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Press Release: ICANN convenes security experts for 50th time to keep the Internet secure

Key signing ceremonies, held periodically since 2010, ensure that the Internet’s address book functions without fail.

Los Angeles, California – 12 July 2023 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will hold its 50th key signing ceremony on 19 July 2023, at its Los Angeles facility. This key ceremony is a crucial operational event that is fundamental to how ICANN secures the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS). ICANN's key signing ceremonies provide one of the critical safeguards that keeps the Internet infrastructure safe and available to all.

"ICANN has been holding key signing ceremonies since 2010," said ICANN's Kim Davies, Vice President, IANA Services and President, Public Technical Identifiers. "Holding these ceremonies has been vital to the ongoing functioning of the DNS. Our track record for managing the DNS root zone without interruption has provided a strong foundation for the Internet, particularly during the pandemic as its use exploded."

The DNS is the address book of the Internet. More than 5.3 billion people around the world use it daily to navigate the Internet. Instead of typing the complicated numerical locations (Internet Protocol addresses) for every website or application, people can use domain names like to navigate the Internet, to send emails, and more.

The DNS is protected at the highest level using a seal of authenticity, known as the root zone key signing key. This is often referred to more simply as the root key or the root KSK. Computers around the world can verify the system is working correctly by examining if this seal of authenticity is present and not tampered with. Every three months, during an event called a key ceremony, this seal needs to be applied to other keys that are used in daily operations to make this system work. To learn more, read The Key to the Internet and Key Ceremonies: An Explainer.

Without key signing ceremonies and the Domain Name System Security Extensions technology it enables, the DNS would be less secure and Internet users would be more susceptible to various forms of security attacks. These ceremonies are open and transparent, and ICANN encourages all interested stakeholders to participate in these events, which are critical to its efforts to maintain the security and stability of the DNS.

Media Resources

Root KSK Ceremony 50: livestream, script, and other materials

Attending a KSK Ceremony:


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

Media Contact

Alexandra Dans
Communications Director, The Americas
Montevideo, Uruguay
+598 95 831 442

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."