Skip to main content

About the ICANN History Project

ICANN History

The ICANN History Project explores the key events in ICANN’s growth, from its birth to its current day status. This project seeks to preserve the organization’s institutional memory by capturing stories from key figures who helped shape ICANN’s past and present. On the History Project pages you will find documents, pictures and videos that helped frame ICANN’s history, and interactive timelines presenting the chronology of significant events.

The video and audio interviews that are posted are largely unedited. Furthermore, ICANN is not presenting a final narrative, to avoid taking a perspective or angle on the posted materials, so that you can draw your own conclusions.

Because the history of ICANN is multifaceted, composed of many different threads, this project is presented through tracks or themes. As the History Project matures, more tracks will be added. This is very much a “living” project that will constantly be evolving and expanding.

Share your ICANN memories with us! If you were you part of one of the subjects explored in ICANN’s History Project, send us a link to your blog, video or pictures via Twitter using #ICANNHistory. For questions about ICANN’s History Project, please contact us at

Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial 
Authors, documentarians, historians and others who might want to use or repurpose the interviews and materials may do so pursuant to a Creative Commons License under which the materials are being published.
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."