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Helping Protect the DNS

ICANN’s response to DNS abuse is multifaceted, reflecting the need to address abuse within the constraints of ICANN’s Bylaws and policies. President & CEO Göran Marby’s new blog outlines our efforts.

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News and Announcements

Information Transparency Initiative Update

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The Information Transparency team released a preview of the improved ICANN website. This "test" site gives you an opportunity to see and experiment with some of the content types the ITI team has been working on and allows you to become familiar with the new search experience. Click the title to read more and access the preview site.

Brief Overview of the Root Server System

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Did you know that a root server answers the first questions in the process of translating domain names into IP addresses or other data used in the operation of the Internet? Learn more about the Root Server System with this new publication from the Office of the CTO (OCTO). Click the title to read the document, soon available in all UN languages.

An Update from the 2020 NomCom

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The 2020 NomCom is working to find the most qualified candidates for open leadership positions. They are working closely with the ICANN Board and org to mitigate issues that arise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click the title above to learn more.

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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"""" is not an IDN."