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IDN Variant TLD Case Study Update - Host Organizations

The IDN variant TLDs issues project is dedicated to identify the issues that need to be solved to facilitate a good and safe user experience before the delegation of IDN Variant TLDs can proceed. Solving the issues identified in the project will be the focus of follow-on projects by ICANN policy development, implementation plans (produced by ICANN staff in consultation with the community), relevant technical work by IETF and other organizations, etc.

Following the successful formation and announcement of the six case study teams last week, the IDN Variant Issues Project is pleased to announce today that the following organizations have been selected to be the local hosts for each of the script case studies. Host organizations are expected to provide meeting and other facilities to support the case studies work. Host organization for each case study is as follows:

  • Arabic script: Qatar Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR)
  • Chinese script: Chinese Domain Name Consortium (CDNC)
  • Cyrillic script: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • Devanagari script: Department of Information Technology (DIT), Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India
  • Greek script: Institute of Computer Science of the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH-ICS)
  • Latin script: The Internet Infrastructure Foundation – Registry Operator for .SE

ICANN thanks all the organizations that made proposals to provide meeting and other facilities to support each of the six IDN Variant Issues Project case study teams.

Interested members of the community can receive updates and participate in the discussions of this work by subscribing to the mailing list ( or by visiting the ICANN Community wiki

Additional information:

On April 20, 2011, ICANN announced its approach to move forward with the IDN Variant TLDs Issues Project by publishing the Final Project Proposal. To see the list of volunteer members that were selected for each of the script case study teams, please see our previous announcement. These volunteers offer expertise in the following areas: DNS, IDNA, linguistics, security & scalability, policy, registry/registrar operations, and community representatives.

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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."