[dns-operations] TLD(s) for private use

Andrew Sullivan ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
Wed Sep 6 12:29:39 UTC 2017

On Wed, Sep 06, 2017 at 01:17:33PM +0100, Jim Reid wrote:

> ISTR there's something saying ICANN would not delegate two-character TLDs unless it was for a code on the ISO3166 list and that TLD was then delegated to the appropriate authority in that new member of the UN. Can't be bothered to go look for that statement...

Well, it was _supposed_ to be RFC 1591, which called them "country
codes".  Unfortunately, ICANN got into the business of "geographic
names", also, which means that the rationale of RFC 1591 ("The IANA is
not in the business of deciding what is and what is not a country.")
ended up in a certain amount of trouble; the delegation of cat was
among the controversial cases, and some people feel that eu is also a
mistake (since it is "exceptionally reserved" on the 3166 list, rather
than "officially assigned").  

> Since ICANN policies are subject to change it would be prudent not to rely on its TLD policies to decide whether a string is or isn't safe for private use.

Indeed, the bad habit some got into of assigning various "useful" TLDs
as protocol switches has caused quite a bit of grief, precisely
because of shifting policies governing IANA name assignments.

Best regards,


Andrew Sullivan
ajs at anvilwalrusden.com

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