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ICANN Hires DNS Expert to Lead Research

Matt Larson Joins ICANN as Vice President of Research

Matt Larson, an expert in Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure and security, has joined the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) as Vice President of Research.

"We are incredibly excited to have Matt on our team," said David Conrad, Chief Technology Officer. "An industry veteran, he brings to ICANN over twenty-five years of experience in designing and operating critical DNS architecture and developing and implementing innovative research programs."

Larson comes to ICANN from Dyn, where he worked as their Chief Technology Officer, focused on engineering and technical architecture. He has also worked for Verisign and Hewlett-Packard, and served as Chairman of the Board of the DNS Operations, Analysis and Research Center (DNS-OARC) and Vice Chair of ICANN's Root Server System Advisory Council (RSSAC).

Matt will lead a team of researchers to develop ICANN's research strategy. Building a world-class research competency is part of the office of the CTO's larger efforts to constantly improve knowledge about the identifiers ICANN helps coordinate.

He has written three books on the DNS, including DNS on Windows Server 2003 and DNS on Windows, and is a co-host of the "Ask Mr. DNS Podcast". He currently resides in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife and two children, and works out of ICANN's Washington, D.C. Engagement Center.


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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."