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Application Round Opens for San Francisco Fellowships | Program ensures global representation at ICANN's International Public Meetings

MARINA DEL REY, Calif.: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is launching the 12th round of applications for the Fellowship program, to facilitate participation in ICANN's 40th International Public Meeting to be held San Francisco, California on 13-18 March 2011.

Over the last 10 meetings, the Fellowship program has proven to be a successful method of capacity building for the ICANN community, making sure global voices are heard in the wide variety of public forums that it holds. As CEO Rod Beckstrom said when addressing the Russian Internet Governance Forum in Moscow last May, "The Internet is a work in progress. It feeds and grows off ideas, and new ideas greatly affect its direction. Its most influential contributors are those who can see the possibilities that others don't. And the most powerful are those whose ideas trigger the imagination of others." We see the Fellowship program playing a major role in bringing those great ideas and idea makers into the Internet community.

Per the program charter, applicants must be citizens of economically eligible countries (ICANN uses the World Bank classification) and priority in selection is given to applicants who are current residents of the region that a ICANN meeting is being held in, as well as those who are active or interested in participating in ICANN and its supporting organizations and advisory committees. In this case, as the United States is not an economically eligible country, applicants from all other ICANN regions will be equally weighted (as long as applicant meets program minimum requirements). The Fellowship program will assist in covering airfare, hotel and a stipend. Recipients will be expected to actively participate in and contribute to ICANN processes, in and after the ICANN meeting. As always, registration for an ICANN meeting is free for anyone wanting to attend.

Applications for the meeting in San Francisco will be accepted from now until 1200 PDT (UTC -7) on 12 November 2010. More information, as well as a link to the application for a fellowship, is available online at: or email if you encounter a problem.

What Is ICANN?

To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet.

ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet's unique identifiers.

ICANN doesn't control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn't deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet's naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet.

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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."