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Internet Identifier System Research and Security, Stability, and Resiliency

Office of the Chief Technology Officer supports improving the Security, Stability, and Resiliency of Internet’s system of unique identifiers; researches issues related to those identifiers; provides capacity building training for DNS, DNSSEC, and Security; participates in technical and security community groups (IETF, regional TLDs, AntiPhishing)


Internet Assigned Numbers Authority Functions

Part of ICANN Operational functions include the maintenance or key Global Registries (Protocol Parameters, Top level IP number Prefixes and Top level Domain name delegation) under the IANA functions, and the Time Zone Database which contains the code and data that represents local time around the globe


Information Systems, Corporate Security, IT and DNS Engineering

Office of the Chief Information Officer monitors and maintains ICANN systems and technical operations, corporate security, and Information Technology. The DNS Engineering Team administers ICANN's DNS network services and the global L-root constellation.


Global Domain Division Technical Services

The Global Domains Division supports gTLD Registries and Registrars under contract with ICANN. This includes contracting for Emergency Backend Registry Operator, Registry and Registrar Data Escrow, operating the CZDS, and Registry Services Evaluation Process. Also supports IDNs, ccTLD Fast Track Process, Root Zone Label Generation Ruleset...


  • The Recent KSK Rollover: Summary and Next Steps
    As we hope you have already heard, the main cryptographic key for the DNS root zone was changed on 11 October 2018 in an elaborately orchestrated series of steps. The result was exceptionally good: There were far fewer Internet users negatively affected by the change...

    30 Oct 2018 | By Paul Hoffman, Principal Technologist, Office of the CTO, ICANN

  • The Information Transparency Initiative (ITI): Improving Announcement and Blog Findability
    As you know from previous blogs and Public Meeting sessions, ITI is well into its tenth month of work and much progress has been made in that time. As Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) Ashwin Rangan wrote about in June 2018, we're rebuilding...

    11 Oct 2018 | By David Conrad, ICANN Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

  • 2018 KSK Rollover Operator Preparedness Survey
    From 21 August 2018 until 14 September 2018, the ICANN organization invited over 16,000 network operators to participate in a survey regarding their preparations for the root KSK rollover. The networks chosen for the survey were those that have shown evidence of perfoming...

    03 Oct 2018 | By Edward Lewis, Sr. Technologist, OCTO Research Team, ICANN

  • Routine Annual Disaster Recovery Process Is Better Than Ever
    As part of our annual disaster recovery protocol, this year we performed a live transition of our entire catalog of public web services - from our primary data center to our alternate data center. This test included,,,...

    08 Aug 2018 | By Ashwin Rangan, SVP Engineering & Chief Information Officer

  • Office of the CTO Activities Brief: January to June 2018
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    The first half of 2018 has been busy for the ICANN organization's Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) team. We have been involved in endeavors around the globe to increase engagement with our peers and partners and improve knowledge of the Internet's system of...

    03 Jul 2018 | By Adiel Akplogan, Vice President of Technical Engagement, ICANN

  • How the ITI Technical Infrastructure Works
    We've blogged previously that the Information Transparency Initiative (ITI) is a foundational project that aims to establish content governance and rebuild our underlying technical infrastructure. These key foundational deliverables will improve how we manage all of our...

    21 Jun 2018 | By Ashwin Rangan, Senior Vice-President, Engineering and Chief Information Officer (CIO)

  • Important Changes Coming to The Way You Use Adobe Connect
    As you know, issues were reported with Adobe Connect (AC) during ICANN61 in Puerto Rico and we later restored service. The way you access closed Adobe Connect sessions is changing so that the rooms are more secure. Room administrators or meeting organizers will apply...

    20 Jun 2018 | By Ashwin Rangan, ICANN SVP Engineering and CIO

  • ICANN Adobe Connect Services Restored
    Today, I am writing to let you know that we are restoring ICANN's Adobe Connect collaboration services, effective 1 June 2018. This decision was made following extensive independent and joint forensics investigations by ICANN org, CoSo Cloud LLC (our Adobe Connect cloud...

    31 May 2018 | By Ashwin Rangan, SVP Engineering & Chief Information Officer

  • The Information Transparency Initiative (ITI): Making Improvements by Building Strong Foundations
    Today, the ICANN org launched improvements to the existing Acronyms and Terms feature on These changes are a part of ITI's commitment to increase the findability of our public content. Some of the enhancements include: Multilingual search via acronym,...

    24 May 2018 | By David Conrad, ICANN Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

  • Adobe Connect Update
    I wanted to give you an update on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) plan for a remote participation tool and reinstating Adobe Connect. Based on your overwhelming sentiment, over 75% of you asked in one way or another for Adobe Connect, we...

    08 May 2018 | By Ashwin Rangan

  • The Information Transparency Initiative (ITI) Feedback Site is Now Live
    I'm pleased to announce that today, we launched the ITI feedback site ( As I have written about in previous blogs and discussed at ICANN60 and ICANN61 sessions, this site is intended to provide you, the ICANN community, with the ability to share your...

    23 Apr 2018 | By David Conrad, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Senior Vice-President

    As you know, the ICANN organization took down its Adobe Connect service midway through the ICANN61 meeting in response to reported issues with this service. Concurrently, we began to conduct our own forensic analysis of the reported incident and began working with our...

    20 Apr 2018 | By Ashwin "Ash" Rangan, ICANN SVP Engineering and CIO

  • Interim Tools for Remote Participation
    As you know, during ICANN61 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the ICANN organization was made aware of possible issues with our Adobe Connect services. In an abundance of caution, we took immediate action and deactivated Adobe Connect services – both for external and internal...

    26 Mar 2018 | By Ashwin Rangan

  • More Information on the Adobe Connect Issue
    In our last blog on this issue, we reported that our technical teams are testing various scenarios to determine the root cause of the technical issue affecting our use of Adobe Connect. We are investigating whether the issue was caused by the software, or ICANN's...

    20 Mar 2018 | By Ashwin Rangan

  • The Information Transparency Initiative (ITI) and the Open Data Initiative (ODI): Similarities, Differences, and What These Projects Mean for You.
    You've heard and read about the Information Transparency Initiative (ITI) and the Open Data Initiative (ODI), but you may be unsure of the difference between the two projects. ITI and ODI share a similar goal – to make it easier for the ICANN community to access...

    05 Mar 2018 | By Duncan Burns, Senior VP, Global Communication, ICANN; and David Conrad, Senior VP and Chief Technology Officer, ICANN

  • Supporting Standards that Ensure an Open and Interoperable Internet
    The Internet as we know it today owes its development and scalability to the meticulous work of thousands of volunteers who develop technical standards and specifications that ensure global interoperability. This work is mostly done by the Internet Engineering Task Force...

    14 Feb 2018 | By Adiel Akplogan, VP Technical Engagement, ICANN.

  • An Information Transparency Initiative Update: The Content Audit and ICANN Taxonomy
    As you may recall from our September 2017 blog, the Information Transparency Initiative's (ITI) primary goals are: improving content findability in all six U.N. languages, creating content governance, and building new technical infrastructures to enforce...

    31 Jan 2018 | By Duncan Burns and David Conrad

  • 2017

  • Creating Content Governance and Rebuilding the Infrastructure of ICANN’s Public Sites
    It probably comes as no surprise to many of you who use that our content can be difficult to find. It's an issue we have grappled with for a long time that needs a permanent fix. On 23 September 2017, at the ICANN Board meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay, the...

    26 Sep 2017 | By Duncan Burns, Senior Vice President, Global Communications & Managing Director, Washington, D.C. Office; David Conrad, Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer

  • A “Key” Milestone in Protecting the DNS
    A significant milestone has been reached in ICANN’s ongoing effort to change the cryptographic key that helps protect the Domain Name System (DNS). On 11 July 2017, the new DNSSEC Key Signing Key (KSK-2017) appeared in the DNS, marking the first time a new key has been...

    12 Jul 2017 | By Edward Lewis

  • ICANN's Open Data Initiative Early Pilot Platforms Now Available
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    'Open data is publicly available data that can be universally and readily accessed, used, and redistributed free of charge. It is structured for usability and computability.' -'The Global Impact of Open Data,'by Andrew Young and Stefaan Verhulst Today, ICANN is pleased to...

    27 Jun 2017 | By Edward Lewis

  • The DNSOP Working Group of the IETF Organizes Webinar to Raise Awareness of Special-Use Domain Names
    Special-Use Domain Names are domain names that are not intended to be resolved globally using the Domain Name System (DNS). For example, queries for the top-level domain name “.onion” are never intended to be resolved through the DNS protocol. Following the approval of...

    19 May 2017 | By Adiel Akplogan

  • M3AAWG Appoints Dr. John Levine Liaison to ICANN
    The Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG) recently appointed Dr. John Levine Liaison to ICANN. The ICANN organization welcomes this appointment and thanks M3AAWG's Board of Directors for this decision. This appointment will allow the portion of...

    28 Apr 2017 | By David Conrad

  • Ways of Trusting Internet Identifiers
    Recent news that Google's Chrome browser is going to trust Symantec-issued transport layer security (TLS) certificates less than those from other certificate authorities (CAs) has reignited debates about how trust is expressed to Internet users. Certificates for TLS are...

    03 Apr 2017 | By Paul Hoffman

  • The Three Pillars of ICANN’s Technical Engagement Strategy
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    ICANN's technical engagement team was established two years ago. Since then, we have made a great deal of progress in better engaging with our peers throughout the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) stewardship transition proposal process and currently during the...

    21 Mar 2017 | By Adiel Akplogan, VP, Technical Engagement, ICANN

  • Technology@ICANN: A Landing Page for ICANN’s Technical Engagement Ecosystem
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    For some time, we've heard from our technical stakeholders and participants how difficult it is for a technical person wanting to engage in ICANN to find appropriate information about ICANN's activities. Content was scattered, but users wanted a single landing page for...

    14 Mar 2017 | By Adiel Akplogan, VP, Technical Engagement, ICANN

  • Tech@ICANN58: Your Roadmap to Copenhagen's Technical Sessions
    As we start our meeting here in Copenhagen with a packed agenda, I would like to share with you some of the key sessions that have a more technical focus. I hope that this will be useful to newcomers with a technical background, so they can easily find their way...

    12 Mar 2017 | By Adiel Akplogan

  • 2016

  • ICANN Kicks Off Open Data Initiative Pilot
    ICANN has begun a pilot project to introduce an Open Data Initiative for ICANN-generated data. Various ICANN activities produce data related to ICANN’s mission of coordinating the Internet’s system of unique identifiers, including domain name system operations, domain...

    06 Nov 2016 | By Edward Lewis, Senior Technologist, ICANN

  • Research Revealed on Authoritative Servers at the Second Level
    ICANN is interested in the infrastructure supporting the identifiers that we help coordinate, and the Domaine Name System (DNS) has a wide variety of infrastructure. There has already been a fair amount of research about the root servers and the Top-Level Domains (TLD)...

    28 Oct 2016 | By Paul Hoffman, Principal Technologist, ICANN's Office of the CTO Research Department

  • KSK Rollover Operations Begin
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    Today, ICANN created a new root zone key signing key (KSK). This new cryptographic public/private key pair was made during the quarterly Root KSK Ceremony at our secure key management facility in Culpeper, Virginia. With this key generation, the initial operational phase...

    27 Oct 2016 | By David Conrad

  • ICANN57: A Real-Life Audio-Video Disaster Recovery Story
    Very few people realize what it actually takes to make an ICANN meeting run smoothly from the Network Operations Center backroom, where the InfoTech team orchestrates its magic with high energy. You’ve probably experienced the excellent remote capabilities to encourage...

    26 Oct 2016 | By Ashwin Rangan

  • Universal Acceptance Compliance at ICANN
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    Universal Acceptance ensures that all domain names and email addresses can be used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices and systems. It is essential for the continued expansion of the domain name system and provides a gateway to the next billion Internet users....

    10 Oct 2016 | By Ashwin Rangan

  • Sharing Links Over Email: Security @ ICANN
    Many of you have read earlier posts by our CIO Ashwin Rangan regarding our ongoing improvements to ICANN's overall cybersecurity. This is a brief update on some recent security changes we've made to email services, some of which will be noticeable to many in the ICANN...

    27 Sep 2016 | By Ashwin Rangan

  • News from Identifier Technology Health Indicators (ITHI)
    ICANN recently organized an ITHI workshop in its Washington DC office on September 7th. We had 18 participants, 11 of them from the community, representing a variety of stakeholders: DNS operators, registry operators, registrars, ISPs, content providers, government, etc....

    22 Sep 2016 | By Alain Durand

  • DNSSEC: Rolling the Root Zone Key Signing Key
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    ICANN today posted plans to update or "roll" the Root Zone Key Signing Key (KSK), marking another significant step in our ongoing efforts aimed at improving the security of the Domain Name System (DNS). The KSK rollover plans were developed by the Root Zone Management...

    22 Jul 2016 | By David Conrad, ICANN Chief Technology Officer

  • Security Best Practices: DNSSEC Validation
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    I would like to share some key points about the significance of the security technology Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) and some important updates that will be implemented in the coming year. These points are extracted from my recent presentation at the...

    21 Jun 2016 | By Ed Lewis

  • Changing the Keys to the Domain Name System (DNS) Root Zone
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    Ensuring the Integrity of the top level of the DNS Through Security Best Practices In July 2010, ICANN, Verisign, and NTIA added a level of protection to the Internet's top DNS layer using a technology known as DNSSEC, which stands for Domain Name System Security...

    09 May 2016 | By David Conrad

  • Expectations of Service Level Expectations
    Introduction Recently, ICANN staff has been working to meet the community requirements related to establishing metrics for the performance of the "Post Transition IANA" as it processes root zone management requests. For those not following the development of the Service...

    07 Mar 2016 | By David Conrad

  • The Registration Operations Workshop: Join Us in Buenos Aires
    The next Registration Operations Workshop, the fourth of these events, will take place just before IETF-95 on Sunday, April 3, 2016, at the Hilton Hotel in Buenos Aires. The Registration Operations Workshop series is now being co-sponsored by Verisign and ICANN and...

    02 Mar 2016 | By David Conrad

  • 2015

  • CIIO Perspectives: ICANN’s Incident Response Protocol
    As part of our mission to provide secure and stable digital services to the community, the ICANN Information Technology (IT) team takes information security incidents very seriously and thwarts these threats through a variety of measures. We know it's impossible to...

    09 Nov 2015 | By Ashwin Rangan

  • Tech@ICANN54 – Your Roadmap to Dublin’s Technical Sessions
    We are hours away from the official start of ICANN54 in Dublin, Ireland, and the meeting agenda is packed with many exciting and interesting sessions. As we have seen with previous public meetings since the March 2014 announcement, the focus remains the IANA Stewardship...

    17 Oct 2015 | By Adiel Akplogan, VP Technical Engagement​

  • IPv6: The Future is Now More than Ever
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    On Thursday of last week (September 24th), the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) announced that it has officially run out of IPv4 addresses. This is an important milestone in a countdown that started on 3 February 2011, when IANA's central pool of IPv4...

    28 Sep 2015 | By Adiel. A. Akplogan | Vice President of Technical Engagement

  • CIIO Perspectives- Volume 3
    A few weeks back, I blogged about how ICANN manages its IT assets and digital services in light of cyber-security threats. I also wrote at the time that we have engaged a globally-recognized, independent third party to annually audit ICANN's security controls, and I...

    01 Jul 2015 | By Ash Rangan

  • Identifier Systems SSR Activities Reporting
    As part of our continuing commitment to transparency and accountability, the Identifier Systems SSR department is pleased to publish our activities report for the first half of 2015 (1H 2015). Our activities reports describe the activities we perform to maintain the...

    20 Jun 2015 | By John Crain, Dave Piscitello

  • New IANA Functions Resource Published
    ICANN is pleased to announce a new resource for the community: The IANA Functions: An Introduction to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Functions [PDF, 2.17 MB]. As an overview of how the IANA Functions are currently executed, the 20-page booklet includes an...

    20 Jun 2015 | By Elise Gerich, Vice President, IANA & Technical Operations; David Conrad, Chief Technology Officer

  • Hardening ICANN’s IT and Digital Services
    During ICANN52, many community members inquired after the state of ICANN's digital-services. In addition, in response to one of my blog posts, some of you met with Chris Gift, VP of Digital Services, and me to gain a deeper understanding of status and plans. And in a...

    09 Jun 2015 | By Ashwin Rangan

  • IANA Functions Usage Analysis
    When I joined ICANN a few months ago and learned that part of my role would be supporting the IANA Stewardship Transition process, I wanted to learn more about how those functions are actually operated and how much the community uses them. My background has been in the...

    27 May 2015 | By Alain Durand, Principal Technologist

  • Service update on some ICANN hosted blogs
    The content on several ICANN-hosted public blogs has been restored to service after being temporarily taken offline to investigate a software security vulnerability (,,,,...

    20 Feb 2015 | By Ashwin Rangan

  • 2014

  • Working Together to Tame the Coming Tsunami
    Watch Ashwin's Call to Action It is just over eight months since I joined ICANN and several noteworthy events have occurred since. Within a few days of coming on board, the IANA Stewardship Transition was announced. Fadi's efforts to appropriately position Internet...

    17 Nov 2014 | By Ashwin Rangan, ICANN Chief Innovation and Information Officer

  • Like a Swiss Watch
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    The very expression, "like a Swiss watch", evokes powerful (and almost universal) imagery. Of a mechanical device. Driven with precision. Elegance. Carefully engineered parts. Put together with loving labor. With cogs and wheels engaging. Each with its unique purpose....

    30 Jul 2014 | By Ashwin Rangan

  • With a RASP in my Throat
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    Before joining ICANN, people had told me that it is unlike any other organization. Coming – as I did – from global companies like Samsung, Walmart, Bank of America and most recently, Edwards Lifesciences, I asked myself whether it could be that different. It has been...

    05 Jun 2014 | By Ashwin Rangan, ICANN Chief Information and Innovation Officer

  • The TLD Universal Acceptance Project
    As the global Internet expansion continues to move forward, ICANN’s motto of, “One World, One Internet,” has never been a more apt rallying cry. The growing number of TLDs will doubtlessly affect us all, but the benefits are most likely to be felt most deeply by two very...

    21 Mar 2014 | By Francisco Arias

  • Mitigating DNS Namespace Collisions
    In line with our ongoing commitment to preserve the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet’s Identifier systems, ICANN today published a report on collisions in the DNS namespace as they relate to the New TLD program. We would like to thank JAS Global Advisors...

    26 Feb 2014 | By John L. Crain

  • 2013

  • Celebrating 25 Years of .TH and Much, Much More
    Dr. Steve Crocker Visits With Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra In Bangkok, June 7 2013 Earlier this month, Dr. Stephen Crocker and I had the privilege of visiting Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok. We spent the week meeting with local Internet and business...

    17 Jun 2013 | By John L. Crain

  • 2008

  • goes IPv6
    Last week IANA processed a request to add AAAA records for one of the thirteen DNS root-servers., operated by ICANN, became the seventh of the root servers to have it’s IPv6 address records (AAAA) added into the DNS root-zone. The addition of IPv6...

    15 Dec 2008 | By John L. Crain

  • Ghosts of Root Servers Past
    As noticed by some in the Internet network operations community, at the beginning of May an odd event occurred as ICANN ended DNS service on the IP address formerly associated with L.ROOT-SERVERS.NET (“L-root”). Specifically, as ICANN turned off the DNS service at the...

    19 May 2008 | By David Conrad

  • 2007

  • A Root with a view…
    Running a DNS server that serves the root gives an interesting view into the world of the DNS.With the ongoing improvements to the ICANN operated L-ROOT we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to make use of the “DNS Statistics Collector” tool....

    26 Nov 2007 | By John L. Crain

  • Lessons from Guyana: It takes a network to run a network.
    It was interesting to see discussions start on the blog around “What does it take to run a registry”. Jacob Malthouse (Liaison for Canada and the Caribbean) and I (John Crain, CTO) have just returned from Georgetown, Guyana. With us in Georgetown, locked into a classroom...

    21 Feb 2007 | By John L. Crain

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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."