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Open Comment Forum Process and Standards

Rules and procedures under the interactive forum

The interactive comment forum has been specifically designed to allow for simple and interactive discussion on particular points of ICANN policy and process.

Its hope is that through reasoned argument, respectful acknowledgement of others' views, and careful wordsmithing, participants will be able to draw toward consensus policies on the specific issues outlined.

As anyone who has dealt with online forums will know, however, the more open a forum is, the greater the opportunity for disruptive, unhelpful or simply pointless communication. A forum's value and effectiveness online is thus determined by the rules and procedures it adopts and, more importantly, by how closely aligned they are with the particular needs and requirements of that forum, accounting for its subject, overall aims, and participants. All posts to the ICANN Public Comment Forum must follow the ICANN Expected Standards of Behavior.

  • It should be noted first and foremost that the interactive forum is NOT a mailing list. The forum is focused entirely on encouraging constructive debate on particular proposals. The norms and procedures adopted on mailing lists may therefore not apply and should not be assumed.

  • ALL comments will be required to be relevant to the topic at hand in order to remain public. Any decent conversation veers off course every now and again but the overall focus of forum posts must remain on the precise proposals under discussion.

  • Abuse, slander, personal attack, or threats - personal, organisational, legal or otherwise – will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

  • Repetitious or vexatious posts will be removed.

  • Forum moderator(s) are entitled to fully or partially edit or remove any post, and apply restrictive measures on participants.

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."