The Future of Internet Identifiers: How the DNS will Function in a Smart Cyberspace?

18 December 2017 - A Workshop on Other in Geneva, Switzerland


IGF 2017 WS #48

The Future of Internet Identifiers: How the DNS will Function in a Smart Cyberspace?

Proposer: Wolfgang Kleinwachter, University of Aarhus

Co-Proposer: Jörg Schweiger, DENIC

Session Format: Panel - 60 Min

Draft Program:

Opening Remarks (3 min.):

Jörg Schweiger, CEO DENIC

Introduction (7 min.):

Vint Cerf, CIE Google Inc.

Speakers (4x5 min.):

Christoph Blanchi, DONA Foundation

Marco Howening, RIPE NCC

Hans-Peter Dittler, ISOC Board

Ramy Ahmed Fathy, ITU-T SG 20

Commentators (4x3 min):

Nigel Hickson, ICANN

Xu Peixi, University of Bejing

Keith Drazek, VeriSign

Olga Cavalli, Buenos Aires South School of Internet Governance

Discussion (18 min.)


Wolfgang Kleinwächter, University of Aarhus

Remote Moderation:

Rainer Rodewald, Medienstadt Leipzig e.V.


Rainer Rodewald, Medienstadt Leipzig e.V.

Content of the Session:

For more than 30 years the Domain Name System (DNS) provided a first hand service for Internet identifiers. A domain name, an e-mail address and an IP number were the main identifiers which enabled communication among computers and people behind the computers. But with new applications and services, in particular related to (mobile) Apps, Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things, the role of identifiers in the Internet Governance Ecosystem might face some change.

As Karl Auerbach has said: "It is not that the Domain Name System (DNS) is becoming less important as a technical way of mapping structured names into various forms of records, most often records containing IP addresses. Nor is the Domain Name System used less then heretofore. ... And national governments continue to believe that domain names are the holy grail of levers they can use to impose their views of right and proper behavior onto the internet. All of that remains. And it will remain. What is happening to DNS is more subtle: Domain names are slowly becoming invisible."

This process leads to a question which will be discussed in the workshop: Will we see the emergence of a new generation of Internet identifiers, in particular with regard to industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things and how the requirements for a new generation of Internet identifiers look like, how would they be determined and how would the issue of migration and coexistence be addressed to keep the global Internet interoperable and unfragmented?

The workshop will provide expertise mainly from the technical and business community but also from a governmental perspective (ICANNs GAC and ITU-T Study Group 20). And the interests of users will be also included into the debate as well as the perspective of developing countries.

Relevance of the Session:

The management of critical Internet resources, in particular Internet identifiers as domain names, has been in the spotlight of the Internet Governance debate in the last two decades. With the completion of the IANA transition and the emergence of new applications and services, related to industry 4.0, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, the DNS is facing new challenges. This will have consequences both for the development of the domain name market as well as for related governmental policies. This is also a challenge for the technical community (to keep the Internet interoperable and non-fragmented) and will effect th interests of Internet end-users.

Online Participation:

We will reach out for an extended Online participation to the members of the ITU-T Study Group 20 as well as to members of the IGF-DC on IOT and other interested groups.

Discussion facilitation:

The moderator will not allow long individual presentations by invited speakeers. He will ask direct questions to the speakers on the podium and will include, as early as possible, the audience