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Affirmation of Responsibilities for ICANN's Private Sector Management

Approved by the ICANN Board of Directors
25 September 2006

ICANN shall continue in its commitment to the private sector management of the Internet DNS, by promoting the security and stability of the global Internet, while maintaining and promoting competition through its multi-stakeholder model.

ICANN hereby affirms and agrees to be guided by the following responsibilities:

  1. Security and Stability: ICANN shall coordinate, at the overall level, the global Internet's systems of unique identifiers, and in particular to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems.

  2. Transparency: ICANN shall continue to develop, test and improve processes and procedures to encourage improved transparency, accessibility, efficiency, and timeliness in the consideration and adoption of policies related to technical coordination of the Internet DNS, and funding for ICANN operations. ICANN will innovate and aspire to be a leader in the area of transparency for organizations involved in private sector management.

  3. Accountability: ICANN shall continue to develop, test, maintain, and improve on accountability mechanisms to be responsive to global Internet stakeholders in the consideration and adoption of policies related to the technical coordination of the Internet DNS, including continuing to improve openness and accessibility for enhanced participation in ICANN's bottom-up participatory policy development processes.

  4. Root Server Security and Relationships: ICANN shall continue to coordinate with the operators of root name servers and other appropriate experts with respect to the operational and security matters, both physical and network, relating to the secure and stable coordination of the root zone; ensure appropriate contingency planning; maintain clear processes in root zone changes. ICANN will work to formalize relationships with root name server operators.

  5. TLD Management: ICANN shall maintain and build on processes to ensure that competition, consumer interests, and Internet DNS stability and security issues are identified and considered in TLD management decisions, including the consideration and implementation of new TLDs and the introduction of IDNs. ICANN will continue to develop its policy development processes, and will further develop processes for taking into account recommendations from ICANN's advisory committees and supporting organizations and other relevant expert advisory panels and organizations. ICANN shall continue to enforce existing policy relating to WHOIS, such existing policy requires that ICANN implement measures to maintain timely, unrestricted and public access to accurate and complete WHOIS information, including registrant, technical, billing and administrative contact information. ICANN shall continue its efforts to achieve stable agreements with country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) operators.

  6. Multi-stakeholder Model: ICANN shall maintain and improve multi-stakeholder model and the global participation of all stakeholders, including conducting reviews of its existing advisory committees and supporting organizations, and will continue to further the effectiveness of the bottom-up policy development processes. ICANN will strive to increase engagement with the Private Sector by developing additional mechanisms for involvement of those affected by the ICANN policies.

  7. Role of Governments: ICANN shall work with the Government Advisory Committee Members to review the GAC's role within ICANN so as to facilitate effective consideration of GAC advice on the public policy aspects of the technical coordination of the Internet.

  8. IP Addressing: ICANN shall continue to work collaboratively on a global and regional level so as to incorporate Regional Internet Registries' policy-making activities into the ICANN processes while allowing them to continue their technical work. ICANN shall continue to maintain legal agreements with the RIRs (and such other appropriate organizations) reflecting this work.

  9. Corporate Responsibility: ICANN shall maintain excellence and efficiency in operations, including good governance, organizational measures to maintain stable, international private sector organization, and shall maintain relevant technical and business experience for members of the Board of Directors, executive management, and staff. ICANN will implement appropriate mechanisms that foster participation in ICANN by global Internet stakeholders, such as providing educational services and fostering information sharing for constituents and promoting best practices among industry segments.

  10. Corporate Administrative Structure: ICANN shall conduct a review of, and shall make necessary changes in, corporate administrative structure to ensure stability, including devoting adequate resources to contract enforcement, taking into account organizational and corporate governance "best practices."

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."