” and asked if the listing was a historical artifact. Thomas replied that the IAB could have a seat on the TLG if they wanted one, but there may be little point in that since as the way the TLG is currently structured, not much work is done there. Thomas noted that ICANN is aware of the issues with the TLG structure, but making changes to it is a lower priority.

Thomas Narten described the current IETF Liaison role, noting that it is a full-time non-voting position. That said, even as a non-voting liaison, the person has the ability to influence and inform the debates on technical issues. The ICANN Board is looking for technical experts; because experts’ employers at times engage in business with ICANN, conflicts of interest may arise. There have been concerns about the transparency of those conflicts in the past, and Thomas noted that currently six of the 21 board members are conflicted. This will be a challenge for the IAB when appointing the new Liaison to the ICANN Board of Directors.

The following slides were presented:

–Begin Slide Deck–

Slide 1: ICANN Update 

  Thomas Narten 
  Feb 6, 2012 

Slide 2: ICANN Mission (Bylaws) 

  I. "… coordinate, at the overall level, the global Internet's 
     systems of unique identifiers, and in particular to ensure the 
     stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier 
     systems. In particular:" 
     - Domain Names 
     - IP addresses and AS numbers 
     - Protocol port and parameter numbers 

  II. Coordinates the operation and evolution of the DNS root name 
     server system. 

  III.Coordinates policy development reasonably and appropriately 
     related to these technical functions. 

Slide 3: Key Principles 

  - Maintain Stability & Security 
  - Promote competition where feasible and appropriate
  - Multi-stakeholder
    + End users, technical community, registries, registrars, etc. 
    + Includes Governments, who have a seat at the table 

Slide 4: Support Organizations

  - SOs is where actual policy work is done 
    + Board doesn't (normally) do policy, but approves policy that comes 
      out of SOs 
  - Address Support Organizations (ASO) – RIRs 
    + Reality is ICANN does little; policy done in RIRs, address IANA/
      RIR transactions are now rare 
  - Generic Names Support Organization (GNSO) 
    + All policy related to generic DNS names 
    + Developed the new gTLD program 
  - Country Code Name Support Organization (ccNSO) 
    + Country code TLD policy 
    + Note: ICANN has no real authority over ccTLDs 

Slide 5: Advisory Committees

  - Provide advice to Board and other parts of ICANN
  - Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC)
    + Not exactly the same thing as the root server operators
  - Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC)
    + Issue security-related reports
    + Strong credibility within ICANN community
  - At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) – End users
  - Government Advisory Committee (GAC) – Governments
    + Over 100 members, appointed by governments

Slide 6: ICANN Board

  - 16 voting members:
    + 2 appointed by ccNSO
    + 2 appointed by ASO
    + 2 appointed by GNSO
    + CEO is board member
    + 1 appointed by At-Large
    + 8 appointed by Nomcom
  - 5 non-voting Liaisons

Slide 7: History (Lest We Forget...)

  - Created in 1998 to move identifier system out from USG and into 
    private sector
    + Once free DNS names starting to have financial value...
  - ICANN as an organization struggled from very beginning
    + Limited resources (sometimes paycheck to paycheck)
    + High expectations from community
    + Limited tools
    + Flawed structure
    + Used heavy-handed tactics (of its own doing) that alienated those 
      that should have been natural allies

Slide 8: History (cont.)

  - 2002: ICANN 2.0 brings ALAC, SSAC into ICANN
  - 2002: board member Karl Auerbach sues ICANN and wins
  - 2003: Verisign unveils sitefinder, backs down under ICANN and 
    community pressure
  - 2004: Verisign sues ICANN, questions ICANN's very legitimacy
  - 2004: ccNSO created
  - 2005: ICANN & Verisign settle, relationship has been great ever 

Slide 9: Today

  - ICANN is broadly accepted today (mostly)
    + Talk is about improving ICANN, not killing it
  - NTIA (Larry Strickling) has been a strong advocate for ICANN and 
    multi-stakeholder model
    + But has also not been shy about giving honest criticism
  - DNS Industry is a big business
    + $ 100M in funding behind new gTLD applications
    + 2013 ICANN budget of $70M, 150 employees plus contractors
  - 3 week long meetings, 1200-ish attendees
  - But ICANN still faces numerous challenges...

Slide 10: New gTLD Program

  - 2005-2007: GNSO develops new gTLD policy
    + Lot of discussion, history and principles embedded, e.g., put few 
      limits on use, do not restrict who can have a TLD, etc.
  - 2008: Approved by board, move to "implementation" phase
    + In practice, difference between policy and implementation has been 
      blurred, so many implementation questions involve going back to 
      community for input/discussion
  - June, 2001: board formally launches program
  - Jan 2012: Application period opens
  - April 2012: TLD Applicant System (TAS) goes offline due to "glitch -
    stays offline for 5 weeks
  - June 2012: list of applied-for strings posted (1930 applications)

Slide 11: New gTLD Program (cont)

  - June 2012: ICANN kills "digital archery" program for prioritizing 
  - Nov 2012: GAC issues 242 "early warnings"
    + E.g., concerns about names in "regulated" markets, geographic 
    names, generic names, etc.
  - Dec 2012: ICANN hosts prioritization draw
  - Coming soon:
    + Clearinghouse Launch
    + URS launch
    + Pre-delegation applicant testing
    + Results of string confusability evaluations
    + Overall evaluation results...

Slide 12: And If New gTLDs Aren't Enough

  - "Regular" business includes:
  - RAA negotiations (details of contract between ICANN and registries/
  - WHOIS accuracy: unsolved problem for 10 years, ICANN is now 
    launching a serious effort to address the "whois problem"
  - IDN Variants: Policy and technical work not completed, but 
    tremendous pressure from community to launch anyway
  - ATRT reviews mandated by Affirmation of Commitments
    + Every 3 years, about to restart 2nd round review of
      accountability and transparency

Slide 13: Additional Business...

  - Bylaws mandate periodic reviews of ICANN structures (9 in various 
    stages of processing)
    + RSSAC, SSAC, Nomcom, GNSO, ALAC, Board, ...
  - Operating IANA (IETF, DNS root zone maintenance)
    + Complicated relationship with NTIA
  - WHOIS compliance
    + DNS is a vector for abuse: phising, cybersquatting, fraud, etc.
    + ICANN blamed for many failings (often incorrectly), but has only a 
      limited set of tools (or authority) to address issues
  - IGF (WCIT, WPTF, IGF, WSIS, ...)
    + ICANN is in the bulls eye
    + Organization that is the key target for Internet Governance
    + Governments care a lot about topic generally and care specifically 
      about ccTLD issues and cybercrime

Slide 14: Previous 18 Months

  - The number of activities on ICANN's plate would be quite a challenge 
    even if ICANN were a smoothly running, well-oiled machine...
  - ICANN switched CEOs in 2012
  - 5-week TAS suspension due to “glitch”
  - Digital Archery approach to prioritization widely viewed as a 
  - ICANN needed a second try to get IANA contract
  - Ethics and conflicts issues changed how the board operates
    + New gTLD committee of non-conflicted members acts as board on new 
      gTLD issues 

Slide 15: Looking Forward

  - CEO Fadi Chehadi has ushered in a "new season"
  - Strong focus on execution and operational excellence
  - Brought in a very strong management team
  - Rolling out matrix management 101 internally
  - Indeed, lots of "101" stuff being rolled out...
  - But a lot of hard work to be done...

Slide 16: Liaison Role

  - In practice, liaison has been full time board member, without vote
    + Vote isn't the important part, ability to inform the debate is the 
      critical part – most decisions end up being consensus
  - "Technical" liaisons provide key technical input as board skill set 
  - Occasional talk about "role" of liaison
    + Not fully participate?
    + Provide input only when asked?
    + On the whole, importance of liaisons is well recognized
  - It takes significant time
    + Travel alone starts at a month per year (3 workshops + 3 
    + Steep learning curve – broad range of issues
    + Lot of work done in committees – need to participate

–End Slide Deck–