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Request for Proposal: DNSSEC KSK Management Tools

LOS ANGELES – 12 September 2018 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN"), is soliciting proposals to identify a provider that will develop and maintain software for its affiliate Public Technical Identifiers (PTI) that will replace the existing Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) Key Signing Key (KSK) Management Tools. These tools comprise a critical component of the delivery of the IANA functions by PTI. The selected provider, in coordination with PTI, will be responsible for all aspects of development and implementation including design, programming, testing and configuration. All deliverables must be created under formal guidelines with comprehensive documentation. The software will be published under an open source license and must incorporate industry best practices with documented test cases that will be shared with the Internet community.

The DNSSEC KSK Management Tools are a set of software utilities to manage the KSK life cycle, including processing Key Signing Requests (KSRs) and generating Signed Key Responses (SKRs), as part of executing the Root Zone KSK ceremonies.

PTI seeks a well-qualified provider to develop and maintain this new software based on provided requirements, to provide ongoing maintenance and to develop potential future enhancements. This software will help improve the efficiency and resiliency of management of the Root Zone KSK, which can also be leveraged by other DNSSEC practitioners in their operations.

For an overview of the RFP including the timeline, please click here [PDF, 182 KB]

Indications of interest should be emailed to Proposals should be electronically submitted by 23:59 UTC on 10 October 2018 using ICANN's sourcing tool. Access to the ICANN org sourcing tool may be requested via the same email above.


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

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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"""" is not an IDN."