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The DNSOP Working Group of the IETF Organizes Webinar to Raise Awareness of Special-Use Domain Names

Special-Use Domain Names are domain names that are not intended to be resolved globally using the Domain Name System (DNS). For example, queries for the top-level domain name “.onion” are never intended to be resolved through the DNS protocol. Following the approval of RFC 6761, which provides a framework for Special-Use Domain Names, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has been asked to designate several names as Special-Use.

During the RFC 6761-specified evaluation process for these Special-Use Domain Names, various issues arose and generated very lively debate, particularly within the Domain Name System Operations (DNSOP) Working Group. These discussions led to an effort within the Working Group to draft a problem statement regarding issues with these domain names, aimed at helping to properly scope and steer future discussions around Special-Use Domain Names.

The draft document (draft-ietf-dnsop-sutld-ps-04) is now ready, and will soon enter a “Last Call” period for any final input. As the ICANN community prepares to start discussions on the policies and guidelines that will govern the next round of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), it will be useful to also pay attention to the Special-Use Domain Name discussions occurring within the IETF, review the problem statement document, and contribute to the discussion of that document within the IETF Last Call process.

In order to raise awareness on its work in this area within the ICANN community, the DNSOP Working Group is organizing a webinar entitled, “IETF Overview and Special-Use Domain Names Problem Statement.” This webinar will be held on Tuesday, 23 May 2017 at 17:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Details on how to join the webinar are provided below.

This webinar is intended to help ICANN community members understand the IETF process and participate in the ongoing discussion related to the development of a revision of the IETF framework for Special-Use Domain Names. The session will start with an overview of the IETF Last Call process, after which a short summary of the document on Special-Use TLDs (SUTLDs) will be provided with pointers on how to provide input.

Participants who are not familiar with the IETF process are encouraged to read "The Tao of IETF: A Novice's Guide to the Internet Engineering Task Force” prior to the webinar.

Other recommended documents to read before the webinar are:

Webinar participation details:

To join the webinar, go to
Note: If you go to this link in advance of the meeting, you can create a calendar invitation.

To join by phone:

Call-in toll free number (US/Canada): 1-877-668-4493
Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208
Meeting number: 310 638 156
Meeting password: LastCall


    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"""" is not an IDN."