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Policy Update - The Policy Department invites you to receive monthly updates on ICANN policy development activities through a free online subscription to the ICANN Policy Update. To subscribe, simply visit the ICANN Subscriptions page, enter your e-mail address, and then click on the ICANN Policy Update. Issues of the Policy Update are also posted here for your information and reference.

SO/AC Organizations and Committees
  • Policy recommendations are formed and refined by the ICANN community through its Supporting Organizations (SOs) and influenced by Advisory Committees (ACs) – all comprised of volunteers from countries and territories – in a "bottom-up," open and transparent process.
  • Each Supporting Organization has its own specific process to conduct policy development. For the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) this is process is outlined in Annex A of the ICANN Bylaws, for the Country Code Supporting Organization (ccNSO) it is contained in Annex B of the ICANN Bylaws, for the Address Supporting Organization (ASO) it is laid out in the Memorandum of Understanding.
  • A sample of ICANN stakeholders includes companies that offer domain names to the public (registrars), companies that operate top-level domain registries (gTLD and ccTLD registries), Internet Service Providers, intellectual property interests, business users, non-commercial users (such as academics, non-governmental organizations, non-profits and consumer advocates), individual Internet users and governments.
  • For details of policy processes, please visit the respective SO/AC websites:
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."