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Update from the Office of the Ombudsman

The Office of the Ombudsman remains fully operational despite the ongoing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. My ICANN Ombuds team member, Barbara Curwin, and I would like to update you on recent work.

We are pleased to announce the ICANN Office of the Ombudsman Annual Report 2019 has been published and can be found here.

The Ombudsman online office used during the ICANN67 Virtual Community Forum was a success. We have our own Zoom account to hold virtual meetings and conduct investigations (complaint intake, interviews, mediations, etc.) while in-person communication is still limited.

The Office can also now offer information sessions to ICANN community leadership teams regarding anti-harassment initiatives or to discuss incidents of harassment or abusive behavior in their respective Supporting Organizations or Advisory Committees.

Should you need to contact the Ombudsman or Adjunct Ombuds, please send us an email at or fill out a complaint form at .

Thank you and stay safe.


    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."