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Security Committee Charter

Approved: 15 September 2011

At its meeting on 18 March 2011 the ICANN Board approved a resolution to amend the SSAC Charter in the ICANN Bylaws. See: The revised version of the Charter is provided below and also is included in the ICANN Bylaws at: The previous version may be found at:

  1. The role of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee ("SSAC") is to advise the ICANN community and Board on matters relating to the security and integrity of the Internet's naming and address allocation systems. It shall have the following responsibilities:

    1. To communicate on security matters with the Internet technical community and the operators and managers of critical DNS infrastructure services, to include the root name server operator community, the top-level domain registries and registrars, the operators of the reverse delegation trees such as and, and others as events and developments dictate. The Committee shall gather and articulate requirements to offer to those engaged in technical revision of the protocols related to DNS and address allocation and those engaged in operations planning.

    2. To engage in ongoing threat assessment and risk analysis of the Internet naming and address allocation services to assess where the principal threats to stability and security lie, and to advise the ICANN community accordingly. The Committee shall recommend any necessary audit activity to assess the current status of DNS and address allocation security in relation to identified risks and threats.

    3. To communicate with those who have direct responsibility for Internet naming and address allocation security matters (IETF, RSSAC, RIRs, name registries, etc.), to ensure that its advice on security risks, issues, and priorities is properly synchronized with existing standardization, deployment, operational, and coordination activities. The Committee shall monitor these activities and inform the ICANN community and Board on their progress, as appropriate.

    4. To report periodically to the Board on its activities.

    5. To make policy recommendations to the ICANN community and Board.

  2. The SSAC's chair and members shall be appointed by the Board. SSAC membership appointment shall be for a three-year term, commencing on 1 January and ending the second year thereafter on 31 December. The chair and members may be re-appointed, and there are no limits to the number of terms the chair or members may serve. The SSAC chair may provide recommendations to the Board regarding appointments to the SSAC. The SSAC chair shall stagger appointment recommendations so that approximately one-third (1/3) of the membership of the SSAC is considered for appointment or re-appointment each year. The Board shall also have to power to remove SSAC appointees as recommended by or in consultation with the SSAC. (Note: The first full term under this paragraph shall commence on 1 January 2011 and end on 31 December 2013. Prior to 1 January 2011, the SSAC shall be comprised as stated in the Bylaws as amended 25 June 2010, and the SSAC chair shall recommend the re-appointment of all current SSAC members to full or partial terms as appropriate to implement the provisions of this paragraph.)

  3. The SSAC shall annually appoint a non-voting liaison to the ICANN Board according to Section 9 of Article VI.

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."