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Report from Board-GAC Joint Working Group

Comment Period Important Information Links
Open Date: 7 July 2011
Close Date: 6 August 2011
[Extended to 12 August 2011]
Public Comment Announcement To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Time (UTC): 22:00 View Comments Submitted Report of Public Comments
Originating Organization: ICANN Board of Directors
Purpose: To solicit public input on the Final Report of the Joint Board-GAC Working Group
Current Status: The Final Report [PDF, 447 KB] reflects the opinions of the members of the working group. This public comment period provides an opportunity for the community to share perspectives on the participation of the Governmental Advisory Committee in the ICANN process.
Next Steps: Recommendations of the Final Report of the Joint Board-GAC Working Group will be considered by the ICANN Board of Directors following the public comment period.
Staff Contact: Jamie Hedlund Email:
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."