[council] what about a process to review/evaluate whether SSAC recommendations warrant action by the GNSO

Mike O'Connor mike at haven2.com
Thu Dec 19 16:53:13 UTC 2013

dear all,

i would like to introduce a gap-closing proposal for the GNSO -- namely, to take a hard look at SSAC reports and determine whether any of their recommendations bear on GNSO Consensus Policy.

this gap between what the SSAC says and the GNSO does has been an issue for me for quite some time, and i think one easy way to close it would be to routinely take up each SSAC report and make that determination.  there would likely be cases where we review the reports among the stakeholder groups and conclude that:

-- there are NO recommendations that require PDPs
-- there ARE recommendations that require PDPs, or
-- there are recommendations that we would like to know more about before we decided whether a PDP is in order.  

i'll give an example of the reason why this is on my mind.  in 2005 the SSAC produced an extensive report that addressed the issue of domain-name hijacking.  in 2011, six years later, the members of the IRTP-B working group stumbled across the following observation in that ancient report and realized that it would be a good idea

Collect emergency contact information from registrants, registrars, and resellers for parties who are suited to assist in responding to an urgent restoration of domain name incident. Define escalation processes (emergency procedures) that all parties agree can be instituted in events where emergency contacts are not available.

it took six years for that very common-sense idea to find it's way into Consensus Policy.  and it probably took another year or two to implement.  and it was all practically by accident.  

what if we:

-- discuss this "formally review SSAC reports" idea with our stakeholders and on the Council list for a while

-- put an agenda item on our next call to share what we've heard and test a way forward

-- get started, presuming nobody thinks this is a horrible idea

i've attached the recommendations from the three (count 'em, three) SSAC reports that were released in Buenos Aires.  just to give you an idea of the substantive reports that the SSAC is producing.  i think it would be really helpful to run these through a process to decide which, if any, of these recommendations warrant action via PDP.  there are plenty more SSAC reports to review in the backlog.



SAC061:  SSAC Comment on ICANN’s Initial Report from the Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services


Recommendation 1: SSAC reiterates its recommendation from SAC055: The ICANN Board should explicitly defer any other activity (within ICANN’s remit) directed at finding a ‘solution’ to ‘the WHOIS problem’ until the registration data policy has been developed and accepted in the community. The EWG should clearly state its proposal for the purpose of registration data, and focus on policy issues over specific implementations.

Recommendation 2: The ICANN Board should ensure that a formal security risk assessment of the registration data policy be conducted as an input into the Policy Development Process.

Recommendation 3: SSAC recommends that the EWG state more clearly its positions on the following questions of data availability:

A. Why is a change to public access justified?
This explanation should describe the potential impact upon ordinary Internet users and casual or occasional users of the directory service.

B. Does the EWG believe that access to data currently accessible in generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) WHOIS output should become restricted?
If so, what fields and to what extent exactly? Under the EWG proposal, queries from non- authenticated requestors would return only “public data available to anyone, for

C. Should all gTLD registries be required to provision their contact data into the Aggregated Registration Data Service (ARDS)?  
There may be jurisdictions that prohibit by law the export of personally identifiable information outside the jurisdiction. If so, the ARDS may not be a viable way to deliver data accuracy and compliance across all gTLDs.

D. Does the EWG propose more types of sensitive registration data be provisioned into ARDS than are found in current gTLD WHOIS output? 

Recommendation 4: The SSAC suggests that the EWG address this recommendation from SAC058: “SSAC Report on Domain Name Registration Data Validation”3:
As the ICANN community discusses validating contact information, the SSAC recommends that the following meta-questions regarding the costs and benefits of registration data validation should be answered:

• What data elements need to be added or validated to comply with requirements or expectations of different stakeholders?
• Is additional registration processing overhead and delay an acceptable cost for improving accuracy and quality of registration data?
• Is higher cost an acceptable outcome for improving accuracy and quality?
• Would accuracy improve if the registration process were to provide natural persons with privacy protection upon completion of multi-factored validation?

SAC062:  SSAC Advisory Concerning the Mitigation of Name Collision Risk


Recommendation 1: ICANN should work with the wider Internet community, including at least the IAB and the IETF, to identify (1) what strings are appropriate to reserve for private namespace use and (2) what type of private namespace use is appropriate (i.e., at the TLD level only or at any additional lower level).

Recommendation 2: ICANN should explicitly consider the following questions regarding trial delegation and clearly articulate what choices have been made and why as part of its decision as to whether or not to delegate any TLD on a trial basis:

-- Purpose of the trial: What type of trial is to be conducted? What data are to be collected?

-- Operation of the trial: Should ICANN (or a designated agent) operate the trial or should the applicant operate it?

-- Emergency Rollback: What are the emergency rollback decision and execution procedures for any delegation in the root, and have the root zone partners exercised these capabilities?

-- Termination of the trial: What are the criteria for terminating the trial (both normal and emergency criteria)? What is to be done with the data collected? Who makes the decision on what the next step in the delegation process is?

Recommendation 3: ICANN should explicitly consider under what circumstances un-delegation of a TLD is the appropriate mitigation for a security or stability issue. In the case where a TLD has an established namespace, ICANN should clearly identify why the risk and harm of the TLD remaining in the root zone is greater than the risk and harm of removing a viable and in-use namespace from the DNS. Finally, ICANN should work in consultation with the community, in particular the root zone management partners, to create additional processes or update existing processes to accommodate the potential need for rapid reversal of the delegation of a TLD.

SAC063:  SSAC Advisory on DNSSEC Key Rollover in the Root Zone



Recommendation 1: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) staff, in coordination with the other Root Zone Management Partners (United States Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and Verisign), should immediately undertake a significant, worldwide communications effort to publicize the root zone KSK rollover motivation and process as widely as possible.
Recommendation 2: ICANN staff should lead, coordinate, or otherwise encourage the creation of a collaborative, representative testbed for the purpose of analyzing behaviors of various validating resolver implementations, their versions, and their network environments (e.g., middle boxes) that may affect or be affected by a root KSK rollover, such that potential problem areas can be identified, communicated, and addressed.

Recommendation 3: ICANN staff should lead, coordinate, or otherwise encourage the creation of clear and objective metrics for acceptable levels of “breakage” resulting from a key rollover.

Recommendation 4: ICANN staff should lead, coordinate, or otherwise encourage the development of rollback procedures to be executed when a rollover has affected operational stability beyond a reasonable boundary.

Recommendation 5: ICANN staff should lead, coordinate, or otherwise encourage the collection of as much information as possible about the impact of a KSK rollover to provide input to planning for future rollovers.

PHONE: 651-647-6109, FAX: 866-280-2356, WEB: www.haven2.com, HANDLE: OConnorStP (ID for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)

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