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EXTENDED: Draft Report: Review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization

The Public Comment period for the Draft Report: Review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization has been extended by an additional week. In view of the current community workload and the impact the recommendations will have on the workload of the community and staff, the comment period has been extended to 31 July 2015 23:59 UTC at the request from the members of the GNSO Review Working Party.

The purpose of the Public Comment posting is to request community feedback on the Draft Report issued by Westlake Governance Limited (Westlake) on the Review of Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO). As the Independent Examiner, Westlake has drafted their report after conducting extensive work, including but not limited to online surveys (178 responses), 40 one-on-one interviews (considerably more than originally anticipated in the scope of work), review and analysis of documents and direct observations of GNSO proceedings at three ICANN meetings. In addition, Westlake has been engaged in consultations with representatives from the GNSO and other community members.

Westlake will issue their Final Report at the end of August 2015 after considering community feedback via Public Comment process, in-person meetings at ICANN53 and ongoing interaction with the GNSO Review Working Party. The final report, along with public comments, will be considered by the Board. After the Board takes action and accepts the report, the implementation phase will begin.

The Report Summary (Section 1, pages 4-20) offers a brief overview of Westlake’s work and outlines 36 proposed recommendations, classified into four topical themes: Participation and Representation; Continuous Development; Transparency; and Alignment with ICANN’s Future. Please refer to the specific recommendation and relevant section of the Draft Report for additional details and context about each recommendation.

Word [DOCX, 65 KB] and PDF [PDF, 283 KB] templates have been developed to facilitate input to this Public Comment.


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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."