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ICANN, TWNIC Host “Toward the New Era of Internet” in Taipei | Internationalized domain names, Internet security key topics at three-day meeting

MARINA DEL REY, Calif.: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is joining forces with the Taiwan Network Information Centre (TWNIC) to host a special regional meeting — “Toward the New Era of Internet” — in Taipei 19-21 October 2007.

“ICANN, TWNIC, and the global Internet community are tackling some of the most important issues impacting the Internet since its creation,” said Dr Paul Twomey, ICANN’s President and CEO. “This meeting is an opportunity for technical communities, Internet businesses, and policy makers from the Asia-Pacific to come together and share thoughts and ideas on how we can move forward together.”

Some of the meeting highlights include:

  • Internet security and the challenges it presents to governments, service providers, and end-users
  • The need for a migration to IPv6, with its 340 trillion trillion trillion Internet Protocol addresses, because of the depletion of the widely-used IPv4 space
  • One of the last official ICANN functions for Board Chair Vint Cerf, whose term ends at the Los Angeles International Public Meeting at the end of October.
  • ICANN’s progress on implementing internationalized domain names (IDNs), which have the goal of adding to the 37 characters presently available for domain names to tens of thousands of characters from many of the languages of the world.

“IDNs are going to change the face of the Internet when they arrive — it will give people the chance to register domain names with their names in their languages,” Dr Twomey added. “ICANN is about to launch a technical evaluation of the impact IDNs will have, and if all goes well internationalized domain names could be available sometime in 2008.”

Links to the agenda and registration for the Taipei meeting are online at: http://taipei2007.icann.org/.

About ICANN:

ICANN is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet's system of unique identifiers like domain names (like .org, .museum and country codes like .uk) and the addresses used in a variety of Internet protocols that help computers reach each other over the Internet. Careful management of these resources is vital to the Internet's operation, so ICANN's global stakeholders meet regularly to develop policies that ensure the Internet's ongoing security and stability. ICANN is an internationally organized, public benefit non-profit company. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.

Media Contacts:

Jason Keenan
Media Adviser, ICANN (USA)
Ph: +1 310 382 4004
E: jason.keenan@icann.org

International: Andrew Robertson
Edelman (London)
Ph: +44 7921 588 770
E: andrew.robertson@edelman.com


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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."