Skip to main content

Students, you can participate in ICANN

During the ICANN meeting two weeks ago, we conducted a special university outreach event at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon (Faculdade de Ciencias da Universidade de Lisboa). ICANN Board Chairman Vint Cerf gave a very interesting introduction on the development of the Internet and some insight into its future to a group of computer science and computer engineering students and faculty. The event was well attended, and also featured brief presentations from Pedro Veiga of FCCN, myself, Tina Dam and Kieren McCarthy. The event was ably moderated by Giovanni Seppia, ICANN’s Regional Liaison for Europe.

I would like to thank Giovanni and Pedro once again for helping make the event a success, and thank Vint, Tina and Kieren for taking time to participate during the hectic ICANN meeting. We hope to continue this type of outreach with students and professors in the future.

I started following ICANN back in early 2000, while I was a law student in Indiana. ICANN has come quite a long way in encouraging participation in the coordination of the Internet.

There are many ways in which students can get involved – through remote participation during meetings and webcasts, through a constituency, by conducting research or writing on timely issues being considered within ICANN’s advisory committees and supporting organizations, or through direct input to ICANN. If you have an interest in international multistakeholder structures and the coordination of the Internet, I encourage you to learn more about ICANN and consider participating in its processes.


    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."