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Enhancing ICANN Accountability and Governance Transition Update

Latest Developments:

Public Comment Invited: Enhancing ICANN Accountability Process

Due to both the critical crossroad ICANN is at now and the considerable work that needs to be done to achieve the anticipated IANA Functions Stewardship Transition, ICANN has launched a 21-day Public Comment period starting 6 September 2014, to consider the Enhancing ICANN Accountability and Governance Process posted on 14 August, in conjunction with the stewardship transition.

Read the Public Comment Box here: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/enhancing-accountability-2014-09-05-en

EXTENDED – Call for Candidates: Seeking Advisors to the ICANN Accountability & Governance Coordination Group

In light of the 6 – 27 September public comment period on the Enhancing ICANN Accountability and Governance Process, the Public Experts Group has decided to extend its Call for Candidates. The original due date of 10 September is now 30 September at 23:59 UTC, so as to align with the close of the public comment period. With the exception of date, all other elements of the Call for Candidates remain the same. For more information on how to submit a nomination, please see here.

Read the original Call for Candidates announcement here: https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2014-08-28-en

Enhancing ICANN Accountability and Governance – Process and Next Steps

ICANN received a total of 49 comments submitted during the 6 May – 27 June 2014 online public comment period, in addition to the comments received during the dedicated Enhancing ICANN Accountability session held on 26 June 2014 at the ICANN 50 meeting in London. Those comments related to the development of the process have been considered in the refinement of the process. Many of the comments also addressed both issues for consideration for enhancements to ICANN accountability, or proposed solutions. Those issues and solutions are collected – without analysis – in a separate document for consideration by the community groups performing the work on Enhancing ICANN Accountability.

The next steps in the process include formation of a modified ICANN Accountability Community Coordination Group as proposed in the original proposal on 6 May. Based on feedback received, the composition of the process has been modified to include two tracks: The revised process will have not one, but two community groups on Accountability and Governance:

  1. ICANN Accountability & Governance Cross Community Group; and
  2. ICANN Accountability & Governance Coordination Group.

Read the full process here: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/process-next-steps-2014-08-14-en

 

Background

Last spring, when the community began its initial discussions on the task of transitioning NTIA's stewardship of the IANA Functions, the community raised the broader topic of the impact of the change on ICANN's accountability. What emerged was a commitment to launch a second process – parallel but interrelated with the IANA stewardship transition process – to do this work.

During an extended public comment period from the beginning of May to the end of June, we received 49 comments, with a majority discussing the more substantive aspects of accountability, while some focused on the design of the review process itself.

We took those comments relating to the development of the process, along with those from the community dialogues at the ICANN 50 meeting in London, and developed the accountability review process published today. The comments provided on issues for consideration for enhancements to ICANN accountability, or proposed solutions, are provided in a separate document for consideration by the community groups performing the work on Enhancing ICANN accountability.

An important attribute of the IANA Stewardship Transition process and this ICANN Accountability & Governance Review process is that the work of each completes in time to meet the expectations of the IANA Functions Contract ending in September 2015.

 

For information about the Enhancing ICANN Accountability and Governance Process, please visit the Community Wiki Page.


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."