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Redelegation of .us Country-Code Top-Level Domain

After a long governmental procurement process, on Friday, 26 October 2001, the United States Government entered an agreement with NeuStar, Inc. to provide registry services for the .us country-code top-level domain (ccTLD), replacing VeriSign, Inc. Consistent with this change in contracted operators, on Friday, 16 November 2001, the .us ccTLD was redelegated from VeriSign to NeuStar.

This redelegation occurred before the completion of the normal IANA requirements. The United States Government informed ICANN on 16 November 2001 that, because of complexities of U.S. procurement laws, it was not able to extend the existing arrangements with VeriSign nor complete the necessary three-way set of communications among itself, ICANN, and NeuStar. This presented a peculiar set of circumstances: ICANN was faced with the choice of (1) either authorizing a redelegation, or (2) creating a situation where the event would have occurred regardless but there would be inconsistent data in the IANA database. Given ICANN's primary mission focus on stability (and security as part of achieving stability), ICANN authorized an emergency redelegation prior to an appropriate contract.

All parties involved are committed to complete these contractual and other arrangements as soon as practicable following the end of the protest period (regarding the NeuStar contract) that is allowed for by U.S. law, this apparently being the earliest opportunity that U.S. law allows the U.S. Government to participate in contract negotiations. In its contract with NeuStar, the United States requires NeuStar to abide by the GAC principles (which require a binding written communication with ICANN), and has so committed to ICANN directly.

A full IANA report will be posted as soon as it is complete.

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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."