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EXTENDED: Proposed Schedule and Process/Operational Improvements for AoC and Organization Reviews

The Public Comment period for the Proposed Schedule and Process/Operational Improvements for AoC and Organizational Reviews has been extended. In view of the interest displayed by the community at ICANN53 in Buenos Aires, and in view of the impact that this has on the workload of the community, the comment period has been extended to 8 July 2015.

The purpose of this Public Comment posting is to request community feedback on a proposed schedule and process, including operational improvements, for Reviews mandated by the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC Reviews) and the ICANN Bylaws (Organizational Reviews). The request for the community is based on both appreciating the community's workload and the timing of several Reviews in FY2016. Based on the terms of the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) and ICANN Bylaws, seven Reviews are scheduled to take place in FY20161, in addition to the finalization of the GNSO Review. Under the AoC, these Reviews would be: Security, Stability and Resiliency Review (SSR2); WHOIS Policy Review (WHOIS2); and Competition, Consumer Choice & Consumer Trust (CCT). Under bylaw mandated Organizational Reviews, these would be: At Large2, NomCom2, SSAC2, and RSSAC2.

Specifically, three AoC Reviews and initial work on the At-Large Review are proposed for FY2016, and three Organizational Reviews would be deferred until FY2017. Timing for the Competition, Consumer Choice & Consumer Trust Review is not impacted by this proposal – this Review will commence as scheduled, with a call for volunteers in September 2015. In addition to suggesting an approach to adjusting the schedule to accommodate the workload for the community, several improvements are proposed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Reviews, per community suggestions.

Of note for this consultation is recognizing that the CCWG Accountability process is considering recommendations to include the AoC Reviews into the ICANN Bylaws, which may adjust the timing if needed.

ICANN is committed to fulfilling its obligations under the AoC and Bylaws, and stands ready to implement the mandated Review schedule, unless a suitable alternative is agreed upon with the Community. This public consultation and the proposed alternative schedule presented for consideration arises in large part after stakeholder requests for relief from the unplanned confluence of Reviews, as the large number of simultaneous Reviews will have significant impact on ICANN stakeholders' capacity as well as ICANN resources. While it is important to meet ICANN's commitments to fulfill accountability obligations, it is also important to be responsive to community's workload concerns.

The proposed timeline and process/operating improvements are more fully outlined in the Public Comment announcement and the public session in Buenos Aires including a summary of comments received during the session.


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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."