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Initiation of IDN ccPDP by ccNSO Council

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To develop and recommend to the ICANN Board a long term, overall policy for the introduction and delegation of internationalised country code top level domains (IDN ccTLDs), ICANN's Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) initiated a policy development process (ccPDP) [PDF, 45K].

On 7 April 2009, the ccNSO Council officially started a ccPDP by accepting an Issues Report recommending ccNSO action, and by approving a resolution to:

  • Initiate the IDN country code Policy Development Process;
  • Appoint working groups as suggested in the Issues Report; and
  • Approve the proposed PDP Time Line.

As a first step in the IDN ccPDP, a working group will be established to develop proposed recommendations on an overall policy on the introduction and delegation of IDN ccTLDs. These draft recommendations will be posted for public discussion and consultation. This working group will be broad based, involving representatives from multiple ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees.

Background

The IDN ccPDP was initiated to develop the policy for the introduction of IDN ccTLDs and identify changes needed to Article IX, if any, in connection with such a policy. Initially, the PDP will address (in the context of developing an overall policy) issues previously raised by a ccNSO and GAC Joint IDN Working Group, as requested by the ICANN Board in November 2007.

Since the development of an overall policy and its implementation may take between 3-7 years, the IDN ccTLD Fast Track process was initiated for the timely and efficient ("fast track") introduction of a limited number of non-contentious IDN ccTLDs while an overall, long-term IDN ccTLD policy is being developed.

One of the most significant innovations for the Internet since its inception will be the introduction of top level Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs). These will offer many new opportunities and benefits for Internet users around the world by allowing them to establish and use domains in their native languages and scripts.

Additional information can be found at: http://ccnso.icann.org/ and http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/.

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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."