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Fellowship Application Round Opens for ICANN International Public Meeting 44 in Prague, Czech Republic | Program Ensures Global Representation at ICANN's Public Meetings

MARINA DEL REY, California: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is now accepting online applications for the 16th round of the Fellowship program. Successful candidates will participate in the ICANN meeting to be held in Prague, Czech Republic from 24-29 June 2012.

The Fellowship program is open to applicants who are current residents of developing and least developed nations and interested in participating in ICANN and its supporting organizations, constituencies and stakeholder groups. Priority is given to individuals new to the ICANN environment from government and the ccTLD community, as well as those from academic, civil, business and non-profit entities, which are NOT involved in or associated with other ICANN supported travel programs. The program provides the support and opportunity for these participants to gain knowledge on how to have their voices heard in the Internet community and ICANN. More information regarding terms and conditions, as well as eligibility is available online at http://www.icann.org/en/fellowships/ or email at fellowships@icann.org regarding any questions about this process or program.

The Fellowship program arranges the airfare, hotel and a stipend for those individuals selected to participate in this ICANN meeting. Recipients are expected to actively participate in and contribute to ICANN processes, both at the meeting and in the future. As always, registration for ICANN's meetings is free for anyone wanting to attend.

Applications for the meeting in Prague will be accepted from 00:00 UTC on 7 January 2012 until 00:00 UTC on 20 February 2012. Successful candidates will be posted on the ICANN Fellowship webpage by 6 April 2012.

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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."