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ICANN's Names Council Renews Call for Wide Consultation on Consensus Building

December 21, 2000 - To get additional input into a review of its own consensus-building procedures, the Names Council of ICANN's Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO) at its December 19 meeting established a Review Working Group charged with actively seeking input from the widest possible set of Internet stakeholders.

The new working group, chaired by Names Council member Y J Park, is established immediately and seeks to complete its work by January 15th 2001. In common with previous DNSO work groups, the group is open to anyone to participate and operates by e-mail. Interested parties are encouraged to sign-up now by sending an email to with the words subscribe wg-review in the body of the message.

The working group will provide additional answers to an extensive questionnaire developed by a task force of Names Council members with a mandate to improve the decision-making process of the Names Council by more effective outreach. The task force has already made two calls for input to its questionnaire from DNSO constituencies and its general assembly. This final call is intended to improve the quality and quantity of input as a function of the interactive nature of a DNSO working group.

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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."