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Proposals Sought For DNS Operations/L-root Contingency Exercise Consultant

ICANN is posting this request for proposals [PDF, 360 KB] for an exercise consultant to assist with an internal ICANN DNS operations & L-root contingency exercise to be conducted in Q1 2011.

Regular contingency exercises are part of ICANN's responsibility to ensure the stable, secure and resilient operation of ICANN's DNS operations, L-root, and organizational infrastructure. This also serves as an example for other operators of DNS infrastructure and demonstrates ICANN's commitment to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier system.

The scope of the work will cover activities associated with planning and conducting the exercise, including development of exercise topics, scope and objectives; the exercise schedule, milestones, processes and logistics (in coordination with ICANN staff); exercise briefing, participant and facilitator guides and other supporting materials/aids. The work will also include facilitation of the exercise and post-exercise briefing; the After Action Report (AAR) with observations and recommendations, and briefing materials as required on the AAR for ICANN staff and stakeholders.

Information on previous ICANN Continuity exercises conducted 2008-2010 is available below:

Deadline: Respondents are requested to reply to Patrick Jones, Senior Manager for Continuity & Risk Management, by 5 November 2010 23:59 UTC. A confirmation email will be sent for each proposal received.


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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."