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  • ICANN68 Virtual Policy Forum: Schedule Now Available

    Today, the ICANN organization published the schedule for the ICANN68 Virtual Policy Forum to be held from 22-25 June 2020. The ICANN community took the lead in organizing the four-day program. The schedule features plenary sessions exploring Domain Name System (DNS) abuse...
  • An Update Regarding the Board’s Operational Priorities

    With everything going on at the current moment, the Board has not forgotten its longer-term priorities. It's important that we continue to learn from our experiences and invest in efforts to move forward in healthy ways. We are committed to continuous improvement. One of...
  • Moving Toward Implementation: Next Steps for Work Stream 2

    Following the conclusion of the work of the Cross-Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability, Working Stream 2 (WS2), the ICANN Board passed a resolution in November 2019 to adopt the consensus recommendations contained in the WS2 Final Report [PDF, 9.2...
  • An Update From The 2020 Nominating Committee

    The 2020 Nominating Committee (NomCom) continues its work to find the most qualified candidates for open ICANN leadership positions. While the COVID-19 pandemic has posed unique challenges, it is important that you know our efforts are proceeding. We are working closely...
  • ICANN’s Information Briefings for UN Diplomats Go Virtual

    ICANN’s Government and Intergovernmental Organizations Engagement team (GE) has facilitated discussions at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York and Geneva since 2014. We do this, because it is critical that ICANN have participation, representation, and...
  • Further Securing Zoom Meetings

    In an effort to ensure the security of our online meetings, ICANN is making several changes to our Zoom configuration. The majority of these changes are behind the scenes and will not greatly impact a typical user’s experience in Zoom. However, there are a few important...
  • Reporting Potential Pandemic-Related Domains

    Introduction Any significant event attracts a number of interested parties. Both offline and online, some parties will have good intentions and, unfortunately, others will not. During newsworthy events in particular, domain registrations containing terms related to those...
  • Do You Have a Domain Name? Here's What You Need to Know.

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    Part VI: Identifying Phishing Scams, DNSSEC-Signing, and Other Tips to Protect Your Domain Name As a domain name registrant, it's important to always understand and adhere to your rights and responsibilities and to educate yourself about how to best securely and...
  • ICANN Community Priorities and the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Earlier this year, Supporting Organization (SO) and Advisory Committee (AC) leaders met to outline their priorities for 2020. This exercise provided a starting point for current discussions about prioritizing ICANN community work in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. ICANN...
  • Prioritizing the Board’s Work and Goals During COVID-19

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our daily lives, more and more people are turning to the Internet to connect with friends and families, conduct business, and stay up-to-date with the latest information. ICANN, as the coordinator of the Internet’s system of...
  • Feedback Needed for PTI’s First Comprehensive Strategic Plan

    As many of you are aware, ICANN org adopted its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025 (FY21-25) and is now completing its Operating Plan for the same period as part of the ICANN Planning Process. With all of the planning work happening across the ICANN ecosystem,...
  • Conducting a Key Signing Ceremony in the Face of COVID-19

    Four times a year, ICANN brings together experts from around the world to perform a "key signing ceremony" — a critical operational event that is fundamental to how we secure the Domain Name System (DNS). In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and related stay-at-home orders...
  • ICANN Org’s Multifaceted Response to DNS Abuse

    While the March report from ICANN’s Domain Abuse Activity Reporting system show a general reduction in second-level gTLD domain names identified as being used in phishing, malware distribution, and botnet command and control, it has been widely reported that criminals are...
  • ICANN to Extend Community Childcare Grants Pilot Program

    ICANN is extending its Community Childcare Grants Pilot Program to Fiscal Year 2021. The extension was made due to the remote participation-only nature of the ICANN67 and ICANN68 Public Meetings, as well as the cancelation of the 2020 GDD Industry Summit and ICANN DNS...
  • Trendsetting Virtual Meetings: Inquiring Minds Want to Know

    When ICANN67 became ICANN’s first-ever virtual Public Meeting, little did we realize the interest it would stir. It was only after the Los Angeles Times reported on our preparation in its online and print editions that the importance of this ‘innovation’ started to sink...
  • Best-of-Breed Software: Not Just an Afterthought

    Every day, the ICANN org, Board, and community use a number of different software platforms and applications to create and collaborate on ICANN’s work. This is especially the case right now, with so many of us working from home. Each one of these programs serves a...
  • Update from the Office of the Ombudsman

    The Office of the Ombudsman remains fully operational despite the ongoing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. My ICANN Ombuds team member, Barbara Curwin, and I would like to update you on recent work. We are pleased to announce the ICANN Office of the Ombudsman...
  • Addressing Recent Zoom News

    Recently, ICANN’s video conferencing platform, Zoom, has been in the news quite a bit. With shelter-in-place and work-from-home becoming more familiar, not only for the ICANN community but the world at large, Zoom has become a vital tool for many businesses. With this...
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."