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  • Who is ICANN and where does it fit with Internet governance?

    You’d be surprised how many people are asking that question at the moment, but you won’t be surprised to know that the only thing they agree on is that they either don’t know, or that they disagree with the people that believe they do. I am not going to attempt to provide...
  • Lessons from Guyana: It takes a network to run a network.

    It was interesting to see discussions start on the blog around “What does it take to run a registry”. Jacob Malthouse (Liaison for Canada and the Caribbean) and I (John Crain, CTO) have just returned from Georgetown, Guyana. With us in Georgetown, locked into a classroom...
  • Wherefore art thou Orbitofrontal Cortex?

    There’s a great piece in the New York Times today that’s had me thinking about the importance of ICANN meetings, face to face interaction, and civility within the ICANN mailing lists. The basic gist of the piece is that when we are interacting in an online environment we...
  • A new guy blogs

    I am a new Board member, and this is my first blog entry, ever. As a new guy on the block (or maybe a recycled one, since I had been retired for four years before joining the Board), I just want to let you all know that the Board is much more active and deals with many...
  • On the inside, looking out… at a tornado

    Usually it’s very rude to cut someone off in the middle of a conversation, but when the excuse is an email saying the foundation of the Internet is under attack, and the recipient is the CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, well, then it’s...
  • Reflections on Improvements

    Before I joined ICANN staff nearly a year ago, I bought domains, set up websites, let domains expire, ran a blog, read about domain name disputes, registration policies and procedures, communicated with registrars and registries, and eventually attended meetings to learn...
  • Global Partnerships Team – Regional Liaisons

    (Ver traducción al Español más abajo) ICANN has launched a network of liaisons, each with a regional focus, to enhance ICANN’s worlwide response and outreach capacity. While the regional focus of the liaisons is primary, the network is sharing expertise along dimensions...
  • What does it take to run a TLD registry?

    That’s the question that has been reverberating around one of the mailing lists that covers Internet issues. It’s an important question, and once in which we hope our community have some answers – or, at least, some pointers. What does it take to run a Top Level Domain...
  • ICANN Wraps Up Fourth Registry/Registrar Regional Gathering

    ICANN last week hosted its fourth Registry/Registrar Regional Gathering and this one took place in Santa Monica, CA. More than 65 guests representing 30 registrars and 12 registries/sponsors attended making this the largest event to date. The event kicked off with an open...
  • NomCom Seeking Candidates For Board, ALAC, GNSO & ccNSO

    The 2007 ICANN Nominating Committee is currently inviting Statements of Interest from the Internet community for the following positions: Three members of the ICANN Board of Directors Two members of the Council of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) One...
  • North American Regional gathering of Registries and Registrars

    Just a quick note to advise that ICANN last night hosted representatives from a range of Registries and Registrars at our office in Marina Del Rey in California. It was a precursor to a North American Regional gathering that was held today and will continue tommorrow....
  • From Armenia to Uzbekistan

    Being a new Regional Liaison is a challenging task (esp. when there are Regional Liaisons like Giovanni Seppia, who have served longer;-). My region is fascinating: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,...
  • Mark Your Calendars For ICANN Lisbon

    The ICANN meeting in Lisbon, Portugal is less than sixty days away from today. The meeting is being held in Lisbon 26-30 March 2007. More information on the agenda will soon be posted on the ICANN website (http://www.icann.org/meetings/lisbon/). You can also view the...
  • How global domains can cater for local preferences

    Last year, American retailer Wal-Mart gave up in an attempt to expand into Germany, and one of the reasons they cited was that they didn’t understand the local market. “Did you know that American pillow cases are a different size than those in Germany?” Wal-Mart Germany...
  • Thanks for the support and interest so far

    Hi. I just wanted to thank people for their support for the creation of this blog. I think this will be a useful way of being more accessible as an organisation and to be a little more responsive to questions and observations. But this started with the release of our...
  • ICANN Releases Annual Report for 2005-2006

    Download ICANN Annual Report 2005–2006 [PDF, 908K] ICANN is pleased to provide its first annual report in accordance with its commitments established under the Joint Project Agreement signed in September 2006. As part of ICANN’s commitment to greater transparency and...
  • Welcome to the ICANN Blog

    Post comments to the blog and participate in this ongoing discussion with ICANN staff and the Internet community.
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."