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Transparency and Accountability Achievements You May Not Have Noticed

The Board Meeting Minutes and Resolutions page is a great place to see some of initial work ICANN has already done to meet the recommendations of the Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT). These include:

  • Starting with the Brussels Board meeting in June 2010, ICANN has been providing translations into the six UN Languages of the Approved Resolutions reached at ICANN Public Meetings.
  • Starting with 25 January 2011 Board meeting, ICANN is now providing translations of Approved Resolutions for all Board meetings.
  • The translations of the 18 March 2011 Approved Resolutions were posted within the 21-day timeframe recommended by the ATRT, and ICANN has adopted this timing recommendation as a new standard.

In addition to the Approved Resolutions, ICANN is now providing translations of the Minutes of Board meetings within 21-days of Board approval:

  • The translations of the Minutes of the 25 January 2011 Board meeting were posted in early April.

Rationales & Briefing Materials

You may have noticed that the Approved Resolutions and Minutes documents are longer than they used to be. Since the 25 January 2011 Board meeting, ICANN has been posting rationales for nearly all Board actions. While the rationales only become final once the Board approves them as part of the Minutes, the draft rationales are posted along with the Approved Resolutions, and are included in all translation work.

In June 2010, ICANN began posting Board Briefing Materials along with the Minutes of each Board meeting. Through the ATRT recommendations and community input, ICANN heard that the community needed clarification on the timing of these Board Briefing Materials postings, as well as more transparency into the redaction process. This March, ICANN posted Guidelines for the Posting of Board Briefing Materials to better explain this process. As explained in the Guidelines, ICANN is now providing a description of the basis of each redaction, instead of the prior text that simply stated “REDACTED.”

This initial activity – making the work of the Board more accessible to the ICANN community – is an important step in increasing ICANN’s accountability and transparency. ICANN’s commitment to fulfilling its Affirmation of Commitments obligations and advancing its transparency and accountability is demonstrated in a multitude of ways throughout ICANN. To learn more, see our “Accountability & Transparency” webpage.


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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."