Delegation of the .الجزائر ("al-Jazair") domain representing Algeria in Arabic

ICANN has received a request to delegate the .الجزائر domain as a country-code top-level domain representing Algeria in Arabic to Centre de Recherche sur l’Information Scientifique et Technique, and provide this report for the ICANN Board of Directors to consider.

Factual Information

Country

The “DZ” ISO 3166-1 code, from which this application's eligibility derives, is designated for use to represent Algeria.

String

The domain under consideration for delegation at the DNS root level is “الجزائر”. This is represented in ASCII-compatible encoding according to the IDNA specification as “xn--lgbbat1ad8j”. The individual Unicode code points that comprise this string are U+0627 U+0644 U+062C U+0632 U+0627 U+0626 U+0631.

In Arabic language, the string has a meaning equivalent to “Algeria” in English. Its pronunciation in English is transliterated as “al-Jazair”. The string is expressed in Arabic script.

Chronology of events

Centre de Recherche sur l’Information Scientifique et Technique (CERIST) has been involved in the Internet in Algeria since it was first established in 1994. It has been responsible for the management of the .DZ top-level domain for Algeria since it was first delegated in 1995. It currently continues to manage the .DZ domain, providing free domain registration to any Algerian applicant.

On 5 August 2010, an application was made to the “IDN Fast Track” process to have the string “الجزائر” recognised as representing Algeria.

On 23 October 2010, review by the IDN Fast Track DNS Stability Panel found that “the applied-for strings ... present none of the threats to the stability or security of the DNS identified in [the IDN Fast Track implementation plan] ... and present an acceptably low risk of user confusion”. The request for the string to represent Algeria was subsequently approved.

On 9 December 2011, CERIST submitted an application to ICANN for the delegation of “الجزائر” as a top-level domain.

Proposed Sponsoring Organisation and Contacts

The proposed sponsoring organisation is Centre de Recherche sur l’Information Scientifique et Technique, an Algerian institution chartered to support Internet infrastructure and other ICT-related research in the country.

The proposed administrative contact is Nadjib Badache, the Director General of CERIST. The administrative contact is understood to be based in Algeria.

The proposed technical contact Aouaouche el-Maouhab, Manager of the DZ-NIC activity within CERIST.

Evaluation of the Request

String Eligibility

The top-level domain is eligible for delegation under ICANN policy, as the string has been deemed an appropriate representation of Algeria through the ICANN Fast Track String Selection process, and Algeria is presently listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.

Public Interest

Support for the application to delegate the domain was provided by Moussa Benhamadi, Minister of Post and Information and Communication Technology.

Support for the delegation has been provided Internet Society Algeria, an association created in 1999 to promote Internet usage in Algeria across government and the general public.

The application is consistent with known applicable local laws in Algeria.

The proposed sponsoring organisation undertakes to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner.

Based in country

The proposed sponsoring organisation is constituted in Algeria. The proposed administrative contact is understood to be resident in Algeria. The registry is to be operated in the country.

Stability

The application does not involve a transfer of domain operations from an existing domain registry, and therefore stability aspects relating to registry transfer have not been evaluated.

The application is not known to be contested.

Competency

The application has provided satisfactory details on the technical and operational infrastructure and expertise that will be used to operate the proposed new domain. Proposed policies for management of the domain have also been tendered.

Evaluation Procedure

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is tasked with managing the Domain Name System root zone as part of a set of functions governed by a contract with the U.S. Government. This includes managing the delegations of top-level domains.

A subset of top-level domains are designated for the local Internet communities in countries to operate in a way that best suits their local needs. These are known as country-code top-level domains, and are assigned by ICANN to responsible trustees (known as “Sponsoring Organisations”) who meet a number of public-interest criteria for eligibility. These criteria largely relate to the level of support the trustee has from their local Internet community, their capacity to ensure stable operation of the domain, and their applicability under any relevant local laws.

Through an ICANN department known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), requests are received for delegating new country-code top-level domains, and redelegating or revoking existing country-code top-level domains. An investigation is performed on the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and, when appropriate, the requests are implemented. Decisions on whether to implement requests are made by the ICANN Board of Directors, taking into account ICANN’s core mission of ensuring the stable and secure operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems.

Purpose of evaluations

The evaluation of eligibility for country-code top-level domains, and of evaluating responsible trustees charged with operating them, is guided by a number of principles. The objective of the assessment is that the action enhances the secure and stable operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems. The evolution of the principles has been documented in “Domain Name System Structure and Delegation” (RFC 1591), “Internet Domain Name System Structure and Delegation” (ICP-1), and other informational memoranda.

In considering requests to delegate or redelegate country-code top-level domains, input is sought regarding the proposed new Sponsoring Organisation, as well as from persons and organisations that may be significantly affected by the change, particularly those within the nation or territory to which the ccTLD is designated.

The assessment is focussed on the capacity for the proposed sponsoring organisation to meet the following criteria:

Method of evaluation

To assess these criteria, information is requested from the applicant regarding the proposed sponsoring organisation and method of operation. In summary, a request template is sought specifying the exact details of the delegation being sought in the root zone. In addition, various documentation is sought describing: the views of the local internet community on the application; the competencies and skills of the trustee to operate the domain; the legal authenticity, status and character of the proposed trustee; and the nature of government support fort he proposal. The view of any current trustee is obtained, and in the event of a redelegation, the transfer plan from the previous sponsoring organisation to the new sponsoring organisation is also assessed with a view to ensuring ongoing stable operation of the domain.

After receiving this documentation and input, it is analysed in relation to existing root zone management procedures, seeking input from parties both related to as well as independent of the proposed sponsoring organisation should the information provided in the original application be deficient. The applicant is given the opportunity to cure any deficiencies before a final assessment is made.

Once all the documentation has been received, various technical checks are performed on the proposed sponsoring organisation’s DNS infrastructure to ensure name servers are properly configured and are able to respond to queries for the top-level domain being requested. Should any anomalies be detected, ICANN staff will work with the applicant to address the issues.

Assuming all issues are resolved, an assessment is compiled providing all relevant details regarding the proposed sponsoring organisation and its suitability to operate the top-level domain being requested. This assessment is submitted to ICANN’s Board of Directors for its determination on whether to proceed with the request.