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ICANN Launches the Special Interest Forum on Technology Discussion Platform

7 April 2022

Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is pleased to announce the launching of a new discussion platform, Special Interest Forum on Technologies (SIFT). The platform will provide the ICANN community a specific place online to discuss thematic and technical issues, and to promote knowledge sharing and discussions on the evolving Identifiers technologies and their impact on ICANN's mission.

Anyone from the ICANN community may join SIFT. Members of the ICANN-supported discussion groups will be able to track conversations through mailing lists. Outcomes of discussions may result in further presentations and discussions during Emerging Identifier Technology (EIT) sessions, the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) team conducting additional research, or simply the creation of new thematic discussion boards.

ICANN's mission is fundamentally rooted in the Internet's core technologies, which enable digital devices to find and communicate with each other over a single, global interconnected network called the Internet. This includes technologies like the Domain Name System (DNS) and unique identifiers like domain names, IP addresses, and various protocol parameter assignments. One of ICANN's strategic goals (3.2b) calls for a "Mechanism [to be] established with which ICANN assesses new technologies and, when appropriate, embraces them." SIFT provides a way to actively involve the community in monitoring, identifying, and assessing the identifier system's evolution.

Over time, constituencies such as the Security and Stability Advisory Committee, Root Server System Advisory Committee (and its caucus), and the country code top-level domain names (ccTLD) and generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) technical working groups have focused their work on developments related to fundamental Internet technologies. They advise the ICANN Board or their own members on these issues. While this work takes place at different venues and forums outside of ICANN meetings, ICANN staff have observed at ICANN public engagements, that the community may benefit from an informal, central place within ICANN to openly discuss and engage on these topics. While discussions on SIFT are not part of the ICANN community's policy development processes, they may help further inform ICANN stakeholders on these issues as they engage in their policy development work.

ICANN has created a Wiki page, which has drafts of its foundational documents. We invite you to subscribe to the general mailing list (sift-general@icann.org) and join the conversation.

You may join the general discussion mailing list here.
Please visit the SIFT-dedicated wiki page for more information here.
Please read the FAQ page here.

Feel free to contact octo@icann.org if you have any questions related to the launch of SIFT.

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.