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  • Mexico City Question Box

    As explained in an earlier post, we have created an online question box for Mexico City public forums. That question box is embedded into this post so you can respond simply and directly from the ICANN blog. The box should appear below (you may have to click on “[read the...
  • Public forums in Mexico City

    If you were at the Cairo meeting, you will know that there was no small degree of irritation about the time that was available for the traditional open mic session on the Thursday. If people are really keen, I can explain why that came about, but perhaps more importantly,...
  • Video update to the Applicant Guidebook process

    So, no doubt you have all been wondering what exactly ICANN and its staff have been up to over January with respect to the Applicant Guidebook and the reams of comments covering the new generic top-level domain process. In order to provide some answers and perspective,...
  • Applicant Guidebook update

    The following response to the Applicant Guidebook is also posted on the front page of the ICANN website. The first public comment period on the Draft Applicant Guidebook for new gTLDs has closed. The period opened on 24 October 2008, and was 76 days long after it closed 7...
  • 2008 Annual Report published

    Our Annual Report has been published, covering the organization’s achievements and progress during 2008. Read the report in full here [pdf] The report includes information on the three major initiatives ICANN undertook last year (and which continue this year): the process...
  • IDN and gTLD introductory sessions video

    During the Cairo meeting in, ICANN together with Domaine.info produced a number of videos covering the main sessions and topics, with each video fronted by a member of either the staff or a chair of the relevant supporting organization or advisory committee. You can find...
  • What changes do you want to see to the ICANN magazine in 2009?

    The monthly magazine was first published in August 2007 in order to give the community a monthly update of what ICANN was working on and what had happened recently. At the time, it was very difficult to follow what the organization was actually doing unless you attended...
  • Applicant Guidebook comment period update

    The first comment period for the Applicant Guidebook has now closed for English speakers, and will close on 7 January for those responding in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish. The responses sent in will now be carefully compiled and summarized. In the New Year,...
  • Joint AC/SO chairs meeting video

    For the first time at an ICANN meeting, we held a joint Supporting Organization and Advisory Committee chairs public meeting. The idea was to get the different arms of ICANN to cover the topics and areas that most concerned them and to have their different viewpoints on...
  • Help! The ICANN website isn’t exactly the same as it was yesterday

    We’ve made a number of small but hopefully useful changes to the ICANN website this morning. The reason is that one of the most common complaints we hear is that it is difficult to find things on the site, or to navigate around. One of the problems is the number of tabs...
  • Briefing Note: Overall Summary of the Cairo Meeting

    This Briefing Note for the Cairo meeting was first published on the Cairo meeting site on 13 November (see: http://cai.icann.org/en/briefing-note). It was reprinted the following day in the November edition of the ICANN magazine (see:...
  • L.root-servers.net goes IPv6

    Last week IANA processed a request to add AAAA records for one of the thirteen DNS root-servers. L.root-servers.net, operated by ICANN, became the seventh of the root servers to have it’s IPv6 address records (AAAA) added into the DNS root-zone. The addition of IPv6...
  • Response and summary to the Cairo public forum

    This is a Response and Summary to the Cairo public forum that took place on 6 November 2008. A PDF version of this document is available at: http://www.icann.org/en/participate/cairo-public-forum-response.pdf Note from the Chairman: One of the most significant features of...
  • New gTLD video with Kurt Pritz

    During the recent meeting in Cairo, ICANN together with Domaine.info produced a number of videos covering the main sessions and topics, with each video fronted by a member of either the staff or a chair of the relevant supporting organization or advisory committee. You...
  • Why the DNS is broken, in plain language

    At ICANN’s meeting in Egypt last week, I had the opportunity to try and explain to various non-technical audiences why the Domain Name System (DNS) is vulnerable to attack, and why that is important, without needing a computer science degree to understand it. Here is the...
  • Compliance with IDN technical requirements

    One of the main IDN related topics from the just-finished ICANN meeting in Cairo that I think deserves some additional attention was: Why Compliance with IDN technical requirements are a necessity on a global scale Overall compliance with technical standards are important...
  • New level of interaction at SSAC meeting tomorrow

    Update: The meeting has finished and you can see an archive of the whole thing at this link: http://icann.na3.acrobat.com/p88047362/. We’re always trying to improve the quality of remote participation at ICANN meetings and tomorrow in Cairo will see a first trial of the...
  • Embed ICANN meeting chatrooms on your site

    Over the past four meetings, we have experimented with different approaches to chatrooms as a way of providing remote participants with an opportunity to interact in real time with a meeting. There have been pluses and minuses to each approach. With some, slow responses...
  • What’s happening with Whois compliance activities?

    Whois has been a complex issue within ICANN, and continues to receive attention at the policy level. While this important policy work goes on, ICANN still has the clear responsibility to enforce existing Whois provisions in the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), and...
  • Here’s how we enter the .future

    So, after years of policy and development work, yesterday ICANN released a draft version of the Applicant Guidebook for those interested in applying for a new “generic top-level domain”. Or, as Associated Press put it “preliminary guidelines for the introduction of...
  • Remembering Jon: Looking Beyond the Decade

    A decade has passed since Jon Postel left our midst. It seems timely to look back beyond that decade and to look forward beyond a decade hence. It seems ironic that a man who took special joy in natural surroundings, who hiked the Muir Trail and spent precious time in the...
  • Which region is taking the lead in IPv6 deployment?

    IPv6 is in the news because the mainstream media have started to pick up the fact that IPv4 will be fully allocated in the next two or three years. And IPv6 deployment is important if we want to keep the Internet growing sustainably. So where is IPv6 deployment most...
  • Abkhazia, Kosovo, South Ossetia, Transnistria… My oh my.

    Every year there are new world events that see possible border changes and a restructure to the way the world’s countries and territories are configured. Think back to 50 years ago, and the world’s map was very different. There are literally a hundred countries that exist...
  • Asia-Pacific Registry/Registrar Regional Gathering Concluded

    On 10-11 September 2008, ICANN hosted its third Asia/Pacific regional gathering in Seoul, Korea. The regional gathering approach to broadening participation in the ICANN process for gTLD registries and ICANN-accredited registrars was first introduced in February 2005 in...
  • Look at the front page! It’s… slightly different

    This is a screengrab of the ICANN front page. You’ll notice that it’s slightly different. The changes are explained briefly below, but we’d like to take this opportunity to ask people to think about the future of the website – it’s overall look and it’s overall...
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."