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ICANN Concludes Successful 32nd Meeting in Paris | Board gives go-ahead for expansion of the domain name system

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PARIS, FRANCE: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) concluded its 32nd International Public Meeting in Paris today after four days of discussions that will shape the future of the Internet.

The conclusion of the meeting saw the approval of a proposal to expand the world’s Domain Name System and to work on adapting it to accommodate top level domain names in scripts such as Arabic, Cyrillic or other non-Latin scripts.

"This was an extremely successful meeting that will be remembered as a milestone in the development of the Internet," said Peter Dengate Thrush, ICANN's Board Chairman. "New generic Top Level Domains and Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) will open up the Internet and make it look as diverse as the people who use it," Dengate Thrush added.

Other important resolutions passed by the ICANN board included:

  • The adoption of two measures to eliminate "domain tasting" (the practice of using the add grace period to register domain names in bulk to test their profitability)
  • The adoption of ICANN’s Operating Plan and Budget for fiscal year 2008-2009.
  • Begin public input on a report on the "fast track" for Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) for country codes and have staff work with the community on how to implement IDNs.
  • Implementation of measures to improve the Generic Name Supporting Organization (GNSO), and a timeline for agreement on how different groups are represented on it.
  • Selection of Mexico City as the site of ICANN’s first meeting in 2009.

Over 1670 participants from 150 countries, including 250 participants from the host country France, took part in the meeting, and helped ICANN make great progress in several key areas.

At the closing session, the ICANN Board and community thanked the meeting’s sponsors and gave particular thanks to French Minister of State Eric Besson who opened ICANN's meeting at the beginning of the week. (The Minister of State is responsible for Forward Planning, Assessment of Public Policies and Development of the Digital Economy.)

Commenting on progress relating to Internationalized Domain Names, ICANN's President and CEO Paul Twomey said "this could only have come about through the collaboration of many communities, organizations and institutions that the multi-stakeholder model makes possible."

The full list of Board resolutions at the 32nd International Public Meeting in Paris can be found here.

About ICANN:

ICANN is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet's system of unique identifiers like domain names (like .org, .museum and country codes like .uk) and the addresses used in a variety of Internet protocols that help computers reach each other over the Internet. Careful management of these resources is vital to the Internet's operation, so ICANN's global stakeholders meet regularly to develop policies that ensure the Internet's ongoing security and stability. ICANN is an internationally organized, public benefit non-profit company. For more information please visit:

Media Contacts:

Jason Keenan
Media Adviser, ICANN
Ph: +1 310 382 4004

International: Andrew Robertson
Edelman (London)
Ph: +44 7921 588 770

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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."