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RIPE NCC Response to the EU’s Cybersecurity Strategy for the Digital Decade

dns internet governance news k-root

The EU’s Cybersecurity Strategy for the Digital Decade was released today and includes a strategy to reinforce the security of the DNS root system. The strategy refers to plans for the European Commission to work with ENISA, Member States, the two root server operators based in the EU (the RIPE NCC and Netnod) and the multistakeholder community in order to develop a contingency plan “for dealing with extreme scenarios affecting the integrity and availability of the global DNS root system.”

Although we were not directly involved in developing the strategy and were surprised that it includes plans to “assess the role of these operators in guaranteeing that the Internet remains globally accessible in all circumstances,” we welcome the European Commission’s plans to work with the multistakeholder community to address its concerns. We will continue to proactively engage all stakeholders, including relevant EU institutions, to share our technical expertise and experience.

However, the RIPE NCC is confident that we, along with the 11 other root server operators, can provide the European Commission with assurances regarding the ability of the DNS to provide stable and secure service for Internet users within the European Union.

The global DNS resolution infrastructure is, by its very nature, a distributed system. As such, under current arrangements, the concept of an “EU DNS root server operator” could be misleading. Currently, root servers are available from locations all around the world. The global services that the RIPE NCC provides as K-root operator extend beyond the borders of the EU and Europe, just as many of the other root server operators provide local instances of those root servers within Europe. This model of distributed, redundant and independent operations is the foundation of the security, stability and resilience of the DNS and Internet, ensuring global reachability and stability for the entire system.

The RIPE NCC, along with the RIPE community, is committed to working with all stakeholders, including ENISA, Member States and the multistakeholder community to support the European Commission in developing technically sound policy that ensures the Internet remains globally accessible to all users.