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Independent Review of ICANN's Accountability and Transparency

Read the report [PDF, 358K]

As one of a number of initiatives aimed at further improvements in accountability and transparency, ICANN engaged One World Trust ( to undertake an independent review of standards of accountability and transparency within ICANN. The terms of reference for the report were designed to allow a wide ranging review.

The report says that overall ICANN is a very transparent organisation, noting that it shares a large quantity of information through its website, probably more than any other global organisation. The report also identifies areas for improvement. In addition to the report, ICANN also posts today, the next steps in the development of a set of Management Operating Principles for accountability and transparency.

ICANN welcomes comment and feedback on the report. The public may email comments to The comment period will close on April 27, ahead of ICANN's 29th International Public Meeting, which will be held 25-29 June in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

ICANN will also receive comments on its blog at

ICANN will develop a draft set of Management Operating Principles. The major steps in the process are as follows:

  • Consultation with the community on the One World Trust report through the online comment forum (forum closes April 27)
  • Preparation of draft Principles based on material contained in the One World Trust report and community comment
  • Formal response to the One World Trust report, including an action plan for addressing key recommendations (early May)
  • Draft Principles released for consultation (Mid May)
  • Consultation through an online comment forum and in sessions at the Puerto Rico meeting
  • Posting of revised documents after the Puerto Rico meeting
  • Submission to Board for consideration

ICANN welcomes comment and feedback on the report:

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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."