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TAS Interruption - Update (8 May 2012)

Statement by Akram Atallah, COO

ICANN is targeting 22 May 2012 as the intended reopening date for the TLD Application System. It is anticipated that the system would remain open for five business days and close on 30 May. This takes account of the 28 May Memorial Day holiday in the United States.

We took TAS offline following a technical glitch that may have allowed some users to see some file names and user names of other users. We have seen no evidence that any TAS user intentionally did anything wrong in order to be able to see other users' information.

We have met our commitment to provide notice to all users on or before 8 May 2012 by sending out notifications today.

The large majority of users are unaffected by the glitch. We continue to review the extensive database of system logs and system traffic, and any new and relevant information that emerges from this analysis will be shared with applicants in a timely way.

Even as late as yesterday, 7 May 2012, our packet-level research uncovered a new set of instances (in addition to those previously announced) where another applicant might have viewed a set of system-generated file names. It is possible that further analysis will also show that some of the parties that we have notified were not affected, but notice was provided out of an abundance of caution.

We thank everyone for your patience and apologize for the inconvenience the delay has caused.

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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."