Historical Resolution Tracking Feature » Deferral of the Third Review of Security, Stability and Resiliency of the Domain Name System

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Deferral of the Third Review of Security, Stability and Resiliency of the Domain Name System

Resolution of the ICANN Board
Meeting Date: 
Thu, 10 Mar 2022
Resolution Number: 
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, Section 4.6 (c) of the ICANN Bylaws stipulates that the Board shall cause a periodic review of ICANN's execution of its commitment to enhance the operational stability, reliability, resiliency, security, and global interoperability of the systems and processes, both internal and external, that directly affect and/or are affected by the Internet's system of unique identifiers that ICANN coordinates. The Stability, Security and Resiliency Review (SSR) shall be conducted no less frequently than every five years, measured from the date the previous SSR Review Team was convened; the Second Review of the Stability, Security and Resiliency of the Domain Name System (SSR2) was convened in March 2017.

Whereas, on 30 November 2020, the Board approved recommendations from the Third Accountability and Transparency Review (ATRT3) pertaining to reviews, subject to prioritization and community agreement on the Bylaws change. Recommendation 3.3 states that Security, Stability and Resiliency Reviews shall be suspended until the next Accountability and Transparency Review Team shall decide if these reviews should be terminated, amended or kept as is.

Whereas, the SSR2 completed its work and delivered its Final Report to the Board on 25 January 2021, with the Board taking action on the 63 recommendations on 22 July 2021. The implementation preparations are underway for recommendations approved by the Board, and work is progressing to inform Board action on the 34 recommendations placed into "pending" status.

Whereas, the ICANN Board's Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) recommends the Board to defer the Third Review of the Security, Stability and Resiliency of the Domain Name System (SSR3), determining that it would be neither prudent nor feasible to begin this review now, given the ATRT3 recommendation to suspend and before the implementation of SSR2 recommendations has been completed.

Resolved (2022.03.10.03), the ICANN Board defers the SSR3 to allow the ICANN community and organization sufficient time to plan for, and implement pertinent ATRT3 recommendations once prioritized for implementation. The Board acknowledges that the Bylaws state that the SSR Review should be conducted every five years. The Board also acknowledges the ATRT3 recommendation, to suspend the SSR3 Review until the next ATRT makes a further recommendation on timing. The Board will oversee the implementation of ATRT3 recommendations and determine whether the timing of SSR3 should be re-examined based on the changing environment, including various dependencies.

Rationale for Resolution: 

The Board action today is an essential step in its oversight responsibility over Specific Reviews, including the review of the Security, Stability and Resiliency of the Domain Name System (SSR). The Board recognizes that the current timing specified in the Bylaws to commence SSR3 in March 2022 is not prudent in light of recently issued and approved community recommendations, nor feasible given insufficient time to implement SSR2 recommendations nor determine their effectiveness, prior to starting the next review. By deferring the start of SSR3, the Board is acting in line with the ATRT3 recommendations as also supported by the ICANN community. The Board expects that once ATRT3 recommendations are prioritized, the implementation work will result in a package of proposed amendments to the ICANN Bylaws, some of which would address the timing of future reviews, including SSR3.

The ATRT3 Recommendation 3.3 states that: "Given SSR2 will not be finalized prior to ATRT3 completing its work, ATRT3 recommends that SSR Reviews shall be suspended until the next ATRT Review (or any type of review that include current ATRT duties) which shall decide if these should be terminated, amended or kept as is. This review could be re-activated at any time by the ICANN Board should there be a need for this." The Board approved this recommendation in November 2020, subject to community agreement on a Bylaws change, stating that "When deemed appropriate through the prioritization process, the Board directs ICANN org to begin the process to make the appropriate Bylaw amendments, but if the Empowered Community rejects the Bylaws changes, further ICANN community discussion would be required before implementation."

Today's action supports the Board's continued commitment to proactively implement community-issued recommendations and to evolve Specific Reviews in collaboration with the ICANN community, to produce impactful outcomes that serve the public interest. Continuously improving delivery of Specific Reviews is a cornerstone of ICANN's commitment to accountability and transparency. It is in the public interest in that it will continue to support and improve the reviews of ICANN's responsibility for the security, stability and resiliency of the DNS toward improved outcomes.

Public comment proceeding is not considered necessary, since the ATRT3 recommendation to suspend SSR3 until the next ATRT was the subject of two public comment proceedings – on the Draft and Final SSR2 Reports.

This action is expected to result in positive impact to the security, stability or resiliency of the Internet's DNS, by allowing sufficient time to implement SSR2 recommendations and assess their impact as well as by enabling a community-based evaluation of the future of this review. This action is anticipated to result in positive budgetary or financial implications in the near term, in that the expenditure for the next review of the SSR will be deferred. It is also anticipated to have a positive impact on community and ICANN org resources.