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ICANN History Project Explores the Early Days of ICANN

LOS ANGELES – 19 October 2017 – ICANN is pleased to announce the unveiling of the second track of the ICANN History – The Early Days of ICANN.

The ICANN History Project captures stories from those who shaped ICANN's past and its evolution over time. We're presenting the project through thematic tracks so you can delve into the topics that interest you most.

The first track of the project focuses on ICANN's relationship with the United States Government. The second track focuses on the early days of ICANN –  events leading up to the organization's formation, including its earliest years of operation.

To learn more, visit There, you'll find an interactive timeline and video interviews with key figures such as ICANN's first CEO, Mike Roberts; ICANN's first Board Chair, Esther Dyson; and some of the first members of the ICANN community and organization.

If you want to contribute your own memories of ICANN's early technical, legal, political, business, and structural evolution, please send us a link to your blogs, videos, or pictures via Twitter using the hashtag #ICANNHistory.

If you have any questions, please email us at


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

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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."