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  • 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...
  • Mexico City briefing note

    At the end of each international public meeting, we produce a summary of the meeting which we call a Briefing Note. This note covers the main topics discussed at the meeting complete with a rundown of what happened and links to further resources. The Briefing Note is...
  • How many top-level domains are there?

    Hands down, the most common question I get at an ICANN meeting is “Where are the restrooms?” A close second is “How many top-level domains are there?” Occasionally they are more specific — how many are there of a certain type. Here is the current answer to all of those...
  • Mexico meeting goes mobile

    The Mexico City meeting is now accessible on your phone. So if you are attending the conference next week but can’t remember which meeting is on at which time or in what room, you can now access the information directly and quickly using your cell or mobile phone. The...
  • At-Large Summit – an Overview

    The Mexico City meeting is a landmark for At-Large. For the first time, the whole At-Large community will be meeting together face-to-face in the ‘At-Large Summit’. About 90 representatives of the At-Large membership of organisations (called “At-Large Structures”) are...
  • Tell us what you think – public comment rundown

    In the build up to every ICANN meeting, there is always a glut of public comment periods as reports are finished in time for the community to review them before discussing them in person. Mexico City is no exception. Although this time, it is very much easier to get a...
  • Anchors Aweigh!

    We are pleased today to announce a new service that is a small step toward helping the community toward deploying DNSSEC and consequently securing the domain name system. Called the Interim Trust Anchor Repository, this service is admittedly for the more technically...
  • Conflicker, DNS Security and what ICANN is doing about it

    Over the past two months the Internet has faced yet another threat to its security and one that directly involves the Domain Name System. The Conflicker/Downadup worm infects computers running Windows operating systems variants. The infected computers can be remotely...
  • ACSO Open Joint Sessions in Mexico

    On the Monday of the Mexico meeting, there will be a joint meeting of the Advisory Committees and Supporting Organisations. The objective of this “ACSO” session is to share views and perspectives on common issues in a way that will inform the discussions within those...
  • 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...

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."