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Proposed ICANN Bylaw Revisions Regarding the ALAC

Open: 8 April 2011
Closed: 9 May 2011

Explanation/Background: As part of the ALAC/At-Large Improvements Project, the Office of the General Counsel – in coordination with the ALAC, At-Large Improvements Work Team A, and the At-Large Staff – drafted proposed Bylaw revisions to reflect the ALAC's continuing purpose within ICANN.

These revisions were prepared in response to the Final Report of the ALAC Review Working Group on ALAC Improvements [PDF, 270 KB] (Final Report; 9 June 2009). The Final Report recommended that the ICANN Bylaws be modified to reflect ALAC's role (i) in providing advice on policy, (ii) in providing input into ICANN's operations and structure, (iii) as part of ICANN's accountability mechanisms, and (iv) as an organizing mechanism for some of ICANN's outreach (p. 6, par. 1). Furthermore, the Final Report acknowledged that the ALAC, as the representative body of At-Large, is the primary organizational home for the individual Internet user within ICANN, although ICANN's multi-stakeholder model also provides the opportunity for individual users to participate in many other ways (p. 6, par. 10).

The Board approved both the Final Report and the ALAC/At-Large Improvements Implementation Project Plan [PDF, 399 KB] (7 June 2010), which identified the ICANN Bylaw paragraphs expected to require revision, on 26 June 2009 and 5 August 2010, respectively. On 18 March 2011, the Board then directed ICANN's CEO to post the proposed Bylaw revisions for public comment.

The proposed revisions are available here [PDF, 60 KB] in redline form. All members of the ICANN community and the public are invited to review the proposed revisions and share their comments through 9 May 2011.

Deadline and How to Submit Comments: The Staff is opening a 30-day public consultation forum, from 8 April 2011 through 9 May 2011, on this matter. During this period, the ICANN community and public are invited to submit comments via e-mail to

To view comments: An archive of all comments received will be publicly posted at

To view the public announcement of this forum: Please see

Staff member responsible: Heidi Ullrich and Samantha Eisner

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."