Assisting Registrants in Areas Affected by Hurricane Maria
We have recently heard from community members that registrants affected by Hurricane Maria may be unable to renew their domain name due to ongoing issues with the electric power grid and telecommunications infrastructures in the Caribbean and surrounding areas. This means these registrants risk losing their domain name due to circumstances beyond their control.
To help these individuals, ICANN approved Hurricane Maria and other similar natural disasters as extenuating circumstances under RAA section 188.8.131.52. This means that registrars now have the flexibility to extend the registration renewal period for individuals in affected areas. We hope that registries will support this action and that registrars will consider this option when reviewing renewal delinquencies from these regions.
The devastating impact of Hurricane Maria also highlights the need for a broader policy to protect registrants when they are unable to renew their domains as a result of natural disasters or other extraordinary circumstances. We encourage the community to consider this topic during policy development discussions.
We continue to join the rest of the world in extending good thoughts for a speedy recovery for those affected by Hurricane Maria.
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."