ICANN63 focuses on security, new gTLDs, IDN E-mail software


The global Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN, has completed its 63rd International Public Meeting in Barcelona, an open forum to discuss a range of current issues related to global domain space development. The delegation of Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ took an active part in the discussions as well as debates on the sidelines of the conference; the Russian experts shared their experiences and best practices with their foreign colleagues.

An important discussion, which triggered a storm of emotion among some national delegations, took place at a meeting of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and focused on the possible suspension of the procedure for notifying national governments of the registration of two-character labels corresponding to country codes at the second-level for new gTLDs. This issue was already raised at ICANN61 in Puerto Rico in March 2018. Then it was announced that governments would be notified of such domains directly. The China and UAE delegations sharply objected to the abolition of the notification procedure at this GAC meeting, so the discussion will continue.

At the ISPCP section organized by the ICANN working group on interaction with internet operators and traffic exchange points, a representative of Canada said that one of the country's main problems in this area is traffic localization. Currently, about 40% of domestic Canadian traffic goes through the US, and Canadian authorities are concerned about data privacy. The speaker cited a recent example: a huge number of buyer requests from Canada, where marijuana is legal now, to the store's server, which is also located in Canada, are channeled through the United States. Therefore, the Canadian authorities are concerned about extremely sensitive information for Canadians that can be compromised.

Participants in the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) meeting discussed additional funding for the deployment of ICANN-managed L-servers. According to ICANN's CTO David Conrad, attacks against servers are growing almost exponentially, and the problem can no longer be resolved through traditional methods. Simply increasing the number of servers and expanding the bandwidth no longer helps, he said. Last year, the biggest attack on the L-root cloud peaked at more than 1.5 terabits per second, which was unprecedented. New measures will have to be developed that will require significant funding. The possible allocation of funds to other root server operators for the same purposes is also being discussed.

During ICANN63, the community was informed that the Open Data Initiative test period has ended and it is now turning into a working Open Data Project. Through this mechanism, ICANN will provide advanced statistics on new and old generic top-level domains, including data that has become available as a result of the work of the Domain Abuse Activity Reporting (DAAR) project that explores the use of domain names for malicious purposes. The data will be impersonal, in the form of generalized statistics. Several country zones have joined the DAAR project, including Kazakhstan.

Participants in the session on internationalized domains and the Universal Acceptance program were informed that Microsoft had enabled internationalized names in its most popular email product, Outlook – an important change not only for the technical community, but also for a large number of internet users. Therefore, the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) is currently working on materials for users, journalists and developers in different languages, and is willing to share them with everyone for educational purposes.

“Some of the issues raised at ICANN63 are very relevant for Russian internet users,” said Director of the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ Andrey Vorobyev. “For example, full support for Outlook mail on non-Latin alphabet domains will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the growth and development of the Russian Cyrillic domain .РФ. The security issues many countries are working on are no less sensitive for us, and we are also ready to contribute to the common cause. In general, I must say the ICANN meeting was very intense and productive,” he noted.