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Empowered Community

What is the Empowered Community?

The Empowered Community is the mechanism through which ICANN's Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs) can organize under California law to legally enforce community powers. The community powers and rules that govern the Empowered Community are defined in the ICANN Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.

Who can participate in the Empowered Community?

All of ICANN's SOs, as well as the At-Large and Governmental ACs, can participate in the Empowered Community including:

How does the Empowered Community use their powers?

The Empowered Community has a process to raise concerns with an action or inaction made by the ICANN Board or organization. This escalation process gives SOs and ACs opportunities to discuss solutions with the ICANN Board.

What Are the Community Powers?

The Community has nine powers to ensure the ICANN Board and Organization are accountable:

• Reject ICANN and IANA budgets, and ICANN operating and strategic plans
• Reject standard Bylaw amendments
• Reject PTI governance actions
• Approve fundamental Bylaw and Articles amendments, and asset sales
• Recall the entire ICANN Board
• Appoint and remove individual ICANN Board directors (other than the President)
• Require the ICANN Board to review its rejection of IANA Function Review (IFR),special IFR, Separation Cross-Community Working Group (SCWG) creation,and SCWG recommendation decisions
• Initiate community reconsideration request, mediation, or Independent Review Process (IRP)
• The rights of inspection and investigation

Click on this infographic to explore the Empowered Community's Powers:

English [PDF, 138 KB]
العربية [PDF, 225 KB]
Español [PDF, 140 KB]
Français [PDF, 140 KB] Pусский [PDF, 161 KB]
中文 [PDF, 209 KB]
Empowered community infographic


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Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."