Technical Community, WEOG David Huberman, ICANN Technical Engagement Manager, Technical Community, WEOG Vera Major, ICANN Government and IGO Engagement Manager, WEOG
Fred Baker, Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) Board Member, Technical Community, WEOG Ken Renard, US Army Research Laboratory, Cyber Security Researcher, Academia, WEOG Lars-Johan Liman, co-founder Netnod, Private Sector, WEOG
Paul Hoffman, [email protected]
Becky McGilley, [email protected]
Presentation with a Q&A The subject matter of the session, better understanding the DNS root, and the global experts committed to participating in this session are conducive for a presentation-type of session followed by a Q&A. Following a presentation by the experts explain the root server’s role in the internet infrastructure, they will briefly outline how it works. The presentation will end with the outline of a governance framework. The last segment of the session will be reserved for questions from the audience who will be able to put questions forward to the world experts on this subject matter. The moderators will ensure that online and onsite participants are treated equally throughout the session.
More and more governments around the world are beginning to legislate around components of the Internet in order to promote local policy goals. For these activities, it is essential that future policy makers and future parliamentarians understand what the DNS root zone is, the role it plays in how the Internet functions, which organizations operate the root, and how it is governed. Understanding these elements helps to better inform policy, which in turn, helps ensure the fundamental operation of the Internet.
This will be a 60-minute tutorial session intended to help participants understand what the DNS root is and why it’s so important. The session will feature three root server operators and world class experts on the DNS root: Fred Baker (ISC, Technical Community, United States), Ken Renard (U.S. Army Research Lab, Government, United States), and Lars-Johan Liman (Netnod, Technical Community, Sweden).
In this session, the experts will introduce the DNS root to the audience by: (a) explaining how the root is a critical internet infrastructure element without which the Internet would not function properly; (b) briefly outlining how the root works and who the root zone operators are; (c) illustrating its governance framework; and (d) explaining to a non-technical audience some of the interesting technical bits of how the DNS root actually operates. We will devote a significant amount of time to question and answer, and to discussion. The session will be educational.
Participants will come away with a better understanding of the critical importance of the DNS root which will better inform their IGF experiences and provide a strong foundation in understanding a key component of the Internet which will stay with the young audience as they continue their careers in advocacy, policy making and legislative activities. They will know what the DNS root zone is, the basics of how it functions, which organizations operate the root, and how the root zone is governed.
The speakers presented the functioning of the Root Serves Systems. It was a technical presentation, and no discussion followed. They outlined the technical functioning of the System, its history, as well as its governance.
Monday, 6th December, 2021 (13:00 UTC) - Monday, 6th December, 2021 (14:00 UTC)
Hybrid session. ~25 participants.
Speakers: Fred Baker, Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) Board Member, Technical Community, Western Europe and Other Groups (WEOG); Ken Renard, US Army Research Laboratory, Cyber Security Researcher, WEOG; Lars-Johan Liman, co-founder Netnod, Private Sector, WEOG
Summary: Overall, the session focused on the technical functioning of the root server system, and the way root server operators organize.
The speakers provided a description of the Domain Name System (DNS), particularly how it is used to translate human-memorable names to IP addresses. They also explained the method used to do those translations, how all names start from the DNS root, and how the RSS is used in the translation process. The names in the DNS root are managed by IANA, which is part of ICANN.
The DNS has been around for more than 30 years, and many refinements have been carried out, especially to make it more secure. There have also been a number of privacy enhancements – the DNS has become more privacy-friendly.
The speakers provided a history of the root server system – right now there are thousands of machines, thousands of instances around the world, and 13 identities. The system is run by qualified experts. One of the organizing principles of the root server operators is that diversity is good. They avoid a single point of failure – if something happens in one location, it doesn’t in another. The system is designed so that if one operator goes down, end users will not notice. The panelists stressed that efforts are made to ensure that the system stays stable and robust. They noted that they do not change the data from the root zone as they serve it, and that they do not control the traffic on the internet.
The root server operators are organized in the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC), a formal advisory committed in the ICANN framework. The meetings are open, and some RSSAC members participate in meetings with other ICANN constituencies. The root server operators are updating the governance of the root server system.