Dynamic Coalition on DNS Issues (DC-DNSI)

Introduction

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a component of critical Internet infrastructure that must be protected and advanced.  Existing institutions, namely the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Internet Engineering task Force (IETF) are the key, multistakeholder venues for work on DNS technical and policy issues.[1] 

There exists, however, the opportunity for a Dynamic Coalition on DNS Issues (DC-DNSI) at the IGF to build unique and constructive dialogue on DNS issues that complements, but does not duplicate or compete with, work undertaken within ICANN and the IETF. Examples include: Building support for the universal acceptance of Domain Names and internationalized Domain Names; Promotion of and awareness raising around Domain Name Security Extensions (DNSSEC); and reviewing mechanisms to minimize Internet fragmentation from emerging regulations such as those on privacy, data localization, and data access.  These issues impact Internet users on a global scale and are well-suited for multistakeholder discussion within the IGF environment.  The DC-DNSI plans to dedicate one year to a specific issue, after which it will determine whether additional resources should be dedicated to that issue before transitioning to another focus area. 

DC-DNSI was created with the aim of providing an open avenue through which such issues may be discussed and debated at the IGF.  Stakeholders can convene under the IGF’s multistakeholder mantle to share information and exchange best practices on DNS-related policy challenges and, if desired, produce non-binding, more tangible outputs in line with the recommendation of the CSTD Working Group on IGF improvements.  

[1] Additionally, industry and regional associations involved in the administration, management, and sale of generic and country code top-level domains are important venues for the discussion of DNS policy issues.  See, for example, the Domain Name Association, https://thedna.org; the Latin American and Caribbean ccTLDs Organization (LACTLD), https://www.lactld.org; the Asia Pacific Top Level Domain Association (APTLD), https://www.aptld.org; the Africa Top Level Domains Organization (AfTLD), http://www.aftld.org; and the Council of European National Top Level Domain Registries (CENTR), https://www.centr.org.

Action plan

The initial focus of the Dynamic Coalition on DNS Issues (DC-DNSI) will be to promote Universal Acceptance.  Universal Acceptance (UA) "refers to the process by which software is updated to accept all valid domain names and email addresses" (Michael Kende & Andrew Kloeden for Analysys Mason, Paper for UASG: Unleashing the Power of All Domains: The Social, Cultural, and Economic Benefits of Universal Acceptance, White Paper, 2017).

The Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG), a community-based team whose objective is to help software developers and website owners understand how to update their systems to keep pace with an evolving DNS, has developed valuable technical documentation, operational documents, and case studies relating to UA over the course of three years. 

The DC-DNSI will build upon this important work by canvassing the challenges faced by policymakers and decisionmakers when deciding to implement UA.  Based upon this understanding, which will be built through dialogue and exchange amongst members of the Dynamic Coalition (DC), the coalition will develop an approach to global advocacy and awareness raising for UA.  Adoption by enterprises and government-procurement are two likely areas of focus. 

The DC-DNSI intends to hold its first, official meeting during the IGF 2018 in Paris.  Here, the group will finalize an action plan for 2019. The work of the DC for 2019 will culminate in a written output for the IGF 2019 in Berlin, as well as a session that will involve C-suite executives and policymakers describing their approaches to UA adoption and the resulting benefits.

The DC-DNSI will develop copy for the IGF website containing general information pertaining to the coalition (i.e., list of on-going/future projects, ways to support coalition, members of the DC, contact details, mission statement).

Mailing list

Mailing list address: dc-dnsi@afilias.info

Subscribe to the mailing list: https://groups.google.com/a/afilias.info/g/dc-dnsi/about 

Stakeholders

Technical community

  • Maarten Botterman, GNKS
  • Edmon Chung, DotAsia
  • Steve Crocker, Shinkuro
  • Avri Doria, Technicalities
  • Polina Malaja, CENTR

Private Sector

  • Keith Drazek, Verisign
  • Ram Mohan, Afilias

Civil society

  • Sandra Hoferichter, EuroSSIG
  • Lianna Galstyan, ISOC.am
  • Roberto Gaetano

Government

  • Fiona Alexander, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (USA)
  • Manal Ismail, National Telecom Regulatory Authority (Egypt)

Documents/Reports

Contacts

Susan Chalmers | Internet Policy Advisor, Office of International Affairs, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce – schalmers[at]ntia.doc.gov

Nikolis Smith | Senior Policy Manager, Global Public Policy, Verisign, Inc. – nsmith[at]verisign.com

Melinda Clem | Vice President, Strategy, Afilias – mclem[at]afilias.info