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  • Efforts to Provide a Safer Environment

    As we approach ICANN64 in Kobe, Japan, I want to share some important information regarding the Office of the Ombudsman. I am pleased to announce that Barbara (Barb) Curwin will once again be part of the Ombuds Team at ICANN64. Her presence and assistance were greatly...
  • Technical Study Group Publishes Draft Model for Review and Input

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    On behalf of the Technical Study Group on Access to Non-Public Registration Data, I am pleased to share with you the Draft Technical Model for Access to Non-Public Registration Data. This document represents the collective input of our group. We are sharing this model now...
  • Chair’s Blog: A Preview of the Kobe Board Workshop

    Prior to the start of ICANN64 in Kobe, Japan, the ICANN Board will be meeting from 8-10 March for its second Board workshop of 2019. As I’ve noted before, workshops held before ICANN’s Public Meetings provide us with a chance to take a closer look at the issues the...
  • Next Steps with the RDAP Service for gTLD Registries and Registrars

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    Last August, a draft of the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) profile underwent Public Comment in an effort to give the entire ICANN community a chance to provide feedback on this important document. The ICANN organization worked with a discussion group of gTLD...
  • ICANN org publishes Charter on Government Engagement Approach

    Increasingly, governments and intergovernmental forums are holding discussions and developing policies, legislations, and regulations that impact the Internet. In some cases, the results of these discussions may impact ICANN's ability to develop policies, run its...
  • Technical Study Group Advances Draft Model

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    The Technical Study Group on Access to Non-Public Registration Data recently spent three days in Washington, D.C. engaged in intense and collegial discussions to develop a detailed draft of the Technical Model for Non-Public Registration Data. Nine of our ten members...
  • Chair’s Blog: Wrapping up the Los Angeles Workshop

    The ICANN Board recently met in Los Angeles for our first workshop of 2019. As you may have read in my preview blog, we held three public sessions on the progress of the Board's FY19 priorities, an overview of track five of the Geographical Names as TLDs Policy...
  • North America Stakeholder Engagement is On Track for Growth

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    I'm happy to report that our midyear progress overview for the FY2019-FY2020 North America Stakeholder Engagement Strategy shows that North American regional participation in ICANN policy making remains robust. Just over six months ago, we, along with members of ICANN...
  • ICANN64 Prep Week

    To better prepare the community ahead of ICANN Public Meetings, the Policy Development Support team is piloting a new initiative called Prep Week, that will consolidate all pre-ICANN Public Meeting webinars into one week. Starting with ICANN64, Prep Week will streamline...
  • Technical Study Group Makes Progress at First Face-to-Face Meeting

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    In the cold of January, the 10-member Technical Study Group on Access to Non-Public Registration Data (TSG-RD) met for two days at ICANN's Washington, DC office. Our focus was to get to productive outcomes that would propel our work in the coming weeks and months. I am...
  • Have Your Say on the Eastern European DNS Forum

    Since 2016, ICANN org has held a series of successful events in Eastern Europe and Central Asia with the purpose of engaging local stakeholders in discussions about emerging issues and future challenges to the Domain Name System (DNS). In December 2018, we ran the third...
  • EPDP Team Makes Substantial Progress Toward Final Report

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    The Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) Team on the Temporary Specification for generic top-level domain (gTLD) Registration Data is making substantial progress as we prepare to deliver our Final Report in early February. Starting at the beginning of the year, the...
  • Chair's Blog: A Preview of the Los Angeles Board Workshop

    Near the end of this month, from 25-28 January, the ICANN Board will meet in Los Angeles, California, for its first workshop of calendar year 2019. We will be discussing many of the topics I outlined in my previous blog, as well as my wrap-up of ICANN63 and the Barcelona...
  • 2019 Nominating Committee Priorities and Agenda

    On behalf of the 2019 Nominating Committee (NomCom), I would like to update the community on our efforts to find the best candidates for open ICANN leadership positions. The NomCom met for the first time at ICANN63 in Barcelona and was officially seated when the meeting...
  • Global Stakeholder Engagement Launches Capacity Development Survey

    In the ongoing efforts to prioritize the delivery of capacity development services, the Global Stakeholder Engagement (GSE) team is requesting participation in a short Stakeholder Capacity Development Survey. The survey will run from 8-22 January 2019, with an aim to...
  • ICANN is Revoking the Old Key Signing Key This Week

    If you followed the rollover to the new root zone Key Signing Key (KSK) on 11 October 2018, you might have thought the process is now complete. However, there are a few more important technical steps that need to take place before the KSK rollover is finished. One of...
  • An Update on the IANA Naming Function Review (IFR)

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    We received some questions regarding the IANA Naming Function Review (IFR) and would like to provide you with an update on this important review. As many of you know, the IFR is one of the new accountability mechanisms created as part of the IANA stewardship transition to...
  • Chair’s Blog: Best Wishes for 2019

    On behalf of the Board, I want to thank you for all your hard work and continued engagement this year. I wish everyone a peaceful holiday season and a happy and healthy year ahead. In this blog, I will provide you with an end-of-year update on some outstanding items and...
  • Technical Study Group Publishes Charter

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    Since starting our work in December, the Technical Study Group on Access to Non-Public Registration Data has finalized its charter and set a course for delivering a draft specification for community input in time for the ICANN64 Public Meeting in March 2019. We invite the...
  • Chair’s Blog: Key Take-Aways from the Board’s 360° Evaluation

    Earlier this year, the Board completed its self-evaluation, which is conducted once every two years. The assessment is managed by independent consultants and consists of a written, 25 question survey and supplemented by telephonic interviews with the independent...
  • Draft FY20 Operating Plan and Budget Now Available for Your Feedback

    As a not-for-profit organization working in the public interest, one of the ICANN organization's most important responsibilities is to develop an annual operating budget. We posted our Draft Operating Plan and Budget for Fiscal Year 2020. Long-term financial planning and...
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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."