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SSAC Endorses Name Collision Analysis Project Recommendations

16 May 2024
By Ram Mohan

In SAC124: SSAC Advice on Name Collision Analysis, the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) strongly endorses the findings and recommendations outlined in the Name Collision Analysis Project (NCAP) Study Two Report. We urge the ICANN Board to adopt these recommendations to safeguard the Domain Name System (DNS) and its users.

Why Are Name Collisions a Threat?

Name collisions occur when a domain used in the global DNS namespace is also used in a different namespace (e.g., private enterprise), where users, software, or other functions may misinterpret it. Imagine encountering the same name used for different purposes – that's a name collision in the DNS.

The NCAP Study Two asserts, and SSAC concurs, that name collisions pose well-documented Security, Stability, and Resiliency (SSR) and privacy risks to the Internet's infrastructure and end users. Addressing this issue aligns with ICANN's mission of ensuring a secure and stable Internet identifier system for all.

The NCAP Study Two offers eleven strategic recommendations: they include the groundbreaking Name Collision Risk Assessment Workflow, a centralized and coordinated approach to mitigate risks associated with name collisions, and valuable insights for the future of new generic top-level domain (gTLD) implementation. The SSAC applauds this approach as it guarantees consistent implementation of safeguards against these privacy and security threats.

Balancing Privacy and Security

The SSAC acknowledges the inherent privacy concerns involved in managing name collisions. However, ICANN's responsibility for gTLD allocation necessitates some data collection to make informed decisions regarding potentially risky domain names.

Avoiding data collection entirely doesn't eliminate privacy risks; it simply shifts the burden to third parties, potentially causing even greater privacy concerns. A proactive approach to identifying and mitigating name collisions, as recommended in the NCAP Study Two, is essential for effective SSR management.

The SSAC's Commitment

We believe that implementing the NCAP Study Two recommendations strengthens the DNS and protects the Internet community. The SSAC stands ready to work with the ICANN organization and the broader Internet community to address these critical challenges.


Ram Mohan

Chair, Security and Stability Advisory Committee