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Attention Domain Name System: Your 30-Year Scheduled Maintenance Is Overdue!

LOS ANGELES – 17 April 2018 – The Office of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is pleased to announce that the ICANN Domain Name System (DNS) Symposium (IDS 2018) will be held Friday, 13 July 2018, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It takes place back-to-back with this trimester's conference of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF 102). The theme for IDS 2018 is "Attention Domain Name System: Your 30-year scheduled maintenance is overdue."

The Domain Name System is well into its thirties. The DNS began as an exercise to improve the scaling properties of mapping host names on the ARPANET to Internet addresses, and to help decentralize email box names. In thirty years, we have evolved from the early experimentation and implementation of the formative domain name standards to a distributed name resolution system with millions of name servers that process billions of queries daily.

The DNS runs exceptionally well – most users think of it as rock solid. But perhaps the system could be made healthier, or could be improved to support further innovation. What if we put the DNS through a scheduled maintenance with the kind of full diagnostic assessment routinely recommended for high-performance vehicles?

For IDS 2018, we are extending an invitation to members of the research, academia, and operational communities. We'd like you to share experiences, data, or innovative thinking on how we might improve the DNS, or how we might foster innovation by adapting the DNS to support emerging identifier needs.

Symposium topics include:

  • Transport issues such as DNS over Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) and protocols for DNS beyond User Datagram Protocol (UDP).
  • Operational issues related to the DNS's maturity level, such as those stemming from scaling or protocol complexity.
  • Security issues relating to confidentiality, integrity, and authentication.
  • Role of the DNS in Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDOS) incidents and mechanisms for mitigation.
  • Use of the DNS for new applications and new useful DNS data types.
  • Emerging identifier systems and their competition and coexistence with the DNS.

We are soliciting proposals for presentations. Please send a one-paragraph description of your proposed topic to by 1 June 2018.

For more information, including schedule and venue information, please visit:


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

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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."