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DNS Risk Assessment (1st Iteration) for Public Consultation

In November 2013 at ICANN 48 in Buenos Aires, the ICANN Board adopted the ICANN DNS Risk Management Framework ("Framework") and in February 2014 a group of selected ICANN staff undertook an initial (limited scope) DNS risk assessment using the Framework.

The initial DNS risk assessment was intended to serve as a pilot, given the evolutionary nature of the Internet and ICANN's multi-stakeholder model.

The results of this assessment can be found here [PDF, 432 KB] in the form of a consultation paper for the community. In addition, an accompanying risk categorization reflecting the risks initially identified can be found within the 'resilience model' within this link [PDF, 312 KB].

In ICANN 50 in London, ICANN intends on holding a session with the community to discuss the consultation paper, the questions posed in that paper and the initial risks identified.

It is intended to use the consultation feedback to make further refinements to the assessment process. Future risk assessments are expected to actively involve the community and include the development of risk remediation strategies and plans.


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."