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Liaison statement
User assigned code elements

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State Posted
Submitted Date 2021-02-19
From Group IAB
From Contact Dr. John C. Klensin
To Group ISOTC46
To Contacts Mme Maëlle Gaonac'h (ISO/TC46 Committee Manager) <>
Cc Patricia Cook <>
The IAB Executive Director <>
The IAB Chair <>
The IAB <>
The IESG <>
John Klensin (IETF liaison manager for ISO/TC46) <>
Response Contact The IAB Chair <>
Technical Contact Warren Kumari (OPS/dnsop AD) <>
Rob Wilton (OPS AD) <>
Benno Overeinder (dnsop chair) <>
Suzanne Woolf (dnsop chair) <>
Tim Wicinski (dnsop chair) <>
Purpose For comment
Deadline 2021-06-30 Action Needed
Attachments (None)
The Internet community has used ISO 3166 alpha-2 codes to identify the relevant
countries in the domain name system (DNS) for more than 30 years (e.g., the
top-level domain names "CH", "FR", and so on).  In recent years, there have
been increasing calls for mechanisms to allow names for  private use (for
example on isolated networks) that look like DNS names and might use DNS
mechanisms for resolution.  The same apparent domain name might then be used
with very different interpretations in different contexts.

One of those proposals [1] suggests encouraging various parties to use ISO 3166
User-assigned code elements for that purpose.

That proposal raises at least two questions on which we would appreciate advice
from ISO/TC 46, one very specific and the other much more general:

1) While names that use User-assigned code elements would be interpreted
differently in different locations and on different networks, their long-term
stability and usability are important.  Is the list of code elements available
for user assignment likely to be stable as ISO 3166 evolves over the next 50 -
100 years or more, or might that list change?  And, if it might change, is
there a particular subset of that list that might be significantly more stable
than other subsets?

2) Given that there are other uses of domain names in identifiers as well as
uses of the ISO 3166 alpha-2 list that are as, or more, important than the DNS
application, do TC 46 members see issues that ought to be brought to the IETF’s
attention with using the user-assigned space in this way?

Thank you for your attention and we look forward to your reply.

Mirja Kühlewind on behalf of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)
Alissa Cooper on behalf of the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG)