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Improving Institutional Confidence Consultation Enters Second Comment Period

The Improving Institutional Confidence (IIC) in ICANN consultation has entered a second public comment period that will run until Monday 20 October 2008.

In an effort to progress the consultation, an interactive forum has been set up that focuses comments and discussion on the individuals points and suggestions included in the revised documents. Please visit that forum at Alternatively, we have set up email addresses for each of the five main areas. Emails sent to each will appear in a specific "emailed comments" folder within this area's folder on the discussion forum (see below for more details).

As part of the ongoing consultation process, and following comments received so far in the process, the IIC documents initially released in June have been revised.

The latest versions of the consultation documents are:

A Frequently Asked Questions document is also available.


Changes made to the document Improving Institutional Confidence include:

  • The inclusion of "Suggestions" into the text at relevant points, reflecting comments and advice received so far. They include: the provision of public statements of interest; voting restrictions; Board review mechanisms; more detailed information on a no-confidence vote in the Board; and more information on the question of "legal presences"
  • Greater information and clarity on the issue of legal presences
  • Reference added to operational areas of ICANN's work (such as compliance)
  • The addition of a discussion of operational efficiency measures under the IANA procurement agreement with the United States Department of Commerce
  • Inclusion of text about greater participation within ICANN processes

Other changes:

A number of changes have also been to the Transition Action Plan, including:

  • A footnote covering the phrase "private sector led", as requested by respondents
  • An adjustment to the consultation timeline (comment period extended to 20 October)


Other feedback

During the course of the first comment period, a number of suggested additions were made to the IIC consultation areas. The majority of those additions concerned ongoing ICANN activities such as: review and reform of existing supporting organisations and advisory committees; policy development work on IDNs, new gTLDs, DNSSEC and others; and operational matters such as contractual compliance. Those matters will continue to be addressed through ICANN's usual policy development and public comment processes.


The process from here

The body charged with leading the Improving Institutional Confidence (IIC) consultation, the President's Strategy Committee (PSC), will continue to receive comment on the key areas outlined in the document at a series of regional consultative consultations.

Summaries of those meetings, in additional to comment made in the first comment period, and the feedback received during this second comment period, will then be used to make changes to the documents in time for a special IIC session at ICANN's international public meeting in Cairo on 2-7 November.

Full details of the regional meetings can be found at: For those seeking more information on the consultation process, including published comment summaries, and the IIC documents under discussion, please visit the IIC's dedicated webpages at If you wish to be kept informed of the latest developments, please sign up to the dedicated IIC newsletter at:


The public comment forum

Full links to the different discussion areas, including email addresses are given below:

Capture [email] | Accountability [email] | Globalization [email] | Finances [email] | Security and Stability [email]



More than two years ago, the President's Strategy Committee (PSC) commenced a series of consultations on how to strengthen and complete the ICANN multi-stakeholder model. In addition, the recent Midterm Review of the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) between the United States Department of Commerce and ICANN produced useful comments about ICANN's performance and future. Most commentators in that consultation believe ICANN has made significant progress, but that some key areas need to be improved in order to complete the transition to an agreed model of multi-stakeholder coordination of the Internet's unique identifiers.

The PSC has developed three papers that outline those key areas and possible responses to address them. The PSC wants to be clear – all these suggestions are for discussion. They are the work of the Committee alone. They are not fixed positions. But they are also positions that are the result of long-term work over two years by the PSC that also incorporate recent input from the community.

The PSC has provided the following three documents to launch a discussion with the community PSC about how to complete the transition of the organization after the conclusion of the Joint Project Agreement.

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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"""" is not an IDN."