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SSAC Review (Final Report)

Open: 21 May 09
Closed: 28 June 09

Explanation: ICANN appointed JAS Communications as the consultants for the independent review of SSAC, the Security and Stability Advisory Committee. The consultants released their draft final report [PDF, 673 KB], which was presented and discussed at the ICANN Mexico City meeting. Slides used during the presentation and transcript of the discussion are available here.

A public comment period was then open to allow inputs from the community. Based on comments and feedbacks received from the community and the SSAC review Working Group, JAS Communications finalized their report to ICANN.

The final report of external reviewers is available in English [PDF, 745 KB]; further linguistic versions will follow shortly.

Comments on this version are now sought from the community; they will be taken into consideration by the SSAC review Working Group for the issuing of their recommendations to the Structural Improvements Committee and the Board.
Staff member responsible: Marco Lorenzoni

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