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2008 Annual Report published

Our Annual Report has been published, covering the organization’s achievements and progress during 2008.

Read the report in full here [pdf]

The report includes information on the three major initiatives ICANN undertook last year (and which continue this year): the process for introducing new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) to the Internet; the introduction for the first time of internationalized domain names (IDNs); and an extensive Improving Institutional Confidence consultation, to enable the conclusion of the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) with the United States government in September 2009.

Reports from the chairs of ICANN’s Supporting Organization and Advisory Organizations are included alongside detailed rundowns of each department by the organization’s staff.

Additionally, since it is 10 years since ICANN’s inception a brief history of the organization, split into its 33 international public meetings, is included, alongside a special memorial note to Jon Postel, one of the Internet’s pioneers, from former ICANN chairman Vinton Cerf.

Further contents include:

  • Biographical details on each of the Board of Directors
  • Highlights of the organization’s Strategic and Operating Plans
  • An in-depth look at the New Delhi, Paris and Cairo meetings
  • Messages from the CEO and Chairman
  • The audit report for ICANN, 2007-2008
  • ICANN’s compensation practices and salary structures for the corporate officers

Here’s what the chairman had to say in the official announcement: “I am delighted to announce the release of our third annual report,” said Peter Dengate Thrush, ICANN’s Chairman of the Board of Directors. “In this our tenth year ICANN and its community either accomplished or made significant progress toward many goals for the Domain Name System.”

“The Internet is growing and evolving at an accelerating pace,” Dengate Thrush continued. “The next billion users will demand more innovative products and services, will access the Internet largely through mobile devices, and will expect to be able to do so in their own languages and language scripts. ICANN’s efforts are geared towards developing policies and technologies that will satisfy this next-generation Internet.”

The complete annual report is available at:


    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."