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ICANN Policy Update | Volume 15, Issue 11 | December 2015

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers


Volume 15, Issue 11 | December 2015

A New Approach to Policy Updates – Our Last Issue

For more than nine years, the Policy Development Support team has provided monthly updates on the work of the ICANN community related to policy development. The goal of this effort has been and continues to be to keep all of our stakeholders (from seasoned veterans to newcomers) informed on a regular basis about the policy development related activities of our community. We have evolved this publication in that time and continue to adapt.

We have observed over time that fewer and fewer community members are reading the updates via traditional email channels, and we believe that more will benefit from broader promotion and dissemination of our updates via social media platforms and dynamic multilingual translations. As a consequence, this issue marks the final monthly issue of Policy Update in its present format.

In collaboration with the ICANN Communications team, we will now be publishing monthly updates about policy development activities across ICANN's four regional newsletters. This new content publication approach will align quality updates about policy developments with new content from ICANN's engagement activity teams.

In January, we will provide information to you via email for how to update your subscription preferences to ensure you receive your preferred regional newsletter(s). The Policy Update archive will remain available, and I will occasionally post important and timely messages on the ICANN blog.

Thank you for your steadfast readership of the monthly publication over the years. Policy Update would not have succeeded without your feedback and support. We hope this broader and more comprehensive communications strategy will improve the delivery of information to you. As we continue to evolve and fine-tune our information delivery methods, I continue to welcome any and all your ideas and feedback.

Best wishes for the New Year,

David Olive's Signature

David Olive

Senior Vice President, Policy Development Support
General Manager, Istanbul Hub Office


Across ICANN

Address Supporting Organization (ASO)

Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)

At-Large/At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC)

Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)

Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC)

Publication Information

Policy Update is posted on ICANN's website and is available via online subscription. To receive Policy Update in your inbox each month, please visit our subscriptions page.

Please send questions, comments, and suggestions to:

Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees

Address Supporting Organization ASO
Country Code Names Supporting Organization ccNSO
Generic Names Supporting Organization GNSO
At-Large Advisory Committee ALAC
Governmental Advisory Committee GAC
Root Server System Advisory Committee RSSAC
Security and Stability Advisory Committee SSAC

Across ICANN

Issues Currently Open for Public Comment

Several public comment proceedings are currently open on issues of interest to the ICANN community.

gTLD Marketplace Health Index Proposal: Call for Comments and Volunteers
ICANN seeks community input to facilitate the creation of a gTLD Marketplace Health Index. This Index will analyze the overall health and diversity of the global gTLD marketplace.
Public Comment Period Closes: 8 January 2015, 23:59 UTC

Proposed Implementation of GNSO Thick WHOIS Consensus Policy Requiring Consistent Labeling and Display of RDDS (WHOIS) Output for All gTLDs
The public comment proceeding seeks to obtain community input on the proposed implementation of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Thick WHOIS Policy Development Process (PDP) recommendation, approved by the ICANN Board, requiring the consistent labeling and display of WHOIS Output for all gTLDs.
Public Comment Period Closes: 18 January 2015, 23:59 UTC

Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) Operational Profile for gTLD Registries and Registrars
This public comment proceeding is being opened to obtain community input on the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) Operational Profile for gTLD Registries and Registrars.
Public Comment Period Closes: 18 January 2015, 23:59 UTC

Launch of Supplementary Registration Proxy Service for gTLDs Operated by LLC
This public comment period is to gather community input on the proposed amendments to .XYZ, .COLLEGE, .RENT, .THEATRE, .PROTECTION, and .SECURITY Registry Agreements to allow XYZ.COM LLC, the Registry Operator of these six TLDs, to offer a new registry service, which is a proxy service that will provide secondary gateway access to SRS/EPP, RDDS (via WHOIS–port 43, web-based Directory Service, RDAP, or any combination of the three), or both for the purposes of operating these TLDs in local domain name markets.
Public Comment Period Closes: 22 January 2015, 23:59 UTC

Label Generation Ruleset for the Root Zone Version 1 (LGR-1)
The Integration Panel (IP) has successfully evaluated the finalized Proposal for Arabic script Root Zone Label Generation Rules (LGR) submitted by the Arabic Script Generation Panel (GP), following the release of the proposal for public comments. The IP has integrated this proposal by the Arabic script GP into the first version of the Root Zone LGR. As per the Procedure to Develop and Maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in Respect of IDNA Labels, LGR-1 is being released for public comments before finalization.
Public Comment Period Closes: 27 January 2015, 23:59 UTC

Continuous Data-Driven Analysis of Root Server System Stability (CDAR) Study Plan
This study has been commissioned to examine the technical impact of the New gTLDProgram on the root server system. As the first step, The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and its partners SIDN and NLnet Labs are publishing the draft study plan for public comment. Feedback from the larger DNS community is critical to ensure a comprehensive approach to data gathering and analysis. Comments may be incorporated into the final study design.
Public Comment Period Closes: 3 February 2015, 23:59 UTC

At any time, the full list of issues open for public comment, plus recently closed and archived public comment proceedings can be found on the Public Comment web page.

ICANN staff also populates a web page to help preview potential "upcoming" public comment proceedings. The Upcoming Public Comment page provides information about potential future public comment opportunities. The page is updated after every ICANN public meeting to help individuals and the community set priorities and plan future workloads.

Address Supporting Organization (ASO)

FIRE Africa and the Seed Alliance

FIRE Africa is AFRINIC's grants and awards program providing funds, mentoring, and training for projects, initiatives, tools, and platforms that harness the power of the Internet to empower the local and regional community to solve the region's unique issues. Over the last few months, AFRINIC has been focusing on the FIRE Africa program in order to scale up activities in 2016.

AFRINIC, APNIC and LACNIC have worked alongside the International Development Research Center (IDRC) and the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) to establish the Seed Alliance. This global alliance was formally launched on 31 March 2012 to support the launch of FIRE Africa and to strengthen two existing programs, FRIDA and ISIF Asia. In November 2015, the Seed Alliance welcomed The Internet Society as its sixth member.

Learn more about supported projects over the last few years on the newly launched AFRINEWS blog, which enables AFRINIC to share interesting articles, news, research and statistics that are relevant to the community as well as to facilitate community discussion on Internet related topics in Africa and beyond.

More Information

ICANN Staff Contact

Carlos Reyes, Policy Specialist

Regional Internet Registries Number Resource Policy Discussions

At a Glance

Each of the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) has a web page that lists all the Internet number resource policy proposals that are under discussion. Policy discussions take place on open policy mailing lists and at Public Policy Meetings (list and meeting information is provided below).

These are some examples of Internet number resource policy and other discussions that took place recently on the RIR policy mailing lists and/or at meetings.

AFRINIC | Proposal page

AFRINIC23 was held 28 November through 4 December in Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo. Over 200 attendees participated in training courses on IPv6, DNSSEC, RPKI, Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Tools Selection, and Webpage Defacement Incident Handling, among others. The community discussed two important Policy Proposals, Out of Region Use of AFRINIC Internet Number Resources (AFPUB-2014-GEN-001-DRAFT-04) and Number Resources Transfer Policy Proposal (AFPUB-2015-GEN-001-DRAFT-01). Consensus was not reached on either of these proposals.

The call for hosting AFRINIC25 is open. Organizations are invited to submit a proposal to host this event, which will tentatively take place from 26 November-2 December 2016. All hosting requirements can be found here [PDF, 579 KB]. The deadline for submission of country host proposals is 14 January 2016. For more information or queries on hosting requirements, please contact:

APNIC | Proposal page

APNIC published a new version of the APNIC Internet Number Resource Policies document. The document is available here. This document is the final phase of the process to combine multiple policy documents into a single policy manual. This version reduces duplication and contradictions that were introduced as a result of the merging of separately maintained documents. The draft version of this document was introduced at APNIC40. In accordance with APNIC editorial policy, the draft was published for community review on 10 September 2015. There are no changes in policy, delegation practices, or evaluation criteria as a result of this new document. As part of these changes, APNIC has introduced a policy document change log. This is also accessible from the link.

ARIN | Proposal page

The ARIN Advisory Council sent the following number resource proposals to the ARIN Board of Trustees for ratification:

  • Recommended Draft Policy ARIN-2015-1: Modification to Criteria for IPv6 Initial End-User Assignments
  • Recommended Draft Policy ARIN-2015-4: Modify 8.2 section to better reflect how ARIN handles reorganizations

An ARIN Public Policy Consultation is planned for February 2016 as part of the NANOG66 meeting.

LACNIC | Proposal page

Last call ended for the following number resource proposals, which now await review by the LACNIC Board of Directors:

  • LAC-2015-1: Trigger when a justified request larger than /22 is received which cannot be allocated from any remaining pool of addresses
  • LAC-2015-4: Resource Recovery Timeline
  • LAC-2015-5: Increase the minimum period of time required before a block can be transferred under section

In addition, "LAC-2015-6: Modify the scope of IPv4 Exhaustion Phase 2 for the Region," was implemented via the expedited policy process. The new policy sections 11.1 and 11.2 of the LACNIC Policy Manual, extending IPv4 Exhaustion Phase 2 in the region, doubling the space assigned to Phase 2 from a /11 to a /10, to allow current members easier access to IPv4 addresses.

RIPE NCC | Proposal page

RIPE71 took place 16-20 November 2015 in Bucharest, Romania. A meeting report with highlights has been posted here.

Below is an overview of open policy proposals in the RIPE Policy Development Process.

Proposals Open for Discussion

  • 2015-04, "RIPE Resource Transfer Policies"

    Aims to create a single transfer policy with all relevant information on the transfer of Internet number resources, replacing text in several RIPE policies. The proposal also introduces a 24-month holding period for IPv4 addresses and 16-bit ASNs after any change of holdership.

Proposals Awaiting Input

  • 2015-05, "Revision of Last /8 Allocation Criteria"

    Aims to allow Local Internet Registries to request an additional /22 IPv4 allocation from the RIPE NCC every 18 months. This would only be possible if the LIR has not transferred any IPv4 address space before.

Proposals Withdrawn

  • 2014-03, "Remove Multihoming Requirement for AS Number Assignments"

    The proposers decided to withdraw the proposal due to the inability to find an acceptable solution that satisfied all parties.

Upcoming RIR Meetings

  • APNIC41 will be held 15-26 February 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand in conjunction with APRICOT 2016.
  • ARIN37 will be held 17-20 April 2016 in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
  • LACNIC25 will be held 2-6 May 2016 in Havana, Cuba.
  • RIPE72 will be held 23-27 May 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • AFRINIC24 will be held 4-10 June 2016 in Gaborone, Botswana in conjunction with the Africa Internet Summit.

Subscribe to RIR Policy Development Mailing Lists

ICANN Staff Contact

Carlos Reyes, Policy Specialist

Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)

New GNSO Council Leadership Team

At a Glance

James Bladel was unanimously elected chair of the GNSO Council on 23 November 2015; Donna Austin and Heather Forrest are the new council vice chairs.

James Bladel, GNSO Council Chair 2015-2016

James is the Vice President of Policy for GoDaddy, the world's largest domain name registrar. Since his first ICANN meeting in 2007, James has participated on several working groups and review teams, covering subjects such as WHOIS, transfers, abuse, privacy services, and domain expiration. He was first elected to the GNSO Council in 2013, and was re-elected in 2015 for his second term.

Donna Austin, GNSO Council Vice Chair 2015-2016

Donna is the Policy and Industry Affairs Manager at Neustar. She has over fifteen years experience working in government and global multistakeholder environments, enabling the development of complex policy and knowledge transfer in the areas of Internet governance, telecommunications, broadcasting and law enforcement. Donna was elected in 2014 for a two-year term to serve on the GNSO Council as one of the Registry Stakeholder Group representatives.

Heather Forrest, GNSO Council Vice Chair 2015-2016

Heather is currently an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Tasmania. An internationally recognised expert in internet domain name policy, Heather has been an active participant in the ICANN policy development since 2009, when she was nominated to represent intellectual property interests in the Intellectual Property Constituency. She was elected to the GNSO Council in 2014.

Photo of the GNSO Council, 2015-2016

GNSO Council, 2015-2016

Paving the Way for a Next Generation gTLD Registration Directory Service

At a Glance

On 19 November 2015, the GNSO Council approved a charter for the Next Generation gTLD Registration Directory Service (RDS) To Replace WHOIS Policy Development Process Working Group. This motion culminates a three-year effort to address concerns with WHOIS by creating a new policy framework capable of balancing diverse interests to meet today's needs for gTLD registration data.

Recent Developments

In preparation for this policy development process (PDP), a new Preliminary Issue Report [PDF, 1.4 MB] was published for public comment on 13 July 2015. A Final Issue Report [PDF, 1.2 MB] was subsequently published on 7 October 2015, including links to all public comments received, along with a draft charter for the PDP working group (WG). This GNSO Council approved the draft charter on 19 November 2015, enabling the formation of a GNSO working group of community volunteers to initiate this PDP.

Next Steps

In its motion, the GNSO Council directed that the call for volunteers for the PDP WG be circulated as widely as possible in order to ensure broad representation and participation. This call will be initiated by 4 January 2016 and will remain open until the WG convenes for the first time. At this juncture, it is anticipated that the WG may convene late January to lay the groundwork for an initial meeting at ICANN55.

All parties interested in a new policy framework for a next generation RDS to replace WHOIS are invited to visit the RDS workspace for background information, including the PDP WG's approved charter, inputs already provided by all stakeholder groups/constituencies (SG/Cs) during the public comment period, and an extensive library of foundational materials to inform the PDP WG's deliberations. In addition, the PDP WG will reach out to all SG/Cs for feedback on any items that it believes should be considered that may not have been specifically called out in the approved charter.


Created in the 1980s, WHOIS began as a service to identify and contact entities responsible for the operation of a network resource on the Internet. Over the years, ICANN's requirements for gTLD domain name registration data collection, access, and accuracy have undergone important changes. Yet, after nearly 15 years of task forces, review teams, and studies, comprehensive WHOIS policy reform remains the source of long-running discussion and debate.

In 2012, the ICANN Board launched the Expert Working Group (EWG) on gTLD Registration Directory Services (EWG) to help redefine the purpose of gTLD registration data and consider how to safeguard the data, and to propose a model for gTLD registration directory services (RDS) to address accuracy, privacy, and access issues.

Upon publication of the EWG's Final Report in June 2014, an informal group of GNSO Councilors and Board of Directors members collaborated to propose a Process Framework for structuring a GNSO PDP to successfully address these challenging issues. This Process Framework was adopted by the Board of Directors in 2015, along with a reaffirmation of its 2012 request for a PDP to be convened to define the purpose of collecting, maintaining, and providing access to gTLD registration data. The Board of Directors also asked that the PDP consider safeguards for protecting data, using the recommendations in the EWG's Final Report as an input to, and, if appropriate, as the foundation for a new gTLD policy.

More Information

Staff Contact

Marika Konings, Senior Policy Director and Team Leader for the GNSO

Privacy and Proxy Services Accreditation Issues Working Group Publishes Final Report with all Consensus Recommendations

At a Glance

The working group chartered by the GNSO Council to conduct a policy development process to guide ICANN's creation of an accreditation program for privacy and proxy service providers has completed its Final Report. The report contains over twenty recommendations, all of which achieved consensus, including several recommendations that the working group hopes will facilitate the resolution of long-standing and contentious issues on the topic.

Recent Developments

Following the publication of its Initial Report for public comment in May 2015, the working group reviewed all input received in preparing its Final Report. The Initial Report contained a number of preliminary recommendations as well as several open questions for which the working group sought community input in order to resolve the differences of opinion within the working group. The working group had to extend its timeline to allow for consideration of the sheer number and volume of public comments received, especially on the open questions.

Ultimately, the working group reached consensus on over twenty recommendations covering numerous aspects of a privacy and proxy services accreditation program, including the inclusion of mandatory terms of service in customer agreements, procedures for relaying to a customer third party requests for disclosure of customer information, a detailed framework for the submission and processing of disclosure requests by intellectual property rights-holders, and de-accreditation.

Next Steps

On 7 December 2015 the working group submitted its Final Report to the GNSO Council for its review and vote on whether or not to adopt the recommendations. Should the GNSO Council vote to adopt the Final Report, the recommendations will be sent on to the Board of Directors for its review and vote. Implementation will then begin with the development of an implementation plan and the formation of an Implementation Review Team comprised of ICANN staff and interested community members.


The Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) is the contract that governs the relationship between ICANN and its accredited registrars. Its provisions also may have impacts on registrants and other third parties involved in the domain name system. In initiating negotiations for the 2013 RAA between ICANN and the Registrars Stakeholder Group in October 2011, the Board of Directors had also requested an Issue Report from the GNSO that, upon the conclusion of the RAA negotiations, would start a GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP) to address remaining issues not dealt with in the RAA negotiations. In June 2013, the Board of Directors approved a new 2013 RAA, and the topic of accrediting privacy and proxy services was identified as the sole issue to be resolved through a GNSO PDP. The GNSO Council approved the charter for the PDP working group at its meeting on 31 October 2013.

The publication of the working group's Initial Report in May 2015 saw an unusually large volume of public comments received—these included over 11,000 individual comments (some based on a template circulated online by concerned community members), a petition signed by over 10,000 persons (many of whom also provided additional individual comments), and over 150 partial or full responses to an online survey on all the working group's preliminary recommendations and remaining open questions. As a result, the working group extended its timeline in order to consider all the input received. Its deliberations based on the community feedback saw the working group reach consensus on all the recommendations in its Final Report, including several that had been highlighted in the Initial Report as being open questions without group consensus at the time.

More Information

  • Working Group webpage (containing information about the PDP, including the charter, Initial Report and Final Report)
  • Working Group workspace (containing meeting transcripts and recordings, draft documents and membership list)

Staff Contact

Mary Wong, Senior Policy Director

At-Large / At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC)

ALAC Policy Advice Development Activity

At a Glance

The ALAC submitted four statements in response to public comment proceedings and sent formal advice to the Board Directors on the planned implementation of the New Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP).

Recent Developments

ALAC Statement on the Preliminary Issue Report on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures

  • This Statement provides a detailed review of the Preliminary Issue Report and specific comments on competition, consumer trust and consumer choice (4.2.3), community engagement (, support for applicants from developing countries (4.2.14), variable fees (4.2.17), compliance (4.3.4), global public interest (4.3.9), community applications (4.4.5), work process options (4.7.3), and many other sections.
  • The ALAC believes that the issue of consumer trust is "center stage' and above all other issues when it comes to deciding on a next round of new gTLD procedures.
  • The ALAC urges the Board of Directors not to rush the process and take the time to reflect rather than fix identified problems that happened in the previous round.

ALAC Statement on the New gTLD Auction Proceeds Discussion Paper

  • Regarding the composition of the drafting team to develop a charter for a Cross-Community Working Group on the new gTLD Auction Proceeds, the ALAC recommends that the drafting team be made up of at least 2 persons per charter SO/AC and with representation from all SO/ACs that indicate an interest.
  • The ALAC further recommends that the charter: 1) affirm the principles of openness and transparency in allocation of funds; 2) embrace the concept that the use of the auction proceeds should be aligned with the ICANN Strategic Plan; and 3) must favor extending the global public interest in concrete ways and endowing the Affirmation of Commitments, especially as they converge on consumer trust and confidence in the Domain Name System.

ALAC Statement on the Preliminary Issue Report on a GNSO Policy Development Process to Review All Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) in All gTLDs

  • The ALAC is concerned that the RPMs seem to be more focused on protecting the intellectual property rights of corporations, as they can easily afford the fees. The current structures of RPMs create serious barriers to access for end users, especially the ones from developing regions.
  • The ALAC supports the suggested list of potential issues included in the Preliminary Issue Report, and further recommends to add the following questions and remarks to the potential issues concerning Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution (UDRP), Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS), Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), Trademark Claims and Sunrise Period:
    1. Are there any barriers that can prevent an end user to access any or all RPMs?
    2. How can costs be lowered so end users can easily access RPMs?
    3. There should be a review on accessibility to TMCH for individuals, private trademark holders and trademark agents in developing countries.
  • The ALAC is concerned that, so far, the TMCH has not achieved its goal of protecting a large number of trademarks in the DNS. This concern stems from the fact stated in the Preliminary Issue Report that "[b]etween March 2013 and May 2015, the Clearinghouse verified and accepted for inclusion 32,667 nationally or regionally registered trademarks, 42 trademarks protected by stature or treaty, and two court-validated trademarks." One of the possible reasons may be the fact that there is only one provider of the service. In that sense, the ALAC recommends that the TMCH services be open to more providers so that competition will drive prices down and lower the barriers to entry for end users to this specific RPM.

ALAC Statement on the Proposed Implementation of GNSO Policy Development Process Recommendations on Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP) Part D

  • The ALAC stresses the need for clear and accessible information on both the transfer process itself and the dispute resolution mechanisms for non-compliant transfers. This is in accordance with recommendation #11 and recommendation #12 in the report.
  • Information is not currently on the ICANN website in a place or format that would be easily accessible and understood by registrants. The ALAC therefore urges the GNSO to ensure that such information is provided on the ICANN website in clear, simple language as soon as possible.

ALAC Statement on the Planned Implementation of the New Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) [PDF, 252 KB]

  • The ALAC is very concerned that the planned implementation of the new Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) may not support enhanced privacy protections proposed by the Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG). At a session at ICANN54 on the implementation of the RDAP, Francisco Arias, director, technical services, suggested that when implementing the new RDAP, it would be "voluntary" for contracted parties to include additional features in the protocol that would allow differentiated access to registration data.
  • The existing WHOIS protocol allows every user the same anonymous public access to gTLD registration data—access that is no longer in line with increasingly accepted privacy protection law. The EWG recommendations provide a better balance between the privacy rights of registrants and the legitimate needs to access that information in the way that registration data is collected, stored, and accessed. Following the EWG recommendations, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) developed the RDAP, which has features that allow for differentiated access to registration data, depending on the authentication and accreditation of requestors.
  • The ALAC is strongly arguing against "voluntary" adoption of the RDAP features that allow differentiated access to registration data. While those features are not now required under existing WHOIS policies, they will most likely be required under next generation gTLD registration directory services (RDS) consensus policies as recommended by the EWG. On these facts, the ALAC strongly argues that the RDAP implementation profile must include the feature set that will support differentiated access.

Next Steps

More Information

Staff Contact

Ariel Xinyue Liang, Policy Analyst

RALO Update

At a Glance

All RALOs continue to carry out the action items from ICANN54, concluding this year's activities and outlining plans for next year's initiatives.


AFRALO held its monthly meeting on 9 December 2015. Issues discussed included the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group, CWG-Stewardship proposal, CCWG-Accountability, IGF 2015, and a review of the At-Large meeting schedules for meetings formats A, B and C. AFRALO members and At-Large support staff is working jointly to organize the AFRALO Showcase.


In 2015, APRALO implemented successfully the APAC Hub-APRALO Framework, Focus Area 2: Leveraging APAC for Capacity & Capability Building.  ICANN APAC hub and At-Large staffs continue working together with APRALO members to organize more webinars in 2016.

APRALO started a discussion on the issue of individual membership. A workspace is open for all members of APRALO to comment.


At ICANN54, EURALO presented the issue of public interest [PDF, 61 KB] for debate within the At-Large community. As a result of this debate, a paper will be circulated among all other RALOs with the aim to incorporate distinct regional views on this issue. EURALO also elected new officers.


The LACRALO election process for the chair and secretariat positions has started. The nomination period is open until 11 January 2016. The new leaders will take their positions after ICANN55.


NARALO held its monthly meeting on 14 December 2015. Issues discussed included the NARALO Outreach and Engagement strategy, Community Regional Outreach Program, and FY17 budget requests. The NARALO Chair is contacting ALSes to re-engage them in activities, including a pilot program for real-time captioning of Adobe Connect meetings. The project seeks to provide better access to ICANN for the disabled community.

More Information

Staff Contact

Silvia Vivanco, Manager, At-Large Regional Affairs

Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)

GAC Prepares for ICANN55

At a Glance

The GAC is finalizing its agenda for ICANN55. In addition, the agenda for the next High-Level Governmental Meeting (HLGM) has been issued with a second invitation letter from the Moroccan government.

Recent Developments

The GAC recently concluded its agenda-setting calls in preparation for ICANN55, adopting a proposed draft agenda with some modifications while agreeing to stay flexible for any requirements that developments in the IANA Stewardship Transition process may require. One perspective in that regard is how the GAC should relate to, or participate in, the proposed community empowerment mechanisms.

The GAC will dedicate considerable time to the multiple processes underway in preparation for upcoming new gTLD rounds and implementation of previous GAC advice will also be discussed. GAC working groups will report on progress of their work and sessions with other groups are planned.

The agenda for the HLGM to be hosted by Morocco with the GAC on 7 March 2016 has been finalized and included in a second invitation letter to governments across the globe. Morocco will also host a separate ministerial meeting for African countries on 6 March 2016, formally unrelated to the HLGM.

Next Steps

The GAC Leadership will further refine the agenda in view of developments at upcoming conference calls.

More Information

Staff Contact

Olof Nordling, Senior Director, GAC Relations
Karine Perset, GAC Relations Advisor
Julia Charvolen, Senior Coordinator, GAC Services

Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC)

RSSAC Publishes Advisory on Service Expectations of Root Servers


In "RSSAC001: Service Expectations of Root Servers," the RSSAC defines a set of service expectations that root server operators must satisfy. RSSAC001 was approved by the RSSAC on 20 November 2014. It was held for publication in tandem with a Request For Comments by the Internet Architecture Board specifying the DNS Root Name Service Protocol and Deployment Requirements. In December 2015, the IAB RFC was published as RFC 7720. RFC7720 makes RFC2870 obsolete.


RSSAC001 contains the following recommendations to root server operators:

  • The RSSAC recommends each root server operator publish the level of service they offer as a root server operator to the Internet community by responding to each of the expectations detailed in the advisory.
  • The RSSAC recommends that each root server operator advise the RSSAC as to where these RSSAC001 responses have been published, and notify RSSAC of future revisions or either content or location.

More Information

Staff Contact

Steve Sheng, Director, SSAC and RSSAC Advisories Development Support

policy-update-dec15-en.pdf  [776 KB]

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."