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Draft Final Report of the Internationalized Registration Data Working Group

Comment Period Deadlines (*) Important Information Links
Public Comment Box
Open Date: 3 October 2011 To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Close Date: 17 November 2011 Time (UTC): 23:59 View Comments Submitted
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose
ICANN is seeking public comments on the draft Final Report [PDF, 437 KB] of the joint SSAC-GNSO Working Group on Internationalized Registration Data (IRD-WG). This draft Final Report studies the feasibility and suitability of introducing display specifications to deal with the internationalization of registration data and finds that it is feasible to introduce submission and display specifications to deal with Internationalized Domain Name Registration Data and recommends a series of next steps that could be undertaken to address further the technical and policy issues identified in this report, including a recommendation that the GNSO Council request an Issue Report on the policy questions raised in this report. Following the close of this comment period, the IRD-WG, will discuss and consider all of the comments received and prepare a Final Report, which will then be considered by both chartering organizations, the SSAC and the GNSO Council.
Section II: Background

On 26 June 2009 the Board of Directors of the Internet Corporate for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved a resolution (2009.06.26.18: http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-26jun09.htm#6) requesting that the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) and the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC), in consultation with staff, convene an Internationalized Registration Data Working Group (IRD-WG) comprised of individuals with knowledge, expertise, and experience in these areas to study the feasibility and suitability of introducing display specifications to deal with the internationalization of registration data.

The Board further directed the IRD-WG to solicit input from interested constituencies including country code top level domain (ccTLD) operators and the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) during its discussions to ensure broad community input. Subsequently, the SSAC and the GNSO formed the IRD-WG to study the feasibility and suitability of introducing specifications to deal with the submission and display of internationalized registration data.

The IRD-WG produced an Interim Report requesting community input on several questions relating to possible models for internationalizing Domain Name Registration Data. See http://gnso.icann.org/issues/ird/ird-wg-final-report-15nov10-en.pdf [PDF, 686 KB]. Now the IRD-WG has provided a draft Final Report in response to the Board's request. The IRD-WG interprets the Board's request as two broad issues and related questions:

  1. Suitability issues:
    • Is it suitable (or desirable) to internationalize Domain Name Registration Data?
    • If so, what data element is suitable to be internationalized?
    • Is it suitable to introduce submission and display specifications to deal with the internationalization of Registration Data?
  2. Feasibility issues:
    • Is the current WHOIS system capable of handling the query and display of internationalized Domain Name Registration Data?
    • Is it feasible to introduce submission and display specifications to deal with internationalized Domain Name Registration Data?

The draft Final Report discusses terminology, background on Domain Name Registration Data, data elements, WHOIS protocol, and current practices by gTLD and ccTLD registries and registrars. In addition, the draft Final Report finds that it is feasible to introduce submission and display specifications to deal with internationalized Domain Name Registration Data and recommends a series of next steps that could be undertaken to address further the technical and policy issues identified in this report, including a recommendation that the GNSO Council request an Issue Report on the policy questions raised in this report. The Issue Report would consider whether it is desirable to translate contact information to a single common language or transliterate contact information to a single common script, and who should bear the burden and would be in the best position to address these issues. ICANN staff is seeking comments on this draft Final Report, particularly its findings and recommendations: http://gnso.icann.org/issues/ird/ird-draft-final-report-03oct11-en.pdf [PDF, 437 KB]

Section III: Document and Resource Links
  1. 26 June 2009 the Board of Directors of the Internet Corporate for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved a resolution (2009.06.26.18: http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-26jun09.htm#6) directing the establishment of the IRD-WG.
  2. IRD-WG Interim Report [PDF, 686 KB]
  3. IRD-WG draft Final Report [PDF, 437 KB]
Section IV: Additional Information
None
Staff Contact: Julie Hedlund Email: julie.hedlund@icann.org

(*) 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.


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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."