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Press Release: ICANN Board Appoints Louis Touton Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

Marina del Rey, CA (October 19, 1999) - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced today that its Interim Board had appointed Louis Touton as the organization's Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. ICANN is the non-profit, global, consensus based organization charged with overseeing the technical administration of the Internet. Touton will be the first Vice President and General Counsel for the year old organization.

In his new capacity, Touton will be responsible for all legal affairs of the corporation and report to the CEO and Board of Directors. Touton joins ICANN from the law firm of Jones Day Reavis & Pogue where he has been a partner since 1989. Touton joined the firm in 1981 and has primarily handled intellectual property work for technology clients. Touton will assume his new responsibilities on November 1 and will participate in ICANN's first annual meeting November 1-4 in Los Angeles, CA.

"I feel very fortunate in having someone of Louis' demonstrated talents, experience, energy and enthusiasm on the ICANN staff," said ICANN Interim President and CEO Mike Roberts. While at Jones Day, in the capacity as one of ICANN's outside counsel, Touton has already made substantial contributions to the development of ICANN policies in the areas of registrar accreditation and domain name dispute resolution.

"The Members of the ICANN Board and I are extremely pleased that Louis is joining ICANN," said Interim Chairman of the ICANN Board Esther Dyson. "His professional credentials are impeccable, but in addition he is a pleasure to work with and has already invested a great deal of professional and personal time in understanding the challenges and work ahead for ICANN."

Touton has his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and B.S. degrees in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering from MIT. Following his appointment, in a letter to Interim ICANN President Mike Roberts, Touton announced his intention to waive his salary for his first year of service. In his letter, Touton says, "I firmly believe that the ICANN cause is a good one and deserves the volunteer spirit it has so broadly evoked."

The full text of the letter can be found on the ICANN web site at


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit, international corporation formed in September 1998 to oversee a select set of Internet technical management functions currently managed by the U.S. Government, or by its contractors and volunteers. Specifically, ICANN is assuming responsibility for coordinating the management of the domain name system (DNS), the allocation of IP address space, the assignment of protocol parameters, and the management of the root server system.

For more information, please contact:

Pam Brewster
Alexander Ogilvy

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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"""" is not an IDN."