About the DNSSEC History Project

Welcome to the Internet Society’s DNSSEC History Project!

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS PROJECT AND UPDATE INFORMATION, please email us at dnssechistory@isoc.org so that we can set you up with an account for editing.



The overall purpose of this history project is to document the ideas, activities, stories, challenges, controversies, and people involved in creating, defining, and deploying DNSSEC. From Steve Crocker’s Instigating Email:

“With the signing of the root we have reached a historic moment in time. DNSSEC will tighten the security of DNS, and it also lays the foundation for building secure applications on top of DNSSEC. The impact of DNSSEC will grow over time. This may be one of the most important moments in the history of the Internet. That said, this moment is embedded in a very long arc. It’s taken twenty years to reach this point, starting with Steve Bellovin’s demonstration of cache poisoning and the early proposals for adding cryptographic signatures to DNS. A very large number of people, working in a large number of places, have contributed. There were false starts, technical challenges, controversies and long hard marches. The large bulk of this work is not very well documented, and there is no place to go to find anything approximating the full story.”

Developing and deploying Internet technology is, always, a community effort. To be effective, development should be responsive to local and global needs, so it is difficult to establish a roadmap in advance. This is an effort to capture and link together the milestones and contributions along the path followed by DNSSEC. What constitutes a milestone or contribution? We’re aiming to be as inclusive as possible — if, without excess of vanity, you think something was a contribution, then a contribution it was.

Review the material, which is loosely organized into categories to help stimulate recollections. As the page grows, we will reorganize material from time to time to help smooth the contribution process. Please also note that the material collected here will be considered in the public domain — edited by all, freely available for all to use as is or edited, e.g., to create other documents about DNSSEC and Internet technology development.

If you have additions or adjustments to make, please email us at dnssechistory@isoc.org and we’ll get you set up so that you can make your contribution to the DNSSEC History Project! The contribution can be anything from thoughtful pieces that cover major developments, sequences, or ideas to small, very specific details.  It is also very much ok — and often quite helpful — to ask questions or say what blanks you’d like others to fill in. Please err on the side of more is better. We can sort things out later. One of the side benefits is this will turn into a repository for others to draw on.


Next Steps

  1. Collect Raw Data.
    We aim to gather as much input from as many of the DNSSEC players as we can. Contributors can add directly to this wiki in whatever section(s) they desire. Internet Society staff will also reach out to known key contributors to solicit input. Some notes:

    • Sections have notes to indicate what we think may belong in them. These are meant to be ideas and suggestions for information to be included, but you are welcome to add more or different information.
    • Feel free to add whole sections if you have an important topic that is not currently covered.
    • Content is currently unedited and may be redundant, misplaced, or even just plain wrong. We will consolidate all of it later.
    • If you copy any content from an existing document, please attribute it accordingly via footnote or link.
    • Because of the size of the content, we are in the process of moving some of the content out into separate pages.
  2. Edit Content and Resolve Conflicts.
    Inevitably with a community-based wiki project like this, sections will overlap and conflicts will arise. An editorial board will discuss the content and streamline accordingly.
  3. Publish Documents.
    This may include an e-book, videos, blog posts, or other materials to be determined later.

Questions? Contact dnssechistory@isoc.org and we’ll do our best to help you. Happy editing!