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David Conrad

SVP & Chief Technology Officer

United States

Forum Profile

Biography

As the Chief Technology Officer of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), David Conrad is at the heart the organization's mission to help maintain the security, resiliency and stability of the Internet's system of unique identifiers that ICANN helps coordinate. Prior to being named CTO, Conrad held several different positions at ICANN, including Vice President of Infrastructure & Technology and General Manager of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.

Before joining ICANN, Conrad helped found a number of Internet startups, including Nominum, a firm focused on Internet name and address management products and services and was involved in the creation of the second Regional Internet Registry (RIR), Asia Pacific Network Information Center, the Internet address allocator for the Asia and Pacific Rim region.

In 2011, Conrad provided senior-level advice and technical input for CloudFlare, as a member of the organization's technical staff. Prior to that, Conrad was the Executive Director of the Internet Software Consortium during the development of the "BIND version 9" domain name server. He was also the seventh employee at the Internet Initiative Japan Corporation in Tokyo, and has held a number of software and infrastructure research and development positions throughout his career.

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."