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Independent Review of the ALAC - Final Report

Open: 25 July 08
Closed: 12 September 08

Explanation: ICANN invites comments on the Final ALAC Review Report [pdf] submitted by Independent Reviewer, Westlake Consulting.

The report is available in Arabic [PDF, 940K], Chinese [PDF, 881K], English [PDF, 561K], French [PDF, 629K], German [PDF, 611K] and Spanish [PDF, 629K].

ICANN is now seeking the views of the community on the recommendations contained in the report.

Westlake Consulting was selected by ICANN’s Board to conduct the independent review of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and related structures. Key objectives of the review include:

[To determine] whether the ALAC has a continuing purpose in the ICANN structure; and, If so, whether any change in structure or operations is desirable to improve its effectiveness.

This review is part of ICANN’s ongoing commitment to its evolution and improvement. ICANN’s bylaws require periodic, independent examinations of the role and operation of key elements of ICANN.

Staff member responsible: Denise Michel

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."