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Minutes - Regular Meeting of the PTI Board | 24 June 2018

A Regular Meeting of the PTI Board of Directors was held in Panama City, Panama on 24 June 2018 at 12:15 pm local time.

The following Directors participated in all or part of the meeting: Lise Fuhr (Chair), Akram Atallah, David Conrad, Kim Davies (PTI President) and Wei Wang.

Secretary: Samantha Eisner (PTI Secretary).

The following Executives and Staff participated in all or part of the meeting: Becky Nash (PTI Treasurer); Wendy Profit (Board Operations Specialist (ICANN)); Lisa Saulino (Board Operations Senior Coordinator).

The Chair called the meeting to order and introduced the agenda.

  1. Minutes of Prior Meeting

    The PTI Board approved the following resolution:

    Resolved (PTI2018.06.24.01) the minutes of the 13 March 2018 meeting are approved.

    All members in attendance approved of Resolution PTI.2018.06.24.01.

  2. Operational Updates

    Finance Update

    Becky Nash provided the Board with a financial overview, including year to date financials based on the actuals through May, noting that there is a variance of US2.6 million under the budget for FY18, related to lower personnel and professional services, partially due to the timing of open positions and a delay in hiring positions that were budgeted for this fiscal year. In addition, PTI has not had to access the budgeted contingency.

    Becky also provided an overview of the FY20 planning timeline. Some of the key dates include having a draft approved for publication for public comment around the middle of September, with an anticipated PTI Board approval around December 2018.This will allow the PTI budget work to conclude before the broader ICANN consolidated budget planning. This timeline is earlier than the FY19 cycle.

    The Chair asked for a call with the PTI Board to review the proposed draft budget before the Board is expected to approve it for release for public comment. Becky confirmed that would be scheduled.

    PTI Operations

    The PTI President provided an update on PTI performance and ongoing activities. First with the numbering functions, the PTI President reported that PTI met its SLAs 100% of the time for the reporting cycle. In addition, the numbering community convened its first IANA Review Committee as specified under its agreement with ICANN. It is an annual process through which they have community volunteers come together, review the prior 12 months of performance of the IANA numbering function, and make an assessment if any changes are needed. The Committee stated: said "There has been no indication of failure or near failure by the IANA Numbering Services Operator to meet its obligations under the SLA. There were no concerning or interesting patterns detected with respect to the performance of the IANA Number Services Operations. There's been no indication from the Internet number community of any concerns regarding the performance of the IANA numbering services nor the inability of the IANA Number Services Operations to meet the needs and expectations of its customers, namely the Internet number community. The review committee is confident that there was sufficient community outreach and community involvement in order to support and enhance the multi-stakeholder model in a transparent, open, and bottom-up process in this review of the performance of the IANA numbering services."

    For the protocol parameters functions, there is a monthly SLA that has been met 100% of the time. PTI attended an IETF meeting since the last report to the Board, and met with IETF leadership, with a significant focus on GDPR remediation.

    For the naming faction, there have been three performance reports since the last PTI Board meeting. For the May report, PTI achieved 100% performance to the SLAs. For March and April, the performance was less than 100%, with variances related to the time it takes for the automated technical checks to perform tests. This has previously been identified as an issue with the CSC, which agrees that the SLA is too tight, and CSC is reviewing how to update those SLAs. If the SLA were set at the proposed new measure, PTI would have satisfied the SLA. Akram Atallah confirmed that the majority of the SLAs originally included in the contract came about based on the existing metrics, but there are times when the having a variance in a few minutes is not material, so the CSC is willing to modify the SLA to a point where it will be less aggressive. There is also internal work being done to make technical fixes. David Conrad inquired as to the status of the technical fixes, and the PTI President discussed some of the internal technical issues with making inputs to the current version of the RZMS system, as opposed to waiting for an update to the system that is over a year away.

    The PTI President continued that for March, there was also an SLA failure with respect to how long ccTLD transfers take, as there was one transfer in the period that exceeded the SLA by 18 days. The CSC was not concerned with this variance, as the metric developed for transfers of ccTLDs was not based upon a lot of historical data, and ccTLD transfers are infrequent and known to be widely variable in how long they take to process. Even with those variances, the CSC found PTI's March and April performance to be satisfactory, and excellent for May.

    The Chair inquired as to how the ccTLD operator at issue perceived the length of time for the transfer.

    The PTI President will confirm, but to his understanding, there was no issue with the timeline. There tends to be iteration and communication between PTI and the requester during a transfer process. David Conrad asked If the SLA measured the entirety of time from the submission of the request, or only the time that PTI was actually processing the application, and the PTI President confirmed that the SLA only measures the time that PTI is processing the application, and does not include the time that the requester might take in responding to PTI queries for clarification or additional information.

    David Conrad inquired about the view of participation of PTI at the various meetings across the numbers community and if there is a need for attendance across all five RIR's meetings on an annual basis, or if there could be a consolidated meeting with the NRO once a year.

    The PTI President noted that it is too early to make a determination on this. There is often overlap with TLD issues at the RIR meetings which provides overlap with other customers. There is also value in sending a variety of PTI staff to the different regions to allow them to perform outreach and increase customer familiarity with customers. With that said, it's not clear that there is a business need to attend every RIR meeting, and PTI can be more strategic in planning its outreach.

    David suggested that coordinating with the NRO on how to organize attendance, and possibly a rotation amongst the regions, could be helpful.

    The Chair asked if there was a process to review the SLAs for the communities other than the naming community. The PTI President confirmed that for the IETF, there is an annual review process and an update to the MoU is executed every year. In the recent years, there have been no material changes. For the numbering community, that annual opportunity is through the IANA Review Committee that was reported on earlier.

    The Secretary noted that for the CSC SLA review process, there are efforts underway to determine how to ground the SLAs in the IANA Naming Agreement while not requiring an amendment to that agreement every time an SLA might need to change. To achieve that, there might be a contract modification that will move the SLAs out of the agreement and embedding a process into the agreement as to how to change the SLAs. The PTI Board will receive additional updates on this as the work proceeds.

    The Chair inquired as to whether this process would differentiate between minor/incremental changes to the SLAs and big changes. The Secretary confirmed that the CSC is considering a tiered level of how SLAs could be changed, with major changes, additions or deletions requiring a far more stringent process than would minor modifications. The contract modification will not happen until the SLA update process has been fully documented.


    The PTI President then provided a PTI staffing update that David Prangnell will be starting as the new Technical Director on 1 July 2018. David has been with the ICANN organization for about 10 years, most recently in a senior position in IT operations, in which he supported the IANA systems. With David's hiring, there are now two open head counts within the team: (1) an IANA Request Specialist; and (2) and new technical role that the new Technical Director will have input for the job specification. These are both expected to be hired into the L.A. office.


    The PTI President described the remediation work to address GDPR issues within PTI. The primary item that has occurred is that Terms of Service and a Privacy Policy have been updated, and PTI is harmonized into ICANN's broader policies. These two policies are prominently accessible from all service pages, but do not require any fundamental change to operations. There is also work ongoing to put a data controller agreements in place between ICANN and IETF.

    Another area of focus is the IETF registries that PTI maintains, where personally identifiable information is stored. There is work ongoing to identify those registries and to revise RFCs to remove the need to collect PII as part of the maintenance of those registries. There has been work to inventory the more than 3,000 registries, and to narrow down the discussion. David Conrad asked about how the historical information in the registries is likely to be treated, particularly where it might have some historical significance. The PTI President indicated that this has not been a point of discussion yet, but there is likely to be some push to maintain some of the historical information.

    KSK Rollover

    PTI has a minor role in the KSK rollover, and has all the systems and procedures in place for the eventuality of the rollover. David Conrad's team in the ICANN organization is leading the analysis of when the KSK rollover will occur, and it appears that the recommendation will be to move forward with an 11 October 2018 rollover date, pending advice from some parts of the ICANN community. David confirmed that his team has been responding to some questions from the SSAC, and they are hopeful to receive advice by mid-August to allow ICANN Board consideration of the issue in September.

    The Chair asked for information on the ICANN Board role in this, and whether there were updates on the readiness review that had previously occurred. David confirmed that it's the ICANN Board that will make a final decision on the recommendation, and that there is a continuing effort to collect data on readiness for the resolvers. The updated data suggests that negatively impacted users will be well below the community-defined threshold level. David also noted that in the future, the intent is to produce sufficient documentation to allow future rolls to be more operational and handled by PTI. The PTI President noted that the roles and responsibilities around this work are being better defined for the future.

    Trusted Community Representative Replacement

    The PTI President discussed the TCRs, the community volunteers that work in the key ceremonies. Volunteers were selected in 2010, and most of these original volunteers continue to participate. Recognizing that some have resigned, an evergreen process of calling for volunteers was initiated last year, and there are now over 100 applicants that have submitted statements of interest. The team is currently developing a scoring formula and identifying a fair process to fill the vacancies, and this development should be done by October. There are currently four vacancies in the back-up pool, a group a pre-vetted individuals that can step into active roles.

    Wei Wang asked about the representation of TCRs from across all communities that participate in ICANN, and whether there is any need to change all volunteers when the KSK rolls. The PTI President confirmed that there is no requirement hat the representatives be changed upon the key roll.

    Remedial Action Procedures

    Following from the PTI Board's prior consideration of the Remedial Action Procedures (RAPs) developed with the CSC, the PTI President confirmed that the RAPs have been adopted.

    Transition Deliverables

    The PTI President discussed the status of meeting the contractual requirement that the employees currently seconded to PTI be transferred to be directly employed by PTI by October 2019. ICANN's HR department is working on this, and the PTI President has regular update meetings to confirm status. Necessary vendor arrangements are confirmed, with no material impact to benefits available to the employees. There still remain some internal concerns about moving the employees over. The PTI Chair noted that any change to this requirement should arise out of the community, and that would require re-consultation. Without any change in direction from the community, work should proceed to meet the required timeline. Akram confirmed that the employees subject to the transfer have raised the primary concerns, and while the transfer is possible, keeping the current arrangement might be in everyone's best interest. The PTI President mentioned that ICANN management, including HR, is working with PTI on how to remediate some morale issues that the PTI team is facing.

    IANA Naming Function Review

    The PTI President reported on the planning to initiate the first IANA Naming Function Review (IFR), and that the PTI Board must, by 1 October 2018, appoint a liaison to that group. ICANN is about to issue a call for community selections to the IFR, and the ICANN Board will then trigger the IFR to begin by 1 October 2018. The ICANN Board also must appoint a point of contact between the IFR and the ICANN organization. The Chair requested that as available, the PTI Board is provided information on the work of the IFR and what might be expected from the PTI Board in that regard. The Chair also asked to be kept in the loop more generally on information on the review progress.

    Risk Register

    The PTI President explained that PTI has been participating in the risk analysis work ongoing within ICANN, including working through a PTI internal risk assessment with a grouping of 25 operational risks that are maintained on a register, with three of those risks incorporated into ICANN's broader risk management program. The risks all appear to be relatively well managed at this time.

    Development Work

    The PTI President reported on the work to support the IETF protocol parameter system, which is currently very manual. There is development work under demonstration with IETF leadership to try to bring automation to this system, however that work is paused to allow time to address a technical check issue with the RZMS. There is also development work to deploy a post-ticket survey in the next three months, which will allow polling for customer satisfaction upon ticket closure, instead of waiting for the annual survey. The CSC is in support of this change in polling.

    501(c)(3) Filing

    The PTI Secretary reported that PTI's application for 501(c)(3) status as a Supporting Organization to ICANN had been filed and received by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and we do not expect to hear anything back for a matter of months.

  3. PTI and ICANN Roles and Responsibilities

    The Chair provide a short overview of two documents: (1) PTI and ICANN Roles and Responsibilities; and (2) areas of delegation of ICANN CEO responsibilities to PTI. The Chair worked with the PTI Secretary to refine the documents prior to circulating to the Board. Now that they have been circulated, the Chair requested comments in writing so that the documents can be discussed by the PTI Board's Barcelona meeting. The documents provide clarity on the various interfaces across PTI, its customers and ICANN, and the responsibilities of each group. There are areas of overlapping responsibilities, such as the ICANN Board and PTI Board's oversight roles in relation to contracts. The roles and responsibilities document references the Bylaws or contractual basis for the defined responsibilities. The Chair suggested that once the PTI Board has concluded its review, it would be good for this document to be provided to the customers of PTI for inputs and to make sure there is a common understanding of the existing obligations.

    Wei Wang asked for a more detailed review of the document, and the PTI Board agreed that an informational call could be held for whomever on the Board was interested in participating.

  4. Work Plan

    The PTI President provided a short update on the proposed work plan for the PTI Board, and to confirm that the appropriate level of detail was presented. The Chair confirmed that the 18 month view is appropriate, and it should be reviewed every Board meeting. The Chair also encouraged the PTI Board to consider including additional telephonic meetings where necessary to receive inputs or to have information calls. David Conrad requested that the PTI President consider making the work plan public to make the community aware of the various activities.

    The PTI Board then had a brief discussion about planning for face-to-face meetings at the ICANN Public Meetings, and trying to identify a standing time at each Public Meeting.

    To address the strategic planning element of the work plan, the PTI Board agreed to set some time for informal discussion with Theresa Swinehart, in charge of ICANN's strategic planning, to get a view of how PTI's strategic planning can fit into that process.

    The Chair called the meeting to a close.

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."