Internet Architecture Board


Publish draft – What’s in a Name: False Assumptions about DNS Names

The IAB has asked the RFC Editor to publish as an Informational RFC
its draft document on “What’s in a Name: False Assumptions about DNS
Names.” The Domain Name System (DNS) provides an essential service on
the Internet, mapping structured names to a variety of data, usually
IP addresses. These names appear in email addresses, URIs, and other
application layer identifiers that are often rendered to human users.
Because of this, there has been a strong demand to acquire names that
have significance to people, through equivalence to registered
trademarks, company names, types of services, and so on. There is a
danger in this trend; the humans and automata that consume and use
such names will associate specific semantics with some names and
thereby make assumptions about the services that are, or should be,
provided by the hosts associated with the names. Those assumptions
can often be false, resulting in a variety of failure conditions.
This document discusses this problem in more detail and makes
recommendations on how it can be avoided.

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