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RSSAC2 Review: Assessment Report Published

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LOS ANGELES – 27 February 2018 – Interisle Consulting Group, the independent examiner performing the second review of the ICANN Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) has published its assessment report.

Read the report [PDF, 2.46 MB].

Your comments are encouraged and can be sent to, until 23:59 UTC on 23 March.

The Review Work Party and the independent examiner will meet at ICANN61 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The ICANN community is invited to attend this session and contribute to the feedback process. The session will take place on 14 March at 17:30 – 19:00 UTC (13:30 – 15:00 AST). More details, including remote attendance information, are available here.

About the Assessment Report

The goal of the assessment report is to achieve a maximum agreement between the wider ICANN community and the independent examiner as to which areas of the RSSAC work well and which may benefit from improvements. No recommendations are included in the assessment report. Recommendations will be included in the final report, expected for publication in July 2018.

Read the executive summary [PDF, 455 KB].

(Note: The executive summary will be translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish in due course. Translated versions of the executive summary will be posted here as soon as they are available.)


An independent review of the RSSAC is mandated by ICANN's Bylaws and is part of ICANN's commitment to its own evolution and improvement, accountability and transparency. Interisle Consulting Group was selected to perform the review and began its work in September 2017.

The purpose of the RSSAC2 Review is to determine (i) whether the RSSAC has a continuing purpose in the ICANN structure, (ii) if so, whether any change in structure or operations is desirable to improve its effectiveness and (iii) whether the RSSAC is accountable to its constituencies, stakeholder groups, organizations, and other stakeholders. The review will also assess the effectiveness of the improvements resulting from the previous RSSAC review, conducted in 2008. Visit the RSSAC Review page on to learn more about the review.

The RSSAC advises the ICANN Board and community on matters relating to the operation, administration, security, and integrity of the root server system, as outlined in its charter from the ICANN Bylaws. The RSSAC consists of representatives from the organizations responsible for operating global root name service. The RSSAC also consists of representatives of the organizations responsible for the maintenance of the authoritative root zone as non-voting members. Liaisons from external organizations and groups also participate as non-voting members. Learn more about the RSSAC.


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must 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 with a community of participants from all over the world.

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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."