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ICANN at the 15th Internet Governance Forum

The Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which will be held virtually due to COVID-19, officially opens on 9 November and closes on 17 November. Pre-events and other working sessions will be held from 2 to 6 November.

Members of the ICANN community, Board, and organization will participate in the event, hosted online by the United Nations under the overarching theme Internet for human resilience and solidarity. The program continues to develop around the four main tracks: Data, Environment, Inclusion, and Trust.

ICANN will engage in several discussions over the course of the meeting, either as session participants or through ICANN-organized sessions. This year, we will again look at several important topics in the pursuit of protecting online users and bringing the next billion people online. These topics will be addressed within the sub-themes of the forum, which are data governance, digital inclusion, and security, stability, and resiliency.

ICANN will hold these scheduled sessions during the IGF2020:

Date Session Time (UTC) Location

2 November

DNS Abuse in the Age of COVID-19 18:35 – 20:05 Room 3

3 November

Internet 101 19:00 – 20:00 Room 2
Open Forum

5 November

ICANN Open Forum – Technical Internet Governance 16:30 – 17:30 Room 2

9 November

DNS Abuse in the Age of COVID-19: Lessons Learned 06:00 – 07:30 Room 2

16 November

Universal Acceptance of Domain Names and Email Addresses 08:30 – 10:00 Room 2

At our Open Forum, we will examine Technical Internet Governance and ICANN's role in our collaborative efforts to foster a trusted open, secure, and single Internet. During the session, we will also discuss the threats to the Domain Name System (DNS) that have emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. ICANN will address topics such as Domain Name Security Extensions (DNSSEC), the ICANN Domain Abuse Activity Reporting (DAAR) Project, and other work ICANN conducts to monitor, assess, and help mitigate DNS security threats. During this interactive session, participants can engage in an open dialogue and exchange views with ICANN's leadership on this critical topic. ICANN organization will address the global IGF multistakeholder participants with targeted programs put in place for parliamentarians and a youth track.

In the workshop "DNS Abuse in the Age of COVID-19: Lessons Learned" we will explore ICANN's role in furthering the stability and security of the DNS and provide an update on the work done and lessons learned to prevent DNS abuse. There will be two versions of this panel – a pre-event for the IGF parliamentarians' program and a panel during the IGF itself for a broader audience.

During the "Universal Acceptance of Domain Names and Email Addresses" session we will explore efforts to further digital inclusion. The workshop will look at how Universal Acceptance is a key enabler for broader global accessibility to the Internet and talk about how we engage with our partners to fulfill this goal, showcasing examples of successfully addressing access issues through the promotion and acceptance of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs).

In addition, ICANN community members will participate in or host other workshops and sessions. Attendance is free, but registration is required.

The IGF offers a platform for diversity where the discussions that take place are crucial to facilitating the use of the Internet by the next generation. It is a positive example of an effective platform for constructive dialogue across the Internet's global, multistakeholder community.

We look forward to participating in this year's edition and being part of these discussions.

Please visit our virtual booth at the IGF Village 2020.


    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."