Security and Stability Advisory Committee

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The Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) advises the ICANN Board and community on matters pertaining to the correct and reliable operation of the root name system, address allocation and Internet number assignment, and registry and registrar services such as WHOIS. The SSAC also tracks and assesses threats and risks to the Internet naming and address allocation services.[1]

SSAC History and Membership

During the ICANN meeting from November 2001, the ICANN Board asked the Board President to assign a President for "security and stability of the Internet's naming and address allocation system" which has the responsibility to create an in-depth analysis of the risks and threats. On May 13, 2002, the President of the committee for security and stability was converted to the President of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC).[2] The SSAC's chair and members are appointed and can be removed by the ICANN Board. SSAC membership appointments run for three years, but there are no limits on how many times members can be re-appointed.[3] Rod Rasmussen is the current Chair of the SSAC. He was appointed for another three-year term as Chair in September 2020.[4] The current SSAC membership is as follows:[5]

SSAC Support Staff

Support for the committee is provided by:

How does SSAC work?

SSAC conducts ongoing threat assessment and risk analysis for Internet allocation services to determine which are viable threats and how these threats could influence the stability of the Internet. SSAC advises the ICANN community based on the results of these assessments.

In order to fulfill its objective to advise ICANN, SSAC develops comments, reports, and advisories on the issues which may concern the Internet community.

  • Reports are technical documents that contain substantive information and are developed in a few months' time. The reports represent a well-structured, in-depth analysis of a specific topic and include recommendations for ICANN.
  • Comments are SSAC responses to reports created by other ICANN bodies or organizations. These comments are usually supplied through Public Comment proceedings or to the ICANN Board when it asks the SSAC for an opinion.
  • Correspondence are documents concerning administrative, governance, or community-related issues and are normally signed by the SSAC Chair.
  • Advisories are concise documents containing useful, clear advice for ICANN and the Internet community so that they can act in a timely manner. The advisories supply recommendations and solutions for problems and ways to reduce risks and threats. [6]

SSAC Policy Advice Development Process

  1. SSAC members, ICANN, the ICANN Board, or an SO or AC requests that SSAC review an issue.
  2. If the SSAC agrees to review the issue, a work party begins drafting a document.
  3. The Work party shares the document with those it might affect and then sends revisions to the SSAC.
  4. The SSAC posts the revised document for Public Comment.
  5. The SSAC reaches a consensus on the final document, which the SSAC chair shares with relevant parties in the ICANN community or legal team.
  6. The SSAC publishes the approved document and tracks and reviews its effects.[7]