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ICANN Systems Controls Validated by Annual IANA Functions Audit

LOS ANGELES – 22 April 2020 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has completed another year of audits of the key systems used to deliver the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions. Accounting firm RSM US LLP conducted the audits of the Registry Assignment and Maintenance Systems (RAMS) and the root zone Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) services for the period of 1 December 2018 through 30 November 2019.

For the seventh consecutive year, a Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 audit of the RAMS shows that the ICANN organization has the appropriate controls in place to ensure the security, availability, and integrity of IANA request processing.

For the tenth consecutive year, an exception-free audit has been completed for the management of the DNSSEC root key signing key (KSK), which is the trust anchor of the Domain Name System. Using the SOC 3 framework, the audit demonstrates that effective security, availability, and process integrity controls exist to manage the root KSK. The report is publicly available at

This year's audit period included reviewing the final milestones relating to regeneration of KSK assets. Following the first KSK rollover in 2018, this audit period involved the deletion of the first KSK and associated destruction of equipment and assets surrounding those, dating back to 2010.

"We have come a long way in the ten years since we conducted our first KSK ceremony and started our third-party audit program. From developing strong controls to ensuring comprehensive transparency in our process, this team has managed to meet the audit criteria set by the AICPA every single year. I am very proud of everyone who contributed to that achievement," said Kim Davies, President of Public Technical Identifiers and Vice President for IANA at ICANN.

SOC audits evaluate an organization's controls in relation to "trust services principles and criteria" and are managed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).


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."