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Process for Considering Comments for Two-Character Letter/Letter Labels Launched

ICANN today announced that it will begin the first phase of the process for considering comments on two-character letter/letter domain name labels. During this phase, ICANN will request that governments and others who commented on these labels prior to today clarify their reasons for commenting. It will then solicit a response from those registry operators whose requests for labels have received comments.

All clarifications of previously submitted comments must be received by ICANN by 5 December 2015.

Comment clarifications will be reviewed and considered by ICANN in determining whether to authorize the release of requested Letter/Letter Two-Character ASCII Labels that were previously withheld from authorization. ICANN will evaluate comments in light of the standard in the registry agreement, which states, "The Registry Operator may also propose the release of these reservations based on its implementation of measures to avoid confusion with the corresponding country codes, subject to approval by ICANN." As a result, comments not pertaining to confusion might be directed to recourse mechanisms, such as the Abuse Point of Contact, outside of the Authorization Process for the Release of Two-Character ASCII Labels.

From both governments' and registries' inputs, ICANN plans to draft criteria for evaluating whether measures identified by a registry operator successfully mitigate concerns raised which relate to confusion with a related government's corresponding country code. These criteria will be available for public comment prior to final adoption.

More details regarding the comments consideration process can be found in the blog post, "Resolving the Release of Two-Character ASCII Labels with Comments."

Important Dates

  • 6 October 2015: Updated comment web form launched. Updated comment web form available for both previously submitted comments clarifications, and for all new comments. All new comments on two-character letter/letter labels submitted on, or after, this date must use this form.
  • 5 December 2015: Final date for commenters to submit clarifications regarding previously submitted comments.
  • 7 December 2015: ICANN to contact Registry Operators whose requests previously received comments and solicit response. Registry Operator's responses to comment clarifications should include a mitigation plan with measures to avoid confusion between the two-character ASCII label(s) and the related government's corresponding country code(s) within the allotted timeframe.

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ICANN's mission is to ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet's unique identifiers. ICANN doesn't control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn't deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet's naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. For more information please visit:

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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."