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U.S. Commerce Secretary Pledges to Protect a Free and Open Internet

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, addressing attendees at the opening ceremony of ICANN's 51st public meeting in Los Angeles, declared unwavering support for the United States government's decision to transfer stewardship of the IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community and not to any one single organization.

"Let me be clear about this. The United States will not allow the global Internet to be co-opted by any person, entity or nation seeking to substitute their parochial world view for the collective wisdom of this community," said Pritzker.

More than 2,300 members of the global multistakeholder community have come together in Los Angeles, California, for ICANN's 51st public meeting to discuss the future of the organization.

"If we don't strive to improve our governance and accountability at all times, and especially this time, we will not gain and maintain the confidence of the world," said Fadi Chehadé, President and CEO of ICANN. "ICANN's leadership, the ICANN board and the ICANN community are committed to the best possible governance and accountability mechanisms there are."

ICANN Board Chair Dr. Stephen Crocker spoke about ICANN's priorities, saying, "Throughout the organization we are sincerely concerned about transparency, about accountability, and we work assiduously trying to improve."

The IANA Stewardship Coordination Group (ICG) will be meeting during the week to continue their discussion on how the NTIA will go about transitioning its stewardship of the IANA functions to the Internet community.

"We have to get this transition right," said Pritzker. "Make no mistake: I stand by ICANN. I am all in when it comes to the global debate over Internet governance. And we will preserve and protect a free and open Internet."

Those attending ICANN51 or participating remotely are highly encouraged to join and watch the ICG's meeting. Details for doing so can be found at http://la51.icann.org/en/schedule/fri-icg.

ICANN also announced the winner of the 2014 Leadership Award – Jonathan Robinson, Chair of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO). The Leadership Award recognizes ICANN community members who demonstrate leadership in protecting and promoting the multistakeholder model.

The GNSO recommends changes to existing policy and develops new policy for generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs). To learn more about the GNSO, go to http://gnso.icann.org/en/.

To learn more about ICANN 51 in Los Angeles, please visit: http://la51.icann.org

To download high-resolution photos of the meeting, please visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/icann


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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."