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President's Strategy Committee Releases Draft Recommendations for Community Consideration and Announces Process for Further Consultations

ICANN's President's Strategy Committee was established in December 2005 to provide observations and recommendations concerning strategic issues facing ICANN, and hence contribute to ICANN's strategic planning process, which occurs in bottom-up consultation with the ICANN community.

The Committee consists of a mix of people from a broad range of the community concerned about ICANN.

The Committee's work has included engaging with the community at ICANN's meeting in Morocco, and an accompanying online forum. Further, on 21 July, the Committee conducted a web-enabled "town- hall" consultation,which sought to address some questions the Committee identified for further exploration and that relate to ICANN's legal framework, policy making processes, administrative operations, transparency and accountability as well as the continued stable growth and operation of the domain name system.

The proposed draft Recommendations from the President's Strategy Committee are now being posted for the community's consideration. These draft recommendations have been approved by a meeting of the Committee. However, not all members of the Committee were able to attend the finalization discussions. (For Instance, Carl Bildt has not made any contributing comments since his appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sweden. This is appropriate and not surprising.)

Members of the Committee will speak to the paper at the Public Session dedicated to the PSC and Internet governance at its upcoming meeting in São Paulo. The Committee will take input and feedback to the recommendations, both at that meeting and online, and will hold an online town meeting in February 2007 (date to be provided) for further community discussion, with the aim to provide a finalized report to the Board at its March 2007 meeting.

At the Public Session in São Paulo, the Committee will also discuss issues related to membership reticulation.

Members of the Committee presently include:

Paul Twomey (Chair)
Carl Bildt (co-Chair)
Peter Dengate Thrush (co-Chair)
Marilyn Cade
Vint Cerf
Art Coviello
Pierre Dandjinou
Janis Karklins
Thomas Niles
Adama Samassékou


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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."