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IANA Naming Function Review: Recommendation for an IANA Naming Function Contract Amendment

Open Date: 10 February 2021 Close Date: 22 March 2021
Originating Organization: ICANN organization, Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO)
Categories/Tags: Reviews/Improvements
Brief Overview:

Purpose: This Public Comment proceeding has been opened on behalf of the ICANN organization (ICANN org) to prepare the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Naming Function Review (IFR) Final Report for ICANN Board consideration. The IFR is an evaluation of Public Technical Identifiers (PTI) performance of the IANA naming function against the contractual requirements in the IANA Naming Function Contract and the IANA Naming Function SOW. The IFR Review Team's Recommendation 4 (page 5 of the IFR Final Report [PDF, 2.2MB]) calls for an amendment to Article 7, Section 7.1 (a) of the IANA Naming Function Contract.

Pursuant to ICANN Bylaws Article 18.6 (iv), there must be "public comment on the amendments that are under consideration by the IFRT through a public comment period that complies with the designated practice for public comment periods within ICANN."

Current Status: Recommendation 4 of the IFR Final Report [PDF, 2.2MB] outlines an amendment to the IANA Naming Function Contract. The IFR Review Team (IFRT) is seeking community input.

Next Steps: Pursuant to ICANN Bylaws Section 18.6 (b)(i), IFR Recommendations requiring a contract amendment must be approved by a supermajority vote of the ccNSO and GNSO Councils. Within 45 days of the conclusion of this Public Comment, or the ccNSO and GNSO Councils' approvals, whichever occurs later, the ICANN Board shall take action on the Final Recommendations. Pursuant to ICANN Bylaws Section 18.6 (d), for IFR Recommendations that are approved by the Board, the Secretary shall provide a Board Notice to the Empowered Community (EC) Administration and the Decisional Participants. The EC Administration shall promptly commence and comply with the procedures and requirements specified in Article 2 of Annex D.


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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"""" is not an IDN."