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An Update from the Second Security, Stability and Resiliency of the Domain Name System (DNS) Review Team (SSR2)

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Alain Aina, Network Engineer at West and Central African Research and Education Network (ccNSO representative, Africa)

The SSR2 review team recently held a two-day face-to-face meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, prior to ICANN59. The review team is examining security, operational stability, and resiliency matters related to ICANN's coordination of the Internet's system of unique identifiers. Here, review team member Alain Aina explains why the SSR2 Review is important and shares some highlights from the recent meeting.

Why is the SSR2 Review important?

The unique identifiers system is critical to the Internet. ICANN, in its role as the technical coordinator of these unique identifiers, is a key component of this system. The ICANN organization works with the global Internet community to meet its commitments. This work requires some operational elements as well as coordination and engagement with several parties.

The SSR2 Review is assessing how well ICANN is executing its commitment to enhance the operational stability, reliability, resiliency, security, and global interoperability of the Internet's system of unique identifiers. The SSR2 Review will evaluate how well ICANN performs its role, as well as how well the ecosystem is prepared to deal with known and future threats inherent to the normal evolution of the Internet and the unique identifiers system.

What are some of the areas the review team is currently focusing on?

During the meeting in Johannesburg, we finalized five key areas that the review will focus on. Sub-teams of volunteers from within the team will review:

  1. ICANN's implementation of community recommendations from the first SSR Review (SSR1). Learn more.
  2. The completeness and effectiveness of ICANN's internal SSR processes. Learn more.
  3. ICANN activities that impact the security and stability of the DNS. Learn more.
  4. ICANN's strategy to address potential future challenges to the secure and resilient operation of the unique identifiers systems it coordinates. Learn more.
  5. The impact of the IANA stewardship transition on the security of ICANN and the unique identifier systems it coordinates. Learn more.

In addition, "rapporteurs" for each of the sub-teams were determined during the meeting. Rapporteurs are responsible for sharing updates on the team's progress during the weekly review team meetings.

In your opinion, what were some of the major achievements of this meeting?

It was great to finalize our key areas of focus. During the meeting we had a number of breakout sessions which allowed each of the sub-groups to meet to develop their scope and begin working together.

What are the next steps for the review team?

The sub-groups will work to finalize their scope and work plans. The full review team will also continue fact-finding and assembling materials to help inform the review. We will then be able to bring our findings together and consult with the ICANN community for its input.

Is there anything else you'd like to highlight from the meeting?

The commitment from my fellow SSR2 team members throughout the meeting in Johannesburg and others has been great. I also want to highlight the commitment and efficiency of ICANN's support staff, which helps the review team make progress on our work.

How can people get involved in the SSR2 Review?

You can follow the review team meetings live and stay informed of its progress by becoming an SSR2 observer. You can also share your expertise and input on SSR issues by sending an email to

To learn more about the Review, visit the SSR2 wiki page.


    Males Ngampus  10:04 UTC on 25 July 2017

    very unique identifiers system is critical to the Internet..

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."