Have Your Say on the Eastern European DNS Forum

28 January 2019

Alexandra Kulikova

Since 2016, ICANN org has held a series of successful events in Eastern Europe and Central Asia with the purpose of engaging local stakeholders in discussions about emerging issues and future challenges to the Domain Name System (DNS). In December 2018, we ran the third edition of ICANN's Eastern European Domain Name System Forum (EEDNSF) in Moscow, Russia. With your input, we would like to determine how we can improve future forums. Participate in a short survey and help the EEDNSF become a more rewarding, informative and productive experience for the Eastern European and Central Asian DNS community to engage with ICANN.

Each one of the three forums we held so far has been unique in terms of audience, topics, and discussion dynamics. Our initial intention of taking the EEDNSF to travel across the region has been fulfilled by hosting an annual meeting space for the local community in different areas of the region to discuss relevant issues related to the DNS.

A Recap on the last EENDSF

The Moscow EEDNSF marked a milestone as the first ICANN-led event in Russia; hosted by one of our long-standing partners, the Coordination Center for national domains .RU/.РФ. ICANN was strongly represented at the event, with nine staff and a Board Member participating. The Forum's rich agenda, on both technical and policy days, helped address and facilitate discussions around some high-interest topics for both the local and regional community.

The Forum discussed one of the most mystifying and misinterpreted topics in the region - the functioning of the DNS root service, and its evolution trends. We also touched upon the latest achievements in the DNS protocol cryptographic development such as DNS over Transport Layer Security (TLS), and DNS over Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), which might create new privacy realities for Internet users around the world. Countering DNS abuse and devising ways of cooperation is of great interest for the local community. In Russia, for example, the so-called 'competent organizations' (reputable security firms) not only closely work with the ccTLD registry (Coordination Center) to fight DNS abuse, but also have the potential to become vehicles for registries and registrars for cooperation with foreign partners. Additionally, with ICANN's 20th anniversary in 2018, and .RU's upcoming 25th anniversary this year, we had the perfect opportunity to examine in retrospect the DNS development and evolution in the country and the region.

During the Forum, we also looked at the effects of national legislations in the region and the challenges they pose for organizations such as ICANN as these can potentially affect the way the Internet and DNS specifically operate. And for the first time at an EEDNSF, we looked at how the local community is represented in the global ICANN community policy development processes and working groups, and explored the benefits and challenges for participants when contributing to this work.

As the Chair of the Russian State Duma Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications Leonid Levin pointed out during his opening speech that Russia's leading achievements in the Information Technology (IT) industry were made possible through its focus on science, technology and IT oriented education since the Soviet era. In some ways, this holds true across the whole of the region and helps attract the best local DNS experts to the EEDNSF.

The EEDNSF 2018 was a success thanks to our partners, colleagues, and over 250 participants. Looking back at three years of the EEDNSF, we hope that it has proven worthwhile and relevant to the regional community as well as to our co-organizers in this journey so far: the Ukrainian, Belorussian and Russian country code top-level domains (ccTLDs).

Your Input Matters

We are aware that there is always room to make the EEDNSF a more rewarding, informative and productive experience for the Eastern European and Central Asian DNS community and a platform for engaging with ICANN. We have some ideas and would certainly welcome yours! Please help us shape the future of EEDNSF by participating in this survey until 15 February 2018. Your opinion matters to us, and builds our collaborative efforts to spread knowledge and share expertise around the DNS. We will share the survey results shortly after the submission deadline via a blog on icann.org. 

Again, a big thank you to our colleagues and partners, who helped make the third Eastern European DNS Forum a success. As we start 2019, we will start planning the fourth edition later this year!

For the Adobe recordings of the Forum, visit here.

For the presentations, check out sessions on the agenda page.

For photos from the 2018 Forum, click here.

Alexandra Kulikova