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2016 Supplemental Agreement with the Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF)

Status of 2016 Supplemental Agreement

01 October 2016: The 2016 Supplemental Agreement with the Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF) is now in effect.  



Since 2000, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been in place between ICANN and the IETF. Under the MoU, ICANN performs a set of functions involving assignment of protocol parameters used in IETF standards. Every year, the parties agree to append the MoU with a Supplemental Agreement that defines service levels for the performance of the protocol parameters registries function. A series of Supplemental Agreements to the MoU have been entered into between 2007 and 2014.

In the ICG proposal, the IETF community expressed satisfaction with the current arrangements with ICANN, and proposed to maintain the existing MoU. In particular, the IETF community proposed that the IANA protocol parameters registry updates continue to function day-to-day as they have been doing for the last decade or more, and to continue relying on the system of agreements, policies, and oversight mechanisms already in place between by the IETF, ICANN, and the Internet Architecture Board for the provision of the protocol parameters-related IANA functions.

In the ICG proposal, the IETF community required that a new Supplemental Agreement between ICANN and the IETF community be completed. Specifically, the IETF leadership requested that the new Supplemental Agreement include:

>> An acknowledgement from ICANN that the protocol parameters are in the public domain.

>> A commitment from ICANN to a smooth transition to subsequent operators if the case should arise.

To implement this task, ICANN and the IETF leadership engaged in negotiations for a 2016 Supplemental Agreement. In addition to containing SLA for the performance of the protocol parameters registries function, the 2016 Supplemental Agreement explicitly states that: “ICANN does not claim any right to the contents of the protocol parameter registries as these are in the public domain.” It also contains a provision that ICANN will provide reasonable best efforts and cooperation to effect an orderly and efficient transfer to a successor, if the case should arise, at no cost to the IETF.

On May 27, 2016, the ICANN Board issued a resolution approving the 2016 IETF MoU Supplemental Agreement for signing. On June 24, 2016, ICANN and representatives of the IETF signed the 2016 Supplemental Agreement


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."