Principles for Operation of Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Registries
RFC 7500

Document Type RFC - Informational (April 2015; No errata)
Last updated 2015-04-06
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Internet Architecture Board (IAB)                        R. Housley, Ed.
Request for Comments: 7500                                Vigil Security
Category: Informational                                  O. Kolkman, Ed.
ISSN: 2070-1721                                         Internet Society
                                                              April 2015

                      Principles for Operation of
         Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Registries

Abstract

   This document provides principles for the operation of Internet
   Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) registries.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)
   and represents information that the IAB has deemed valuable to
   provide for permanent record.  It represents the consensus of the
   Internet Architecture Board (IAB).  Documents approved for
   publication by the IAB are not a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7500.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2015 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.

Housley & Kolkman             Informational                     [Page 1]
RFC 7500                         TITLE*                       April 2015

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
   2. Principles for the Operation of IANA Registries .................3
   3. Discussion ......................................................4
      3.1. Ensuring Uniqueness, Stability, and Predictability .........4
      3.2. Public .....................................................4
      3.3. Open and Transparent .......................................4
      3.4. Accountable ................................................5
   4. Security Considerations .........................................5
   5. Informative References ..........................................6
   IAB Members at the Time of Approval ................................7
   Contributors and Acknowledgements ..................................7
   Authors' Addresses .................................................7

1.  Introduction

   The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and its predecessors have
   traditionally separated the publication of protocol specifications in
   immutable Request for Comments (RFCs) and the registries containing
   protocol parameters.  Traditionally, the registries are maintained by
   a set of functions known collectively as the Internet Assigned
   Numbers Authority (IANA).  Dating back to the earliest days of the
   Internet, specification publication and the registry operations were
   tightly coupled: Jon Postel of the Information Sciences Institute
   (ISI) of the University of Southern California (USC) was responsible
   for both RFC publication and IANA registry operation.  This tight
   coupling had advantages, but it was never a requirement.  Indeed,
   today the RFC Editor and IANA registry operation are provided by
   different entities.

   Internet registries are critical to the operation of the Internet,
   because they provide a definitive record of the value and meaning of
   identifiers that protocols use when communicating with each other.
   Almost every Internet protocol makes use of registries in some form.
   At the time of writing, the IANA maintains more than two thousand
   protocol parameter registries.

   Internet registries hold protocol identifiers consisting of constants
   and other well-known values used by Internet protocols.  These values
   can be numbers, strings, addresses, and so on.  They are uniquely
   assigned for one particular purpose or use.  Identifiers can be
   maintained in a central list (such as a list of cryptographic
   algorithms) or they can be hierarchically allocated and assigned by
   separate entities at different points in the hierarchy (such as IP
   addresses and domain names).  To maximize trust and usefulness of the
   IANA registries, the principles in this document should be taken into
   consideration for centralized registries as well as hierarchically

Housley & Kolkman             Informational                     [Page 2]
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