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Public Comments Requested on Discussion Draft of Fast Track Mechanism for Introduction of a Limited Number of IDN ccTLDs

Discussion Draft of Interim Report of IDNC WG for Public Comments [PDF, 31K]

Public Comments requested by 25 April 2008

The first Discussion Draft of the Interim Report of the IDNC Working Group (IDNC WG) has been published for comment and input from the ICANN community. This document has not been signed-off on by the IDNC Working Group whose members will continue to provide their own comments and input during this consultation period which is scheduled to end on 25 April 2008.

The IDNC WG was charted by ICANN's Board to develop and report on feasible methods, if any, that would enable the introduction, in a timely manner and in a manner that ensures the continued security and stability of the Internet, of a limited number of non-contentious IDN ccTLDs, associated with the ISO 3166-1 two-letter codes (both the official code list of ISO 3166-1 and the list of reserved ISO 3166-1 code elements)(popularly known as "the fast track"), while the overall IDN ccTLD policy is being developed.

The scope of the IDNC WG is limited to developing feasible methods (for the introduction of a limited number of IDN ccTLDs) that do not pre-empt the policy outcomes of the IDN cc Policy Development Process (ccPDP) for which an Issue Report is currently being prepared.

Under the IDNC WG charter, in considering feasible fast track methods, the IDNC WG must take into account and be guided by:

  • The overarching requirement to preserve the security and stability of the DNS;
  • Compliance with the IDNA protocols;
  • Input and advice from the technical community in respect to the implementation of IDNs;
  • Current practices for the delegation of ccTLDs.

As originally indicated in the Discussion Draft of the Initial Report released on 1 February 2008, the fast track approach requires two specific mechanisms which are addressed in this report:

  1. A mechanism for the selection of the IDN ccTLD string (See Section 3 of the report); and
  2. A mechanism to designate an IDN ccTLD manager (See Section 4 of the report).

The purpose of this report is to inform and report to the community on the latest topics and issues as identified by the IDNC WG that need to be considered in developing each of the two mechanisms, and to seek input and comments on them. This report, and the comments received, will be used to structure and propose potential mechanisms in the next phase of the fast track (See Section 5 of the report for the Interim Report Schedule). As stated above, the outcome of the fast track cannot pre-empt the outcome of the ccPDP. All of the issues/topics raised regarding the fast track mechanisms also are being raised under the ccPDP. Thus, the solutions reached for the purposes of the fast track, out of necessity, have to be as limited as possible.

The Discussion Draft of the Initial Report is available here. http://ccnso.icann.org/workinggroups/idnc-proposed-methodology-31mar08.pdf

Comments on this report are encouraged to be submitted by 25 April via email to idn-cctld-fast-track@icann.org. An archive of all comments received will be publicly posted at http://forum.icann.org/lists/idn-cctld-fast-track/.

The public is invited to submit comments.


Full public comment period link: http://www.icann.org/public_comment/public-comment-200804.html#dd-idn-cctld-ft


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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."