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Draft Roadmap to Implement SAC 051

Comment/Reply Periods (*) Important Information Links
Comment Open: 18 February 2012
Comment Close: 18 March 2012
Close Time (UTC): 23:59 Public Comment Announcement
Reply Open: 19 March 2012 To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Reply Close: 8 April 2012 View Comments Submitted
Close Time (UTC): 23:59 Report of Public Comments
Brief Overview
Originating Organization: Stakeholder Relations
Categories/Tags: WHOIS
Purpose (Brief): To receive community feedback on the proposed draft roadmap to implement SAC 051.
Current Status: As requested by the ICANN Board, ICANN would like to propose the following roadmap for the coordination of the technical and policy discussions necessary to implement the recommendations outlined in SAC 051.
Next Steps:

As requested by the Board resolution, ICANN will post this draft Roadmap for community consultation, requesting community input on the scope, timing, utility, challenges, and ways to overcome those challenges that should also be considered.

Staff will be conducting a public workshop on the draft roadmap in Costa Rica as a further means of consulting with the community. In order to allow extensive time for community dialogue and comment, it is envisioned to have two public comment periods allowing the draft Roadmap to evolve with the input received. Following that, the report will be finalized for Board and community action by the Prague meeting in June 2012.

Staff Contact: Kurt Pritz Email: kurt.pritz@icann.org
Detailed Information
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose
As requested by the ICANN Board, ICANN would like to propose the following roadmap for the coordination of the technical and policy discussions necessary to implement the recommendations outlined in SAC 051. This roadmap, including the preliminary recommendations, is published for community input and feedback. Following review of the comments received as part of the public comment forum as well as community consultation in Costa Rica, this roadmap will be updated accordingly and submitted to the ICANN Board for its consideration.
Section II: Background

Created in the 1980s, Whois began as a service used by Internet operators to identify individuals or entities responsible for the operation of a network resource on the Internet. The Whois service has since evolved into a tool used for many purposes. However, as usage of Whois service evolved, few changes have been made to the protocol that supports the service. As a result, there is growing concern that the protocol would not meet the need of the community.

Beginning in 2002, ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) published various advisories describing deficiencies related to the WHOIS protocol, service and data schema, most recently SAC 051: SSAC Report on Domain Name WHOIS Terminology and Structure. SAC 051 summarizes the previous advisories, and among other things, recommends that the ICANN community evaluate and adopt a replacement protocol.

Recognizing its concerns with the WHOIS protocol deficiencies, on 28 October 2011, the ICANN Board approved a resolution directing staff to produce, in consultation with the community, a roadmap for the coordination of the technical and policy discussions necessary to implement the recommendations outlined in SAC 051.

Section III: Document and Resource Links
February 18 Draft Roadmap SAC 051 [PDF, 214 KB]
Section IV: Additional Information
None

(*) Comments submitted after the posted Close Date/Time are not guaranteed to be considered in any final summary, analysis, reporting, or decision-making that takes place once this period lapses.

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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."