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Board Work Ahead of and During ICANN68

Over the past few months, ICANN org and the community have been working diligently to ensure that ICANN68, our second virtual ICANN Public Meeting and the first-ever Virtual Policy Forum, is capable of supporting the community’s ongoing policy and development work. The Board thanks everyone who has contributed to this process, especially as they balance the added stress and obligations brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Normally, we issue a pre-workshop blog just before ICANN Policy Forum. However, the Board will not be meeting face-to-face this time, and will instead meet remotely. We have switched to a more intense schedule of weekly meetings, instead of having three full-day workshops in a row. This is just one of the ways we have adapted to the current “normal.”  At the same time, our commitment to keeping you up-to-date on what keeps the Board busy still stands.

Over the past weeks, we’ve been holding discussions and prep sessions ahead of ICANN68 to ensure that we’re prepared to meaningfully engage with the community on a number of important topics. These include Domain Name System (DNS) abuse, the future of virtual Public Meetings, the Third Accountability and Transparency Review Team’s (ATRT3) final report, new generic top-level domain Subsequent Procedures (SubPro), and the latest developments regarding the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In addition to the meetings that have been scheduled with the community’s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees (SO/ACs), we look forward to participating during the upcoming plenary sessions:

We encourage everyone to join and participate during these plenary sessions. Individual Board members will also join a variety of community-led sessions to actively engage and better understand the community’s perspectives.

The Board continues to monitor the ongoing developments related to COVID-19, and greatly appreciates the community’s commitment to progressing its work despite the challenges. As recently announced, ICANN69, originally scheduled to be held in Hamburg, Germany, will now be held as our first-ever Virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM). The Board is confident that by building on the lessons learned during ICANN67 and ICANN68, and collaborating with the community, we will be able to make this work, together. We will continue to learn together; improve the engagement opportunities for all, as much as reasonably possible; and engage with the community on moving back to meetings “on location” over time.

While the COVID-19 virus continues to affect the world in many ways, it is more important than ever that we continue moving forward and making progress. The collaboration and dedication we’ve seen since the start of this pandemic is truly impressive and inspiring. Thank you for all that you do.

Please stay healthy and safe.


    Ken Stubbs  06:35 UTC on 19 June 2020

    Thanks for the update. The community appreciates the board's sensitivity to the "current times". If all goes well in the near future, we will have effective global vaccine programs which should help to bring us back to a "new normal". We need to advocate to insure that adequate resources and future vaccination programs are made available to those countries with significant medical challenges so that their citizens are protected and able to attend future F2F ICANN meetings

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."