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Update on Next Steps on Reviews

The third Accountability and Transparency Review (ATRT3) will begin in January 2019. This Bylaws-mandated review is intended to examine ICANN's execution of its commitment to maintain and improve robust mechanisms for public input, accountability, and transparency so as to ensure that the outcomes of its decision-making reflect the public interest and are accountable to the Internet community. At ICANN63 in Barcelona, the ICANN Board appointed Maarten Botterman to serve as member of ATRT3. Maarten has the experience and skills required for this appointment as is mandated by the ICANN Bylaws. Currently, the SO/ACs are finalizing their nominees, and we anticipate that the SO/AC chairs will announce the final composition of the ATRT3 Team in short order. I would like to thank the community for supporting ATRT3 and making time for this important review.

An updated draft of the Operating Standards for Specific Reviews will be posted for public comment in December 2018, building on prior drafts and incorporating community input over the past year. We expect the Board to adopt the Operating Standards after ICANN64. The Operating Standards are a living document aimed to inform the work of Specific Review teams to achieve efficiency, consistency and predictability by providing clarity about the processes. We invite the Specific Review teams currently conducting their work to refer to the draft Operating Standards for guidance.

In terms of streamlining future reviews, the community provided input and broad support for the way forward, as noted in the consultation paper. We will continue to analyze the input and engage with the community to develop detailed proposals aiming to make reviews more effective and impactful.

View the latest status on Specific and Organizational Reviews and additional key resources here.

I would like to thank the community for all their support. Your input is valuable to ensure the transparency, effectiveness, and efficiency of our processes. I look forward to seeing how these reviews develop and to providing the community with a further update soon.


    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."