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Dr. Richard Lamb

Sr. Program Manager DNSSEC

Forum Profile

Biography

Rick is part of ICANN's Security team and has over 35 years of Internet experience as engineer, entrepreneur, and policy expert. His interests have been intertwined with the progress of technology from an early age starting with radio to integrated circuitry to computers to networking and the Internet. Currently responsible for DNSSEC efforts at ICANN including outreach and training, Rick was the technical and policy architect for ICANN's root DNSSEC deployment. He regularly teaches and speaks on DNS/DNSSEC and other ICT topics and is a driving force behind DNSSEC's deployment as a cross-organizational, trans-national platform for Internet security innovation and business opportunity. Prior to this he was Director of Global IT policy at the US Department of State where he focused on helping policy makers understand technology across a wide range of agencies and governance issues. Before this he founded a number of small networking startups based on his inventions, the last being acquired by Microsoft, and continues to collaborate with startups on innovative solutions and has a number of patents. His years in the networking field have included implementation and commercialization of a wide range of communication protocols (UUCP, MEP2, BiSYNC, SDLC, X.25, DECNET, Q.921/931, H.323, IPX, TCP/IP, DNS). Rick received his doctorate from MIT.

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."