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Introducing the Identifier Research, Operations, and Security Function

In October 2018, ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby announced the decision to place the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions under my role as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Prior to this, my function - the Office of the CTO (OCTO) - was minimally involved in operational matters. Rather, our focus was similar to the role of a “think tank”: conducting research, providing information and training (internally and externally), building capacity, and performing security-related facilitation with different stakeholders.

However, with the inclusion of the IANA functions, I recognized that this would increase OCTO’s operational activity profile. At the same time, it didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense for the IANA functions to be included within OCTO, since our role as a think tank would remain. As such, a name change seemed appropriate.

After discussing the situation with my team, we came up with new names, such as “Office of the CTO Now with Added Operations” (OCTONAO), “IANA Now with Added Think Tank” (IANANATT), or, in tribute to our Canadian friends, “Bob.” After these were rejected by Göran, we finally settled on Identifier Research, Operations, and Security (IROS). Pragmatically speaking, there was little change; aside from the IANA team, as well as the associated contract management-related activities migrating over to me from the Global Domain Division (GDD), there were no “user visible” changes, either internally or externally.

The IROS function is an umbrella that covers two teams: the IANA functions and OCTO. As things have evolved, we also have a small team (known as “IROS Operations”) led by Steve Conte that performs operational activities, such as project management and facilitation of the IANA Naming Functions Review. With the exception of myself, Steve, and Amy Creamer, who joined us from GDD as part of the consolidation I mentioned, titles on business cards didn’t even need to be changed.

Looking to the future, we in the IROS function will continue to provide both the OCTO services and the IANA functions. The OCTO teams of Research, Technical Engagement, and Security, Stability, and Resiliency have been increasingly active in collecting data, researching and writing papers, providing training and capacity building, and trying to help identify and measure DNS security threats and abuse. This will only accelerate. The IANA team will continue to deliver the names, numbers, and protocol parameters functions that the community depends upon for the Internet to work, and strive to keep exceeding their expectations for customer satisfaction.


    ParsamyParhamy  17:15 UTC on 19 June 2020

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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."