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ICANN Board Appoints New GNSO Council Members

At its 30 September Board meeting, the ICANN Board of Directors appointed three individuals to serve as Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) representatives on the new Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council:

  • Mohammed Rafik Dammak – Tunisia
  • Rosemary Sinclair – Australia
  • Debra Hughes – United States

The Board's Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) considered applications from a talented and diverse group of volunteers, conducted extensive due diligence, carefully reviewed the applicants, and recommended to the full Board the slate of three candidates to serve on the GNSO Council for the next two years. Under the terms of the NCSG transitional charter approved by the Board on 30 July 2009, three of the six NCSG representatives on the new GNSO Council were to be selected/appointed by the Board of Directors.  The newly structured GNSO Council will hold its first meeting in Seoul, South Korea on 28 October 2009.

The three individuals were recommended by the SIC based on the combination of their skills, experience, background, knowledge, passion and ability to help build non-commercial participation and contribute to the work of the GNSO. The committee paid particular attention to the candidates’ ability to contribute to diversity of geographic representation on the Council.

Collectively, the appointees bring a wide range of skills and experience to the new Council. Mr. Dammak is a research student in Interdisciplinary Information Studies at Sakamura Laboratory, University of Tokyo where he is conducting research on ubiquitous computing. He is an active participant in IETF, IGF, the Creative Commons community and several ICANN projects that have served to focus his attention on technology, IDNs and community participation matters. His work in the IGF has been directed towards issues involving public participation capabilities and he has many productive relationships throughout Africa and the Middle East.

Ms. Hughes is currently Senior Counsel for the American Red Cross (ARC), the world’s largest humanitarian organization, where she advises the organization on various matters related to consumer privacy and consumer protection. She also works closely with the ARC’s information technology and information security teams to manage on-line matters and other Internet issues and she has broad career experience serving non-profit organizations.

Ms. Sinclair is the Chair of the International Telecommunications Users Group (INTUG) and Managing Director of the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (ATUG). She is a member of the group responsible for recently creating the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network and has committed much of her recent efforts to high-speed broadband deployment in Australia and in other parts of the Asia/Pacific region.

The ICANN Board has approved a comprehensive set of recommendations to improve the structure and operations of the GNSO. At its core, the objective of the GNSO review process has been to identify ways to improve the inclusiveness and representativeness of the GNSO's work while increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the policy development process. The restructuring of the GNSO Council is only one of several major components of the independent review/restructuring effort.

This improvement effort is part of ICANN's own ongoing commitment to evolve and improve all of its activities, and follows extensive independent review efforts and extensive public consultation.

A preliminary report from the 30 September Board meeting can be found here -

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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."