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Public Comment: ALAC Review Mid-Point Report

The ALAC Review Working Group (WG) has released its Mid-point Consultation Report [PDF, 285K] for discussion with the ICANN community.

This preliminary report presents the WG's "initial thinking" on the questions under review following the publication of the Independent Review of the At Large Advisory Committee by Westlake Consulting. It is based on consultation that the WG has undertaken with the ICANN community at the Paris meeting, through an online comment forum and at meetings with a variety of groups with the ICANN community. A summary of the consultation is contained in an appendix to the report.

The WG is publishing this Mid-point Consultation Report now in order to engage the ICANN community and staff in dialogue at an early stage of its thinking. Comments on this paper will be very welcome and the WG encourages all interested parties to attend workshops during the ICANN Meeting in Cairo and/or post comments on the public comment forum.

This mid-point consultation document includes a discussion of areas of emerging agreement, possible recommendations, and questions that need to be addressed. It does not reach, and should not be interpreted as reaching, any definitive recommendations or conclusions at this time.

The WG will continue to consult with the community over the coming months with a view to publishing final recommendations for discussion at the Mexico meeting in early 2009.

The document attached above posting contains the text in English. Translations of this announcement will be available shortly; in the meantime, the links above provide the report in non-english versions.

Further details of the ALAC Review can be found 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."