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Joint Statement from ISOC / ICANN Meeting

On 17 December 2014 representatives from ISOC and ICANN, along with the chairs of the IETF and IAB, met to discuss two separate timely topics, the IANA Stewardship Transition and the NETMundial Initiative.

The attendees were:

  • Jari Arkko, IETF Chair
  • Kathy Brown, ISOC President and CEO
  • Fadi Chehadé, ICANN President CEO
  • Steve Crocker, ICANN Board Chair
  • Dave Farber, ISOC Board Member
  • Bob Hinden, ISOC Board Chair
  • Russ Housley, IAB Chair
  • Jason Livingood, ISOC Board Member
  • Ram Mohan, ICANN Board Member
  • Ray Plzak, ICANN Board Member

Everyone agreed that we are all focused to work toward a better Internet. We are all completely committed to make the Internet successful, and to keep it free and open for everyone.

IANA Stewardship Transition

We agreed to further strengthen our joint efforts in the IANA Stewardship Transition. ISOC and ICANN have important and independent roles that can be used to ensure a successful IANA stewardship transition. We agree that it is very important for the global Internet that the transition happen.

NETMundial Initiative

We had a very constructive, frank, and candid discussion on Internet Governance that included the NETMundial Initiative (NMI). On NMI we did not resolve all of the outstanding issues. The ISOC attendees, the IAB and IETF chairs would rather see the structure defined after setting the terms of reference and scope of the work. More work needs to be done by NMI and with the various communities involved.

ICANN and ISOC agreed on several important points to suggest to the NETmundial Initiative:

  • To go back to the community to ask them on what they need in a platform for Internet Governance.
  • Build a step-wise approach to creating the initiative, that is, defining its Terms of Reference and Tasks it will undertake before the Initiative takes its final form and structure.
  • Consult with the global community on these proposals.

These ideas will be brought to the NMI Transitional Committee for their consideration.

The results of this meeting will be brought to the ICANN and ISOC Boards for their consideration. We all felt that the meeting was very constructive and useful.

Bob Hinden
Chair, Internet Society Board of Trustees

Steve Crocker
Chair, ICANN Board of Directors


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."