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Second Security, Stability, and Resiliency (SSR2) Review Team Final Report

Open Date: 28 January 2021 Close Date: 9 March 2021
Originating Organization: ICANN Organization – Review Support and Accountability
Categories/Tags: Reviews/Improvements, Accountability/Transparency
Brief Overview:

On 25 January 2021, the second Security, Stability, and Resiliency (SSR2) Review Team submitted its final report to the ICANN Board. The report is now issued for Public Comment to inform Board action on the SSR2 Review Team's final recommendations.

The SSR Review is a Specific Review mandated by ICANN's Bylaws (Article 4, Section 4.6) to review "ICANN's execution of its commitment to enhance the operational stability, reliability, resiliency, security, and global interoperability of the systems and processes, both internal and external, that directly affect and/or are affected by the Internet's system of unique identifiers that ICANN coordinates." Specific Reviews are crucial to the legitimacy and accountability of ICANN. Specific Reviews serve as ICANN's progress report to the world and demonstrate how ICANN delivers on its commitments and identifies areas where it can improve. Specific Reviews are conducted by members of the stakeholder community who look at past processes, actions, and outcomes in order to make recommendations to improve future performance.

The SSR2 Review Team Final Report contains 63 full consensus recommendations in the following areas:

  • SSR1 implementation and intended effects;
  • Key stability issues within ICANN;
  • Contracts, compliance, and transparency around Domain Name System (DNS) abuse; and
  • Additional SSR-related concerns regarding the global DNS.

The SSR2 Review Team considered comments received on its draft report and amended its report as it deemed appropriate. Appendix H of the SSR2 Final Report contains the SSR2 Review Team's response to the public comments.

The SSR2 Review Team will host a webinar on 11 February 2021 at 15:00 UTC to brief the community on its final recommendations. Please see the wiki page for webinar details.

Per the Bylaws (Section 4.6(a)(vii)(C)) the Board shall consider the final report within six months of receipt, i.e., by 25 July 2021. The Board will consider the Public Comment submissions received as well as a feasibility analysis and impact assessment of the implementation of recommendations, which will take into account initial cost and resource estimates and dependencies with other ongoing efforts within the community. The Board will then direct implementation of the recommendations that were approved subject to planning, scheduling, and prioritization, and provide written rationale for any recommendations that are not approved.


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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."