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Complaints Office Update: Objectives & Next Steps

Recently, I was appointed ICANN’s first-ever Complaints Officer. I am honored to have been selected, and excited to build out this important new role.

The Complaints Office is being built to help the ICANN Organization with its effectiveness and to provide additional transparency and accountability, all in service of ICANN's mission. As the Complaints Officer, I will be working to address complaints about the ICANN Organization, collecting data about complaints received across the organization and working to address any issues. The data that is collected will be analyzed to identify complaint trends, so that any systemic issues can be looked at and proactively addressed.

Since I started working in this role in late March, I’ve been focused on defining the objectives and guidelines of the office, designing the complaints process and developing the implementation timeline.

The Complaints Office will:

  • Provide a centralized location to submit complaints related to the ICANN Organization.
  • Receive complaints, research them, collect facts, and review, analyze, and resolve issues as openly as possible.
  • Help the ICANN Organization build on its effectiveness, and contribute to increased transparency from the Organization.
  • Aggregate the data from received complaints to identify and solve any operational trends that should be improved.

The Office will focus on reviewing verifiable information to ensure recommendations and resolutions are based in fact. It will strive to be open and transparent, responsive and accountable to all parties, and to make recommendations that are constructive and actionable. And, above all else, the office will act with the utmost integrity in service of ICANN’s mission.

Complaints Process and Implementation Timeline

I’m still working on finalizing the full complaints process. This includes defining that process, identifying the specific steps and protocols, developing tools to support intake, management and reporting of complaints, and evolving communications to raise awareness and gather feedback from the community and staff.

The full complaints process is targeted for launch in mid-July 2017, however, I expect it to evolve over time as we gain experience and hear from the community and staff about what is and isn’t working. In the interim, any complaints related to the ICANN Organization, such as how a request has been handled, a process that appears to be broken, insufficient handling of an issue, or something that may be indicative of a systemic issue, can be submitted to complaints@icann.org. This information is also available in the Complaints section of ICANN’s website (see: https://www.icann.org/complaints-office), where I will continue to publish updates and information as it becomes available. However, do keep in mind that the office is being built in real time and it may take a little time to work through initial submissions. However, please do not let this deter you from submitting any complaints that you may have.

I look forward to providing additional updates, the first of which will be a Frequently Asked Questions document that will be published shortly on the Complaints webpage. If you have a question prior to publication, or after, please email it to complaints@icann.org. Over time, and as new questions are received, the Frequently Asked Questions document will be updated so that others may benefit from the additional information.

I am truly excited about this opportunity and look forward to helping establish this new avenue for the community to have their voices heard.

Comments

    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."