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TAS Interruption - Update (15 April 2012)

Statement by Akram Atallah, COO

As we reported yesterday, ICANN continues to study the technical issue that has prompted us to take the TLD application system offline.

Our goals remain to get a full understanding of this issue, fix the problem, notify those who have been affected, and reopen the application window as soon as possible. We are doing our best to mitigate the impact of this issue on the application process.

As reported earlier, some applicants were able to see file names and user names that belonged to other applicants. An intensive review has produced no evidence that any data beyond the file names and user names could be accessed by other users. In addition, it does not appear that this issue caused any corruption or loss of data.

We are currently reviewing the data to confirm which applicants were affected. As soon as the data is confirmed, we will inform all applicants whether they were affected.

We are continuing to look at the technical issue and using outside experts to resolve any open issues before we reopen the application window. We are extensively testing the system to ensure that all aspects of the issue have been fully addressed.

We will reopen the application system as soon as we have full confidence that the problem has been resolved. As noted in yesterday’s update, we will announce no later than 23:59 GMT/UTC on Monday, 16 April, whether we will reopen on Tuesday, 17 April.

30 April remains our target date to publish the applied-for new domain names, but this is subject to change.

We apologize for any concern this issue is causing. In keeping with ICANN’s longstanding commitment to transparency and accountability, we will continue to provide regular updates at <http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/tas/interruption-updates> until the issue is resolved and the application window has reopened.


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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."