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  • Is ICANN Handling Too Many Policy Issues?

    Earlier this month, DomainNameWire.com published an article about ICANN’s policy development process. The author, Andrew Allemann, strives for balance but overall leaves the impression that ICANN has “policy overload,” handling too many policy efforts at once. Andrew also...
  • If you build it, they will come

    As you would expect, most of ICANN’s external services, including this blog, are available over IPv6 as well as IPv4. And at the request of the ICANN Board, a regular comparative measure of IPv6 use at the ICANN and IANA websites has been provided to them for months. The...
  • CEO Remarks on Black Hat / Def Con

    Several ICANN staff members attended the Black Hat and Defcon conferences last week to launch DNSSEC to the global Internet security community. Black Hat is one of the world’s premier security conferences; it attracts about 5,000 onsite participants and many more online....
  • ICANN’s Finances at a Glance

    With the end of the FY10 financial year, I would like to take this opportunity to address questions raised by community members and provide some insights on the overall state of finances at ICANN. Last year, as the FY10 budget was adopted, we committed to perform a...
  • Putting IPv6 Addresses into Context

    Because IPv6 is so much larger than IPv4, the IETF has been able to structure the address space more neatly. Consequently, it is easier to distinguish between different address types based on the first few characters in the address, rather than having to refer to...
  • IGF Continuation is a Multistakeholder Effort

    Having an Internet Governance workshop at ICANN meetings has become a norm in the past few years. The purpose of such workshops is to inform ICANN community of developments taking place at IGF fora, and to allow participants to exchange views on the various issues under...
  • Making Chinese Internet History

    This past week was quite the historical change for the Internet with several additional languages moving forward in the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process. Chinese: With one billion people around the world using Chinese as their primary language, it means that one out of every...
  • Call for Input: Support for New gTLD Applicants

    The ICANN board recently passed a resolution requesting that a Working Group develop a sustainable approach to providing support to applicants requiring assistance in applying for and operating new gTLDs. (http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-12mar10-en.htm#20) The...
  • Podcast: Cops and Registrants Seek to Amend the RAA

    We always try to have a new ICANN Start podcast episode available to you by the first of each month, and the 1 June episode has arrived early. This month’s episode discusses ICANN’s Registrar Accreditation Agreement. If you’re not familiar with it, perhaps you should be —...
  • Looking at the Future of ICANN’s International Meetings

    ICANN’s meetings, their structure, content, and everything else about them have always been very important – and everything about them has been a subject of debate since the very first one was convened. In fact, there are as many opinions about aspects of the meetings as...
  • Try the new IANA WHOIS server

    We currently provide a WHOIS server at whois.iana.org which provides the ability to lookup information for a certain subset of domains, most notably the details of top-level domains. One of the projects we’ve been working on within the IANA department is to develop a new...
  • IDN Usability

    Internationalized Domain Names and the usability of them is a key aspect of the ongoing introduction of IDN ccTLDs. ICANN is actively taking part in conferences and events, with a focus on applications and usability of new technology on the Internet. This is to spread...
  • How to place TLD trust anchors in the root

    The project to sign the DNS root zone with DNSSEC took an additional step toward completion yesterday with the last of the “root server” hosts switching to serving signed DNSSEC data. Now every DNS query to a root server can return DNSSEC-signed data, albeit the “...
  • IDN TLD Update

    Following yesterday’s big news [http://icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-05may10-en.htm] with the introduction of the first IDN ccTLDs we thought it was a good time to provide an update to where the Fast Track Process is. IDN ccTLDs in the DNS root zone: Egypt: مصر...
  • First IDN ccTLDs now available

    Today the first three production non-Latin top-level domains were placed in the DNS root zone. This means they are live! Here is one newly enabled domain with a functional website that works right now: وزارة-الأتصالات.مصر What you should be seeing is something like the...
  • IDN ccTLD Delegations approved by the ICANN Board

    This is a very brief blog post with quite the big content. Last week was a special week at ICANN, with several IDN milestones meet. Many were included in the 22 April 2010 ICANN Board meeting. The ICANN Board approved the first IDN ccTLD delegation requests for four...
  • A change, and some reflections…

    Dear ICANN Community, At the end of July, I will be leaving my post as ICANN’s Chief Operating Officer. While my engagement in the work of ICANN has made this a difficult decision, the reasons I am leaving are simple. I accepted my role with ICANN in December 2006 with...
  • New gTLD Consultation: PDDRP and Agreement Amendment Processes

    On 13 April 2010, ICANN convened an open consultation on the Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution and Registry Agreement Amendment Processes in the new gTLD program. This consultation was organized in response to a request from the Registry Stakeholder Group...
  • An ending … and a new beginning!

    As some of you may have heard I am leaving ICANN next month. An opportunity came my way which will take me “back to my roots” in international intellectual property policy, and as great a job as Senior Director for Participation and Engagement is (and it is a great job!),...
  • Looking backwards and forwards at Whois

    What’s wrong with Whois? Perhaps nothing. Perhaps a lot. We lack the data to answer with certainty. The Whois service has drawn a lot of thought and debate from the ICANN community for ten years. In fact, the global look-up service has been the subject of so many points...
  • Update about Synchronized IDN ccTLDs

    This blog post is primarily intended to update the many people in the technical community and ccTLD community about activities related to Synchronized IDN ccTLDs. As you may know, one of the ICANN Board resolutions from the recent ICANN meeting in Nairobi directed staff...
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."