Root Key Signing Key Ceremony Postponed
The 40th Root Key Signing Key Ceremony, originally scheduled for 12 February 2020 in El Segundo, California, has been postponed. One of the security mechanisms that protects the contents of the secure safes was found to be malfunctioning. The safes contain critical material used in the ceremonies, including but not limited to the hardware security modules that contain the key itself.
The issue was identified yesterday, 11 February 2020, during routine maintenance of the Key Management Facility. Although the malfunction does not pose a threat to the material protected inside the safe, it does trigger a delay in holding the ceremony as scheduled. There is no risk to the secure elements in the facility, and there will be no interruption to Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) service as a result.
Today, we held a briefing with the Trusted Community Representatives to discuss the equipment failure, our proposed approach to correct the fault, and possible dates to reschedule the ceremony. We maintain a complete replica facility in Culpeper, Virginia, and the ceremony may be moved to that location if necessary.
The work to repair the malfunction is scheduled for Friday, 14 February. If this work is successfully completed on time, we expect to hold the Key Ceremony on Saturday, 15 February at 18:00 UTC. If further work is needed, the new date for the ceremony will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
We will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.
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."