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Thank You, ICANN Community: Reflections from Thursday at ICANN50

As another ICANN meeting has come and gone, I wanted to reflect on a moment that, in my eyes, added to making ICANN50 a successful event. With a record number 3,115 attendees and all the remote participants around the world, many representatives of the community were able to participate both individually and with their communities in the middle of a very pivotal moment in Internet history.

The ICANN community has embarked on two large initiatives. One is an assessment of strengthening ICANN's accountability mechanisms in light of its changing historical relationship with the US administration. This means looking at mechanisms already in place and whether they should evolve to better serve the greater multistakeholder community. The other concerns the process of transitioning NTIA's stewardship of the IANA functions.

If you would like more information on these initiatives, I have tried to explain both in further detail in a video located here.

On Thursday, the last day of the ICANN meeting, we scheduled special sessions dedicated to these two initiatives - Enhancing ICANN Accountability and Transition of NTIA's Stewardship of IANA Functions. The community dialogue focused on important questions and topics for discussion about the two processes. Both sessions experienced fruitful engagement in full rooms, and provided very valuable discussion and feedback as these processes move forwards.

The two sessions were not limited to only the ICANN meeting room. In an effort to engage the broader community, the session panels engaged in active dialogue and received comments from both the live streaming chat room as well as, and for the first time at an ICANN meeting, from more than a dozen interactive hubs across the world. I want to take a moment to thank all those involved in organizing these hubs and participated in the discussions from multiple time zones, furthering ICANN's goal of global inclusivity. It was remarkable sitting in London and receiving live feedback from stakeholders in the Philippines, Cameroon, Kenya, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago and Pakistan. It truly was a historic moment for ICANN.

In addition, I want to thank all of those who helped organize these two sessions, moderate and participate, and for all the useful dialogue at the end of a long week. It is this kind of community engagement that will build the strongest foundation during this critical time for the Internet and its advancement.

Transcripts and presentation materials from both of these sessions and others can be found by visiting the ICANN50 meeting schedule.

I also invite the community to visit the NTIA IANA Functions' Stewardship Transition microsite to find resources, discuss, contribute and collaborate on stewardship topics related to NTIA's announcement and intent to transition its stewardship role in the IANA functions.

I hope all of you will continue to participate in these processes as they move along. After all, they belong to you!


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    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."