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Update on Registrar Accreditation Agreement Amendments

In advance of the ICANN meeting in Toronto, ICANN and the Registrars are posting two documents on the status of negotiations of amendments to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA). Since Prague, significant progress has been made, though certain key issues remain open. There were six negotiation sessions, including a full day session with participants from the Governmental Advisory Committee and representatives of law enforcement. As reported earlier, there is agreement in many areas, including nearly all law enforcement recommendations. In the two remaining recommendations still under discussion, ICANN and the registrars are much closer to reaching a negotiated position on Whois verification and data retention.

On Whois verification, a framework for improving Whois accuracy has been developed, however, ICANN and the registrars still have not reached agreement on the number of fields that are to be verified.

On data retention, discussion among law enforcement representatives, registrars and ICANN indicates there is agreement in principle on a two-tiered retention schedule to account for differing data privacy obligations. More detail on each of these items, as well as status of negotiations on the other law enforcement requests, are provided in the documents posted today:

RAA Negotiation Update [PDF, 96 KB]: A memo providing detail on the negotiations since the Prague meeting and providing some questions for further community input.

Summary Chart of Status of Negotiations [PDF, 180 KB]: Detailed status of negotiation on each of the 12 law enforcement requests, noting the remaining items remaining for discussion. Key requests from Registrars and ICANN for additional terms in the RAA are also identified at the end of the chart.

Because the negotiations have been focused on these key areas, ICANN and the Registrars have not yet reached a fully negotiated agreement on all terms and provisions within the RAA. When available, a full draft will be posted for public comment. Until that time, ICANN and the Registrars welcome feedback on the discussion topics identified in the summary memo to help inform the community discussions in Toronto. Comments can be forwarded to the RAA Negotiations Status Wiki.

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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."