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Final Proposed Draft v. 4.0 of the IDN Guidelines

LOS ANGELES – 10 May 2018 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (lCANN) today announced the release of the Final Proposed Draft version 4.0 [PDF, 486 KB] of Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) Implementation Guidelines. This draft is currently pending ratification from the ICANN Board of Directors.

The IDN Implementation Guidelines relate to the IDN registration policies and practices, designed to minimize the risk of cybersquatting and consumer confusion. Following the Call for Community Experts, the IDN Guidelines Working Group (IDNGWG) was formed in October 2015 to review the current version (3.0) of the IDN Implementation Guidelines, last updated in 2011.

While developing these Guidelines, the IDNGWG has interacted with the community to gather public feedback, as per the following details:

  1. Initial issues list [PDF, 334 KB] presented at ICANN55
  2. Interim draft [PDF, 314 KB] presented at ICANN57
  3. Complete draft [PDF, 364 KB] for Public Comment released in March 2017
  4. Complete draft for Public Comment presented at ICANN58
  5. Final draft [PDF, 317 KB] for Second Public Comment released in December 2017
  6. Final draft for Second Public Comment presented at ICANN60

The IDNGWG has incorporated the feedback received from the community to finalize the Guidelines. Further details of the IDNGWG's work are available at the wiki page. The Final Proposed Draft v. 4.0 of the IDN Guidelines will be presented to the ICANN Board of Directors for approval.


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."