IGP has published a proposal to decentralize authority over the Internet domain name system (DNS) as it transitions to a new, more secure technology known as DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC).

At a symposium in Washington DC today, the Internet Governance Project (IGP) unveiled a plan to decentralize control over the process of digitally signing the root zone file using public key encryption. The need for the plan was made clear recently when news of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security report on DNSSEC implementation triggered international controversy by raising fears that the US government planned to control the “master keys” to the Internet. The IGP proposal would distribute control over the process of signing the root zone file to multiple organizations, all of them nongovernmental in nature, defusing fears that U.S. national security agencies will control the Internet’s DNS root zone keys. The proposal increases the resilience of the system, eliminates the threat of political interference in Internet administration, and diffuses liability among the entities involved.

The international meeting in Washington, “Internet Governance and Security: Exploring Global and National Solutions,” was jointly hosted by Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, the George Mason University Law School’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Program, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne’s Executive Master’s Program in e-Governance. The event brought together legal and policy experts in Internet governance, representatives of the IETF, ICANN, DHS, the U.S. Commerce Department, the Internet Systems Consortium, and students from the e-Governance program.