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Identifier Technology Health Indicators (ITHI)

During an open session at ICANN55 in Marrakech, ICANN unveiled a new initiative called Identifier Technology Health Indicators, or ITHI. This initiative is driven by Alain Durand, from ICANN's Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), under the leadership of ICANN's CTO, David Conrad.

The scope of this ITHI initiative is all the Internet unique identifiers that ICANN helps coordinate, as outlined in the framework of the ICANN 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, Section 2.1 to "foster and coordinate a healthy, secure, stable, and resilient identifier ecosystem."

The goal of ITHI is to develop metrics to measure the health of the Internet's unique identifier system that ICANN helps coordinate. As soon as those metrics are defined, ICANN will measure and track them over a substantive period of time to see the evolution of the "State of the Identifier Technology".

The ITHI initiative was broken into two major phases:

  1. In Phase 1, ICANN engaged with the various operational communities (Domain Names, Numbering Resources and Protocol Parameters) to define an initial set of metrics related to identifier technologies health indicators. Following SSAC 077 recommendation, this work started by working in collaboration with each operational community to take an in-depth look at the strategic risk they are facing related to identifier technologies.
  2. In Phase 2, where we stand now, ICANN is further refining those metrics with the various operational communities and publishing regular reports on the measurements associated with those metrics. This phase is a long-term, ongoing project.

ICANN has set-up a mailing list to host discussions about this initiative.

ITHI data

ITHI data is being collected. Please note the data is still very preliminary and as such is not published on ICANN public website. It is available on a password protected staging website.

Please contact to get access to the staging website if you are interested.

ITHI metric definition

ICANN has defined seven ITHI Metrics:

  1. M1: inaccuracy of Whois Data
  2. M2: Domain Name Abuse
  3. M3: DNS Root Traffic Analysis
  4. M4: DNS Recursive Server Traffic Analysis
  5. M5: Behavior of recursive resolvers in the DNS system
  6. M6: IANA registries for DNS parameters
  7. M7: DNSSEC Deployment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

For further information, please see our FAQ page.

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."