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Specific Reviews

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Specific Reviews are anchored in Article 4.6 of the ICANN Bylaws. They are conducted by community-led review teams which assess ICANN’s performance in reaching its commitments. Reviews are critical to helping ICANN achieve its mission as detailed in Article 1 of the Bylaws.

Here is a listing of the Specific Reviews and key resources for each:


Accountability and Transparency Review (ATRT)

Learn more about Review objectives, timeline and implementation progress on the ATRT Review Landing Page.

Find opportunities to participate and progress updates on the ATRT3 Wiki Workspace.


Security, Stability and Resiliency of the Domain Name System (DNS) Review (SSR)

Learn more about Review objectives, timeline and implementation progress on the SSR Review Landing Page.

Find opportunities to participate and progress updates on the SSR2 Wiki Workspace.


Registration Directory Service Policy Review, formerly known as “WHOIS” (RDS/WHOIS)

Learn more about Review objectives, timeline and implementation progress on the RDS/WHOIS Review Landing Page.

Find opportunities to participate and progress updates on the RDS/WHOIS2 Wiki Workspace.


Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice Review (CCT)

Learn more about Review objectives, timeline and implementation progress on the CCT Review Landing Page.

Find opportunities to participate and progress updates on the CCT Wiki Workspace.


A substantial amount of work goes into planning for each review and implementing the recommendation that they deliver. As a result, the time it takes to plan, execute, and implement review recommendations can take from 36 to 51 months.

Detailed Review Process Flow

Reviews follow a process of many steps with multiple stakeholders. To help make sense of it, we have broken down the process with a visual flow to help you connect the dots. Please click here to understand how Specific Reviews work.

Timing of Specific Reviews

ICANN Bylaws require that each of the Specific Reviews (except for the CCT Review) shall be conducted no less frequently than every five years measured from the date the previous review team was convened.  In the case of the CCT Review, ICANN Bylaws Section 4.6(d)(ii) dictate: “After a New gTLD Round has been in operation for one year, the Board shall cause a competition, consumer trust and consumer choice review as specified in this Section 4.6(d).

Additional Resources

• What is the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC)?

Historical Information on AoC Reviews

 
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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."