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Is This Only Sloppy Wording by ICANN?

Patrik Fältström

So I wrote earlier [also here on CircleID] that I though it was good stuff when ICANN released a paper on DNS Security. Yes, I think it was good this paper was released, and yes it points out correctly how important DNSSEC is.

But, now when reading it in detail, I find two things that troubles me. And it has to do with management of .ARPA. A top level domain that is used for infrastructural purposes. Like IP-addresses and E.164 numbers.

The first paragraph that I have some issues with is this:

Production deployment of DNSSEC-signing of .ARPA, and a possible ICANN role in DNSSEC-signing of the root zone will involve planning with and approval by the U.S. Department of Commerce under the IANA functions contract.

IAB has in this correspondence with IANA requested some domains be signed, among them .ARPA, but here ICANN states that this requires approval by US Government.

Second paragraph that I have issues with is this:

13. With respect to .ARPA, staff have completed development work and are currently developing an operational plan for DNSSEC deployment which includes, among other elements, selection of secondary DNS providers with specific service level agreements.

Given the long history of debates on what should go, and what should not go in contracts with ICANN, this makes me a bit more nervous than what it calms me down. It is good that people agree on how DNS is to be run, but if contracts and agreements are too focused to the legal situation in one legislation (i.e. the USA), then I think the process is a failure. ICANN is an international organisation, although based (like any organisation) under one jurisdiction. It must because of this work very hard, harder than today I think, in ensuring it is possible for organisations from all over the world, on equal terms, can participate. Just the fact there has been an ongoing discussion whether that is the case for the agreements accredited registrars have to go through make me rise my eye brows for this paragraph.

You can see what view the IAB has on the technical parameters of IANA here in some correspondence with DoC related to the ICANN/DoC Joint Project Agreement, and the question now is of course what the situation is in reality. And what will happen next.

By Patrik Fältström, Technical Director and Head of Security at Netnod
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