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At-Large Review: Draft Report

Open Date: 1 February 2017 Close Date: 24 March 2017
Originating Organization: Multistakeholder Strategy and Strategic Initiatives (MSSI)
Categories/Tags: At-Large, Organizational Review
Brief Overview:

This Draft Report [PDF, 2.3 MB] was prepared by ITEMS International (ITEMS) who is the independent examiner conducting the At-Large Review. Please consult the Report closely before you comment. In addition to providing free-text comments, you may also use our comment template [PDF, 1.43 MB], indicating your support (or lack thereof) of the 18 recommendations contained in the ITEMS Report.

This report covers many aspects of ICANN's At-Large Community, its structure, current functions and adherence to its mission as defined in ICANN Bylaws. Since the start of the Review process the ITEMS Review team has carried out extensive interviews (100+), as well as a global survey with 242 responses, the results of which are all presented in this report. Following the closure of this public comment, ITEMS will update its report based on feedback received and publish its Final Report.


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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."