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Press Release: ICANN Membership Advisory Committee Appointed

LOS ANGELES, December 17, 1998 -- The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is pleased to announce that the following individuals have been appointed to the ICANN Membership Advisory Committee:

-Izumi Aizu (Asia Network Research; Asia & Pacific Internet Association; Malaysia/Japan)
-Diane Cabell (Fausett, Gaeta & Lund, LLP; United States)
-George Conrades, chairman (ICANN; United States)
-Greg Crew (ICANN; Australia)
-Pavan Duggal (Cyberlaw Consultant; India)
-Kanchana Kanchanasut (Asian Institute of Technology; Thailand)
-Daniel Kaplan (Consultant; Internet Society France; France)
-Siegfried Langenbach (CSL GmbH; Germany)
-Nii Quaynor (Network Computer Systems; Ghana)
-Oscar Robles Garay (Latin American & Caribbean Networks Forum/ENRED; Mexico)
-Dan Steinberg (Open Root Server Confederation; Canada)
-Tadao Takahashi (Internet Society Brazil; Brazil)
-Jonathan Zittrain, non-voting liaison to Berkman Center membership study (Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School; United States)

Expressions of interest were received from over eighty individuals who responded to ICANN's invitation for expressions of interest, which was posted on the ICANN website on November 25 and distributed to relevant mailing lists--including the list associated with the International Forum on the White Paper.

Those selected meet the goals of constructing a committee that both is geographically diverse and includes a wide variety of interests and perspectives.  The board appreciates the willingness of so many people to participate in this important activity and encourages all to continue to participate as a key source of feedback and expertise for the committee.

This committee, called for in the ICANN bylaws, will advise the ICANN board on the creation of an at-large membership structure.  The committee's work will begin immediately; it is scheduled to report on its progress at the next ICANN meeting, planned for Singapore March 2-4.

One of the committee's first tasks will be defining its work plan and methods.  Among other things, it will determine how to involve the public in its work, especially all the volunteers who are not part of the formal committee, while striving to accomplish its objectives as soon as possible.

The committee will be working in conjunction with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School--which, along with other support to ICANN, is undertaking a study of membership issues.

Thanks to all of the enthusiastic and qualified individuals who expressed interest in joining the committee.

Contact:

Esther Dyson, Interim Chairman, +1(212)924-8800, edyson@icann.org

George Conrades, Membership Advisory Committee Chairman, gconrades@icann.org

Greg Crew, ICANN Director and Membership Advisory Committee member, gregcrew@icann.org


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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."