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Public Comments Sought on GNSO Improvements

The Board Governance Committee's GNSO Review Working Group (BGC WG) spent the past several weeks considering reviews of the GNSO and its Council and extensive input on GNSO improvements to determine whether, in general, the GNSO has a continuing purpose in the ICANN structure and, if so, whether any change in structure or operations is desirable to improve its effectiveness (as required in the Bylaws). The BGC WG has issued a preliminary working draft which presents the working group's initial thinking on the questions under review for discussion with the Community at the upcoming ICANN Meeting in San Juan and for public comment through the ICANN website. There will be a Public Forum devoted exclusively to GNSO improvements on Monday, 25 June, from 16:00 to 18:00, in the San Geronimo Room. This working draft does not reach any definitive recommendations or conclusions at this time, for there is not yet agreement among all members of the BGC WG. It is posted to encourage further public discussion and comment, and it does not represent the position of the Working Group, the Board Governance Committee, or the Board.

The following documents present the BGC WG's initial ideas and pose key questions on which public comment is sought:

The BGC WG looks forward to discussing its progress and related questions at the Public Forum and through the public comment process. Comments on this working draft can be posted to and reviewed at

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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."