INTERNET-DRAFT                              Donald E. Eastlake 3rd (IBM)
                                                    Eric Brunner (Nokia)
                                                      Bill Manning (ISI)
Expires: March 2000                                       September 1999


              Domain Name System (DNS) IANA Considerations
              ------ ---- ------ ----- ---- --------------

Status of This Document

   Distribution of this draft <draft-ietf-dnsind-iana-dns-01.txt> is
   unlimited. Comments should be sent to the DNS Working Group mailing
   list <> or to the authors.

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
   all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026.  Internet-Drafts are working
   documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its areas,
   and its working groups.  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six
   months.  Internet-Drafts may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by
   other documents at any time.  It is not appropriate to use Internet-
   Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as a
   ``working draft'' or ``work in progress.''

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at

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   Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA) considerations are given
   for the allocation of Domain Name System (DNS) classes, RR types,
   operation codes, error codes, etc.

Table of Contents

      Status of This Document....................................1

      Table of Contents..........................................2

      1. Introduction............................................3

      2. DNS Query/Response Headers..............................4
      2.1 One Spare Bit?.........................................4
      2.2 Opcode Assignment......................................5
      2.3 RCODE Assignment.......................................5

      3. DNS Resource Records....................................7
      3.1 RR TYPE IANA Considerations............................8
      3.1.1 Special Note on the OPT RR...........................8
      3.1.2 Special Note on the SINK RR..........................9
      3.2 RR CLASS IANA Considerations...........................9
      3.3 RR NAME IANA Considerations...........................10
      3.3.1 Reserved TLDs in the Internet CLASS.................10
      3.3.2 'Country Code' TLDs in the Internet CLASS...........11
      3.3.3 Other TLDs in the Internet CLASS....................12

      4. Security Considerations................................13

      Appendix A: Single Letter or Digit Labels.................15
      Appendix B: On Becoming Root and TLD Interoperability.....15

      Authors Addresses.........................................17
      Expiration and File Name..................................17

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1. Introduction

   The Domain Name System (DNS) provides replicated distributed secure
   hierarchical databases which hierarchially store "resource records"
   (RRs) by CLASS under domain names.

   This data is structured into CLASSes and zones which can be
   independently maintained.  See [RFC 1034, 1035, 2136, 2181, 2535]
   familiarity with which is assumed.

   This document covers, either directly or by reference, general IANA
   considerations applying across DNS query and response headers and all
   RRs.  There may be additional IANA considerations that apply to only
   a particular RR type or query/response opcode.  See the specific RFC
   defining that RR type or query/response opcode for such
   considerations if they have been defined.

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

   The terms of art used herein with respect to IANA Considerations are
   as defined in [RFC 2434].

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2. DNS Query/Response Headers

   The header for DNS queries and responses contains field/bits in the
   following diagram taken from [RFC 2136/2535]:

                                              1  1  1  1  1  1
                0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  0  1  2  3  4  5
               |                      ID                       |
               |QR|   Opcode  |AA|TC|RD|RA| Z|AD|CD|   RCODE   |
               |                QDCOUNT/ZOCOUNT                |
               |                ANCOUNT/PRCOUNT                |
               |                NSCOUNT/UPCOUNT                 |
               |                    ARCOUNT                    |

   The ID field identifies the query and is echoed in the response so
   they can be matched.

   The QR bit indicates whether the header is for a query or a response.

   The AA, TC, RD, RA, AD, and CD bits are each theoretically meaningful
   only in queries or only in responses, depending on the bit.  However,
   many DNS implementations copy the query header as the initial value
   of the response header without clearing bits.  Thus any attempt to
   use a "query" bit with a different meaning in a response or to define
   a query meaning for a "response" bit is dangerous given existing
   implementation.  Such meanings may only be assigned by an IETF
   standards action.

   The QDCOUNT, ANCOUNT, NSCOUNT, and ARCOUNT fields give the number of
   queries in the Query section, answer RRs in the Answer section, RRs
   in the Authority section, and informational RRs in the Additional
   Information section, respectively, for all opcodes except Update.
   These fields have the same structure and data type for update but are
   instead the counts for the Zone (ZOCOUNT), Prerequisite (PRCOUNT),
   Update (UPCOUNT), and Additional Information (ARCOUNT) sections.

2.1 One Spare Bit?

   It would appear that the "Z" bit is spare and [RFC 1035] says that it
   must be zero in all queries and responses.  However, there have been
   DNS implementations for which that bit being on in a query meant that

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   only a response from the primary server for a zone is acceptable.

   It is believed that modern DNS implementations ignore this bit.

   Assigning a meaning to this bit requires an IETF standards action.

2.2 Opcode Assignment

   Currently DNS OpCodes are assigned as follows:

        OpCode Name                      Reference

         0     Query                     [RFC 1035]
         1     IQuery  (Inverse Query)   [RFC 1035]
         2     Status                    [RFC 1035]
         3     available for assignment
         4     Notify                    [RFC 1996]
         5     Update                    [RFC 2136]
        6-15   available for assignment

   New OpCode assignments require an IETF consensus.

   IANA currently maintains an on list listing of assigned DNS OpCodes
   at <>.

2.3 RCODE Assignment

   It would appear from the DNS header above that only four bits of
   RCODE, or response/error code are available.  However, RCODEs can
   appear not only at the top level of a DNS response but also inside
   TSIG RRs [RFC XXX3] and OPT RRs [RFC 2671].  The OPT RR provides an
   eight bit extension resulting in a 12 bit RCODE field and the TSIG RR
   has a 16 bit RCODE  field.

        RCODE  Name                                         Reference

         0     NoError   No Error                           [RFC 1035]
         1     FormErr   Format Error                       [RFC 1035]
         2     ServFail  Server Failure                     [RFC 1035]
         3     NXDomain  Non-Existent Domain                [RFC 1035]
         4     NotImp    Not Implemented                    [RFC 1035]
         5     Refused   Query Refused                      [RFC 1035]
         6     YXDomain  Name Exists when it should not     [RFC 2136]
         7     YXRRSet   RR Set Exists when it should not   [RFC 2136]
         8     NXRRSet   RR Set that should exist does not  [RFC 2136]
         9     NotAuth   Server Not Authoritative for zone  [RFC 2136]

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        10     NotZone   Name not contained in zone         [RFC 2136]
        11-15            available for assignment
        16     BADSIG    Signature Failure                  [RFC XXX3]
        17     BADKEY    Key not recognized                 [RFC XXX3]
        18     BADTIME   Signature out of time window       [RFC XXX3]
        19-0xFFFF        available for assignment

   Since it is important that RCODEs be understood for interoperability,
   new RCODE assignment requires an IETF consensus.

   Current IANA DNS RCODE assignments are shown at

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3. DNS Resource Records

   All RRs have the same top level format shown in the figure below
   taken from [RFC 1035]:

                                       1  1  1  1  1  1
         0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  0  1  2  3  4  5
       |                                               |
       /                                               /
       /                      NAME                     /
       |                                               |
       |                      TYPE                     |
       |                     CLASS                     |
       |                      TTL                      |
       |                                               |
       |                   RDLENGTH                    |
       /                     RDATA                     /
       /                                               /

   NAME is an owner name, i.e., the name of the node to which this
   resource record pertains.  NAMEs are specific to a CLASS as described
   in section 3.2.  NAMEs consist of an ordered sequence of one or more
   labels each of which has a label type [RFC 1035, 2671].  See also
   IANA NAME considerations in section 3.3.

   TYPE is a two octet unsigned integer containing one of the RR TYPE
   codes.  See section 3.1.

   CLASS is a two octet unsigned integer containing one of the RR CLASS
   codes.  See section 3.2.

   TTL is a four octet (32 bit) bit unsigned integer that specifies the
   number of seconds that the resource record may be cached before the
   source of the information should again be consulted.  Zero is
   interpreted to mean that the RR can only be used for the transaction
   in progress.

   RDLENGTH is an unsigned 16 bit integer that specifies the length in
   octets of the RDATA field.

   RDATA is a variable length string of octets that constitutes the
   resource.  The format of this information varies according to the
   TYPE and in some cases the CLASS of the resource record.

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3.1 RR TYPE IANA Considerations

   There are three subcategories of RR TYPE numbers: data TYPEs, QTYPEs,
   and MetaTYPEs.

   Data TYPEs are the primary means of storing data QTYPES can only be
   used in queries.  Meta-TYPEs designate transient data associated with
   an particular DNS message and in some cases can also be used in
   queries.  Thus far, data TYPEs have been assigned from 1 upwards plus
   the block from 100 through 103 while Q and Meta Types have been
   assigned from 255 downwards (??? except for the OPT RR which is
   assigned TYPE 41 ???).

   There are currently three Meta-TYPEs: TSIG [RFC XXX3], TKEY [RFC
   XXX5], and OPT [RFC 2671].

   There are currently five QTYPEs: * (all), MAILA, MAILB, AXFR, and

   Considerations for the allocation of new RR TYPEs are as follows:

   0x0000 - TYPE zero is used as a special indicator for the SIG RR [RFC
          2535] and in other circumstances and must never be allocated
          for ordinary use.

   0x0001 - 0x007F - remaining TYPEs in this range are assigned for data
          TYPEs only by IETF consensus.

   0x0080 - 0x00FF - remaining TYPEs in this rage are assigned for Q and
          Meta TYPEs only by IETF consensus.

   0x0100 - 0x7FFF - assigned for data, Q, or Meta TYPE use by IETF

   0x8000 - 0xFEFF - assigned based on RFC publication.

   0xFF00 - 0xFFFF - this block is assigned for private experimental
          use.  Because their use is not coordinated, values/uses may
          conflict between different experiments.

   IANA currently maintains a table of RR TYPE assignments at

3.1.1 Special Note on the OPT RR

   The OPT (OPTion) RR, number 41 (???), is specified in [RFC 2671].
   Its primary purpose is to extend the effective field size of various
   DNS fields including RCODE, label type, OpCode, flag bits, and RDATA

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   size.  In particular, for resolvers and servers that recognize it, it
   extends the RCODE field from 4 to 12 bits.

3.1.2 Special Note on the SINK RR

   The (Kitchen) SINK RR, number 40, is specified in RFC [XXX2].  It is
   designed to accommodate requirements for proprietary RRs and provides
   flexible encoding and semantic labeling of the RDATA potion.  This
   should virtually eliminate the need to allocate RR types codes for
   private or proprietary purposes.

3.2 RR CLASS IANA Considerations

   DNS CLASSes have been little used but constitute another dimension of
   the DNS distributed database.  In particular, there is no necessary
   relationship between the namespace or roots servers for one CLASS and
   those for another CLASS.  The same name can have completely different
   meanings in different CLASSes.  However, as global networking and DNS
   have evolved, the IN, or Internet, CLASS has dominated DNS use.

   There are two subcategories of DNS CLASSes: normal data containing
   classes and QCLASSes that are only meaningful in queries or updates.

   The current data class assignments and considerations for future
   assignments are as follows:

   0x0000 - assignment requires an IETF standards action.

   0x0001 - Internet (IN).

   0x0002 - available for assignment by IETF consensus as a data CLASS.

   0x0003 - Chaos (CH) [Moon 81].

   0x0004 - Hesiod (HS) [Dyer 87].

   0x0005 - 0x007F - available for assignment by IETF consensus as data
          CLASSes only.

   0x0080 - 0xFFFD - available for assignment by IETF consensus as
          QCLASSes only.

   0x00FE - QCLASS None [RFC 2136].

   0x00FF - QCLASS Any [RFC 1035].

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   0x0100 - 0x7FFF - assigned by IETF consensus.

   0x8000 - 0xFEFF - assigned by RFC publication.

   0xFF00 through 0xFFFE are assigned for private experimental use.
          Because their use is not coordinated, it values/uses may
          conflict between different experiments.

   0xFFFF - can only be assigned by an IETF standards action.

   Currently IANA documents CLASS assignments at <

3.3 RR NAME IANA Considerations

   DNS NAMEs are sequences of labels [RFC 1035].  The last label in each
   NAME is "ROOT" which is the zero length label.  By definition, the
   null or ROOT label can not be used for any other NAME purpose.

   At the present time, there are two categories of label types, data
   labels and compression labels.  Compression labels are pointers to
   data labels elsewhere within an RR or DNS request or reply and are
   intended to shorten the wire encoding of NAMEs.  The two existing
   data label types will be referred to as ASCII and Binary.  ASCII
   labels can, in fact, include any octet value including zero octets
   but most current uses involve only [US-ASCII]  For retrieval ASCII
   labels are defined to treat upper and lower case letters the same.
   Binary labels are bit sequences [RFC 2673].

   IANA considerations for label types are given in [RFC 2671].

   NAMEs are local to a CLASS.  The Hesiod [Dyer 87] and Chaos [Moon 81]
   CLASSes are essentially for local use.  The IN or Internet LASS is
   thus the only DNS CLASS in global use on the Internet at this time.

   The following subsections give IANA considerations for the allocation
   of names in the IETF recommended root zone.  An old snap shoot of
   such considerations is given in [RFC 1591].  As described in Appendix
   B, there is nothing to prevent other root zones from existing or
   being used by those who wish to use the IETF recommended root zone.

3.3.1 Reserved TLDs in the Internet CLASS

   All Binary label TLDs [RFC 2673] and other new non-ASCII TLD label
   data types are reserved.

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   The remainder of this subsection and 3.3.2 and 3.3.3 refer only to
   ASCII labels.

   All TLDs including any octets that are not letters, digits, or hyphen
   are reserved.  Expression of internationalized names in the DNS is an
   active area of investigation within the IETF at this time and may
   make use of these reserved TLD octet values.

   All numeric TLDs from "0" through "4294967295" ( 2**32 -1 ) are
   reserved to avoid conflict with IPv4 integer and dotted quad address
   notations.  While many standards distinguish readable addresses by
   surrounding them with square brackets ("[]"), other widely used
   standards such as URIs [RFC 2396] do not provide any syntactic way to
   distinguish these.

   All single octet length top level domain (TLD) names are reserved.
   Should the root zone ever get very large, there are technical
   solutions involving referral to servers providing splits of the zone
   based on the first name octet, which would be eased by having the
   single byte TLDs available.  In addition, these provide a potential
   additional axis for DNS expansion.  For like reasons, it is
   recommended that within TLD zones or indeed within any zone that is
   or might become very large, in the absence of a strong reason to the
   contrary, all single octet names be reserved.  See Appendix A.

   Finally, the four ASCII TLDs "example", "invalid", "localhost", and
   "test" are reserved as described in [RFC 2606].

   Assignment of any of the above reserved names requires an IETF

3.3.2 'Country Code' TLDs in the Internet CLASS

   Two octet length ASCII label TLDs in the Internet CLASS consisting of
   letters are for assignment to geo-political territories.  Those (1)
   allocated by [ISO 3166-1] and (2) allocated by the Universal Postal
   Union [UPU] and reserved in [ISO 3166-1] even though not formally
   assigned by [ISO 3166-1], are assigned as so allocated.  Two letter
   codes reserved by [ISO 3166-1] for local use or the like are also
   reserved as TLDs as are two letter TLDs not yet allocated or reserved
   by [ISO 3166-1].  A generally recognized acting government of the
   territory associated with a "country code" has priority to act as or
   designate the registrar for such TLDs.  If no such government has
   exercised its authority, non-governmental entities may act as the
   registrar under rules established by IANA (see

   Normal diplomatic usage recognizes that special consideration can be
   given to founders.  For example, at every Olympics, three flags are

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   equally honored: the Olympic flag, the host nation flag, and the
   Greek flag because Greece was the founder of the modern Olympics.
   The Universal Postal Union [UPU] requires all stamps used
   internationally to indicate the country issuing them except for the
   stamps of Great Britain.  As the first nation to issue stamps, it is
   exempt from this restriction. Similarly, as the founder of the
   Internet and due to historical factors, the United States of America
   is assigned the three letter TLDs ".gov" and ".mil" in addition to

   Two byte codes consisting of other than letters and not reserved in
   3.3.1 above are not currently used by [ISO 3166-1] or the [UPU].
   However, to permit possible expansion of the two octet country codes,
   they are reserved for future allocation with priority to be given for
   usage by [ISO 3166-1]

3.3.3 Other TLDs in the Internet CLASS

   IANA manages the ".arpa" and ".int" TLDs.  The "arpa" TLD is assigned
   for use in the IPv4 inverse mapping and IANA delegates /8 subzones to
   holders of a /8 chunk of address space, including the regional
   address registries.  "int" includes the IPv6 inverse address mapping
   which is at "", international treaty organizations, and
   international registrations at "".  IANA considerations for IP
   address assignment are given elsewhere.

   Control and assignment of various other existing or prospective
   Internet CLASS TLDs and the authority for the creation of new TLDs is
   being transferred to the ICANN ( and the DNSO (Domain
   Name Support Organization,  Traditionally ".edu" was
   used for educational institutions, ".net" for network infrastructure
   organizations, "com" for commercial organizations, and ".org" for
   other non-profit organizations.

   New registrations in ".edu" are currently restricted to four year or
   longer institutions of higher learning.

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4. Security Considerations

   This document addresses IANA considerations in the allocation of
   general DNS parameters, not security.  See [RFC 2535] for secure DNS


   [Dyer 87] - Dyer, S., and F. Hsu, "Hesiod", Project Athena Technical
   Plan - Name Service, April 1987,

   [ISO 3166-1] - "Codes for the representation of names of countries",

   [Moon 81] - D. moon, "Chaosnet", A.I. Memo 628, Massachusetts
   Institute of Technology Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, June

   [RFC 1034] - P. Mockapetris, "Domain Names - Concepts and
   Facilities", STD 13, November 1987.

   [RFC 1035] - P. Mockapetris, "Domain Names - Implementation and
   Specifications", STD 13, November 1987.

   [RFC 1591] - J. Postel, "Domain Name System Structure and
   Delegation", March 1994.

   [RFC 1996] - P. Vixie, "A Mechanism for Prompt Notification of Zone
   Changes (DNS NOTIFY)", August 1996.

   [RFC 2119] - S. Bradner, "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
   Requirement Levels", March 1997.

   [RFC 2136] - P. Vixie, S. Thomson, Y. Rekhter, J. Bound, "Dynamic
   Updates in the Domain Name System (DNS UPDATE)", 04/21/1997.

   [RFC 2181] - Robert Elz, Randy Bush, "Clarifications to the DNS
   Specification", July 1997.

   [RFC 2396] -  T. Berners-Lee, R. Fielding, L. Masinter, "Uniform
   Resource Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax", August 1998.

   [RFC 2434] - "Guidelines for Writing an IANA Considerations Section
   in RFCs", T.  Narten, H. Alvestrand, October 1998.

   [RFC 2535] - D. Eastlake, "Domain Name System Security Extensions",
   March 1999.

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   [RFC 2606] - D. Eastlake, A. Panitz, "Reserved Top Level DNS Names",
   June 1999.

   [RFC 2671] - P. Vixie, "Extension mechanisms for DNS (EDNS0)", August

   [RFC 2672] - M. Crawford, " Non-Terminal DNS Name Redirection",
   August 1999.

   [RFC 2673] - M. Crawford, "Binary Labels in the Domain Name System",
   August 1999.

   [RFC XXX2] - D. Eastlake, "The Kitchen Sink DNS Resource Record", xxx
   1999 (draft-ietf-dnsind-kitchen-sink-*.txt).

   [RFC XXX3] - P. Vixie, O. Gundmundsson, D. Eastlake, B. Wellington,
   "Secret Key Transaction Signatures for DNS (TSIG)", xxx 1999 (draft-

   [RFC XXX5] - D. Eastlake, "Secret Key Establishment for DNS (TKEY
   RR)", xxx 1999 (draft-ietf-dnsind-tkey-00.txt).

   [UPU] - Universal Postal Union, <>

   [US-ASCII - ANSI, "USA Standard Code  for  Information  Interchange",
   X3.4, American National Standards Institute: New York, 1968.

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Appendix A: Single Letter or Digit Labels

   As described in Section 3.3.1, single octet ASCII labels should
   generally be reserved.

   In furtherance of this, on December 1st, 1993, IANA explicitly
   reserved all available single letter and single digit second level
   domain names in ".com", ".net", and ".org".  Existing assignments,
   listed below, were not disturbed.    JG (Q225-DOM)    Weinstein & DePaolis (X-DOM), Inc (Z87-DOM)
    inet solutions (I274-DOM)    Q Net (Q-DOM)
    The Open Group (X57-DOM)

   There was no need to explicitly reserve other single octet second
   level domain names in these TLDs because such non-letter non-digit
   names were not being assigned.  There was no need to explicitly
   reserve single octet top level domain names because those required
   IANA approval in any case.

Appendix B: On Becoming Root and TLD Interoperability

   This appendix is commentary by Donald Eastlake.

   In practice, it is quite easy to put up a set of root servers.  DNS
   resolvers which use those root servers will see the namespace they
   support.  DNS has only downward pointers from zone to subzone and no
   upward pointers going from zone to superzone.  Thus, in creating a
   root zone, it works technically to pick whatever top level domains
   (TLDs) you want including, if you wish, TLDs that are not generally
   recognized or variant versions of TLDs that are generally recognized.

   Setting up your own root zone like this is commonly done within local
   enclaves to hide some local names, for security and efficiency.  In
   some cases, local TLDs are added.  This is reasonable because such
   names are only supposed to be used locally.  But for the global
   Internet, the use of variant root zones would lead to non-
   interoperability at the societal and application level.  Users would
   find that email addresses didn't work or addressed different accounts
   for those using different root zone contents.  Links in web pages
   wouldn't work or would address different web resources for those
   using different root zone contents.  It would no longer be possible
   to globally advertise URLs, email addresses, or anything else
   incorporating a domain name, either by word of mouth or by mass media

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   such as television networks.

   As a result, despite strenuous attempts to promote alternatives, no
   significant portion of the global Internet has ever used other than
   the IETF recommended root zone contents (except, in some cases, for
   strictly local names).

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Authors Addresses

   Donald E. Eastlake 3rd
   65 Shindegan Hill Road
   Carmel, NY 10512 USA

   Telephone:   +1-914-784-7913 (w)
                +1-914-276-2668 (h)
   fax:         +1-914-784-3833 (w)

   Eric Brunner
   Nokia Research Center
   3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 250
   Burlington, MA 01803 USA

   Telephone:   +1 781-359-5159
   fax:         +1 781-359-5196

   Bill Manning
   4676 Admiralty Way, #1001
   Marina del Rey, CA 90292 USA

   Telephone:   +1 310 822 1511

Expiration and File Name

   This draft expires March 2000.

   Its file name is draft-ietf-dnsind-iana-dns-01.txt.

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