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ICANN Hosts Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative Workshop

Offers to Assist in Securing DNS

14 March — ICANN welcomed members of the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative (CCI) Steering Group to Costa Rica as part of its efforts to improve the security, stability and resiliency of the global Domain Name System (DNS).

The meeting offered Steering Group members the opportunity to explain the purpose of the Initiative to the ICANN community.

The proposal for the Initiative was developed through the COMNET Foundation for ICT development, an independent foundation which leads the Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum.

The objectives of this Initiative, as stated on the CCI web page, are “to assist developing Commonwealth countries to build their institutional, human and technical capacities with respect to policy, legislation, regulation, investigation and law enforcement with the aim of, making their jurisdictions more secure by denying safe havens to cyber criminals, and enabling all member countries to become effective partners in the globally coordinated effort to combat Cybercrime.” <>

These objectives encompass a wide range of anticrime activities, including preventing abuse of the DNS, and are thus consistent with ICANN’s core values and its obligation to enhance and protect the security and stability of the Internet name system. ICANN participates on the Initiative Steering Group and has expressed its willingness to assist the Initiative in capacity building associated with DNS operations and security. 

ICANN Chief Security Officer, Jeff Moss, said, “Through this cooperative relationship, ICANN will also assist Commonwealth member countries with DNSSEC deployment. An important goal for ICANN and the Initiative is to work to have all member countries sign their Top Level Domain zones.”

The workshop at the ICANN meeting in Costa Rica is part of an effort to “translate the CCI concept into an operational reality in assisting member countries in building coherent and sustainable capacity on the ground to help make the Internet a safer place,” said Joseph Tabone, Chairman of COMNET Foundation for ICT Development. “We thank partners for their continued support and especially thank ICANN for their opportunity to present the Initiative to their community.”

Workshop presentations from Steering Group members and ICANN staff can be viewed 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."