To say that 2020 has been an extraordinary year would be an understatement. As a global community, we have experienced unprecedented challenges that have and will continue to impact our daily lives. As this year comes to an end, what stands out is how the ICANN community has come together to overcome each obstacle that has come our way.
Whether it was rethinking how we hold ICANN’s Public Meetings, combating threats to the Domain Name System, or prioritizing our work despite great physical distance, the ICANN community continued to demonstrate the success of the multistakeholder model.
This year also has shown us just how important the Internet has become in our lives. It has allowed us to stay connected and continues to move forward during times of profound uncertainty. ICANN, as the coordinator of the Internet’s system of unique identifiers, plays a critical role in enabling more and more users to come online and take advantage of the benefits that the Internet has to offer. Our role has never been more important, and the work you do to serve ICANN’s Mission makes this possible.
We look forward to 2021 with optimism. We have much to accomplish in the year ahead. Several of the projects and issues on which the community focused its efforts, such as the Generic Names Supporting Organization’s (GNSO) Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP), Auction Proceeds, and the third Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT3), will transition to implementation. We will continue to work with the community to further our efforts to mitigate domain name abuse and progress our important policy work. The Board also looks forward to reviewing the final report and recommendations of the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process.
As we take a moment to reflect on this past year, we can be proud of the work we accomplished and the goals we met. We are confident that ICANN is starting 2021 not only equipped with the tools for success, but also empowered by the spirit of collaboration.
On behalf of both the ICANN Board and org, thank you to the leaders of ICANN’s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, and all members of the ICANN community for the work you do in service of ICANN’s vision of a single, interoperable Internet.
Wishing you a safe and healthy new year.
We invite you to watch a holiday message from the ICANN Board, which can be viewed here.
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.”