ICANN is forming a technical group to study how to apply the Root Zone Label Generation Rules (RZ-LGR) for the Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) and IDN generic top-level domains (gTLDs). The study group will be composed of technical subject matter experts on IDNs and the RZ-LGR from the Supporting Organizations (SOs), the Advisory Committees (ACs) and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). The ICANN Board will consider recommendations developed by this study group to determine next steps.
Expert’s nominations should be emailed to IDNProgram@icann.org by 28 February 2018
IDN TLDs have been a priority for the ICANN Board for several years, based on the input from the community. The variant labels for IDN TLDs have been an important component for some script communities. Therefore, in 2010, the ICANN Board asked the ICANN org and the community to investigate feasible approaches for variant labels of IDN TLDs, while putting the variant TLDs on hold until the work was completed.
In 2012, the community examined various case studies for six scripts.The examination noted in the Integrated Issues Report [PDF, 2.15 MB], that there were two items to be addressed: (1) there was no universally acceptable definition of what may constitute a variant relationship between IDN TLD labels at the time; and (2) there was no variant management mechanism defined. Following this report, the ICANN org and the community developed the Procedure to Develop and Maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in Respect of IDNA Labels [PDF, 1.39 MB] (RZ-LGR Procedure). This procedure defined what constitutes a variant relationship between IDN TLD labels. in 2013, the ICANN Board endorsed this procedure and asked the ICANN org and community to undertake it.
To date Arabic, Armenian, Cyrillic, Ethiopic, Georgian, Khmer, Korean, Lao and Thai script GPs have completed and submitted their RZ-LGR proposals. From these, Arabic, Ethiopic, Georgian, Khmer, Lao and Thai scripts have already been integrated into the second version of the RZ-LGR. Many of the remaining script communities are now in the process of finalizing their work.
With the availability of the RZ-LGR, the ICANN Board is now asking the ICANN community to recommend how to apply the RZ-LGR in a harmonized way to IDN TLDs in order to address the first item noted in the Integrated Issues Report [PDF, 2.15 MB], as a prerequisite to determine possible variant management mechanism.
Study Group Expertise and Composition
The study group members should have expertise in one or more of the following areas relevant for the IDN TLD labels.
- IDNA2008, RFC 6912 and RFC 7940
- Procedure to Develop and Maintain Root Zone Label Generation Rules
- Script-based RZ-LGR proposal development
- Technical evaluation for IDN new gTLDs and IDN ccTLDs
- Unicode security considerations
- IDN TLD usability challenges
The group will tentatively be composed of ten members: GNSO (2), ccNSO (2), SSAC (2), ALAC (2) and IAB (2).
Tentative Scope of Work
The study group will address the following topics focused on applying the RZ-LGR for existing and future IDN TLDs from a technical perspective. As appropriate, the study group may add more relevant topics.
- Validation of future TLDs using RZ-LGR
- Definition of variant TLDs and their disposition based on RZ-LGR and whether policy could further reduce allocatable variant TLDs
- Application of RZ-LGR on reserved IDN TLD labels
- Harmonized application of RZ-LGR across IDN TLDs, including IDN gTLDs and IDN ccTLDs
- Remaining requirements of security and stability evaluation of future IDN TLDs by the DNS Stability Panel after applying RZ-LGR
*This study is not intended to review the RZ-LGR Procedure developed by the community and endorsed by the ICANN Board.
Tentative Work Plan
Tentative steps and timeline are listed below:
- Formation – March 2018
- Analysis and identification of relevant issues – May 2018
- Development of recommendations – August 2018
- Finalization based on public comment – September 2018
- Publication – October 2018
The group is anticipated to meet on a weekly basis and finalize the report in a period of six months.
ICANN‘s mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.
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