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ICANN Announces Whois Workshop Planning Committee for Montréal

Marina del Rey, California USA (5 June 2003): ICANN President and CEO Paul Twomey today announced the appointment of a Workshop Planning Committee to help coordinate a workshop on Whois and related issues at ICANN's meeting later this month in Montréal, Canada. The President's Whois Workshop Committee includes the following recognized leaders in this subject:

  • Elana Broitman
  • Marilyn Cade
  • Steve Crocker
  • Sabine Dolderer
  • Robin Layton
  • Michael Palage
  • George Papapavlou
  • Mike Roberts (Chair)
  • Thomas Roessler

The Whois workshop is intended to initiate a period of discussion within the ICANN community on Whois and related privacy and other issues. The workshop is being held in response to a request from the GNSO Council, and in cooperation with the GAC's work program. Current plans call for a two-part workshop, scheduled for the mornings of Tuesday, 24 June 2003, and Wednesday, 25 June 2003.

For additional details on the ICANN meetings in Montréal, Canada (22-26 June 2003), please visit <http://www.icann.org/montreal/>.

The meetings will be hosted by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). CIRA has posted additional information regarding the area, the meeting, and local hotels at <http://www.icannmontreal.ca/>.


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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."