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Message from Louis Touton to Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi

Mr. Sharil Tarmizi
Chair, Governmental Advisory Committee

Dear Sharil,

Article XI, Section 2(1)(h) of ICANN's bylaws states:

h. The Board shall notify the Chair of the Governmental Advisory Committee in a timely manner of any proposal raising public policy issues on which it or any of ICANN's supporting organizations or advisory committees seeks public comment, and shall take duly into account any timely response to that notification prior to taking action.

At its meeting on 27 March 2003, the ICANN Board considered the Final Report and Recommendations of the GNSO Council's Transfers Task Force (Policies and Processes for Gaining and Losing Registrars). This report contains 29 numbered paragraphs that the GNSO Council has recommended to the Board for adoption as consensus policies. The recommendations are posted at <>.

The ICANN Board concluded that GNSO Council recommendations stated in the final report may involve public policy issues. Accordingly, the Board voted to notify you, as Chair of the Governmental Advisory Committee, that the Board is considering adoption of the policies recommended in the Final Report of the GNSO Transfers Task Force, and to invite any comment the Governmental Advisory Committee may have.

The Board intends to act on the GNSO Council's recommendation to adopt the recommendations in the Final Report of the GNSO Transfers Task Force at its next meeting, anticipated to be held by teleconference in late April 2003. Accordingly, it would be helpful before then if you could either provide any concerns the GAC may have, or to indicate that the GAC chooses not to comment in this instance.

Thank you, as always, for your assistance.

Best regards,


Louis Touton
ICANN Secretary

cc:   Christopher Wilkinson, Secretariat, Governmental Advisory Committee
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."