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Hello from ALAC

Hi everyone
I’m Jacqueline Morris, the new Chair of ALAC, the At-Large Advisory committee. The At-Large is the vehicle for individual Internet users to have a voice in ICANN, on policy matters, or on anything that’s of interest to the global community of individual Internet users. We’re one of two vehicles for Civil Society participation in ICANN, the other being the Non Commercial Users Constituency in the GNSO.

I was voted Chair on Monday, March 25th at the Lisbon meeting. Our previous Chair, Annette Muelhberg, voted Chair at the Sao Paulo meeting in December, recently resigned for personal reasons.

This is a really exciting and busy time for the ALAC. Finally, we have nearly finished building the global structure for participation, with 4 regional organisations formed, and one (North America) being discussed. This will give the individual users some access to ICANN decision making processes. There is a long way still to go, but we now have both feet firmly on the road.

We are about to undergo our external review – the Terms of Reference were posted March 30 for public comment. We are looking forward to the recommendations that come out from this. There are also a lot of policy issues arising now, including the new gTLD working group, IDNs, WhoIS, and more. The global internet user community will have a way to participate and comment on these policy issues.

I’ll post here from time to time, to let you all know what’s going on with the ALAC, or you can go to the ALAC site at or join our mailing lists to provide input.

I’m looking forward to a really productive and interactive discussion with the ICANN community!

ALAC Chair


    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."