#TechExchange: The technical functions of ICANN on regulating the Internet space

As a technical coordinating body, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) performs a variety of functions related to the Internet’s unique identifiers. These include operational functions, collaboration, coordination and engagement.

By Cisco Eng. Shingie Lev Muringi 

ICANN’s representatives were in Zimbabwe earlier this year where the technical board collaborated with the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe to hold the Domain Name System 2016 Workshop at Meikles Hotel in Harare.     

Yesterday we published a feature on ICANN’s recent takeover of the Domain Name System after the contract between the United States Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), to perform the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions has officially expired.

Just to highlight again, ICANN is an internationally organised, non-profit corporation responsible for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management.

Domain names in hands of ICANN

Domain names in hands of ICANN

 

ICANN technical engagement occurs in the following key areas of the organization:

  1. IANA functions (includes (Root key signing infrastructure for DNSSEC (https://www.iana.org/dnssec)
  2. Technology and Research
  3. Identifier System Security, Stability & Resiliency (DNS resiliency architecture, Capacity building and Awareness on Security issues related to DNS)
  4. Information System and Innovation (includes L-root)
  5. Global Domains Division technical team

 

  1. IANA function

    Part of ICANN Operational functions include the maintenance or key Global Registries (ProtocolParameters, Top level IP number Prefixes and Top level Domain name delegation) under the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions, and the Time Zone Database (https://www.iana.org/time-zones), which contains the code and data that represents local time around the globe.

    The IANA Functions are regarded as: (organize this in table with link to associated policy)

    1. Coordination of the assignment of technical protocol parameters (https://www.iana.org/protocols)
    2. The management of the .arpa TLD (https://www.iana.org/domains/arpa)
    3. Performance of administrative functions associated with root zone management (https://www.iana.org/domains)
    4. Managing and assessing requests for root zone file changes.(https://www.iana.org/domains/root)
    5. Managing change requests for gTLD registry information in the WHOIS database (registration data) (see also http://whois.icann.org/)
    6. Implementing Registry information changes related to the country code TLDs assignment in accordance with established policy
    7. Implementing decisions related to the delegation and redelegation of generic TLDs in accordance with ICANN policy (this should be according to GNSO policies)
    8. Undertaking projects to increase root zone automation
    9. Managing root DNSSEC keys and supporting infrastructure
    10. Providing a resolution process for handing customer service queries associated with the IANAfunctions
    11. Allocating and maintaining global Top level Internet number resources prefix Registry (https://www.iana.org/numbers)
    12. Performing other services (operating .int TLD, https://www.iana.org/domains/int, implementing modifications in the performance of the IANA functions)
  2. Internet Technology evolution and Research (CTO Office)

  3. Identifier Security, Stability & Resiliency (DNS resiliency architecture, Capacity building and Awareness on Security issues related to DNS)

    The Identifier Security Stability and Resiliency team (ICANN Security,https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/is-ssr-2014-11-24-en), DNS and DNSSEC capacity building training, and participating in technical community groups; ICANN incident response (ICANN is a member of the Forum for Incident Response and Security Teams, FIRST.org); work with trusted security community activities such as the AntiPhishing Working Group, the Messaging AntiAbuse Working Group, regional TLD organizations, registry operators, and public safety groups.

  4. Information System and Innovation

    Other operational functions include the work of the Office of the Chief Information and Innovation Officer, whose team is responsible for monitoring and maintenance of ICANN systems and technical operations, corporate security, and Information Technology and the ICANN DNS Engineering Team (http://www.dns.icann.org/), which administers L-root and ICANN‘s DNS network services. The Office of the Chief Technology Officer includes Research and Analytics, contributions to the IETF, and coordination of the Technical Experts Group.

  5. GDD Technical support

    The Global Domains Division has a technical services team supporting gTLD Registries and Registrars under contract with ICANN. This includes contracting for Emergency Backend Registry Operators (https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/ebero-2013-04-02-en), Registry and Registrar Data Escrow, operating the Centralized Zone Data Service (https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/czds-2014-03-03-en) and Registry Services Evaluation Process (https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/rsep-2014-02-19-en). The GDD team also supports Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) through the management of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process, the IDN Guidelines, the IDN Variant Program,Root Zone Label Generation Ruleset, and coordination of Label Generation Panels (see https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/variant-tlds-2012-05-08-en).

All these areas engage and collaborate with other elements of the Internet Technical ecosystem such as:ISOC, the RIRs (NRO), W3C et others.

Engagement functions include interaction with community-facing supporting organizations and advisory communities such as SSAC and RSSAC, and the Address Supporting Organization, coordination of technical sessions at ICANN meetings (Tech Day, DNSSEC Workshop, working sessions of SSAC, RSSAC, ASO) or at community meetings (such as RIRs, IETF, national, regional and global IGF events), participation in technical conferences, talks or other engagements on behalf of ICANN.

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