We All Have A Responsibility to Combat Systemic Racism and Injustice

We’ve all witnessed the protests taking place around the world calling for equal justice and the end to systemic racism. These are core principles and global issues that ICANN strongly supports and are part of our very ethos. We have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind and are committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for Black people and people of color.

ICANN is entrusted with ensuring the stability, resiliency, and interoperability of the Internet’s unique identifier systems, and we believe in an open Internet where everyone can connect. The events of the past few weeks remind us all that the Internet and access to information is a powerful tool to shed light on racial bias and injustice, and to facilitate initiatives that bring people together to work for change, both locally and globally.

Within the ICANN organization, we are taking actions to hold the organization accountable. We are committed to better understanding the many dimensions of diversity and inclusion, so that we may establish a set of guiding principles. We will open a facilitated dialogue to support our employees, to ensure that racial bias and discrimination, or bias of any kind, have no place in our workforce. We need to be comfortable having uncomfortable conversations so that we can address the unconscious and conscious ways in which systemic racism is perpetuated. We need to listen more to Black people and people of color to learn about how these issues impact them each and every day. And we need to continue to take meaningful actions to address inequality.

ICANN stands with our global community, as we continue to enable inclusive and diverse participation in ICANN processes so that we improve global representation in how ICANN policies are formed. There are efforts, such as the diversity recommendations out of Work Stream 2 of the Cross-Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability, that are awaiting implementation. However, implementation of those recommendations is just a starting point.

Lasting change doesn’t happen overnight; it requires work and attitudinal transformations from all of us to truly embrace diversity and inclusion in our global community. The Expected Standard of Behavior and ICANN Anti-Harassment Policy are the guideposts by which we need to conduct ourselves, and they also reveal who we want to be as a community, in the spirit of mutual respect.
Domain Name SystemInternationalized 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.”

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