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Announcement | Letter of Intent by ICANN and the NRO

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Number Resource Organization (NRO) are pleased to announce the signing of a letter of intent concerning a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two organizations.

The ASO's responsibilities include the coordination of global policy development for IP address allocation in conjunction with the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), APNIC (Asia and Pacific), ARIN (North America), RIPE NCC (Europe and the Middle-East), LACNIC (Latin America and the Caribbean), and AfriNIC (observer/future RIR).

The ASO and ICANN's two other supporting organizations, the GNSO (Generic Names Supporting Organization) and ccNSO (Country Code Names Supporting Organization), along with ICANN's advisory committees, form the core of ICANN's open, transparent, and inclusive system for the coordination and development of technical policy for the global Internet's systems of unique identifiers.

Final approval of the MoU by ICANN and the RIRs is contingent upon public comment periods to be administered by each of the parties. Comments can be submitted to ICANN by sending an email to <aso-mou-comments@icann.org>. The archive of comments is available at <http://forum.icann.org/lists/aso-mou-comments/>.


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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."