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Brussels Statement from the Accountability and Transparency Review Team

The Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT) met with most of the constituent bodies within ICANN during the week of 20 June 2010 at the 38th ICANN meeting in Brussels, Belgium. The ATRT met with the ICANN Board and the GAC, as well as the GNSO Council, the ALAC, the ccNSO, and the stakeholder groups in the GNSO: the Non-Commercial Users SG, the Commercial SG, the Registries SG; and the Registrars SG. The ATRT also met with the ICANN community in a public forum. The team received useful feedback from across the community during this early phase of its data gathering activities. These sessions took place in an open, candid, and constructive environment. The ATRT takes specific note of the interest expressed by the community in the work of the ATRT and wishes to thank the community for its initial inputs, and in particular for its efforts to provide specific and concrete examples highlighting both successful and unsuccessful demonstrations of ICANN's accountability and transparency mechanisms.

The ATRT is in the process of engaging an Independent Expert to assist in certain data collection, analysis and review aspects of its work. Questions for public comment have also been posted and we look forward to receiving written responses to those questions and any other issues relevant to the work of the ATRT. A separate link to allow the Community to provide inputs and suggestions at any point during the ATRT review will be available soon at the ATRT site within the ICANN site.

The ATRT will continue to identify specific areas for possible review based on Community feedback and is structuring its work to develop useful and constructive recommendations for improvement to ICANN's decision-making and other processes as required by the Affirmation of Commitments.

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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."