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ICANN Newsletter | Week ending 8 August 2008

News from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers


Announcements This Week

Updates to New gTLD Program Implementation

8 August 2008 | During the ICANN meeting in Paris, France, ICANN staff made a commitment to release a paper describing the economic case for auctions as a tiebreaking mechanism for resolving contention among identical or confusingly similar applications for new gTLDs. ICANN is making the Economic Case for Auctions in New gTLDs paper available so that the community can provide feedback on this element of the forthcoming implementation plan.

ICANN Highlights Domain Name System Vulnerability; Releases Tools

6 August 2008 | ICANN is raising awareness of a recently discovered vulnerability in the domain name system (DNS). This includes releasing an FAQ and an online tool for domain operators to test their domains.


Upcoming Events

2 - 7 November 2008: 33rd International Public ICANN Meeting - Cairo, Egypt


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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."