ICANN Meeting 49 Singapore March 2014 – SSAC Liaison Report

(as at 28Mar14)

1. ROLE OF SSAC LIAISON.  My role, as I see it, is to provide a conduit whereby ALAC can provide the SSAC with input to and feedback on SSAC Reports, and suggest and influence the selection of topics that the SSAC might study.  Additionally, I seek to ensure that SSAC reports are written in a way that is understandable and meaningful to the ALAC audience.  Like all other liaisons, this role means that I not only need to keep up to date with all SSAC topics that are being worked on (whether I am a member of the Working Group or not), but also need to keep a watching eye on topics being discussed in the ALAC.  It is also the case that much of the work that SSAC is doing cannot be discussed in open forum, and so my reporting cannot usually be as detailed as other liaisons. 


2. MEETINGS ATTENDED IN SINGAPORE.  The schedule of SSAC and security related meetings in Singapore was a full one and only allowed me to attend a limited number of ALAC Meetings and other general ICANN sessions:

SSAC Meetings

Saturday, 22March

1600-1645: SSAC Update to the GNSO

Sunday, 23March

1600-1645: SSAC Update to the ALAC

Monday, 24March

1015-1230: SSAC Meeting with Law Enforcement

1630-1700: RSSAC Update to the ICANN Community

Tuesday 25March

0800-1800: SSAC Private Meetings at ICANN Meeting

0915-0945: SSAC Meeting with the NomCom

0955-1015: SSAC Update to the Commercial Stakeholders Group

1100-1130: SSAC Update to Registrar Stakeholder Group

1145-1415: SSAC Internal work Party Meetings

1415-1445: SSAC Meeting with the RSSAC

1500-1800: SSAC Full Committee Meeting

1830-1930: SSAC Meeting with Fellows

Wednesday 26March

0830-1445: DNSSEC Workshop at ICANN Meeting

1800-1900: SSAC/RSSAC Meeting with CEO

Thursday, 27March

0800-0900: SSAC Public Meeting at ICANN Meeting


ALAC Meetings

Sunday, 23March

0900-1900: ALAC and Regional Leadership Meeting

Monday, 24March

1700-1800: At-Large Workshop: TOR and Alternative Naming Mechanisms to the DNS

1900-2000: ALAC Leadership Team Meeting with the GAC Leadership

Tuesday 25March

0830-0930: ALAC Meeting with the Board

1900-2000: APRALO Showcase

Thursday, 27March

0900-1230: ALAC and Regional Leadership Meeting

0930-1030: Reports from ALAC Liaisons

Friday, 28March

0800-1100: ALAC Leadership Team Meeting


Other Sessions and Meetings

Saturday, 22March

1430-1530: GAC Plenary

Monday, 24March

0700-0830: DNS Women’s Breakfast

0830-1000: Welcome Ceremony and President's Open Session

1330-1500: Name Collision

Wednesday 26March

1600-1700: 2014 NomCom Public Meeting

Thursday, 18July

1330-1800: Open Forum

1800-1900: ICANN Board Meeting


3. SSAC MEETING WITH ALAC.   The briefing provided by Patrik Fältström, the SSAC Chair, on Sunday 23 March provided a summary of SSAC Reports released in the last 6 months:

  • SAC064: SSAC Advisory on DNS "Search List" Processing, and
  • SAC065: SSAC Advisory on DDOS Attacks Leveraging DNS Infrastructure

Patrik also advised of the other current active Working Parties within SSAC:

  • Identifier Abuse Metrics
  • Public Suffix Lists

ALAC Members observed that both SSAC Reports are highly technical and not easily digested by a wider audience.  They suggested that it would be useful for the SSAC to highlight any aspects which are relevant to end users and express these ideas in more comprehensible language.  Patrik noted that both reports were intended for a technical audience, but agreed that the needs of end users should be taken into consideration in the writing of future reports. He also mentioned a new initiative that is being pursued by ICANN SSAC Staff in conjunction with the ICANN Communications Team to explore ways in which SSAC advice can be better socialised across the ICANN Community.

The following Action Item was agreed to address this issue:

ALAC, through the SSAC Liaison, to provide input and support to the new initiative being undertaken by ICANN SSAC Staff and ICANN Communications Staff to better communicate Security and Stability issues, including relevant SSAC Reports, to a broad audience including end users.  Julie Hammer will "own" this Action Item.


4.            SSAC PRIVATE MEETINGS.  During SSAC Private Meetings on Tuesday 25 March:

  • Work Party Meetings. A number of Work Parties held meetings to progress their work.  These were open to the whole SSAC, not just Work Party Members.
  • Meeting with JAS Global Advisors. A private meeting was held with the author of the JAS study report "Mitigating the Risk of DNS Namespace Collisions".  As a result of these discussions, the SSAC will consider submitting a comment on the report, but noted that an extension of the deadline for comments would need to be requested for this to be possible.
  • Transition of the Stewardship of the IANA Function.  The SSAC has established a new Work Party to respond to the Transition and agreed that SSAC advice may be provided on two aspects:
    • Principles for the IANA Transition, and
    • Security, Stability and Resilience considerations for the IANA Transition.


5. PROMOTING SSAC REPORTS AND ADVICE. Building on the discussions that occurred during the SSAC Meeting with the ALAC on Sunday 23 March, I was able to follow up with the SSAC Chair and staff and find out more about the new initiative to ‘socialise’ SSAC advice.  This is an idea that has been proposed by SSAC Staff Member Steve Sheng, who will be working to progress it with Duncan Burns from the ICANN Communications Team.  A range of ideas will be explored: seminars, webinars, videos, summaries in non-technical language, perhaps a ‘Beginner’s Guide’ as suggested by the ALAC.  It is too early to say what might be the best approach to ‘distribute’ the SSAC messages to various parts of the ICANN Community and beyond.  It was also noted that translation of some SSAC Reports into other languages may well assist in spreading the messages (including to technical audiences who are not native English speakers). I have proposed to the SSAC Chair, and he has agreed, that I be kept ‘in the loop’ as this initiative is progressed so that I can both keep the ALAC informed and also be the conduit to use the ALAC as a sounding board.


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