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Meeting the Russians in Germany

Since signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute for Information Security Issues (IISI) last year, the relationship between ICANN and Russia continues to strengthen.

Soldatov,Twomey,Sherstyuk,BelokurovAt a meeting in Garmisch, Germany, Russian high-level officials dedicated a whole day to relations with ICANN. The Third International Partnership Among State, Business Community and Civil Society in Ensuring Information Security conference brought together about 120 people, among them Deputy Minister of Communications Alexei A. Soldatov, Head of Bureau K of the Ministry of Interior, Col. Gen. B.N.Miroshnikov, representatives from the Foreign Ministry, other governmental agencies, private companies, as well as the .ru ccTLD Coordination Center, represented by the newly appointed CEO Andrei Kolesnikov and Chairman of the Board Michael Yakushev.

The conference opened with speeches from V.P.Sherstyuk, head of the IISI, Professor V.Belokurov, Deputy Rector of the Moscow State University and Paul Twomey, ICANN’s President and CEO.

Twomey talked about the state of the Internet, ICANN’s role, and the future of the domain name system. There were also a number of well-attended and lively sessions dedicated to internationalization of the Internet governance model, and to DNS security. ICANN was represented by John Crain, Jaap Akkerhuis, and myself, Veni Markovski.

Paul Twomey had also face to face meetings with the Deputy Minister, and with .ru ccTLD where they discussed, among other things, the Fast Track for IDN ccTLDs and continuing to improve communication between ICANN and the Russian Internet community, government, and private business – noting that relations between Russian Federation and ICANN have improved tremendously in just a year (since the previous IISI conference).

There have been on average a dozen Russians participants in the ICANN meetings, including an observer to the GAC. The development of the IDN ccTLD have marked an increased interest within Russia towards ICANN. Only last month, Russia’s Minister of Telecommunications and Mass Media Igor Schegolev noted interview that the government has a “positive dialog with ICANN” on the issue of IDN ccTLDs.

We look forward to seeing what we will have achieved by this time next year.


    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."