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ICANN's Global Expansion

ICANN History

Since its foundation, ICANN has committed to ensuring that the global Internet user community has a voice in decisions affecting the Internet's technical management. Today, ICANN is a global forum for policy development and coordination of Internet’s unique identifiers.

This track of the ICANN History Project sheds light on ICANN’s efforts to embrace and support geographic, cultural, and linguistic diversity.

Interviews illustrate how ICANN’s governance, operations, and community evolved and grew—and continue to do so—through the multistakeholder model and the dedication of its volunteers and others.


Nii Quaynor | Olga Cavalli | Chris Disspain | Aziz Hilali | Stuart Lynn | Patricio Poblete | Vanda Scartezini | Bruce Tonkin

Nii Quaynor on ICANN's Global Expansion

Interview with Nii Quaynor, ICANN Board Member (2000-2003)

Olga Cavalli on ICANN's Global Expansion

Interview with Olga Cavalli, Governmental Advisory Committee Representative for Argentina since 2002.


Chris Disspain on ICANN's Global Expansion

Interview with Chris Disspain, ICANN Vice Chair (2017-2019), ICANN Board Member (2011-2020), Chair of ICANN's country code Names Supporting Organization (2004 -2011)

Aziz Hilali on ICANN's Global Expansion

Interview with Aziz Hilali, African Regional At-Large Organization Chair (2012-2016)

Stuart Lynn on ICANN's Global Expansion

Interview with Stuart Lynn, ICANN CEO (2001-2003)

Patricio Poblete on ICANN's Global Expansion

Interview with Patricio Poblete, ccNSO Councillor (2004-2018)

Vanda Scartezini on ICANN's Global Expansion

Interview with Vanda Scartezini, Governmental Advisory Committee Representative for Brazil (2000-2004)

Bruce Tonkin on ICANN's Global Expansion

Interview with Bruce Tonkin, ICANN Board Member (2007-2016)

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."