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ICANN ASO - Website and Discussion Lists

This is an announcement to all parties with interests in management of Internet Address space and related resources.

The Address Supporting Organisation of ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) was established last year, and has assumed its responsibilities under the ICANN Bylaws for coordination of global policy development in relation to Internet Addresses and related resources. The nine-member Address Council has also been established, in accordance with the ASO MoU and ICANN Bylaws.

Since its establishment, the ASO has established mailing lists and a website to ensure that its processes are open and transparent, and accessible to all parties with an interest in Internet resource management issues.

Three ASO mailing lists are now available for public access to ASO information, and for input into the ASO process:

aso-announce for announcements and other information relating to the ASO (read only list)
aso-policy for open discussion on policy and other ASO matters (open subscription list)
aso-comment for comment and input of any kind (no subscription necessary)

The ASO website is also now available, at http://www.aso.icann.org, and carries information relating to the ASO, Address Council, and policy matters which may be under consideration; as well as complete archives of the above mailing lists.

At this time the Address Council is seeking participants in the ASO process, and encourages all interested parties to subscribe to the mailing lists above. To subscribe, send a message to <majordomo@lists.aso.icann.org> containing the text "subscribe <list name>", for instance "subscribe aso-policy".

We look forward to your participation!

Paul Wilson
for the ASO Address Council.


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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."