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Efforts to Provide a Safer Environment

As we approach ICANN64 in Kobe, Japan, I want to share some important information regarding the Office of the Ombudsman.

I am pleased to announce that Barbara (Barb) Curwin will once again be part of the Ombuds Team at ICANN64. Her presence and assistance were greatly appreciated by me and the community at ICANN63, and she will once again be available to serve the community in Kobe. Barb has extensive experience in issues involving diversity, dispute resolution, and anti-harassment initiatives. Should anyone wish to meet with myself or Barb during ICANN64, simply send an email to to make an appointment. The Ombudsman office will be located in room 303 on level 3F at the Kobe International Conference Center. To view the venue map, click here.

I am also pleased to share the recent ICANN Board resolution that created a working group to oversee a review of the community's understanding of the existing Community Anti-Harassment Policy and the procedures and practices that follow from it. I look forward to offering assistance with this initiative and to further discussing it at ICANN64 with the ICANN Board members involved and any community members who have an interest in promoting a safe and harassment-free environment for all.

The ICANN Ombudsman 2018 Annual Report, subject to an unavoidable publishing delay, has now been posted to the ICANN Ombudsman web page in all ICANN languages. Please take a moment to read the report, here.

I wish you all safe travels and look forward to spending some face-to-face time with everyone in Japan.


    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."