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Plan for Thin to Thick Whois Transition Available for Public Comment

LOS ANGELES – 26 October 2016 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today published [PDF, 66 KB] a proposed plan for implementing policy recommendations regarding Thick Whois. The plan requires gTLDs currently providing thin Whois services – .COM, .NET and .JOBS – to transition to thick Whois. Comments will be accepted until 23:59 UTC on 15 December 2016.

Comment on the plan.

The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) policy recommendations state that,

“The provision of thick Whois services, with a consistent labeling and display as per the model outlined in specification 3 of the 2013 [Registrar Accreditation Agreement], should become a requirement for all gTLD registries, both existing and future.” ICANN and a community-based Implementation Review Team have determined that consistent labeling and display and thick Whois should be addressed separately. A revised version of the Registry Registration Data Directory Services Consistent Labeling and Display Policy was posted for public comment on 21 October 2016.

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About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help 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 helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world. ICANN and its community help keep the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It also promotes competition and develops policy for the top-level of the Internet's naming system and facilitates the use of other unique Internet identifiers. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.


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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."