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Press Release: ICANN Taps Paul Twomey to Develop and Lead its Governmental Advisory Committee | Australian Internet Leader Brings Wealth of International Expertise to ICANN

Los Angeles, Calif. - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a new, non-profit, international corporation formed to oversee a select number of the Internet's core technical management functions, today announced that it has selected Dr. Paul Twomey as chairman of its Governmental Advisory Committee. An Australian government official with responsibility for information economy issues, Dr. Twomey will lead the committee charged with providing advice and counsel to ICANN on a wide-range of government-related matters.

"We are delighted to have someone of the caliber of Dr. Twomey joining our effort," said Eugenio Triana, ICANN board member and liaison to the Government Advisory Committee. "With his combination of Internet and government experience, Dr. Twomey will be invaluable in our efforts to work with leaders and nations across the globe to help ensure the continued, smooth functioning of the Internet. It is a tribute to Dr. Twomey's outstanding qualifications that the Board of Directors voted unanimously for his appointment."

Consisting of representatives of national governments, multinational governmental organizations and treaty organizations, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) will act as an independent advisory body to ICANN's Board of Directors. The GAC is charged with advising ICANN on the concerns of governments, particularly where ICANN's policies interact with national laws and international agreements. The precise structure and mandate of GAC is yet to be developed. Leading this effort will be one of Dr. Twomey's main responsibilities.

Dr Twomey is currently the chief executive officer of Australia's National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE, www.noie.gov.au). The NOIE has direct responsibility for developing and coordinating strategies to address the convergence of the information economy, information technology and telecommunications issues driven by the digital revolution. Dr. Twomey is also the Australian government's Special Adviser for the Information Economy and Technology. In this capacity, he is charged with providing strategic advice to the government on developing its information economy and information technology priorities and strategies, including a National Strategy for the Information Economy (www.noie.gov.au/nationalstrategy/index.html).

"The role of the GAC is a significant element of ICANN," said Dr. Twomey, "And I acknowledge that ICANN's invitation for me to chair the GAC is a great compliment to Australia's role to date in the Internet reform process. In my position as Chairman, I will endeavour to ensure that the principles affirmed by ICANN, which are those of fairness and transparency of policy and procedure, are upheld, and that these principles are exercised to the maximum extent feasible."

About Paul Twomey

Prior to his appointment to his current role, Dr Twomey held consecutive Executive General Manager positions with the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade); first as head of strategic development, and more recently as the leader of its operations throughout Europe. He was also the leader of Austrade's Global Information Technology and Telecommunications Network, assisting Australia's IT&T firms to market their products and services to key European, American and Asian markets.

Dr Twomey has also worked as a consultant with the global management consultancy McKinsey & Company. In this role, he advised major corporations from the telecommunications, financial service and tourism sectors in Australia, the United States, Japan and Hong Kong. Dr. Twomey holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Cambridge. He is widely published in academic and popular journals.

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.=

Twomey Contact:

Brendan Harkin
National Office for the Information Economy
General Manager, Public Affairs
61-29240-0912

ICANN Contacts:

Sean Garrett
Alexander Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
415-923-1660
sgarrett@alexanderogilvy.com

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."