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  • New podcast helps you join the conversation

    Imagine footmen playing a royal brass fanfare as we announce: ICANN now produces its first audio podcast series for you! When you join the ICANN community, you quickly discover that folks here have considered and debated certain issues for years. You want to participate,...
  • How to catch up on every major policy issue before Nairobi

    Whether you intend to participate in the upcoming Nairobi meeting in person or remotely, you’re not alone if you feel under-prepared. The ICANN community has a huge number of important issues working their way through the policy development process (PDP), and it’s tough...
  • Community Support for IDN ccTLDs

    One area of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process about which questions have arisen is community support for the IDN ccTLD and how such support can be demonstrated. I have provided some clarification here that I hope is helpful to present and future IDN ccTLD Fast Track...
  • CEO Comments on Strategic Plan

    ICANN Strategic Plan July 2010 – June 2013 [PDF, 947 KB] The ICANN meeting in Seoul was my first meeting as CEO, and coincided with the kickoff of the ICANN Strategic planning process, an essential basis for ICANN’s operational and budget planning process. Based on my...
  • Landmark Step in ICANN’s Use of Accountability Mechanisms

    On Friday (19 February), we received the Declaration of the Panel from the first ICANN Independent Review Process (IRP), which is posted here: http://www.icann.org/en/irp/icm-v-icann.htm. This is a landmark step in ICANN’s use of the accountability mechanisms built into...
  • Cost Accounting and Procurement Guidelines Posted

    ICANN’s commitment to accountability and transparency is an ongoing full time quest. The recent posting of two financial guidelines are markers of the progress we have made in this quest. One is the Cost Accounting Guidelines and the other is the Procurement Guidelines....
  • Remote Participation for Nairobi: Details Available

    As some of you will have already noticed, remote participation details are in the process of being posted on the ICANN Nairobi site. Work on the remote participation for Nairobi began for me on the first day of December when I took up the post of Senior Director for...
  • Save the Date: Pre-Nairobi Policy Webinar

    Save the Date: Pre-Meeting Policy Briefing to get you up to speed Whether you plan to participate in the upcoming Nairobi meeting remotely or in person, you’re invited to a quick reminder of the background and current status of each major policy issue currently under...
  • 15th February Nairobi Update

    ICANN’s internal team – including staff from the US (California, Texas, New Jersey), France and Niger – continued to meet daily over the weekend to discuss and share information regarding the ICANN Nairobi meeting. Today and last night, we had direct contact with the...
  • ICANN Receives New Information Related to Security in Nairobi

    Within the last 24 hours, we received an unclassified report from the United States’ Department of State related to the Kenyatta International Conference Center, the venue for our upcoming meeting. The types of threats outlined in that communication are difficult to...
  • IDN TLDs: pre-registrations, declined requests, etc.

    IDN TLDs: pre-registrations, declined requests, and other misconceptions Recent statements and speculations have been made concerning the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process and related issues. People seem to be most concerned about: • ICANN denying some countries/territories...
  • Keynote Speech at .ORG Event

    Today I have had the honor to provide the keynote speech at the First Annual .ORG Forum hosted by the Public Internet Registry, in Washington DC. The title of this keynote is “The Future of ICANN” and I am making available a copy of this speech (as well as translations in...
  • ICANN Remains Committed to Nairobi and Africa

    We have listened to the community. Many are looking forward to Nairobi, some expressed concerns, particularly in light of the events in downtown Nairobi on January 15. Accordingly, ICANN staff and board have reexamined the security situation During our re-examination we...
  • First 4 IDN ccTLDs through String Evaulation

    The first four IDN ccTLD requests has just been announced as having completed the String Evaulation portion of the Fast Track Process. These are associated with: Egypt, the Russian Federation, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. See the full announcement here:...
  • Public Meet Up with ICANN’s CEO in Washington DC on 27th January

    It is my pleasure to pass along the following message from ICANN’s President and CEO, Rod Beckstrom: Dear Community: As you know, I believe that ICANN’s CEO should be accessible to the community, but also to those who may not regularly participate in ICANN’s processes who...
  • Situation in Haiti and the DNS

    We have received a lot of communication concerning the devastation in Haiti, particularly its impact on Internet function and the .HT top-level domain. Here are the basic facts: We have been in contact with the administrators of .HT and they are alive and well, although...
  • IANA Business Excellence Explained

    “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” — Émile Coué de Châtaigneraie For the last couple of years the ICANN community and board have set staff a strategic priority of excelling in core operations. In the current draft strategic plan for 2010-2013 the...
  • Nick Ashton-Hart now Senior Director, Participation and Engagement

    I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Nick Ashton-Hart Senior Director, Participation and Engagement. This position incorporates the duties of General Manager for Public Participation previously performed by Kieren McCarthy, with some fine-tuning of focus and effort....
  • Report from Outgoing GM Public Participation

    Kieren McCarthy’s last day at ICANN staff is today, and he wanted to share some of his perceptions and comments about his tenure and further areas for improvement. You can find his comments at: Kieren’s Comments Next week, I’ll be announcing who from ICANN staff will be...
  • 4 days in the Fast Track Process

    Just a brief message to keep you up to date. As of 00:00 UTC today – 4 days after the launch of the Fast Track Process we have new requests coming in. The total number is 10 requests. They spread over 5 different languages. Details about the process is at:...
  • Fast Track Status Update

    The IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process was successfully launched, as planned on 16 November 2009. It was done at exactly 00:00UTC with a very joyful count-down by the Fast Track Staff Team – followed by a wooohooo The launch went smoothly. We have since monitored the system and...
  • Video: ICANN open forum at IGF 2009

    ICANN ran an open forum at the IGF in Sharm El Sheikh yesterday. You can view a video of the event below. ICANN and the Internet Ecosystem Presentation [PDF, 1,440K]

Recent Announcements

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."