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Participate in ICANN

What does ICANN do?

What's the effect on the Net?

What is going on now?

How do I participate?

To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number.

That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other.

ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world.

Without that coordination we wouldn't have a global Internet where we can find each other.

That makes ICANN unique.

ICANN was formed in 1998. We are a not-for-profit partnership of people from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. We promote competition and develop policy on the Internet's unique identifiers.

ICANN doesn't control content on the Internet. We can't stop spam and we don't deal with access to the Internet.

But if you are interested in the names that can be used on the Internet; if you want to make sure there are enough numbers to allow the Internet to expand; if you care about how the Internet evolves and want to have a say, join ICANN.

Participation is free and your contribution will be unique..

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."