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ICANN and OAS to Work Together to Increase Regional Cyber-Security

Joint effort is a critical aspect of recently signed Memorandum of Understanding

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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) through their Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism of the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security (CICTE/OAS), have agreed to work cooperatively on bolstering regional cyber-security in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Both organizations expressed mutual recognition for the significant work each do within their respective remits towards enhancing the security of the Internet, including the implementation of the OAS "Adoption of Comprehensive Inter-American Strategy to Combat Threats to Cyber-Security: A multi-dimensional approach to creating a culture of cyber security," and the work done by ICANN aimed at enhancing the operational stability, reliability, resiliency, security and global interoperability of the Domain Name System (DNS). Further, the two organizations underscored the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to join efforts in several areas of common interest related to cyber security issues.

Fadi Chehadé, ICANN President and CEO, highlighted the significance of this MoU signed with OAS, which seeks to increase cooperation and collaboration between both organizations in cyber security issues: "The secure and stable coordination of the Internet's system of unique identifiers is part of ICANN's core mission and we certainly understand the need to continue to strengthen cooperation among all cyber security stakeholders," said Chehadé. "I see this MoU as a significant step in strengthening that coordination."

When referring to the MoU, both ICANN and OAS expressed their belief that cooperation and collaboration between the organizations would further common objectives related to cyber-security issues, promote regional collaboration, strengthen active participation in ICANN's policy-making processes and enhance support for the multistakeholder model of Internet governance.


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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."