Name Collision refers to the situation where a name that is defined and used in one namespace may also appear in another. Users and applications intending to use a name in one namespace may actually use it in a different one, and unexpected behavior may result where the intended use of the name is not the same in both namespaces. The circumstances that lead to a name collision could be accidental or malicious. In the context of top-level domains (TLDs), the conflicting namespaces are the global Internet Domain Name System (DNS) namespace reflected in the root zone as published by the Root Zone Management Partners and any other namespace, regardless of whether that other namespace is intended for use with the DNS or any other protocol. Definitions of other terms will be added as the project progresses.

In resolutions (2017.11.02.29 - 2017.11.02.31) the Board requests the SSAC to conduct studies to present data, analysis and points of view, and provide advice to the Board:

  1. Regarding the risks posed to users and end systems if .CORP, .HOME, .MAIL strings were to be delegated in the root, as well as possible courses of action that might mitigate the identified risks.
  2. On a range of questions that include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. a proper definition for name collision and the underlying reasons why strings that manifest name collisions are so heavily used.
    2. the role that negative answers currently returned from queries to the root for these strings play in the experience of the end user, including in the operation of existing end systems;
    3. the harm to existing users that may occur if Collision Strings were to be delegated, including harm due to end systems no longer receiving a negative response and additional potential harm if the delegated registry accidentally or purposely exploited subsequent queries from these end systems, and any other types of harm;
    4. possible courses of action that might mitigate harm;
    5. factors that affect potential success of the courses of actions to mitigate harm;
    6. potential residual risks of delegating Collision Strings even after taking actions to mitigate harm;
    7. suggested criteria for determining whether an undelegated string should be considered a string that manifest name collisions, (i.e.) placed in the category of a Collision String;
    8. suggested criteria for determining whether a Collision String should not be delegated, and suggested criteria for determining how remove an undelegated string from the list of Collision Strings; and
    9. measures to protect against intentional or unintentional creation of situations, such as queries for undelegated strings, which might cause such strings to be placed in a Collision String category, and research into risk of possible negative effects, if any, of creation of such a collision string list.

In addition, the Board requests that:

  1. the SSAC conduct the study in a thorough and inclusive manner that includes technical experts (such as members of IETF working groups, technical members of the GNSO, and other technologists); and
  2. the SSAC conduct the study in a timely and organized fashion, with adequate visibility on costs and schedule, which shall be subject to review and approval by the Board.

The Board Resolution can be found here: https://www.icann.org/resources/board-material/resolutions-2017-11-02-en#2.a