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Informed and Active Domain Name Registrants are Essential for a Secure and Stable DNS

Throughout all of our work, we endeavor to serve the global public interest, domain name registrants and end-users of the Internet by ensuring a secure and stable domain name system (DNS), all while promoting trust, choice, and competition in the industry. Domain name registrants are an integral component of the DNS; they are the entities or individuals that have acquired the right to use a domain name for a period of time via an agreement with a registrar or reseller.

Domain name registrants have important rights, which include the right to access information from their registrar regarding the processes for registering, managing, transferring, renewing, and restoring domain name registrations. They also have important responsibilities, which include providing accurate contact information for publication in the WHOIS directory, notifying registrars of any changes in contact information, and promptly responding to requests from registrars about information relating to their domain name registration.

Recently, the ICANN organization formed a cross-functional team that regularly interacts with registrants, and began discussing opportunities for collaboration with registrars to increase registrant knowledge and awareness.

We're committed to providing domain name registrants with up-to-date information about their rights and obligations, the domain name ecosystem and how to navigate it, and the ICANN policies that affect them. One initial step that we are taking this week is the introduction of new web pages on ICANN.org dedicated to information relevant to domain name registrants. These new pages, which will initially be a compilation of existing content from across ICANN.org, will be updated on an ongoing basis and evolve over time to provide content and information written specifically for domain name registrants.

What's next?

The ICANN Global Domains Division (GDD) recently added a new staff member, Brian Gutterman, Program Manager, Registrant Services, reporting to Trang Nguyen, Senior Director, Strategic Programs, who will lead our efforts to educate and inform domain name registrants and engage with registrars, the ICANN community, and any other parties that are supporting registrants.

We will publish regular blogs and educational materials written for domain name registrants, which will be aimed at helping them better understand the ICANN policies that affect them, their role in the DNS, and the role of the ICANN organization and our contracted parties. For example, an internal data analysis revealed common issues and questions received from registrants regarding the WHOIS Data Reminder Policy (WDRP) and the recently updated Transfer Policy. Our initial focus will include developing and publishing educational materials on these topics.

As we learn more, we'll share relevant information and materials with registrars and others for their own work supporting domain name registrants. The ICANN Global Support Center (GSC) and compliance teams have identified common issues and problems that registrants face. We will share this information with registrars and others, in addition to collaborating with ICANN community members, to encourage and support registrants' participation in ICANN processes.

Our collective goal is to guide domain name registrants as they navigate policy matters impacting the domain name industry and help them become fully informed participants of the DNS and its ecosystem.

We welcome feedback from all stakeholders on this effort, and invite the ICANN community – and most importantly domain name registrants themselves – to help us shape this work moving forward. Updates and new content will be posted regularly on the new registrant section of the ICANN.org website. We look forward to working with you!

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."