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Appeared on: Wednesday, April 03, 2013
ICANN Announces Emergency Back-up Registry Operators

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has selected three emergency back-end registry operators (EBEROs) to guarantee domain names within a new generic top-level domain (gTLD) will resolve in the event of a failure at a new TLD operator.

ICANN selected the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), Neustar, Inc. and Nominet to guarantee domain names within a new gTLD continue to resolve in the event of a failure by a new TLD operator.

Emergency back-end registry operators are activated only if a registry operator fails to provide or is unable to sustain five critical registry functions temporarily or in the case of transition from one registry operator to another. Having them in different regions of the world reduces the chance that a natural disaster would affect all three at any one time.

EBEROs mitigate risk that a failed new TLD operator could impact the stability and security of the Domain Name System. However, EBEROs are limited in the services they can provide. For example, EBEROs will maintain critical registry functions but will not provide any additional services that a TLD operator may have offered its customers, such as web hosting or network analytics. The critical functions covered by EBEROs are:

- DNS resolution for registered domain names
- Operation of Shared Registration System
- Provision of Whois service
- Registry data escrow deposits
- Maintenance of a properly signed zone in accordance with DNSSEC requirements

ICANN's announcement follows criticism of its gTLD rollout plans. The pace of the rollout is too fast and could cause risks to the security and stability of the DNS (Domain Name System) and affect the working of the whole Internet, Verisign has warned in a report outlining new gTLD security and stability issues, sent to ICANN and filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week.

Concerns were also raised by PayPal and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), a trade group.


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