Root Server System Advisory Committee
The Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) advises the ICANN Community and Board on issues pertaining to the operation, administration, security, and integrity of the Internet's Root Server System. RSSAC was also tasked to review the number, location, and distribution of the root name server and its total system performance, robustness, and reliability .It was created under the Article VII Section 3 (b) of the ICANN Bylaws, which gave the ICANN Board the mandate to appoint the initial Chairman of the Committee, after which the following chairman was to be elected by the members of the committee. Jun Murai was appointed as the first chairman of the RSSAC.
RSSAC has the following responsibilities, per the ICANN Bylaws:
- Communicate on matters relating to the operation of the Root Servers and their multiple instances with the Internet technical community and the ICANN community. The RSSAC shall gather and articulate requirements to offer to those engaged in technical revision of the protocols and best common practices related to the operation of DNS servers.
- Communicate on matters relating to the administration of the Root Zone with those who have direct responsibility for that administration. These matters include the processes and procedures for the production of the Root Zone File.
- Engage in ongoing threat assessment and risk analysis of the Root Server System and recommend any necessary audit activity to assess the current status of root servers and the root zone.
- Respond to requests for information or opinions from the Board.
- Report periodically to the Board on its activities.
- Make policy recommendations to the ICANN community and Board.
RSSAC Policy Advice Development
The RSSAC follows six basic steps to develop the advice it provides the ICANN Board and community on the operation, administration, security, and integrity of the Internet’s Root Server System.
- An RSSAC or RSSAC Caucus member proposes a work item, which can include requests from the ICANN Board, and then submits a statement of work for the RSSAC to consider.
- The RSSAC reviews the statement of work, and if it is approved, a work party of either RSSAC or RSSAC Caucus members is formed.
- The work party writes a draft document, which its leader circulates for review and comment among RSSAC members and then RSSAC Caucus members.
- The work party submits the document to the RSSAC for a vote.
- The RSSAC shares the document with those it might affect and submits it for Public Comment proceedings.
- The RSSAC publishes the approved document and tracks its effects.
The RSSAC consists of voting representatives from each of the 12 organizations responsible for operating the 13 root name servers and alternates to each of these. It also includes non-voting liaisons from a number of functions related to services pertaining to the root zone. The RSSAC Caucus provides a pool of expertise, to which the representatives of the 13 root name servers can turn to form work parties and draft advice documents.
The current composition is available at RSSAC's official web page.
|Root Server Operator||Representative||Term Expires||Alternate|
|Verisign||Brad Verd||31 December 2024||N/A|
|University of Southern California – Information Sciences Institute||Wes Hardaker||31 December 2023||Suzanne Woolf|
|Cogent||Paul Vixie||31 December 2023||Brad Belanger|
|University of Maryland – ACIGS||Karl Reuss||31 December 2022||Gerry Sneeringer|
|NASA Ames Research Center||Barbara Schleckser||31 December 2022||Tom Miglin|
|Internet Systems Consortium||Jeff Osborn (Chair)||31 December 2024|
|Defense Information Systems Agency||Kevin Wright||31 December 2022||Ryan Stephenson|
|U.S. Army Research Lab||Howard Kash||31 December 2022||Kenneth Renard (Vice Chair)|
|Netnod||Lars-Johan Liman||31 December 2024||Patrik Fältström|
|RIPE NCC||Kaveh Ranjbar||31 December 2023||Anand Buddhdev|
|ICANN||Matt Larson||31 December 2024||Terry Manderson|
|WIDE Project||Jun Murai||31 December 2023||Hiro Hotta|
Liaisons to RSSAC
There are four liaisons to the RSSAC from other organizations within the Internet community:
|Root Zone Maintainer (Verisign)||Duane Wessels|
|Internet Architecture Board (IAB)||Daniel Migault|
Liaisons from RSSAC to Other Organizations
RSSAC appoints liaisons to other groups and organizations to coordinate or communicate matters of common interest, as required by the RSSAC Operational Procedures
|Work Stream 2 – Community Coordination Group||Robert Carolina|
|ICANN Fellowship Program Selection Committee||Amir Qayyum|
|ICANN Fellowship Program Mentoring Committee||Afifa Abbas|
|IANA Naming Function Review Team (IFRT)||Suzanne Woolf|
|NextGen@ICANN Selection Committee||Abdulkarim Oloyede|
|NextGen@ICANN Mentoring Committee||Dessalegn Yehuala|
RSSAC Working Group
The RSSAC Working Group is composed of:
|Jun Murai, Chair||January 1999 - December 2014|
|Matt Larson, Vice Chair||August 2006 - July 2013|
|Lars-Johan Liman, Co-Chair||July 2013 - December 2015|
|Tripti Sinha, Co-Chair||January 2015 - October 2018|
|Brad Verd, Co-Chair||January 2016 - October 2019|
|Fred Baker, Co-Chair||October 2018 - October 2019|
Since its inception, the committee continuously performs projects under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between ICANN, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), to conduct a collaborative study to address the operational and technical requirements of the root name servers to be able to establish a more robust and secure management of the Internet DNS root server system.
The RSSAC was also involved in the Y2K Project between 1999 to 2000. Its objective was to make sure that the operations of the root nameserver system are in compliance with the Y2K protocol by conducting administrative services and testing.
The committee is also conducting new technical developments on IPv6, DNSSEC, IDN, and their effects on the root nameserver system.
Article 4.4 of the ICANN Bylaws mandates that organizational reviews should be conducted on a periodic basis to establish that a particular SO or AC is still needed and is operating as effectively as possible. Organizational reviews are conducted by an independent examiner retained by ICANN.
RSSAC has been reviewed twice, in 2008 and 2017.