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New gTLD Program: ICANN Seeks Independent Objector

Position Description [PDF, 77 KB]

ICANN is seeking expressions of interest from persons or organizations to serve as the Independent Objector for the New gTLD Program. The Independent Objector shall act in the public interest when determining whether to file an objection to a given application for a new gTLD.

Part of ICANN's core mission is to preserve the operational security and stability of the Internet while also promoting competition and choice for Internet users. With the upcoming launch of the New generic Top-Level Domain (New gTLD) Program, the Internet community will see the introduction of a number of gTLDs. The program protects certain interests and rights by providing a path for parties to file formal objections to gTLD applications on certain grounds.

One component of the objection process is providing for an Independent Objector (IO) function. The Independent Objector will object to gTLD applications that would be contrary to the public interest if approved. In light of this public interest goal, the IO can file objections on Limited Public Interest and Community grounds:

  1. Limited Public Interest – The applied-for gTLD string is contrary to generally accepted legal norms of morality and public order that are recognized under international principles of law.
  2. Community Objection – There is substantial opposition to the gTLD application from a significant portion of the community to which the gTLD string may be explicitly or implicitly targeted.

Candidates for the Independent Objector will describe in their Expressions of Interest how they meet the required or highly desired skills and experience outlined in the attached Position Description [PDF, 77 KB]. Candidates are also asked to submit any additional information they think should be considered when selecting the Independent Objector.

The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 22 December 2011, 23:59 UTC. Expressions of Interest should be submitted to

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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."