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For Journalists

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Contact Directory

North America | Latin America | Europe, Middle East, Africa | Asia, Pacific


ICANN52 Closing Interview


ICANN52 Opening Press Conference


Issues of Interest to Journalists

New gTLDs  |  Internationalised Domain Names  |  Fast-track IDN ccTLD Activities  |  IPv6


Journalists May Direct Inquiries To:

North America

Brad White
Director, North America Communications
Washington, DC USA
+1 202 570 7118
brad.white@icann.org

James Cole
Global Media Coordinator
Washington, DC USA
+1 202 570 7139
james.cole@icann.org

Latin America

Alexandra Dans
Latin America Communications Manager
Montevideo, Uruguay
+598 95 831 442
alexandra.dans@icann.org

Europe, Middle East, Africa

Luna Madi
EMEA Communications Director
London, U.K.
+44 7780947574
luna.madi@icann.org

Asia, Pacific

Liana Teo
Head of Communications, APAC
Singapore
+65 6808 6669
liana.teo@icann.org

What Is ICANN?

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 one global Internet.

ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet's unique identifiers.

ICANN doesn't control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn't deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet's naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet.

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."