ICANN Kicks Off Open Data Initiative Pilot
ICANN has begun a pilot project to introduce an Open Data Initiative for ICANN-generated data. Various ICANN activities produce data related to ICANN’s mission of coordinating the Internet’s system of unique identifiers, including domain name system operations, domain name registration activities, performance monitoring and many other topics. The aim of this project is to bring selected data sets into the open, available through web pages and programming APIs, for the purposes of external party review and analysis.
ICANN’s Open Data Initiative pilot project has three components:
- Developing a catalog of existing data sets appropriate for publication
- Selecting the technology to manage the publication of the data sets
- Devising a process to prioritize the order in which data sets are made available
Earlier in October, ICANN staff held an internal kickoff meeting that concentrated on developing the catalog of data sets and a means to prioritize their availability. Selecting an open data technology, whether as a software as a service or built upon open technology, will largely depend on the catalog. Many considerations were discussed, including the conditions under which data sets are considered eligible for being made open, which data sets should be available after a delay (due to the nature of the information), and which are to remain confidential according to existing controls and requirements.
The next steps for this project include developing a data catalog and generating a living document before ICANN58. During the same time frame, documentation will be developed to identify priorities – relying on both internal and community input – resulting in the selection of the data sets for the pilot project.
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."