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  • Internet Looks to Singapore and ICANN 41 for Decision on New gTLDs

    Monday, 20 June, might go down in history books as the day the Internet changed dramatically. That’s the day ICANN’s Board of Directors votes on whether to finalize the Applicant Guidebook, a document that explains how any established institution (such as a government,...
  • Accountability and Transparency Are ICANN’s Ongoing Focus

    How is ICANN progressing on the recommendations that the Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT) published on the last day of 2010? Let me list the many ways that the Board, the staff, and our volunteer community are addressing the challenge to meet or surpass...
  • Update from the Nominating Committee

    In keeping with our commitment to transparency with regard to the Nominating Committee process, as we prepare to head to Singapore for our selection meeting we want to update the ICANN community as to where we are. We closed the application process on 4 April 2011 and...
  • Agreement with ICM on .XXX Registry

    ICANN signed an agreement yesterday with ICM for the introduction of the .XXX top-level domain. ICANN’s Board of Directors approved entering into the agreement during our recent Silicon Valley-San Francisco Public Meeting. We have now finalized negotiations and executed...
  • ICANN to Convene Annual Europe Regional Registry/Registrar Event

    On 12-13 May 2011, ICANN and its gTLD registration services providers will meet in Munich, Germany. Regional events are a chance for ICANN staff and representatives from gTLD registries and ICANN-accredited registrars to meet informally to discuss topics important to our...
  • ICANN 42 in Dakar, Senegal

    Three times each year ICANN hosts an international public meeting in a different geographic region of the world. The third meeting of 2011 is scheduled for Africa on October 24-28, and I am delighted to confirm that Dakar, Senegal, will be the site of ICANN’s 42nd Public...
  • Off to a Good Start…

    You wait all morning for a bus and then 3 of them come along together. Until about a week ago, NOT A SINGLE WOMAN had applied via the 2011 NomCom for a leadership position within ICANN. Now, we’re glad to say, two women have applied. That’s 2 out of 40, so not great odds...
  • Bolstering ICANN’s Contractual Compliance Team

    We are pleased to announce two new hires who are joining ICANN’s contractual compliance team. If you’re unfamiliar with the contractual compliance team, it provides the backbone of ICANN’s enforcement of the rules negotiated with contracted parties. Maguy Serad, an...
  • Schedule Update for GAC/Board Sessions

    As communicated earlier today, there was no GAC-Board meeting this afternoon at 4PM. The Board and GAC continue to work separately. The Board continues its review of the exchange of information, and is considering the recent community inputs as well as transcripts from...
  • Have You Got a Question for Bill Clinton?

    Former President Bill Clinton’s talk with the ICANN community, coming up this Wednesday, will include a limited amount of time for questions from the audience. Questions will be moderated, and must be submitted in advance. Due to the time restrictions, not all questions...
  • October 2012 ICANN Meeting to be Held in Toronto, Canada

    ICANN is pleased to announce that the 14-19 October 2012 ICANN Public Meeting will be held in Toronto, Canada. We would like to express our warm thanks to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), which has graciously agreed to act as our host, and has extended...
  • Former President Clinton to Address ICANN’s 40th Public Meeting

    I am delighted to confirm that President Bill Clinton will address ICANN’s Silicon Valley-San Francisco meeting at 6pm on March 16. President Clinton is the founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and the 42nd President of the United States. The Clinton...
  • On New gTLDs and the Timeline…

    ICANN recently published materials describing discussions, public comment and general progress on the New gTLD program. One area that has attracted particular interest is the timeline for moving forward. If you have been following this program, you know that predicting...
  • June 2011 ICANN Meeting to be Held in Singapore

    ICANN is pleased to announce that the 19-24 June Public Meeting will be held in Singapore. We would like to express our warm thanks to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and the Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC), who have graciously agreed to...
  • Middle East Developments Cause Cancellation of ICANN Jordan Meeting

    ICANN’s Board of Directors has decided not to hold the June 20-24 ICANN Public Meeting in Amman, Jordan. ICANN’s goal is always to facilitate the participation of as many people as possible in our bottom-up, multi-stakeholder community. The Board reluctantly made its...
  • Technical Management Function for IN-ADDR.ARPA

    In December we spoke of the planned changes to the IPv4 Reverse DNS Infrastructure where the zone maintenance of the IN-ADDR.ARPA zone would transition to ICANN and be managed concurrently with the central assignment of address space to the RIRs. ICANN would like to...
  • Update on ICANN Board/GAC Consultation on New gTLDs

    We wanted to provide some additional information on the work being carried out by ICANN’s Board of Directors and the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) to prepare for their upcoming meeting in Brussels on the new gTLD program. As detailed in our recent announcements...
  • Building on Accountability & Transparency at ICANN

    In order for ICANN’s international, bottom-up, multi-stakeholder model to operate effectively, frameworks and mechanisms for accountability and transparency were built into ICANN and have been improved upon over time. The Board of Directors, community and staff have an...
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."