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  • How the ITI Technical Infrastructure Works
    on June 21, 2018 at 7:00 am

    We've blogged previously that the Information Transparency Initiative (ITI) is a foundational project that aims to establish content governance and rebuild our underlying technical infrastructure. These key foundational deliverables will improve how we manage all of our content. ICANN's new technical infrastructure will eventually power our internal and external content platforms, including https://icann.org and the Supporting Organization and Advisory Committee (SO/AC) websites. This infrastructure includes a new document management system (DMS) and a new content management system (CMS). The specific platforms we are using are Alfresco, the DMS, and dotCMS, the CMS. There is a lot of behind-the-curtain engineering effort that goes into achieving these goals. To help you better understand the planning and implementation that goes into a project of this size, I'd like to provide you with a peek behind that technical curtain. Allow me to illustrate this effort using the journey of one piece of content from creation to publication. Creating Content The first step in this process is the creation of content. This content can include text, images, video, or audio. Today, text content most often begins in Microsoft Word or Google Docs. In the future state, some content will be directly authored in the new DMS via templates and transformed into HTML pages. Other content will continue to be authored in Word or Google Docs and uploaded to the DMS. Tagging the Content This next step is an important one – adding tags from the ICANN taxonomy. Each piece of content needs to be categorized and tagged leveraging ICANN's taxonomy. This taxonomy was developed to ensure we maintain consistency in how the content is organized, which in turn makes the content easier for our users to find. To enable this tagging and improved search, ICANN will leverage a popular open-source enterprise search platform called SOLR. At this stage, the content is ready for reviews and approvals. Providing Reviews, Approvals, and Translation Some content intended for publication may need to be reviewed and approved by one or more ICANN functions. Authors will be able to route content to the appropriate reviewers and approvers before the content is publishable. Once reviewed and approved, the content can then be pushed to Language Services for translation. A key feature of the DMS is its ability to enforce and govern workflows to ensure the accuracy and quality of content. Once the content is released, it is ready for MOM. Who or what is MOM? Staging the Content with Message-oriented Middleware (MOM) No, it's not the MOM you are thinking of. Message-oriented middleware (MOM) is a content staging platform. A piece of content may need to be published to multiple platforms. To enable this, ICANN's Engineering & IT team has leveraged a commercially licensed platform called Kafka, which is a type of MOM. It stages content before the content is published to one or more public sites. Preparing the Content for Presentation In order for the site to publish the content, the CMS subscribes to content in the MOM to begin the presentation layer of the public site. The CMS organizes content according to content modelling performed in the DMS. The modelling ensures that the content is presented in a way that makes sense for how it will be surfaced and viewed by the user. This includes where the content fits in the site's navigation, ensures multilingual content is tied to the source, and enables indexing for search. Presenting the Content The final step in this process is publication. The ITI team has chosen an architectural approach called a single page application (or SPA). SPAs are web applications that load individual HTML pages and dynamically update page content. In this new architecture, we are leveraging a JavaScript language called AngularJS for development, and a popular styling framework to render content to our public sites. This additional layer of the architecture allows for more rapid development, mitigates against system limitations, and gives our users a truly responsive and accessible experience. Our foundation meets ICANN's stringent security requirements and fits within our continuous integration and deployment strategies, and our goal of ensuring our infrastructure is Reliable, Available, Scalable, and Performing (RASP). This foundational architecture was recently proven with the launch of the new Acronyms and Terms feature. ITI is just the beginning. These elements are the foundation for the future – a future where we will have a consolidated, multitenant environment housing all ICANN-controlled public properties. For more information about ITI, visit feedback.icann.org. On this site, you'll find links to previous ITI blogs, background documentation, and more. If you're interested in learning more about ITI or have a suggestion or feedback, email us at informationtransparency@icann.org. […]

  • Important Changes Coming to The Way You Use Adobe Connect
    on June 20, 2018 at 7:00 am

    As you know, issues were reported with Adobe Connect (AC) during ICANN61 in Puerto Rico and we later restored service. The way you access closed Adobe Connect sessions is changing so that the rooms are more secure. Room administrators or meeting organizers will apply these changes to closed sessions soon. Here is what you need to know. As a reminder, there are two types of Adobe Connect rooms: open rooms and closed rooms. Since open rooms are open by definition, there is no issue to speak of. However, to ensure content and conversations are secure, there will be changes to all closed Adobe Connect rooms. When entering a closed room, you will be REQUIRED to enter a 6-digit passcode. Your room administrator or meeting host will send you the passcode over the next few weeks. If you fail to provide the passcode, you will not be able to enter the closed Adobe Connect session. The passcode is linked to a closed room's URL (think of it as a key for a locked room). To prevent medium- to long-term abuse, we have advised room administrators to change the URL periodically – once every 90 days. Changes to sharing files in Adobe Connect: When files are shared in a closed room, links to download the file are sent in network traffic. These links will remain available on the AC server even if they are marked for deletion. This means that if one room is re-used for multiple closed meetings with different participants, other individuals could discover sensitive documents. To mitigate this, any closed Adobe Connect room will be deleted by the host or administrator after each session. It is important to note that when rooms are deleted, all content such as files, chat history, notes, etc will be wiped each time. Room administrators will take the necessary steps to download and save this information as desired. I also want to address the confusion about whether using the SYNC button (which permits scrolling and offers an option to download a file) poses any security risks. In discussions and testing with the CoSo cloud, we have confirmed that it is safe to use SYNC and UNSYNC as needed by the room administrator. Frequently Asked Questions: Q: Do these changes affect ICANN62 meeting sessions? A: Public sessions (with open Adobe Connect rooms) at ICANN62 Panama City will not be affected. However, any closed Adobe Connect rooms will be affected. Invited participants will be required to enter a 6-digit random passcode to enter the Adobe Connect room. This passcode will be provided by the room administrator/meeting organizer. Q: What do I need to do now to join a meeting? A: If required, your room administrator/meeting organizer will send you a 6-digit passcode for your Adobe Connect session. You will need to use this passcode to enter the room when prompted, otherwise you will be locked out. Q: When do these changes take effect? A: Room administrators and organizers will reach out to you over the next few weeks, in the event that you need a passcode. Q: Will the rooms lose the chat history? A: The chat history will be wiped after each session for security purposes. Adobe Connect hosts can save the chat history before ending a session, or you can simply copy and paste the notes in a document before the session ends. For public or open meetings, hosts may choose to share the chat history with the community, after the session. […]

  • Outreach & Engagement Leading into ICANN62
    on June 20, 2018 at 7:00 am

    As the ICANN community comes together in Panama for ICANN62, the Engagement team is planning a series of events for local stakeholders and with regional partners. ICANN is hosting a LAC-i Roadshow event in collaboration with IPANDETEC on 22 June. Our partners will be hosting the LACTLD Legal and Policy Workshop in Panama from 21-23 June, followed by their 20th anniversary celebration. ICANN org will be supporting training for public safety stakeholders in Panama, conducting a capacity development workshop for Government Advisory Committee members and supporting outreach for Business Constituency members. Recently, the ICANN Global Stakeholder Engagement (GSE) team supported a visit by ICANN CEO Göran Marby and CTO David Conrad to the Russian Federation. Read more about that trip. The team also participated in many events recently, including Internet Day in El Salvador; CITEL in Peru; the IX Regional Forum in Brazil; LACNIC29 in Panama; the Middle East DNS Forum in Turkey; EuroDIG in Georgia; a law enforcement workshop in Botswana; National ICT Week in Kenya; Transform Africa Summit in Rwanda; FRATEL 2018 in Madagascar; the Global IPv6 Summit in Beijing; NamesCon India; the 24th Internet Governance Conference Japan; and the Kuwait Information Security Conference, among other events. We also participated in DNSSEC workshops in Ankara, Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Mongolia. The GSE team represents ICANN org at these events to encourage active participation from diverse stakeholders in ICANN's technical and policy work. Education and outreach is aimed at growing meaningful participation in ICANN from across the global Internet community. We do this through regional partnerships to lower barriers and increase regional engagement in ICANN. GSE will be participating in a number of sessions at ICANN62. We look forward to seeing the ICANN community in Panama. Additional information about ICANN's regional engagement strategies can be found at: Africa Asia [PDF, 600 KB] – JP [PDF, 1 MB] ; CN [PDF, 1.40 MB] Eastern Europe & Central Asia Latin America & Caribbean [PDF, 2.45 MB] – ES [PDF, 2.50 MB]; PT [PDF, 2.50 MB] Middle East and Adjoining Countries North America Oceania Regional Newsletters are also available. Please subscribe! Europe, Middle East and Africa Asia Pacific Latin America & Caribbean North America […]

  • Data Protection/Privacy Update: Seeking Community Feedback on Proposed Unified Access Model
    on June 18, 2018 at 7:00 am

    Today we’re sharing for discussion the draft Framework Elements for a Unified Access Model for Continued Access to Full WHOIS Data [PDF, 93 KB]. At a high-level, it provides a process for how third parties may access non-public WHOIS data. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the ICANN community for their hard work and valuable inputs that led us to the adoption of the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data (Temp Spec). The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) also recognized these community efforts and said it “expects ICANN to develop and implement a WHOIS model which will enable legitimate uses by relevant stakeholders, such as law enforcement, of personal data concerning registrants in compliance with the GDPR, without leading to an unlimited publication of those data.” Just as we all worked together to agree on tiered/layered access, which is a major change to the WHOIS services, your contributions here will help us shape this model. The EDPB also said that it “may engage further with ICANN to ensure that the legal requirements under EU data protection law are properly addressed.” We note the importance of community collaboration as we seek this legal certainty. The ICANN Board of Directors, in the Temp Spec, encouraged continued community work “to develop an accreditation and access model that complies with GDPR.” To further these community discussions, we have also published a chart [PDF, 90 KB] comparing our draft framework elements against those of two models proposed by ICANN community members. The framework lays out a series of central questions to help frame discussions about how such a model may work, including how and which users with a legitimate purpose, as defined by the law, can gain access to non-public registration data. It builds on the “Calzone Model” (Attachment 2), the Temp Spec, and also incorporates ideas from community members and relevant data protection authorities. This proposed unified access model would provide transparency, uniformity, and most importantly foster discussions that may increase legal certainty and simplify the process for all parties. Because access to non-public registration data is a public policy concern, and public policy is in the purview of governments, ICANN org’s proposal is to start by engaging with governments in the European Economic Area, which are also members of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). Some of the questions to be discussed with governments include how law enforcement, individual users and other private third parties would be authenticated to access non-public registration data. There remain open questions on this and other issues for which we welcome your input. For example, the scope of data an eligible user group would have access to may be limited to only the fields a user requires, or the full WHOIS record for a particular query. In addition to sharing this framework with the community, we intend to discuss it with the EDPB to ensure the model is compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The community has also raised questions about this draft model and other related activities. I want to note that developing a unified access model has been part of our conversations regarding the GDPR from the start, including an approach outlined in both the Calzone and the Cookbook. Part of ICANN org’s role is to facilitate discussions with the data protection authorities (DPAs) to confirm, where possible, that the community’s consensus policy is compliant with the GDPR. ICANN continues to maintain a high level of transparency relating to our role. Our community conversations on these issues will help guide our discussions with the DPAs and we will continue to document these discussions. I encourage you to review the proposed unified access model and participate in community discussions on this topic, including at ICANN62, where there will be several sessions related to the GDPR and the Temp Spec.  In addition, you can provide your feedback via email to gdpr@icann.org. Be sure to visit our Data Protection/Privacy page for regular updates and an overview of our activities in this area. […]

  • Chair's Blog: A Preview of the Panama Board Workshop
    on June 15, 2018 at 7:00 am

    We are less than two weeks away from ICANN62 in Panama City, Panama. That means the Board is once again getting ready for another workshop, which will be held from 22-24 June, right before the meeting. If you’ll recall, we reorganized our last workshop in Vancouver to allow for more time to discuss the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the proposed Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data, so this upcoming workshop will give us an opportunity to reconvene on some of the issues we set aside when we last met. We’ll be holding quite a few public sessions, as well as a public Board meeting. You can find out how to dial-in to these listen-only sessions here. On Friday, 22 June, the first day of the workshop, we’re going to start off with a dialogue with Göran Marby, ICANN President and CEO, and then jump into a discussion about the current status of GDPR. This will include an update on progress made in resolving the outstanding items outlined in the Appendix of the Temporary Specification. After lunch, Akinori Maemura will be leading a public session on recommendations for implementation of Internationalized Domain Name variant top-level domains. Following that session, Ram Mohan and Kaveh Ranjbar, along with David Conrad, will be providing an update on potential strategies to increase the resilience of the L-root. Avri Doria will then be leading a session on the status of the new generic TLD (gTLD) subsequent procedures policy work in the GNSO. As the gTLD Policy Development Process is getting close to making a recommendation about the possible launch of another round of new gTLD applications, it’s important that the Board discuss and start considering what its input might be. Afterwards, Becky Burr will spearhead a session on the status of work on the new Independent Review Process system, followed by a session on the Board’s communications strategy, which will be led by Lousewies Van der Laan. Saturday, 23 June, is packed with public sessions, so I highly encourage you to review the schedule and see which ones you might be interested in listening to. We will start the day with a public Board meeting, and then Avri and the Policy Development team will be briefing the Board on some of the hot topics that will be discussed during ICANN62 to ensure we are prepared. Maarten Botterman will then lead the second public session of the day, which will be an update on the status of deliverables related to the Board’s FY18 priorities, such as replenishing the ICANN org’s Reserve Fund and measuring the community’s satisfaction with the Board. The third public session of the day will be led by Khaled Koubaa and will be an update on the long and short-term options for streamlining the various ICANN reviews, a topic which is currently out for public comment. Following this, Maarten will hold a session on identifying our FY19 priorities. Becky Burr will then be joining him to host a session to discuss the Board’s inputs into the new gTLD auction proceeds work. During the final public session of the day, led by Matthew Shears, the Board Working Group on Internet Governance will be briefing the full Board about the upcoming potential policy issues that may have an impact on ICANN. The day will end with our feedback session, where we discuss how the workshop went and look for ways to improve upon the efficiency and effectiveness during the next iteration. The last day of the workshop, Sunday, 24 June, will be dedicated to strategic planning, as well as a roundtable with the chairs of ICANN’s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, which Göran, Chris Disspain, and I plan to attend. Given the wide range of issues that we’ll be addressing during the workshop, I expect that this will be an intense and productive three days. I look forward to having you join us for our public sessions, as well as seeing many of you during the meeting. […]

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