Re: [DNSOP] On the call for adoption on Special Use Names (Please! Pretty please, with a cherry on top?!)

Paul Wouters <> Sat, 01 October 2016 19:12 UTC

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Date: Sat, 01 Oct 2016 15:12:36 -0400
From: Paul Wouters <>
To: Warren Kumari <>
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Subject: Re: [DNSOP] On the call for adoption on Special Use Names (Please! Pretty please, with a cherry on top?!)
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On Sat, 1 Oct 2016, Warren Kumari wrote:

>> ICANN already has a blacklist of unsafe domains. IETF can advise them
>> on that list if needed.
> No, no it really doesn't -- it has some list of names, which seem to
> have been fairly arbitrarily chosen. This is not a stable, well
> published list -- it lurks in the "gTLD Applicant
> Guidebook", published in January 2012, in Section ("It was
> on display at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused
> lavatory with a sign on the door saying beware of the leopard.").
> This list at that point was: "AFRINIC IANA-SERVERS NRO ALAC ICANN
> OLYMPIQUE OLYMPIADE OLYMPISCH OLÍMPICO (and Olympic in various scripts
> which my mailer doesn't want to accept)" and "REDCROSS REDCRESCENT
> (and various Red Cross / Red Crecent and scripts which my mailer
> shrugged and stared blankly at)".
> A number of the first list are from the IANA Special Use Names
> registry -- but many of the others are simply ICANN deciding that
> their internal groups are special -- for example, GAC, RSSAC, SSAC,
> CCNSO, ALAC. And then they decided that IETF, IAB, RFC-EDITOR IRTF
> should also be listed. Seriously, this seems like a good, well run
> solution?

Those are not the "unsafe" domains. Those are all vanity domains, and
the IETF really does not want to go near those names because it involves
trademarks and the IETF doesn't have the money for lawyers in that

>> I don't think at this point either ICANN or IETF would want to add TLDs
>> to the unsafe list. If at this point someone is still squatting domain
>> names, they get what they deserve. And all the known security risky
>> domains (as a result of decades of use of unqualified domain names)
>> are already known at ICANN, and they won't assign these.
> Um. No. See .home, .corp and .mail - many would say that these are
> known security risky names -- when security issues were raised, these
> were not placed on a blacklist -- instead these have been "deferred
> indefinitely. ICANN will collaborate with the technical and security
> communities to determine the best way to handle these strings in the
> long term.". I have not seen this happening. Applicants for these TLDs
> recently sent
> I would encourage all to read this...

Right. And these are the only names that have security concerns. And if
IETF, not ICANN, decides that .mail is a 6761 domain or a 6761bis
domain, then whoever wants to run .mail will be able to sue the IETF
instead of ICANN. Which is why ICANN should maintain the list, for
better or worse. Which is why I came to my one line statement saying
IETF does not want to have this power to decide this.

>> People creating
>> new ones are also going against the long standing don't squat advise,
>> and need no further protection from their own foot bullets.
> Let's pretend that you had a good reason for needing a name reserved -
> for example, let's pretend that you are designing some sort of home
> networking protocol where you'd like to be able to connect thingies
> together and have name / service discovery just work. It's not mDNS /
> .local is not appropriate for you. You go through the full IETF
> process - you hold a BoF, you form a WG, you hold meetings, you design
> a system. Great. You have IETF consensus. Now what?

This is assuming there is a 6761 or 6761bis procedure. What I am saying
is that the above described scenario is _not_ something the IETF wants
to be part of. The IETF should say "use a domain you own". Your protocol
for your new homenet could use And it could be
either delegated by you or you will never delegate if that's required
for your protocol. If the name is too long, the market can come up with
a url/domain shortening service.

> Currently you / I / the IETF cannot go to ICANN and say "please
> reserve us a string" -- there is no "blacklist", there is just some
> list in some applicant guidebook.

Well, "currently" there is disagreement about if the IETF can reserve
a string, due to the existence of 6761, the claim that this path has
been frozen, and the claim that it cannot be frozen until it is formally
closed with a new rfc document. My proposed one liner would permanently
close this.

> There is no open process at the
> moment -- the last round took many many painful years, and there was
> no method to "reserve" a name (in fact, this was explicitly
> prohibited). The "list" was not created with the consultation of the
> community - in fact many names on that list a: didn't know that they
> were, and b: didn't want to be. Also, the process is currently closed,
> and even if it were open, last time it cost >$185,000 to apply...

I don't see how this relates to the discussion. I think the goals are that
the IETF should not get involved in Naming Schemes and Trademark Wars.
Because we don't have the budget for it. That's why ICANN was created.

> You've been to a number of ICANN meetings - do you really trust this
> process to provide a good outcome for the technical community?

I think it is adequate and the best IETF can do based on its monetary

I do not think the IETF should create "Special Names" that conflict
with the naming process which has been delegated to ICANN.

Yes, there is a change ICANN decides to delegate names that the IETF
believes endangers the security and stability of the DNS, such as the
.mail domain. But if we create a process within the IETF that hard-fails
those domains out of the hands of ICANN, it just means those lawsuits
will come to the IETF. And the IETF didn't get 1500 * $185k to defend

> Sure, many people didn't like the .ONION discussion / outcome -- but
> what would your advice have been to the TOR community if we'd already
> decided to abdicate our position? "Dear TOR folk. Go talk to ICANN..
> Yeah, I know that that won't actually help you; you don't fit in their
> model, and the process isn't open now anyway. Guess you shouldn't have
> squatted on that name, huh"?

The IETF giving them .onion in itself has been a very risky decision. It
was based on no Big Corporation having an interest in the string. With
.gnu people did not feel as sure about that. I think that's part of the
reason .gnu was not also going to make it like .onion. These decisions
are quicksand.

> Anyway, this is FAR into the solution space, and I was really hoping
> to avoid getting drawn into that..

Well, that is because we don't agree about the problem whatsoever. I
think the only problem we have now with naming is that the IETF has
some form of control over names via 6761, and leaves us vulnerable to
lawsuits and therefor I want the IETF to lose that power. That's
completely unrelated to the entities that are lined up for asking the
IETF for a decision on a Special Name.

> I know I'm sounding frustrated / grumpy -=- this whole processes /
> discussion has been taking up way way too much of our time, hopefully
> we can *soon* make a decision, ship a document and then get onto more
> *technical* discussions like "Um, which name is the QNAME?!" :-)

I have been shouted to sit down when I brought up this is taking too
much time out of dnsop, so believe me I know how you feel :)

>> So that brings the problem statement to:
>>         IETF had the power to allocate or ban domain names based on the
>>         Special Names RFC-6761. IETF no longer wants that power.
> That's not a problem statement. That's a "we found this annoying and
> want someone else to do it" -- that may be true, but that's a
> /solution/, not a /problem statement/.

So change the second sentence to "This is a dangerous liability for the