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ASAP: Internationalized Country Code Top-Level Domains | ICANN holding briefing on IDN ccTLD fast-track process at Internet Governance Forum

RIO DE JANEIRO: Getting country-code Top Level Domains up and running in scripts from local languages through a fast-track process will be explained at an information session being held at the Internet Governance Forum this Wednesday in Rio.

The session, put on by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO), will provide interested governments and Internet communities with information on the work being done to get Internationalized ccTLDs — the part of the domain name after the dot — up and running as quickly as possible.

"A lot of hard work has been done on IDNs — and there is a technical evaluation of their impact on the root zone going on as we speak. The next step is to develop the policies that will see the creation of new top-level domains in characters from the languages of the world," said Chris Disspain, ccNSO chair. "The goal behind the fast-track process is to find a way to represent territory identifications in their local languages in operation as ccTLDs as quickly as possible in the areas of highest need, without impacting the long term policy process for the full implementation of IDNs across the globe."

The idea of an Internationalized Domain Names (IDNC) working group was put forward by the ccNSO council and approved by ICANN’s board at the Los Angeles meeting that wrapped up earlier this month.

Details on the session:
Date: Wednesday 14 November 2007
Time: 10:30 am to noon
Location: Imperial Room

"This fast-track process will really be driven by those who want to take part and get their name in their language on their Internet in their country," Disspain added.

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
Mobile : +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."