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ICANN Appoints Security Committee Chair

Marina del Rey, California, USA (11 February 2002) - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced the appointment of Dr. Stephen Crocker as chair of its newly formed Standing Committee on Security and Stability. The committee, also to be known as the ICANN Security Committee, will focus on the security of the Internet's naming and address allocation systems. The ICANN Board had directed ICANN President Stuart Lynn to appoint this committee at ICANN's special security meeting held last November.

"I am delighted that someone of Dr. Crocker's stature and experience has accepted this challenging task," Lynn noted. "The committee will have a key role in working with ICANN constituencies to assess where the principal DNS security risks lie; and in advising the Board on priorities for further actions within the scope of ICANN's responsibilities."

Dr. Crocker is an Internet pioneer who helped develop protocols for the original Arpanet and who organized the forerunner of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). He has been a program manager at the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), and has worked at the USC Information Sciences Institute and the Aerospace Corporation (where he founded the Computer Sciences Laboratory). He was a co-founder and CTO of CyberCash Inc., and was co-founder and president of Longitude Systems.

Dr. Crocker was recently awarded the 2002 IEEE Internet Award for his early work on the Internet. He holds a B.A. and Ph.D. from UCLA.

The first order of business for the Committee will be to advise the president on its proposed charter. This charter will be submitted to the ICANN Board for approval.

The Committee membership is in the process of being completed. The membership is being widely drawn from across ICANN's diverse constituency organizations and includes outside experts.

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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."