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ATRT Recommendation 6: Clarifying Document Published

In fulfillment of Recommendation 6 of the Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT), ICANN's Board Governance Committee has approved the publication of a document that seeks to identify items that are clearly subject to community consultation prior to Board consideration, and those do not require community consultation. The document includes diagrams of process examples, such as a formal policy development process. The paper is available at [PDF, 270 KB].

While Recommendation 6 has been completed, the work performed has identified an area in which improvement is required – how the Board obtains the advice that it needs from the ICANN community beyond the traditional public comment process. Recently, issues have surfaced where the Board has sought in-depth input or advice from the community, and has specifically requested portions of the community to come together for that purpose. A Community Input and Advice Function Paper [PDF, 223 KB] addressing this work is being posted for public comment, and will serve as the basis for discussion at a session at the ICANN meeting in Toronto.

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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."