Another Milestone Towards the IANA Stewardship Transition
On March 14, 2014, 818 days ago, the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) asked ICANN to convene the global Internet community to develop proposals to transition the stewardship of the IANA functions to the multistakeholder community. It also called for enhancements to ICANN’s accountability mechanisms.
Today, NTIA released a comprehensive evaluation of the proposals. I am very pleased with NTIA’s finding that the community-developed proposals met its stringent criteria. It is an important recognition of the entire community and its tireless work to reach this important milestone.
We appreciate NTIA’s efficient and thorough review of the transition proposals. In the meantime, ICANN staff and community members continue to plan and prepare for a timely and successful implementation of the proposals.
We thank everyone involved for their support and hard work to see the transition through to this point. There is still more work to come, but this moment should serve as a validation of your time and effort in this process. We are one step closer to seeing the transition many of us have been working towards for years, to ensure an open, interoperable Internet for years to come.
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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."