ICANN Resolutions » Name Collision Analysis Project – First Study

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Name Collision Analysis Project – First Study


Resolution of the ICANN Board
Meeting Date: 
Чт, 14 Март 2019
Resolution Number: 
2019.03.14.20 – 2019.03.14.23
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, on 2 November 2017, the Board requested ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) to develop a plan for Board approval setting out studies of the issue of name collision, with many elements detailed. See https://www.icann.org/resources/board-material/resolutions-2017-11-02-en....

Whereas, the SSAC delivered, in September 2018, a proposed Name Collision Analysis Project (NCAP) proposal, which detailed three studies anticipated to meet the call of the Board's 2017 resolution.

Whereas, in October 2018, the Board Technical Committee (BTC) asked ICANN organization, through the Office of the Chief Technical Officer (OCTO), for an assessment of the NCAP proposal. Subsequently, OCTO and SSAC had discussions that provided additional information and further clarification to OCTO on the details of the proposal.

Whereas, OCTO's assessment noted that a survey and summary of previous research on name collisions would be valuable, however a data repository and associated policies for use of that repository may not be necessary if a future decision is made to not continue with Study 2 and Study 3. As a result, OCTO refined the scope of the SSAC's proposed Study 1 on Understanding the Current State of Name Collisions to defer the implementation of a data repository and related policy development.

Whereas, OCTO outlined for the BTC a proposed study on Understanding the Current State of Name Collisions with three goals: 1) examine all prior work on the issue of name collisions and produce a summary report that brings forward important knowledge from prior work into this study, and which can act as a primer for those new to the subject; 2) create a list of results of the data used in past studies, identify gaps, if any, and list additional data that would be required to successfully conduct the two additional identified studies; and 3) provide information that will facilitate a decision on whether the NCAP should proceed with studies 2 and 3 based on the results of the survey of prior work and the availability of data.

Whereas, the BTC considered the OCTO proposal for a study on Understanding the Current State of Name Collisions, including the financial impact of this and all 3 studies and, on 4 March 2019, recommended that the Board direct ICANN org to move forward with Study 1.

Resolved (2019.03.14.20), the ICANN Board thanks the SSAC for its work in responding to the November 2017 resolution and developing an initial proposal for the Name Collision Analysis Project (NCAP) and subsequent revisions to that proposal.

Resolved, (2019.03.14.21), the Board directs ICANN's President and CEO, or his designee(s), to proceed with the Study 1 on the Understanding the Current State of Name Collisions as refined by ICANN org.

Resolved (2019.03.14.22), the Board directs ICANN's President and CEO, or his designee(s), to identify and make available funding within proper budgetary and procurement limits, and that the expenses incurred for the proposed study shall not exceed [REDACTED FOR NEGOTIATION PURPOSES].

Resolved (2019.03.14.23), specific items within this resolution shall remain confidential for negotiation purposes pursuant to Article 3, Section 3.5(b) and (d) of the ICANN Bylaws until the President and CEO determines that the confidential information may be released.

Rationale for Resolution: 

A name collision occurs when an attempt to resolve a name used in a private name space (e.g., under a non-delegated Top-Level Domain, or a short, unqualified name) results in a query to the public Domain Name System (DNS). When the administrative boundaries of private and public namespaces overlap, name resolution may yield unintended or harmful results. This class of as-yet undelegated strings is referred to as "Collision Strings." In some cases, the unintended or harmful results of delegating Collision Strings may be considered "high-risk". Example parameters for classifying a Collision String as high risk include: high frequency of appearance in queries to the root servers, the severity of the impact from Collision Strings, the type of DNS requests, the type of user causing the collision (e.g. emergency services, air traffic controllers, etc.), diversity of query source, and appearance in internal name certificates.

The Board has previously taken action on name collision issues, and in particular, requested the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) to identify studies to address a series of questions that the Board identified to help further inform how ICANN will address the issue of name collision in the further expansion of the domain name space. In response to the Board's 2 November 2017 resolution, the SSAC delivered, in September 2018, a proposed Name Collision Analysis Project (NCAP) proposal. That proposal detailed three sequential studies anticipated to meet the call of that resolution.

The Board Technical Committee (BTC) then asked ICANN's Office of the Chief Technical Officer (OCTO) for an assessment of the NCAP proposal. As a result of that request there were discussions between OCTO and SSAC to provide additional information and further clarification to OCTO on the details of the proposal.

Ultimately, OCTO presented the BTC with an assessment that a survey and summary of previous research on name collisions would be valuable, however a data repository and associated policies for use of that repository may not be necessary if a future decision is made to not continue with Study 2 and Study 3. As a result, OCTO refined the scope of the SSAC's proposed Study 1 on Understanding the Current State of Name Collisions to defer the implementation of a data repository and related policy development to subsequent studies. The revised Study 1 has three goals: 1) examine all prior work on the issue of name collisions and produce a summary report that brings forward important knowledge from prior work into this study, and which can act as a primer for those new to the subject; 2) create a list of results of the data used in past studies, identify gaps, if any, and list additional data that would be required to successfully two additional identified studies; and 3) provide information necessary to decide if the NCAP should proceed to further studies based on the results of the survey of prior work and the availability of data.

The Board is taking this action today for two reasons. First, OCTO's work on the NCAP has proceeded to a point where a study has been sufficiently scoped to be carried out. Second, there is potential interdependency between the outcomes of the name collision studies on the next round of New gTLDs, particularly in gaining more information on the ability to delegate strings that overlap in the public and private namespaces.

This resolution is expected to have a positive impact on the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet's DNS, as it is designed to gather further information on this important technical challenge. This also serves ICANN's mission in the ensuring a secure and stable operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems. This resolution is in the public interest in meeting ICANN's core value of preserving and enhancing the administration of the DNS and the operational stability, reliability, security, global interoperability, resilience, and openness of the DNS and the Internet.

This resolution will have a financial impact, as there are expected costs associated with performing the studies. It instructs ICANN Org only to conduct Study 1 on the Understanding the Current State of Name Collisions as refined by ICANN org and further studies are to be independently considered and instructed further based on the result of Study 1. The ICANN President and CEO is expected to perform this work within the appropriate budgetary practices.

This is an Organizational Administrative Function for which no public comment is required.