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Committee on ICANN Evolution and Reform Seeks Public Submissions

The Committee on ICANN Evolution and Reform welcomes public input from all interested persons or entities on the presently ongoing review of ICANN's mission, structure, and processes. The earlier the input, the more useful it will be in helping the Committee, so it encourages all input as soon as possible. The Committee will of course consider all comments received, but the expedited schedule that the Committee is required to meet means that earlier comments will inevitably be more useful than later ones. Any comments received after 29 April 2002 are likely to be significantly less useful than those received by that date.

While the Committee has not reached any conclusion that the proposal put forth by Stuart Lynn is in whole or in part the most appropriate way to meet this goal, it believes that proposal can serve as a useful point of reference for analysis and discussion. Thus, it would be helpful for comments to make reference to that document, and point out areas of agreement and disagreement. The Committee would particularly benefit from hearing views on:

(1) What is or should be ICANN's mission? In this regard, please use the recent staff posting as your starting point, and tell us (a) which if any of the activities listed there should not be part of ICANN's mission, (b) whether there are additional activities not listed that should be part of ICANN's mission, and (c) what mechanisms are available, once ICANN's mission statement is finalized, to minimize the risk that ICANN will stray beyond those boundaries.

(2) Are the issues raised in Stuart Lynn's report a correct perception of the problems facing ICANN? If not, why not? What are the real problems?

(3) Are the specific suggested reforms set forth in that report appropriate, and likely to be workable and effective? If not, why not? What are your ideas for workable and effective alternatives?

(4) Assuming you believe that structural and procedural reforms are necessary to ensure that ICANN carries out its mission, what transition mechanisms or approaches should be used to migrate from the status quo to the future environment? Over what time period should this migration take place?

In addition to receiving and reviewing public input, the Committee plans to engage in an intense effort to gather all relevant information (including public comments past and future), consider all options that are consistent with ICANN accomplishing its mission and remaining true to its core values, reach out to those in the ICANN community that it believes can be helpful, and make recommendations to the ICANN Board on a schedule that will allow the Board to post whatever it sees fit no later than 31 May 2002.
Comments can be forwarded to the Committee in three different ways:

1. Substantive submissions can be made to (forum closed 18 August 2003). All submissions made will be reviewed, sorted by subject, indexed, and posted on the ICANN forum web site. This mechanism is intended to promote thoughtful community discussion of the issues involved in the ICANN reform process.

2. The Committee has also established an e-mail address ( which can be used for direct communications to the Committee, including both inquiries and comments regarding the Committee's report and proposals for the Committee's consideration. Submissions to this address will not be routinely posted.

3. Finally, the existing web-based forum on President Lynn's proposal will remain available to all who wish to use it. This forum is automatically updated and will not be sorted in any way.

The Committee encourages all interested parties to offer their views on the important and complicated subject of ICANN evolution and reform. It will appreciate all the help it can get in formulating recommendations.

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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"""" is not an IDN."