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Enhancing ICANN Accountability

Why this matters

Submit your comments >> Read Steve Crocker’s blog on accountability >>

Forum Announcement: Comment Period Opens on Date: 6 May 2014
Categories/Tags: Transparency/Accountability
Purpose (Brief):

As announced at ICANN's March 2014 Public Meeting in Singapore, ICANN is initiating a discussion on Enhancing ICANN Accountability. This discussion will look at how ICANN remains accountable in the absence of its historical contractual relationship to the U.S. Government and the perceived backstop with regard to ICANN's organization-wide accountability provided by that role. While closely related to the ongoing discussions around the IANA Stewardship Transition, this is a separate process.

Update: The discussions around enhancing ICANN Accountability are very important. Community feedback has noted the desire for a longer comment period for this proposed process. In response to ensuring the community has sufficient time, while also having the process in parallel to, and informing, the process to Transition NTIA's Stewardship of the IANA Functions, there is a one (1) week extension of the comment period to 6 June. Community members are urged to continue identifying members for the Working Group, with those selected by the ICANN London meeting to hold a listening session with the community. The reply period will close on 27 June at 23:59 UTC.

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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."