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Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Review - DRAFT Terms of Reference

Following the ICANN Luxembourg Resolution, the GNSO Council has, with the support of the ICANN staff, developed the GNSO Review Terms of Reference. The draft Terms of Reference will be put before the ICANN Board at the Vancouver Annual General Meeting. The draft Terms of Reference were developed through consultation with GNSO constituencies, individual members of the Board and other members of the ICANN community.

GNSO Review Terms of Reference – Background Documents. This document collects in one place all the necessary documents for considering the Terms of Reference for the GSNO Review. It should be read in conjunction with the more detailed Terms of Reference document.

The terms of reference are now posted for a 21-day public comment period starting 27 October 2005 and end 17 November 2005.

Please submit your comments on the draft Terms of Reference to the mailing list at <gnso-review-tor@icann.org>. The archive of comments is available at <http://forum.icann.org/lists/gnso-review-tor/>


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."