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Revised ICANN Procedure for Handling Whois Conflicts with Privacy Law: Assessment and Next Steps Now Available for Public Comment

LOS ANGELES – 3 May 2017 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today published a paper, "Revised ICANN Procedure for Handling Whois Conflicts with Privacy Law: Assessment and Next Steps," for public comment.

Read the Revised ICANN Procedure for Handling Whois Conflicts with Privacy Law: Assessment and Next Steps [PDF, 159 KB].

This paper is available for public comment through 12 June 2017. Feedback will be incorporated into a report of public comments and provided to the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council for their review and consideration.

Comment on the Revised ICANN Procedure for Handling Whois Conflicts with Privacy Law: Assessment and Next Steps.

In accordance with the ICANN Procedure for Handling Whois Conflicts with Privacy Law (Whois Procedure), this paper opens a review process to gather community input on the effectiveness of the revised Whois Procedure, which was made effective on 18 April 2017. Furthermore, as requested by the GNSO Council, ICANN is publishing this paper to provide analysis of and solicit community input on the practicality and feasibility of the triggers, as well as suggestions for moving forward with the review. Outputs from this assessment and comment process are expected to inform the next periodic review of the procedure.

The Whois Procedure has recently been updated, although  no ICANN-accredited registrar or registry operator to date has formally invoked the procedure. As a result, this analysis is based solely on community discussions and input received during the previous review [PDF, 155 KB], which related to allowing for evaluation of an additional trigger for invoking the procedure. It also draws upon ICANN's experience administering other processes where a contracted party is seeking ICANN's approval for new services, or waiving certain contractual requirements, as a point of comparison for the implementation of the procedure.

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world. ICANN and its community help keep the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It also promotes competition and develops policy for the top-level of the Internet's naming system and facilitates the use of other unique Internet identifiers. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.


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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."