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At-Large List Names Sought; ALSC Forum Operation Extended

ICANN would like to thank everyone for the useful dialogue concerning the ALSC forum. While the ALSC forum list per se needs to be discontinued because the ALSC has finished its work, ICANN wants to ensure that the list's closure is done in a manner that encourages informed participation by the full range of Internet users.

ICANN's Board has indicated its desire to stimulate self-organizing, bottom-up groups of varying kinds of individuals and organizations to participate in the ICANN process. The Board's Accra resolution also points to a desire to see a multiplicity of self-forming groups.

To help support these efforts, any list manager who believes his or her list has bearing on At-Large matters is invited to add the list name (and other relevant information) to a compilation of "At-Large" lists. This can be done by posting the information on the ALSC forum (at http://www.atlargestudy.org/forum.shtml) or by sending an e-mail to dmichel@atlargestudy.org by 20 May 2002. The submissions will be compiled and posted on the ALSC forum, which will remain open until 31 May to encourage broad distribution and use of the lists. This is an extension of the ALSC forum closure date posted by former ALSC Executive Director, Denise Michel, in her 16 April post on the forum. We hope the additional time and notices will encourage participants to "opt in" to any of the compilation's At-Large related lists in which they are interested.

For privacy reasons, it is not possible to transfer the current ALSC list to be used for purposes different than that for which it was developed, namely the work of the ALSC. Neither does an "opt out" option satisfy these concerns. By pointing people to the various lists that exist, we can support the self-organization of user groups, without violating expectations of user privacy.

ICANN urges Internet users to participate in the forum(s) of their choosing.


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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."