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ICANN Calls for Volunteers to Plan for Changing the Root Zone DNSSEC Algorithm

3 November 2022

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is calling for volunteers to join a design team that will develop a plan for changing the cryptographic algorithm used for the Domain Name System (DNS) root key signing key and zone signing key.

Understanding how to safely change the algorithm is a proactive step that enables ICANN and the Internet community to realize benefits provided by newer algorithms. Responsible management of the DNS root zone is part of ICANN's mission to make the Internet more secure, resilient, and interoperable for its billions of users.

ICANN plans to convene a design team of experts who will help define the steps and timelines needed to realize the algorithm rollover. The team will provide a framework to help prepare the ICANN community and ICANN's global partners to be technically and operationally prepared for a future change in the signing algorithm.

Ideally, the design team will have experts with one or more of the following skills:

  • Experience with Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) algorithm rollovers, particularly in top-level domains
  • Experience in applied cryptography, particularly in the digital signature methods used in DNSSEC
  • Experience in actively participating or leading groups that designate new cryptographic algorithms for public use
  • Experience in DNSSEC software development for authoritative servers, validating resolvers, or both

This design team is expected to be composed of ICANN and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) staff, key stakeholders, and about six volunteer experts tasked with contributing to developing this framework. They will be expected to work for approximately three months, about five hours per week, and up to one month following the Public Comment period. There may be at least one in-person meeting if the group collectively decides that it is necessary.

IANA plans for the team to begin work in early January 2023. When the team's design is finished, it will be delivered to IANA, which will then conduct a request for Public Comments with the ICANN community. The design team will update the design based on the Public Comments received.

Interested in joining this group? Please complete this form and send it to ksk-rollover-soi@iana.org before 25 November 2022. IANA expects to announce members of the design team in early January 2023. The team will start work shortly thereafter.

More information about the project can be found here.

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.