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ICANN at IGF 2013

ICANN blog - Tue, 2013-10-15 02:02

The Internet Governance Forum takes place this year in Bali, Indonesia on 22-25 October 2013. The main theme of the meeting is “Building Bridges – Enhancing Multistakeholder Cooperation for Growth and Sustainable Development.”

This year, the IGF introduces new sub-themes that are more specific compared to broader themes of past year. The sub-themes are:

  • Access and Diversity – Internet as an engine for growth and sustainable development.
  • Openness – Human rights, freedom of expression and free flow of information on the Internet.
  • Security – Legal and other Frameworks: Spam, Hacking and Cyber-crime.
  • Principles of Multistakeholder Cooperation.
  • Internet Governance Principles.

As a global multistakeholder platform for debating Internet governance issues, the IGF offers a unique networking opportunity with senior government officials, business leaders and key players from IGO/NGO and academia. For ICANN, this is an avenue to engage with participants who are not regular attendees of ICANN meetings, explain to them our mission, and update them on work underway.

As in past IGFs, ICANN is hosting an ICANN Open Forum, and organizing two workshops. The Open Forum is scheduled on Thursday 24 October, 14:30-16:00 in Room 6. It is designed to be an interactive session with ICANN executives and representatives of its various constituencies engaging in an open dialogue with IGF participants on a variety of ICANN related such as:

  • The Internet as an engine for growth and sustainable development: Important to highlight ICANN’s effort in promoting and advancing the DNS industry in developing regions. Equally important to note that a sub-element to being an engine for growth and sustainable development is fostering a healthy, stable and resilient Internet ecosystem. This is important for capability building, technical engagement, training and collaboration with the diverse range of participants who rely on the Internet.
  • Regional engagement strategies and enhanced cooperation: The work undertaken by community members in developing regional engagement strategies is an example of an enhanced cooperation model on the ground.
  • ICANN strategy panels: Led by community; address issues of direct relevance to the Internet Governance space.
  • ICANN public responsibility program: Initial efforts to focus on education and training; the online learning platform.

This year’s ICANN workshops include:

  • Workshop 217: “What the New gTLD Program means for you” – Day 2, 23 Oct, 16:30-18:00, Room 3.
    • The workshop reviews the current status of the new gTLD program, including an update on the evaluation of applications, and related processes of delegation, formal objection and string contention.
  • Workshop 32: “Next in IDNs: linguistic diversity in the Internet root” – co-organized with APRALO – Day 2, 23 Oct, 14:30-16:00, Room 1.
    • The workshop provides an overview of the IDN Variants process, discusses the issues implicating language communities and outlines the way forward.

ICANN community members will also be organizing a number of workshops. Here is a sample of several:

  • Workshop 62: “How can the Internet be an engine for development and growth?” – Day 2, 23 Oct, 14:30-16:00, Room 2.
  • Workshop 210: “The technical community role in global Internet governance” – Day 3, 24 Oct, 14:30-16:00, Room 9.
  • Workshop 212: “Exploring the dimensions of multistakeholderism” – Day 4, 25 Oct, 9:00-10:30, Room 4.
  • Workshop 249: “Civil society in ICANN’s multistakeholderism: The GNSO case” – Day 2, 23 Oct, 16:30-18:00, Room 8.
  • Workshop 253: “Debate on ‘closed’ generic top-level domains” – Day 3, 24 Oct, 11:00-12:30, Room 10.

An interesting pre-event that takes place on Day 0 is a workshop on Digital Preservation of Cultural Treasures in Bali. It demonstrates yet another success story of collaboration between different stakeholders in using the Internet and technology to preserve endangered languages and cultural artifacts. The workshop will take place on 21 Oct, 16:00-17:30 in Room 10.

More information about the meeting can be found on the IGF website:

Categories: ICANN news

Three Ways to Protect Your Trademark During the Top-Level Domain Expansion

ICANN blog - Tue, 2013-10-15 00:15

Rights protection was of key concern when forming the New gTLD Program. ICANN met extensively with IP experts and community members to determine how to support trademark holders faced with the largest expansion of the DNS, ever. The meetings resulted in a 3-pronged approach that provides rights holders with proactive and reactive means of blocking potentially infringing uses in the New gTLD Program. Rights Protection Mechanisms, as they’re collectively known, include the Trademark Clearinghouse, Uniform Rapid Suspension System and Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedures. So, how can a rights holder take advantage of these advanced New gTLD Program mechanisms?

  1. Submit Your Mark to the Trademark Clearinghouse

    The Trademark Clearinghouse was designed to help rights holders across the globe protect their trademarks across all new gTLDs. It is the first centralized, international repository of trademark data for use with the DNS and it’s relatively easy to use.

    Register your mark now:

    After you’ve submitted your trademark, Deloitte Enterprise Risk Services will verify the validity of your data. Once verified, associated previously abused labels can be added to the trademark record, and all valid data will be passed to another of our trusted vendors, IBM, to be entered into the Trademark Database.

    The primary benefits of registering a mark in the Clearinghouse include:

    • Sunrise Services
      All new gTLD Registries must offer a period of at least 30 days wherein trademark holders may register domain names corresponding to their marks before registration is made available to the general public.
    • Trademark Claims Services
      For a minimum of 90 days after general registration opens, a Registry must cross-reference domain name registration requests with records in the Trademark Clearinghouse. If a requested domain name matches a mark recorded in the Clearinghouse, the party trying to register the name will be notified of the match. If the registrant continues with the registration, the Trademark Database will inform the trademark’s holder or agent that the domain name has been registered.
    • Abuse Case Management
      The Registry Agreement for new gTLDs calls for a commitment from Registries to handle any and all abuse complaints and to operate in compliance with the Trademark Clearinghouse obligations.

    To date over 10,000 trademarks have been accepted into the Clearinghouse. We encourage all rights holders to take advantage of this proactive Rights Protection Mechanism.

  2. File a Claim with the Uniform Rapid Suspension System

    ICANN is introducing a new system for resolving rights infringement disputes called the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS). It builds upon the existing Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Procedure (UDRP), but provides quicker relief for rights holders experiencing clear-cut cases of infringement in new gTLDs, and it’s less expensive.

    Learn how to file a URS claim: [PDF, 168 KB]

    To date, ICANN has appointed the National Arbitration Forum and the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre to administer URS claims. Email your questions about the Uniform Rapid Suspension System to

  3. Initiate the Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure

    Trademark infringement is often portrayed as being a Registrant problem (such as typo-squatters). But what if a Registry Operator were to act in bad faith? Right now there are only 22 generic TLDs, but the New gTLD Program could introduce about 1,400 new gTLDs into the DNS.

    The Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure (Trademark PDDRP) is one of three Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedures that were developed to provide those harmed by a new gTLD Registry Operator’s conduct an avenue to file a complaint about that conduct. The Trademark PDDRP generally addresses a Registry Operator’s complicity in trademark infringement on the first or second level of a new gTLD.

    Learn how to initiate a claim: [PDF, 181 KB]

Introduction of these Rights Protection Mechanisms is just one way that ICANN and the community are laying the foundation for a more mature and expanded Domain Name System industry. The goal is not merely to create new space on the Internet; it’s to create an expansive, more secure space where ideas can flourish.

Categories: ICANN news

ICANN Announces Strategy Panel Members

ICANN announcements - Mon, 2013-10-14 22:54
14 October 2013

ICANN welcomes over 40 diverse practitioners, subject matter experts, and thought leaders as members of the ICANN Strategy Panels to support development of ICANN's strategic and operational plans.

ICANN Strategy Panels will serve as an integral part of a framework for cross-community dialogue on strategic matters. Designed to conduct work in critical strategic areas identified by the community, Board, and staff [PDF, 209 KB], the work of these panels will build on public input being generated to inform a new, overarching vision and five-year strategic plan. As illustrated, there will be extensive information sharing and community engagement with the Panels. Panel output will be posted for public comments and community discussion online and at ICANN meetings, before being factored into ICANN's strategic and/or operating plans, as appropriate.

A video interview with Theresa Swinehart, Senior Advisor to the President on Strategy, is available here.

Identifier Technology Innovation Chair

Paul Mockapetris — Inventor, Domain Name System


Jari Arkko — Chair, Internet Engineering Task Force
Anne-Marie Eklund-Löwinder — Security Manager, The Internet Infrastructure Foundation
Geoff Huston — Chief Scientist, Asia-Pacific Network Information Center
James Seng — CEO, Zodiac Holdings
Paul Vixie — CEO, Farsight Security
Lixia Zhang — Postel Chair of Computer Science, University of California Los Angeles

This panel is dedicated to strategizing engagement with the ICANN community and public on technology matters. Its objectives include developing a technology roadmap for DNS and other identifiers, and providing a technology roadmap for ICANN technical and security operations, including best practice recommendations and reference objects.

ICANN Multistakeholder Innovation Chair

Beth Simone Noveck — Founder and Director, The Governance Lab


Alison Gillwald — Executive Director, Research ICT Africa
Joi Ito — Director, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab
Karim Lakhani — Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University
Guo Liang — Director, China Internet Project
Geoff Mulgan — Chief Executive, National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts
Bitange Ndemo — Former PS of the Ministry of Communications

This panel is tasked with examining how Internet policy related to unique identifiers might be best managed. It will propose new models for broad, inclusive engagement, consensus-based policymaking, and institutional structures to support such enhanced functions. In addition, it will design processes, tools and platforms to enable the global ICANN community to engage in these new forms of participatory decision-making.

Public Responsibility Framework Chair

Nii Quaynor — Founding Chairman, AfriNIC


Tim Berners-Lee — Director, World Wide Web Consortium
Soumitra Dutta — Dean of Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University
Bob Hinden — Check Point Fellow, Check Point Software Technologies
Blake Irving — CEO, Go Daddy
Nevine Tewfik — Director, Cyber Peace Initiative
Raúl Zambrano — Team Leader, Inclusive Participation and Global Policy Adviser in the ICT for Development and e-governance team, United Nations Development Program

This panel will propose ICANN's role and five-year strategic objectives and milestones in promoting the global public interest. It will examine ways of building out ICANN's base of internationally diverse, knowledgeable and engaged stakeholders, especially within the developing world. It will also propose a framework for achieving those objectives and milestones as well providing advice on specific programs and initiatives.

ICANN's Role in the Internet Governance Ecosystem Chair

Vinton Cerf — VP and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google


Adiel Akplogan — CEO, AfriNIC Ltd
Michael Barrett — President, The FIDO Alliance
Hartmut Glaser — Executive Secretary, Brazilian Internet Steering Committee/
Erik Huizer — Chief Technology Officer, SURFnet
Hagen Hultzsch — Zimory Chairman of the Board
Janis Karklins — Assistant Director General of Communication and Information, United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization
Wolfgang Kleinwächter — Professor of International Communication Policy and Regulation, University of Aarhus
Luis Magalhães — Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico, Technical University of Lisbon
Debbie Monahan — Domain Names Commissioner, Domain Name Commission Ltd, part of the InternetNZ Group
Alice Munyua — Chair of the Kenya Internet Governance Steering Committee
P.J. Narayanan — Director, Hyderabad International Institute of Information Technology
Alejandro Pisanty — Director General, Academic Computing Service of the National University of Mexico
Carlton Samuels — Former Secretariat, Latin America and Caribbean Regional At-Large Advisory Organization
Ismail Serageldin — Director, Library of Alexandria
Pindar Wong — Chairman VeriFi (Hong Kong) Ltd

The previously announced "Strategy Panel on ICANN's Role in the Internet Organizations' Ecosystem" and the "Strategy Panel on the Role of ICANN in the Future of Internet Governance" have been integrated given the topics, and are now covered under this Strategy Panel on "ICANN's Role in the Internet Governance Ecosystem." This panel will review the assumptions, linkages and frameworks that dictate ICANN's responsibilities in the current Internet ecosystem. It will seek insights into ways to maintain and enhance ICANN's stewardship of the evolving ecosystem while cultivating thought leadership on ways in which ICANN can serve a complex set of Internet constituencies.

The 5th panel originally identified will be refocused and is expected to be forthcoming later this year.

Categories: ICANN news

Strategic Planning & Strategy Panels Schedules Updated

ICANN announcements - Thu, 2013-10-10 01:06
9 October 2013 Comment Periods Extended, Aligned to Maximize Public Input

To provide more opportunity for community consideration and public comment on a draft ICANN Vision and 5-year Strategic Plan, the development schedule has been extended to accommodate two rounds of online public input, and community discussions at the ICANN Buenos Aires (November 2013) and Singapore (March 2014) meetings. In addition, to more tightly link the multi-stakeholder processes used for developing ICANN's strategic, operating and budget plans, as well as for commenting on the ICANN Strategy Panels, the schedules for these processes have been aligned. Specifically, public comment schedules for Strategic Planning, Strategy Panels, and the Operating Plan and Budget have been adjusted to maximize community input. The corresponding schedules are illustrated below.

Strategy Panels – To provide more opportunity for community consideration and public comment on the Panels' output—and to more clearly connect the Panels to ICANN's multi-stakeholder strategic, operational, and budget planning processes, the Panels' schedule has been escalated. ICANN President and CEO, Fadi Chehadé, is asking the Panels to provide strategic recommendations by the end of January 2014. (Panel membership will be announced shortly). Panel output will be posted for public comment 31 January—31 March 2014, and will be discussed by the community at the ICANN Singapore meeting in March. This allows time for public discussion and community engagement on the Panels' output, and integration of comments and recommendations into the Final Strategic Plan, as appropriate. This schedule also enables the Panels' recommendations to be factored into the FY2015 Operating Plan and Budget, which currently is scheduled for Board action by 21 June 2014.

Strategic Planning – The First Draft of an ICANN Vision and 5-year Strategic Plan will be posted on or before 28 October 2013 for public comment through January 2014. This will include community discussions at the ICANN meeting in Buenos Aires next month. Factored into the First Draft will be the extensive public input received thus far on ICANN's key challenges and opportunities and on the eight strategic areas [PDF, 209 KB] highlighted by ICANN's Board of Directors. Work and input on related initiatives, such as the Security, Stability & Resiliency Framework, and the Regional Engagement Strategies, also will inform the First Draft. Comments received on the First Draft, as well as on the output of the Strategy Panels, will be considered and incorporated, as appropriate, into a Final Draft. The Final Draft of ICANN's Vision and 5-year Strategic Plan will be posted for public comment by early March 2014 and discussed by the community at the ICANN meeting in Singapore, before being finalized at the end of April 2014 and submitted for Board action.

Operational Plan & Budget – The schedule for development of, and comment on, the FY2015 Operational Plan and Budget is expected to run from January – June 2014. The draft schedule is illustrated below and is expected to include public comment and community discussion for the proposed FY2015 Operating Plan beginning in January, followed by comment and discussion of the proposed FY 2015 Budget beginning in April. This will include opportunities for community engagement on the proposals at the ICANN Buenos Aires and Singapore meetings. The FY2015 Operating Plan and Budget is schedule for Board approval by 21 June 2014. A final schedule for this process will be posted on 15 November 2013.

Categories: ICANN news

Moving Forward with Delegation of Top-Level Domains

ICANN blog - Wed, 2013-10-09 22:05

By Jeff Moss and John L. Crain

ICANN’s New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) has approved resolutions allowing us to move forward in expanding the Internet’s name space while mitigating possible issues in the expansion.

A document describing the mitigation plan can be found here [PDF, 841 KB].

It’s an understatement to say that ICANN takes its obligation to preserve the Security, Stability and Resiliency (SSR) of the Identifier Systems seriously. In fact, that part of our mission is the very first thing you read in ICANN’s bylaws.

In recent months, concerns have been raised that there will be “collisions” between some of the proposed new TLD strings and those used in private name spaces. The possibility that collisions can occur in the DNS is not new. Queries for non-existing strings are currently a common occurrence throughout the DNS. They can be caused by simple typos, errors in configuration, and historic or recommended use of certain names for intranet applications. The DNS is often queried to resolve such names and this “leakage” of queries from private spaces occurs at rather remarkable volumes.

At the Board’s direction, ICANN staff commissioned a study to examine the extent of the name collision problem and to look at possible methods for mitigating the risks.

As has been noted by many community members, it is much easier to observe the occurrences of collisions than it is to assess the potential impact of a collision.

DNS data collected at the root and elsewhere reveals some interesting information about queries for the proposed new TLD strings. But to assess the precise impact of these occurrences, there needs to be additional study which would allow us to learn quite a bit more about the extent of these occurrences and to determine which strings appear most often in queries.  Ultimately, the additional study will allow us to develop targeted mitigation strategies.

The basic concept of the risk mitigation plan adopted by the NGPC is fourfold:

  • First, to document on a per TLD basis those collisions that have been identified in studies of the “Day In The Life of the Internet” (DITL) data and to place each of the Secondary Level Domain (SLD) strings identified to have had collisions on a reserved or blocked list for that specific TLD. These strings will not be allowed to be registered or to resolve until such a time as the effects of the specific collision are known and appropriate mitigation strategies are developed and implemented.
  • Second, ICANN will develop a process by which affected parties may report and request the blocking of a SLD that causes demonstrable harm as a consequence of a name collision. This process is intended to mitigate the risk of harmful collision occurrences not observed in the study.
  • Third, ICANN will develop a framework to identify the probability and severity of harm to better assess the consequences of name collisions. Remember that harm and risk are not the same thing. This framework will be an important tool in identifying the likelihood of harm but also for helping to identify mitigation techniques. Once acceptable mitigations are in place it may be possible to allow the release of strings from the list of reserved or blocked names.
  • Finally, promoting awareness and mitigation strategies through a targeted outreach campaign will help potentially affected parties identify and manage the causes of name collision occurrences arising from their own networks.

We believe the proposals outlined above afford a balanced way of moving forward. The plan minimizes the risk that collisions will cause serious harm by implementing measures to avert the problem by mitigating the associated risks and continuously monitoring the situation.

We would like to thank those who have submitted research, comments, and feedback on real world examples of name collisions. The community efforts have shown that we can put aside our self-interest, consider a complex problem and drive toward solutions to meet our common objective – ensuring that the Domain Name System continues to provide services to all users in a secure, stable and resilient manner while still allowing it to grow and innovate.

Categories: ICANN news

Witnessing the Growth of Arab IGF

ICANN blog - Wed, 2013-10-09 17:34

As I flew home from Algiers after the second Arab Internet Governance Forum at the beginning of October, I reflected on how much progress we have made. In just two short years, we have gone from informal discussions to the more structured Beirut Consultation to the inaugural Arab IGF in Kuwait last year. Now, at the conclusion of our second such gathering, I see plenty of challenges but also plenty of advancement.

I was particularly impressed with how open discussions were throughout the meeting. In the main sessions and in workshops alike, exchanges were cordial and engaged, even at moments of disagreement and tension. We witnessed one of these moments at the main session on openness and content, where panelists talked to their own experiences in relation to Internet policies in a number of Arab countries. In my view, this was the best session of the whole meeting, not only for the excellent moderation and the knowledge of the speakers, but also for spurring constructive debate. This is what the IGF is about.

Unlike the global IGF where the variance in views usually reflects the diversity of stakeholders interacting, at the Arab IGF it reflects the generational gap between the “native” and “non-native” Internet users. One young participant (Wafa Ben Hassine) summed it up in one tweet: “The generational gap going on at the Arab IGF is staggering. Never thought age would have such a profound impact on policy views.”

In one workshop, participants discussed ICANN’s Middle East engagement strategy, examined its main building blocks, and learned about work underway in relation to its implementation. During the session, the launch of the Task Force on Arabic script Internationalized Domain Names (TF-AIDN) was announced. TF-AIDN is a community-led initiative recommended by the Middle East Strategy Working Group and aims at addressing some of the technical issues related to the deployment of Arabic script IDNs.

The Arab IGF meeting, hosted by the Ministry of Post, Information Technology and Communication of Algeria, brought together more than 300 participants for an open exchange of views on Internet related issues of importance to the region.

Its main theme was “Partners for Development,” which reflects both the nature of the IGF as an avenue for building partnerships across various stakeholders, as well as the importance of the development dimension of the Internet in the region. Sub-themes included access and critical Internet resources; security and privacy; openness and content; youth and innovation.

Among the participants were representatives from governments, civil society, academia, Internet technical bodies, and private sector. Youth participation, particularly from civil society, contributed substantially to the discussions. A range of issues and challenges were addressed from broadband access, IXPs, local content, and innovation, to openness, human rights, and cyber legislations.

There is no question that the challenges are immense. But in my opinion, the only way to tackle these challenges is by broadening the participation and ensuring that all the views are shared. We’re off to a good start. I look forward to the next Arab IGF.

Categories: ICANN news

NGPC Resolution for Addressing the Consequences of Name Collisions

ICANN announcements - Wed, 2013-10-09 02:36
8 October 2013

At its 18 May 2013 meeting, the ICANN Board adopted a resolution to commission a study to identify the levels of potential impact posed by each applied-for new gTLD on the use of TLDs that are not currently delegated at the root level of the public DNS.

The study, "Name Collision in the DNS," together with a proposal to manage the risks identified in the study, was published for public comment from 5 August 2013 to 17 September 2013. During the public comment period, 75 comments were received. Based on the public comments, staff updated the proposal to manage the risks identified in the study. The report of these public comments is available at:

The ICANN Board New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) met on 28 September 2013 to review and discuss a proposal on how to deal with name collisions. On 7 October 2013, the NGPC met again and approved an updated proposal, titled "New gTLD Collision Occurrence Management Plan," [PDF, 840 KB] to mitigate the risks of potential name collisions caused by the introduction of new gTLDs.

The Collision Occurrence Management Plan directs staff to undertake an additional study to develop a name collision occurrence management framework. The framework will include appropriate parameters and processes to assess both probability and severity of harm resulting from the occurrence of name collisions. Examples of the parameters might include number of DNS requests, type of DNS requests, type of queries, diversity of query source and appearances in internal name certificates. The framework will specify a set of collision occurrence assessments and corresponding mitigation measures, if any, that ICANN or TLD applicants may need to implement per second level domain name (SLD) seen in the "day in the life of the Internet" (DITL) dataset.

Additionally, the plan provides a registry operator with the option to proceed to delegation prior to receiving its SLD collision occurrence assessment report (subject to established processes and procedures). If the registry operator chooses this alternative path to delegation, it must initially block all SLDs that appear in the DITL dataset while the assessment is conducted.

An additional feature of the plan requires establishment of a process by each TLD operator to enable an affected party(ies) to report and request the blocking of an SLD that causes demonstrably severe harm as a consequence of name collision occurrences. This process is intended to mitigate the risk that collision occurrences from additional SLDs not observed in the study dataset could have severe impact.

The plan also includes an outreach campaign targeted to potentially affected parties to help them identify and manage the origins (causes) of name collision occurrences in their networks. As part of the outreach campaign, ICANN, under the direction of the President and CEO, will invite and collaborate with relevant parties and members of the community that share the same interest in making progress in this issue.

At its 7 October meeting, the NGPC also recommended to the ICANN Board that the issue of name collisions be monitored by the Board's Risk Committee and reviewed periodically, and that ICANN work with the community in developing a long-term plan to retain and measure root-server data.

For more information about the NGPC, please visit:

Categories: ICANN news

Montevideo Statement on the Future of Internet Cooperation

ICANN announcements - Mon, 2013-10-07 23:03
7 October 2013

Montevideo, Uruguay – The leaders of organizations responsible for coordination of the Internet technical infrastructure globally have met in Montevideo, Uruguay, to consider current issues affecting the future of the Internet.

The Internet and World Wide Web have brought major benefits in social and economic development worldwide. Both have been built and governed in the public interest through unique mechanisms for global multistakeholder Internet cooperation, which have been intrinsic to their success. The leaders discussed the clear need to continually strengthen and evolve these mechanisms, in truly substantial ways, to be able to address emerging issues faced by stakeholders in the Internet.

In this sense:

  • They reinforced the importance of globally coherent Internet operations, and warned against Internet fragmentation at a national level. They expressed strong concern over the undermining of the trust and confidence of Internet users globally due to recent revelations of pervasive monitoring and surveillance.

  • They identified the need for ongoing effort to address Internet Governance challenges, and agreed to catalyze community-wide efforts towards the evolution of global multistakeholder Internet cooperation.

  • They called for accelerating the globalization of ICANN and IANA functions, towards an environment in which all stakeholders, including all governments, participate on an equal footing.

  • They also called for the transition to IPv6 to remain a top priority globally. In particular Internet content providers must serve content with both IPv4 and IPv6 services, in order to be fully reachable on the global Internet.

Adiel A. Akplogan, CEO
African Network Information Center (AFRINIC)

John Curran, CEO
American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN)

Paul Wilson, Director General
Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC)

Russ Housley, Chair
Internet Architecture Board (IAB)

Fadi Chehadé, President and CEO
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

Jari Arkko, Chair
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)

Lynn St. Amour, President and CEO
Internet Society (ISOC)

Raúl Echeberría, CEO
Latin America and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC)

Axel Pawlik, Managing Director
Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC)

Jeff Jaffe, CEO
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)


Categories: ICANN news

Task Force on Arabic Script IDNs Launched

ICANN blog - Mon, 2013-10-07 19:08

The Middle East Strategy Working Group (MESWG) is pleased to announce the formation of the Task Force on Arabic Script Internationalized Domain Names (TF-AIDN). The announcement was made at the 2nd Arab IGF meeting that took place in Algeria between 1 and 3 October 2013. TF-AIDN is an initiative of MESWG, which focuses on technical issues and solutions to promote the deployment of Arabic IDNs. While the scope of work may change over time, the task force will begin by looking into the following issues:

  • Arabic Script Label Generation Ruleset (LGR) for the Root Zone
  • Second level LGRs for the Arabic script
  • Arabic script Internationalized Registration Data Protocol and Practice
  • Universal acceptability of Arabic script IDNs and variants
  • Technical challenges around registration of Arabic IDNs and variants
  • Operational software for Arabic script IDN registry and registrar operations
  • DNS security matters specifically related to Arabic IDNs and variants
  • Technical training material around Arabic script IDNs

TF-AIDN currently consists of sixteen experts from twelve countries and representing more than nine languages using Arabic script, including Arabic, Malay (Jawi), Pashto, Persian, Punjabi, Seraiki, Sindhi, Torwali, and Urdu. These experts have a diverse set of experience related to registry operations, IDNA/DNS, Unicode, law enforcement, and policy, and come from private, public, academic and community-based organizations.

Though the task force is commencing operations, it will remain open for membership. Those interested to join the task force on voluntary basis are requested to send their resumes and Statement of Interest (SOI) to:

Details on TF-AIDN’s membership and scope of work are available at:


MESWG is a community driven working group coordinated by ICANN to foster community engagement and strengthen the DNS Ecosystem in the Middle East and Adjoining Countries (Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan). To that end, MESWG has developed a 3-year strategy and is currently in the process of implementing an action plan based on recommendations set forth in the strategy document. More details on MESWG are available at:

Categories: ICANN news

Paul Mockapetris to Serve as Senior Security Advisor to Generic Domains Division

ICANN announcements - Fri, 2013-10-04 23:16
4 October 2013

ICANN today announced that Paul Mockapetris, inventor of the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS), has agreed to serve as Senior Security Advisor to the Generic Domains Division and its President, Akram Atallah.

"The Domain Name System has met the needs of the Internet for secure and reliable service and growth in size and function," said Mockapetris. "I'm looking forward to helping ICANN continue that tradition."

Mockapetris created the DNS in the 1980s while at the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute. He also has been an active member of the Internet Engineering Task Force since its inception, serving as its chairman from 1994-1996. Paul Mockapetris was also recently named chairman of ICANN's Strategy Panel on Identifier Technology Innovation.

Categories: ICANN news

Removal of Eleven Test Internationalized Top-Level Domains from the Root Zone

ICANN announcements - Thu, 2013-10-03 02:32
2 October 2013

ICANN is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the testing period for internationalized top-level domains (IDNs) in the DNS root zone.

On 9 October 2007, ICANN inserted into the DNS root zone eleven internationalized domain names (IDNs) of the word "test" written in nine scripts representing ten different languages. The purpose of these domains was to identify potential adverse impacts on root zone operations caused by the use of IDNs as top-level domains (TLDs) prior to the production deployment of IDN TLDs. To test the domains, ICANN set up websites as various translations of "example.test" under the 11 test top-level domains. These websites allowed Internet users to create subpages to be used for testing and discussion on any issues encountered when accessing a whole domain name written in the characters of one of the designated languages.

Following a positive evaluation of the test IDN TLDs, ICANN launched in November 2009 the IDN Country Code Fast Track Process that enables qualified countries and territories to apply for production IDN TLDs. To date, 35 IDN ccTLDs (representing 25 countries and territories) have been delegated in the DNS root zone.

As a result of the successful testing and several years of production experience, there is no longer a need to have the test IDN TLDs delegated in the DNS root zone. This announcement serves as a notice to the community that the test IDN TLDs will be retired from the DNS root zone on 31 October 2013 in accordance with the ICANN Board approved procedure, Procedures for Test IDN Deployment.

Categories: ICANN news

Revised Public Interest Commitments Dispute Resolution Procedure (PICDRP)

ICANN announcements - Thu, 2013-10-03 02:32
2 October 2013 Forum Announcement: Comment Period Opens on Date: 2 October 2013 Categories/Tags:
  • Top-Level Domains
  • Contracted Party Agreements
  • Intellectual Property
Purpose (Brief): The Public Interest Commitments Dispute Resolution Procedure (PICDRP) is the third Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure for new gTLDs, and addresses complaints relating to Specification 11, Public Interest Commitments of the Registry Agreement. The revised PICDRP incorporates community-proposed revisions, and is being posted for comment to give an opportunity for the community to review and provide feedback on this procedure. Public Comment Box Link:
Categories: ICANN news

NGPC Considers Remaining Beijing and Durban Advice on New gTLDs

ICANN announcements - Wed, 2013-10-02 05:30
1 October 2013

The ICANN Board New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) met on 28 September 2013 and, among other things, adopted a scorecard of remaining advice from the Beijing and Durban GAC Communiqués. The scorecard, available here <> [PDF, 94 KB], reflects the following:

.wine and .vin: On 9 September 2013, the NGPC received a letter from Heather Dryden to Steve Crocker re: .wine and .vin. The letter noted that there is no GAC consensus advice on additional specific safeguards, and that the GAC or its members may communicate further details to the Board as to the nature of the differences in views. As such, the NGPC stands ready to hear from GAC members as to the nature of the differences in views expressed in the advice while the NGPC is analyzing the community input received on this advice.

The NGPC directs staff to analyze the GAC advice and other community input received on this issue, and prepare an analysis and recommendation for decision at the NGPC meeting in Buenos Aires.

.spa, .yun, ?? (guangzhou), .?? (shenzhen): ICANN will allow evaluation and dispute resolution processes to go forward, but will not enter into registry agreements with applicants for the identified strings, subject to the parties having reached agreement or the GAC issuing final advice prior to the close of the ICANN Public meeting in Buenos Aires.

.amazon (and related IDNs): directs staff to prepare additional analysis regarding the GAC advice and the issues raised by the applicant for NGPC consideration at a subsequent meeting.

Intergovernmental (IGO) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC/CICR) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC/FICR) acronyms: The NGPC is working on an implementation plan for the advice and will inform the GAC of the details upon approval by the NGPC.

Category 1 Safeguard Advice: The NGPC is working on an implementation plan for the advice and will inform the GAC of the details upon approval by the NGPC.

Category 2 Safeguard Advice: The NGPC directs staff to move forward with the contracting process for applicants for strings identified in the Category 2 Safeguard Advice that are prepared to enter into the Registry Agreement as approved.

The NGPC further directs staff to prepare an analysis and proposal for how to implement the Category 2 Safeguard Advice for applicants who do intend to impose exclusive registry access for generic strings.

The New gTLD evaluation and objection processes remains on track while the NGPC continues its deliberations. The NGPC is prioritizing its work in order to allow the greatest number of applications to move forward as soon as possible. We will continue to provide updates on the NGPC's progress in responding to the GAC Beijing and Durban Advice.

Categories: ICANN news

ICANN Appoints Chair and Chair-Elect for the 2014 Nominating Committee (NomCom)

ICANN announcements - Wed, 2013-10-02 04:37
1 October 2013

The ICANN Board is pleased to announce that it has appointed Cheryl Langdon-Orr as Chair and Stéphane Van Gelder as Chair-Elect for the 2014 Nominating Committee (NomCom) []. At Cheryl's request, Yrjö Länsipuro has agreed to serve as Associate Chair for the 2014 NomCom. These three members of the 2014 NomCom Leadership are well-known personalities in the ICANN community with in-depth knowledge of ICANN from many years of involvement and experience in ICANN. Cheryl Langdon-Orr serves as Chair-Elect of the 2013 NomCom, Stéphane Van Gelder is a member of the 2013 NomCom, and Yrjö Länsipuro serves as Chair of the 2013 NomCom and was a member of the 2011 and 2012 NomComs.

Cheryl commented on her appointment as Chair of the 2014 NomCom, stating:

I am delighted to be working again in 2014 with Stéphane and Yrjö, having served with them in 2013 whilst Chair Elect, but this time as the 2014 NomCom Leadership Team. We can assure the ICANN Community and Stakeholders, that we will be continuing to build on the continued evolution in practices and changes to ICANN's Nominating Committee transparency that have been seen in 2013. We are looking forward and planning for the 2014 NomCom 'kick off' meeting and activities following the ICANN Public meeting in Buenos Aires in November 2013, which is when the work of the 2014 NomCom starts, and where we formally take our seats with the rest of the appointed Community representatives and voting delegates.

After its initial meetings later this year, the 2014 NomCom will issue a public call for applicants to the open ICANN leadership positions and work to reach their final selections in 2014. The NomCom's activities can be followed on the NomCom website, at, where all relevant documentation regarding NomCom can be found.

About the NomCom Leadership:

The NomCom Chair is responsible for organizing the NomCom in its activities to select ICANN Board members and individuals who will serve in other key leadership positions within ICANN's Supporting Organizations (SO) and Advisory Committees (AC) in accordance with ICANN's Bylaws. The Chair-Elect serves alongside the Chair, with anticipated succession into the role of the Chair for the subsequent year's NomCom. The Associate Chair, selected by the Chair, assists with the duties of the Chair. The Chair, the Chair-Elect and Associate Chair are non-voting members of the NomCom.

Categories: ICANN news

A Day (or Two) in the Life of a Regional Vice President

ICANN blog - Wed, 2013-10-02 03:32

Among the challenges of being a Regional Vice President is managing your time to attend and participate in as many worthwhile stakeholder events as possible. So last year, when our partners from the Uzbekistan ccTLD .uz – Uzinfocom invited me to speak at their 2013 ICT Summit, I said “yes”!

Uzbekistan is a beautiful country (I do not say that simply because it is in my region). It also is one of only two “doubly landlocked” countries in the world (Lichtenstein being the other), meaning it is totally surrounded by other landlocked countries. Of course, when it comes to the Internet, access to the sea isn’t a requirement.

I spoke at two events during the ICT Summit in Uzbekistan last week – at a well-attended public meeting, and at a closed meeting with the ccTLD registry and later with national registrars. I presented at both events with material support from ICANN’s Speakers Bureau. I spoke about the progress in the New gTLD Program, about the IDN program, the internationalization of ICANN and, last but certainly not least, the importance of having broader and wider participation from Uzbekistan in everything ICANN does.

I also visited the ICT Exhibition – a very popular destination in countries such as Uzbekistan where people want to meet and talk about recent developments in the telecom industry. And I had several meetings with executives from the .uz registry. (didn’t you already say this?)

At every meeting I attended, people were very interested in the history of the relationship between ICANN and .uz ccTLD; information also documented on ICANN’s website. There also were many questions about the New gTLD program and when a second round of applications might take place. And finally, what made me think my visit had been a success were the questions I received about how Uzbeks could participate in the work of ICANN.

I want to end with a few personal words of gratitude for my friends at Uzinfocom who organized a perfect summit – from the day they picked me at the airport at 3 a.m. to the day they brought be back at 1 a.m. Yes, the travel is long and the hours are sometimes odd. Such is the life of an ICANN Regional Vice President, and one I am grateful to have.

Categories: ICANN news

Legal Age: 21 ccTLDs from the Region Met Within the Framework of the Regional Strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean

ICANN blog - Mon, 2013-09-30 22:52

The regional organization of ccTLDs in Latin America and the Caribbean, organized a technical workshop on September 3 in Panama which brought together 21 ccTLDs from the region (*), framed within one of the projects of the ICANN Strategic Plan in Latin America and the Caribbean – Security, Stability and Resiliency in the DNS- LACTLD. According to Christian O’Flaherty, Senior Development Manager for the Internet Society Latin America Office, this demonstrated the development achieved by the organization: “The Internet Society has been supporting the LACTLD technical meetings for several years. It is the most relevant and valuable workshop for ccTLD operators in the LAC region. The recent workshop was a great success and a milestone that confirms the current growth and maturity of the organization”.

This workshop addressed primarily technical aspects of Security, Stability and Resiliency (SSR) in the DNS along with IPv6 and EPP issues. The ccTLDS shared tips and lessons learned from tutorials, case studies and discussions. According to Sofia Zerbino, LACTLD Information Officer, the highlight of the workshop was the quality of the participation of the 21 ccTLDs present as well as the atmosphere of collaboration and camaraderie that usually characterize these meetings: “The positive experience is reflected in the data obtained from the survey: 80% were totally satisfied, 63% said they have completely covered their expectations”.

Gonzalo Romero, Internet Head of Security for .CO Internet, highlighted several questions that resulted from this experience, noting that this is an important moment for the region and the work of the TLD’s and they should take advantage of ICANN’s support, and organization that is promoting and supporting these issues: “Having the opportunity to share with people as knowledgeable as John Crain, and attending the SROC course offered by Delta-Risk, a strategic ally of ICANN on issues of training and technical capacity building, are experiences that should continue to be given in other events, at different scales and levels”.

For years, now ICANN has been supporting these training activities for ccTLD operators in the region and this time in a systemic way to include such initiatives within the Strategic Plan for the region. In this occasion, John L. Crain, ICANN’s Security, Stability and Resiliency Senior Director, was one of the instructors working with participants on security in ccTLD operations: “It was with great pleasure that I attended the LACTLD technical workshop in Panama City, Panama this September. LACTLD conferences provide a wonderful opportunity to mingle and discuss with one’s peers from the Latin American and Caribbean DNS industry as well as experts from outside the region (…) It was fantastic to see friends old and new and I look forward to being back in the region for ICANN’s next meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina”.

So, how will we moved forward? Four key tasks that resulted from the technical workshop in Panama include:

  • (1) How can we follow up on the actions and activities that the technicians who attend and participate in these workshops are developing? It is urgent to start applying management metrics or indicators to somehow identify the results of the ccTLDs progress in the region, in terms of Security, Stability and Resiliency in the DNS

  • (2) Do the TLD’s technical and commercial areas cooperate? Are they committed to develop innovation? Is there support from the directors for research and development regarding the DNS within the TLD’s / NIC’s?

  • (3) Some countries in the region have advanced very interesting models of cooperative action for cybersecurity and cyberdefense incident management. How do we replicate these models in other countries?

  • (4) Each country is developing strategies in security awareness, but LAC countries like Panama and Paraguay have recently adopted initiatives to handle a single universal language like the APWG’s STOP-THINK-CONNECT (details: How can the other countries in the region join this initiative?

The Community Working Group, which is leading this project within the regional Strategic Plan, is charged with developing a strategy for follow actions on the above questions. Congratulations to LACTLD and its members on a successful and constructive workshop, gaining momentum towards achieving our goals in the region.

(*) These were: ar, .ai, .br, .bo, .bz, .cl, .co, .cr, .cu, .ec, .gt, .gy,.ht, .kn, .mx, .pa, .pe, .py, .sv, .uy, .ve

Categories: ICANN news

ICANN Whois Privacy/Proxy Abuse Study Findings Webinar Invitation

ICANN announcements - Fri, 2013-09-27 17:52
27 September 2013

In order to participate, please RSVP via email to the GNSO Secretariat ( to receive the call details.

You are invited to participate in a webinar about the recently released Whois Privacy/Proxy Abuse Study, conducted for ICANN by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the United Kingdom. This study has now been published for public comment, and community feedback is being invited in order to assist ICANN with evaluating potential changes to Whois policy and the use of privacy/proxy services.

The study was commissioned by the GNSO to help the ICANN community understand the role that privacy and proxy service abuse plays in obscuring the identities of parties engaged in illegal or harmful activities, including phishing, cybersquatting, hosting child abuse sexual images, advanced fee fraud, and the online sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals. NPL was engaged to analyze domain names across the top five gTLDs - .biz, .com, .info, .net and .org – to measure whether the percentage of privacy/proxy use among domains engaged in illegal or harmful Internet activities is significantly greater than among domain names used for lawful Internet activities.

NPL's chief investigator on the study, Dr. Richard Clayton of the University of Cambridge, and ICANN staff will provide a briefing on Tuesday 15 October at 12.00 UTC and 19.00 UTC, summarizing NPL's findings and conclusions based on the data they collected and analyzed. Amongst other topics, Dr. Clayton will discuss:

  • NPL's methodology for the study and the hypothesis tested;
  • The different project activities and work packages undertaken for the study;
  • NPL's statistical analysis of the data sampled for the study, including comparative differences observed by the research team; and
  • NPL's conclusions based on the results of its analysis.

The two sessions are duplicates, scheduled to accommodate different time zones. Each session, scheduled to run for sixty (60) minutes, will be conducted in English only. The meeting will be run in Adobe Connect with a slide presentation along with a dial-in conference bridge for audio.

Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of each session. During the course of the webinar, questions may also be submitted using the chat function of Adobe Connect. If you are not able to participate in either of the live sessions, the recording of the session will be made available shortly after the meeting. The policy staff is always available to answer any questions that you email to

In order to participate, please RSVP via email to the GNSO Secretariat ( to receive the call details. Please indicate which call you would like to join on Tuesday 15 October - at 12.00 UTC or at 19.00 UTC (to convert those times into your local time, see: We will send you an e-mail reminder before the event with log-in and dial-in details. Please DO NOT RSVP to any other ICANN staff member's e-mail address.

Categories: ICANN news

Mayoría de Edad: 21 ccTLDs de la Región se Reúnen en el Marco de la Estrategia Regional de América Latina y el Caribe

ICANN blog - Thu, 2013-09-26 23:54

Por Alexandra Dans

Enmarcado dentro de uno de los proyectos del Plan Estratégico de ICANN en Latinoamérica y el Caribe – Seguridad, Estabilidad y Resiliencia del DNS- LACTLD, la organización Regional de los ccTLDs de la región, organizó un taller técnico el 3 de setiembre en Panamá que reunió a 21 ccTLDs de la región (*). Esto demostró el desarrollo alcanzada por la organización y así lo expresó Christian O’Flaherty, Gerente Senior de Desarrollo para la oficina de Latinoamérica: “La Internet Society ha venido apoyando las reuniones técnicas de LACTLD durante varios años. Es el taller más relevante y valioso para los operadores de ccTLD de la región de América Latina y el Caribe. El reciente seminario fue un gran éxito y un hito que confirma el actual crecimiento y la madurez de la organización”.

Este taller técnico abordó fundamentalmente aspectos de Seguridad, Estabilidad y Resiliencia (SSR) en el DNS, así como IPv6 y EPP. Se compartieron lecciones aprendidas y se transmitieron conocimientos entre ccTLDs a partir de tutoriales, casos de estudios y debate. Según Sofía Zerbino, Oficial de Información de LACTLD, el punto fuerte del taller fue la calidad de la participación de los 21 registros presentes y el ambiente de colaboración y compañerismo que suele caracterizar estos encuentros “La experiencia positiva se refleja en los datos obtenidos de las encuestas: 80% de satisfacción total, 63% dice haber cubierto totalmente sus expectativas”.

Gonzalo Romero, Jefe de Seguridad del .CO Internet, destacó varias interrogantes que resultaron de esta experiencia y que compartimos con ustedes más abajo. También destacó que este es un momento importante para la región y el trabajo de los TLD’s y que se debe aprovechar el apoyo que ICANN está dando empujando y apoyando estos temas: “haber tenido la oportunidad de compartir con personas tan conocedoras como John Crain, así como atender el curso de SROC ofrecido por Delta-Risk, un aliado estratégico de ICANN en temas de entrenamiento y construcción de capacidad técnica, son experiencias que deben seguirse dando en otros eventos, a diferentes escalas y niveles”,

Desde hace años, ICANN apoya estas actividades de entrenamiento para operadores de ccTLDs en la región y en esta ocasión de forma sistémica para incluir este tipo de iniciativas dentro del Plan Estratégico para la región. Esta vez, John L. Crain, Senior Director SSR de ICANN, fue uno de los instructores encargados de dictar el curso sobre seguridad en las operaciones de los registros: ” Es con gran placer que asistí al taller técnico LACTLD en la Ciudad de Panamá este mes de septiembre. Las conferencias de LACTLD ofrecen una maravillosa oportunidad de socializar y discutir con queridos compañeros de la industria DNS de Latinoamérica y el Caribe, así como con expertos fuera de la región (…) Fue fantástico ver a viejos amigos y conocer nuevos, ya quiero regresar a la región para la próxima reunión de ICANN en Buenos Aires, Argentina.”

¿Y ahora cómo seguimos? 4 interrogantes que surgen del taller técnico en Panamá:

  • (1) ¿Cómo realizar un “seguimiento” a las acciones y actividades que desarrollan los técnicos que asisten y participan en este tipo de talleres? Urge comenzar a aplicar métricas o indicadores de gestión que permitan identificar de alguna manera los resultados de evolución o progreso de los ccTLD’s de la Región, en términos de Seguridad, Estabilidad y Resiliencia en DNS

  • (2) ¿Cómo opera la interacción entre las áreas técnica y comercial en los TLD’s de la región? ¿Van de la mano? ¿Qué compromisos existen para desarrollar innovación? ¿Hay apoyo de la parte directiva a la investigación y desarrollo en aspectos relativos en DNS al interior de los TLD’s/NIC’s?

  • (3) Algunos países de la región han adelantado modelos muy interesantes de acción cooperante para gestión de incidentes de ciberseguridad y ciberdefensa (puestos de mando unificados, en los cuales participan el CERT gubernamental, los CERT’s, las autoridades de ley, el NIC, el IXP, los ISP’s, entidades del sector público y privado); ¿Cómo replicar este tipo de modelos en otros países, a partir del relacionamiento y la capacidad de convocatoria del NIC/TLD?

  • (4) Cada país viene desarrollando estrategias de concientización en temas de seguridad; sin embargo, países de LAC como Panamá y Paraguay recientemente (detalles: adoptaron iniciativas para manejar un lenguaje único y universal como el STOP-THINK-CONNECT del APWG. ¿Cómo hacer para que los otros países de la región se incorporen a esta iniciativa?

El Grupo de Trabajo de la Comunidad que lidera este proyecto del Plan Estratégico de la región, analizará la mejor forma de dar seguimiento a este tipo de iniciativas. Felicidades a LACTLD y sus miembros por este gran logro.

(*) Estos fueron: ar, .ai, .br, .bo, .bz, .cl, .co, .cr, .cu, .ec, .gt, .gy,.ht, .kn, .mx, .pa, .pe, .py, .sv, .uy, .ve

Categories: ICANN news

ICANN Makes Major Infrastructure Donation to DNS-OARC in Support of High-Risks Strings Collisions Study

ICANN blog - Tue, 2013-09-24 22:57

The DNS’s Operations, Analysis and Research Center (DNS-OARC) was created nearly a decade ago in recognition that the DNS’s key position in the Internet’s architecture made it at significant risk of being both a victim and vehicle for various types of misuse. DNS-OARC was however inspired by a vision that co-operation, together with data gathering, sharing and analysis between the operator and research communities could both protect against such misuse, and lead to a deeper understanding of the DNS and Internet operations.

Since OARC’s founding in 2004, these issues have only become more critical, and the organization has grown from a project within ISC to an independent, neutral, non-profit, membership organization with dedicated staff and over 70 members. Its mission is to improve the security, stability, and understanding of the Internet’s DNS infrastructure.

As well as running twice-yearly workshops, various public benefit tools and inter-member co-operation platforms, OARC operates a number of large-scale data gathering initiatives, which collect data from its members’ infrastructure. One of these, initiated in 2004 in co-operation with CAIDA and funded by the NSF, is a “Day in the Life of the Internet“” (DITL). This gathers detailed data-sets of DNS queries to root and top-level DNS operators for a 48-hour period at least once a year. The idea is to have a baseline data archive which can be compared year-on-year, and data has also been gathered during significant change points in the global DNS, such as the IPv6 delegation and DNSSEC signing of the root. Over the past decade, OARC has accumulated a data-set in excess of 40Tb of DITL queries.

A critical component of OARC’s capabilities and contribution is the availability of raw operational data. Many underlying principles engineering and failure modes of Internet traffic are poorly understood, and it’s important to note not all the threats to reliable, secure Internet operation are malicious. Studies performed by OARC partners such as CAIDA demonstrate that a significant amount of unwanted DNS traffic and operational problems are caused by misconfiguration of DNS or applications that depend on it. The only way to improve this state of affairs is application of the scientific method to the study of these on the large scale.

ICANN has been a committed supporter of OARC since becoming a member in 2008, and has worked with OARC as L-Root operator supplying DNS data, support of various joint events and service infrastructure, and recently providing a Board member.

During 2012, a potential new obstacle on the path to deployment of ICANN’s new TLDs became apparent to the ICANN SSAC (Security and Stability Advisory Committee). A risk was identified that some of the proposed new TLDs were already in widespread internal-only use within enterprises, and on top of this, SSL certificates which had only ever been intended for such internal use had already been issued to these organizations. This could lead to a risk of collisions between valid internal use of these TLDs, and potentially malicious misuse of these certificates on the global Internet.

Clearly this was a potentially significant problem, with a tension between the interests of new TLD operators who want to see their new domains deployed as quickly as possible, versus some very real risks of abusive activity, or even just unintended consequences, either or both of which could have global impact.

When determining policies on how to proceed in such situations, it’s important to have data to base them upon. Given the tight deployment timescales, gathering new data from scratch could have been a significant and time-consuming exercise. Fortunately, it was quickly identified that OARC’s DITL data-set could contain evidence needed to help determine if the SSAC’s concerns were real ones in practice, and if so the extent of their severity. The log of queries to the root and TLD servers contain not just valid top-level domain strings, but also “leakage” of strings intended for internal-only use but which escape into the wider Internet due to various mis-configurations. It is exactly these kind of unintended consequences which can lead to the concerns expressed in the study, making the data gathered a useful sample of what could go astray or be exploited.

While OARC’s DITL data set was recognized as being of high relevance for this particular need, it is however important to understand that it is only one view of the DNS, and by no means a definitive or complete view: for example it only includes some queries to some root operators for a small time, and not for example to many other TLD operators or ISPs providing DNS resolver services to their subscribers. It is probably impossible to get a complete view of the DNS by traffic gathering techniques, and the value of multiple different approaches should not be overlooked.

Having identified the problem and the data-set which could be a solution, ICANN engaged Interisle and their subcontractors RTFM to perform the analysis. In the short term, this work was started by loaning CAIDA computing capacity located at OARC to produce the initial report.

In the meantime, however, a number of requirements needed to be tackled to perform further analysis of the data:

  • DNS data submitted to OARC from jurisdictions across the world is potentially sensitive, and held in trust by OARC under strict confidentiality terms. This allows data submission by a much wider community than otherwise possible. However, these terms prevent the copying of the data from OARC’s archive to 3rd party systems.
  • While the systems hosting OARC’s growing data set have been regularly updated over the years, much of its supporting infrastructure, including computing resources for doing in-situ data analysis by members and researchers, had not been upgraded since the original NSF bootstrap funding a decade earlier, and was in sore need of upgrading.
  • Many new TLD operators wanted to become OARC members in order to both support its mission and carry out their own analysis of the DITL data sets at OARC, independently of the ICANN-sponsored work that had been carried out by Interisle/RTFM.
  • This was all happening in the context of the pressing timescales of new TLD deployment and ICANN’s analysis and comments timescales.

Fortunately, as a result of a re-development plan committed to by OARC’s Board earlier in 2013, a major hardware and software refresh was already under way, and at the time the Collisions Strings study requirement was identified, OARC’s new Systems Engineer, William Sotomayor, was ready to deploy the new compute resources needed.

OARC was thus quickly able to take delivery of, and bring into service, the significant equipment donation of 4 x Dell r820-grade servers from ICANN, in addition to other similar servers donated by interested OARC members. These are very high spec machines, with 64-core processors and at least 48Gb of RAM. They take OARC’s analysis capability firmly into the present, and will be of immense value not just for ongoing Collisions studies, but for general-purpose needs of OARC member and researchers for some years into the future.

OARC has been in the business of “Big Data” for much of its existence, but it is only recently that the value of such large-scale data gathering has been widely defined and recognized. With this major contribution, and further donations of equipment and space to host it pending, OARC looks forward to participating in the innovation revolution of Cloud Computing and Big Data.

OARC’s ability to provide a solution to a problem that was not envisaged at its founding underlines the value of neutral general-purpose data gathering from the DNS in the wider context of “Internet Science”.


OARC wishes to gratefully acknowledge ICANN’s generosity for this equipment donation, and we look forward to continuing to work with ICANN, our other members, partners and the research community to continue meeting this need.

Making this happen quickly took the committed help of a number of parties to which OARC is grateful. We’d like in particular to thank Terry Manderson, ICANN’s new Director of DNS operations and his team for procuring the servers, CAIDA for lending compute capacity to allow Interisle/RTFM to progress their work in the meantime, and the Operations team at ISC, OARC’s hosting provider, for prompt remote hands efforts to get our servers up and running.

Keith Mitchell

President, DNS-OARC

Categories: ICANN news

Study on Whois Privacy & Proxy Service Abuse

ICANN announcements - Tue, 2013-09-24 19:36
24 September 2013 Forum Announcement: Comment Period Opens on Date: 24 September 2013 Categories/Tags: Policy Processes Purpose (Brief):

This study, conducted by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the United Kingdom, analyzes gTLD domain names to measure whether the percentage of privacy/proxy use among domains engaged in illegal or harmful Internet activities is significantly greater than among domain names used for lawful Internet activities. Furthermore, this study compares these privacy/proxy percentages to other methods used to obscure identity – notably, Whois phone numbers that are invalid.

These findings will help the community understand the role that privacy and proxy service abuse plays in obscuring the identities of parties engaged in illegal or harmful activities, including phishing, cybersquatting, hosting child abuse sexual images, advanced fee fraud, online sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, and more.

Public Comment Box Link:
Categories: ICANN news
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