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ICANN at the Internet Governance Forum, Athens, Greece, 30 October - 2 November 2006

ICANN is co-hosting two workshops that will run in parallel to the IGF main sessions.

Participation workshop
October 31 st, from 11:30 am till 1:00 pm
Aphrodite C room, Divani Apollon Palace Hotel.

The workshop is co-hosted with ISOC.

The purpose of the workshop is to discuss the importance of participating in the processes of key Internet organisations and mechanisms, to show how one can participate and, importantly, how to locally build the appropriate expertise and capacity to successfully contribute.  Different perspectives on participation and engagement by different communities and stakeholders will be explored with an emphasis on encouraging a discussion of practical examples and key learnings for increasing participation, particularly from communities that are typically under-represented.

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Towards a global multilingual Internet: Avoiding the risk of fragmentation
October 31 st, from 3:30 pm till 7:00 pm
Athina A room, Divani Apollon Palace Hotel

 The workshop is co-hosted with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Egypt (NTRA).

The workshop is primarily intended to ensure that multilingualism is addressed from different angles and stakeholders' perspectives, with a certain regard to technical aspects like the continued development of application software to support access to localized content. A live demonstration of one of the most recent multilingual applications is also foreseen. ccTLD managers will also go through the topic highlighting the technical challenges with respective communities and languages.

Workshop Report

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The World Summit on Information Society and the Internet Governance Forum

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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."