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Questions to the Community on Accountability and Transparency within ICANN

Open: 18 May 2010
Closed: 1 July 2010 Extended to: 14 July 2010

Explanation/Background: In the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC), ICANN commits to maintain and improve robust mechanisms for public input, accountability and transparency so as to ensure that the outcomes of its decision-making will reflect the public interest and be accountable to all stakeholders. The AoC Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT) is in the process of analyzing stakeholder and community input that has been submitted on these topics prior to the AoC (i.e. comments on Improving Institutional Confidence, submissions to the NTIA NOI on expiration of the JPA, etc.). However, the ATRT would also like to understand if there are new inputs or changes in stakeholder views since the establishment of the AoC.

The Initial Questions from the ATRT can be found here: [PDF, 225 KB]

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The Accountability and Transparency Review Team web space with other reference materials can be found here:

Staff member responsible: Alice Jansen

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"""" is not an IDN."