[DNSOP] Special-use TLDs in resolvers

Vladimír Čunát <vladimir.cunat+ietf@nic.cz> Fri, 16 August 2019 09:30 UTC

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Subject: [DNSOP] Special-use TLDs in resolvers
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Hello,

I've been wondering what's best to do around these TLDs: invalid, local,
onion, test.  The RFCs say that resolvers SHOULD recognize them as
special and answer NXDOMAIN without any interaction with nameservers (by
default).  What do you think about NOT following this "advice", subject
to some conditions that I explain below?

1. QNAME minimization (in the root at least), so that if e.g.
foo.bar.test. query arrives and the cache is empty, the resolver only
asks the root for test. and the rest does not leak.
2. RFC 8020 -style caching (in the root at least), so that we keep the
goal of reducing load on root servers.  Note that this is subsumed by
aggressive caching (RFC 8198), which should work for the root zone in
some commonly used resolvers for about a year already (I believe:
Unbound, BIND, Knot Resolver).

This pair of conditions seem quite reasonable defaults regardless of
special TLDs, in which case I'd argue it's better not to special-case
these four TLDs.  One advantage is that this allows supplying the
denials with DNSSEC proofs, which e.g. avoids problems in case the
client is missing some of these special cases and wants to validate. 
Well, that's arguably a relatively unlikely combination, but my
motivation is mainly that it feels nicer to remove them :-)

Reference RFCs for these TLDs, respectively: 6761.6.4.4, 6762.22.1.4,
6762.2.4, 6761.6.2.4

--Vladimir