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ICANN is Developing a Process for Evaluating DSFI-TSG Recommendations

20 April 2022

The Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) is leading the ICANN organization's (org) efforts to develop a process for the potential implementation of proposals from the Domain Name System Security Facilitation Initiative Technical Study Group (DSFI-TSG). This is one of ICANN President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Göran Marby's goals for Fiscal Year 2022.

Göran commissioned the DSFI-TSG in May 2020 to bring together experts in Domain Name System (DNS) standards and operations, including those who have experience handling cybercrime, security incidents, registry and registrar operations, and critical infrastructure operations. Their purpose was to investigate potential mechanisms to strengthen collaboration and communication on issues of security and stability that impact the DNS. In its final report delivered to Göran in October 2021, the DSFI-TSG offered 12 recommendations on how ICANN org may improve the security, stability, and resiliency of the global DNS, primarily in the areas of education and awareness, and suggested areas of research where best practice guidance is lacking.

ICANN org is in the process of evaluating the recommendations contained within the final report. Although the DSFI-TSG recommendations were out of scope of the Action Request Register (ARR) process for ICANN Board advice, the ARR process provides a useful framework for this work. This cross-functional effort will use the following phases:

Phase 1: Understand

As a first step, ICANN org will turn the recommendations into individual actionable items, as appropriate, and document a statement of understanding for each item. ICANN org will work with members of the DSFI-TSG on this effort to reach a mutual understanding of each actionable item. This phase is in progress and will be completed once a mutual understanding is confirmed and documented. We will be updating the wiki page here, where you can track the progress of this phase.

Phase 2: Evaluate and Consider

Once ICANN org and the DSFI-TSG have reached a mutual understanding of actionable items, ICANN org will evaluate the items for feasibility. Elements that ICANN org will consider in this phase include:

  • Potential positive or negative community impacts
  • Operational feasibility, including consideration of timing
  • Contractual and legal obligations
  • Alignment with ICANN's strategic goals and Operating Plan
  • Fiscal ramifications for ICANN org, the community, and the public

The output of this phase will be a report to the CEO, including a recommendation for implementation for each recommendation. This phase will be completed when ICANN org's report to the CEO is published.

Phase 3: Community Consultation

ICANN org will engage with the community on the results of its evaluation and next steps towards potential implementation, including how the DSFI-TSG recommendations fit within ICANN's Draft Planning Prioritization Framework.

Phase 4: Implementation

This phase is beyond the scope of the evaluation process; however, recommendations that are considered feasible and implementable, as a result of the process, will move into a final implementation phase, including implementation design and prioritization. Additional details of this phase will be developed in collaboration with the ICANN community.

ICANN org is committed to keeping the evaluation process transparent, and we will keep you informed as our work progresses.


John Crain

John Crain

SVP & Chief Technology Officer