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Call for Volunteers: GNSO New gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP WG Work Track 5 (Geographic Names at the Top-Level)

In Brief

The New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process Working Group seeks volunteers to serve on a new sub team, known as Work Track 5, which will focus exclusively on the treatment of geographic names at the top level. This issue is one of the topics in the WG's charter [PDF, 196 KB].

What This Team Will Do

Work Track 5 will focus on developing proposed recommendations regarding the treatment of geographic names at the top-level. The Work Track may make recommendations on policy and/or implementation related to 2-letter codes, 3-letter codes, short form and full country and territory names, city/state/region names, and other geographically significant names.

How This Team Will Work

ICANN WGs use transparent, open processes. The meetings of this Work Track will be recorded, transcribed, and the recordings will be made available to the public. The mailing list for the Work Track will be archived publicly. The group will collaborate using a public workspace for draft materials and all final work products and milestones will be documented on the WG's wiki. In addition to a Terms of Reference, the Work Track will be governed under the GNSO Working Group Guidelines [PDF, 349 KB] as well as the GNSO PDP Manual [PDF, 260 KB].

The Work Track will be structured to encourage broad and balanced participation from different parts of the community, and includes joint community Work Track leadership from ALAC, GAC, ccNSO and GNSO. As with the other Work Tracks, WT5 leadership will be coordinated by the PDP WG co-chairs.

How to Participate

There are two ways to volunteer:

  • Members – anyone interested can volunteer to join the Work Track as a member, regardless of whether they are members of the ICANN community. Members are expected to actively contribute to mailing list conversations as well as meetings – it is anticipated that the Work Track will meet on a weekly basis via teleconference. Members are expected to provide essential input to the process, orally or through written input. Members will be required to provide a Statement of Interests (SOI).
  • Mailing list observers – for those who are merely interested in monitoring the Work Track's conversations, there is the possibility to sign up as a mailing list "observer" which offers read-only access to the mailing list. Mailing list observers will not be permitted to post, will not receive invitations to the various meetings or calls of the Work Track and will not have to complete a Statement of Interest. At any point in time, a mailing list observer can join the Work Track as a member simply by informing the GNSO Secretariat.

In addition, there may be opportunities to provide input through public consultations and public comment processes. Note, joining Work Track 5 as a member or mailing list observer does not require joining or participating in the full Working Group, though it is encouraged.

How to Join

If you are interested in joining Work Track 5 as a member or mailing list observer, please fill in the sign up form. If you are having trouble using the sign-up form, please email gnso-secs@icann.org for assistance.

All members and observers will be listed on the PDP WG's wiki page.

Next Steps

The call for volunteers will be circulated as widely as possible in order to ensure broad representation and participation in Work Track 5. This initial call will remain open until 20 November. Volunteers are also welcome to join the Work Track at any time after 20 November. Members who join the Work Track after work has begun will be responsible for reviewing all Work Track deliberations, agreements, and documents so that they are prepared to participate fully. Regular online meetings will be scheduled in accordance with the Work Track's work plan, which it is expected to develop as one of its first tasks.

Drafting of WT5 Terms of Reference is currently underway with the WT leadership and will be finalized in the near future.

Background

In 2005, the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) began a Policy Development Process (PDP) to consider the introduction of new gTLDs. The two-year PDP process resulted in a set of 19 GNSO policy recommendations for implementing new gTLDs. In order to implement the policy recommendations of the GNSO, a number of draft Applicant Guidebooks (AGBs) were developed by ICANN staff in consultation with the community. In June 2011, ICANN's Board of Directors approved the final AGB and authorized the launch of the New gTLD Program.

The New gTLD Program application window opened on 12 January 2012 and a total of 1930 complete applications were received. The first set of Initial Evaluation results were released on 22 March 2013, followed by the first set of new gTLD delegations on 21 October 2013.

All applications have now completed the evaluation process and as of mid October 2017, there are over 1,200 gTLDs delegated. Although the 2012 round is ongoing, efforts to examine the round have already begun, which included the initiation of the GNSO's PDP on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures in early 2016.

Although the original charter [PDF, 196 KB] approved by the GNSO Council put the topic of geographic names at the top level in Work Track 2 dealing with legal and regulatory issues, the full PDP Working Group approved the creation of this new Work Track 5 to focus exclusively on the treatment of geographic names at the top level.


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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."