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ICANN Proposes Exclusive TLD: .INTERNAL for Private Use

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is considering the introduction of a new top-level domain (TLD) named .INTERNAL. Unlike traditional TLDs, .INTERNAL is designed exclusively for internal use, akin to the private IPv4 block 192.168.x.x. This move aims to address the uncoordinated and potentially harmful use of ad hoc TLDs for private purposes.

ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) recommended the creation of a dedicated TLD for internal use in 2020. The committee observed that ad hoc TLDs not present in the root zone lead to uncoordinated usage, causing issues for DNS servers. A comprehensive consultation process, spanning six United Nations languages, resulted in two viable candidates: .PRIVATE and .INTERNAL.

After thorough assessment, ICANN opted for .INTERNAL over .PRIVATE as the exclusive TLD for internal use. Assessors expressed concerns about potential conflicting meanings and unintended privacy implications associated with .PRIVATE. While ICANN’s board still needs to approve the decision, the proposal emphasizes that operators opting for such private namespaces should weigh potential costs against using sub-domains of publicly registered domain names.

Although ICANN’s proposal highlights the potential costs associated with using exclusive TLDs, some entities have already employed ad hoc TLDs for internal purposes. Notable examples include the open-source Wi-Fi firmware project WRT, which uses .LAN, and networking vendor D-Link’s utilization of .dlink. Despite ICANN’s caution, organizations may still choose to adopt .INTERNAL for their internal operations.

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

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