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Discussion Draft: Affirmation Reviews

Open: 26 December 09
Closed: 31 January 10
Extended to 10 February 10

Explanation/Background: ICANN is publishing today for public comment a discussion draft that addresses the requirements and implementation processes for the reviews called for in the Affirmation of Commitments.

The Affirmation of Commitments contains specific provisions for periodic review of ICANN's key objectives. These reviews are to be performed by review teams composed of volunteer community members representative of the relevant ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, as well as independent experts.

The paper [PDF, 620K] posted for public consultation presents a discussion draft to address the Affirmation review requirements; it describes:

  • The Affirmation requirements for reviews
  • The proposed methodology for conducting the reviews
  • The preliminary activities (such as the establishment of the review Teams and others)
  • The timeline of the preparatory activities and of the first review
  • A draft Terms of Reference for the first review

Inputs are sought from the community on the full set of proposals contained in this paper.

The public consultation will remain open till the end of January, 2010.
Staff member responsible: Marco Lorenzoni

Announcement | Comments | Summary/analysis of comments

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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."