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Call for Public Comments: The Security, Stability and Resiliency of the DNS Review Team

The Security, Stability & Resiliency of the DNS Review Team was launched in October 2010 in line with the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) provisions i.e section 9.2 which stipulates that: ICANN will organize a review of its execution of the above commitments no less frequently than every three years. […] Particular attention will be paid to: (a) security, stability and resiliency matters, both physical and network, relating to the secure and stable coordination of the Internet DNS; (b) ensuring appropriate contingency planning; and (c) maintaining clear processes. The Review Team is tasked to assess the extent to which ICANN has successfully implemented the security plan, the effectiveness of the plan to deal with actual and potential challenges and threats, and the extent to which the security plan is sufficiently robust to meet future challenges and threats to the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet DNS, consistent with ICANN's limited technical mission.

The Security, Stability & Resiliency of the DNS Review Team (SSR RT) is composed of 11 SO/AC representatives, 3 independent experts, the ICANN President and CEO (Selector)’s designated nominee and the Chair of the GAC (Selector)’s designated nominee. For full reference, please consult: http://www.icann.org/en/reviews/affirmation/composition-2-en.htm

The SSR RT commenced its activities in October 2010 and held its first face-to-face meeting and interaction with the community session in Cartagena last December. In Colombia, the SSR RT drafted and issued Terms of Reference, which will guide the AoC mandated Team throughout its exercise. https://community.icann.org/display/ssrreview/Terms+of+Reference.

In anticipation of the ICANN Silicon Valley Meeting, the Security, Stability & Resiliency of the DNS Review Team now wishes to solicit input from the community on a set of issues [PDF, 16 KB]. Please submit your comments at ssr-rt-issues@icann.org. This public comment box shall remain open for 45 days consistent with ICANN practices and will close on 6 April 2011.

More importantly, the SSR RT intends to hold a full day face-to-face meeting at the Silicon Valley Meeting on Thursday, 17 March. The first item on the agenda shall be to collect the ICANN community’s input on this set of issues. Please refer to the ICANN Silicon Valley Meeting schedule for more information on the time and location of the exchange: http://svsf40.icann.org/sched-overview.

All the Review Team’s activities, governance and working documents are published on an interactive community wiki at: https://community.icann.org/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=2950038.


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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."