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  • DNSSEC Signed ROOT by July 1, 2010

    ICANN Lisbon meeting in 2007 was perhaps one of the most successful and fun meetings I had attended as a staff member. This week I have returned to the same venue in Lisbon , Portugal with different feelings , duties and priorities. My excitement have reached to the...
  • Ask a question direct to the Board in Seoul

    An online question box where community members can ask questions directly to the ICANN Board and staff is open. The question box will take questions until Wednesday 14 October in preparation for the public forum at ICANN’s international public meeting in Sydney on...
  • Overwhelmed by ICANN material at the moment? Here’s a quick guide

    If you are a regular ICANN community member, it is likely you are currently feeling overwhelmed by the amount of material that has appeared in the past week. So here is a quick guide to help make sense of it all. Sections are: JPA/Affirmation Applicant Guidebook/new gTLDs...
  • Local communities … not just governments.

    As ICANN staff, it is hard to avoid the news when your organisation is the subject of a hearing held by the United States Congress. This week we saw another such hearing, where the House Judiciary committee discussed the future deployment of new top-level domains. A...
  • Community view: Bled ccTLD meeting review

    Last week I attended the “Second International Conference for ccTLD Registries and Registrars of CIS, Central and Eastern Europe”, held in the picturesque lakeside town of Bled, in Slovenia. Bled is one of the most beautiful places I’ve had the pleasure to visit and the...
  • Selecting which /8 to allocate to an RIR

    I’ve previously written about the problem with IPv4 /8s which have been used to number IP networks in an unofficial and improper way. The problem is that the unofficial usage makes it more difficult for ISPs to bring these addresses into use when they are officially...
  • We need YOU! Discuss solutions to your biggest ICANN problems

    At the joint meeting of ICANN’s advisory committees and supporting organizations in Sydney, a number of core issues and corresponding possible solutions were discussed and pulled into a summary document. We have put that document out in a radically different public...
  • The community view: registry/registrar regional gathering

    It’s not every day that ICANN comes to town. As an employee of Tucows, the third largest ICANN accredited registrar, I’m a little more tuned in to what’s going on with ICANN than the average person. But in my nearly three years at the company, I’ve never attended an ICANN...
  • Managing variants at the top-level

    Variant top-level domains (TLDs) and how they are managed is one of the most hotly discussed topics we are facing at the moment. What are variant TLDs, you ask? Well, that’s where the discussion begins… ICANN’s staff is currently producing implementation plans for both...
  • How we ensure full public discussion of IDN issues

    One particularly important aspect of ICANN’s launch of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) will be the availability of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) at the top level. That eagerly anticipated enhancement to Internet participation has also raised some issues. For...
  • All our financial information at the click of a button

    One of the consistent pieces of feedback I receive as ICANN’s Chief Financial Officer is that people want to know what it is that the organization is spending its money on. We have been been working hard to come up with ways of showing this clearly, especially so over the...
  • The issue of YouTubeIslam.com and domain disputes

    In the past few days, we have been receiving a large number of emails and phonecalls about the web address YouTubeIslam.com, and a dispute over its ownership. Because we coordinate the domain name system, ICANN is sometimes wrongly seen as the ultimate authority over...
  • Briefing Note – Overall Summary of the Sydney Meeting

    This briefing note is also published on the Sydney meeting site at http://syd.icann.org and linked to on the front page of that site. What was it? ICANN’s 35th international public meeting is the first of three held annually to conduct policy development and outreach. It...
  • More IPv4 Used but Unallocated

    Some IPv4 /8s have been used to number IP networks in an unofficial and improper way. That is, they have been used without being properly allocated and registered in a public Whois database. In most cases these networks are mostly private, used internally in their...
  • Slovenia in September: ccTLD registries and registrars

    The Second International Conference for ccTLD registries and registrars of CIS, Eastern and Central Europe will take place on 7-8 September 2009 in Bled, Slovenia. The First International Conference for ccTLD registries and registrars from that region was held on 8-10...
  • Sydney Gala photos up

    We have posted photos taken at the Sydney Gala last month. You should be able to see them in a slideshow below. You can also see them and download them directly from Flickr by following this link. Click on the photo you want, click “All Sizes” and you are able to download...
  • Who spoke what at Sydney?

    What the devil is that?, you are asking. Well it is a graphical representation of the different languages spoken by attendees to the Sydney meeting last month. At registration, we asked all attendees to select which of six languages they spoke. It’s not going to be...
  • 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,...
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."