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

Suzanne Woolf suzworldwide at gmail.com
Wed Sep 6 14:26:14 UTC 2017

On Sep 6, 2017, at 8:17 AM, Jim Reid <jim at rfc1035.com> wrote:

>> On 6 Sep 2017, at 12:35, James Stevens <James.Stevens at jrcs.co.uk> wrote:
>> there some policy statement relating LL TLDs to ISO3166 that would provide a conclusively safe link?
> 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...
> 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. For some definition of "safe".

This is quite possibly the most important point. The policies for the previous round of new gTLDs (2012-onward) are probably a reasonable reference, but those are not permanent. They were explicitly written to apply to the 2012 round of new TLD applications and delegations, and the ICANN community is currently gearing up to review and possibly revise those guidelines, in view of the experience gained, for a future round of new gTLDs.

It's understandable that people like short, simple names and would prefer to have "their own" TLD for private use domains, but it's hard to see a technical justification for appropriating one that outweighs the fact there's no guarantee it will remain unique to your enterprise in the working internet. This risk can be instantiated because ICANN policy for the public root changes or because someone else likes the same string as much as you do. Regardless of the reason, the consequences can be troublesome. 

This strikes me as the sort of risk that even DNS-clueless managers could have explained to them.


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