Marina del Rey, California, USA (20 June 2003) – ICANN today announced the commencement of global deployment of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), which will allow use on the Internet of domain names in languages used in all parts of the world. In October 2002, the Internet Engineering Steering Group approved the publication of a standardized way of integrating IDNs into the Internet's domain-name system (DNS). After the proposed technical standard was published in March 2003, the ICANN Board endorsed an approach for implementation of the technical standard that had been developed cooperatively by ICANN and leading IDN registries.
Following up on the Board's endorsement, ICANN and the leading IDN registries finalized an agreed text of the principles to be followed in IDN registration activities. Those "Guidelines for the Implementation of Internationalized Domain Names" (version 1.0) were published today. IDN registries adhering to the Guidelines will employ language-specific registration and administration rules that are documented and publicly available. These IDN registries will work collaboratively with each other and with interested stakeholders to develop the language-specific policies, with the objective of achieving consistent approaches to IDN implementation to maintain Internet interoperability for the benefit of DNS users worldwide.
The registries for the .cn (China), .jp (Japan), and .tw (Taiwan) country codes, as well as for the .info and .org generic top-level domains, have committed to adhere to the Guidelines. As authorized by the ICANN Board in March, registries seeking to deploy IDNs under their agreements with ICANN will be authorized to do so on the basis of the Guidelines. In addition, the ICANN Board has recommended the Guidelines to other registries, and encourages broad participation by registries, language experts, and others in consultative, collaborative, community-based processes to study and develop appropriate language-specific IDN registration rules and policies.
As the deployment of IDNs proceeds, ICANN and the participating IDN registries have agreed to work together to review Guidelines at regular intervals based on their deployment experience, and to make any necessary adjustments.