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SAC078 - SSAC Advisory on Uses of the Shared Global Domain Name Space

Geoff Huston
Lyman Chapin
ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) Reports and Advisories, ICANN (2016), pp. 6


It is widely known that the Domain Name System (DNS) includes both a set of rules for constructing syntactically valid domain names (the “domain name space”) and a protocol for associating domain names with data such as IP addresses (“domain name resolution”). It is less widely understood, however, that DNS name resolution coexists with other name resolution systems that also use domain names. In many cases these other name resolution systems deliberately use domain names, rather than some other naming scheme, for compatibility with the widely deployed infrastructure of the DNS. They depend on the ability of DNS name resolution protocols and interface conventions to recognize their domain names but treat them in some special way. ... The SSAC wishes to ensure that the ICANN Board and ICANN community are aware of discussions and ongoing work in multiple venues to more fully define what a namespace is, and how to avoid potential side effects, including name collisions, across the broad set of name resolution systems and expectations for their use.