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ICANN68 to be Held as Remote Public Meeting

LOS ANGELES – 9 April 2020 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced that its ICANN68 Policy Forum, which was to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will now be held via remote participation only. The ICANN Board of Directors has made the decision that ICANN68 will not proceed as an in-person meeting. Instead, the Board has directed the ICANN org to explore additional community feedback and suggestions, in order to develop a meaningful and productive ICANN68 Policy Forum while we are unable to meet in person.

The meeting, scheduled for 22-25 June 2020, will be the second time ICANN has held a Public Meeting solely with remote participation. ICANN67, which was originally slated to be held in Cancún, Mexico, from 7-12 March 2020, was held as ICANN's first entirely remote virtual meeting following the declaration of COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization.

With an increasing number of countries issuing stay-at-home, lockdown, or social-distancing orders to its citizens to slow the spread of COVID-19, gatherings and international travel are effectively on pause for the foreseeable future. The health and safety of ICANN's community is a top priority, and as such, convening ICANN68 as an in-person meeting is no longer feasible.

Following the success of ICANN67 as a Virtual Community Forum, the ICANN org sought the ICANN community's feedback on how to improve future virtual meetings. In its decision, the Board also directed ICANN org to coordinate with the ICANN community on the best way forward in order to meet the expected outcomes of an ICANN Policy Forum. The community's feedback will be incorporated into the planning and execution of ICANN68.

ICANN thanks the Kuala Lumpur host committee and our regional partners in Asia Pacific (APAC), who have provided their support and expertise throughout the planning process for ICANN68. We look forward to returning to the APAC region for future ICANN Public Meetings.

Those interested in attending the virtual meeting will still be required to register. An announcement will be posted once registration is open. To learn more about remote participation, visit ICANN Public Meetings.

More information, including information about the meeting's time zone, language interpretation options, and final schedule will be provided at a later date.

About ICANN

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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."