As I mentioned earlier this week Ukrainians had requested that ICANN (and RIPE) take a variety of actions that would effectively have knocked Russia off the public internet. RIPE NCC’s Board issued a statement to reiterate its neutral stance.
Now ICANN, via its CEO Göran Marby, has issued a formal reply (PDF).
It’s as I’d have expected. It’s polite, yet firm.
On pulling the .ru ccTLD (and related country code domain extensions):
For country-code top-level domains, our work predominantly involves validating requests that come from authorized parties within the respective country or territory. The globally agreed policies do not provide for ICANN to take unilateral action to disconnect these domains as you request. You can understand why such a system cannot operate based on requests from one territory or country concerning internal operations within another territory or country. Such a change in the process would have devastating and permanent effects on the trust and utility of this global system.
ICANN’s relationship with country code domain names and their operators is mostly light touch. ICANN and the IANA perform some basic technical functions but have no involvement in the day to day running of the domain extensions or their policies. There are several RFCs that cover how country code domains work and the ccNSO has recently done some work on how a domain extension could be withdrawn.
The root server system is composed of many geographically distributed nodes maintained by independent operators.
Not much to add there.
We do not have the ability to revoke the specific SSL certificates for the domains you mentioned. These certificates are produced by third-party operators and ICANN is not involved in their issuance
ICANN has nothing to do with SSL certificates. The CAs like Sectigo issue them. There is *a* connection to the DNS in that they’re most commonly used with domain names and hostnames, but the DNS and ICANN are not one and the same.
The letter from ICANN also underlines the neutral stance it and other organisations, such as RIPE, need to maintain:
Within our mission, we maintain neutrality and act in support of the global Internet. Our mission does not extend to taking punitive actions, issuing sanctions, or restricting access against segments of the Internet – regardless of the provocations. ICANN applies its policies consistently and in alignment with documented processes. To make unilateral changes would erode trust in the multistakeholder model and the policies designed to sustain global Internet interoperability.
ICANN’s next public meeting, which is being held online, will be held from March 7th onwards, so I suspect this topic might come up in some fora.