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Announcing Plans for Public Comment Improvements

ICANN's Policy Development Support Staff recently assumed day-to-day oversight of ICANN's public comment infrastructure. This responsibility includes coordinating, evaluating, developing and implementing targeted improvements to all of ICANN's community input and feedback mechanisms.

The team has spent considerable time reviewing the existing public comment infrastructure, processes, and procedures and gathering data on community activity to determine what changes inspired by the original recommendations of the Accountability and Transparency Review Team have been effective.

In conjunction with those efforts as well as the recent ATRT2 recommendations currently being reviewed by the Board, the Staff has been working over the past several weeks to develop a public comments improvement implementation plan. This effort builds on previous feedback from community leaders that identified a number of potential areas for public comment improvements. The plan has been shared with members of the Board of Directors who have encouraged the Staff to move forward with it.

The team expects to move forward with the implementation of specific short-term process improvements after the ICANN Public Meeting in London (ICANN 50). Those short-term changes will be evaluated for their effectiveness after six months while longer-term improvements are developed.

David Olive, Vice President, Policy Development Support, outlines those plans in a post on the ICANN Blog at – https://www.icann.org/news/blog/sharing-a-plan-for-public-comment-improvements.


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."