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Leading into Marrakech: An Update from the CCWG-Accountability co-Chairs

The Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN’s Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) has ushered in 2016 with a full schedule and renewed dedication to its mission. 

Following the release of the staff report and the summary of public comments, both of which were published on 8 January, the group wasted no time in setting up a rigorous schedule of conference calls for the rest of the month.

The schedule was designed to enable inclusive and informed debates about the input received during the 21-day public comment period and the feedback provided by the six Chartering Organizations of CCWG-Accountability. 

The dedication of our members and participants, along with the increased involvement by members of the ICANN Board, has allowed us to make significant progress over the past four weeks. The collaborative environment has brought us even closer to our goal of a consensus proposal that will meet the requirements of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and fulfill the dependencies of the CWG-Stewardship in the ICG Final Proposal.

Here is the current status of each CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 1 Recommendations:

Recommendation #1: Establishing an Empowered Community for Enforcing Community Powers

Finalized.

Recommendation #2: Empowering the Community Through Consensus: Engagement, Escalation, Enforcement

Final comments by CCWG-Accountability. Expect final by February 5th.

Recommendation #3: Redefining ICANN’s Bylaws as ‘Standard Bylaws’ and ‘Fundamental Bylaws

Finalized.

Recommendation #4: Ensuring Community Engagement in ICANN Decision-making: Seven New Community Powers

Edits to reflect input on PTI budget (CWG-Stewardship) and indemnification language for removal of Directors by the Empowered Community.

Recommendation #5: Changing Aspects of ICANN’s Mission, Commitments and Core Values

Still under discussion by the CCWG-Accountability.

Recommendation #6: Reaffirming ICANN’s Commitment to Respect Internationally Recognized Human Rights as it Carries Out its Mission

Final comments by CCWG-Accountability. Expect final by February 5th.

Recommendation #7: Strengthening ICANN’s Independent Review Process

Edits to reflect input on applicability to PTI. 

Recommendation #8: Improving ICANN’s Request for Reconsideration Process

Final comments by CCWG-Accountability. Expect final by February 5th.

Recommendation #9: Incorporating the Affirmation of Commitments in ICANN’s Bylaws

Still under discussion by the CCWG-Accountability.

Recommendation #10: Enhancing the Accountability of Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees

Final draft to be reviewed by lawyers before final comments by CCWG-Accountability. Expect final by February 5th.

Recommendation #11: Board Obligations with regards to Governmental Advisory Committee Advice (Stress Test 18)

Still under discussion by the CCWG-Accountability.

Recommendation #12: Committing to Further Accountability Work in Work Stream 2

Finalized.

For the latest versions of all of the recommendations above, visit the CCWG-Accountability wiki.

After consensus has been reached on our few outstanding issues, the CCWG-Accountability will develop a “supplemental” report of the Work Stream 1 Recommendations, including a summary of changes from the Third Draft Report. 

The supplemental report is currently being developed, and will go through an open and transparent process of 1) CCWG-Accountability consultation, 2) support staff editing/proofing, 3) co-Chair and Rapporteur finalization, 4) legal review and 5) final publication. Our hope is that the majority of changes from the Third Draft Report will relate to specificities of implementation rather than content, and as such, an additional public comment period will not be necessary before approval by the Chartering Organizations.

Our goal is to distribute the supplemental report to our Chartering Organizations in time for consideration and approval on all Work Stream 1 Recommendations at ICANN55 in Marrakech. Keeping in mind the working methods for the various Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, we ask that this be into account as the Chartering Organizations plan their discussions and schedules leading into and during ICANN55. With that said, we encourage any Chartering Organizations that can deliberate and/or approve the Work Stream 1 Recommendations prior to Marrakech to do so.

We are grateful for the increased involvement of the ICANN Board as our work has progressed since the Third Draft Report. It has been helpful to understand Board comments in real-time, including ways to ensure any global public interest concerns are debated and considered as the recommendations are being revised. We hope to continue this open dialogue as the supplemental report is finalized, and ask the ICANN Board to be mindful of the timeline as they plan their review period of the Work Stream 1 Recommendations and submission to NTIA.


CCWG-Accountability co-Chairs
Mathieu Weill, Thomas Rickert, León Sanchez

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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."