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ICANN Seeks Community Input on the Development of Transparency and Accountability Management Operating Principles

As part of the Joint Project Agreement between the U.S. Department of Commerce and ICANN, the ICANN Board of Directors approved an Affirmation of Responsibilities for ICANN's Private Sector Management. Points 2 and 3 of that document refer to ICANN's intention to continue to improve processes and procedures that encourage improved transparency and accountability. As part of this commitment to continuously improving transparency and accountability, ICANN is seeking input from the community on the development of a set of Management Operating Principles. These Operating Principles will set new standards for transparency and accountability for interactions within the ICANN community and between members of the community and staff. The first part of the consultation process seeks responses to a series of questions that will shape a first draft of the principles. Responses are sought by October 31, 2006. Based on the responses received and other research, a first draft of the principles will be published for community comment in November, 2006. It is hoped that the Management Operating Principles will be adopted by the Board as part of the Strategic Plan at the Sao Paulo meeting.

Specifically, ICANN is seeking responses to the following questions:

  • How would you define "transparency" in the ICANN context?
  • What standards of transparency are appropriate in ICANN operations and activity?
  • How would you define "accountability" in the ICANN context?
  • What standards of accountability are appropriate in ICANN operations and activity?
  • What specific processes and activities need to be included to ensure these standards are met?
  • Are there any innovative ideas on transparency and accountability that you believe have not yet been implemented that might apply to ICANN?

Please post comments to the Operating Principles forum.

View comments at http://forum.icann.org/lists/principles-comments/


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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."