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  • The New York Times and new gTLD roadshow

    Updated: ICANN’s new gTLD team are on the road at the moment, spreading the word about the historic expansion of the Internet’s domain name space that we as an organization have been working on for four years or so. Yesterday, they were in New York; tomorrow, they’ll be...
  • Video Top Ten

    As many of you will hopefully be aware, we have new video software in place and most visible on our video webpage at, yes, http://icann.org/video/. Videos are uploaded and tagged and so more easily discoverable. Each meeting’s videos are also archived on a video page on...
  • Help us to improve the ICANN website – online survey

    One of the most consistent complaints I receive as general manager of public participation is that it is hard to follow what ICANN is doing, particularly with respect to navigating the main website and finding material. So, we have embarked on a usability survey in which...
  • Register now for remote participation

    Following a very successful experiment at the last meeting in Mexico City with remote participation, we have expanded its use to the main room for the Sydney meeting. We are using Adobe’s Connect software which will allow people to see everything going on in a particular...
  • A small gauge of diversity

    In managing the root zone, recently we clarified some of the technical conformance criteria for the name servers top-level domain operators use. Before we put the adjusted criteria in place, we did some research to find out real world compliance against some of the...
  • ICANN in your pocket

    In just a few days, hundreds of people from all over the world will reach Sydney to participate in the upcoming 35th ICANN Meeting. Many interesting discussions and important decisions will involve people with many different backgrounds, areas of expertise, opinions and...
  • Sydney meeting guide

    Each meeting, we provide a guide that provides basic information for all attendees. The guide features information about the venue, the main topics of the conference, information about how to participate, the lowdown on social events, pictures of the Board and chairs,...
  • Growing Pains and the Gandi Survey

    As part of my job at ICANN… I have to read a lot of news clips. This morning, one headline in particular caught my eye: “Domain changes coming”. It was from Reuters and started: “Two thirds of businesses are unaware they will be able to use their own name in place of...
  • Agenda for the AC/SO joint meeting in Sydney

    Starting in Cairo in November 2008, the chairs of the different supporting organizations (SOs) and advisory committees (ACs) have held a joint meeting. The idea was to find a formula for open communication that was more than a repeat of existing open microphone sessions....
  • Congressional Hearing on ICANN

    A Congressional Hearing is taking place in Washington this morning concerning ICANN and the conclusion of the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) that ICANN has with the US government. President and CEO Paul Twomey is representing ICANN on a panel of six, in front of the...
  • A quick guide to Sydney material

    Over the weekend, we published quite a bit of material. It was published now to meet a request by the Board and the community that we post three business weeks prior to the start of a meeting; these series of postings ensure that the bulk of materials being considered...
  • What the Board decided in May

    The Board made a number of important decisions at its May meeting. You can read the preliminary report online now at http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/prelim-report-21may09.htm, but here is a quick rundown of the decisions made and their import. A new registrars contract...
  • Ask a question direct to the Board in Sydney

    An online question box where community members can ask questions directly to the ICANN Board and staff has opened today. The question box will take questions from Wednesday 27 May until Wednesday 17 June in preparation for the public forum at ICANN’s international public...
  • Things you didn’t realize were on the ICANN site: Part 5

    There are two big issues that ICANN is constantly questioned about and judged by, and they are: Security and stability Accountability and Transparency Last week, ICANN announced a whole security and stability plan [pdf] and opened up a public comment period on it. But...
  • Things you didn’t realize were on the ICANN site: Part 4

    One of the most consistent complaints we hear from the community is the lack of ICANN materials – reports, announcements, webpages and so on – in languages other than English. We have been working hard on this for nearly two years and ICANN now has a translation manager...
  • So where are we up to with these new Internet extensions?

    An official update on the new gTLD program / Applicant Guidebook process has just been published. Most of you reading this will immediately know what that means but I’m going to use a third label which isn’t ICANNese to talk about it: Internet extensions. ICANN has been...
  • We’re on Twitter

    There’s always another buzz website or application that everyone is using to share information and at the moment it is Twitter. Update: We’ve just been given the “icann” Twitter name, so will start using that as the main ICANN Twitter feed Twitter is a simple but...
  • Meeting the Russians in Germany

    Since signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute for Information Security Issues (IISI) last year, the relationship between ICANN and Russia continues to strengthen. At a meeting in Garmisch, Germany, Russian high-level officials dedicated a whole day to...
  • Have an opinion on where ICANN should spend its money?

    There is just over a week left on the public comment period for ICANN’s operating plan and budget for next year, and we have received only a few comments so far. We encourage you to provide your input on how the organization should spend its money in FY10. Why should you...
  • Mexico City question box responses published

    Two-and-a-half weeks prior to the start of the Mexico City meeting, we opened an online Question Box, where community members could very simply ask questions of ICANN’s staff and Board without having to be physically present at the various public forum and speaking into a...
  • ICANN Continues Collaborative Response to Conficker Worm

    The Conficker worm that has infected hosts across the Internet continues to evolve. At this point, we do not believe cause exists for general alarm, but the Internet community must continue to take action against Conficker. ICANN continues to engage in collaborative...
  • Things you didn’t realize were on the ICANN site: Part 3

    Back in November, we outlined “more mechanisms for transparency and accountability” which flagged up the Dashboard that you can access from the front page of the ICANN website, but which also spoke of an “operational scorecard” where the work that ICANN does is clearly...
  • Feedback loops for Mexico City

    I’m a big exponent of feedback – particularly simple, mass feedback – for the work that ICANN does. With such a diverse community, in both geographic and cultural terms, it can be next to impossible for ICANN staff to get a feel for what the community thinks about a topic...
  • Community portrait database

    A community database of portraits of the ICANN community has gone live online. You can find it at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/icann/sets/72157615078679248/ The 231 photographs were taken at the recent Mexico City meeting and the database has individuals from right...
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."