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ICANN org's Open Data Strategy

The ICANN organization is a community-based organization and one of our defining principles is that we are an "open" organization.

Our strategy for the data we hold must reflect this, and our default position must be that all of our data is open data unless there are good reasons to treat it otherwise.

If data is important enough for us to collect and keep, then it is important enough to share. It is not our role to judge what is useful to publish, just as it is not our role to predetermine the usage that people will make of the data. When information is shared, it increases in utility and value as people analyze it, combine it, and enhance it in ways we cannot predict.

To make this happen, I have made it one of my personal goals to see the ICANN org deliver open data to the ICANN community. It will take time, but the resulting open data platform will be comprehensive and authoritative.

For the ICANN org, this will mean a more formalized approach to data management, and support will be put in place to help manage that change.

Many in the ICANN community have called for this and have listed a wide range of uses and benefits they will get from open data. One of the first benefits I expect to see is a shift toward evidence-based policy, and I look forward to the ICANN community using open data in increasingly innovative ways.

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    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."