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Press Release: ICANN Announces International Education and Public Outreach Support in Collaboration with Alexander Ogilvy

Los Angeles, Calif. - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced today that Alexander Ogilvy and its parent company Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide will provide support for its international education and public outreach programs. The firms' offices in major cities worldwide will assist the new organization through a structured program of event support, educational materials and media coordination.

Esther Dyson, Interim Chairman of the ICANN Board, said "We're looking forward to the ability to use the well-known strengths of Alexander Ogilvy in our programs to reach and hear from the diverse constituencies of ICANN. Together, we can advance the goals of our new organization in fostering strong and stable growth of the Internet around the world."

Routine press inquiries will now be handled through the Alexander Ogilvy/Ogilvy contacts listed below. Members of the ICANN Board and staff will continue to make themselves available for interviews concerning ICANN programs.

About ICANN:

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a new, non-profit, international corporation formed to oversee a select number of the Internet's core technical management functions. Between now and September 2000, ICANN will take over responsibility for coordinating domain name system management, IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, and root server system management, a privatization called for the in U.S. Government's White Paper on the Management of the Internet Domain Name System.

In the past, many of these functions have been handled by the U.S. government, or by its contractors and volunteers. This informal structure represented the spirit and culture of the research community in which the Internet developed. However, the growing size and international importance of the Internet has necessitated the creation of a technical management body that is both more formalized in structure, and more fully reflective of the geographic diversity of the Internet community.

ICANN is a non-profit corporation with an international board of directors. Its initial board is led by interim chairman Esther Dyson, and has members drawn from several nations. This initial board is completing ICANN's by-laws and procedures and working to pave the way for a smooth and stable transition to private sector management of technical management functions. The day-to-day management of ICANN is led by its interim President and CEO, Mike Roberts. The initial board members will be succeeded by board members elected by four different constituency groups, collectively representing a broad range of the Internet's technical and user communities around the globe.=

About Alexander Ogilvy:
See www.alexanderogilvy.com.

About Ogilvy PR:
See www.ogilvypr.com.

Contact info:

Sean Garrett
Director of Technology Policy Communications
Alexander Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
415-923-1660, 170
sgarrett@alexanderogilvy.com

Molly Shaffer Van Houweling
ICANN
650-965-0410
msvh@icann.org

Europe:
Patrick Worms
Vice President, Technology Communications
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Brussels
(+32-2) 545 6609
patrick.worms@ogilvy.be

Asia:
Patricia Ratulangi
Senior Associate, Technology Practice
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Singapore
Tel 65 2779563
patricia.ratulangi@ogilvy.com


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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."